Tiger Woods trying to control an uncontrollable situation

Tiger Woods can run but he can't hide from the fallout of the sex scandal that rocked the sports world. (AP photo)

Tiger Woods can run but he can't hide from the fallout of the sex scandal. (AP photo)

Tiger Woods still believes this is not any of our business. In a perfect world, he would be correct. Because in that perfect Tiger Woods world, he would apologize to his wife, his children, the family members and friends whose lives he damaged with his actions, and then he would spend the rest of his days trying to rebuild bridges.

The problem: Tiger Woods doesn’t live in the perfect world. He lives in the real one. Because in the real world, he has hurt the sport of golf, the fans that follow it, the youth who idolize him, the sponsors that pay millions to support the PGA Tour, the networks that pay millions to broadcast it, and the other golfers who happily walk off the 18th green after completing a round of 65, only to face questions about Tiger and the porn star, or Tiger and the coffee shop waitress, or Tiger and the 12-step program to being satisfied with having a Swedish super model for a wife.

Two University of California-Davis economics professors recently estimated that stockholders of Nike, Gatorade and other Woods’ endorsement companies lost $5 billion to $12 billion in the wake of the sex scandal. That’s as public as it gets.

On Friday, Woods will speak. Sort of. For the first time since the National Enquirer broke Bimbogate nearly three months ago, Woods will hold a news conference. Except it won’t really be a news conference. There will be little news and no conference.

A few wire service reporters. A “small group of friends, colleagues and close associates.” One camera. Zero questions.

I’m having this visual of the Pope-mobile, with John Paul II waving from inside the walls of bullet-proof glass. Not that he had anything to answer to.

“A person of Woods’ stature needs to have a public dialogue,” said Sherri Fallin, a crisis management specialist at Duffey Communications. “The questions he might get [at a press conference] are very tough. But his communications people could prep him for that. To put yourself on the right track, you need to address the situation and have that two-way dialogue.

“This is America. Anyone can turn their reputations around. But you have to speak to the people. You have to be contrite and then talk the talk and walk the walk.”

Woods is all about image. That hardly makes him unique in the celebrity world. But he’s still trying to control the message, and it’s too late for that. Healing can’t begin if he keeps building walls around him.

Either he still hasn’t fully grasped reality, or his army of handlers dine at the same restaurant as Michael Vick’s defense team. Somebody’s still not getting it.

Golf needs Tiger Woods. He is sending the message it’s not the other way around.

His agent leaked word of the news conference during the first round of the Accenture Match Play Championship. His statement will take place during the third day of the tournament. Funny. Wasn’t Accenture the first company to drop Woods as an endorser? (For the record, Accenture said it was warned about the announcement. But that doesn’t explain the timing.)

Woods will read his statement from the clubhouse at the TPC Sawgrass, the Tour’s headquarters. But the PGA is mandating nothing in return.

“It’s selfish — you can write that,” Ernie Els told Golfweek. “I feel sorry for the sponsor. Mondays are a good day to make statements, not Friday. This takes a lot away from the golf tournament.”

On Thursday, Michael Buteau, the Atlanta-based sports writer for Bloomberg News, found himself rushing to the airport in Vancouver, where he was covering the Winter Olympics, to catch a marathon flight to Florida for Woods’ little gathering. “I’m missing men’s figure skating and luge skeleton,” he cracked by phone.

Buteau will be one of the select few in the room. But even he isn’t certain what he will get from it.

“They’ve said no questions during the press conference,” he said. “I don’t know if that means we can’t ask one after the formal part is over. … It seems very weird. But this entire story has been weird.”

In the perfect world, Woods’ infidelity is not our business. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Neither does Woods, even if he doesn’t seem to realize it.

212 comments Add your comment

Reid Adair

February 18th, 2010
6:34 pm

This is a joke. If his agent is putting Woods up to this, he should fire the agent – immediately. A press conference – but it’s with a few friends and a couple of reporters? He’ll read a statement and take no questions? That’s not a press conference.

