35 years in the news business, I have been blown off, disrespected, misled and flat-out
lied to by small-town public officials, cops, career politicians, movie stars,
best-selling authors, coaches and athletes from a variety sports and bosses in
my own newsrooms.
is, I like to think I have to bow to no man when it comes to being a cynic.
after reading and listening to some of the I-ain't-buying-it backlash directed at Tiger Woods'
public apology this past Friday, cynically speaking, I feel like a rube, a
naive babe in the woods.
are all over the internet. Bill
Simmons at ESPN.com, Sally
Jenkins in the Washington Post, Stephen
A. Smithin the Philadelphia Inquirer, John
Hopkinsin the Timesof London, just to name a few.There are plenty more where they from, each one meaner and
more skeptical than the other.
don’t get it.Me, I watched Tiger for
those 13½ minutes and could not stop thinking about how shamed,
humiliated and broken he appeared.Gone was the confident, cocky golfer who was always so full of himself
in the hundreds of press conferences and interviews of his I sat through. I saw
no hint of defiance in his eyes.They appeared dull and lifeless, his strength and spirit sapped.
such a proud man, I could not imagine the humiliation of having to stand before
you, me, his mom and the world and admit, essentially, that he was a no good,
lyin’ fraud – anything but the image of invulnerable, impenetrable
perfection he projected for so long.
agree totally with the prevailing observation that he seemed nervous, stilted,
over-prepared and over-rehearsed, right down to the well-timed pauses and
glances into the camera for dramatic effort.
he coached?You bet.Was he wooden and awkward?Yes, painfully so.
how anyone can say that his confession was disingenuous or not from the heart
– whatever is left of Tiger’s heart – is beyond me.How do they know that?What could they see that I couldn’t see?
don’t mean to be soft on Tiger.Because of his
peerless abilities and accomplishments on the golf course, he has been allowed
to behave like an entitled, arrogant ass for too long. This mess is entirely of
his own making, and he deserves every bit of the misery he has caused himself.
that matter, add me to the list of folks who think he and his people have
bungled this disaster from the beginning, trying to control this like he has
controlled everything else.He
only compounded his problems by waiting so long to show his face and, once he
finally did, he could have done without the gratuitous reminders of the good
work his foundation does or his little lecture to the media.
problem is not the media in general, by the way, it’s the tabloids and
celebrity websites, who are joyously feasting on Tiger like he was some hapless
wildebeest they chased down on the African plain.How a man who has been in the public eye and dealt with the
media for so long can be so oblivious to their needs, wants and relentless
determination is inconceivable.
orchestrated as it was, was boycotted by the Golf Writers Association of America, of
which I am a long-time member.Our
beef was that the three hand-picked reporters who were invited by Tiger’s
people would not be allowed to ask questions, thereby reducing them to mere
props in his little one-act play.
is, before he was finished, Tiger said most of the things I thought he needed to say, and he
answered most of the questions I had. I don’t think he owes us the seamier
details and, frankly, I don’t want to hear them.
I believe Tiger
did himself some good in the PR department with his statement, I don’t
think for a moment he has put sorry chapter behind him.Not a chance.When he returns to golf -- whenever and wherever that turns
out to be – the reporters and the questions will be waiting.The man who for so long dictated
the terms of interviews will find a very changed media landscape.
Tiger is still the best
golfer in the world, but we no longer have any illusions about who he is as a
man.For now, at least, when he
says he is sorry, I am willing to take him at his word.Like his wife says, the real proof will
be in the way Tiger
lives the rest of his life.
I, too, thought I was about as cynical as anyone could get. And yet there I was buying into Tigerís apology. Actually, compared to the usual Mark McGuire-esque apologies to which we have become accustomed, I thought Tigerís was as real and raw as one could get. But when I read the writers you mentioned and others, I felt like a chump, a naif, a rube. Now, though, I hear heís hitting balls and getting ready for the Tavistock Cup and The Masters. If that happens, I guess, that anyone who bought Tigerís apology really is a chump, a naif, and a rube.
The Tiger Woods that stood before us for 13
minutes today was shamed, humbled shell of his former self.He needed to be, and he was.
apology to his wife Elin, their kids, his mother Tida,
his friends, extended family, sponsors and fans was long in coming – too
long – it felt genuine and sincere, and Tiger, emotional at times, had a
well-earned tear in the corner of his eye.
"I was unfaithful.I had affairs.I cheated.What I did was unacceptable, and I am the only person to
blame," he said, framing the problem perfectly.
