By Julie Buehler

Abe Lincoln said it best, “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” When Tiger Woods became the most powerful athlete on the planet his world crashed around him with revelations of a sordid personal life and cascading lies.

His character tested, and publicly failed.

He seemed contrite. Probably was. Among other things, he was sorry he got caught in multiple affairs and had his private life splayed open for the world’s critique. Remarkably though, he resurrected his golfing career and re-emerged as the #1 player in the world. Fought through that “adversity” and regained his power in the world of commercialism and sport.


Now what? More character tests and more failures.

On 4 separate occasions this year alone, Tiger was penalized for improper procedures. According to his violations were: taking an illegal free drop at the Abu Dhabi Championship, avoiding disqualification at the Masters despite signing an incorrect scorecard following an illegal drop, giving himself a favorable drop after hitting into a water hazard at the Players Championship, and a two-stroke penalty for causing his ball to move while removing a twig resting against it at the BMW Championship.

Those are facts. Indisputable.

And because of the MULTIPLE rule infractions, a writer for, Brandle Chamblee, suggested Tiger cheated and was “cavalier with the rules.” Which he has. And which he was.

The public uproar was hilarious. Golf apologists claimed the ultimate gentleman’s game could never feature a “cheater” and the nature of competition in the sport is diametrically opposed to cheating. Aghast that the sport’s top player was called into question, they ran to Tiger’s defense, offering him the benefit of the doubt.

Naïve? Yup. But not as bad as what Tiger himself did in response.

He and his agent claimed they’d take legal action and asserted his client was beyond reproach and offended by Chamblee’s assertions. They then backed off the idea of filing suit, because there really was no suit to be filed, and claimed Chamblee needed to be punished for his analysis, and put pressure on the Golf Channel, another employer of Chamblee that had nothing to do with the controversy, to “do the right thing” in suspending him or firing him.

So for those keeping score at home, Tiger pushed for a man to be punished and his livelihood taken from him for offering his analysis based on 4 rules violations in 1 year.

If Tiger were in MLB, he’d be done for the season.

If he were in the NFL he’d be suspended “indefinitely” and told to shed his tears on Lindsey Vonn’s ski jacket.

Seems when high-profile athletes are accused of cheating, usually based on factual evidence, a steady pattern has emerged that goes like this:

Athlete is accused based on exhibit A, B, and/or C.

Athlete denies allegations because he or she is “honest and has integrity” and flings personal insults at accuser.

Worst case: accuser loses job (as was the case with Lance Armstrong and Ryan Braun). Best case: they feel public scorn for pointing out 2+2 is 4 (as is the case with Chamblee).

For many of these cases cheaters who get caught turn on the offensive and attack their accusers, wielding their power and influence to distract the conversation from the evidence presented and pile on the accuser in hopes of discrediting them. That’s what Tiger and his agent tried to do.

Didn’t work on me. Did it work on you?

And this brings me back to good ‘ole Honest Abe.

When we know Tiger’s character has been tested and failed when he was given power, and we know he has amassed the same level of power even after having it largely stripped from him, why on earth are people so naïve to conclude his character is not to be questioned again?

Tiger can handle adversity, but when his character is tested, he’s as honest as the knuckleheads in Washington.

Julie Buehler hosts the Coachella Valley’s most popular sports talk radio show, “Buehler’s Day Off” every day from 3-6 on 1010 KXPS, the valley’s all sports station. She’s an avid gym rat, slightly sarcastic and more likely to recite Steve Young’s career passing stats than American Idol winners. Tune in M-F 3-6 pst at or watch the show on Ustream.