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November 29, 2009


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I've played one and only time, for now, but most likely forever. I don't get it. I don't care about it, but I totally get your reverence for his gift. Particularly your comment about his recognizing he has a gift and making the most of it. Beautiful post.

Oh, God.

This statement posted today on Woods' website is full of self-pity, represents nothing approaching even a stop-gap explanation, and is probably worse than no statement at all. Hard to believe, coming from a guy with a dozen years' experience as a super-public figure. What in the name of Fraser Seitel is going on here?

"As you all know, I had a single-car accident earlier this week, and sustained some injuries. I have some cuts, bruising and right now I'm pretty sore.

"This situation is my fault, and it's obviously embarrassing to my family and me. I'm human and I'm not perfect. I will certainly make sure this doesn't happen again.

"This is a private matter and I want to keep it that way. Although I understand there is curiosity, the many false, unfounded and malicious rumors that are currently circulating about my family and me are irresponsible.

"The only person responsible for the accident is me. My wife, Elin, acted courageously when she saw I was hurt and in trouble. She was the first person to help me. Any other assertion is absolutely false.

"This incident has been stressful and very difficult for Elin, our family and me. I appreciate all the concern and well wishes that we have received. But, I would also ask for some understanding that my family and I deserve some privacy no matter how intrusive some people can be."

Interesting, your perception of Woods' statement. I care nothing whatsoever for golf, and while I obviously know who Tiger Woods is, and how accomplished he is at what he does, that is the extent of my knowledge or interest about him or his life.

But to me, this statement seems a consistent continuation of how he appears to have handled his necessarily public life. I have rarely seen or heard much about Tiger Woods aside from announcements about whatever tournament he is going to, or has, played in. Except for his wedding, which was covered by the media - without any interviews given by either Tiger or Elin if I recall - he has been very private about living with a public career.

For someone who has not courted, and has actively avoided publicity to be thrust into a media frenzy - and over what?! a single car accident mainly on his own property and with no alcohol involved? - has got to be beyond embarassing, humiliating and painful.

Why do we we feel we are entitled to know Tiger's business? We aren't. I say good for him in verbalizing what the perhaps 12 decent, respectful people left in the world still understand. That is: go live your own life and quit peering over the neighbour's fence to see [and, let's be honest - judge] how they are living theirs!

Good points all, Kristen. But your not caring about golf or Tiger Woods whatsoever is not an aid to your understanding of this particular case.

My original post was perhaps a clumsy attempt to explain why Woods fanatics like me are so intensely interested in this story, and upset by it: Our inner child is in charge, hoping our hero will say it isn't so and let us return to our fantasy that our guy is as friggin' cool off the course as he is on it.

"I'm human and I'm not perfect," he says in a statement that truly comes as news to a little part of each one of his fans.

In a dozen years since Woods hit the scene, this story is the first real pin prick in that bubble.

But he obviously knows his faults, so the bubble is ours, not his.

Except, he contributed to creating it by presenting his childhood and upbringing as a tidy morality tale involving two perfectly balanced parents: Dad the motivator and instructor, Mom the disciplinarian, etc.

That story, and the general corporate cleanliness of his life narrative, got under the skins of lots of people, who know life is more hairy than that.

Now it appears something has happened to reveal that Woods is as "human" (a word I detest when it's used as a synonym for "flawed") as the rest of us.

That's why it's a story. And that's why his fans (who have long defended him against people find him insufferable) want to know what happened—not down to the very last gory detail, just what basically happened.

Woods couldn't have become "Tiger" without adoring golf fans who accepted his narrative, dropped in bread crumbs in a thousand clipped interviews over a dozen years ... and now he wants the people who fueled the TW industry to whistle and look the other way while he's refusing to explain a suspicious accident?

I think that's not realistic.

Corporate sponsorship: Another complication to the give-the-man-his-privacy instinct.


Good advice, from Steve Crescenzo's blog, Corporate Hallucinations.


If I was his PR guy, I’d counsel him to tell as much of the truth as he is comfortable with. My statement would read something like this:

“My wife Elin confronted me about my relationship with another woman. I denied having any such relationship. That was not good enough for Elin, and she grabbed my three wood and started beating me about the head with it.

“Personally, I thought, given the conditions and circumstances, the three wood was too much club. I would have gone with a two iron, or maybe even a three iron . . .but that was her decision.

“I tried to get away in my car, but she caught up to me and smashed out both back windows with the three wood. When she smashed out the windows, I lost control of the car and hit the fire hydrant, then the tree. That’s the last thing I remember.

“As I said, I’m not perfect. I’m human, and from this point forward I’d like people to respect my privacy as we handle this as a family.”

I’m not saying that would call off the jackals . . . but it might slow them down a little bit, and help Woods out in the court of public opinion.

Well, based on what I read this morning, the police are trying to get a warrant to get into his home and question Woods and his wife about "possible domestic violence".

I do find it interesting from the "celebrity justice" perspective though. I mean, in how many situations of "potential spousal abuse" where the principles are NOT famous, but just ordinary people, do the police go to such lengths to investigate and ensure the safety of the spouse[s]?

You're right though. Arguments about the necessity and/or appropriateness aside, this IS a story, and people are going to chase it until every last messy detail is exposed for the public to pick over.

All I can say, is I am REALLY glad nobody gives a rat's ass about MY life because I wouldn't want that kind of scrutiny on my every foible and mistake for all the money and success in the world!

Tiger must occupy a very lonely perch due to his fame, wealth and talent. I feel kind of bad for the guy. But I'm also curious to know what went on. Just tell us already so we can get on with our lives.

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