Worry What People Think of You? Remember Two Words: Tiger Woods.
Apr 15, 2019
RUSH: I want to say something to you, because I know every one of you almost, without exception, every one of you can learn from this.
If you waste time worried about what other people think of you, I want you to remember two words: Tiger Woods. If you ever worry — I mean — this has been a pet peeve of mine. People so concerned with what other people think, it’s what drives Washington. The Republican Party is obsessed with what the media thinks of them, obsessed with what the Democrats who are perceived to run that town think of them. And it’s paralysis.
And it’s irrelevant what people think of you. It shapes who you are instead of allowing you to be who you are. If you’re always worried about what people think of you or what people are going to say, and every one of us is. Well, I’m not. I used to be, but I’m not anymore. This job taught me I had to get rid of being worried about what other people think, particularly people I don’t even know and then particularly people that don’t even listen here.
But for those of you worried that you can be eternally damaged or hurt by what people think of you, never forget Tiger Woods. How many years ago was it, 12 years now, 11, 12 years ago, Tiger Woods was the biggest joke in this country. He had reached the pinnacle that few ever reach in any endeavor, and in one Thanksgiving weekend, it all came crushing down. And he lost not everything, but he lost a significant amount of things that were of dire consequence and importance to him, including his wife and for a time he was worried about losing his kids.
He lost all of the respect, and he knew that when he began playing golf again after going through the necessary rehab, that no matter where he went, the only thing people were gonna be thinking about was all of the controversy involving that news which led to his decline and fall. He couldn’t escape it. When he started playing golf again, people aren’t looking at him to see how well he plays. They’re looking at him and he thinks they’re laughing. But he had to fight through it.
Then he has all of these injuries and all these back surgeries. And then there’s that video where he’s pulled off the side of the road and can’t walk a straight line because his doctors had him on some kind of drug cocktail to deal with the pain and everything else from all of these back surgeries that he’s had in his never-ending quest to get back to being able to play professional tournament golf.
And it went on for 12 years. He started playing well in tournament golf late last year, won the tour championship at East Lake in Georgia. And when he started playing well is that moment in time when people started seeing him as he was prior to the big fall. And, folks, do not underestimate this when I tell you.
His first trip back to the Masters, the club president at the time after the decline and fall, after the story about all the hookers and the girlfriends and all of that, the sex rehab, all of that, the most humiliating stuff and every bit of it was public, every step he made, everything he had done was made public, and there wasn’t anything about it that was redeeming. It blew up every image of him anybody had. It destroyed everything.
So bad that on his first trip back to the Masters, after all of that, the then chairman of Augusta National at the time, Billy Payne, felt it necessary to make a speech on the opening day of Masters week about how the Masters is not crazy about all that immorality in people that don’t treat things with respect. It was a direct message to Tiger Woods. And he had to take it.
People that had treated him as the greatest on earth were now mocking and laughing and lecturing and preaching. I have people ask me all the time, “You think Tiger will ever win again?” I said, “I don’t know.” They meant win a major, which he did yesterday. So now he’s up to 15. Now he’s three away from tying Jack Nicklaus’ record.
Prior to yesterday people didn’t think it was possible, one win, and now everybody says, “Ah, look out, may even do it this year,” because the next two majors — well, in the United States, Bethpage Black, which he has won there on Long Island and Pebble Beach, the U.S. Open in June. Pebble Beach, which was the site of his greatest victory, beat the field by, what, plus 12 or plus 15. It was an incredible tournament.
So now people are talking about he may be able to come back just in one victory. But people ask me, “Do you think he can win a major?” I really don’t know, but I’m gonna tell you — I don’t know Tiger, but I’m gonna tell you what I think happens. Whenever he plays golf, you’ve got the gallery, and he knows — you can see the gallery as you’re playing. He knows that they’re looking at him and thinking about all that stuff they learned about him that he hoped nobody would ever know.
