Judy Kay-Wolff

Morality in any sphere!

During these uncertain times in which we are living, Bobby and I often debate between ourselves on the topic of crime and punishment — whether it be at the bridge table, in real life or in sports.    I believe women think differently than men and I would like to get the public’s opinion.  What are the readers’ thoughts concerning the severity and degree of guilt for some of the following headline-making deeds — and the appropriate manner of recognizing (or forgiving) these various acts of treachery and/or embarrassment which the subjects have inflicted upon either themselves, their families, their victims or the public?

                    1.   Blatant pre-arranged cheating at the bridge table.

                    2.   Frequent unethical conduct via telltale hesitations, intonations or latent body movements.

                    3.   Michael Vick’s part in the training of innocent dogs to fight to their death for the entertainment of others. 

                    4.   Bernie’s Madoff’s successful scheme to bilk millions of dollars from trusting investors.

                    5.  Alleged deceit of baseball idols like Barry Bonds, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmiero, Alex Rodriguez, et al. involving the use of steroids and other strength enhancing drugs.   By the way, I saw the names of the individuals broken down into categories of “admitted users” and “suspected users” and the lists were endless — but where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire.

                    6.   The descent of Tiger Woods from golf icon to the broken-toothed, bruised-face target of the paparazzi and every ‘rag’ and cyberspace gossip site because of his exposed indiscretions. 

What a delightful world we live in — and to think — we have not even touched upon leadership, our economy or terrorism!


Danny KleinmanJanuary 12th, 2010 at 7:30 pm

Capital punishment to be followed by an eternity in Hell for Offense (1). Capital punishment without consequences in the afterlife for Offense (2). A prison sentence to be determined by the relevant laws for Offense (3). Life imprisonment without possibility of parole for Offense (4). Exclusion from baseball’s Hall of Fame for Offense (5). A weekend with my ex-wife for Offense (6).

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 13th, 2010 at 1:07 am


That’s what I love most about you. I never have to wonder what you are thinking! Bobby just chirped in — “I’m surprised it wasn’t TWO weekends with your ex-wife.” However, as distraught as I was at the time of the Tiger Woods incident, it pales in comparison to the other five.

Incidentally, I have heard another version of why Tiger refused to be questioned by the police. They said Elin’s provoked attack was so brutal that it necessitated his being airlifted the next day to a plastic surgeon to repair his facial bruises as well as a dental specialist to replace the broken and missing teeth. Apparently, the damage caused by her rage prevented Tiger from appearing in public until he was presentable once again. Who knows? She must have had a helluva swing! No shy Swede is this gal!

BarbaraJanuary 13th, 2010 at 6:03 am


How about the acquittal in the O. J. Simpson case?? That’s as bad as it gets. However, justice triumphed and he ended up where he belonged although it sounded like a trumped up charge to even the score.

At least Michael Vick was convicted and served time for his part in the canine atrocities. Unfortunately, that doesn’t cut it and doesn’t resuscitate the poor dogs. I am from the PA

area and I can tell you the Philadelphia Eagles fans (poor things) do not take kindly to his

being part of the team. When it comes to such heartless acts, people have long memories.

It’s pretty hard to say which is the worst of the six. Tiger’s extra-curricular activites were his

own business but I predict he will pay dearly for his indiscretionssssss. He has fallen from grace and deservedly so.

MichaelJanuary 13th, 2010 at 8:20 am

I think it is worth while separating things which are immoral “within” the sphere of a sport/game and things which are immoral “outside” the sphere of the sport/game. So for me 1 and 2 are different than 3 and 6.

In that I don’t think the sports organizers ought to do anything about 3 and 6. Neither should effect the ability of the player to play sports (excluding any legal troubles and jail sentences with 3 which obvious effects things but there it is the jail sentence not the act that prevents the player from being able to play the games for the season in question).

1 is obviously bad and should result in *public* discipline of some sort.

2 is begging the question a little in that the characterization of “frequent unethical conduct” prejudges the acts. Hesitating or creating other UI for partner isn’t unethical if done unintentionally. And some people have no poker face/little ability to hide their acts. The responsibility is then on their partner’s to not take advantage of the UI (or on the sponsoring organization to use screens or other technological solutions). But clearly intentionally doing the things in 2 is wrong and should result in *public* discipline.

3 is wrong but is outside the sport in question so it should matter not at all that it is Michael Vick the NFL star versus Joe Smith. The legal system should operate and deal with the issue.

