For years, I’ve watched you hoist countless trophies over your head. The image of you in a red shirt, pumping your fist and smiling is what I see when I think of the game of golf today. You’ve raked up millions in endorsements dollars and cemented your place as the highest earning athlete in all of sports. Throughout you’ve managed to keep your personal life private. I knew close to nothing about the man behind the full-toothed grin and Nike cap.

Until now. The CNN app on my iPhone told me that you were in a car accident, and that your face was decorated with lacerations. I was worried. Then the rumors started spreading like wildfire. Allegedly, the cuts on your face were the result of a scuffle with your wife. Allegedly, she was upset because you were unfaithful. Allegedly, you had a 31-month long affair with Jamie Grubbs, a Los Angeles cocktail waitress. Allegedly. I gave you the benefit of the doubt, because I know how the eager media can blow things out of porportion.

But then came text messages and voicemail that you allegedly left Ms. Grubbs, asking her to remove her name from her answering machine. ‘My wife went through my phone and may be calling you,’ said a voice that sounds very similar to the one I’ve heard coming from the podium after one of your many wins. I still didn’t believe.

I didn’t believe because I didn’t want it to be true. I didn’t want you to be Kobe. But after days of refusing to answer questions and speak to authorities, you apologized. ‘I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves,’ you said in a statement on your website. ‘I am not without faults and far short of perfect. I am dealing with my behavior and personal failings behind closed doors with my family. Those feelings should be shared by us alone.’

With those words, your squeaky clean image was tarnished. You’re no longer invincible; you’re human. We all make mistakes, and it is unrealistic to expect that you, a wealthy 33 year-old male athlete, are exempt from that rule.

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I don’t hate you. However, I hate that it had to be this that brought you shame. Your apology meant admittance to the ancient sin of adultery. You’ve joined the list of athletes that succumb to the temptations that constantly surround them on the road, distant from their wives and families.

What’s done is done. Whether you decide to further address the issue publicly or not, this will forever be on your record, along with the accolades that you have garnered on the green. The question here, I think, is how will you respond to this? How will this affect your career? Although you will not return to action until next year, you will eventually play again. Will the comeback be as impressive as your return from knee surgery? Will the adversity be a motivating buoy in the midst of the biggest media storm of your career? We will wait and see. In the meantime, I’ll try to explain to my little brother why Tiger Woods has been all over the news lately.

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