Tiger Woods’ Dumb Advisers

Posted in: Featured | By: | February 17, 2010

Tiger Woods is getting more stupid advice.  Instead of easing the scrutiny he has been enduring, the athletic superstar is about to increase public antipathy for his situation.  Sympathy and forgiveness are not likely to be the outcome of his Friday “news conference.”

Man of the Moment

Tiger’s advisers have him convinced that he is different from other fallen public figures.  Maybe they know he doesn’t want to answer questions and because he pays them so well they aren’t going to force the issue.  Who wants to lose a gig working with Tiger Woods? Tiger has done things greater than most mortals and even other astounding athletes and his counselors appear to be testing a notion that he can play by different rules.  He can’t.  Just because he took golf away from the plaid pants and martini crowd and turned it into a disciplined endeavor doesn’t mean he’s going to get a pass on his behavior.

The idea that he only has to read a written statement to a solitary live camera, a room full of friends and colleagues, and a few wire service reporters that have agreed not to ask questions, is certain to anger journalists and the public that has adored Tiger but still wants answers.  Nobody wants to know how many women and how long this went on and whether his wife is considering taking him back into her life.  But Tiger has to respond to reasonable inquiries from practicing journalists before he can expect to get another clean start with the public.  He doesn’t have to provide details but he does need to deliver honesty.  He isn’t likely to be given a second chance unless he gives some answers.

The first question to be asked, however, is about journalism.  What kind of wire service goes to a “news conference” where no questions are allowed?  Are they present simply to write about Tiger’s facial expressions and how much he sweats?  There probably aren’t many reporters at Bloomberg, Reuters, or the Associated Press that want to attend this event and be ridiculed for sitting silently and playing by Tiger’s rules.  And if they don’t ask questions, they are likely to endure a bit of their own ridicule from peers.

This appearance has the potential for Tiger’s friends and colleagues gathered in the room to turn into a bit of a Greek chorus as he reads his statement.  Politicians often try this public relations scam when they are beleaguered.  Dealing with a controversy or a faux pas, the pol doesn’t want to face journalists alone so he or she invites supporters to encircle the podium and populate the audience and applaud at responses and hiss at questions.  It never works and only further angers reporters and they redouble their efforts to do critical reporting on the politician.  Tiger risks cranking up the tabloids and TMZs of the world to go out and find more of his paramours.

Tiger is likely to endure the same treatment as the evasive politician.  If he isn’t going to answer questions, why not just videotape his statement and stream it on his web site?  A cutaway camera could show all of the supporters in the room with him as he read and he wouldn’t risk angering sports reporters.  Regardless of how much contrition is in Tiger’s statement Friday, it will not be enough unless he takes a few questions and provides honest, difficult answers.  Someone ought to ask, first, why do this at the Accenture Match Play Tournament and distract from the golf?  Is it because they were the first major sponsor to drop you?  Are you being petty?  Isn’t there a better time and location?

The statement he will read, unfortunately, is fairly predictable.

“First, I want to apologize to the public and the fans and supporters of golf.  I’ve been dishonest with my fans, myself, and most importantly, my family.  I didn’t know I had an addiction.  I’ve entered treatment and believe I’m recovering.  I am also trying to work things out with my family.  I love my children and I am also working to save my marriage.   This has been, and continues to be, a difficult time for my family and me.  I realize I’ve dishonored all of the things I claimed were important.  But I want to try again.  I deserve a chance to try again.  I ask for your forgiveness and understanding.  But I am also a golfer.  Golf is my life.  It is who I am.  And I cannot fully regain my life unless I am playing golf.  So, I want to announce today that I am returning to the tour.  Thank you.”

Does that cover everything?  Does the public have a right to know more?  Should Tiger Woods answer the question of whether he was having extra-marital sex while his wife was pregnant?  How long has he behaved this way?  Where did he get the idea this way okay?  If he didn’t have that idea, why was he cheating when he knew he was one of the most high profile people on the planet?  Where in the hell does the fan’s right to know end and Tiger’s privacy begin?  He might need to denounce some of the stories about porn stars and having sex with someone other than his wife on the night his dad died. Don’t these issues go to the heart of a man’s character and help golf fans decide whether they can separate the man from his game, his life from his swing?  Who the hell knows?  But a five-minute statement in a completely controlled environment isn’t going to end Tiger’s woes.

And it may even make matters worse.

11 Comments for this entry

  • Ken Vest

    Your take on the media role in all this is spot on. And you may be right about the public reaction, but there is the possibility, stupid “press conference” aside this strategy may work. What people will mainly see is Tiger playing golf with his friends and his target audience –guys who play golf and don’t especially like the topic in the first place -will be reminded of the golf part of his story. Remember pictures rule and how many news orgs will use sound from the statement in subsequent coverage —it will mainly be Tiger on the links, where his fans want to see him return.

  • Stanley

    Tiger Woods made himself a paparazzi, muckraking object that will dog him from now on. He needs to face that fact and get on with his life.