4 is wrong and again the legal system should handle it. Finance is a difficult world as what is criminal, unethical, and what is merely “standard business practice” is not always easy to say. Fortunately, this case isn’t close to the line but is clearly just wrong.

5 is complicated. For much of the “steroid era” steroids was not prohibited in MLB. And while it wasn’t legal to use steroids in the US without a doctor’s supervision that doesn’t say anything about using while under a doctor’s supervision and/or using when outside the US. As well it wasn’t only the “good” players who were using. A number of scrubs and fringe players were using as well as the stars. And a large number of pitchers and speed players were using, not just big hitters. And professional sports in the US is way hypocritical on steroids as it is such an “issue” in the coverage of baseball but not in the coverage of the NFL or other sports even though it effects NFL players far more. There is also a question about what is a performance enhancing (Gatorade, caffeine, nutrition supplements, anabolic steroid, steroid precursors, cortisone, aspirin, Tommy John surgery, etc.) and if an effective screening is the right approach.

6 is in some way potentially the least immoral of them all, in that it is all between Tiger woods, his family, and the women involved with Tiger. Being the world’s best golfer doesn’t mean you automatically have to be the world’s best husband and father. And the fact is many, many people cheat in relationships so Tiger is hardly alone here (more than half of all married men and around a third of all married women), and some relationships are open relationships where Tiger’s behavior may be allowed, and few people know the truth of their relationship so it is hard to judge from the outside.

KimJanuary 13th, 2010 at 3:03 pm

Judy, you didn’t mention the poster child for immoral behavior of our time: the premeditated, systematic predation by certain representatives of the Roman Catholic Church upon utterly powerless children placed within their sphere. This is pure evil, embedded in parts of our society, and yet it seems to me that relatively few of these actors and their abettors have faced the full legal measure of punishment.

I’m with Danny Kleinman on your examples – and I don’t even know his ex-wife – but I’ll only say that as one of the early, professional women traders (started in 1971) Madoff’s success depended upon an increasingly skewed financial culture and the incompetence of the SEC – which now morally, in my opinion, has a responsibility to those it failed to reasonably protect.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 13th, 2010 at 3:38 pm


I do appreciate your taking your valuable time to delineate the differences among the six. It is obvious you take these issues seriously but evaluate the degree of the offense and the resultant punishment through more sympathetic eyes (or perhaps objective) eyes.

To me, Cheating (1) and sporadic unethical behavior (2) are vastly different. In the case of pre-arranged, pre-meditated, calculated measures of illegal communication, I believe in banishment. Let them set a frightening example and serve as a deterrent to those with similar desires. These offenders know they are doing something illegal and defy the laws by which others abide. I don’t know in which country you reside, but I can tell you quite a bit of cheating still exsits here in the States and involves some known players. In fact, people are in our illustrious Hall of Fame who were acknowledged cheats and still the ACBL recognizes them. If the players realized the ACBL meant business and started barring convicted cheats for life, the evil practice would stop. As far as (2), much is done innocently because these players have never been taught to differentiate poker from bridge. Other than bidding or defending (based solely on your thirteen cards) is not cricket and the other obvious shenanigans should come to a halt. An education could begin at the club level and perhaps the ACBL Bulletin which publishes countless columns by respected experts should add one to their list which deals with huddles, hitches, private understandings, convenient forgetfulness to alert special treatments, etc., etc. More time should be devoted to educating the public and maybe the ethics of many players would improve. However, the organization does not want to intimidate or scare away current or potential members as that is what lines their pockets and pays for the administration, building move, directors’ salaries, etc. But it continues to be a serious problem and it is time it is addressed.

(3) Michael Vick is another story. According to our court system, he committed a heinous crime, was convicted and served time. Legally, justice was served. However, as someone above pointed out, the Philadelphia fans have not taken kindly to him — though officially that is all behind him.

(4) Madoff, to me, is an open and shut case. Perhaps his enterprise began on an honest and high note but took off in a horrendous direction For all the suffering he caused, I don’t think he should ever see the light of day and be imprisoned for life. I know personally of many people in the Florida area who were his victims. I would show him no mercy.

