Salacious tale far from private

MIKE STROBEL, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

Tiger Woods is a billion-dollar boob if he thinks it's none of our business.

To paraphrase his golf course lingo: Is he @#$%&*#@*& nuts?

Unless you are dead, or a Habs fan, you have followed Tiger's tale the past few days.

The latest skank, I mean shank, is cocktail waitress Jaimee Grubbs, 24. She says she's been Tiger's ball-washer for 31 months, and has 300 text messages to prove it.

Caddie Stevie Williams must have whispered some sense into his ear, because Woods finally issued a public apology yesterday.

"I am dealing with my behaviour and personal failings behind closed doors with my family," it said. "Those feelings should be shared by us alone."

Sure, Tiger, sure. Shared by your family and about 6 billion other people.

Enquiring minds, every one of them. Rightly so.

It amazes me how celebs grow rich off the public teat, then get super shy when the going gets sloppy.

They can't have it both ways. Right to privacy, my purple butt, to paraphrase George Bell.

You're a billionaire, Tiger, because we buy your polo shirts and your PlayStation games and your Nike balls. On your say-so, we drive Buicks, drink Gatorade, wear TAG Heuer watches, shave with Gillette razors and use American Express.

You're the greatest player on earth. But that and a toonie buys you a cup of coffee -- if the public doesn't cough up.

Which means you owe us.

David Letterman knows this. He confessed his infidelities before we even knew about them. What happened? We forgave him and his ratings soared.

Who the hell is advising Tiger these days? John Daly?

It takes some doing to replace Big John as the punchline of the PGA tour.

At least Daly never pretended to be anything but a flawed man.

Tiger has played Mr. Perfect. Perfect childhood, perfect teeth, perfect wife, perfect abs, perfect dad, perfect backswing, perfect putting, perfect manners off the course. It's one reason we drive Buicks, shave with Gillette, etc., etc.

So when that perfection goes poof, we want to know why. We want to know if we should still drink Gatorade.

It's our business, because he made it our business.

And it's not like he didn't know. Athletes from Hercules to Michael Jordan have traded privacy for fame and fortune.

Politicians, movie stars and musicians, too.

Some don't understand this. Cameramen, reporters and autograph-seekers have the bruises or broken hearts to prove it.

The only line is drawn at the front door. What Tiger and the lovely Elin say and do within the walls of their Florida castle is between them. (Unless someone tapes it.) Otherwise, we're trespassing.

But the instant Tiger drove out his gate he swerved into public domain, with Elin wielding a golf club behind him.

Same applies to him playing bump-and-run with one floozy Down Under and another in the City That Never Sleeps. Fair game.

What happens in Vegas never stays in Vegas if you are the world's most visible athlete.

Face it like a man, Tiger. Pretend it's Phil Mickelson chasing your tail.

None of our beeswax? Tell that to the kids for whom you are a role model. The world has few superheroes. Hide behind your "privacy" and you are just a paper Tiger. The world has plenty of those.

Me, I don't mind how you lead your life, don't mind if you have a babe in every bunker. Swing away, buddy. Secretly, many a male is murmuring "you da man!" with every new Tiger bimbo explosion.

As far as we know, nothing illegal happened. No animals were harmed. The only physical injuries were to a fire hydrant and a neighbour's tree. But how can we judge without knowing the facts?

Privacy, Tiger? I bet your wife won't have a minute's peace for the next six months, especially if more vixens and voicemails surface.

You should have thought of Elin's privacy before you pulled out your utility club.

STROBEL'S COLUMN RUNS WEDNESDAY TO FRIDAY, AND SUNDAY. MIKE.STROBEL@SUNMEDIA.CA OR 416-947-2265


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