Friday, February 19, 2010

Saturday's Washington Post column - 'Tiger Woods's half-apology'

One of the things that make an athlete great is extraordinary arrogance. The best of the best always believe they will find a way to overcome adversity, to pull off the shot that can't be pulled off, to find a way to win when losing appears inevitable. No one has defined that arrogance more clearly over the past 14 years than Tiger Woods, who has dominated golf since he turned pro in 1996.

On Friday morning, Woods came out of hiding. Exactly 12 weeks after the early-morning accident that led to revelations that he had repeatedly been involved in extramarital affairs, Woods appeared in public for the first time to say he was sorry.

He apologized to almost everyone he had ever crossed paths with. He looked sad and choked up at times. He said that he had learned from his mistakes and is still learning after spending 45 days in a rehabilitation center -- though he never specifically mentioned where he had gone seeking help. He tried very hard to sound humbled.

He didn't pull it off.

Click here for the rest of the story: Tiger Woods's half-apology


Anonymous said...

Wow, you so predictable. I hope you don't do anything wrong in your life.

mdb said...

I agree with Anonymous above. You had this post locked and loaded as soon as you got off the phone with Kornheiser yesterday. You just had to wait for the formality of Tiger's speech before you could go ahead and rip him. I am not a fan of Tiger, but I think he did a good job in taking responsibility for what he did.

I do not know if Tiger will change with this vacation he has taken, but I have seen people change before. I believe it is unbecoming of you to go on record and rip Wilbon for not being a journalist because he has rose colored glasses when you are so bitter that you cannot report the world for what it is either.

Freddy said...

For anonymous...did you read the entire column, or just this snippet? The full tone of the column was actually fairer than I thought Feinstein would come with. I don't even know where I fall on this whole saga, but I do know that Woods is crazy if he thinks he'll never have answer questions on anything non-golf. He ended his speech by saying he hopes we all believe in him again, so he acknowledges our desire/need to know SOMETHING about non-golf issues.

Since that's the case, there is no way to live a completely separated public and private life.

Andrea Johnson said...

your rant on golf channel is silly and hypocritical. He's in therapy, he's going through a process, it takes time. He doesn't know when he will be able to come back because no one can predict how long that process will take. You are hypocritical because you had no problem writing about the size of John Daly's dick and how he used it in your book, and by doing so you condone the same behavior you're criticizing Tiger for.

Anonymous said...

Um, Andrea, I think you have the one writer when speaking of John Daly's privates....I think it was Rick Reilly.

JT in Durham, ME said...

Are you people for real? Woods' dog-and-pony show this morning was an absolute farce. It was an appalling exercise in self-indulgence and martyrdom, and nothing more. Feinstein may be a shade cynical -- an occupational hazard for scribes who, by definition, spend their lives becoming sadder and wiser -- but he's not bitter. Rather, he calls it like he sees it and he's usually spot-on. "Tiger the Buddhist?" "Tiger the sincere?" "Tiger, victim of the media and the malady of sex -- or whatever -- addiction?" *RETCH*

JJ said...

That was the worst "presentation" of an apology I have ever seen. If Tiger thinks that will help him repair his image, he is insane.

SW said...


Wow. What can i say? I've almost always seen you as a great journalist who clearly sees issues and has a great sense of right. Not here, from your article - clearly your big issues are that he didn't take questions and/or open up this press conference to other media, and that 'i have alot to overcome' statement from TW was without context from a person with an entitled life.

Really? Are you that cynical to have not seen the emotion and pain in this person? let me say, i've NEVER been a Tiger fan...not because of anything personal, i just like to root for the underdog, it's more fun. But, i watched this press conference and i literally said 'god bless you, hang in there' when he was done. True, parts seemed scripted -but you can't expect him to change overnight. Clearly he is a shattered man, trying to put his life back together. He is relying on his faith, or better yet, turning back to it. Give the guy a break, for the first time in his life, he is living in reality. It may not be YOUR reality (media/press conference) etc, but it's a start. Everybody should stop the overdone 'analysis' of his apology, and simply let one flawed man heal.

Geoff said...

If the point of this announcement is only to apologize, why does it have to be public? I know that plenty of people are curious about what is going on, but how many people have really been harmed by Woods' actions? Certainly not so many that private apologies wouldn't work. It is pretty arrogant for Woods to believe that millions of people care about his apologies, but arrogance is par for the course for him.
I'm in the cynical camp on this one. I think that there is some motivation for this circus other than an apology, and whatever that motivation is, I'm being lied to about it.

Gunnar said...

I agree with John's column.

It looks like these comments are down the middle, like some of the polls of his performance. Just before Tiger came to the podium, I heard Rick Reilly describe the blue curtains in the room, as looking like a puppet show. It was a puppet show. An infomercial. He seems to still think he can control his image, and he is sadly mistaken. His IMG handlers have given him terrible council. The real audience for this script was to his remaining corporate partners, and potential future corporate partners.

Bill Simmons wrote a very funny blow by blow of the Tiger script.

Gordon said...


I'm not so sure your being fair. Perhaps your allowing your bias against Tiger to color your opinion of yesterday. Given the manner he and "team Tiger" has treated you and others it's understandable but at the same time I think your not giving him enough credit.