(5) As far as steroid users are concerned, it gave them unfair advantage over other non-users, whether prescribed by a doctor or taken on their own (which was reflected in their performance records) I think that Pete Rose’s betting was indiscreet, but in no way affected his performance or that of his team. Pete played for the Phillies and no one had a more fervent love of the game and wanted to win more than Pete. Yet, it looks like he will never have his name inscribed in the Baseball Hall of Fame. I consider steroids (giving you an unfair advantage over your competotors) far, far worse!

(6) And now to Tiger Woods No one can dispute that he is the greatest golfer who ever played the game. However, as others who have fallen from grace, he will be always be remembered for having his face used as a putting green by his wife. I am not an advocate of violence, but I can hardly blame her.

Again, thanks for writing. I do respect your views. Perhaps I think like a woman (but not a shrinking violet).

JodyJanuary 13th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Examples 1, 2, 3, 4…..sociopathic behavior, with possible exception of #2. If someone who cared explained in detail what he/she was doing, there might be remorse and change of ways, IF this was done in ignorance. With #5, money must be driving force (someone once said “the love of money is the root of all evil.” With Tiger, it’s hard to understand how anyone in his position could actually think he could get by with this, sending emails, etc. Unbelievably reckless and naive, did he not think for one minute that these women were going to talk? and talk, and talk I can’t spend nymore time thinking about his motives, but what he did was not illegal, so I don’t quite understand all the fuss with the general public, except that we seem to obsess on celebrities.

BOBBY WOLFFJanuary 13th, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Hi Danny, Barbara, Michael and Kim,

Just a relatively short note to let everyone know (assuming they care) of my fascination with Judy’s subject. The following is my summary of what has been said.

Danny’s assessment of the various evil deeds and his punishments kept the project in perspective, combining realism with his special sense of humor. I would expect nothing less of him.

The following three I do not know, but cutting to the chase I must confess to being tremendously impressed with their balance as well as their suggestions.

1. Barbara with her valid reference to OJ Simpson which, probably symbolized our country’s bigoted past, with a significant touch of revenge, but not justice, nevertheless connecting the human condition (jury’s decision), with stark reality. At least to me, it is more symptomatic of what to expect rather than to feel surprise. Her take on Michael Vick suggests what will always be in store for him, and possibly also an inside look at what Tiger Woods will no doubt be subjected to for the rest of his formerly dream world existence.

2. Michael with his clear distinction of both within and outside transgressions. He rightly determines that ethics violations, rather than stealthy cheating, are much harder to deal with, though probably a much lesser crime. He cleverly reminds of the difficulty of determining intent and also being able to judge degree of fault when discussing the actions taken by the partner of the telltale player. His opinions on Vick and Madoff are to let our legal system in place handle it, and possibly implies that until we, the people, come up with more enlightening ways, let’s stay with what we have. With the far reaching steroid problems in sports he seems to have more compassion and might even go so far as to resurrect the old phrase, “Save for the grace of God go I”. Finally he summarizes Tiger’s problem as a personal demon, one which is more common than many of us realize, and should be left up to him to go through hell (by his own doing) to right the ship and hopefully for him, return to his beloved golf.

3. Finally Kim stunningly brings up what she, and IMHO agree, that the clergy’s unbelievable crime of child abuse is worse than all of the others. Although she didn’t say so, could that be compared to the legally trained Judges in Nazi Germany directly contradicting their lifetime schooling and finding known innocent people guilty just to save their own skins and comply with what should have been widely known as a totally “mad” dictator. In some ways the church sins were worse since it concerned a group who had supposedly committed their lives to serving mankind with role model morality.

Of course, Judy is mainly responsible for soliciting and receiving all of these wonderful responses from thinking, caring, intelligent people. People can and will differ, but the exchanging of facts and feelings between worthwhile individuals can never be underestimated. I salute these initial opinions and hope that others will join in and be recognized. At least to me it is a beginning to dealing with this very complicated and violent world in which we now live and even though it is not now in sight, perhaps compromises and solutions will result.

The bridge world and its competitiveness is merely a microcosm of the overall problem, but right now we have to deal with a combination of incompetence, politics, evil alliances, mammoth self-serving, and total chase of the all-mighty dollar in order to overcome and allow both the highest level bridge and all of its gradations to survive. We are being threatened and desperately need positive leadership to emerge.

