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February 19, 2010 12:22 PM

Curtains for Tiger and a Thousand Apologies

atiger.jpgAfter about three months in exile and presumed disgrace, Tiger Woods emerged from behind those ugly blue curtains an hour or so ago, and said he was sorry about 57 times.

The scene preceding Tiger's much-anticipated trot to the microphone looked like something out of the Wizard of Oz. At least he chose not to wear his traditional victory-red, and instead opted for colors that matched those blasted curtains.

Unlike the Tin Man, however, he did a pretty good job of proving he really does have a heart.

Tiger looked appropriately coached, but still seemed sincere. He came off as a man who knows he screwed up royally and has many, many more steps to take in a positive direction before he will be believed to be on the straight-and-narrow path for good.

He was appropriately defensive about any ill treatment from the media about his wife and daughter, which was noble, but he would have done better to emphasize just a bit more that it was he, not the media, that brought half the world crashing down upon them.

Tiger is a person of interest, and one of the planet's most recognizable people because that is what he, his handlers, and his sponsors have always wanted. The spotlight doesn't suddenly come off after you've made your billion dollars, and just because you want it to.

He also told us what didn't happen that fateful Thanksgiving night when he smashed his car into the tree, but didn't tell us what actually did happen.
Since he brought it up, he probably should have offered at least a cursory explanation. Some of us (me) actually thought he was involved in a life-threatening wreck when those early reports came out.
Those were the days he had earned the benefit of the doubt.

Frankly, I was heartened that he indicated he wasn't ruling out a return to golf this year, but that there were more important things, like treatment and family to tend to first. It seems like he really might not hurry back to the golf course.
I have always thought that was the right approach, and especially if he genuinely, genuinely means it.

In the end, Tiger took the first step back toward redemption and did so in front of his peeps, the PGA commissioner and, I guess, a few wire-service types. I really, really wish he hadn't handled it that way.

Maybe after some more counseling he'll understand that he can't control everything.

Now wouldn't that be something?


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