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Comparing Tiger Woods-Brandel Chamblee cheating tiff to allegations Jon Lester doctored the ball

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A USA Today sportswriter says the NFL and Major League Baseball would laugh off cheating charges like those Brandel Chamblee aimed at Tiger Woods. We’ll see how that goes, with similar allegations now being tossed at the Jon Lester of the Red Sox.

Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Brandel Chamblee may have forestalled a frivolous lawsuit by tweeting a mea culpa of sorts to Tiger Woods for hinting that the world No. 1 was a cheater. But USA Today’s Christine Brennan, in support of Chamblee’s freedom of speech, believes golfers should man up and face the music, as Jon Lester may have to do after allegations surfaced Thursday that the Red Sox ace doctored the ball en route to an 8-1 blowout of the Cardinals in game one of the World Series.

"Had something like this been written about an NFL or Major League Baseball player, it likely would have had a shelf life of a couple of hours," Brennan, an award-winning sportswriter, typed on Thursday about the ongoing uproar that Chamblee launched with a column comparing Woods’ "cavalier" attitude toward golf’s rules to his own grade-school cheating.

"Because it was written about a male golfer, it nearly became a miniseries," Brennan said. "What's with these guys not being able to handle a little honesty?"

Brennan, with the Sox-Cardinals world championship starting up on Wednesday night, began her campaign to let Chamblee off the hook by saying she longed to "see an overpaid, pampered professional golfer put on a Boston Red Sox uniform and walk onto the field at Yankee Stadium." For some reason, Brennan opined, such an act would show said golfer "just what real sports criticism is."

She summed up the Chamblee-Woods fracas by pointing out Woods’ four controversial rules faux pas during the 2013 season, Tiger’s veiled threat to sue the TV broadcaster (for what, exactly, his agent Mark Steinberg did not make clear), and Chamblee’s eventual tweet of sorry, dude. For which Brennan took the former PGA Tour player to task for not standing by his "courage to blast Tiger."

Brennan believes, somehow, that this whole Brandel-Tiger to-do proves that the wusses who play golf are way softer than the he-men of the gridiron and the diamond, which is hardly an aha! conclusion. What that has to do with standing up for one’s integrity escapes us.

It says here that charging any athlete, whether that sportsperson be a baseballer like Lester or a linksman named Woods, is serious stuff that may forever tarnish that competitor’s reputation (see: Sandy Lyle v. Colin Montgomery, for example).

While this Red Sox fan hopes is that the Lester flap turns out to be little more than sour grapes on the part of Cardinals’ partisans -- a quick "Jon Lester" google search indicates that the "shelf life" of cheating charges inside the lines may prove to be as troublesome as those inside the ropes.

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