Golf is a solitary sport. You’re playing against yourself. You’re playing against yourself and the course. It takes an unbelievable level of focus. Every shot. In tournament golf, you cannot take a shot off. You have to focus. You have to be concentrated. But more than anything, you have to be confident. And there was no reason for Tiger Woods to be confident, not after the things that had happened to him — well, the things he did that were discovered.
Well, let’s jump forward from all of that to yesterday. There was nothing but overwhelming happiness, love, respect, and welcome back on the part of virtually everybody in the gallery, among the patrons. You gotta call ’em the patrons when you talk about the Masters. But everybody in the gallery.
The media loves Tiger Woods, they can’t wait, they’re so happy Tiger Woods is back. They couldn’t contain themselves either Saturday or Sunday. Everybody in the gallery was thrilled to have Tiger back. The people watching on TV. When it was over, look at the comparisons that were made. Tiger’s first victory in 1997 comes off the 18th green, hugs his late father, Earl. Well, father wasn’t late then.
Now, 20-some-odd years later, he comes off the 18th green having won again, something nobody thought he would ever do, and there is his mom and his kids, and the cycle is completed. If there is ever any doubt in your mind that you think you have been humiliated and embarrassed and put down to such degree that you can never again face people, just think of Tiger Woods. It is not only possible, America loves a great comeback.
America loves champions. Americans love greatness. They love people who pursue it, they love people who excel at it, and they love people who achieve it. I can’t tell you the number of people who sent me texts, “Hey, hey, how can that happen in such a racist country? See all those white people cheering Tiger Woods?”
Exactly my point, folks. We’re not a racist country. If we were, the wealthiest woman in America would not be an African-American, overweight TV star. And I’ve maintained that for I don’t know how many years. Could America love a comeback story any more than this one? Do you wonder what it feels like to have literally the entire world — let’s just say the entire country — now, granted, there are gonna be some exceptions, but you get my drift here.
You wonder what it must feel like to have the entire country write you off as a loser, write you off as a joke, laugh at you, point at you, smirk at you every time they see you, put you down, say, “Yeah, I always knew he was a phony. I always knew he was a fraud. Nobody’s that good. Nobody’s that popular. I always knew it.” Because people revel in the failures of others. Human nature. People feel better about themselves when other people tank.
So here’s Tiger, the greatest ever, and all of a sudden he can’t play the game, plus it looks like he’s a reprobate and all these people are pointing at him and smirking at him. “He’ll never make it again, he’ll never win another major, and good riddance. Somebody like that never deserves to win after all that he did.”
Meanwhile, the people, many of them saying this are not paragons of virtue themselves. But Tiger Woods apparently wanted it more than anything. Struggled, fought back, did whatever it is that he did, did whatever it is that he had to do. It involved spending years, over a decade building back. All of those debilitating and themselves humiliating and embarrassing, surgeries and the aftermath, all of it public. Every bit of it public. And here’s Tiger Woods eventually defying all of that.
You wonder what it would feel like? I imagine it feels pretty good. But I think Tiger has a new humility about him that it probably doesn’t contain see, I told you so. He’s probably not running around, “Take that.” I don’t think that’s who he is anymore. I think he’s genuinely appreciative. I think he was genuinely appreciative of the adulation and the appreciation, the applause that he got yesterday.
He is genuinely appreciative of the factors that came together for him to return to championship form. One of the things I’ve admired about Tiger Woods is he’s shown the way how to be a friend, how to remove politics from his public comments. You know, he and Donald Trump have been friends for years. And he played golf with Trump and Jack Nicklaus about four or five weeks ago now.
People have been pressuring — you don’t know this — pressuring Tiger Woods ever since Trump got in the race to denounce Donald Trump just like they pressed Tom Brady to denounce Donald Trump. And just like they pressed the owner of the Patriots, Robert Kraft, to trounce and criticize Trump. And they wouldn’t do it, and Tiger wouldn’t do it. Tiger didn’t ditch Trump when it would have been easy to ditch him.