All of the above contributors are already high on my list.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 13th, 2010 at 6:56 pm


I am sure you struck a nerve with some about the improprieties of the aforementioned church and the abuse of young children entrusted to them. I do concur. However, what about similar acts which occurred in the BSA with trusted Scoutmasters. They too used their ‘exhalted’ positions to take advantage of helpless, naive young men. Also, what of the young pages in the Senate? And though it is a very touchy subject, let’s cast an eye on our own junior bridge camps that have existed over the years. How would you like to be a parent of an enthusiastic young bridge player who has the opportunity to attend one of these facilities. The ACBL has the responsibility to oversee their safety (physically and morally) and predators (with different objectives and ways of life) have shown up and play a role in the big picture — often to the detriment of those attending.

Unfortunately, this are all part of today’s culture and the best we can do is make unsuspecting people aware of what is happening around them and in some small way have a positive impact.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 13th, 2010 at 7:13 pm


I agree with many of your earlier comments (1-4), but when it comes to Number 5 which concerns steroids, I think it is not money alone — but rather attaining FAME as well as fortune and going down in the coveted record books and attaining Hall of Fame status. Incidentally, your statement was enlightening to me. I have heard people say time and again — “Money is the root of all evil,” but your remark makes so much more sense: “Love of money is the root of all evil.” You can see it in living color in the ground swell of professional bridge.

I believe all the hoopla about Tiger and other celebrities in the news (in a negative fashion) is because of their icon status and the impression they make upon the younger generation. Maybe it is unrealistic, but it would be nice if they set better examples for those who blindly worship them and their talents. True, it has been said that their privates lives belong to them. That is a huge misconception as once in the public eye, they no longer can enjoy the privacy of living behind closed walls. Their every move is up for scrutiny. It is the price one pays for stardom.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 13th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

Responding to Barbara:

Yes, the O.J. Simpson decision seemed to be a total farce and the quick turnabout of the jury made me numb for weeks. I can still envision Judge Ito, Marsha Clark. Johnny Cochrane and the entire cast of characters — lest we forget the glove — the glove!! It was like an afternoon soap opera (but with two very real victims). And I do agree, O. J.’s recent imprisonment did not seem equitable, but people have a way of getting even when they are in key positiions.

About Michael Vick — he may not have been directly involved, but it would be hard to believe he was unaware of the goings on at or around his own property. I personally agree with the verdict and the sentence, but he paid the price and it is time he went on with whatever is left of his once-very talented career.

BOBBY WOLFFJanuary 13th, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Hi Jody,

First, our two letters crossed in the mail.

Second, besides your eloquent opinions and your general comments, I learned something very important from you. Your quote of “THE LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil” is so much more far reaching than what I thought it was “Money is the root of all evil”. All of us need money to survive and are willing to work and in some instances to do more than we should to earn it, but to love it as such, is a bridge too far (pun intended).

I, also like you, find it very difficult to understand Tiger’s boundless naivety in not knowing that judgment day will be arriving very soon. Might that not explain Serena William’s overly aggressive and juvenile outburst against the foot fault judge during Wimbledon. In both hers and Tiger’s growing up period, perhaps tennis and golf took so much time that neither of them had a chance to experience normal teen age learning periods of social graces. Does it then not follow that it is just more evidence of the pitfalls of dedicating every available moment to the pursuit of fame and money at the expense of humanity?

Thanks for my learning experience from you with your correct quote of a popular subject. Somehow I think that all the corporate and Wall Street continuing excesses together with the topical subject of one and done football coaches who fly to what they consider better deals for them at the expense of so many others without enough consideration of the overall morality.

To repeat, how can we deny what are almost every day occurrences in the news? Stop, I want to get off!

Eric EminJanuary 13th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I can’t believe I’m responding to this post, but here goes:

1. Public suspension from the game.

2. Full investigation, followed by public suspension if guilt is proven.

3. As an animal lover, I can’t think of a punishment sufficient for this guy… maybe if we decide to resurrect the Colosseum idea of training prisoners to fight for the public’s amusement…

4. That was BILLIONS, not millions, and prison for life. If only there was a way to get the money back…

5. Suspension from the game and a revoking of their achievements from official records.

6. Instinctively I feel he’s getting what he deserves, though an argument could be made his divorce is painful enough and he should be left in peace.

How do you feel men and women differ in their concept of justice? I think that’s what spurred me to comment.

