That’s my quick and simple question in response to the blowhard criticisms of Tiger Woods’ statement from Friday.
Woods did precisely what we expected on Friday with a couple of twists – his references to Buddhism and the brief sidebar about PEDs.
Would people be happier if he’d pulled off a character of Chappellian majesty, jumped up to the microphone and yelled, “I’m rich, B****!” or emerged from behind the curtain with a couple of women on his arm? Would Woods chastising people and telling them of his economic impact on the sport and their lives have been the way to go.
Sure, it would have been interesting. But again, I ask “What did you expect?”
You saw a nervous man, out of his element as an elite athlete and pitchman … out of his status as sporting icon of mythic proportion. There were no putts or drives to be made, no steely gazes down the fairway while evaluating the next shot.
There was a camera, a small gallery and a listening audience on television and radio that probably matched domestic numbers for the Super Bowl.
What? You didn’t like the piece of paper?
Seriously, that’s the criticism? After three months of rampant speculation, hundreds of hours of tabloid television and countless rags sold on the newsstand, you expected Woods and his team to put him in front of a microphone and wing it?
You get one shot. Having Woods come to the podium and speak extemporaneously would have been disastrous. Every pause or re-start of a sentence would be criticized. Imagine the fallout if he’d forgotten someone or didn’t circle back to his wife and children frequently enough.
There are already people doing the word-for-word breakdown and counts on words used to address his wife and children, his sponsors, foundation, and so on.
Hell, let’s have your local newscasters or politicians run without a teleprompter for a day. Tell me how that works for you.
I understand that the writers who cover the PGA wanted to be there and have their say and ask questions. I understand that they are vested in these athletes’ lives and the workings of the tour. I do.
I just don’t know that there was but one question that needed to be asked.
“When are you coming back?”
Alas, we didn’t get the answer to that one.
Perhaps a second question, relating to his statement about the lack of a physical confrontation with Elin (something most give no credence), that addressed any possible physical or psychological blocks to be overcome in his return and where he’s been would be appropriate.
I’m not sure what other questions are relevant.
• Woods’ whereabouts for the past three months are nobody’s business.
• Details of Woods’ treatment are nobody’s business. He could be receiving shock therapy or a version of the torture in “A Clockwork Orange” and it’s nobody’s business.
• Woods’ sexual proclivities in the bedroom or hotel room or wherever else are nobody’s business.
I could just see it. “Hi, Mister Woods. Mike Harmon from Swollendome.com. When you were with Mistress No. 3, were you a standing or laying down kind of guy? Did you make her call you Eldrick to switch things up.”
“Do you have a LONG or a SHORT game?”
“If you were a tree …”
I understand the curiosity. I understand the spectacle given the power of tabloid shows, websites and reality television.
On another level, I understand the financial ramifications of this issue, the most intriguing portion of this story in my opinion.
• How does Woods rebuild his brand?
• How does the PGA Tour get back on track, and how quickly can Tiger be reinserted as the face of the Tour?
• What will it take to get sponsors back on board for tournaments?
• What will the new contracts look like?
Questions regarding morality clauses and reclaiming funds from those previous contracts can be shipped off to the respective former sponsors. If the clauses were there, how much of their cash are they recouping?
You can ask tour officials and other golfers about the dollars lost in Woods’ absence. I don’t know that you’re going to get much of an answer, as we’re all too aware of his impact on television ratings, attendance and such.
Let’s be real. I don’t know what you were looking for in Woods’ statement from Friday. If you felt that he owed you an apology, then I hope you got what you wanted. Unless you were financially impacted by the move, with bonuses or jobs lost because of the inactivity of the past three months, then I feel for you.
If you propped Woods up on Mount Olympus and made him a god, then I think another valuable lesson was learned. He’s a human being, and all of the trappings of a Shakespearian tragedy played out.
You know what happened. Fantasize about the details if you must because you’re not going to get them from Woods.
Woods made his statement on Friday. Whether you accept it or not is up to you. Just don’t expect to get anything more.
Think about the kids and Elin. Say a prayer for Woods and his family. They’re the ones who need the apology and the healing.
You’ll get yours when he pumps his first on the 18th …