Tiger could have said, “You know, it might speed my public approval along. It might help me get more appreciated if I publicly come out and ditch Trump.” But he didn’t do it. It would have been so easy. Just join the chorus that Trump is a skunk, that Trump is this or that. But Tiger didn’t do it. All Tiger Woods did was keep his head down and avoid being in the news over politics. There are a lot of lessons here, is the point.
And I just want to say again, if you let what people think of you paralyze you, try to stop, because it isn’t necessary. You know the main reason why? And it in itself is a bit of a psychological truism. But when you’re in situation like Tiger Woods was in — and, believe me, in certain ways still is — because everybody knows, everybody knows what he did. Everybody knows what he hoped no one would ever find out. He’ll never be able to forget that everybody knows.
When you’re in that circumstance, when you’re down in the gutter and everybody else is above you, you think, and they’re all laughing at you and smirking at you, the thing to remember is — well, one of the tendencies that you go through, you tend to assume that everybody judging you is perfect. You tend to assume everybody judging you is qualified because they haven’t done what you did that anybody knows, so their morality is such that they have the right to.
But it’s not true, because everybody’s flawed. And most people are so self-occupied, preoccupied, that after spending a couple minutes putting you down, they go back to thinking about how they are being perceived. Everybody is running around worried about what everybody thinks of them. When somebody hits bottom it’s easy to start laughing at ’em because it makes you feel better by simple comparison. “Oh, my God. I may not be able to play golf, but I haven’t done what Tiger Woods did. Oh, my God. I don’t feel as bad about myself.” Human nature to do that.
The bottom line is, nobody judging you is flawless. Nobody judging you is morally superior. Nobody judging you is perfect, unless it’s God. But your fellow human beings, nobody’s perfect, and you shouldn’t give them that kind of power. Tiger found a way to coexist with it. I’m sure it was tough. The first time back at the Masters, here’s Billy Payne giving his little lecture on morality.
Tiger goes out, he’s not playing well. He knows he’s not gonna play well, but it’s part of the effort to come back, and he knows everybody out there can’t help but when they look at him be reminded of all the stuff he hoped they would never know. Fought through it.
So Tiger Woods shows that not only can you come back, but that you can regain the respect and the love and the adulation. Because when the pedal hits the metal, everybody was pulling for him yesterday. Ah, there were friends of Koepka, friends of Francesco Molinari that were hoping Tiger wouldn’t do well, but that’s friends and family of competitors. Most everybody out there was happy.
And I tell you, the people playing the game of golf are happy as hell he’s back. Bigger TV audiences, better everything. So the next time you get worried about what people think of you, and it will happen maybe in 10 minutes from now, 20 minutes or whatever, just remember: Tiger Woods.
RUSH: By the way, it’s important to also note that President Trump did not ditch Tiger. You know, it works both ways. In fact, I’ve been waiting for a Trump tweet today taking partial credit for Tiger’s comeback yesterday — much like everything else in Trump’s presidency is recovering and going great guns, like the economy and manufacturing. But, remember, I don’t know if you remember, you may not even know this, but Tiger and Jack Nicklaus played with Trump here at Trump International, West Palm Beach, back in February, and Trump predicted that Woods would come back.
It was February 3rd, 2019, after playing golf. It was a Saturday with Tiger and Jack. Trump tweeted, “Everyone is asking how Tiger played yesterday. The answer is Great! He was long, straight & putted fantastically well. He shot a 64. Tiger is back & will be winning Majors again! Not surprisingly, Jack also played really well. His putting is amazing! Jack & Tiger like each other.” So Trump predicted that Trump would win another major after playing with him back in February.
And I talked at last year’s Masters when Tiger played. I talked to Tom Watson, the former Masters champion, who I think played his last round last year. And he said to me, “Tiger’s got his ‘speeds’ back.” What he meant is swing speed, which meant that his back surgeries had finally healed. Swing speed is everything — well, it’s 90% in professional golf — and for other pros to be saying Tiger’s got his speeds back, that was a signal that he’s on the way.
RUSH: Cynthia in Chesterfield, Virginia. I’m glad you called and I appreciate your waiting. Hi.
