Saturday, February 20, 2010

Woods' Apology Was Enough, Unfortunately

There's something interesting in the fact that the first big media event of the new decade was Tiger Woods' "apology". It will be one of those things that we look back at in 2019 and say, "Wow, that was ten years ago?" It already feels like Thanksgiving 2009, when this whole melee began, is in the far away past. But what is more telling than that, and what is the most frightening, is how the media handled the whole thing.

I was watching the fifteen minutes of blame on ESPN2, during First Take. Immediately afterwards, Pat Forde and some apology expert (yes, that's a job), went on to proclaim how great of a speech it was. I scanned the radio and television for the next couple of hours and pretty much heard the same sentiment. Eight hours later, I arrived home from work to see the slew of articles that had come out about the subject. 99% of them came to the same conclusion I had; Tiger Woods' apology was simply pathetic.

I'm not going into the details. If you watched the entire thing and thought of it as anything else than another regurgitated pseudo-apology constructed from the Tiger-machine, than you are either two things: retarded, or desperate for the old Tiger to come back. I think most people fall into the latter group. Pat Forde, who I like, is desperate. That apology expert is just retarded. Either way, I am reminded about why I am saddened that newspapers are dying.

Nowadays, the most heard commentary is the immediate. By the time well thought out columns come out, the talking heads have already beaten the subject into your brain. I am writing this the night of the speech, but when you read this, you will already be tired of the story. A thousand writers have already told you that this speech sucked.

I know it's way too early to say, but this might already be the defining moment of the decade. A speech so robotic, so choreographed and so insincere now has a 50% approval rating, simply because split-second reactions were favorable. Any opinion that took at least an hour to construct would deem Tiger Woods as a fraud. But at face value, in the moment, it might have seemed real. So that's the perception you receive.

The reality is that Woods is a corporate machine. It's the way superstars talk in a post-Jordan world. Any reactionary opinion would see this as the way things are now, without question. The beauty of writing is that you can reflect and put into perspective, only that the columns that get heard are the ones that get out the fastest, which makes them no different than radio or television.

It's sad, and if you weren't paying attention, you might think that this morning's apology had a smidgen of heart in it. It didn't, but because we were told it did, we believe it. Which I guess made it worthwhile, and makes Tiger's ignorance turn into genius. He gave us nothing, but we didn't ask for anything.


Anonymous said...

Just from a woman's perspective, when this whole thing went down, I had a good idea of what happened between Tiger & his wife. I didn't need to read all about it in the media as it was splashed all around. Domestic issues & violence happens all the time, 24/7. We shouldn't put athletes and other famous people on pedestals and expect them to be perfect. Granted, we would like to see them make good, responsible choices, but we are all human and make mistakes. The problem is when celebrities make mistakes they are scrutinized. I'm not interested in Tiger's apology, I'm interested to see action--see what he does from here. We all fall our face, the important thing is that we pick ourselves up and try again :) I personally think that picking up the pieces and trying again is a good quality to have when you are an athlete.

The New Me said...

I disagree. I think we asked for an arm and a leg. What goes on between Eldrick and his wife is none of our business. I honestly wish he'd gotten up there and said that, I'd have more respect for him today.

We expect so much from our celebrities and then we just tear them down when it turns out they have feet of clay.

I have to wonder who exactly it is that needs the therapy.

J Fish said...

Well, the trade off of being famous and becoming a billionaire is that these things are made public. You don't just get a free ride, you have to sacrifice your private life.

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