So, Tiger Woods will emerge today and try to get himself out of deep personal rough.
The most famous athlete in world, who has been reportedly been treated for sexual addiction after multiple affairs, will emerge for his cocoon and issue a public apology.
There are some problems with this.
The televised apology will be issued to a select group of close friends and three selected pool reporters from the media. Woods will issue a statement and take no questions.
Does a person who has wronged others deserve to dictate the full terms of an apology? Apparently if you’re Tiger Woods, who is following the feeble attempt by Mark McGwire to do so when he admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs years after he set home run records.
Woods and his handlers seem to think this chip shot of an apology gets him back into the fairway as far as sentiments from the public.
A celebrity who issues an apology ought to open himself up to questioning, particularly when he’s among friends and legitimate reporters. The questions will eventually come from less-noble sources.
But it’s typical Tiger, a person who has always been in total control of his actions on the course and who lost control off the course. It’s an attempt to control his image and his environment again.
Wonder if he would have done so if he had not been pressured by his sponsors and handlers, who feel an apology will be enough to get him out of the rough. There has also been pressure from pro golf officials, who feel their sport has taken a major financial hit from the attendance at tournaments and TV ratings with Tiger’s absence from the tour.
Tiger has been the engine that has driven the pro golfer tour. There is no single individual or personality right now who can fill the void.
What is happening is typical of our nature toward heroes and celebrities, whatever the field.
The person has success in his specialty field and becomes a celebrity. It’s human nature to equate that someone who has great success must be a good person and just as successful in other areas. Tiger and his handlers cultivated that image, throwing up a giant barrier and smokescreen to a private life that was much different than the image. Tiger used that image to make much more money off that image, from endorsements and sponsorships, than he did on the course.
Now, he’s apparently thinking a staged apology in a contrived setting with no accountability questions will wipe a lot of the taint off that image.
An appearance by Elin, his spurned wife, and his children might enhance the refocusing of that image.
And it might work — at least to an extent.
It’s interesting that Tiger’s "apology event occurs" right in the middle of the Accenture PGA tour event in Arizona. Accenture was one of the first sponsors to drop him.
Tiger knows his apology will dominate the weekend news and shove the tour event, a minor one away, farther into the shadows. People will be talking more about Tiger Woods this weekend than any golfer in Arizona.
This seems a clear in-your-face setup by Tiger, designed to show that the control master is regaining control while taking a slap at a sponsor that was quick to cut him loose.
Beyond what happens today, if Tiger returns to the tour, he will have to mingle with his fellow golfers (many of whom are angry and resentful of him) and face questions about his past from reporters, many of whom won’t be kind or have noble agendas.
What we will see today will be a Tiger and pony show.
We’ll see if this show means a fresh start in a sport or merely part of a circus.
(Sports columnist David McCollum can be reached at 505-1235 or firstname.lastname@example.org)