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The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Tiger Woods's news conference

Here's the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from Tiger Woods's news conference Monday:

Good: He blamed no one but himself for his predicament. Yes, it would have been ridiculous for him to try to shift responsibility to anyone else, but, still, he was about as clear on that point as he could possibly be.

Bad: He took personal responsibility to the point of occasional psychobabble: "I was rationalizing, I was denying, in total denial at times." He talked about hitting bottom. He talked about the need to "heal."

Ugly: He said his life was "not fun" during all those months and years when he was bedding all those cocktail waitresses, nightclub hostesses and porn stars. Really? Was it that miserable? The problem was an obscene excess of "fun," not a deficit.

Good: He promised to be less dour and unapproachable, especially to his fans. Obviously, this is in his self-interest -- he wants and needs people to like him again. But this sort of normal human interaction, with normal human people, would be good not just for his image but for his soul.

Bad: He said that a lot of reporters who were in the room "are my friends and will always be my friends." This surely came as a shock to those reporters, who have always found him chilly at best. If that's his idea of friendship, he has a lot more work to do.

Ugly: He referred to his agent, Bruce Steinberg, as "Steiney." He referred to somebody else as "Rosey." His nickname fetish probably isn't a symptom of anything deeper, but it really is something he should work on.

Good: He was specific and open about many things. Yes, he was accustomed to taking Vicodin and Ambien. Yes, he had platelet blood treatments from a doctor who is under investigation. Yes, he wanted to keep his lucrative sponsorships and realized that only changed behavior would show companies "that I'm a good investment."

Bad: There are still questions that he won't answer, which means that reporters will keep digging. He won't say whether he was on Vicodin or Ambien on Thanksgiving night. He cites the fact that local police have closed the case on his accident, but without fully explaining what happened. He emphasizes that he spent 45 days in rehab, missing his son's first birthday, but he won't say what he was in rehab for -- "That's personal."

Ugly: Okay, maybe this is just me. But I cringed when he spoke of how gratified he was at the welcome he received from his fellow players. Hello?

He's responsible for taking golf to a vast new audience and attracting more money to the sport, in terms of purses and sponsorships, than anyone could have dreamed of. Every other professional golfer owes half his earnings to Tiger Woods. Think they might be happy to see him back? Think maybe Woods understands that?

Overall, though, I thought he did quite well. What he essentially promised was to be a different man -- a warmer, nicer, more honest, less volatile man. I wish him luck. But I know that it will be a while before we know -- and before he knows -- whether the transformation is a success.

By Eugene Robinson  | April 5, 2010; 3:50 PM ET
Categories:  Robinson  | Tags:  Eugene Robinson  
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Comments

Mr. Robinson - since it is more than likely that Tiger was compulsively driven towards the kind of behavior that he engaged his statement that it was "not fun" is quite credible.

One practice round and a press conference has sports and (sadly) even editorial pages in a tizzy - it may be better to wait till the end of at-least the first round at Augusta.

Posted by: rgChapelHill | April 5, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if his golf will improve. Hard to imagine, but given the distractions and the stress associated with what he was doing, and apparently dealing with trying to hush at least a couple of his harem, he should be more able to focus on golf. Not that he hasn't appeared to be about as focused as any three golfers put together in the past, but still, it's scary to think he could be more focused as his life simplifies from this point forward.

Posted by: JoeT1 | April 5, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

Robinson wrote

"Good: He blamed no one but himself for his predicament. Yes, it would have been ridiculous for him to try to shift responsibility to anyone else, but, still, he was about as clear on that point as he could possibly be."

Eugene, Obama deflects responsibility for problems towards everyone else; tea party, Bush, evil wall street, America, Bush, whitey, etc. Yet, YOU never hold him accountable for never taking responsibility. You have no moral high ground to berate Tiger Words on these issues, please...

Posted by: SirLoinofBeef | April 5, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

I watched Tiger's press conference today and thought he did about as good a job as anyone could under the circumstances. I do not agree that admitting that he was "rationalizing" and in "denial" was just a bunch of psycho-babble.
He WAS rationalizing, he WAS denying. What other words should he have used? Something maybe like: "I am a scummy liar who pretended I wasn't hurting anyone." Would THAT have satisfied those who object to any use of "clinical" terminology to describe problems?
There is NO reason at all to expect someone coming out of rehab to use language contrary to what they have been learning in rehab. Nor is there any reason to expect Tiger to be some kind of deeply insightful person in the first place.
He is just a man who made terrible decisions. We all need to just watch him play golf and let him earn his way back into our hearts. As he said, it really is all up to him and if he brings the same kind of dedication to this as he has always brought to golf, he will succeed.
For his sake, the sake of his children and family, I sincerely hope he can.

Posted by: cms1 | April 5, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I certainly think this whole thing is overblown.

As far as his wife and children go, the kids were born rich and will always be rich.

The wife will be rich so long as she's raising those children, and maybe longer.

The wife got her revenge when she took off after Tiger with the golf club and didn't get charged with felony domestic battery or attempted murder.

He's a young man, Elin was probably his first - who knows, but no matter how you look at it, nobody looses here.

Posted by: lindalovejones | April 5, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

If and when he wins all will be forgiven.

Posted by: rlj1 | April 5, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

He's back and an embarassment. A grown man calling himself 'Tiger'. Why not stick with Eldrick.

Posted by: mpg515 | April 5, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse


Does all this really matter?

It's entertainment folks!

If the dearest, sweetest Elin Nordegren, wants to drag her children through this all over again, since it's pretty evident Mr. Woods can't keep his pita-in-his-pocket, that's her business.

And it will be her business if she divorces the oversexed bum.

