Tiger Woods’ first speech in public since the sleaze and scandal broke out did not get the same empathy as the sight of the late Hansie Cronje in tears did.
The ace golfer did not tick the right emotions firstly with the timing of his speech clashing with the Accenture sponsored golf tournament. And his long elaborate public apology seemed like about his being sorry for his misbehaviour and more like telling the media what boundaries they were crossing when he himself did not think much when he did so himself.
The speech appeared more like a PR exercise and although it takes guts to come out and say you were wrong, the most suspicious part was his body language which had an icy cold, robotic feeling about it, aimed at saying all the right things. If he was tearing up, it hardly seemed visible.
The Woods before and the Woods after barely bore resemble. The stature of genius and power was suddenly lower than a mere mortal as he stood, face blank, and trying to convince the world he had learnt from his mistakes and trying to paint a picture of a family life that seems far from real.
Flanked by his mother, Kultida Woods, who took a seat in the front row, Elin Nordegren nowhere in sight and perhaps rightly so, Tiger Woods’ words help power that his lip service could not give. If he thought the press wanted details into his salacious life, he need not have bothered with the Q & A bit because the skeletons came tumbling out to make a tabloid’s day anyway three months ago.
Those that are accusing the wives of such stars for standing by their men for the money must also consider that perhaps it is a pay back for putting up with such incredible humiliation in public and pain in private life.
When Tiger Woods was asking help from the world (how seems irrelevant apparently), it seemed like Andre Agassi asking people to hold his hand because he “hated” tennis because of a pushy father (also a reason quoted in Tiger’s case) even though both men have tasted incredible success and enormous money from the game to lead superstar lifestyles that are envied by the common man.
Somehow when compared to arguably the saddest day in cricket when the former South African captain broke down in confession, this seemed too stage managed an affair to draw a tear, even in empathy.
The only thing that perhaps ran common was the fact that Woods touched upon what Cronje also spoke about – greed and money giving the license thinking one could get away with it. But that is where the parallel ended.
Cronje had effectively lost it all by then. Woods still has plenty to gain. Hope Accenture was listening.