Why? That was the question I continually asked after seeing Tiger Wood’s controlled, five and a half minute interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi yesterday. If someone who has been under recent scrutiny is going to do an interview, it implies that person will answer some of the difficult questions that are floating around about them to clear the air and put it all in the past so they can move on.
But why would Woods agree to do an interview and then place time restrictions on that interview? Why would Tiger “allow” all questions to be in play, but when he didn’t want to answer one, simply dodged it by saying, “That’s a personal matter,” which then forced Rinaldi to just move along because of the previously mentioned time restraints? Does Tiger really think that this will suffice?
All he did was run out there and repeat the same company lines he said in his forced, awkward, and once again controlled statement back in February. Any of the gray area that people had questions about stayed just as gray following his ESPN interview, and I would argue it raises even more questions.
What does he still have to hide? To put it past him and get everyone off his case, he needs to just answer the tough questions that people want to know. You have to give people some answers, even if it’s lies. But all this secretive nature only entices people to try and figure out the real Tiger story.
When Yankees’ 3B Alex Rodriguez was accused of using steroids in Spring Training last year, he came out and had a real sit down interview where he answered questions from reporters for a good 20 to 25 minutes. That was truly a case where no questions were off limits and he answered things the best he could and appeared honest.
Did he muddle his steroid use and possibly hide how long he used PED’s for? Probably. But he came out, took the media’s shots, fessed up, and gave people some answers. And you know what happened? It all went away. A-Rod sat out a month with a hip injury; he came back and still hit 30 homers, drove in 100 runs, and then went on to win his first World Series title. This was less than a year ago, and it’s already forgotten.
Now I know that Rodriguez cheated the sport of baseball while Tiger cheated on his wife, but the approach should be the same. Woods did a lot of things wrong in handling this matter, but he could have rectified things somewhat by coming out and being truthful. His statement in February where he only allowed certain reporters to be present and did not allow any questions to be asked was idiotic.
He was robotic and it showed him to be the same controlling jerk that he always was. And then it came out he was going to do an actual interview with ESPN, and it looked as though Woods had realized how poorly his statement came off. He was going to do a real interview to clear the air, but then he botched that as well. You don’t put time restraints on interviews and not answer the only real questions asked to you and expect to be forgiven. It just doesn’t work like that.
I am of the thinking that Woods doesn’t really owe people an explanation because this is his own personal life. However, Tiger said himself he owed people an apology because of all the people he let down by his actions, so don’t they deserve the truth of what happened?
It’s been said before, but Americans are a very forgiving people. We enjoy seeing a bounce back story where an athlete overcomes adversity and succeeds. I’m not sure how Tiger will be treated when he tees off at his first hole at the Masters in a few weeks, but I am fairly certain that if he is near the lead going into Sunday and makes a run that the same buzz that followed him before his golf hiatus will return.
I’m not saying Tiger won’t return to prominence as the world’s greatest golfer because I fully expect that to happen. But this regards his ability to regain his fan base, popularity, and his image. To accomplish those things Woods needs to quit hiding behind, “That’s a personal matter.”