Not to mention the fact that he chose the time and date so as to distract from the Accenture event. That’s an entirely different screw-up on his part.

Tigers Wood

February 18th, 2010
6:46 pm

not anything to say except im guilty so tune in to the tournments. ill try to be at the big ones.

Mayor of Ponce

February 18th, 2010
6:48 pm

This guy has never had a real press conference. You guys throw softballs at him at every tournament. I sat beside you in the East Lake press room and the only dude who threw a real question at him was “The Bish”.

Furman asked why he didnt play the The TOUR Championship a few years back (eluding to the fact Tiger went to play in China for guaranteed money). Tiger dodged the question “uhhh, I dont remember”

Right. He didnt remember a 20 hour flight to China but can recall every shot hes hit in his life.

An no one followed up with another question.

Nick

February 18th, 2010
6:50 pm

Wouldn’t it make more sense to hold this press announcement at the Dollhouse in Orlando?? That way everyone could take advantage of the lunch special, the entertainment and fun atmosphere. Plus Tiger wouldn’t have to commute to Ponte Vedra and he could enjoy some high fives with his entourage.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
6:55 pm

Reid — Agreed.

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
6:56 pm

Mayor of Ponce — I actually had nothing to ask but I sat back with amusement during the Bish-and-Tiger debates. That was funny.

susan j. sager

February 18th, 2010
7:16 pm

Cheetah Woods has nothing to say that I would want to hear about. Such a nothing as a responsible man, husband, father. Such a nothing.

Asheville Dawg

February 18th, 2010
7:16 pm

Oh well, Tiger started this being worth a billion. It won’t to bad at half that. And to his former endorsement companies beware, Tiger may want to get even with you.

Bimbogate now that is real funny Jeff.

Worm

February 18th, 2010
7:19 pm

This is Tim Finchems party!..Golf needs Tiger and he’s orchestrating this “Press Conference” for the tour’s sake..Unfortunately, Tiger doesn’t get the big picture!..Should be interesting to see the fans response to this hippocrite.

LisaLisa

February 18th, 2010
7:24 pm

Wow! The world is in worse shape than we realize if Tiger has hurt the world of golf, fans and the youth who idolize him as stated above. You might want to idolize and trust in GOD!

Golf Fan

February 18th, 2010
7:24 pm

I am not sure whether you write your own headlines or whether an editor adds them to your column, but whichever it is, I disagree with its premise.

I think that what is going to happen tomorrow shows that Tiger is very much in control. He has chosen the time and the place and the rules for his first public comments since Thanksgiving.

No matter what each of us thinks of Tiger’s transgressions (and I doubt very few actually approve of his past behavior), he does not owe any of us any more of explanation than he himself wants to give.

In fact, maybe it is the fault of all of us, fans and media alike, that constructed an image of Tiger Woods that was simply unrealistic and obviously something that even the best golfer in the world could not live up to.

I happen to be of the camp that believes that the PGA needs Tiger back in the game more than Tiger needs the PGA…..attendance, ratings, sponsorships and ultimately the income of the players and the tv networks are being impacted by his absence.

So scorn and chastise Tiger Woods all you want. He deserves our vitriole for awhile. But then forgive him and move on as hopefully he and his wife will eventually do too.

But grant him the freedom to speak about these incidents on his own schedule and to the extent that he is willing to do so.

That is what is going to happen tomorrow.

And that folks is being in control, even if the situation itself might seem uncontrollable.

Neda

February 18th, 2010
7:26 pm

I wish Tiger the Lecher would just go away and disappear forever.

