10:55 a.m. CNN is prefacing its Tiger Woods coverage with nerve-wracking percussion music and tweets from and interviews with Concerned Citizens (“That makes you laugh. Why does it make you laugh?”).
11:00 a.m. Now, the back of heads. Blue curtain. No sound. All the trappings of high drama!
11:05 a.m. Woods looks sniffly, miserable. Maybe he has a drama coach, or just came out of the steam room.
“Many of you in this room are my friends. Many of you have cheered for me, or you worked with me, or you supported me. Now everyone of you has good reason to be critical of me. I want to say to each of you simply and directly I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in.”
That about covers it. Are we done? Oh hell no.
11:08 a.m. People want to know “how I could be so selfish and so foolish.” He apologizes to everybody: first, “to my wife Elin and my children… My real apology to [Elin] will not come in the form of words.” So, he’s getting her a new mansion? No, “my behavior over time.”
He tells “those of you who worked for me, I have let you down.” Also, he has “caused considerable worry to my business partners.” Also, “my foundation.” And “most importantly, the young students we reach.”
He brags on the foundation a little, though still in a humble, contrite way. Its work “remains unchanged and will continue to grow.” Still, “I am embarrassed that I have put you in this position.”
The money shot — straight to the camera:
“For all I have done, I am so sorry.”
But he has some complaints. Some people have said that “Elin hurt or attacked me” at some point. And “it angers me that people would fabricate a story like that… there has never been an episode of domestic violence in our life, ever… Elin deserves praise, not blame.”
Then, analysis, or at least a deeper level of self-humiliation: “I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that normal rules did not apply to me… I thought only about myself. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to… that I deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me… thanks to money and fame, I didn’t have to go far to find them.” Whoa — wicked burn on his other significant others.
But he’s learned his lesson: “The same boundaries that apply to everyone else apply to me.” He’s just like you, people!
He repeats all the categories of people he’s disappointed, etc, and shows us the light at the end of the tunnel:
“My failures have made me look at myself in a way I never wanted to look at myself before… It’s up to me to start living a life of integrity… It’s not what you achieve in life that matters, it’s what you overcome… Character and decency are what really count.”
To the parents who “used to point to me as a role model for their kids,” he offers “a special apology” — not like the run-of-the-mill ones he just rattled off.
Now some news, or at least confirmation of gossip: “For 45 days, from the end of December to early February, I was in in-patient therapy receiving guidance for the issues I’m facing.”
Obviously that went well, but “I have a long way to go.”
He understands “people have questions — the details and the times I was unfaithful… ” Everyone leans forward in their chairs.
“Please know that as far as I’m concerned, every one of these questions and answers is a matter between Elin and me.” Dang.
Back to complaint mode: Some people says he “used performance-enhancing drugs. This is completely and utterly false.”
Also he attacks the paparazzi. It was wrong for “the media to follow my two-and-a-half-year-old daughter,” pursue his mom, etc. “Whatever my wrongdoings, for the sake of my family, please leave my wife and kids alone.”
Back to groveling: “I have a lot of work to do. I intend to dedicate myself to doing it.”
And of course, key to that is faith in his Lord and Savior Jesus Chr — oh, no wait, Buddhism. “I have drifted away from it in recent years,” he says, but now he’s back with the program. “Buddhism teaches that a craving for things outside of ourselves causes a pointless and unhappy search,” etc.
Along with spiritual help, he’s back to the shrinks. “Starting tomorrow I will leave for more treatment and more therapy… I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don’t know when that will be.”
But “I don’t rule out that it will be this year.” Don’t put that Tiger Woods video game in the closet yet!
Thanking time: Thanks for fan mail, thanks to the PGA, and “I look forward to seeing my fellow players on the course.”
From “the people who believed in me,” he seeks — what, forgiveness? Not exactly. “Your help… find room in your heart to one day believe in me.”
He hugs some people, the deathly silence only interrupted by the machine-gun fire sound of cameras.
“Up Next: Reaction to Tiger Woods!” Veronica Siwik-Daniels’s lawyer immediately complains that Woods hasn’t apologized to her, and reads racy texts from Tiger Woods as the client blubbers. The lawyer points out that Veronica gave up a rewarding life as a porn star for Tiger.
Refresh our memory. Why did we secede from England again?
Update: The Golf Writers Association of America shows some spine.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on February 19, 2010