Category Archives: Greed

Tiger Woods: Athlete of the Year?

Big news late last week:  Tiger Woods was named Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press.  Not only did his “sexcapades” not limit his votes, but more than half of the 56 votes came in after the scandal made news.  I guess the AP-types got confused – maybe they thought they were voting for the “Sexual Athlete of the Year.”

It’s too late now, but it is interesting that the question is being asked after the fact, as to whether or not he should receive this honor.  First of all, “Athlete of the Year,” is not based on anybody’s character – just athletic achievement (unfortunately).  So, the next question is:  is golf an actual athletic sport?  Truly, there is no physical hardship.  Players might get a little winded from walking the course or get sweaty on hot days, but that’s about it.

Someone responded to the question of whether golf is actually athletic or not by pointing out that Tiger was in good shape, and another retorted with “You also have to be in shape to bowl and even to shoot billiards, but to compare those and golf to baseball, soccer, basketball, football, rugby, track & field, cycling, boxing, tennis and wrestling is silly.  Golf requires skill – not athleticism.  Having played it myself…”

Additionally, yet another comment pointed out the veracity of many accolades these days:  “Al Gore got an Oscar, Obama got a Nobel, Bill Clinton got a Grammy.  Nothing is real any more.”

Well, let’s look at the runners-up for “Athlete of the Year:”

1. Lance Armstrong – cancer survivor; won Tour de France six times in one decade.  He came in second with 33 of the possible 142 votes.
2. Roger Federer – more grand-slam singles than any other man in history.  He came in third with 25 votes.
3. Michael Phelps – record-setting Olympic swimming champion.  He came in fourth with 13 votes.
4. Tom Brady:  New England quarterback.  He had 6 votes.

We all know why they gave it to Tiger Woods:  He’s made them more money than any other person in something considered a sport.  Because Tiger is good-looking (as all his bimbos also know) and a terrific golfer, the media turned him into a sensation, and more people showed up to golf tournaments (ka-ching), more photographs and stories were printed about golf (ka-ching), more shoes and stuff with his name attached were sold (ka-ching), and so on.  Just follow the money.  He is a huge money-maker for everyone, and that’s why he got the award.

I agree with the critics who say golf is not athletic.  Lance Armstrong and Roger Federer are better qualified for this honor, but it’s not an honor anymore.  It is recognition of “Ka ching” Power.

TUMS Ad Promotes Big Tummies

While I was having a healthy breakfast the other morning, I became incensed at a particular TV commercial for TUMS.  TUMS itself is a fine product for relieving excess stomach acid, but that’s NOT how the commercial was positioning the product.

A man, standing in the evening rain, is looking through the glass into a restaurant, gazing hungrily and sadly while the cook is frying up a bunch of meat and pouring cheese all over it.  The music accentuates the man’s painful disappointment.  The scene is a “take-off” on the situation where a starving child has his nose against the glass watching rich people dine, while his stomach has shrunken to the size of a raisin.

It was not very funny.

The next shot is of a TUMS bottle.  The shot after that is of the man who had been looking into the restaurant eating this ferociously unhealthy sandwich of meat fried in a ton of oil with artery-clogging cheese melted all over it.

Not very funny, either.

So, here is a product which is NOT being promoted as a rescue effort for someone struck with a little excess acid.  This product is now being promoted as an ENABLER of horrible eating habits (Hey!  Eat that rich, fattening food – because now we have a way to get you through it with minimal discomfort!)

Since two thirds of Americans (including children) are fat or obese, this is so irresponsible that I am ALMOST speechless.  Showing people they can indulge in unbelievably unhealthy eating with the help of TUMS sounds like something you would see in a comedy movie, but not in an actual promotion of a supposedly healthy product.

I liked it better when they were touting the amount of calcium in it for strong bones.

It’s not the fault of the TUMS tablets.  It’s the fault of the greedy folks behind it, who are willing to let people hurt themselves, if it sells a tablet.

Greedy Woman in Oregon

Awwww…give me a break.  I’m actually supposed to feel sorry for this Oregon woman who is out $400,000 because of…well, GREED!  I feel as sorry for her as I feel for the folks who took out home loans they couldn’t pay back or the CEOs of bankrupt companies who get to lose their jobs with tens of millions in severance pay.

This woman mortgaged her house, took a lien out on the family car and ran through her husband’s retirement account.  How and why?  Well, here it comes: she received an e-mail promising her $20.5 million if she would only help out a long-lost relative with a little money up front.  Her family and bank officials told her it was a scam and begged her to stop, but she was obsessed with the thought of becoming a multi-millionaire.

This whole affair was a scheme called the “Nigerian scam” and it’s familiar to many people with e-mail accounts.  Over the last several years, one of these has come to my email address.  They promise you zillions of dollars for just thousands of dollars necessary to jump-start some transfer of money or some business.

I remember long ago seeing a Donohue TV program with six women all complaining that some guy scammed them by “wining and dining” them…on their own money!  The guys would say they were coming into lots of money, but they needed a place to live and money to spend until their golden ship came in….oh please….this was a study in denial: “I’m getting attention so I’ll deep-six my brain.”

Back to this woman in Oregon.   She’s gotten herself and her husband into horrific debt and who knows if, how, or when they’ll be able to get out of it.
As a psychotherapist, I’m frankly happy with some aspects of America’s economic crisis.  While stores are worried that people don’t impulse buy any more, or that the purchase of frivolous, unnecessary, redundant or “show-off” things is dropping, I’m glad that so many adults, and hopefully their children, are learning an important lesson in the difference between want and need, and the potential devastation of leveraging yourself with debt for possessions that ultimately don’t matter much.

 During the recent California fires, people didn’t run out of their homes with their cars, iPods or fancy clothes.  They left with photos of the family as their number one concern.

 I don’t feel sorry for that Oregonian – I feel sorry for the family she devastated financially with her greed.