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The Eye of the Tiger

As a friend of mine recently posted on Facebook, “If I hear any more about Tiger Woods I’m going to beat MYSELF with a golf club.” Can I get an Amen? But I do think it’s ironic that a man who has a yacht named “Privacy” now finds himself in the vast eye of an ever-intensifying media monsoon.

Speaking of eyes, I actually made eye contact with Tiger a few weeks ago. No kidding. My husband and I and some friends of ours were at the U2 concert at the new JerryWorld (Cowboys Stadium) where we watched from a very she-she private box. At the end of the concert, when everyone’s heads were still swooning from the Bono nerve gas, we exited our suite down a private hallway. I was talking to my friend Jill (probably about Bono’s laser-shooting leather jacket miracle) when we noticed our husbands had picked up the pace. They looked like mall walkers—not so fast as to be jogging but as if on a very serious mission that required stealth, speed and a false air of casualness. The mission was this: chase down Jason Witten at any cost.

We rounded the corner and came face to face with a big freight elevator. Our husbands were still full steam ahead, closing in on the elevator. We were stopped by security and that’s when I caught a glimpse of Jason Witten towering over about 10 people squished like a bunch of sardines inside the elevator. Next to him stood Tony Romo. And next to him was who appeared to be a short, average-looking African American man. But this man wasn’t short and he wasn’t just one of the crowd. He was Tiger Woods, but no baseball hat, no red Nike polo, no fist pumping in triumph. Enlightenment poured over me like a waterfall.

At that moment, he looked up. Straight at me. In later versions of the story as it’s been recounted, he smiled and winked and gave me a Rolex. But in its unabridged version, the best way to describe the look on his face was amusement—he was watching me recognize him. Tiger must have seen my awe at Jason and Tony and then initial non-computing when I saw him. He’s probably not used to being upstaged like that and thought the whole thing was rather droll.

(Something tells me he wouldn’t mind being upstaged by Jason Witten nowadays.)

The most awkward thing about the whole situation was that it took forever for the elevator cage to shut. So it was basically the four of us staring at the three of them in long, painful silence.  With elevator music playing in the background. What do you say in that moment? I resisted the urge to utter “Tiger Woods” stupidly. It wasn’t like we were in there with fifty screaming fans—it was just little old us and Them and a big “yes we know we’re famous and you’re in awe right now but we’ll pretend this is a perfectly normal encounter.”

What would you do? Our husbands didn’t know what to do either. Staring seemed the best option, but I was afraid they might do something rash. Apparently so did the security guard. He still had his arm extended as if to say “these sports gods dwell in unapproachable light, and their elevator must not be defiled by the likes of you.”

At any rate, the cage finally closed, the elevator descended, and we were left in the hallway like the Lost Boys with fairy dust still glittering all around.

So that’s my encounter with Tiger in a nutshell. Riveting, I know. And with that, I don’t want to hear another word about it or him or the PGA or golf clubs or anything remotely related to tigers or woods.