PimoJanuary 13th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

BERNIE IS A REAL CRIME……The rest are moral issues with bridge cheating affecting more people than than the rest. Baseball androids do not belong in the HOF, PERIOD. Michael Vick was more unjustly punished than OJ. OJ killed people, Michael killed dogs. This is not a ” crime ” in most of the world, as dogs are a food source which would have helped the 1,000 children who starved to death as I typed and you read ( or if you don’t like that, then wander out to your backyard and try boiling some dirt, which starving people have done for centuries )…and Tiger, just another tycoon with too much time, money and a wrapped sense of himself.

BOBBY WOLFFJanuary 14th, 2010 at 12:15 am

Hi Eric Emin and Pimo,

Eric, thanks for the opinions. One of the advantages in this sort of exercise is to find out how relative newcomers feel about old chicanery. I personally think there is a difference concerning the thinking about these emotional issues by men and women, but exactly the difference is what women do not want men to know and for me, at least, they have succeeded.

By the way, after reading your suggested punishment, remind me to prempt you from my jury in voir dire if I am defending a guilty defendant. Not that I think you are wrong, but rather I think you care much about the ethics of the game.


Don’t sugar coat it! I love your specific opinions, especially about Bernie, bridge cheating, sports stars steroid use, and your softening up on Vick. Might people think that Vick’s real motive was to give his poverty stricken boyhood friends a means of livelihood, which they could manage, without bothering to consider the poor dogs. I know that ignorance or apathy is not an excuse for anything, but it still may be a small insight into someone’s character. Tiger, as you surmise, is a case apart.

Thanks for writing!

Judy Kay-WolffJanuary 14th, 2010 at 1:08 am

This blog was initiated originally to ascertain the differences of opinion between cheating at bridge and other untoward actions (either morally, ethically or criminally). Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how Merriam-Webster described it and this is what it had to say under the delicately handled ‘C’ word: “1. to deprive of something valuable by the use of deceit or fraud; 2. to influence or lead by deceit, trick, or artifice.” (Incidentally, I was once admonished and reprimanded by a director for what he called ‘using the C word’). Touchy! Touchy!

However, I also checked a more hands-on source: The ACBL Official Encyclopedia of Bridge — and here it is: “CHEATING. Through history, card cheats have always been held in contempt. It is so with bridge. The Laws of Contract Bridge are not designed to prevent cheating or to provide redress. The lawgivers have taken the view that it would be wrong to accord cheats a status by providing legal remedies against their activities. This also is the policy of the ACBL: exclusion from membership is the penalty for premeditated cheating, but cases of momentary weakness often are dealt with by temporary suspension. (‘The penalty of cheating is exclusion from society,’ wrote the great whist authority, Cavendish.)”

It then goes on to discuss Cheating at Rubber Bridge, Cheating at Duplicate, Spying on upcoming boards and Secret Signals — all of which are old hat to all of us. I have taken this information from the 5th Edition so I do not know if anything has been updated since then. It is worth reading in its entirety.

All of the above sounds swell, but in real life that is not what actually happens. A slap on the wrist is hardly much incentive to follow the straight-and-narrow, as there is always another wrist available for slapping. It sounds similar to One Slap, Two Slaps, Three Slaps — you’re out at the old bridge game! Besides, who is determine if it is pre-meditated by design or simply a momentary departure from accepted procedure?? It is a matter of conjecture and totally subjective.

PimoJanuary 14th, 2010 at 1:16 am

Next time, I will wrap my comment in a sugary glaze and ” warp ” it to the proper column. Thanks Bobby. The guy in the hood with the money does in fact always pay for the party. Way to much hysteria over the dogs ( politically correct is now the term ” somatization disorder ” )……and, as usual, your on the money Bobby, as it’s the way things are for these boys. They just don’t have much sense,sympathy or money for their fightin’ dogs.

Chris HasneyJanuary 14th, 2010 at 1:43 am

Regarding Bernie, let him out of jail and make him Secretary of the Treasury. They seem to be ok with Ponzi schemes, and maybe he’ll bilk the Chinese out of the 14 Trillion we owe!

LuiseJanuary 14th, 2010 at 5:58 pm

Danny K —

ROTFLMAO!!! at number (6)

(for those not familiar with the term — it basically means I am Rolling On The Floor Laughing My A$$ Off!)

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 14th, 2010 at 6:23 pm


I loved it! This old bat is not familiar with initialed jargon like that. I just came to know what LOL is (different than the bridge term which endearingly refers to ‘little old ladies.” Live and learn!



JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 14th, 2010 at 6:38 pm


Wonderful idea, since our Government Bailout Plan (B. Obama, presiding) is as close to a Ponzi scheme as possible with endless amounts of money going out, this time — courtesy of the U. S. Government’s printing press running 24/7, no accountability, with Tim Gaither in charge, an anything-goes morality payback, the House of Reps and the Senate monitoring, the chief fox (Ben Bernanke) analyzing and all close-up politicians benefitting. Bernie Madoff will feel right at home.

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 14th, 2010 at 6:47 pm

Chris —

P.S. And — we can have AIG and Merrill-Lynch serve as compliance officers, overseeing the operation (causing Bernie Madoff to feel overmatched)!

dannyJanuary 14th, 2010 at 10:21 pm

1. Permanent suspension AND elimination of all previous titles won. I don’t believe anyone mentioned this second penalty

2. Hesitating is NOT against the rules of the game; indeed bridge is a thinking game. What is offensive is blatant use of ANY unauthorized information. Intonations and ‘movements’ are surely to be avoided, but can any of really say we never doubled too quickly, or twitched when partner made the wrong shift on defense? I know I can not. Once again, it is the use of this information that is the problem, not the transmission that is the major crime. I am all for more serious penalties when someone does take advantage of UI.

3. Vick should have been given a far harsher penalty by the criminal justice system. That being said, once he serves that penalty, he should be free to practice his trade. I would think 5 years at a minimum for what he did is in line.

4. Madoff should and will spend the rest of his life in prison. There ought to be more than that, but not that I can think of now.

5. PED users. Where to start? Firstly, MLB tacitly approved the stuff by failing to test for it. Many of the players who are ‘guilty’ actually were never even suspended while they played. What to do now, once they are retired? I say let them be. By the way, if you want to talk PED’s, where is all of the outrage at the players who used uppers in the previous generation? Believe me, there are many men with plaques in Cooperstown who did.

6. What Tiger did behind closed doors is none of my business. Who knows what the real relationship with his wife was? Who are we to judge? When he tees it up at Augusta, as I suspect he will, I’ll still be rooting for him.

Other Danny

PegJanuary 15th, 2010 at 12:26 am

I’m afraid I haven’t waded in yet. The variety of “you pick the punishment” choices overwhelmed me!

For blatant cheating, I’m all for “stick a fork in ’em” punishment. You’re done with tournament bridge.

The “hesitation” people are a tough group. I really am convinced that some people have no idea they are even doing it; truly. They may either transmit, or accept – but they would be shocked to hear you say so. Still… they should be stopped. Perhaps record incidents, and after a bunch of ’em, some sort of penalty. Others I’m quite sure know exactly what they’re doing … and I’m not sure how those in charge can objectively differentiate between the two sets. Perhaps it’s impossible – so, similar penalties for both.

As an aside, I will say that I have friends who do occasionally “transmit” inadvertently … and not only do their partners not take advantage of it; they do the opposite. Once against my frequent teammate, Cindy Balderson, she saw her partner fumble with her cards where she might have had a doubleton and wanted a rough. Everyone at the table knew that the partner did not want a ruff, thus a shift was correct. Yet, Cindy went ahead an led “the ruff” suit – because it was the ethical thing to do. Bravo!

For the other cheats, excepting Tiger, I must admit I call Madoff the worst – and not even close. I know families here and in other cities who he has destroyed financially and emotionally. And, let’s not even talk about the wonderful charities, schools and other institutions that have been severely damaged, either by direct means or because those who have had their funds stolen can no longer give. Let him rot forever.

As for Tiger – I’m with the Other Danny. Assuredly, Tiger’s personal escapades were awful. (Sorry – I guess that is judging, but … under any circumstances, ALL those ladies when you are married just can’t be right!) Beyond that, however – it’s all between Tiger and his family … and he remains an incredible golfer. It may also cost him dearly in his bank account – but – that is between Tiger and his sponsors!

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 15th, 2010 at 2:02 am

To the ‘Other Danny”

1. I agree with you but it just ain’t gonna happen!

2. Obviously, you can pause as long as you want and even pass, but any knowledgeable player is aware partner must bid on the thirteen cards facing him/her. I thought that was a “given.” Taking advantage of UI is despicable in my eyes — but when called to the table, lots of directors pass it off lightly.

3. I agree he got off too easy, but you can see some of the other comments make a big differential between a dog and a human being. To me it is unconscionable — animal or person!

4. I don’t think anyone can defend Madoff.

5. No argument there — but impossible to go back and remedy. All that can be done is to make certain there are no repeat performances.