I expected the worst and got something in between. He was far more sincere and contrite than I expected. The "Nobody knows what it's like to be me" lecture never came. Neither did the "I'm sorry and I'll be black at (fill in the blank tournament) never came either.

He owned everything. As for his outburst at the media for hounding his wife and kids it was more than justified. Both are victims. They should be left alone.

He seemed genuinely broken , as well he should be. As for it being scripted, it had to be. No one could have done it any other way. to me he was surprisingly sincere. He is after all Tiger and never has been anything other than scripted.

Imagine how hard it would be to be in front of your mother and having to admit in front of millions your indiscretions. He needed to say what he said and in a public forum. At this stage, given that he is going back into rehab, I'm not sure what purpose questions would serve. That said , he will have to answer questions eventually if for no other reason than to take the heat off every other PGA player and to at least make it a one ring circus when he returns.

Three things I did believe
1. The timing was not to send Accunture a message.
2. There was no domestic violence.
3. He didn't use PEDs

I'll give him the benefit of the doubt unless IMG continues to represent him and Steve Williams returns on the bag. If he separates himself from all his enablers we'll know he's sincere. If not then it's just more of the same.

And if he magically shows up at the Masters then it WAS all a shame.

He does deserve a second chance. He's lost almost everything he worked his whole life for. He'll never get back what he once had so thats penalty enough.
Basically al he has now is money. And what he lost money can't buy.

We will all see if he does "respect the game" and will change.

For his sake I hope so and I'm sort of rooting for him.

TJS said...

I'm kind of surprised that John is taking this much heat for his column today. This is who John is and this is why we keep coming back to this site, because as usual, he is right on target. Personally, I do not care what Tiger did, his only job for me is to entertain me on the golf course and win 19 majors so I get to enjoy wathcing the best ever to play the game. But analysis of his statement is fair game and while I have no reason to question his sincerety, what jumped out was his anger towards the media and his feeling they are the ones to blame here.

Mark said...

Why does anyone care in the slightest about Mr. Woods apologizing for personal transgressions? I mean, really. Do you honestly think he gives a damn about what any of us think? Is this apology supposed to make us all feel better?

Another thing. Why are we so concerned about his wife and kids? While some empathy for their situation is fine, the fact is that families in this country and elsewhere are broken up every day without anyone raising an eyebrow. Why is this particular family suddenly the poster family for a busted marriage? I am sure they will survive, but the constant attention does not help.

Eldrick Woods is a GOLFER. Period. A great golfer, perhaps the greatest, but just a golfer. He is no better or worse than any other human being. He owes me no apology. I hope he comes back to golf but life will go on for all of us regardless.

Dan Green said...

Dear Anonymous,
Wow, you so predictable. You are always an anonymous weenie.

Going back to 1996 Feinstein's been just about the only golf writer with the stones to report the facts on Woods. Most are afraid of his power, which is still significant.

Dan Green

John Caccese said...

Count me as one of the skeptics. It is difficult to think the timing for his announcement was anything other than a cheap shot at Accenture. Why else wouldf you pick the timing to coincide with the middle of your former sponsor's tournament? I was sick and tired of having to look at scrolling quotes from Woods' remarks on the Golf Channel when I should have been looking at match by match scrolling updates.

Why not do his announcement on a Monday morning when he was done with rehab? Why not show a little respect for his fellow competitors?

Why not take questions? One hour or less of questions and the writers have nowhere else to go after that. Why allow any writers at all if he wasn't going to take questions?

All Woods did was to show his arrogance. Go away, Tiger.

The Tinamou said...

Since one of Tiger's original objectives was to cultivate a
revenue-generating image, it can be no surprise that he'd take an
apology-heavy approach in reconstructing it.

Tiger = Toyota

Howie said...

Having read Feinstein's column and heard his comments on 980 AM radio this past week, his vitriol towards Tiger Woods seems over the top. I can't help but feel that there is something personal going on here. Is this payback, because over the years Woods has not accorded Feinstein the respect and access which Feinstein feels he deserves?

Feinstein seems enraged because Woods had the temerity to read a prepared statement on Friday, but not take questions from the media. However, Woods' Friday statement was never billed as a "press conference." It was simply a public statement from Woods. Knowing that, members of the media could make a judgement whether or not to cover the event. If some reporters chose not to attend because Woods would not take questions, that's fine - that's their choice to make.

Although Feinstein acts as if Woods had some type of moral obligation to take questions from the press on Friday, that's nonsense. Woods may have a moral obligation to answer questions from his wife or mother, but not from John Feinstein or other golf writers.

Its interesting that, prior to Woods' Friday statement, Feinstein was predicting that, as part of Woods' cynical plan, he would be back on the tour within a few weeks, probably at the Bayhill tournament. Feinstein cited this predicted scenario as evidence of that Woods is not sincerely committed to his rehabilitation therapy. If it turns out that, in fact, Woods does not return to golf for most, or all, of this year, will Feinstein issue his own statement of apology?

Mike the Virginian said...

Hey John, your beef seems to be he wouldn't take questions from the press. Big deal, most of the questions I hear from the press are embarrassingly bad. And this idea of the paid representatives of the people (i.e. the press), seems a bit much. I don't need paid representatives. A video feed and/or a transcript is all I need. I can judge for my self the value of his apology.