Here's hoping that Tiger Woods doesn't say a single word about his personal life between now and his return to golf at the Masters.
Not a single word.
If you feel the need to hear about how he ruined his marriage or how he feels about his business empire falling apart, too bad. The guy doesn't owe you an explanation.
Once he's at Augusta National and tees it up, here's hoping he goes into full Robo-Tiger mode and responds to questions or comments about his private affairs with a look of utter disdain.
Oh, you feel like he owes you an explanation because you bought Nike and drank Gatorade because he endorsed the products? Hey, that's your problem. Some of us buy the best gear we can find and pick our beverages for reasons other than hero worship.
You know how Woods seemed to play and live like he's above it all and better than the rest of us? Yeah, well, here's hoping that he comes back living and playing even more above the fray. That will leave his critics with blood coming out of their ears.
Oh, media types and some of his PGA Tour peers are admitting now that Tiger's a bit of a jerk? Arrogant? Disdainful of most people who enter his orbit?
You couldn't tell he thinks he's better than us just from listening to his interviews and watching him build an empire? You weren't paying attention.
The primary reason that Tiger's turned in super-human performances on the golf course is that he actually believes that it's his world and that he can control everything in it. And, right now, he's proving it again.
Woods did things in his personal life that put his marriage, his family, and everything else at risk. He hurt people close to him. But he doesn't have to let any of us behind the curtain to watch the long, difficult process of fixing what he can fix and learning to live with the pain he's caused that he can't make go away.
Every guy who gets in trouble rushes to talk to Oprah Winfrey. Tiger Woods isn't every guy. He's done exactly what Tiger Woods would do when thing go wrong:
- He disappeared from public view.
- As alleged mistresses came forward one after the other, he didn't say a single word about any of them. So we decide what we think based on their credibility.
- TMZ and other scuzzy media outlets that make money sucking the life out of public figures reported rumors and stories about Tiger, his marriage, the other women, his business deals...and...now...well...um...they have nothing left to report. They're out of gas and we're a little bored with it all.
- Elin Woods has shown amazing grace and an ability to protect herself and her children in small part because the womanizing husband just dropped out of sight. (She's the hero of this story. You want to talk about a role model?)
- That speech Tiger gave on national TV included everything he wanted to say and all that he figures people need to hear.
- Whatever therapy program he attended remains a mystery. Tiger does what Tiger does, and he's never explained what he does before, and it's worked well for him.
- After two weeks of rumors about where and when Woods would return and a month filled with prominent media folks guessing he might not play at all this year, Tiger announced he's coming back at Augusta. No explanation. Well, the explanation was when and where he'd return. Period.
- Did I mention that I love that Tiger's insisting on trying to control everything while almost everyone else is screaming that he lost control and can no longer control things?
Tiger didn't change to please us. If he's changed at all, he's done it for people who matter.
Even if he made a mistake along the way in the last few months, he kept plugging along, confident that he'll make things work his way by doing things his way.
Here's hoping he doesn't say another word about anything but his game. Tiger doesn't owe us anything, and he owes people who realized we only knew him as a golfer the chance to come back on his terms, as he handles his personal demons and the pain he has caused in the way he and his family sees fit.
And, some people thought he'd come crawling back? Never. He's Tiger Woods.
Some of us are cheering already.