Tiger Talks—Sort of
Submissive reporters, dull questions. What else did you expect?
We were really looking forward to today’s news conference by Tiger Woods, hoping that the one-man golf conglomerate might finally bare his soul—or show at least some emotion—in talking about his part in the most astonishing sex scandal in recent history.
Boy, were we disappointed.
We saw a few hopeful signs at the beginning of the news conference, which took place in Augusta, Georgia, two days before the beginning of the Masters tournament, which marks the athlete’s return to professional golf. A sweating Tiger, who appeared to be growing a beard, wiped his face with the back of his arm and took a swig from a bottle (not a sponsor, we presume, since we couldn’t see the label). But though he was probably nervous at the prospect of facing an estimated 180 reporters, he soon calmed down—not because he was able to handle some tough questions, but because he wasn’t getting any.
In fact, it seemed as if the reporters were more concerned about the state of Tiger’s swing than his marriage, his wife, his children or the 14 or so girlfriends who have mesmerized the nation since the athlete’s life unraveled last November.
Oh, yeah, they also wanted to know how Tiger, normally the iciest of competitors, was getting along with his fellow golfers. “It’s amazing how many hugs I’ve gotten from the guys,” Tiger gushed. “And it’s only Monday!” We’ll bet he can hardly wait to see what tomorrow brings.
And how about this hardball question: “What kind of reception have you gotten at Augusta?”
Tiger paused and bared all: “It’s been a great, great day. It touched my heart.”
Too bad he didn’t pay more attention to that particular organ before he started running around on his wife, former model Elin Nordegren, with an assortment of porn stars, escorts and nightclub hostesses. And don’t forget that waitress from Perkins Family Restaurant.
It’s not clear how many reporters in the room were from the vast army of golf reporters that tag along with Tiger on his annual progression through the championship circuit. But one thing’s for sure: there were no real news reporters there. No one to ask him how his wife and family have had any “great, great days” recently. No one to ask whether Elin’s divorcing him, or how he felt that she refused to go to the tournament to support him.
One brave individual asked him why he didn’t talk to police in the weeks following his accident, which occurred after he fled his Florida home during an argument with his wife. “I followed the advice of my lawyer,” he said expressionlessly. “I was following the letter of the law.”
And that’s exactly the kind of answer one can expect from Tiger Inc., who was careful to wear a striped polo prominently displaying the Nike logo (one of his sponsors), and who said he hoped to win back other sponsors who had dropped him. “Hopefully, I can prove to the other companies going forward that I am a worthy investment, that I can help their company, help their company grow and represent them well. I felt like I was representing companies well in the past, but then again I wasn’t doing it the right way because of what I was engaged in.”
Of course, no one asked him to elaborate on exactly what he had been “engaged in”. That would have been too tacky for the rarefied world of professional golf.
The athlete did say that he was a “better person” after his 45 days in rehab (presumably for sex addiction), that he had gone back to his Buddhist roots by meditating with his mother (who hasn’t been too thrilled with him lately) and that he’s going to continue treatment (a sensible move).
And he said that playing golf for the past few years “hadn’t been fun” because he was “living a lie.”
“Now,” he said, “it feels like fun.”
We’re sure his family is really glad to hear that.