Does it matter that Tiger Woods said nothing?
Apparently there is some dissatisfaction with the limitations of Tiger’s speech. Well what exactly were you expecting? It was a “press conference” that allowed few press and no conferencing whatsoever. No questions, no dialogue, no extemporaneous speaking. Basically, there are high school debates that have a more enthralling back and forth. The only thing that could’ve spiced up what we just watched is if someone had released an actual tiger in the room. The “Elin never hit me” moment was somewhat unexpected, and the painstaking overly rehearsed head nod followed by “Elin deserves praise, not blame” was an awkward majesty. But overall, this was obviously a heavily scripted affair. And deep down, do any of us really care?
If I could sum up the public’s reaction to Tiger’s speech today, it would be “yeah, that’s nice. Let me know when he starts texting, because that’s the good stuff.” We know the apology speeches will be lame, and we accept it as a trade off for the awesome US Weekly soap opera that comes before and after. Reporters however are still filled with righteous indignation. Journalists from Japan, Australia, Norway, and Switzerland were in the building for Tiger’s brief apology fest, and I would love to know what their editors were thinking. Is it really worth a ticket to the US to see a slightly revised version of the same speech celebrities have given hundreds of times by now?
“I’m terribly sorry for whatever harm I have caused. It was not my intention to let my fans or family down. Though I try to be perfect on the field, sometimes in life I can not…..”
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz — whoa! Sorry. I fell asleep. The celebrity then mumbles about an addiction to painkillers/alcohol/sex/success (steroids)/reruns of the Golden Girls and are whisked off into a mystical rehab setting where they drink mai tais for a month then return to society. We civilians are OK with this arrangement. We love the gossip and the pictures and the funny late night jokes. Yet the press continues to cover these stories with breathless indignation. I have no idea why.
All week on talk radio and ESPN I’ve heard reporters complain about their lack of access to Tiger. “We deserve to ask questions!” “The public has a right to answers”, they say in between bites of their meatball hoagies. Well…no we don’t have a right to answers. And we know that. We’ll take what we can get, and if it comes out in a salacious TMZ headline in three weeks, we’re totally cool with those terms. In fact, that’s probably what we prefer. The sports writers’ involvement really doesn’t interest us. But for some reason they’re upset on our behalf. Heck, the Golf Writers of America protested today’s speech. Lo the brazen souls who dare defy the powerful Golf Writers of America enterprise! Tiger played this relationship nicely, turning on the reporters in his speech and telling them to back off his family. Woods gets what journalists don’t: you’re not the story, reporters. Tiger Woods, his cellphone, and his trumped up addiction to sex is the story. Get out of the way. Tiger is ours, and we’ll decide what we care about.