View From Lodi, CA Pittsburgh, PA: The Tiger Woods Foundation—Betraying His Other Kids
January 29, 2010, 04:00 AM
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Several weeks before the Tiger Woods scandal broke, Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic were talking about attacks against the once popular golfer made by the former football great Jim Brown.

Greenberg and Golic, the hosts of the ESPN Radio show Mike and Mike in the Morning, were dismayed that Brown had taken Woods to task for not doing more for the black community. Brown called Woods too politically correct and "terrible" on social change. According to Brown, Woods' only contribution to black America is to teach its kids how to play golf.

Jumping to Woods' defense, Mike and Mike pointed to the Tiger Woods Foundation as a generous benefactor to "millions of kids."

The reference to "millions" sparked my interest because that is a powerful total—one, frankly, that I did not believe.

I went to the foundation's website and read Woods' letter wherein he claims: "I can proudly say more than 10 million young people have been touched by the Tiger Woods Foundation."

"Touched" is a vague word. If the kid next door gets a Woods Foundation scholarship and becomes a better pal to all the other kids in the neighborhood, have they been "touched"?

My curiosity piqued, I spent a few minutes analyzing the foundation's site and came away a Woods skeptic.

According to Woods, the foundation has given out $30 million in grants and scholarships over ten years to 10 million children. That averages out at $3 per kid. Looked at another way, Woods' foundation has donated about the financial equivalent of a single-scoop ice cream cone.

Don't get me wrong; $30 million is big money. But something about it made me wonder.

Suffice it to say then that when Woods sexual escapes broke, I wasn't shocked by his philandering.

But I remain dismayed by his stupidity. Woods is linked to as many as a dozen women in Miami, New York and Las Vegas. What they all have in common is that they're frighteningly unattractive either because of or despite major plastic surgery.

But more curiously, as cocktail waitresses, pancake servers, porn stars, nightclub managers, they represent the demographic that is guaranteed to gossip.

If there's anybody out there determined to cheat on his spouse, hook up with someone like the fictional Carmela Soprano. Neither of you will talk, because the consequences of being discovered will be equally dire for both of you.

Woods is reportedly at the Mississippi-based Gentle Path sex rehabilitation clinic receiving treatment for his so called sexual addiction. The facility also offers relationship counseling and therapy for sexual anorexia. Woods needs the former but not the latter, which treats the lack of desire for sexual interaction.

Maybe Woods' enrollment in Gentle Path is his first step in his comeback. If nothing else, it fulfills a promise Woods made on his website:

"I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone."

But what about those kids, whether they be 10 million or 10,000?

Some are teenagers conflicted about their responsibilities as they grow into adults. All of them hold Woods as a hero or at least they did before his unsavory double life became headline news.

The foundation website doesn't have an apologetic word.

The only clue that things are amiss is that Woods' "Events Calendar" is blank.

If Woods can apologize to a general audience that includes his family, sponsors and fans, then he can certainly say a few words to the kids that he has encouraged to "dream big".

At least Woods should admit to more than "transgressions."

A good message for the kids would be something like:

"I cheated, I lied, I knowingly deceived people who loved me and I paid a big price. Learn from my mistakes and never do the same."

Joe Guzzardi [email him] is a California native who recently fled the state because of over-immigration, over-population and a rapidly deteriorating quality of life. He has moved to Pittsburgh, PA where the air is clean and the growth rate stable. A long-time instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, Guzzardi has been writing a weekly column since 1988. It currently appears in the Lodi News-Sentinel.