The lady or the Tiger?

Sun, Nov 29
9:01
AM ET

The Tiger Woods story is likely to play out for the next few days as a high-def opera bouffe, as farce -- as a sort of heartbreaking tabloid slapstick in which all parties succeed somehow in demeaning all other parties. The net/net for it will invariably be an increase in ratings and sales for everyone concerned and a proportional diminishment in global human dignity. Which is a lot for one marriage, even a famous one, to bear.

So you'll hear a lot about all this for 72 hours; then all at once, like the sudden end of an argument, you'll hear nothing at all. And another public marriage will be left to succeed or fail in private.

In the meantime, no one will use the occasion of the "accident" much to talk about how fragile a thing life is, even for famous golfers, or about how big a role luck, or fate, or God, or even the utter indifference of a random universe play in the record books. It's too frightening. Anything can happen at any moment, and any one of us -- even the rich or the talented or the famous -- might be snatched up by the big kaboom.

Which is why it's never been a given that Tiger Woods will surpass or even equal the records of Jack Nicklaus. He may or he may not. Life is, after all, itself a long shot.

Despite this, or more likely because of it, I wish him well.