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Opinion Piece #1,475 on Tiger's Public Statement

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Alex Quigley

Former rock DJ, currently a multipurpose Chicago media guy.

Since I have a small space of the Internet carved out here, I am obligated by my contract with ChicagoNow and the Chicago Tribune to comment on any huge sports stories. And since every single major network broke into their regular programming to broadcast Tiger's 13-minute, 32-second mea culpa, I must give my take on his speech.

Sure, I had a lot of fun with the entire idea of this "press conference". But I did sincerely wonder how Woods would address his multiple infidelities. Would it be just another obvious spin job? Would he deflect blame for his wandering eye from himself to "popular culture"? Would he *gasp* actually talk about golf?!? (Unfortunately, he left his timetable for his return to golf completely undefined.)

There was one line in the statement that actually caught my ear and made me pay closer attention. From Teddy Greenstein's column:

"I knew my actions were wrong, but I convinced myself that the normal rules didn't apply. I thought only about myself. I thought I could get away with whatever I wanted to. I thought I because I worked hard, I deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled ... "

Wow. That's it. That's the whole damn point right there. Entitlement. And I don't think 90% of mega-celebrities, politicians or sports stars would have the guts to say precisely those words. Tiger used his lifetime of hard work as his putative excuse for entitlement, but he skipped a step that Tony Montana taught us decades ago.

The money. All about the money. In our country, you can get away with anything if you have the money. And throughout numerous public "apologies" we've seen by public figures in the last couple decades, never did anyone specifically bring up that point.

I watched the statement fully expecting to think Tiger's still full of T.S. And although it was clearly prewritten and he didn't allow any follow-up questions, it surprisingly seemed to be straightforward and contrite.

Ultimately, what we think of all this shouldn't have ever mattered. It gave us all a lot of salacious scandal to gossip about, and a chance to make the same joke 1,475 times. And as a public figure who makes half a billion dollars from being a public figure, Tiger Woods was a deserving target of criticism and derision for his actions.

I don't want to give him "credit" for deciding to stop banging random skanks and having to "settle" for his swimsuit model wife, two kids, and a billion bucks. But I do give him credit moreso than others who have given us podium snowjobs in recent history. I do believe he's going to be a different man from here on out.

But there are only a handful of people in the world who really needed to hear that public statement, and they all share Tiger's last name. Whether or not it was too little, too late is something we may never know.

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2 Comments

Brian 'Wiz' Ray said:

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Wow. That was a great observation. A brake on the road to hell.

Kirk Mango said:

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Yes, I agree with Wiz. Excellent perspective on the Tiger Wood's fiasco. Here is another:
http://www.chicagonow.com/blogs/athletes-sports-experience/2010/02/the-tiger-woods-apology-please-enough-is-enough.html


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