FanDuel - WFBC

February 17, 2010

Tiger Woods Will Break Silence Friday: Ending three months of silence during which the entire media of the world teed off on him, Tiger Woods will speak to a small group of reporters at 11 a.m. Friday from the clubhouse of the TPC Sawgrass in Jacksonville. "He's looking forward to it," lied his agent Mark Steinberg. Interestingly, the event is scheduled to occur at the same time as the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona. Accenture was the first sponsor to drop Woods.

posted by rcade to golf at 07:30 PM - 41 comments

Everything the guy does seems planned out and calculated by all his handlers. It's as if Woods has no ability to think for himself when he doesn't have a golf club in his hand. The fact he's doing this in Accenture's face is a way for him to give the middle finger to them, as well as start paving his way into his comfortable, protective Augusta National in April. I just get the feeling Tiger Woods is all about majors, money, and himself. He doesn't care about any women (his wife include) or his family, and this entire time-off charade is only about him attempting to regain control of his business empire. Hopefully all his potential-future sponsors are smart enough not to fall for any of it.

posted by dyams at 08:50 PM on February 17

He'll be hungry.

Because it's a hungry cat that goes through the trash.

posted by owlhouse at 08:52 PM on February 17

I just get the feeling Tiger Woods is all about majors,

Perfectly okay. They are the big tournaments with the biggest money and the most prestige.

money,

Everyone likes money. When you have a lot of money, you want more.

and himself.

Well, given how everyone has seemed to turn on him during this debacle, I can understand a "me vs the world" mentality at this point.

He doesn't care about any women (his wife include)

Debatable. Maybe not his wife, but he sure does seem to care about women in general...

or his family,

That's stretching it a bit far. You have no idea how he is with his child, and he's shown a lot of love and respect for his mother.

and this entire time-off charade is only about him attempting to regain control of his business empire.

But I thought that was what his "handlers" were for.

posted by grum@work at 09:13 PM on February 17

Who cares? The man is a douche. An irrelevant douche at that.

In other words Woods people have come up with the most financially opportune time for this braindead lothario to say his piece.

posted by Drood at 09:29 PM on February 17

The best golfer ever is "irrelevant" and "braindead?" I don't get it.

I mean he had some mistresses, probably hurt some of their feelings, certainly hurt his wife's feelings enough for her to assault him, but she'll get her half, right? I don't see much wrong with other people conducting their affairs as they will. Woods' philandering certainly didn't hurt me, and I doubt it hurt anyone on this site.

Perhaps I just lack the instinct to protect his victims. I really don't see how he hurt anybody he doesn't know.

posted by Hugh Janus at 09:44 PM on February 17

You have no idea how he is with his child

You're right. All I know is that he totally fucked the mother of his children over, made her look like a complete fool, brought complete embarrassment to his entire family, and generally seemed to place that same family well down the priority list. I've met people in my life who have withstood the lure of illicit affairs for the simple reason they love their children too much to ever risk losing them. It seems Woods may have had that sort of revelation sometime during his hundreds of affairs, but I guess not. Oh yeah, I forgot. He has a "sex addiction." What a complete load of crap.

he's shown a lot of love and respect for his mother.

All I've ever really witnessed that gives any insight to that is a few canned comments here and there and some hugs after tournament wins. Basically it's the same stuff type of stuff he said about his wife and the same way he acted around her when the cameras were rolling.

posted by dyams at 09:45 PM on February 17

hundreds of affairs

Really? I stopped paying attention when it hit a dozen, but I think I'd have noticed if it made it to "hundreds". If you shag the same girls a second time, that's still just one affair, isn't it? How many transgressions make an affair? Not that, past a certain point, the number matters; beyond that mark (let's call it 2.5 affairs, or 28.7 tansgressions in old money) you're just a cad and a bounder.

The sex addict thing is a red herring. He hasn't claimed to be one, merely allegedly attended a clinic that specialises in treating sex addiction, but presumably also offers therapy for cads and bounders who want to understand why they became cads in the first place and maybe want to stop bounding.

