Last Friday, Tiger Woods spoke. Finally. He said what you would expect him to say. He said what he should have said.
He mucked up – terribly. He did awful things to his wife and behaved in an irresponsible manner. We’ve been over it; porn stars have made allegations, escorts, etc. The man’s reputation is ruined. This is no Kobe — there will be no court hearings, no opportunities for acquittal. In the eyes of the public-at-large, he has pled guilty — numerous times.
So, yes, let’s move on, let’s not let him off the hook, let’s not dismiss what he did; let’s just take a breath. If he plays in the Masters, I’ll question it. I’ll say it’s too soon and he needs more time. But for now, there’s no reason to say anything. It is time to find another media distraction to feast upon.
But, no, of course not. This is not the reaction.
“He was a robot!”
“Didn’t even act human! What a control freak!”
“Nothing ever changes about this guy!”
I don’t really know what people expected from Tiger Woods, but it’s probably on par with expecting Barry Bonds to poke a hole in his biceps, deflate his superhuman balloon muscles, switch to second base and try to hack his way through the minor leagues with the skill set of Tony Womack, all with the hopes of restoring his (and baseball’s) tarnished image.
The people who criticized Tiger’s press conference would have said the same thing no matter what. These people apparently are unfamiliar with what we on Earth call “prepared statements.” Tiger’s been out of the public eye for four months, do you think he’s going to get up there and answer questions for some hack from the Detroit Free Press about whether or not he fertilized some porn star?
But, they’ll insist he’s a robot…because he read off the page. Never mind the fact that he looked tired; never mind the fact that his voice shook or that his eyes were heavy. He wasn’t human enough for them. Whatever that means. I’ve tried to ask his critics (namely, a fellow Kevin on campus) about how someone can act human, and they’ll either respond with more platitudes or an article by Bill Simmons or a similar ESPN employee.
Again, they don’t even know.
And who the hell should be surprised at this point if Tiger Woods lacks the candidness you or I possess? Tiger is not normal. He’s been coached for the media since he was a child. He’s been ready for the limelight since he was six years old. Other than Tiger’s inability to process risk/reward in his sex rampages, the most surprising thing in all of this is that it didn’t come out earlier. How can that many people have sex with Tiger Woods and not come out?
Given Tiger’s history, if you’re still surprised at Tiger’s ability to read a statement off the page with “robotic” cadence and confidence, I expect to see you outside on Post lawn Friday morning at 5:45 a.m., arms outstretched, mouth open, eyes shielded, aghast at the change from night to day.
“Oh, boy, how does it happen?” you’ll ask.
I’ll just shake my head and reply, “It just does.”