6. I totally disagree on this one. Elin wasn’t as smart as she thought. If I were she, I would have aimed for his wrists.

JUDY-KAY WOLFFJanuary 16th, 2010 at 6:44 am

Hi Peg:

It looks like pretty much everyone’s leanings reflect on pre-meditated cheating and Madoff’s disgraceful actions as being cardinal sins. However, Michael Vick’s nonchalance about the canine holocaust is inexcusable — at least from my viewpoint.

Regarding No. 2 (huddles, hitches — all types of Unauthorized Information) — I really don’t think we can shut our eyes to it and let the perpetrators get off scot-free. At the tournament level, many people won’t stand for that type of behavior and call the director. In high level events, of course, it is taken more seriously and dealt with more severely. However, at the club level, most people claim “they don’t know any better.” Well, I think it is high time they learned. I don’t tolerate it. I like to play on a level playing field where the rules apply to everyone. I am in favor of club directors taking a firmer hands-on attitude (and I am not referring to the club where I play as they don’t tolerate any funny stuff if called to their atttention –regardless of whom the offender is). But, in many duplicates, I am told that managers or owners tend to shy away from even the mildest of punishment, as they don’t want to antagonize their customers. I think the game should come before the pocketbook and it was indeed refreshing to hear of the exception to the rule involving your friend Cindy Balderson.

As far as Tiger, IMHO, he’s just another cheetah! It goes on all the time in EVERY sport or game, with no exceptions — but I think this one took everyone by storm because Tiger looked like such a perfect role model. He has already paid dearly and deservedly so in my eyes. I guess I’m just an old fashioned gal! Acceptance of philandering is not my long suit.

PegJanuary 16th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

Judy – the “transmitters” do sometimes lend themselves to fairly amusing stories. My two favorites are these.

Many years ago in a women’s pairs, we had a competitive auction. My partner bid to 3H, and her LHO went into the tank, thinking, thinking, thinking…. Finally, a pass. I passed, too – and her partner was right there with 3S. We called the director, explained, and he said, “Ladies, is this accurate?” Both opponents gave a resounding “NO!” Everything was right in tempo, they said!!

Well, the director gave us a “what can I do” kind of shrug, and said to bid on. My partner judged to bid 4H, and the auction ended. After we scored up 420, the recriminations began.

“WHY did you bid 3S?!?” shouted the Hesitator. “They were only in 3H!”

“Well,” her partner responded. “You thought for so long, I thought you had something.”


The second one occurred at small Midwest regional. My LHO opened the bidding in 3rd chair, and my partner overcalled. The auction continued to the 3 level – with my RHO passing throughout. Every time it was her chance to call, she’d put her hand on the bids, stroke them, think, sigh a bit – then pass. Despite only having a 12 count – her partner knew what to do. He’d bid once more.

When the auction ended, the duo had pushed us to the 3 level, down one. At the end of the hand, my RHO looked approvingly at partner and commented: “Partner; I think we bid this one just perfectly!”

When I told the story to the director later, he said, “Why didn’t you call me?!” I responded that it was futile… similar stories occurred at at least 50% of the tables!

Of course, at an NABC it would be a different story … Not sure what the solution is, but sometimes it does make you want to tear your hair out and laugh simultaneously!

JUDY KAY-WOLFFJanuary 17th, 2010 at 6:23 am


I enjoyed your real life dramas but it is sad that people are allowed to get away with it for fear the wrongdoers will be offended and it will scare them off (no dues/no card fees). Well, how about us — the victims? Unfortunately, when you read my latest blog which I posted a few hours ago (called MORE THINGS THAT BUG ME ABOUT THE GAME, the third in a series), you will enjoy the quoted repartee between one of my inept committee members and Bobby who responded to his explanation and excuses for my committee’s ridiculous ruling. Sadly, as Bobby pointed out, many of our so-called directors can’t scratch their left ear with their right hand. (Why can’t they all be like Solly Weinstein and Chris Patrias — to name just two)? You are probably too young to remember the days of Harry Goldwater — but perhaps you knew Maury Braunstein. They were nice, diplomatic and personable as can be — but handled situations like those in question — never sparing the horses. They did what was best for the game. Better training and fewer political appointments would be a great step in the right direction. If people don’t speak up, it will continue. Regretably, many have had their bodies snatched — and just go along with the flow.