Since news of his scandal first broke, Tiger Woods has been given the benefit of the doubt in at least one respect. Despite all evidence to the contrary — like the fact that he had affairs with waitresses and lingerie models who, unlike actual hookers, have no incentive to keep their mouths shut, for instance — we imagined, on some level, that he was smart. The fact that he managed multiple affairs, many have postulated, must have been the result of some kind of technical operation, "a carefully crafted game plan," as the Post said today, like he was the shark in bimbo-infested waters. That he thought he could get away with said affairs, pop psychologists reasoned, was "arrogance" related to his celebrity. Why did we assume any of this? Maybe because Woods plays a sport in which you don't get your head bashed in on a daily basis, and requires one to think and calibrate distance and have spatial awareness. Maybe because he has skinny calves. But after this morning's news, we can no longer deny it. Folks: Tiger Woods is actually really, really dumb.
Take the text messages he exchanged with Jaimee Grubbs, which were released in full today. We won't pick over the grammar — they are text messages, after all — but the content does not do much to prop up the idea of Woods as a scheming Lothario, or someone who is really capable of complex thought at all. Witness the following emotional exchange, in which Woods struggles to define what he means to Jaimee, and to reveal something of himself to her. But whatever thoughts he's having, he is unable to articulate them.
Jaimee: I only watch football
Tiger: Figured you would say that. Big black guys.
Jaimee: u are my first, last and only black guy! U should feel special
Tiger: why do I not believe that?
Tiger: [later, in response to Jaimee's mention of a date who was "full of himself"] you kinda like that for some reason which is weird why you decided on me.
Tiger: having an asian mother and a military father you cannot and will not ever be full of yourself
Jaimee: I have fun with u, you always make me smile and I am not afraid to be myself or say anything to u ... the day I met u I thought u were going to kick me out a few times but for someone reason you didn't and u have told me numerous times I talk to much but slowly as I get to know u iI think your absolutely amazing
Tiger: you are wrong I'm bone thugs in harmon
But the most damning evidence against Woods's intellect is that he actually developed emotional attachments to these women. The porn stars, the lingerie models, the waitresses that he met in clubs and with whom he carried on relationships despite being married, who would later reveal themselves to be publicity-hungry monsters — Woods had feelings for them. "Quiet and secretively we will always be together," he told Grubbs. And according to In Touch, he sent the following e-mail to Rachel Uchitel describing the emotional attachment to her he'd developed:
"I thought I was getting to know you, but it feels like I'm just another person who happens to be famous," he wrote.
"Every time I think about it, I get a lump in my throat. Some of the other parts of your past really get to me. I don't know what person I was falling for so hard. The one I got to know on the phone, e-mail, text and in person. Or the one who likes famous people.
"I am so confused, because what my brain is saying and what my heart is saying are two different things.
If the email is real (In Touch said they obtained it "from an insider*", Uchitel has not admitted to an affair with Woods and in fact has denied it), then: Dude. We do have to give Tiger props for one thing, though: From the information released so far, it does appear he was able to keep all of these women straight, which is more than we can do.