|Tiger Woods, and the Public Apology.
||[Feb. 19th, 2010|02:10 pm]
I don't care about golf, but it's impossible to avoid Tiger Woods. He's a behemoth in the sporting world. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, LeBron James, Peyton Manning, Wayne Gretzky, Alex Rodriguez .... all titanic individuals of sport. They're on TV, on the front page of the news, on the random internet page, everywhere. You might buy some cologne, eat a hot dog, wear a pair of basketball shoes, shave with a razor, and chances are great that one of these men have or have had an endorsement with your product.
Once again, I was blindsided by Tiger Woods, out of the blue, on the TV. 3 months ago, Tiger disappeared from most public appearances and comments, due to leaked news about his rampant infidelity. As a result, the media increased coverage from previous record-levels. Tabloids got into the mix, and they uncovered every possible instance of cheating. Speculation has devolved to the level of encounters with farm animals.
I watched his press conference, in which he apologized to the entire world. His wife topped the list, and so did his business associates, but I'm not kidding when I say that he took the time to address parents who pointed to him as an example of how their kids should be.
He then detailed his awareness of how wrong his actions were. There weren't excuses in his statements. Tiger addressed the gravity of his errors, in particular with how they've affected his wife, and his life. He mentioned that life isn't about achievements but what you overcome. He mentioned a desire to return to the Buddhist principles on which his mother raised him.
I sensed a desire on his part to transcend the usual marriage separation, but that's up to his wife. His family life won't be the same. You can never fully forget about infidelity. There are certain acts in this world that are called 'sins' by some, but whatever they're called, they're still wrong decisions because they deeply hurt others. Tiger knows he made promises to his wife, ones he didn't keep. However, it was obvious to me that this man was abnormally self-aware of his errors. Who genuinely announces, as a celebrity, that the same rules that apply for everyone also apply to themselves? Most people do not dare to mention this, for fear of having to own up to it. Life is flooded with the opposite. Celebrities often keep their statements vague, or worse. Spit in any direction and hit examples of unique and elite individuals accepting and expressing liberties with rules.
Tiger's press conference was a more respectful and eloquent apology than what I normally view. Most people, be they celebrity or nobody, issue apologies that amount to "I'm sorry I got caught."
There was no mention of a return to golf, and that's appropriate for his key of apology. This is a man who's won a ton of awards. He could stop playing golf forever and have a body of work that is unrivaled for many decades. This is a man who does not really need the sport or the work or the attention, and given his general desire to stay out of the spotlight as much as possible, this absence of detail fits him. If you're more concerned about the next Tiger Woods tournament, then maybe you need to ease down off of your own golfing needs.
I wanted to speculate about what Tiger's future holds, but this is a pass-time I'll avoid in his case. Maybe his marriage ends, maybe she gets half, maybe Tiger never plays golf again, maybe Tiger fails to hold himself to fidelity and the standards of regular people, maybe nothing works out, or maybe some, or maybe all. I hope he achieves his quest to overcome, but if he doesn't, he'll know how people receive him on the news of his 2nd round of grave errors.
I'm not going to bother to waste time with comparison of Tiger to other large sports names. His apology didn't warrant that detail of reasoning. It's clear that he's off to a better start than others of his status.
His surprise press conference, as it started, had irritated me, given the commonplace of such celebrity press conferences on myriad subjects of great public errors. My mind reacted with the common response, not again. The road to the land of genuine apology is paved with the bones of the disingenuous. Because of so many bullshit apologies, my mind has been scripted to strong automatic rejection. I was very close to writing "fuck you Tiger, get off my TV lawn with your crocodile tears, goddamn."
As a celebrity, everyone knows you, and suddenly, everyone knows you fucked up. You can't just 'drop it,' especially if you want to overcome, as Tiger expressed in his words. I say he overcame the first hurdle, the one of typical public apology.
Mind you, I don't like golf. Yet, I know who Tiger is. Death, taxes ... Tiger Woods. Apologies. Apology accepted? Redemption? We shall see.
Ah fuck, I fucked up, fuckin' ... fuuuuck.