Who disappointed us more — Woods or Armstrong?

That was the question I posed in my Sympatico column that was posted late last week:

Tiger Woods cheated on his wife – so he kept his deal with Nike, worth an estimated $20-million a year. But Lance Armstrong cheated in his sport, and the swoosh company showed him the door today.

It is an interesting, and significant distinction. After all, who is the bigger disappointment – Woods, the serial philanderer who spent his off-hours in hotel rooms with porn stars, but won on the golf course in a dramatic and incredible fashion, or Armstrong, who raised millions for charity, but who now clearly used performance-enhancing drugs to fuel his success that gave rise to his legend?

Interesting to see the remarks. My take is that Armstrong is the bigger disappointment as he cheated in what made him famous and successful. Of course, I also recognize that it is likely everyone else in the Tour de France was also on some sort of performance enhancing drug.

Tiger, on the other hand, cheated in his personal life. And while that might be a disappointment to those who thought his media image went beyond golf, I’d say his accomplishments were not terribly tarnished by his philandering.

Anyway, the column is here. 

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • Funny how Tiger’s relationship with a certain Toronto doctor have never been explored.

    I wonder if opinions would change if more info came out about that…

  • Both are frauds. Both gained personally and financially from successfully executing on their fraudulent activity. Both promoted a lie, privately engaging in activities different from their image. Which is worse? Armstrong is a cheat. And while he raised money for cancer awareness (not research as is commonly believed), does that cover for his lies? If a CEO actively and intentionally uses bribes to make company profits but gives 100% of those profits to charity, does that make it OK?

    Woods gained personally more than Armstrong from his lies but not sure the dollars make a difference. I think both individuals are equally distasteful. But in the end, Armstrong intentionally and with forethought lied to the public. This makes his actions worse in my opinion.

  • IMHO I guess Lance Armstrong because he benefitted from his “cheating” while Tiger paid for his “cheating”. US Presidents have done worse than what Tiger did, far worse – just finished Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly.

    To me what’s interesting is how many people must have been involved with Armstrong, IF HE DID IT! We’re not sure about global warming, so how can we convict Armstrong, at this time. He sure looks to have screwed more people than Tiger! The only NIKE thing I have is a belt, and it was free!

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