Tiger Speaks, Everyone Listens

These are my initial thoughts immediately after listening to, and then seeing the press conference held by Tiger Woods this morning.  I’m not going to write a 1,500 word breaking down every single thing.  This is a quick-write up to put the press conference and his remarks into perspective.

After nearly 2 1/2 months of seclusion, Tiger Woods made his first public appearance this morning to apologize for committing infidelity in his marriage and tarnishing his reputation.  The full statement is here.

I listened to the initial interview, and then I watched it.   I’m no psychologist, body language expert, or a speechwriter, but here are a few things that stood out to me.

-Woods has never been a person who is going to give a long speech.  He gives short answers and doesn’t spend time talking about anything but the game of golf. He didn’t look comfortable and it showed.  For Woods, this was difficult, simply that he had to talk about something outside of golf.

For the critics, let’s end this crap about “well, it appears he didn’t write this.”  Of course not, you idiots.  Who does?  The President doesn’t write his speeches.  Jimmy Kimmel doesn’t write all of his jokes.  Can we stop whining about that?

I know what it’s like if I have to speak in front of an audience.  I’m a stutterer.  I can talk to anyone in an one-on-one setting and stutter a bit.  Stand in front of a microphone?  I will stutter a lot.

-Unlike Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire, elected officials, and others, Woods didn’t assign blame to anyone for his actions.  He took the blame for himself.  He said that repeatedly throughout the nearly 14 minute statement. Do you think Clemens has ever uttered “my bad” for using steroids?  No.  It was his wife’s fault, or Brian McNamee, or whoever.  McGwire blamed the “era.”  The “era” didn’t point a gun to his head and told him to take steroids.

-“Why did I do it?  Beacuse I could and I was entitled.”  Thank you Tiger for saying something no one wanted to admit and the public didn’t want to acknowledge.  Athletes, entertainers, and elected officials have a level of power and fame that offers them stuff that regular folks will not and can’t not get.  VIP parties, debauchery, vacation homes, et cetera. High-profile celebrities from all walks of life have never had anyone tell them “no”, and can do things we can only wished we could.  It’s a different set of rules for the individuals.

-Anyone who says they don’t care about this presser (press conference) and the hoopla around it, they are lying, in my eyes.  You do care.  It’s what brings you back to the story.  You do care to see when Tiger returns to the golf course.

An example:  I never watched Jersey Shore from start to finish.  I don’t care much for the show, but I am always intrigued about the people on that show and what they do on and off the camera.

That’s what casual fans do.  They tune in and out and is just as interested in something even when they don’t want to.

-Someone wrote on Twitter earlier today that they didn’t care at all about Tiger and his problems, as long as he picks up his 3-iron, gets back on the course, and plays golf.   If all you care about is to have him hurry up and play golf so that you can watch golf again, you’re not a fan, and you sure as hell isn’t a casual fan.  You’re a selfish bastard in my book.  Tiger Woods isn’t going out there to chip balls into the cup to make you feel good about watching golf.

You don’t care about what he is going through as an individual, because you never went through it.  You care about him resuming his playing career, so that you can buy his clubs, his shirts, and follow his every move.

The most important thing Tiger Woods has to do now is to re-earn the trust of those he let down.  It’s a long road to gain respect and trust again from people who defended you, only to learn that you did something wrong.

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