Friday, December 11, 2009

Who knew?

The old timers always said that back in the day when Babe Ruth was overindulging on whiskey and women, sports writers knew, but wouldn't tell. Same in later years with Mickey Mantle, among others.

It was a different time, the story goes.

Beat reporters traveled on trains with the teams, became friends with the players and kept their private lives away from public scrutiny. No cable TV to contend with. No talk radio. Tabloids? Yes, but even with those, the rules were different than in later years.

Couldn't happen today?

So how come no sports writers, gossip columnists and TMZ snoops reported about Tiger Woods' dalliances long before his Thanksgiving weekend blowup opened the floodgates?

If you believe the drip, drip, dripping of news over the last two weeks, plenty of people knew Tiger was partying and then some, yet they covered up. I'm not just talking about confidantes like his caddy, Steve Williams, who claims to have been in the dark about his boss and the women. (Please!) I mean people who saw Tiger and his ladies in public places. You mean nobody on the PGA Tour was aware? No golf writers, either? Amazing.

One of the females from his past showed up on "Today" this morning on NBC. I must say, she was rather unappealing - in my opinion, anyway. But I perked up when she said people would take photos of lounge lizard Tiger.

Now, drinking with pals and women other than your wife doesn't automatically translate into adultery. But a few Page 6 pix of a sauced-up Tiger, arm around a babe, sure would have chipped away at his carefully crafted family man image.

Yet, best I can tell, there was nothing, until the accident in front of his driveway, followed by the parade of women who have since emerged after being remarkably quiet themselves for years.

That Tiger Woods kept the lid on for so long may be even more impressive than all the major championships he's won.
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