JAYBO

February 18th, 2010
7:31 pm

Let me say first of all that Tiger Woods owes no apologies to anyone other than his wife and family!!! People really work me when they think that just because a person is a public figure, they have to answer the publics questions….plueeze!!! No body gave Tiger anything—-he earned it by swinging the golf club better than anybody else the past several years!!! I don’t blame Tiger, I wouldn’t answer any questions ither—-why should I answer the questions of people who aren’t putting money in my pocket or paying my bills??? I don’t think Tiger should have ever taken a leave…just keep working and play golf—do what you do!! There are people eryday who fall b/c of infidility, but they’re still going to their jobs in the morning!! Again, Tigered earned his fame….nobody gave it to him. Go work Tiger….get back to playing golf and keep refusing to answer the questions of a public who just loves gossip and drama!!!!!

Whopper Dawg

February 18th, 2010
7:38 pm

I would disagree with Jaybo. Woods earns his enormous income because of the public. When you are in his position and have positioned yourself as he has and receive enormous financial benefit from it, you do own the public something. I believe he is still in denial about the ramifications of what he has done. I think his plan is to do this so called press conference, and that is that, and he will play the Masters and hope this blows over. Well, it won’t. Ya gotta pay your dues and face the public music or it will never go away.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 18th, 2010
7:39 pm

Jeff try my take.

timdix.blogspot.com

Toots

February 18th, 2010
7:44 pm

Jeff, it’s an overstatement to say that Tiger Woods owes anyone, other than the people you mentioned–Elin and his his family.
I admired him for his golf game but I wasn’t hurt by his behavior. I was surprised, but not hurt.

I agree that a press conference where the press is hand-picked and not allowed to ask questions isn’t a press conference and that the timing and location of the statement reading/mea big fat culpa is unfortunate but so is this whole sordid story.

MCook

February 18th, 2010
7:44 pm

Never liked him. Always has been a jerk. Ain’t gonna change…

Toots

February 18th, 2010
7:45 pm

Ooops…it’s an overstatement to say that Tiger Woods owes anyone an apology, other than the people you mentioned.
I over edited. My apologies.

Let's Go

February 18th, 2010
7:49 pm

The pathetic members of the media and people who have no life are the ones that think for some stupid reason Tiger Woods owes them an explanation. Golf needs Tiger a heck of a lot more than he needs golf, especially in this country. He is not going to but if he decided to walk away the purses for every tournament would be cut at least 20 to 30 percent. He will play in one, probably Arnold’s event at Bay Hill, (maybe 2) events prior to the Masters.

4 jacks

February 18th, 2010
7:53 pm

So typical of this self centered foul mouth punk. Control everything so know one can ask “real questions” without losing the great privlage of being able to attend another of Wood’s interviews much less ever get to ask him another question.This guy puts himself above everyone else and the game he plays and makes millions from. This guy has no character or integrity at all. As far as I am concerned he is the exact opposite of what the gentleman’s game of golf is and has always been. Tom Watson was right, Wood’s shows no real respect for the game of golf. As to his personal life, what was it I wrote about character and integrity, this guy has none… nada. If it wasn’t for his talent at the game of golf, he would just be another trash talking punk on the street. No class whatsoever. He goes against everything that I try to teach and instill in my son, and we refuse to watch him as I have already heard enough profanity come out of his mouth. Follow him sometime when things are not going well.

BRUCE LEVINSON

February 18th, 2010
7:53 pm

My guess is that he will say he made a mistake.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 18th, 2010
7:54 pm

The Boyz in Augusta will not openly await his return without a tune-up.

Parking lot carnival side shows are not to their liking.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 18th, 2010
8:03 pm

Taking all bets that the words sex and addiction are not used by Tiger.

"Chef" Tim Dix

February 18th, 2010
8:05 pm

Also of the belief that the lighting of the one camera shoot seems “off”

to protect his new grill.

The Dogfighter Returns

February 18th, 2010
8:14 pm

the general public is full of suckers. this to shall pass.

I have no idea why there is a fuss about a guy bangin a bunch of chics.:) :)

His wife is still with him. More power to him for being able to juggle 14 women. He can do nothing wrong unless he breaks the law.

atta boy tiger. keep bangin on and of the course.

