Let The Media Circus Begin…
As you might have heard (after all it was the lead story on GMA this morning, but let’s not even start down that path), Tiger Woods is preparing to break his 3-month silence on Friday morning from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL., home of the PGA.
Woods will address a pre-selected group of six journalists with a 5-7 minute statement during which he will talk about the past and the future. No salacious details will be divulged, an apology will be forthcoming, and no questions (which already have been banned) will be asked.
This is a typical Woods media opportunity. He talks, they listen, end of story.
However, despite the predictability of the statement, we will be force-fed endless commentary and analysis. Reputation and addiction experts will be asked their opinion, fellow golfers will be pressed to either welcome Woods with open arms or throw him under the bus, and major sponsors will be asked now that he has apologized, will they once again be “getting in bed” with Tiger Woods.
But why does Woods need to make this statement in the first place?
This is about public perception and Americans’ interest in the personal lives of the famous.
He is apologizing so the media and PGA can restart their Tiger-love fest and sponsors can once again begin their courtship of the world’s most recognizable athlete. He is apologizing so the self-righteous can sleep easy and dream of Gatorade-filled victories wearing Nike swoosh-branded shirts.
Ratings will soar, tournaments will enjoy record crowds, and Woods will become even richer. Once again we will get more sensationalism and less substance.
But shouldn’t all that matter is that the man has expressed his sorrow to his family?
My wish: Let’s return to talking about athletes for what they do on the field, not off it!