Poor Tiger Woods. So talented. So rich. So pheromonal.
So messed up.
Media reaction to Tiger’s apologia publica Friday has ranged from astonished praise to outright cynicism. As for me, I’m trying to find the middle ground, though it’s not that easy to do. Like newspaper writer and TV bigmouth Stephen A. Smith, I am tending toward mistrust on Tiger’s mea culpa.
It’s not that I don’t think Tiger wants to be apologetic, or try to put a better foot forward, regarding revelations about his marital infidelity. But the whole 14 minutes, despite a few moments of possible credibility, smacked of theater—and not a very convincing brand, either. More like community theater, at best.
One post-show pundit said, “He’s not an actor,” as if that excused Tiger from his awkwardnesses and helped to affirm the authenticity of his address and the feelings behind it.
But the more I watched—CNN and ESPN showed the “press conference” repeatedly—and with his wife, Elin, thunderously NOT present, the more Tiger’s words became "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing" [Macbeth, Act V, Scene V]. Even those carefully scripted crescendos intended to chastise the press for exploiting his wife and kids seemed like somewhat lame attempts to boost his own chivalry despite his obviously most unchivalric situation. Which just made it all look curious.
There was a side of me that actually wondered if Tiger weren’t coming across as sociopathic. Certainly he registered pretty high on the narcissism scale.
Ultimately, I just think this came off as a bad idea that really didn’t work very well. If he had faced a battery of reporters and answered their questions straightforwardly, he’d’ve had a better chance to come off as honest, even if he proved reluctant to answer some questions or even just pled “no comment.”
At a time when Tiger needs to look more human and humble than ever, he came off as robotic and sometimes churlish. (The perfect passive-aggressive cocktail of emotion.)
He made some headway in explaining his situation with Elin—if you believe him, that is—but he still struck out in explaining himself.