Saturday, February 20

Tiger’s Public Apology: Check It Off the List

IT TOOK TIGER WOODS 84 days to get to the lectern, but on Friday he arrived at PGA Tour headquarters in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, looked into the camera, and told the world he was sorry for his transgressions. It was a public apology smorgasbord. I only watched it once, and I admit I didn’t read the transcript, but I’m pretty sure Tiger apologized to just about everyone who somehow may have felt wronged by his off- or on-course behavior.

Tiger didn’t say when he would return to golf, which is what many people wanted to know. Nor did he take questions.

As I’ve already written, I didn’t feel as if Tiger owed me an apology for the infidelity in his personal life. That’s a private family matter. In fact, in his reaction piece, Ryan Ballengee of Waggle Room expressed many of the sentiments I feel.

The public apology finally made—something it seems the entire world has been demanding for weeks—it fell predictably short for many. My theory: Many of those who are dissatisfied with the apology are angry at Tiger, consider haranguing to be a sport, or are simply critics. Others are OK with the apology.

Following is a breakdown of issues surrounding the apology, including some thoughts on people’s dissatisfaction.

The words were on the mark.
The words were mostly on the mark, but he should not have said (fill in the blank).

Overall, I think Tiger said what needed saying. He took responsibility for his actions and said he’s not above the rules. He said it’s hard to admit that he needs help. He could have left out a few things, saved them for another day, but the words, by and large, were on target.

It was staged and contrived.
It was too scripted.

This one makes me chuckle. Of course it was staged, contrived and scripted. Most public apologies are. They are unnatural and awkward. No one wants to make them. They are not spontaneous, even on Oprah. In rare instances are they off the cuff.

He was sincere.
He wasn’t sincere.

No one except Tiger knows. Many didn’t like the way Tiger looked, read, or failed to emote. Actually, I think we saw the same Tiger we’ve seen in the past. He’s not a super-expressive guy. Here’s the thing: A robotic Tiger could actually be sincere. A sincere looking and acting Tiger could actually be insincere. We don’t really know, do we? The words are a start. The deeds are what ultimately count.

The timing was bad.
The media, players, fans and others are mad.

As I mentioned above, I think anger is at the root of many people’s dissatisfaction with Tiger. Many people feel let down. America doesn’t like phonies and hypocrites. Tiger’s family man image didn’t square with what we now know. The media have long been dissatisfied with their relationship with World No. 1. And it took Tiger a long time to get to the lectern. For some, nothing Tiger does—Friday’s apology included—is going to cut it right now.

That said, he did make the apology. As Tiger might say about a mediocre round, he did what he needed to do. The public apology that people have been so forcefully demanding is now made. Check it off the list.

Now, can we all move on?

−The Armchair Golfer

(Image: Keith Allison/Flickr)

5 comments :

Patricia Hannigan said...

It looks like some of the bloggers who were hyper-focused on Tiger coverage are now making statements to the effect that they're going to "get back to golf reporting". We'll see.

Heather said...

Well said Neil. I found Ryan's comments at the Waggle Room on mark also.

I very much like what you added about determining sincerity.

As for folks writing about Tiger, everyone is free to post whatever they want on their sites. I may not choose to write about it, but clearly many are still interested.

As far as I'm concerned. It's over. Nothing left to see here. Move along folks. It's golfing season after all!

The UnGolf Pro Blogs said...

Armchair Golfer. I couldn't agree with you or Tiger more. His transgressions are he and his wife's business and no one elses.

I find it amazing how judgemental our society is or how much we want our heros to fail or fall so we can pick them up and make them part of the collective.

They are special. Tiger is special in the world of golf. He got caught up in his own BS. He had a chink in the armour, but it is his chink and his armour and I wouldn't want anyone poking around mine telling me what my character flaws are.

I wonder how the reporters would like it if their lives were under a microscope. As you can tell it angers me to even think of him having to apologies to his public.

He has done so much good in this world.

If her were not going to continue doing good or hadn't seen how his bechavior has affected that then I doubt he would have made the effort.

He is an athlete and is goiing after a record 21 majors.

Another thing. I doubt very much if Tiger is a sex addict. People love to put lables on things, that way they can get paid for it.

It is also something they can overcome.

People identify with definition. So we make Tiger a Sex Addict when he just likes to get some action on the side.

I know a hundred guys like that. I do not agree with it but I do know them. I do not judge them because they will learn a lesson from it. They will learn it without my help at all.

A matter of fact, when I step into their world and get caught up in it I then learn my own lesson.

Stay out of people's business.

So...I know I am going on with this thread but...

I am reminded by a song from Taj Mahal. Mind your own business cause if you mind your own business you won't be minding mine.

Brian said...

I didn't need his apology and agree that those who are calling for more from Tiger are beating a dead horse. They obviously have another agenda.

The PGA season is starting to pick up some traction - despite Mickelson missing the Match Play Championship - and the Masters is just around the corner.

Will Tiger be back this season? Maybe but, there are a lot of talented golfers on Tour that deserve some attention.

Max said...

By the way, Tiger should have apologized within 48 hours or so, rather than after such a long period of time, during which his public relations advisers were busy working on a script. Also, Tiger should have accepted full responsibility for his actions, instead of mentioning his "medical condition" during a scripted apology which hardly demonstrated any sincerity at all.

You can fool some people all the time, all the people some of the time, etc., but you can't fool all the people all the time.

We should all learn from this, but we should also learn to forgive, in the hope that the world will be a better place for all. Everyone deserves a second chance ...or...should I say....several chances...crucifixion of people who make mistakes is not necessary and would greatly reduce the world's inhabitants.