Happy Turkey Day! And, happy anniversary!
Where were you when you found out that Tiger Woods was involved in a suspicious single-car crash outside his own home in the haven't-been-to-bed-yet, wee morning hours after Thanksgiving?
We know now that it was all downhill from there, but never has a lurching slope been so bumpy in the digital age. Take a moment to review how Tiger got from A to B-minus, and let us all give thanks for our relatively undramatic private lives.
Nov. 27, 2009: A few weeks away from being voted "Athlete of the Decade" by the Associated Press, golf superstar Tiger Woods crashes his Cadillac Escalade into a fire hydrant, and then a tree (Oh no! We hope he didn't hurt his wrist or, worse yet, that tender knee!), after barreling down the driveway of his Windemere, Fla., home. The official word is that Tiger's gorgeous wife of five years, Elin Nordegren, bashed the SUV's window with a golf club to help get him out. Truly, the couple that tees off together, stays together. (Ironically, Sandra Bullock doesn't believe it for a second.)
Nov. 30: A cold wind is coming in from the east as Tiger withdraws from his next scheduled tournament.
Dec. 1: Tiger escapes with just a ticket—he wishes—for his Thanksgiving crash.
Dec. 12: Tiger announces he's taking an "indefinite break" from golf.
Dec. 13: Before the billions turn into trillions, Accenture is the first major sponsor to drop Woods, setting the tone for AT&T, Gillette, Tag Heuer, General Motors and Gatorade. Nike remains a stalwart supporter of the star, for whom "Just do it" wasn't just a slogan, but a way of life.
Dec. 14: Elin is photographed pumping gas without her wedding ring.
Dec. 16: Tiger's high school sweetheart reveals that the golfer's beloved late dad, Earl Woods, was also a philandering husband.
December and beyond: Whether they were sussed out by the media or voluntarily threw themselves into the fray, the number of ladies linked to Tiger starts multiplying like Octomom's eggs. We had to put together a cheat sheet to keep our Jaimees and Jamies straight. Even Vanity Fair indulged these gals! Now it seems kind of amazing that Tiger escaped from this mess sans love child.
Jan. 15, 2010: Tiger contributes $3 million to Haiti earthquake relief. Good for him!
Jan. 21: Tiger turns up at a rehab facility in Mississippi, where he's reported to be undergoing counseling for sex addiction. (We'd say "receiving treatment," but that sounds kinda sexual.) He reaffirms his commitment to self-improvement a month later, an inspiration for straying husbands of means everywhere.
Feb. 18: Tiger allows himself to be photographed swinging a club (better than swinging other things) for the first time since the accident at an Orlando driving range. And on the previous day, he jogged.
Feb. 19: Flanked by his mom and a few close compadres, Tiger addresses the media for the first time since his life blew up. He admits being unfaithful to Elin, who is not present for his little speech, and cops to "irresponsibility and foolish behavior." Nike, practically his only sponsor left by now, is satisfied, but the reaction on Twitter is mixed.
April 8: Tiger returns to PGA Tour golf at none other than the illustrious Masters tournament in Augusta, Ga. Despite the opening-round flyover, he stays competitive before seeing his chance for an easy out a fifth green jacket slip away over the weekend. Elin is nowhere to be found. But, a promising comeback nonetheless!
Aug. 23: Tiger and Elin are officially divorced. She gets the house, the kids, the dignity and the sympathy.
Aug. 25: Elin opens up to People about the hell she went through. "I have been through the stages of disbelief and shock, to anger and ultimately grief over the loss of the family I so badly wanted for my children," she says. Yup, that sounds about right. Tiger acknowledges the "sad time" in their lives hours later in an AP interview at the Barclays, yet another tournament he didn't win.
Oct. 26: Rachel Uchitel, her 15 minutes dragging on thanks to more than Tiger, talks to E! about the golfer, David Boreanaz, her brush with Celebrity Apprentice and her actual participation in Celebrity Rehab.
Nov. 18: Tiger addresses the year just past in Newsweek, reapologizing to his fans and anyone who was let down by his preposterous behavior—and, subsequently, his mediocre play.
We don't know about you, but we're rooting for Tiger to come back stronger than ever, win all four majors in 2011 and get back to No. 1. Hey, if Michael Vick's got a shot at the Super Bowl, Tiger should have a shot at our begruding, sports-related respect.