Tiger Woods broke his silence Friday with a 13-minute speech at TPC Sawgrass. But was his statement sincere? Editorial director Jay Coffin and editorial manager Mercer Baggs debate in this edition of Punch Shots.
|By JAY COFFIN|
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. – Well, we got more out of Tiger Woods than I expected. I didn’t expect him to mention anything about the fateful night that began all of this mess, I didn’t expect him to mention his renewed faith in Buddhism, I didn’t expect him to apologize so profusely and I didn’t expect him to say he took advantage of the position his fame afforded him.
Still, call me a crusty-old cynic, but the 13-minute speech wasn’t as sincere as it should’ve been. There were three distinct times where I found myself wanting to believe him, wanting to believe that he truly is a changed and humbled man. And each time I nearly fell for it, Woods said, or did something to make me believe this whole thing was nothing more than a staged photo-op.
The frequent pauses, the occasional deep breaths, the defiant statements about the treatment of his family and the cold, hard stares directly into the television camera made it seem as if this was rehearsed hundreds of times in front of the bedroom mirror in his Isleworth mansion.
The final straw came at the conclusion. You can never knock a man for hugging his mother, but the string of hugs and handshakes at the end of the talk was more scripted than the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
|By MERCER BAGGS|
I can’t believe what I’m hearing. Not from Tiger Woods. From the talking heads while roaming from network to network. Tiger Woods sincere? Honest? Humble?
Did I watch a different news conference? Well, not a news conference, since there were no questions allowed. Let’s call it a scripted performance. And a very poor one at that.
As I sat at home I could not believe what I was listening to. First from Woods, who in no way seemed like a changed man, but the same person we always thought we knew simply reading a very carefully worded script. And then from reporters, analysts and pundits who just wanted to give him a hug.
I saw no emotion, just choreographed motions. Rehearsed deep breaths and stern looks at the cameras.
Fifteen feet from my children’s bedroom, as they lay asleep for their morning nap, I listened to Woods for 13 minutes. Never before, not even when lurid details emerged from his private life over the last two months have I been more disappointed in this man.
Some people may buy what he was selling this Friday. Some people may believe him to be a washed anew in change. I, in no way, do, if for only one reason: You cannot – CANNOT – say you let down your children and not breakdown with uncontrollable tears.
Not if you truly mean what you are saying.