Small town life has its advantages

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By Ned Cantwell

Maybe it is a matter of just being spoiled by small town New Mexico that makes the head bobble in pure amazement when running across stories about what is apparently considered normal behavior in other places.

Two stories jumped off the page last week, the first an alarming piece of you’ve-got-to- be-kidding-me hypocrisy, the second a reminder of how lucky we are to live in the Land of Enchantment.

First, hypocrisy. Tiger Woods, as you know, made a dramatic statement by teeing off in the prestigious Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga. which is getting underway as this is written. It was a bold re-entry to the golf world he abandoned when his prodigious peccadilloes captured world attention.

The god of golf turned overnight into the devil of debauchery. He was vilified, disdained, prayed for, psychologically treated and, finally, remorseful. What he really didn’t need was another pointless lecture, but that is exactly what he got from Augusta National Chairman Billy Payne.

Less than 24 hours before Tiger was scheduled to show up on the first tee box, Payne conducted a chest-thumping press conference where he redundantly found Tiger’s behavior egregious and disappointing. Interestingly, the Masters benefited hugely from Tiger’s decision to play.

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