As for his treatment of his family, that's his business, and theirs. He can deal with that behind closed doors, and should. He has to make a statement to the press because he's the best golfer who has ever played the game and he's just had an extended break from the game. I don't expect it to be anything other than "I've been working on my nine iron, I'll be back in two weeks at the Honda, normal service will be resumed shortly."

If there's any kind of apology involved, I'll be surprised, but I'm not really sure he owes anyone a public apology.

The timing of it makes a lot of sense to me. Accenture dumped him, so he's making a statement that will deflect all the attention of the golfing media(and the rest) from Accenture's flagship event. Is that classy? No, but neither is he. It's been the way he's operated for years; if you cross him, he'll cut you off in a heartbeat and he'll bear the hell out of the grudge.

In short, he's handled it quite well (if my response is typical). A few months ago, I was quite amused by it and hungry for more details. I was revelling in his downfall and indignant about how he'd tricked people into buying products and services with a fake image as a family man. Now, I'm bored reading about what he did and I just want to see him playing again.

Oh, and as for his comfortable, protective Augusta National, I still don't think we're at the point in the struggle against inequality where any black man (or woman of any race) can feel entirely comfortable or protected at Augusta National.

posted by JJ at 05:07 AM on February 18

a cad and a bounder

I would have gone with jackanapes.

I mean, if you're going to go all Anthony Trollope on his ass, that is.

posted by owlhouse at 05:30 AM on February 18

Woods' philandering certainly didn't hurt me, and I doubt it hurt anyone on this site.

I think he certainly disappointed a whole lot of people. Whether reasonable or not, a lot of people put their faith in him. They used him as an example of the right kind of person and of what is possible, especially when talking to their kids. I think an apology is a reasonable expectation.

posted by bperk at 07:07 AM on February 18

I totally agree his personal life doesn't impact me at all, when all is said and done. But Tiger Woods is the one who put himself into the public eye, through golf and any one of his dozens of advertising ventures that put him on TV constantly. His entire existence, at least if he hopes to get back to the point he was several months ago, depends on millions of people not giving a damn about him personally, and I fully expect the vast majority of those millions to buy back into him, hook, line, and sinker. That's what we do best, and Tiger Woods' people know that.

posted by dyams at 07:14 AM on February 18

Well, if it cures even one person of blindly believing the public personas they see on TV and in magazines, or using those personas as examples for their kids, then some good has come of it.

posted by JJ at 07:47 AM on February 18

Is that classy? No, but neither is he.

I think that's the bottom line. He's a great golfer, but off the course he's just an ass who made the grandiose statements of his freaky stage parents enormously funny in hindsight.

"Tiger will do more than any other man in history to change the course of humanity. ... He is the Chosen One. He'll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations." -- dad Earl Woods

"Tiger has Thai, African, Chinese, American Indian, and European blood. He can hold everyone together. He is the Universal Child." -- mom Kultida Woods

posted by rcade at 08:30 AM on February 18

Slightly off topic - whoever it was who recommended Tiger Woods PGA Tour online (http://tigerwoodsonline.ea.com/), thanks. But also, you've ruined my life, and I'll probably be losing my job any day now if I keep playing it in the office. Oh, and who fancies a game at St Andrews?

posted by JJ at 08:32 AM on February 18

I'm hoping Ernie's reaction is heralding a new era of people standing up to Woods on the course too:

"It's selfish," Els told a reporter from US magazine Golf Week. "You can write that. I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday. This takes a lot away from the golf tournament."

"Maybe we can put the whole tournament on hold for 10 minutes to watch," was Geoff Ogilvy's rather sarcastic reaction to Woods's statement.

Steinberg claims in response that "It's strictly a timing issue. There is a very good reason [for Friday] not do it next week." But wouldn't say what that reason is. Maybe Tiger's going to play Phoenix next week and not wait for the Honda in Florida the week after like some idiot claimed upthread.

posted by JJ at 10:05 AM on February 18

He is the Chosen One. He'll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations. He can hold everyone together. He is the Universal Child.

Yikes !!

