When the cheering stops.

Over the last few days I’ve had some great conversations with Mike Schaffer (@MikeSchaffer), Matt LaCasse (@MattLaCasse) Matt Hannaford (@AXP112) and Colin Pennington (@ColinJP) about Tiger Woods and, now, former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber’s infidelities.  We also touched on whether Sandra Bullock knew about Jesse James’ lifestyle choices, but that’s another discussion for another blog (believe me, I wouldn’t have enough space to write).

A thought I’ve had since Tiger’s story hit the news was reinforced when I read about Barber’s alleged hook-up.  Think about this: At home athletes like Tiger and Tiki aren’t “champion golfer” Tiger Woods or “Giants great” Tiki Barber.  They are Dad, husband and “normal” person.  They aren’t being cheered by a course or stadium full of fans or told they are the greatest by autograph seekers at home.  They (hopefully) change the diapers, take the kids to school, and treat their wives with respect for the hard work they put in while they are at work.

This isn’t the case though.  For Tiger and Tiki, they apparently need the adulation of continuing to be known as golfing great and legendary New York Giant.  If Tiger was just another guy, there is no way he’s hooking up with a porn star.  He probably wouldn’t have been able to hide all the dalliances either.

Tiki Barber, if you read the reports in New York Post, has been doting on his gal pal for some time, allegedly lavishing her with gifts.  The young girl clearly sees his for what he is: a former football player-turned-television commentator who still makes a considerable amount of money.  He is viewed as a celebrity and his new gal is dating someone famous.

The bottom line? From my vantage point, these types of athletes need the spotlight 24-hours a day.  They apparently can’t slip back into the family life after the competition is over.  They need the rush of being cheered and lauded.  The endorsement money doesn’t hurt either. For these guys, though, they need the cheers and praise not received at home.  Why not get someone else to give them what they so deeply crave?

What do you think? Am I dead wrong or on to something?

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About JasMollica

"It's never too late to have a life and it's never too late to change one." That's something I tell students, friends, and family all the time. After living and working in New York City, I took my own advice in 2004, switched my career from the television/radio industry and got into public relations. Now, I spend my days as a PR/social media marketing consultant and get inspired daily. It's been a good ride, so far. But the car has plenty of gas left. I hope you'll join along in this guy's journey!

Posted on April 8, 2010, in Hot Topic, Public Relations, Social Media, Sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Very interesting thought, Jason. That might be the reason at the core of many people who break their marriage vows. They don’t feel like they are getting the respect they deserve at home. After all, Nike and Gatorade aren’t going to come calling with multi-million dollar contracts because you remembered to take out the trash.

  2. Jason,
    You bring up a really great point that I would have never thought of, and as sad as it is to think that athletes and celebrities can’t go home at the end of the day and be happy with their wife and children, I must say that I think it is increasingly true. And unfortunately, its the reason why athletes at all levels have such bad reputations to begin with.

    People say that money changes a person, and I think after a point many people become used to constantly being praised. I’m sure these guys got praise at home, but on a different level. Instead of appreciating the small things life has given them, they prefer to focus on the grander things, and look at where its gotten them. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again in regards to Tiger, the reason this is such a big scandal is because he was caught. I have no doubt in my mind that there are numerous other pro athletes who are going to be 10x more careful now so that they aren’t found out.

    Maybe its harsh to say, and I know that not all athletes are the type to lie and cheat on their wives. But, it seems we can’t go one day without hearing about another “scandal” in Hollywood or the sports world.

    • Do you think it’s money that changes people Steph, or fame/attention? I think the fame/attention corrupts much more than money.

      • I think its both. Obviously fame and attention leads to money, but I think you’re right. The attention is hard to escape and is probably what changes them. Thanks for pointing that out, I think I just equated the money & fame part.

  3. So glad to have both of your perspectives. The old saying money can’t buy you happiness would be good here. Many times you here people say, “If I were poor and didn’t have money, I would still love you.” I tend to believe that sometimes because when you don’t have it, you get use to not having it.

    Why do you think so many young college football and basketball players leave school early. M-O-N-E-Y. The NBA pays, college doesn’t. However, if they don’t make it, those visions of the fame and glory will be gone. The cheering is also done…

  4. I think your argument makes sense in the case of Tiki, but Tiger had it all. He’s the biggest in the game of golf and married to one of the most beautiful women on the planet! I see Tiki more as being an attention craving burnout, and Tiger as a guy with a sex “problem”. Tiki’s always had a way of making sure his opinions are voiced and heard, just look at the way he retired. We could argue all day whether Tiger’s sex “problem” is a legit medical issue or just him having a weak personality and unable to resist temptation but I’m not sure it’s fair to compare the situation. Regardless though, both a dirt bags.

  5. Personally I think the money, the attention or the fame have little to do with it. For me it’s more about fulfilling basic human needs. And no I’m not talking about sex!

    We are all driven by 1 of 6 human needs; certainty, uncertainty, significance, love, personal grow or contribution. One of these 6 will ultimately drive most of our actions.

    Now maybe Tiger and Tiki were looking certainty or even uncertainty in the arms of other women or maybe it was a feeling of significance. Which ever doesn’t really matter too much after the event. It’s very much likely that these 2 athletes would be driven by the same basic humans needs whether they were famous, had loads of money or were in the public eye or whether they weren’t any of these things.

    The only reason it’s all over the news is that they are well known. Had they not been everyone would have dismissed it as just another sad event in a families life.

    • Ben,

      Really happy to have your perspective. I never considered the fulfulling basic needs factor, but you make great points.

      You hit it right on the head, if they were “normal Joes” this wouldn’t even be on the radar, it would be a statistic in a divorce proceding most likely.

      Again, thanks Ben!

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