David C

February 18th, 2010
8:14 pm

Those two UC-Davis professors must also be doing the federal budget.

Tell It Like It Is

February 18th, 2010
8:16 pm

I wish Tiger would bring the 20 bimbos to the press conference and tell the world that I messed up and have paid off each one of these delectable creatures. Then he should say that I am going to try to save my marriage and my family and I do not need any of you jerks to help me with your idiotic comments. Then, he should say that I intend to return to the tour and apolgize to the Game,the PGA, the fans,the players and the caddies. Then he should say that I intend to bring my “A” game at every tournament I play in pursuit of every golf record that exists. This is especially true as it applies to the Europeans on tour who have moved to America to cash in on the value I have brought to the game and have a tendency to shoot off their bigoted mouths when they speak just like they did when the PGA was for caucasians only. Go Tiger!!!!!!

Larry

February 18th, 2010
8:17 pm

He is an ape looking to mate; she married the ape looking to mate for security and attention.

My sympathy goes out to the offspring of the ape looking to mate and the ape’s dumb blonde who mated with the ape looking to mate.

David C

February 18th, 2010
8:22 pm

It took 107 minutes for a racist to raise his head out of the mud – Larry’s first and last

zoe

February 18th, 2010
8:26 pm

Mr. Woods ought to apologize to his wife only. What he did hurt her, not the millions of uptight and sex scandal craving Americans. Throwing stones at him won’t make him a better person. Give the man and his family some respect and privacy.

WhenIwasjung

February 18th, 2010
8:27 pm

LisaLisa, maybe the problem is that we DO idolize God.

matt r

February 18th, 2010
8:31 pm

He probably would have invited no one if he could get away with it, just him and a camera. But even he realizes that would look strange, so he invited some token journalists to make it look an actual press conference.

Larry

February 18th, 2010
8:31 pm

David C,

You are insinuating, dummy! I also consider John Edwards, Bill Clinton, and just about any Kennedy an “ape looking to mate.”

“apish” behavior is more Neanderthal in nature versus Cro-Magnon, meaning, for the under educated like you, they are more animal like in their quest to mate in an unabashed, inconsequential manner with little are no regard to those emotionally injured or affected.

Perhaps, just for you, I just have said “hamster looking to mate” but it didn’t rhyme.

Got it, Goober?
Larry

Terrible Truth

February 18th, 2010
8:33 pm

I’ll bet not a one of these “reporters”, “journalists”, will have the guts to even try to shout a question at the former St. Eldrick. Hell, they may even applaud when he finishes.

A waitress over Elin? Really?

February 18th, 2010
8:37 pm

C’mon, it’s golf. Who cares? It’s not even a sport, it’s a hobby. It’s like bowling or putt-putt or billiards or poker. Sure, Tiger looks very athletic and his estranged wife looks, well, fan-flippin-tastic, but it’s a hobby. It belongs in the ‘entertainment’ section not the sports section.

Todd - Dacula

February 18th, 2010
8:37 pm

Tiger has hurt no one but hisself and his family. He owes no one outside of his family structure nothing and should not offer any apology. Furthurmore, his situation has not cost any stock holders anything. I brought more gatorade and two pair of Nike’s during his absence than before the incident. I defy anyone to say they stopped drinking gatorade because of Tiger’s situation.

Tiger nor us live in a perfect world, therefore its OKAY not to be perfect.

Jeff, to mention Michael Vick in this article is just plain ignorant. You will try ot undermine most black athletes any chance you get. In addition, if any particular reporter is upset about the format of Tiger’s meeting, DON’T ATTEND, point blank… But they want to be there, so they should just shut and ride along.

One can never disrespect any game. He plays Golf extremely well and thats what most of ‘you people’ hate about Tiger Woods. Anything to remove his from the game, you will do. Most Golf records are just like baseball records before minorities were included; over rated and has no merit and simply easily broken.

tiger is my hero

February 18th, 2010
8:38 pm

TIGER is the man, when women throw themselves at you. The only problem he really has is he went away from his kept women and picked up some snotty nose 21 year olds and got busted. People with that much money do live different than us. Two things will always trip up the stars, drugs and hooking up with unmature women.