I actually feel sorry for the guy now. The whole damn family needs a lot of councilling.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:44 AM on February 18

Two words: Who Cares.

posted by osutuba at 02:18 PM on February 18

**raised hand**

posted by tahoemoj at 03:39 PM on February 18

He'll have the power to impact nations. Not people. Nations

I was travelling through Southeast Asia last year when the scandal blew up. It was on the news, on the hour, every hour. All channels, all newspapers.

So Earl was right, but maybe not in the way he planned.

posted by owlhouse at 04:03 PM on February 18

ESPN reported that he ran the timing of his announcement by Accenture first. The company said that they liked the timing as a good intro into coverage of their event.

posted by Landis at 04:08 PM on February 18

Maybe we can put the whole tournament on hold for 10 minutes to watch

Maybe they should, since the emergence of this one, flawed man, has made Geoff's average twentieth place check as big as the net worth of some small countries.

posted by smithnyiu at 04:08 PM on February 18

I think it still comes back to the fact that Woods deliberately and with malice aforethought portrayed himself as a squeeky clean family man who lived by the highest ethical and moral standards. That was the public persona he sold to fans and sponsors. It was a lie. A complete sham. He misled and defrauded the public and his sponsors, so I believe he owes an apology to both.

Would he still be considered as the best golfer in history if he had showed his true personality as a liar and womanizer from the beginning? Ty Cobb was arguably one of the best baseball players of his generation if not the history of the game. Yet in most quarters he is remembered more as a son of a bitch than what he accomplished as a baseball player.

posted by irunfromclones at 05:02 PM on February 18

I think it still comes back to the fact that Woods deliberately and with malice aforethought portrayed himself as a squeeky clean family man who lived by the highest ethical and moral standards.

Can you give examples as to how he "portrayed himself as a squeaky clean family man?" This is a genuine question because my impression of Tiger was of one of the most closed off athletes I ever saw in my life. He seemed to go to great pains not to let people know anything about him.

Beyond the fact that he was the best golfer I ever saw, he was close to being a complete cipher. And what little I did know about him wasn't particularly "squeaky clean." He threw obscenity laced tantrums when he hit poor shots and his caddy was a bully.

I seem to remember him an Esquire (?) article about 10-12 years ago in which he talked about "lesbians" and other "controversial" topics. He got in some hot water for this and it seemed like he never opened his mouth again.

posted by cjets at 07:51 PM on February 18

To clarify:

Braindead = He was fucking some bird just down the street wasn't he? (Don't shit in your backyard.)

Irrelevant: He's a fucking sportsman. One of the LEAST important professions on the planet, and not a REAL job by any stretch of the imagination.

posted by Drood at 08:03 PM on February 18

Tiger's PR folks have spoken on the Friday timing ...

Apparently the conference was originally scheduled for Monday, but Tiger had another affair (er, engagement) that day.

posted by cixelsyd at 10:10 PM on February 18

We're getting it live at 3 am, with a replay at 7.30 am, on Channel 9. Don't miss it.

Back to you, Jim.

posted by owlhouse at 06:23 AM on February 19

not a REAL job by any stretch of the imagination

Certainly true as far as Ernie Els's grandmother was concerned. The second time he won the US Open (in '97), his mother, back in South Africa, put her head round granny's door to wake her and let her know that "Ernie just won the US Open again!"

"That's nice, dear, but when's he going to get a job?"

cjets, I guess you could call this image portraying yourself as a family man to the public, or these PR shots of him with his wife, kids and dogs. Not to mention the amount of this he was always doing when Earl was around.

I guess the way to look at it is: do you know what any of the other players' parents look like? Or their kids? Or their wives (other maybe than Amy Mickelson)? Probably not. We know what Woods's family looks like because they were always front and centre - or appearing in adverts with him - in short, we know what they look like because he decided he wanted us to, and I'm guessing that had plenty to do with the image he was trying to portray.

posted by JJ at 07:41 AM on February 19

I always got the impression that Tiger was showcasing his family as more possesions, a la "Look what I've got" more than "I'm a devoted family man". That was just the impression that I came away with. And after finding out that he hung out with Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, (birds of a feather)I really wasn't surprised at the affairs, just the fact that he was so stupid about them.

posted by yzelda4045 at 07:58 AM on February 19

I guess the way to look at it is: do you know what any of the other players' parents look like? Or their kids? Or their wives (other maybe than Amy Mickelson)? Probably not.

