On Tiger (ugh)

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My strong reaction to the Tiger Woods story is revulsion, not at him but at the incredible focus so many people seem not only willing but compelled to devote. The Globe editorial board opined on his presentation yesterday, and I happened upon the talkers on WTKK-FM discussing it yesterday as well. I only turned them on because both sports-talk stations were parsing the golfer's words to death, of course, and I was trying to find something else. And these are only the examples I couldn't completely avoid.

But one serious issue does attend the episode; you shouldn't be surprised that the one I identify is addiction. I don't know if Woods is an addict; it seems fair to discuss it publicly only because he's the one who disclosed publicly that he entered a rehab facility.

If he is, then he has an illness, which should be more than credible, considering the outrageousness of his purported actions, particularly against the backdrop of his wealth, his golden touch, and his apparently idyllic family.

This is what addiction looks like: People acting inexplicably when their apparent interests would seeminly produce opposite actions.

If anything, what we're seeing with Woods is the excess of addiction combined with the excess of opportunity as provided by good looks, almost singluar fame, and unspeakable wealth. I often think of Howard Hughes in this regard: He peed in bottles he left outside the door, and died naked under a sheet with four-inch fingernails and scraggly hair attended by a coterie of Mormon men. Someone else with OCD might have exhibited some odd behavior, but only someone with the extreme freedom of wealth could have become so odd. The rest of us are sooner retunred to the pack.

If you watch the continued unfolding of this story through this lens instead of what seems logical, it may begin to make more sense for you.

Author and wellness innovator Michael Prager helps smart companies
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