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