Every time a golfer wins a major tournament, that player's family is showcased on TV. We see the hugs and kisses that are doled out to the wife and kids (if they exist). If one of those players has an recently ill/deceased parent, we get to hear about it.

The fact of the matter is, Tiger's won so many damn tournaments that his family (mom/dad) had become regular guests. The media has also gone out of their way to get as much information about Tiger Woods as they can (before the scandal) because he was that famous.

If any other player manages to win 10 or more majors in the next few years, I'll bet we'll get to know a whole lot more about his family than you'll think is acceptable.

posted by grum@work at 09:08 AM on February 19

Beyond the fact that he was the best golfer I ever saw, he was close to being a complete cipher.

There's a difference between being "closed off" to the public and being highly controlling. Tiger Woods is not a recluse. He's an aggressive media manipulator who doles out personal information in highly controlled ways, often with the guidance of his corporate sponsors and a PR team. His family man image wasn't just an accident of him winning so many tournaments with them at his side. He released personal family stuff to burnish up his image.

Look at today's circus. He's dictating the terms of who he will talk to and refusing to answer questions, and with the exception of the Golf Writers Association of America, who just told him to fuck off, the other media lapdogs are happily playing along.

I'm hoping that in today's announcement, instead of an apology, Tiger reveals his new slate of mistresses for 2010.

posted by rcade at 09:41 AM on February 19

I'm not making a comment on whether it's acceptable or not, but I think the view that "it's just because he wins a lot" is a bit naive. If he'd wanted to keep his family private, he could easily have done so. Given how good he's been at keeping everything else private for so long, I've no doubt he could have done that. I posit that he deliberately allowed the media to portray him as a family man with full knowledge that an image like that wouldn't hurt him one bit in a sport like golf, where the majority of the consumers his endorsers target fit that same mould - or at least aspire to it.

It's obviously hard to find a control experiement, but between winning the Open in 1987 and the season in which he won it for the third time (1992), Nick Faldo finished in the top ten in majors 11 times, winning 4 times. In the whole of that period, I'd have struggled to pick his wife out of a line-up, I'm fairly sure if I ever saw his parents it wasn't in a Pringle advert, and although I knew he had kids, I didn't know what flavour or age they were.

Greg Norman had a similar (if much shorter) spell of dominance and I learnt more about sharks than about his family.

The whole Tiger thing was a package, and the "I'm a family man with strong moral values" was very much a part of it. It even to some extent assisted his dominance on the course, the perception of his fellow competitors that everything about him was solid and borderline untouchable.

I've said it loads of times already here and elsewhere, but as much as I'm looking forward to seeing him play again, what I'm really looking forward to seeing is how the change in how he's now perceived by his opponents affects the way they play against him. I suspect - and hope - that it will have removed enough of his air of superiority for some of the best-of-the-rest to really step up and challenge his dominance.

Ultimately (because as a golf fan, I'm still a big fan of Tiger's), what I hope will then come of that is Tiger upping his game to dominate them all over again with nothing more than awesome golf, the like of which we've never seen or even dreamt of elsewhere than in his video games.

posted by JJ at 09:57 AM on February 19

I'm hoping that in today's announcement, instead of an apology, Tiger reveals his new slate of mistresses for 2010.

Project Runway, PGA Tour style? I like it.

"This is Cindy, and Cindy's wearing the latest in cocktail waitress outfit technology, with a quick release girdle for those times when you just don't want to be fumbling with buttons or zippers. I'll be slipping Cindy my number along with a $500 tip when I pay the bill at the Vegas bar she works in later this spring. I'll drop her some freaky texts over the following days, then persuade her to nip round back with me for a quick knee trembler in the alley halfway through her second shift later that weekend. I'm looking forward to it. I'm gonna just go out there and try to have a lotta fun."

