Tiger Rebooted

Last December, I asked the question, “What does Tiger Woods want to do?”  Today, we’ll begin to get the answer as the world’s greatest philanderer/golfer (Shouldn’t it have its own word like biathlon?) convenes a hand-picked group of journalists and others to be stage props in the first gambit of his coming out campaign (he’s reading a statement, taking no questions).

While we don’t know for sure what he’ll say – he could be retiring, could be coming back, could be becoming a monk –  the expectation is that he wants to resume a semblance of his previous life.  If that’s the case, this set-piece will include:

  • An apology
  • A plea for understanding and privacy
  • A resolve to make things right with his family
  • A pledge to live up to the expectations of his family, friends and fans
  • An intention to resume playing golf

We will, if everyone’s guess is accurate, hear these words and phrases:

  • “Sorry”
  • “Regret”
  • “Harm”
  • “Hurt”
  • “Apologize”
  • “Not perfect”
  • “Therapy”
  • “Let down”
  • “Daily struggle”
  • “Recovery”
  • “Commitment”
  • “Resolved to”
  • “Return”

Anybody who’s ever written or delivered a statement like the one Team Tiger has been working on for weeks/months, recognizes these words as the basic set of building blocks in the Lego kit of image rehabilitation. So too will any participant in a 12-step program.

One thing for sure, though, is that – if Tiger’s coming back and not retiring to Tigerland – this is just the first step in a carefully designed campaign.  The next predictable step in the image rehabilitation racket is “The Big Interview” where the subject submits himself to an hour-long interview with one of our collective confessors – Oprah, Bob Kostas (in the field of sports), Larry King, somebody at 60 Minutes) – to “answer the tough questions” in a heavily promoted special show.

For those interested in this stuff, I’m going to reprise my appearance on WCCO-AM this morning with Susie Jones and John Hines to listen to the statement and then puzzle out what it means.  You can listen live on-line.  Should be fun.

– Austin