14dfc4f35ea58210VgnVCM200000e66411acRCRDapproved/thenational/Articles/Migration/2009-Q4Tiger is one of us now04dfc4f35ea58210VgnVCM200000e66411ac____Tiger is one of us nowThe late night car crash involving the world's top golfer shows he is human after all.<p>The American holiday of Thanksgiving came about when a colony of early settlers wanted to thank God for providing them with a plentiful harvest.
They feasted on fowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin and squash.
Americans still pause to give thanks every year, on the final Thursday in November, which is what Tiger Woods was doing before his now infamous car crash.
It must have taken a while, because Tiger has much to be thankful for: superhuman sporting ability, unimaginable wealth, worldwide celebrity, two healthy children and a beautiful wife in the Swede Elin Nordegren.</p>
<p>That is quite a list - no wonder he was up so late - and one which may now require another entry.
He should be thankful that he chose a career in golf over, say, archery. You do not want to leave a bow and arrow lying around during a row with the missus.
The story - that he crashed his Cadillac Escalade for no reason and she smashed the rear windscreen with a golf club in order to rescue him - provides more questions than answers.</p>
<p>Why did she smash the rear windscreen when Tiger was way up there in the driver seat?
In an Escalade that is practically a different time zone. Where did she get the club from?
Did she take it with her when she heard the crash, in case Tiger fancied some chipping practice after stepping from the wreckage?
And, simply out of idle curiosity, which club did she use?
There has been lots of speculation in the American press, criticised by Tiger yesterday, but the couple did not help themselves by declining to be interviewed by Florida police three times.</p>
<p>Woods' fans were also frustrated at the lack of information, with many of the comments on his official website demanding to know the full facts.
Others, inevitably, slated the media for "crucifying" Woods over what should be a private matter.
I disagree on both counts.
Firstly, Woods forsook his right to privacy when he became a global sports icon, trading on not only his sporting prowess but also his wholesome image.</p>
<p>If it was privacy he wanted, perhaps he should have gone for that career in archery after all.
Secondly, the Woods camp should not interpret the media's gleeful reporting of this incident as an attempt to destroy the man.
Sometimes there is no hidden agenda or poisonous lynch mob.
It is just that this mental image of a beautiful Swede going all Viking with a six iron (I'm guessing) on a golfing legend's very expensive car is one that gets people talking.</p>
<p>If you do not find that just a little bit comical, then you did not watch enough Benny Hill growing up. As for Tiger, it makes me like him more. I have always found him too perfect, too wholesome, too much of a marketing man's dream.
Now we think that, like us, he has family parties which go awry. Like us, he may occasionally incur the wrath of the woman he loves.
Like us, he is - occasionally - just a man. And for that we can all be thankful.
I'll put it on my list for next November - by which time I hope Tiger has survived the frosty period ahead.</p>
<p>This column has become strangely pre-occupied with cats recently.
Last week it was the so-called lions of Bilbao and a Ghanaian skier called the Snow Leopard. This week it was Tiger and now, finally, an actual cat.
The moggy in question wandered onto the pitch during a match between Croatian teams Sibenik and Medimurje Cakovec. The terrified creature was picked up by Medimurje's goalkeeper Ivan Banovic and placed in relative safety behind the scoreboard. While the fans applauded this act of kindness, the referee immediately booked Banovic for leaving the pitch without permission. The ref was wrong on two counts.
Firstly, it is precisely this sort of petty vindictiveness that leads us to believe all referees are puffed-up, mean-spirited little sticklers who were bullied at school.
Secondly, the manner in which a sportsman deals with a pitch-invading animal can tell us more about his character than a thousand hours of sport.</p>
<p>Such incursions should be encouraged. I recall watching Tottenham versus Everton at Goodison Park 10 years ago when a tough-looking dog dashed onto the pitch. Play was halted and most of the players stood like pampered dandies, hands on hips, waiting for the hired help to shoo away this interloper.
David Ginola did nothing (too busy thinking about his hair?), Darren Anderton did nothing (scared he would injure himself?), Kevin Campbell did nothing (too busy thinking "I might write a rap about this"?).
The only player to step forward was Everton's defensive stalwart David Unsworth, who used his considerable bulk and less considerable speed to shepherd the mutt towards waiting stewards.
It was a typical Unsworth display: brave, honest, unshowy teamwork from a true "people's player".
I do not pretend to know much about Croatian football but I would wager Banovic is cut from similar cloth.
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