Tiger stood at the podium Friday morning and gave a prepared speech to a limited and question-restricted audience in which he spoke at length about his problems and his path to redemption.,
Although Woods had been criticized for months about his disappearance from public view and chastised in the media for not making a public statement the criticism did not abate with his planned appearance at the PGA headquarters.
Firstly he was slammed for timing his reappearance with the Friday of the Accenture World Match Championship, one of the sponsors that had dropped him early into the scandal, with the feelings that his timing had upstaged the event. Some opined that it was an act of revenge for being dropped by the sponsor. I liked David Feherty’s comment in a CBS interview, that if Tiger was looking for revenge he would be out there winning the Accenture tournament this week..
Then they didn’t like the idea that Tiger would make a statement and there would be no question and answer period afterword. Which breaks their little hearts, but why the hell would Woods set himself up for a bunch of questions that would be provocative in nature and not really relevant to anything other than prurient curiosity.
Prior to the Friday event, Alex Miceli who works as a commentator for the Golf Channel was asked about Tiger’s press conference and went off on a stupid rant about Tiger manipulating the press and being gutless and selfish and how he owed the world an explanation for what he had done.
He owes the world an explanation? What an unadulterated load of garbage. He’s not who he is or where is in the golf world because anyone voted him into the position. He’s there because of his hard work, talent and dedication. He may owe some people an apology and an explanation, but it certainly isn’t Alex Miceli or any of the other media types, and it certainly isn’t “the world”.
There was a lot of crying about the timing of the press conference, in that it was on the Friday of the Accenture tournament and how it took away from that event. Hell, Accenture probably got more publicity in the media that they ever could have hoped for if Tiger had made his appearance the following week.
Actually the timing was pretty brilliant. To begin with, if you want to limit the damage you put out your news on a Friday, where it dies away over the weekend and is old news by Monday. Governments have been doing that with bad news for years. Next, the Olympics are in full swing and much of the major networks’ television time are into that spectacle and there is no time to chatter on about Tiger Woods. The final benefit about going public at that time was that only Letterman is live right now and he’s not doing too many jokes about other peoples’ infidelity problems. Leno’s not back on the air, The Daily Show is on re-runs as is Saturday Night Live. I can’t believe that Tiger’s camp didn’t take a lot of this into consideration.
Manipulative and controlling? That’s supposed to be a crime when you’re dealing with your personal life? They’re all just burned because Woods doesn’t play their game.
Tiger’s biggest challenge will be the first tournaments that he enters when he decides to come back. There will be rabble in the crowds and an embarrassing questions in the press room. But what interest me more is whether that sheen of invincibility will have been removed and whether there will still be that psychological edge against opponents when he is coming down the stretch on Sunday.