A lot’s been said since Tiger Woods essentially said nothing today. Yeah, he said he’s sorry, but let’s stop acting like that’s the magic word everyone in this country seems to think it is. When you were a kid, and you broke a window, hit your sister or got in trouble in class (or you did all three, which is what I would have called a “full day” back when I was a kid), how helpful was saying sorry when your parents were livid?
I don’t know about you, but “I’m sorry” only worked in combination with moderate-to-severe punishment with my parents. Either a nice groundation sensation or a few spankings (just kidding mom and dad … not really) were what it took to make “I’m sorry” count. But athletes are so spoiled, so entitled, that the simple act of admitting wrong makes them feel like they deserve love, compassion, forgiveness and that all-important second chance.
Fine. I don’t care about what Tiger did to his wife, I never thought he had much of a personality anyway. And that assertion certainly didn’t change today, when he handled his V.I.P.-only press conference with the same sharp wit and crisp delivery I saw from Bobby Jindal’s response to Barack Obama’s first speech to congress (yes, sarcasm implied).
Its not what you achieve in life that matters … it is what you overcome … Achievements on the golf course are not what matters … decency and honestly are what matter.
This is what happens when people who’ve been deemed powerful public figures can’t be trusted to give anything other than prepared statements when the world’s watching. You know why everyone supposedly lusts for apologies from celebrities and politicians? Not because it makes anything they did OK, but because we’re all just looking for some humanity in these people. And we aren’t looking for a simple way to connect with those who are untouchable, but so it’s easier to live vicariously through them.
Sure, it would have been a total shit-show to have everyone from Jeremy Schapp to TMZ asking him questions today, but how about speaking extemporaneously for once? How about talking as if English is your first language — at a normal speed and without pauses after every contrived, marketing team-produced thought? Tiger doesn’t owe any of us an explanation for what he did, it’s between him and his wife (blahblahblah). But he’s the one who brought the world’s attention to this little shindig today, and he didn’t even tell us when he’s going to golf again. Crass as that might have been, at least the press conference would have provided a nugget I’d remember besides some awkward references to Buddhism.
Tiger will never grow up to be John Wooden, giving sage advice to everyone via the wisdom that living/coaching for decades provides. Tiger is never going to be the world’s wonderful golfing superdad, and that’s fine. He’s a robot who smashes golf balls, delights in mentally torturing opponents (and Swedish women, apparently) and doesn’t know how to properly lock his Blackberry. And for me (and most of us, I assume), that’s fine. No apologies necessary. And in cases like today’s stilted, prepared “I’m deeply sorry” speech, maybe things would be better without a Tiger mea culpa.