Tiger Woods: Burying the Lede

tiger-woods-elin-nordegren-photoBuried several paragraphs into a NY Daily News story on the Tiger Woods soap opera:

Us Weekly magazine, citing a source who spoke with other pro golfers, reported that Nordegren was told by a friend her husband was having an affair.

She then roused Woods from an Ambien-enhanced sleep by whacking him with a golf club.

“At that point, he ran out of the home barefoot and tried to drive away,” the source told Us.

It’s the first explanation for the crash that makes any sense, which is why I’m passing along a tabloid’s second-hand reporting of a story from a gossip rag.

Lawprof Ann Althouse says, “If it’s true, then Nordegren committed a very serious criminal attack. Attempted murder, perhaps.”

This sets off a series of puns and wisecracks in the commentariat, to which Althouse reponds,

Now, I was going to use a “wake-up call” wisecrack in the original post. Why did I reject it? Because it would signal that women’s violence against men isn’t really dangerous, isn’t really a crime. It would say that when a woman has a righteous reason to be angry at her man, what would otherwise be a crime is not a crime. Think about how ugly it is to hit someone with a golf club while he is asleep. Did she know it was an Ambien-induced sleep — from which it will be very difficult to wake up and defend himself? How hard a swing did she take at him? It seems it was scary enough to make him run out of the house and attempt to drive — quickly — when he was in no condition to drive.

Indeed.  One can certainly understand Nordegren’s anger.  Attacking someone in their sleep, however, is beyond the pale.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Herb says:

    I’m not holding my breath for the false reporting charges…

    You only get those if you’re a weirdo with a balloon, apparently.

  2. Norman Rogers says:

    Gut reaction? The guy had it coming.

    More nuanced? We really, really over criminalize normal behavior. Sure, she could be prosecuted. But, for sure, Tiger won’t swear out a complaint. He knows he had it coming.

    Give Tiger credit for his likely feelings of shame, remorse, and guilt.

    Compare Mrs. Woods actions with those of the wife who killed her husband with her Mercedes a couple of years ago. He had it coming, too. But, she killed him and we can’t have that (if we won’t allow men to do the same). Perhaps if she had run over him only once or twice?

    Mrs. Woods gave Tiger a fat lip. He had it coming.

    My wish is that she find it in her to give the guy another chance (there are little children who are affected). Tiger would be forever grateful for the opportunity — and he just might straighten out.

  3. Not to defend Tiger at all, but what he “has coming” is likely divorce, loss of great amounts of cash, public shame and a variety of other things. Being beaten by a golf club in his sleep? No, he didn’t have that coming.

    Indeed, of the things we over-criminalize (and I agree with that general statement), beating people because we are angry at them and want personal justice isn’t one of them.

  4. I think the lesson is clear: avoid cocktail waitresses and keep your golf clubs under lock and key.

  5. Norman Rogers says:

    Women are within their rights to slap a man who offends. Men may never strike a woman.

    Such is the way of the (western) world.

    Our criminal code (being politically correct) doesn’t agree, but juries (being common folk) do.

    Fer sure, Mrs. Woods — by wielding a mashie (or was it a spoon? A driver, perhaps?) might be faulted for going a bit over the top. But, it was Tiger’s tool of his trade. And it was at least poetic justice.

    No permanent harm? No foul. The guy had it coming to him.

  6. Drew says:

    Norman –

    Laddie, if the reports were correct, it was a “niblick.”

  7. 11B40 says:


    The Domestic Violence issue is just about as politicized as the abortion issue. Several years ago, I read about a domestic violence study that reported the gender breakdown as one-third male initiated, one-third female initiated and one third mutual combat.
    While menfolk tend to do more damage physically, analysis of the actual incidents shows that the issue is not so clear cut as the feminist propagandists would have us believe.

  8. JVB says:

    Why bother with all this speculation? Nothing is confirmed and until it is….it’s ignorant to go there.

  9. AllenS says:

    The “wake-up call” wisecrack, came from me, AllenS. I read your blog every day.

  10. James Joyner says:

    The “wake-up call” wisecrack, came from me, AllenS. I read your blog every day.

    Glad to have you aboard!

  11. S. Dent says:

    As a parent to BOTH a daughter and a son, I would hope that neither of my now grown up children ever has a reason to fear violence from so very close and intimate a source.

    I’m retired military, and I had MEN that I supervised that were knifed by their wives during domestic disputes.

    As someone else said, violence against men by women “is not viewed as VIOLENCE.”

    No, cheating on your spouse is pretty bad, but not where you whack them with a golf club, or a baseball bat as they sleep.

    Mrs. Woods, ought to be in jail and facing prosecution for attempted murder and domestic battery, Not getting a multi-million dollar settlement.

  12. jay says:

    “attacking someone in their sleep, however, is beyond the pale.”

    Not when they are bigger and stronger than you are. Isn’t that covered in the “Art of War”??

  13. Women are within their rights to slap a man who offends.

    Because, of course, a slap and a whack with a golf club are exactly the same things.

  14. tom p says:

    Attacking someone in their sleep, however, is beyond the pale

    OK, let me be the one to say: “If you can’t kick a man when he’s down, when can you kick him?” (as my dear old daddy always said)