Friday, February 19, 2010
Tiger Woods Spoke.
Similar to the parting of the red seas, Tiger Woods took a simple, unimpressive podium today with a bleak purple shirt and boring black blazer and spit out his first vocal words since "Hey, it's Tiger."
The difference in the red seas and this, however, was unless you worked for ESPN or The Golf Channel (so far, two on air personalities have cried), it was as standard as a stock wedge from 135. Tiger said he was sorry. He said he felt terrible for what he did. He apologized to the world and to his wife and to his friends. He hugged his mom after the speech concluded. He even touched on the rumors that he did performance enhancing drugs.
What he didn't do for me was change my mind about him. I like Tiger the golfer, but know nothing of Tiger the person. The speech was robotic and planned and, well, standard. If you and I were to sit in a room and plan out what someone like Tiger should say to the world, this would have been it.
A bunch of "I'm sorrys," a few "I feel terribles," and make sure those eyes stay moist.
What we have learned from this speech, and what we mostly knew before, is Tiger is the master at wearing coats. He can put the dominate golfer coat on, the best buddy coat and the public addressing coat. When he needs to be someone, he can be that person, the same way a chameleon changes colors.
Nobody, not even Elin, will know if Tiger has changed. Woods pointed out in his speech that Elin said the truth won't come out until his actions change, and I think that is very true.
What I don't think should happen? I don't think Steve Williams should be fired, as Rick Reilly idiotically proclaimed before the speech (what, this guy is going to rat out Tiger? That would be like me blowing up an ATM that mistakenly gives me $100 bills every time I ask for a $20 and doesn't charge me for it. I'm going back to that ATM no matter the neighborhood.) I don't think Tiger should take too long off of golf. I also don't think he should make much of an appearance again until he's ready to tee it up.
He gave us 13 minutes of his time. That was enough for us to realize that Tiger is still Tiger, we just hope less frisky. Now get back to the driving range, and we can all move on from this mess.