My Thoughts on Tiger Woods’ Press Conference

There was great speculation yesterday and today, leading up to Tiger Woods’ press conference. Would he announce that he was returning to golf? Retiring? Splitting from Elin? Some even went so far as to suggest that Elin was pregnant. The press conference ran across the three major television networks and even preempted the Olympics. Can I just say, that’s disgusting. I realize that people are interested in Tiger Woods but, could one station not keep the Olympics running? They do only come around once every four years and there are actually people who are more interested in how their country or favorite athlete is doing, rather than if Tiger is going back to play golf. On with the press conference.

You can listen to the entire press conference here at the Globe and Mail, as well as read an entire manuscript of the speech that was less than fifteen minutes long. If you’re going to read part of it, you may as well read it all so I’ve just given the link. I did watch it as it aired on TV and I went into it very anti-Tiger. I was pretty sure that I knew what he was going to say and that none of it would be good enough. I was partly right. None of it was good enough. But he did surprise me and I have to say, even I was softened a little. But I still think he’s a total douche.

Tiger outright admitted what he did, which was big for me. I didn’t want to hear any veiled admissions such as “the things I’ve done” repeated 20 times. He said no-bones-about-it, “I’ve cheated.” He made all the necessary apologies, to Elin and his kids, to his fans, to the young kids that look up to him, and to his entire family. He also made it very clear that Elin did not beat him over Thanksgiving, nor has anyone ever beaten anyone else in their household. Good to know.

Another thing I admired about Tiger’s speech was that he owned up to the real reason why he cheated: he thought he could. He thought he was better than everyone else and that “the rules didn’t apply to him.” Although he did talk about his “treatment”, he really blamed it on the fact that he’s a cheater and thought he was entitled. Good enough for me.

What I didn’t like about the press conference was that the whole entire thing seemed entirely choreographed. Not surprising, since Tiger’s known as  a PR Mastermind. But it all felt so orchestrated. It’s not that Tiger seemed completely insincere. But it wasn’t a really, truly bottom-of-my-heart kind of apology. Not having notes I think would have helped a lot.

Analysts are already comparing it to famous apology speeches such as Bill Clinton’s and calling it “the greatest apology speech ever.” But still, Elin wasn’t there and I’m sure she’s heard all these things before so apparently, she thinks it has a ways to go yet. And frankly, I don’t blame her for not standing by his side today. Tiger also said that whatever is going to happen between them is a private matter between husband and wife. And that’s fair enough. We’re going to find out sooner or later so there’s no point in prying now.

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