It was good to hear Tiger
concede that "fame and wealth" made him feel that the rules of life that apply
to the rest of us didn’t apply to him.It was good to hear him admit that there is nobody to blame but himself
for the mess he is in.
There was a complete absence
of arrogance, which was refreshing coming from a man known for just that.In fact, no matter what you think of
what he did, you’d have to be as cold-hearted and cynical as they come not to
be able to musteer a little compassion after that
Of course,as Tiger himself said, he can talk the talk, but
now he’s got to walk the walk."As
Elin pointed out to me, my real apology to her will
not come in the form of words," he said."It will come from my behavior over time."
If I had to nitpick, I’d say
at first he seemed, well, a little stiff and wooden, no doubt as a result of
nerves and embarrassment; he seemed a little more at ease once he looked up and
spoke directly into the camera.I
could have done without the lecture to the media, considering it is a very
small segment of the tabloid and gossip media that has been giving him fits.
Tiger is kidding himself if he thinks he’s not going to eventually have to
stand before the media and answer questions.
But over all, Tiger Woods
did himself a world of public relations good today.Now, let’s see if he really means it.
When Tiger Woods makes his grand
reappearance on Friday, he plans to make a statement but take no questions from
the few, hand-picked members of the media in the room.As always, he wants to be in control.
Well, I’ve got a few
questions, and you’ve probably got a few of your own.
How about these for a
1. What the hell were you
2. Other than that rehab
clinic in Mississippi, where have you been?It’s easier to find Osama bin Laden?
3. Are you cured or
4. If you were Elin,
5. Do you really, truly want
to salvage the marriage?
6. If you were a golf fan,
would you take you back?
7. Do you understand the
shock, disappointment and betrayal your fans and the sports world feel?
8. It’s hard not to notice
that Elin is a beautiful, classy woman, not to mention the mother
of your two children, while the women you ran with on the side were largely skanks.What was that about?
9. Come to think of it, why
no women of color?You prejudiced?
10. Why have you remained
silent for so long?
11. You have shamed not only
yourself but the entire game of golf.Do you have a long-range plan to make amends?
12. How did you pull this
whole secret, parallel life thing off?
13. Who around you
knew?Do you plan to fire
them?If not, why not?
14. Tell the truth, did Elin
catch you in the kisser that night with that golf club?
15. Can your mother ever
forgive you?Do you think
your father would be proud?
16. From everything we’ve
seen, you had fine parents and stable, loving upbringing.Could you please make some effort at
explaining your behavior?
17. When you do return, do
you think fans who heckle you at golf tournaments should be removed by security
or do you think you have it coming?
18. Do you think you are a
sex addict or merely the world’s worst narcissist?
Why would anyone even bother to attend or watch TWís "presentation" Friday. Any reporters who go to a hotel a mile away are stupid. The man continues to hide behind a shield to continue his phony image. Will "Mr. Clean" propose a refund of the royalaties to the "fans" who bought products he profited from?
To everyone who stopped by
our booth at the North Coast Golf Show, thank you.
The just-ended annual show
at the Expo
Center in Oaks was our first real effort to promote and market MyPhillyGolf
and the response was favorable and incredibly gratifying.Our director of advertising, Paul LaPotin, and I passed out more
informational postcards and golf pencils bearing the website logo.
Now that you’ve found MyPhillyGolf,
we will do our best to give you reason add it to your list of "Favorites" and
return day after day, even in the dead of winter.
My vision for this website
was to offer news and information but, more importantly, to give golfers in the
region a place where they can meet and talk to each other, to share their
passion for the game and their thoughts on people, issues and courses to play
As I pointed out to golfers
at the golf show, under "Course Finder,"MyPhillyGolf empowers you to write your own reviews of courses you
play.Under the "Discussion
Boards," you can start a conversation about any golf topic under the sun.
As you explore MyPhillyGolf,
if you come across something you don’t understand, or if you have an idea you’d
like to suggest, please let me know in an email.
If the gossip website Radar
is correct and Tiger Woods has
indeed left the Gentle Path sex
addiction rehab clinic in Hattiesburg, Miss., well, who among us doesn’t wish
him the best?
Forget for the moment his
return to golf; the man has his work cut out for him earning his wife’s trust
and forgiveness.His mother’s, too.The kids are probably too young to know
what’s going on. What his millions of fans around the world will feel upon his
return is probably a mixed bag.