A waitress over Elin? Really?

February 18th, 2010
8:40 pm

And, imo, he owes the fans no apologies whatsoever. His family, most certainly. His sponsors, absolutely. The fans? Apologies might be nice, but owed? No way.

waw

February 18th, 2010
8:40 pm

It’s fitting that National Enquirer broke the story. From day one, Tiger’s escapades have been treated as news entertainment. Moral outrage is, apparently, lots of fun. In the real “real world,” we all face consequences.

The Dogfighter Returns

February 18th, 2010
8:43 pm

Larry, larry, larry, just because you can barely keep up with one woman doesn’t mean everyone should slow down to your level.

do you have any idea how difficult it is to juggle 14 bimbos, a wife, and play golf at a high level? :) :) . Mere mortals cannot handle this chore.

John edwards, kennedy, clinton, that’s a group of great men.

Evander holyfield is in awe of tiger.

even the governor of south carolina couldn’t keep his wife after one affair with an over the hill foreigner.

Tiger is unbelievable. :) :)

tiger is my hero

February 18th, 2010
8:45 pm

immature, sry bout that

A waitress over Elin? Really?

February 18th, 2010
8:48 pm

Okay, Todd from Dacula…step down, for a moment, from the world of Rev.s Jackson and Sharpton where everyone who looks different is a racist. I’m not one to sit in front of the tv and watch golf, but I do follow the activity, and Tiger is by far my favorite player. He does things no other golfer has ever been able to do, outside of maybe Nicklaus. I’m a white guy, or in today’s lexicon, a Caucasian-American. I also don’t think Jeffrey was trying to say anything other than Tiger’s pr people are as poor at their job as Vicks’ were. I have to disagree that Tiger and Vick’s transgressions can be compared, though. Tiger made a monumental error in judgement. Vick broke a federal law. Having said that, he did his time and paid for the crime. Lets move on.

Tell It Like It Is

February 18th, 2010
8:48 pm

I want to see Tiger on the course again. He is still numero uno even in absentia. Did you see how bad the also rans played on Saturday at the Crosby and today at the Accenture Match Play? And now we have Els and McIroy whinning about Tiger. Why don’t they beat him on the course in lieu of trying to call him out? TV and the PGA needs Tiger more than Tiger needs them.

[...] –Jeff Schultz says Tiger Woods still isn’t living in reality. [...]

Warren Buffett

February 18th, 2010
8:54 pm

the guy sure has made my enemies list..

tiger is my hero

February 18th, 2010
8:54 pm

what happened to Vick is like a modern day lynching, IN MY OPINION, yea he broke the law but 2 years in jail, when a woman in TX kills her husband with a shotgun and gets 60 days. i dont mean to offend or make others angry just what i think. and the brothers that would give up their money man, GUTLESS $#%&*^ WONDERS

P. Bull Terrier

February 18th, 2010
8:56 pm

Actually…in a perfect Tiger Woods world he wouldn’t have to apologize to his wife because she would be like it when he slept around with other women.

verge

February 18th, 2010
9:08 pm

People wake up! Tiger Woods doesnt owe you all anything, and for all of you talking about he gets his money from the public. Please!!! The public makes a choice to get on his ban wagaon….

Get a life!

Jeff Schultz

February 18th, 2010
9:15 pm

LisaLisa — No argument here.

Todd - Dacula

February 18th, 2010
9:15 pm

So… Tiger had affairs with a few babes; wrong against his marriage, nothing wrong to the gamee of golf nor his so-called fans… Mean while, the entire golf nation who tunes to professional football, most bible toting idiots and everyone else except real Tiger Woods fans give Ben Roethlisberger a pass on ‘RAPE’…