I'm glad to hear the GWAA have stuck to their guns and not accepted their invitation to the Tiger Show. I went to their annual dinner last year during US Open week and was impressed by their ideals and integrity through the course of the speeches. I'm glad it wasn't all hot air.

posted by JJ at 10:24 AM on February 19

What I read today says he will be headed back to rehab after his semi press conference. The date was not ment to make anyone mad or take a shot at former sponsors, It is just the only time it could fit into his schedule.

posted by Debo270 at 10:54 AM on February 19

That was a weird press conference. Not just in what he said, but the massive media circus around it. Reporters here in Jacksonville say it's like the Super Bowl came back in town.

posted by rcade at 11:21 AM on February 19

The date was not ment to make anyone mad or take a shot at former sponsors ...

I don't buy that at all. His schedule is under his control.

posted by rcade at 11:26 AM on February 19

Just heard the press conference on ESPN radio and I like what Tiger had to say. He sounded sincere even though there were parts in the press conference that did sound rehearsed but that was expected.

posted by BornIcon at 11:28 AM on February 19

I want to watch it again without the streaming issues I was having trying to watch it on pgatour.com, but the bits I did see were cringemaking in the extreme. Sincere? Really? My first impressions were that it was straight out of the same drawer as his early website statements when this whole thing blew up in the first place - the words were close to being the right words, but the delivery and underlying sentiment screamed "condescension" and "defensiveness" throughout. But as I said, I need to watch it again.

On the timing issue, I'm with rcade. His therapy might dictate that now is the time to make a statement, but I'm pretty sure his therapist didn't say "It has to be Friday at 11AM" and that Monday morning would have been just fine.

posted by JJ at 11:45 AM on February 19

I watched on CNN. The words were alright, but to me the only seemingly genuine moments of emotion were when he expressed anger at the press hounding him and reporting false stories. I have trouble believing he's sincerely contrite, but who knows?

Google searchers have already given their opinion.

SI.Com chose a front-page picture that made it look like Tiger was making out with his mom.

posted by rcade at 11:51 AM on February 19

I'm watching it again now. I'm reminded of Salinger's line about confessions:

A confessional passage has probably never been written that didn't stink a little bit of the writer's pride in having given up his pride.

posted by JJ at 11:54 AM on February 19

I have trouble believing he's sincerely contrite, but who knows?

The contritional bits were delivered slowly in his Tiger-the-Robot voice. The set-the-record-straight bits were delivered at a normal, sincere, speed, until he almost starts shouting at one point about the press following his kids.

The hugging and handshaking at the end is farcical.

The whole thing was painfully stagemanaged. At points when he's trying to sound sincere, he sounds more like he's trying to hypnotise the viewer.

posted by JJ at 12:00 PM on February 19

A number of other credentialed reporters will be a mile away in a ballroom at the Marriott Sawgrass, outside the east gate of the PGA Tour complex, watching Woods on television. They will not be permitted inside the gates, nor can they ask questions of Woods.

If this was a changed Tiger sincerely wanting to apologise then he would have had nothing to fear from reporters asking questions. If you are being completely open and honest you don't have to think much about the answer.

At the same time, I wouldn't expect him to answer other than very generic questions about his wife and kids. Neither would I expect him to go into details about the affairs.

It was an artfully crafted apology, well worth the money Woods paid to have someone write it for him. The only weak spot was Woods himself, who obviously needed to have rehearsed it longer. Displaying geniune emotion only while talking about the predatory media nullifies the sincerity and gives us an insight to the real Woods.

Tigers can't change their stripes.

posted by irunfromclones at 03:03 PM on February 19

If this was a changed Tiger sincerely wanting to apologise then he would have had nothing to fear from reporters asking questions. If you are being completely open and honest you don't have to think much about the answer.

At the same time, I wouldn't expect him to answer other than very generic questions about his wife and kids. Neither would I expect him to go into details about the affairs.

What questions would the reporters ask that you think he should answer?

posted by grum@work at 04:31 PM on February 19

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