Despite the fact that my favorite sports journalist, Bill Simmons, believes Tiger Woods’ latest comments are nothing short of a Saturday Night Live skit, I truly believe a majority of the golfer’s first public comments since Thanksgiving of 2009 seemed sincere.
Granted, it’s taken him three months to finally have the courage to face a soul, but at least Woods finally said the words “I’m sorry,” and that’s better than nothing.
“… I know I have bitterly disappointed all of you,” Woods told reporters on Friday morning. “I have made you question who I am and how I could have done the things I did. I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position. For all that I have done, I am so sorry.”
But is that enough?
Woods also went on to briefly talk about issues such as values and integrity, as well as a momentary side-note of mentioning eventual return to golf.
“I stopped living by the core values that I was taught to believe in,” Woods said. “I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply. I never thought about who I was hurting. Instead, I thought only about myself. I ran straight through the boundaries that a married couple should live by. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled. Thanks to money and fame, I didn't have to go far to find them.
“I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules. The same boundaries that apply to everyone apply to me. I brought this shame on myself. I hurt my wife, my kids, my mother, my wife's family, my friends, my foundation, and kids all around the world who admired me.
“I've had a lot of time to think about what I've done. My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to before. It's now up to me to make amends, and that starts by never repeating the mistakes I've made. It's up to me to start living a life of integrity.”
So, what about the game of golf?
“I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be,” Woods said. “I don't rule out that it will be this year. When I do return, I need to make my behavior more respectful of the game.”
Let’s hope so, Tiger, because at this point in time, your reputation is a brick that’s quickly sinking.
On a side note, I do have to admit that I found it quite humorous when Tiger addressed certain writers that had “fabricated” stories on him (and I couldn’t help but laugh as I thought about Simmons’ column on that Thanksgiving night that Woods crashed his car into a fire hydrant).
“Some people have speculated that Elin somehow hurt or attacked me on Thanksgiving night,” Woods said. “It angers me that people would fabricate a story like that. Elin never hit me that night or any other night. There has never been an episode of domestic violence in our marriage, ever. Elin has shown enormous grace and poise throughout this ordeal. Elin deserves praise, not blame.”
And oh yeah, for those that missed Woods’ mid-morning speech, the full transcript of his statement can be found on ESPN’s website; and if you need a laugh, check out Simmons’ response to the latest Tiger talk to hit the airwaves…
Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org