Tiger Woods emerged from more than two months of seclusion on Feb. 19, apologizing for "bitterly disappointing" his family and fans, saying he would seek salvation in Buddhism and defiantly demanding privacy for his wife and children.
If you were sitting around with nothing to do at 11 a.m. this morning, you likely tuned in to watch Tiger Woods step up to the podium and pull an Eliot Spitzer by apologizing to his wife, his kids, his mom, his fans, his sponsors, his assorted collection of rare Japanese fighting fish and so on and so on.
It was a very long and mildly convincing (if unnecessary) public apology. I believe Tiger when he says he realizes he was a selfish jerk and that he’s trying to become a better person and actively working to save his marriage. Also, he’s Buddhist. Good for him, or something.
I was going to write something about how all athletes have to be politicians now and hold some big press conference when they screw up, the way Woods and Michael Vick have done. But I’m not going to do that. The fact of the matter is, it was hugely tittilating to see Woods’ image get torn into a million shreds, and that sordid thrill is now gone. All I really want now is to see Woods return to the golf course and win lots and lots of titles, and he refused to disclose when he plans on doing that. It might be this year. It might be longer, just to annoy us all.
So, for people like me who were not emotionally damaged by Woods’ infidelities, today’s press conference was, frankly, a useless pit stop on the now indefinite wait to see Woods play again. I don’t care that he’s sorry. I don’t care that he’s trying to be a better man. He spent the majority of his marriage acting like a rock star on Viagra. It’s not like I care if he’s not doing that anymore. I don’t care if Accenture will ever hire him back. I just want to see that emotionless robot win eight more Masters. But I didn’t get a hope of seeing that any time soon.
This is annoying, because I imagine the whole reason Tiger Woods gave his little soliloquy today was as an act of public appeasement. But when you’re Tiger Woods, you don’t appease people by giving speeches. You do it by grabbing a golf club and driving that scandal further and further out of our collective consciousness. Woods spent this morning saying his words don’t mean anything, then proceeded to keep talking. If the guy cares about repairing public perceptions, he needs to get to the driving range. Anything else is a waste of time.