The men I talk to, for the
most part, shrug and say, "That fool screwed up big time."
On the other hand, knowing
the temptations Tiger likely faced
on a daily basis, men also seem to be more willing to eventually close the door
on this ugly chapter.That door
will close all the quicker if Tiger’s return, whenever it is, is highlighted by
an victory of Secretariat
Women, they’re another
story.The women I’ve talked to
don’t seem nearly so ready to forgive and forget.They think Tiger
is a rotten, low-down dirty dog, and they seethe with rage over the shock, betrayal
and humiliation Elin must have felt.Can Tiger earn back female fans’ trust and respect, let alone Elin’s?Women shake their heads.Not likely.
A newspaper in Melbourne,
Australia purports to have inside info that Tiger will return to action in mid-February at the Accenture Match Play Championship.Don’t count on it. For one thing, Tiger has never been a big fan of match
play, even if he has won it three times.If that tournament wasn’t one of the World Golf Championship events, he’d like skip it every year.
For another thing, the
sponsor, Accenture, was one of the
early corporations to publicly dump its endorsement deal with Tiger, saying he "no longer fit the
company’s image." Tiger, a
well-known holder of grudges, will not be doing Accenture any favors anytime soon.
also a given that when Tiger does
return to golf, we will want to make a statement by winning and winning
big.You know, show’em that
the High Sheriff is back in town. Unless
he has been secretly pounding balls by moonlight out behind the Gentle Path clinic, even the great Tiger is going to need some time to
knock the rust off his game.
What is unknowable at this
point is what Tiger is thinking, or
what he wants from golf and life from this point forward.We’ll find out soon enough, but not
before Tiger is ready to tell us.
Word just in from Golf
Channel that the network is launching a morning show, beginning in January.
Here’s the full
Fla. (Sept. 15, 2010)
– Golf Channel announced today
that it has greenlit the network’s first-ever morning
show. Tentatively titled Dawn
Patrol and currently in development, the show is slated to debut in
to air live, weekdays from 7-9 a.m. ET
from Golf Channel’s Orlando, Fla.,
studios, the show will feature news and commentary on the biggest sports and
news stories of the day.
a news/talk show format, the sports-driven morning show will place an emphasis
on golf while also offering a fresh perspective on topical news, sports and pop
program will feature field reporting and an array of in-studio guest
appearances from a variety of industries. Golf
Channel currently is searching nationwide to cast the program’s two
wanted to introduce a morning show to Golf
Channel for a number of years and felt that now was the right time," said Tom Stathakes,
Golf Channel senior vice president
of programming, production and operations. "Tackling everything from Tiger Woods to Brett Favre, the show’s format will be unlike anything we’ve done
before and we are very excited to be launching it in 2011."
The latest edition of the National Enquirer is out with
more juicy tales about Tiger.
In the Feb. 8, Nat Enq (The main
cover story is Oprah
& Stedman’s BIG GAY LIE EXPOSED!), the tabloid reports:
-- "I hate myself," or so Tiger is
said to have cried out during a "total breakdown" the day before wife Elin
was scheduled to arrive in Hattiesburg, Miss., for a five-day visit, at Gentle Path
sex addiction center.
-- The magazine said that as
Week" drew closer, during which Tiger must come clean to Elin
about his affairs, he became increasingly "freaked out" and "emotional" and wanted to leave the sex
addiction facility.‘I can’t do
this," cried Tiger,
according to one source
The tabloid quoted a "close
source" as saying, "It scared the hell out of Tiger that he had to confess to his
wife that there are more women in his past than the list of bimbos she knows about."
If you’ve lost count, the
current tally is 19 and counting.
-- For the first two weeks at GentlePath, Tiger had a
room to himself but he now has a roommate, and the "lack of privacy has started
to get to him."
-- For a time, he was
working out in the mornings at a local YMCA, until the photographers began hanging
out near the center.
-- Gentle Path experts are concerned that Tiger is
"not accepting full blame for his fall – and the golfer points to Elin
as part of the problem," a source told the tabloid.Tiger reportedly said he became "weak" out of sexual frustration.
-- Tiger is filled with shame, the source
told the Enquirer,
and he is "afraid to go out in public and play golf again, because he believes
everyone who thought he was a hero now views him as a low-life."
-- Tiger is "itching to get home" but he
fears that the Gentle
Path staff will insist that he stay longer than most other patients.Desperate to save his marriage, he will
do whatever they request.