Friday, February 19, 2010

Thoughts From Beyond the Blue Drapes...

Since it's been made clear that enough of you care about what I think about TW's statement, I'm weighing in, despite the irrational desire to forget that any of this is happening.

THE GOOD:

-Was glad to hear him recognize that he reached an ugly point in his life where he felt the rules didn't apply and that he was "entitled" to every desire he had. That seemed like a mature point.

-It felt evident that salvaging his marriage is his number one priority. This didn't sound like a guy going through the motions to trick us into liking him again.

-Liked the insinuation that he was also going to work on being more "respectful of the game." I assume that means the swearing and club-throwing will finally get the attention it deserves from him. Like I've written, I don't buy that Tiger can achieve anything he wants in golf but can't figure out how to master the fine art of not slamming clubs into the turf.

-Appreciated the lack of Nike logos on his suit.

THE BAD:

-Wish it wasn't so scripted. I get that we were essentially just watching him go through step #whatever in his rehab and he had to do all these specific tasks via this talk, but it wasn't like he was delivering some speech on 16th Century Italian Art or something. While I appreciated that he looked at the camera to apologize to fans, I also guarantee that his speech said in bold "LOOK AT CAMERA HERE!!"

-The whole thing (blue drapes, family/friends sitting in silence) felt like some weird Scientology funeral. As much as I've felt he needed to address the public, this just felt uncomfortable from beginning to end, independent of the topic.

-When Tiger apologized to his friends and business partners, I couldn't help but think about all those friends and business partners who enabled a lot of his behavior. While Tiger is ultimately responsible for his actions, there needs to be some cleaning house of those who helped keep this charade going.

THE SAD:

-My lingering thought 12 hours removed from Tiger's statement is just how sad this all is. I wasn't sad like Charlie Rymer was sad on Golf Channel, but I was sad at the brokenness of what Tiger Woods has become.

You know how when you were a kid and your grandmother or grandfather suddenly got real sick and your parents made you visit them in the hospital and you didn't really want to? That's how I felt waiting for Tiger to come out. And it's how I still felt when he left. It's a strange and empty collection of pity and nostalgia for what once was, followed quickly by a desire to just run away, or in this case change the channel. The Tiger Woods many of us watched in complete awe is gone. Extinct.

That's not to say that a new Tiger Woods won't rise from these ashes and win America's heart with his resiliency, humility and (at long last) humanity. Of course I hope that happens. That Tiger Woods would likely be far more relatable than the old.

But I'll miss the old Tiger. The old Tiger didn't want to be relatable. He wanted to be better than everyone else at everything he did. By being impenetrable, he helped his peers see where they were weak. And in doing so, he single-handedly raised the bar of achievement.

This new Tiger wants us to learn from his frailty and ultimate redemption. A worthwhile lesson, for sure. But it's one we've already learned many times before, from people far greater than he.

1 comment:

courtgolf said...

Most of us never get to experience the kind of public pressure guys like Woods...and you, of course, Bob...have to face. Unreasonable expectations seem to make life miserable when your human frailty kicks in.

That speech wasn't the stuff Hollywood makes blockbusters of, but it's a step in the right direction. Personally, I'm pulling for the guy.

I keep getting the "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" scene from "The Wizard of Oz" stuck in my head. Here's a link...the last 20 seconds seem particularly appropriate...unless you just don't like Woods, then the first 45 seconds would be your favorites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZR64EF3OpA