    He owes a big apology to his family — which he’s already done — but his fans don’t need to know the details of his private life; his many mistresses will be more than happy to spill the beans anyway.

    Tiger should pick up his golf clubs and return to doing what he is the best in the world at; playing golf. When he got married, I questioned whether it was a smart move. I couldn’t see him having the same family life as Jack Nicklaus and if his marriage did fail for any reason, his professional golfing career would suffer for an extended period. Now, he needs to suck it up, close his ears to all the jokes and jeers, get back on the links and finish what he stated out to do. Break all professional golfing records.

    As a fan, I would rather watch him play than any one else.

  • Steve G

    Your assuming that his advisers actually advised him to do this. For all you know they pleaded with him to take a different approach. Nobody knows for sure. One thing is for sure…Tiger doesn’t owe anybody anything.

  • Harvey Kahl

    I want to see him play golf. If he’s smart, he will never ever give that Q&A session that you seem to need. Speak for yourself. I’m not interested. I’ve lost a lot of respect for Tiger as a person, but who watches him for his moral purity?

    At tournament news conferences he should just politely deflect non golf related questions. Eventually the noise will start to die down as everyone realizes that the answers to their questions will not be forthcoming.

    If he is playing the Accenture, then he should have his little news event off-site. I wish him well, but his wife ought to dump him. She’ll have plenty of cash, whatever the settlement, and besides the money, who needs that life?

  • Tim Rock

    I’m told he can’t be told how to do things. That may be the biggest impediment to getting him on track.


  • Barry Buss

    That is quite possibly the worst written piece of op/ed I have ever read…and you are a legitimate writer..WTF Mr. Moore? You can not get through an entire sentence in the first three paragraphs without saying something inaccurate, illogical,or downright illegible .

    We begin with the inflammatory “more stupid advice” yet never get any of the old advice that would make the pending press release the “more”. Then you dive in to sympathy and forgiveness, stating they will not likely be the “outcome”…sympathy and forgivenes are things that are granted when asked for, but only then…he hasn’t asked for anything yet, and he is smart enough to know not to tomorrow…only.time will ease any residual ill feelings people may have toward Tiger…

    When your entire public persona has been a sham and a lie of this magnitude, do you honestly think anyone wants to hear a single word from this guy??? Would you believe a word he said??? Better yet, does anyone really even care anymore???

    What we have learned from Tiger’s downfall is that Tiger was not really all that loved by anyone for that matter…His accomplishments are awesome beyond words, but Tiger Woods is an assassin, a killer, a cold hearted competitor of the highest magnitude…nobody “likes” Tiger…there is nothing there to like, hence there is little to nothing to resurrect …he was a product, a manufactured image of corporate capitalism, entirely neutral about anything and everything that has any meaning….

    Tiger Woods sadly is just another in the long list of superstars who fai to live up to the standards they purport to uphold….but are we shocked? hurt? devastated? not even close

    So when you discuss the easing of the scrutiny upon him…where you been Jim…its eased to the point that those who cared some when it happened may shrug their shoulders…others who may hear of it, are jut further annoyed at this non event being held by this failed person..

    It is way too soon for this…We don’t need more Tiger, we need a different Tiger..and that Mr. moore, is goingto take a long long time…there is no next hole for Mr. Woods on this course..he failed at life at a colossal level…he just needs to go away and stay away for a little while longer..

    Re the media…I could write a novel on the complicity of the MSM in perpetrating this multi-billion dollar fraud on the consuming public…this has been going on for a long time, and are you trying to tell me that not one single journalist knew this was happening? The link below is from May of 2009, the story broke by the Enquirer in late November….the only thing worse than the journalism leading up to the car accident has been the journalism that has come after the accident, where every writer who ever penned an article goe all Dr Phil on Tiger,, humiliating themselves in the process ..

    You can be proud to stand at or near the top of that list…its very late, if i have more time and still feel a little grumpy, I;ll deconstruct the rest of your piece for you, but man, you are out of your league here on the personal advice front ..Bad


  • Mel

    I was hoping you would write a follow up piece or two about Tiger. I thought your first article “To An Athlete Screwing Up Young” was very thought provoking. Will you please give us your thoughts now that the “press conference” has taken place?

  • Philip Gould

    Tiger Wood’s comments concern his personal therapy more than anything else. That is the first priority for him, to get well.

    By saying all he did, he owning his actions and faults. He is also defending his wife and family which is also part of therapy.

  • Frank Philp

    Die Helden sollten sich Cirie gestimmt. Sie ist nicht die stärkste Herausforderung, aber sie ist ein Spiel-Player. Wenn sie nicht loswerden, sie bald werden sie es bereuen.

  • Gianna Patterson

    Tiger Woods is a very good golfer but his reputation as a cheating husband made him a bad character.~::

  • Mohammed Hughes

    i didn’t know that Tiger Woods is a womanizer too.*.

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