Yesterday, on the eve of The 2010 Masters, five months after all of that tawdriness and unpleasantness with fire hydrants, car crashes, and cocktail waitresses, Billy Payne mounted a podium in Augusta, Georgia, and publicly chastised Tiger Woods.

“…it is not simply the degree of his conduct that is so egregious here; it is the fact that he disappointed all of us, and more importantly, our kids and our grandkids. Our hero did not live up to the expectations of the role model we saw for our children,” Payne said


You’re kiddin’ me Billy?! Right. You’re really kiddin’ me!?…..right, Billy?

For decades now, Billy, pro athletes including Boston Celtic great Bill Russell, Charles Barkley and a host of others have warned us about abdication of responsibility and our sorry proclivity for choosing athletes —–or any non-parent for that matter—-as role models for our children. In discussing the “Athlete as Would Be Role Model”, time and again, they have demurred and acknowledged that they really only wanted the job of being an on-the-field performer, not a babysitter.  “You should be the role model for your son, not me.” I once heard Russell say to a young boy’s flabbergasted father.

Seems that all any thinking observer would ever expect of any athlete is to give their best possible effort on the field, or in this case, on the golf course. My own sentiment is “Thanks for a truly grand show fella, but I’ll raise my own kids. Thank you very much.”

Still, we insist upon choosing athletes and other non-parental types as role models for our children. And—-per Billy—- our grand-children. Maybe it’s just me, but seems like folks who insist upon using someone else, besides themselves as role models for their children deserve whatever happens.

Then again, maybe Billy hasn’t heard pleas and admonishments of Barkley, Russell and the like. Since Augusta National has always been such a great ‘mover of mountains’ when it came to societal change, maybe Billy just didn’t hear all of their pleas over the din of noise as a result of the shaking and moving of the Earth.

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell

Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a writer, storyteller, and explorer of the milieu of everyday life. An aging Baby Boomer, a Georgia Tech grad, and a retired banker, Cantrell regularly chronicles what he swears are 'mostly true'  'everyman' adventures. Of late, he's written about haircuts, computer viruses, Polar Vortexes, identity theft, ketchup, doppelgangers, bifocals, ‘Streetification’, cursive handwriting, planning his own funeral and other gnarly things that caused him to scratch his head in an increasingly more and more crazy-ass world.   As for Will himself, the legend is at an early age he wandered South, got lost, and like most other self-respecting males, was loathe to ask for directions. The best solution, young Will mused, “was just to stay put”. All these years later, he still hasn't found his way but remains  a son of the New South. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, lost, bumfuzzled and mumbling something about “...writing' his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of folks who think that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his adventures as he finds his way back to the main highway.