The ultrafuturistic emotional cyborg that is Tiger Woods gave two separate interviews yesterday, to ESPN and the Golf Channel. These were Woods’ first interviews since everyone found out he had extramarital affairs with what seems like half the free world.
Of course, this being Tiger Woods, there were restrictions placed on both interviews. ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi was given just five minutes to ask Woods questions. Team members from IMG were ready to sound a gong if he had gone over. Rinaldi was also, I hear, forced to agree to conduct the interview while wearing an Easter Bunny suit, just because IMG knew he’d sign off on it.
The Woods interviews don’t add much vital information to what you already know about Woods’ transgressions. Indeed, it seems like Woods only agreed to the interviews so he could tell everyone that his life is, like, way private, and totally not up for discussion. Woods, as you see, is a very private man when he is not sexting porn stars at four in the morning.
For certain, Woods looked like someone who is still in the process of being put through an emotional wringer. On camera with ESPN, he looked like a beaten man. His eyes were bloodshot. His words were relatively meek. He appears to be in the throes of intense self-loathing.
But that emotional trauma didn't stop Woods from booting up the old Apologotron2000 Remorse Simulator and offer both his interviewers identical talking points. I combed the transcripts. Here are some of the phrases Woods used word for word in each interview:
-On his Thanksgiving Night crash: “It’s all in the police report.” Oh, silly me. I should’ve looked there first before asking.
-On why he cheated: “I quit meditating.” At first I thought he said, “medicating,” which would have been far more entertaining.
-Woods also discusses getting back to his “core values.” I had always assumed Woods’ core value was winning every tournament and destroying everything in his path. But no, apparently he used to value being a decent husband and whatnot.
-On treatment: “You strip away denial, and rationalization.” And this is the one talking point in Woods’ arsenal that rings true. Ask any recovering addict and they’ll tell you they had many elaborate ways of justifying their prior behavior, all of which was BS. It usually takes sobering up to admit it to yourself.
In the end, these interviews bring us to the very deadest end of the Woods’ saga. He’s hurt everyone, now he’s trying to make it better, and he still can’t go in front of a camera without appearing to be run by an Intel Dualcore processor. None of this story changes until Woods does the only thing anyone has ever wanted him to do: play golf. He starts doing it in three weeks at Augusta. For him, and for us, that day cannot come fast enough.