CALLER: Oh, my goodness. Hey, Rush, how are you?
RUSH: Doing well, very well. Thank you.
CALLER: You’re just on fire today.
RUSH: Well! En fuego, en fuego we say in illegal immigration terms.
CALLER: Oh, okay. Listen, I just wanted to call and thank you for your monologue. It was terrific today about Tiger Woods. And I really hope — I know that Tiger will hear it. I hope he will because it was a great tribute to him. We have been watching him for the last, what, 20 years, 25 years. And we have two boys that are fans. And we’ve always rooted for him to win or in troubled times to come back.
RUSH: Let me ask you about that.
RUSH: When he was at the bottom, when we all learned about the things that led to his divorce, the drunk driving, hitting the fire hydrant outside his home —
RUSH: — in Windermere, I mean, that had to be — up until that point Tiger Woods was godlike in terms of just his performance. But how did you feel? What was your impression then? Did a lot of air go out of your sails? What was your reaction to it? Be honest. Be honest with me.
CALLER: To be honest, I felt sad for him. I felt, you know, everybody puts these sports figures on pedestals.
RUSH: Yeah, they do.
CALLER: They’re people just like we are. And I felt very sad that he was going through what he was going through —
RUSH: Now, wait. Wait. He didn’t go through anything. He caused it.
CALLER: He caused it.
RUSH: He lived that stuff and people found out about it. That’s important — this was not caused — I mean, to properly understand how much he’s overcome, you’ve got realize he did all of that and he had to suffer what everybody was thinking. He couldn’t escape it, and yet he has managed to regain that pedestal on his own. He didn’t regain that pedestal ’cause you wanted him up there. He regained it —
RUSH: — on his own. I’ll tell you something else fascinating. The guys that he beat yesterday are of an age they wanted to start playing golf because they were watching Tiger Woods when they were young. So he ended up beating a bunch of people that became golfers because of him.
CALLER: Well, yeah.
RUSH: Circle of life kind of thing here.
CALLER: We were happy, you know, because he’s a lot older now, and to win — my mother used to go to the Masters every year before she passed away, and they used to go to Augusta, but what I really wanted to say is that I hope he hears what you said today. It was just wonderful, it was a great tribute. We’ve been watching him for years. And I just have to tell you, my husband went to our great-nephew’s third birthday party yesterday. He walked in, and the entire family, 15 to 20 people, were gathered around the television. And my mother-in-law, who’s 82, was crying, and then my husband said, “Hey, who’s winning?”
RUSH: That’s right. No greater testament to our country and what kind of people we are —
RUSH: — than that very reaction yesterday, which is another important part of this. It goes right to the point that I was making. If you ever get paralyzed or stop being who you are because of what you think people think of you, try to get past it and just remember Tiger Woods, because there’s nobody — well, not nobody. But he’s come from the depths of humiliation.
He came back from physical inability, all of these surgeries and everything, knowing all the while what people must have thought of him. But he was able to put it aside and overcome it. It’s no mean feat. It takes a lot of effort to do it, but he did. I’m glad you called, Cynthia. Thank you much.
RUSH: I told you. I told you that the president would tweet about Tiger, and the president has just tweeted about Tiger Woods. Here we go. “Spoke to @TigerWoods to congratulate him on the great victory he had in yesterday’s @TheMasters, & to inform him that because of his incredible Success & Comeback in Sports (Golf) and, more importantly, LIFE, I will be presenting him with the PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM!” I just… Folks, I’m just gonna tell you again.
if you ever, ever get paralyzed by what people think of you and think all is lost after something you think has been humiliating and embarrassing, just never forget Tiger Woods. We live in a fabulous country that, yeah, we love to build people up to knock ’em down. But we let ’em come back, too, and we celebrate it. We are happy for people’s success in this country. Don’t let the left or anybody else tell you differently. Nobody wants to punish Tiger Woods because he came back. But the left wants to punish the rich, they want to punish high earners, they want to punish the successful under all kinds of premises.