I've got more important things to worry about!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | April 5, 2010 7:48 PM | Report abuse

Seeing Tiger Wood's face in the news has become like seeing Obama's for the public.

People just moan or say negative expletives and turn away.

Posted by: dottydo | April 5, 2010 8:19 PM | Report abuse

I just really wish Tiger had turned to the Worlds media and said this

"There are some issues you may have read about in tawdry gossip mags that I am working through with my family, this will dealt with in private. As for all of you, I owe you nothing and my private life is none of your business, I have made protecting my privacy being essential to me quite clear from the moment I entered Public Life, now if all of you in the so called Responsible media want to follow TMZ and the NAtional Enquirer into the gutter, be my guest, but I will not be playing along, I have a golf tournament to win, as you may have heard I am after Jack Nicklaus's record for most majors, I am not running for worlds moral leader"

Why he feels the need to prostrate himself before us and beg forgiveness is what is sad here, I mean beautiful women throw themselves at Rich Athletes and they often have dalliances with these women, what this is news? this is suprising?, Please!

Posted by: PommyLee | April 5, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Who cares!!!

Posted by: tropicalfolk | April 5, 2010 11:38 PM | Report abuse

If I were his wife, I wouldn't take him back until he stops calling himself Tiger.He is too old to be called Tiger. But on the other hand, that may be Tiger Wood's problem--subconsciously, he may think he is a real tiger and enjoys behaving like one. He sure seems to enjoy playing, sleeping and copulating with as many tigresses as possible, as all felines do.

Posted by: fridaolay | April 6, 2010 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Eugene. You really need to get a life.

Posted by: staterighter | April 6, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Tiger committed a foul on his family and is apparently working to resolve it. The idea that he owes the world all the groveling they want is beyond the pale. Let's see how long all of his detractors take to start trying to cash in when he is successful again. Eugene, your talents are needed elsewhere.

Posted by: Lincoln74 | April 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Hear, hear, pommylee! You hit the nail on the head.

Tiger (great name, by the way) was absolutely correct when he said "that's personal."

I'm so glad he back in the sport. Golf isn't nearly as exciting to watch when he's not there.

Posted by: lisa9 | April 6, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Is american public just a bunch of puppets,tiger controlled everybody like he was holding on to the strings, almost like mind control over the press and everybody.
And Eugene why would all the other golfers owe tiger half there winnings, are you nuts.Tiger could never in his life be an Arnold Palmer,Jack Nicklaus,Nick Price,Ben Crenshaw,Greg Norman etc.He might beat their records but he'll never have their character,morals,honesty and charisma.The peter pan of golf is just a freak show now,who cares what he accomplishes.eldrick=barry bonds2

Posted by: jackblack1 | April 6, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Eugene - the world of pollsters!! People are People, either they like you or they don't. They have various reasons for the Why!! I was quite surprised that some of the pollsters think Tiger is too old to be called Tiger!! Wow -- that took the cake. People talk about politicians - and the decisions they make, they talk about Black vs. White - what they should have and not have - (example health care) Barack Obama now is the Big Topic of the day - you mention his name and the Republicans go wild!! BUT THEY HAVE NOW DROP TO THE LOWEST OF LOWEST LEVELS -- THEY THINK TIGER WOODS SHOULD CHANGE HIS NAME - HE'S TOO OLD FOR IT --- THAT IS THE MIND BLOWER.

Posted by: phyllisr5 | April 6, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

i DON'T UNDERSTAND WHAT THE PROBLEM IS HERE!! This was my first comment of the day. I think its ludacrist that some pollsters think Tiger is too old to be still called Tiger. Some people are truly basket cases and don't know it.

Posted by: phyllisr5 | April 6, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

My wife and I are actually starting to feel sorry for Tiger in spite of his terrible behavior. When does the punishment stop? When he's answered every conceivable personal question that a prurient press can ask? I get all the need to answer questions because you're famous and in the public eye. But don't you think that there comes a time when the man has bared enough of his soul? I could care less whether he admits he had taken a prescription drug before crashing his car. Who in this lifetime would think that he didn't? Enough already!!

Posted by: Fergie303 | April 6, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Like many, I work 60-70 hours a week to pay my bills, take care of my family, and to be able to enjoy some recreational activities every now and again... e.g., playing and watching golf. I read this article and accompanying posts as a simple mid-day diversion. Wow... life in this country really has become a reality show if the private life of a golfer can generate this much drivel in a national news outlet while our sons and daughters are fighting a war, our economy is in the tank, and our politicians can't lead.

Tiger is a great golfer whose skills and accomplishments on the course entertain me from time to time. That is the extent of his impact on my life, shouldn't it be yours? It's time for the reality show to end. Athletic talent, fame, and/or wealth are not hallmarks of a role model or greatness. Be a role model to all kids (and pseudo-adults) by working hard and living right. If they (or you) are looking elsewhere for examples, you have work to do at home.

Posted by: Think4yourself3 | April 6, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Tiger Woods is now greatly regretting the hurt and damage he has caused his wife and children because of his selfish, reckless and sinful behavior. I hope that it is not too late for Tiger to save his marriage and family. A family is a priceless treasure. At the end of the day, when all the excitement of winning tournaments is over, and the glory of fame has faded, a family and their love is the only thing that will be there for him, unconditionally. I wish them the best and hope that someday they can live happy together again.

Posted by: Carmenlight | April 6, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

The last time my nephew wanted to be called "Tiger" was when he was eight years old, and no longer liked eating KELLOG'S, sugary cereal called FRUIT LOOPS. My nephew is about the same age as Tiger Woods. I wonder if Tiger Woods was named after Kellog's cartoon figure, Tony the Tiger.

Posted by: fridaolay | April 6, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse

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