Walcoff: Tiger Woods turns out to be human after all

So Tiger Woods finally hints that he has not been faithful to his wife. With the tabloids in a feeding frenzy, what choice did he really have? What’s more amazing is that Tiger was able to keep his alleged trysts under wraps for this long. But before you demonize the man, consider the life of the world’s most celebrated athlete.

He is beyond rock star famous, adored and almost deified everywhere he goes. The combination of fame, fortune and athletic prowess is an intoxicating formula. Athletes are programmed to conquer. For many, that extends beyond the game. With so many willing and eager female fans at their beck and call, a star athlete often treats sexual escapades like a warrior would say, “To the victor go the spoils.”

However, no one lives in a vacuum. Even the mighty Tiger couldn’t avoid being sucked into the vortex. Whatever pleasures he may have enjoyed with his mistress(es) he must now also deal with the pain of the public revelations.

Bowl madness

The roar of heavy machinery digging the foundation for Cal’s new athletic performance center shakes the windows of Jeff Tedford’s Memorial Stadium office every morning before dawn. But the Bears coach is more agitated over his December calendar which right now looks like a scavenger hunt map rather than his usual well crafted script. Heading into Saturday’s regular season finale at Washington, Cal has five different bowl game scenarios.

Unfortunately, the most likely destination — the Las Vegas Bowl on Dec. 22 — is also the least desirable because it comes just three days after the end of finals week and at the height of recruiting season.

The Sun Bowl on Dec. 31 is a better option. I know, El Paso, Texas, may be the ugliest place for a New Year’s Eve party, but it’s a beautiful fit for the team’s schedule. Players have time to go home for winter break and Tedford can go shopping for new recruits.

Joe Kapp always said, “The Bear never quits, the Bear never dies,” but not even Kapp gets to decide where Cal will be cavorting for the holidays. Just about the only guarantee for the six bowl eligible Pac-10 teams is the winner of tonight’s Oregon-Oregon State game takes the conference championship and earns a trip to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

If the Ducks are upset at Autzen Stadium, Oregon heads to the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Diego.

However, should the Beavers lose the Civil War in Eugene it may very well create a four-way deadlock for second place (assuming Cal takes care of the Huskies and USC beats Arizona in L.A. on Saturday), turning the whole bowl selection process into a good old fashioned beauty pageant.

Since there is no official tie-break rule, if Cal, USC, Oregon State and Stanford all finish with identical 6-3 conference records, bowl committees can invite the team they deem most attractive. That is likely to put either Cal or Stanford in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26 at AT&T Park.

Should Cal lose at Washington they could end up at the Poinsettia Bowl on Dec. 30 in San Diego.

Wherever they play, the Bears are headed for a school-record seventh straight bowl appearance and Tedford will be seeking his fifth straight postseason win. That ought to clear his January calendar for a well-deserved vacation.

KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news and is also the co-host of “Raiders Gameday” and “Recap” talk shows on KSFO (560 AM). He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.

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