I can’t help but think “What would Earl Woods say?”

Earl Woods (1932 – 2006)

My dad was my best friend and greatest role model, and I will miss him deeply. I’m overwhelmed when I think of all of the great things he accomplished in his life. He was an amazing dad, coach, mentor, soldier, husband and friend. I wouldn’t be where I am today without him, and I’m honored to continue his legacy of sharing and caring.
Tiger Woods (on his website) 2006

When Earl Woods died Wednesday at the age of 74, a small piece of Tiger Woods died, too. That goes without saying, because when true love is taken from us, it leads an unfillable void. But more importantly, a larger piece of Tiger Woods will live on and continue to do marvelous things because of the inner strength and the absolute faith he was introduced to by his father.
Jim McCabe, NBC Sports.com (May 4, 2006)

Earl Woods died of cancer in May 2006. Confessor #2, 3, 4 (?) or the waitress who claims to have had a year-long affair with Tiger said she and the golf champion met the summer of 2006. Was she offering some kind of grief counseling? The emotional and psychological free-fall of losing a parent or both turns a world you thought you knew upside down. Nothing looks the same. Nothing making sense. The game takes on a different meaning or no meaning at all. Or, if you’re fortunate enough, it’s the wake up call of a lifetime. Infidelity and the breakdown of trust between lovers or spouses sometimes have the same impact. I have heard of and known of people who literally died of a broken heart.

Earl Woods was sometimes called “controlling.” Was he pulling the Tiger by the tail? Did Earl know something no one else knew or was he a more experienced driver who knew when to apply the break to avoid a crash? It was Earl Woods who encouraged his son to take up philanthropy and help urban youth who could benefit from his example. Earl was the original director of the Tiger Woods Foundation.

In none of the media chatter or quotes from Tiger himself, have I seen or heard the word “love.” Neither have I heard or seen the name “Earl Woods” as if uttering it at this time would be akin to taking the name in vain. Maybe the greatest love of Tiger’s life was his father. But then we never know what goes on in the deep woods these days. Maybe the ultimate fight isn’t to save the “Tiger Woods brand,” but the Earl Woods foundation.