07 April 2010

Winning & Losing

Q. Golf-wise, what are your expectations this week?
TIGER WOODS: Nothing's changed, going to go out there and try to win this thing. Recently Trad Dad reminded me of Little League baseball tryouts when I was 11. Coaches, who always had their own sons on the team, were interested in winning. And these memories are some of my earliest about life not being very fair. I did manage to play on a Pony League team (2nd base and short stop) but we lost almost every game. Still, I got to play. At 15 I was the assistant coach of a Shakey's Pizza team. We came in second to last but we ate well.

I was lucky I got to play. If someone's gonna win - someone's gotta lose. I've always told my Little League stories proudly and wore 'Loser' as a badge of honor. But never have I been so curious about winners as the recent events surrounding Tiger Woods.

Winning, a old friend tells me, is directly related to power. Wall Street sure likes to win and win big. Michael Jordan appears to be addicted to the charge of winning at the card table. I guess winning in Vegas must be like winning on the court. And what about winning women? I reckon they stand as the ultimate prize.

The April 12th feature of New York Magazine, The Half-Hooker Economy, dovetails nicely with the Vanity Fair feature on Tiger. Bottle girls, who claim not to be prostitutes, sell $30 bottles of hooch for $800 and may or may not sleep with the customer. And of course there are 'winners' among the bottle girls. So I was thinking, is all of this really about an addiction to sex? Or, is it an addiction to winning? Fortunately, like drugs, I never did enough winning to get hooked. But America sure does love a winner.


Holly Goes Lightly said...

well said, Trad, well said.

Belle de Ville said...

Nice post. I linked to it.

bluesman said...

Excellent thoughts. As as been stated, 'winning isn't everything, it's the only thing'. It's morphed in to winning at all costs, which is why we're in the mess(es) we're in.

Those Tricks said...

What's the main drive to become rich and famous?
To partake freely and frequently in all of life's finer pleasures, of course.
What's the most fulfilling dopamine producer?
To expect people with power (money/fame) to NOT have sex with the hotties that offer it to them is naive.

They just shouldn't pose in relationships and we all need to get over it?

Family Man said...

I would amend Those Tricks statement thusly:

"In today's debased culture of low moral standards that openly celebrates sex, money, and glitz, to expect people with power (money/fame) to NOT have sex with the hotties that offer it to them is naive."

Once upon a time, powerful/wealthy/famous people did, in fact, generally behave themselves. Fred Astaire, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Ronald Reagan, and many others had (have, for Andy) lives that made for very boring tabloid articles:

Perry Como Celebrates 60th Wedding Anniversary!

Fred Astaire Remains Faithful to Wife!

Bing Crosby Fathers Another Child in Wedlock!

Anonymous said...

Winning is a goal.
Cheating is a choice. ME

Anonymous said...

All part of the post-modern world we're all anxiously entering....best to keep in mind the quotable nugget by Bette Davis in "All About Eve": "Fasten your safety belts it's going to be a bumpy night....!"

Anonymous in NY

Laguna Beach Trad said...

Nice post. "Tiger" Woods is a DB and in a sane world he would have received his just desserts by now. Why are Americans obsessed with "winners" and "losers"? I don't get it and never will. A symptom of a weak, insecure, and immature people, and an excuse for arrogance and bullying. Meanwhile, the meek are quietly and diligently reproducing...

Skip said...

Thanks for the link!
Big fan!

Those Tricks said...

Family Man :
No offense, but I don't buy it for a second.
I would bet my left foot that at least 4/5 of those men got some on the side. Regularly.
The news just wouldn't have reached the public because there weren't cell phone records, camera phones, paparazzi lurking behind every corner and the women would have been treated awfully in that time period if they came forward.
For realz.

BeStylish said...

Very good post.I appreciate your oppinion...and the most important...What you said is true...

tintin said...

Chris Rock may have said it best. "A man is as faithful as his options."

Getting high is a goal. Winning is just another high that some people can't live without. No choice about it at all. I don't think it's about the sex at all. These people would rather 'win' than have sex. Sex is just another way to win.

Family Man said...

Those Tricks,

As hard as it may be for you--and many others--to believe, most people then, and a lot of people now, actually find fidelity to be more rewarding than the cheap thrill of getting "some on the side."

I know that there have always been those who give in to temptation. JFK, FDR, Richard Burton, and Errol Flynn are just a few. The list may seem endless, but as we go back further in time, the reason we see fewer is not just that the media were kinder: it's also that our ancestors were not as likely to give in to temptation as we moderns are.

Just because our current pop culture is all about instant gratification, it doesn't mean that it has always been so.

Family Man said...

I think tintin is getting to the heart of the matter when he says that some people want to win regardless of the cost. We could discuss the origins, causes, etc. forever without resolution, so I'll just disagree with two more things.

1. "A man is as faithful as his options." I have always had the option of cheating on my wife, and I have had any number of young and attractive women arround me who seemed willing to assist. But here's where I disagree again:

2. "No choice about it at all." We always have a choice. ALWAYS. That's why it's called "free will." The choice you make? That's what they call "character."

Just my 2½¢.

tintin said...

When I was married I had a very attractive client proposition me at lunch. When I realized she was serious - I told her she hadn't thought it through. She told me she had. I told her I needed to think it through. She seemed to be waiting for me so I told her that what we did could hurt both are spouses, our families and our in laws.

She stood up and left without me. I noticed two guys a couple tables away looking at me like I was a complete idiot. I felt like a complete idiot. But we're still friends today. I doubt we would be had I decided to get a room that afternoon.

Family Man said...

Character is something you're never too old to develop, but it is best developed young. I'm guessing your time in the service helped develop yours. It's what led you to make the right decision that day.

People of low character either assume that no one can actually be better than they are, or can't even fathom the moral issues at all. However, when those of poor character attack those of good character for their higher standards and conduct, it's because the former recognize in the latter something they themselves lack, and lash out against it, in inchoate jealosy.

Anonymous said...

A culture which awards an individual $273,972.60 per diem for being the best at pokin' an itty bitty ball through meadows with a stick - and that's just golf. No self-respecting, sane extraterrestrial would ever land here.

There's a few hustlers 'round these parts who know Michael Jordan's not a winner at Tiger's or Doyle Brunson's fortes - and how to exploit his hubris.


tintin said...

Family Man- The army had nothing to do with my character. By the time I went in it had long been molded by my parents.

Tater-Funny how much this country loves people who know how to put a ball in a hole, net, goal post or pocket. I guess we're just 'hole' obsessed or should it be 'ball' obsessed?