Tiger Woods, Lindsey Vonn dating. (Courtesy: Tiger Woods' Facebook page)
Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports
When Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn officially announced their relationship on Monday, our first thought was of an incident from three years before, when the Olympic star was caught making jokes at Woods' expense while he was on the first leg of his apology tour.
In comments recorded by Sean Gregory of Time on the day Tiger held his first public mea culpa for his 2009 sex scandal, Vonn poked fun at her current boyfriend's sex addiction and joked about how she wanted to parody him on Saturday Night Live.
The jokes made headlines, both because of their content and their timing. Vonn was in the middle of her star turn at the 2010 Olympics when Tiger made his apology.
From Time.com on Feb. 19, 2010:
And like millions of Americans, Vonn can't help poking fun at Woods' staged event. When a member of her Vonn-tourage tells her that Woods gave a few friends hugs after ending his statement, she cracks, "They're like, 'Yeah, you're awesome, you go have that sex.' " The room breaks into a laugh. Then she describes a skit she would want to perform if asked to host Saturday Night Live: picture Vonn at Woods' podium, blue backdrop and all. "There's something you don't know about me," Vonn says in a faux solemn, apologetic voice. "Tiger, you're like my idol, and I too have a sex problem." More laughter. "That would be freaking funny."
With comedy chops like that, it should come as little surprise that Vonn never got that SNL invite.
Later in the piece, Gregory asks Vonn how she'll deal with the media microscope in a post-Tiger world.
"Well, I'm married, so I don't have that problem," she replied. "But, um, I guess [Woods] is married too."
Both sporting stars began divorce proceedings within the next two years.
The comments were harmless then and are harmless now. They drew attention because Vonn was at the height of her popularity and because most athletes stayed away from publicly commenting on Tiger's troubles.
It's clearly not a big deal now. If Tiger held grudges against everyone who made a joke at his expense during that rocky period in his life, he wouldn't be able to date anyone.
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