I hadn’t planned on watching one second of the Tiger Woods press conference apology—but in all honesty, it did manage to find its way onto a TV near me.
However, nothing changed the way I think about the whole situation—and there’s one reason why that is...puppeteering.
Behind every legendary athlete there’s an individual (or team) of PR folks that treat the person like a complete puppet. They haphazardly tug at the sticks and make the person’s every move.
These speeches are scripted—and done so very carefully. In many cases, Woods robotically read from the multi-paged statement that he delivered.
If you’ve seen one apologetic press conference, you’ve seen them all.
Sure, there may be a hint of remorse in there somewhere, but the fact of the matter is this—if he hadn’t been caught, Tiger Woods would still be doing what he was doing. It’s the same story as Michael Vick, who openly admitted he’d likely still be involved in dogfighting if he hadn’t been caught.
It’s the same story with so many others—Mark McGwire, Alex Rodriguez, Marion Jones—just to name a few. There are so many, the names just roll off the tongue.
And so here we are with Tiger Woods—the golf legend, the one who saved golf, the true family man—go ahead and toss out all the lines that were hurled in his direction for so many years of his career.
Instead, we see him delivering a far from heartfelt apology—at least when viewed from these eyes. In fact, the biggest emotion was anger—mostly delivered in the direction of the paparazzi that have often been borderline stalking his wife and children over these last few months.
Now here you are Tiger—you can be lump-summed into that boat of apologies that all get intertwined together like a poorly dubbed ‘80s mix tape.
All in all, it comes down to two things for me.
First and foremost, it’s none of my business what this guy does in his life, even if he is a slimeball. It only becomes my business if it affects me—so say maybe I were older and had kids and he got involved with my daughter, then it’s my problem. Or maybe if I had a kid who looked up to him and was foolish enough to consider Tiger as a role model, then it’s my problem.
And yes, I went there.
Listen, Tiger is no role model—he’s never been. He makes the nice speeches and warms the hearts with them, but if you watch him on the course, it’s almost to the point where if you’re a major network, you need to run the tape on a delay with the guy around.
He drops more expletives than a Quentin Tarantino flick. He throws his clubs. He has a "freak-out session" every time a camera clicks or a bird chirps. He pumps his fists and rubs victory in the face of all that have the good (or bad) fortune to play in a group with him. Plain and simple, if you were to ask me—and you didn’t, but I’m going to tell you anyway—he wants to win more than anything in the world.
Am I perfect when I hit the links? Heck, no, I’m not...but I don’t have a temper tantrum like a five year old who had his Tonka trunk taken away on Christmas Day. That, plus I don’t have to be perfect, because I’m out there without a ‘bazillion’ cameras pointed in my face.
So, the second thing is this: As much remorse or anything that was delivered during this press conference, and I didn’t sense much, I truly believe that it still comes back to winning.
Woods mentioned during his speech that he didn’t know when he would return.
I have a one-word opinion for that statement: bologna.
He’ll be back in time for the Masters.
You’ll never hear the truth from deep within Tiger’s brain, but winning comes first. Listen, I’ve heard his press conferences and interviews in the past, talking about Jack’s record. I’ve heard Woods being asked about winning 100 times or taking 19 majors, what would he prefer, and the answer for that question (and the following few afterward) was simply, "19," as in taking over the major championship record.
So if you’re going to tell me that, with Augusta being his playground, followed by Pebble Beach and St. Andrews this year, he’s not going to be out there and prepared for every single one of these majors in 2010, then you’re absolutely crazy.
And I’ll be the first to admit that I’ll dine on a buffet of crow bigger than anything Kirstie Alley could handle if I’m wrong and he does choose to skip any of them.
So that’s that, and sure, it’s a strong opinion, but it’s just honestly how I feel about the whole situation. Do I know the guy personally? No, absolutely not, but am I entitled to have an opinion judging by what I’ve seen in the past? Certainly I do, and so do you.
So Woods has moved on, cowardly answering zero questions and heading back to rehab for now. Now the opinions can fly away like the majority of Tiger’s sponsors have done since Thanksgiving.
OK, so what else is on TV? Are there another other famous people delivering apologies today? Perhaps at noon?