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Sports Then and Now

Hey Tiger: The Truth Will Set You Free

Posted on April 02, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Tiger Woods delivers remarks to the news media.

Because he didn't give many details and may not have been telling the complete truth, the public statement by Tiger Woods on February 19 has not stopped the media frenzy around the golfer.

After months of receiving headlines on the tabloids, Tiger Woods is hopeful that returning to professional golf at the Masters will shift the focus from his personal life back to his golf prowess. Unfortunately, it is my belief that until Tiger completely defuses the situation, he will never truly be free of his past.

Let me start by saying that while I don’t agree with Tigers’ actions, I don’t believe it is any of my business or that I as a fan and consumer am “owed” anything by Woods.

However, because Tiger has built an empire based on the perception that he is an average guy with super-human ability, his handlers have tried to temper the collateral damage of his actions.

Their first attempt was a 13-minute public statement given by Woods in front of a small group of friends and business associates and watched by millions of people on television.

Do You Think Tiger Woods Has Been Telling The Full Truth?

  • No (89%, 17 Votes)
  • Yes (11%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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I would almost equate that event to the 21st Century version of locking someone in a pillory and putting them on public display in the town square where their humiliation is visible to all.

Critics have rightfully noted that instead of using this event as a cleansing opportunity, Woods chose to make it a very controlled event with no questions and very little specifics.

He did take sole responsibility for his actions, but couldn’t resist his opportunity to chastise the media for their ruthless treatment of his family.

Then after announcing his intention to play in the Masters, Woods again made a public appearance.

This time it was a pair of five minute one-on-one interviews during which he again was very controlled and refused to elaborate on what addiction he had received treatment for or exactly what happened on the night everything started to unravel in November.

Even though Tiger hasn’t given out much information, to many golf fans he has done enough. They simply want to see him back on the course and displaying his talent as the best player in the world.

Many fans are ready to see Tiger back on the course.

Many fans are ready to see Tiger back on the course.

Some experts believe that if Woods comes out and plays well, all will be forgotten.

In some respects that could be true, but as things stand now, success on the course will only get Woods so far.

If Woods is truly interested in recapturing his place as the most marketable athlete in the sports world, he needs to stop being controlled and strategic about his seedy past and instead throw it all out on the table.

If he doesn’t, he will continue to be the subject of events like what has come to light this week.

In his initial statement, Woods insisted that no one within his immediate circle knew about his escapades. That seemed kind of hard to believe, but it is what he said.

In a number of interviews, several of his alleged mistresses have contradicted this element saying that his agent and at least one close confidant not only knew, but had roles in this secret life.

While these women certainly don’t scream credibility, at this point I think they are about as credible as a professional athlete who spent years living what amounts to a double life.

Until Tiger tells the full truth about his escapades, the next embarassing revelation could be right around the corner.

Until Tiger tells the full truth about his escapades, the next embarassing revelation could be right around the corner.

For the American people to be able to put this incident behind them and believe in Tiger again (as most people seem to want), the one thing I believe they want more than anything is to know that Tiger is truly sorry and now being truthful.

Revelations like these simply seem to just prolong the story while knocking more holes in Woods’ credibility.

I understand Woods’ desire and seeming need to maintain as much control as possible, but I believe by trying to keep control over a situation that has escalated beyond being controlled, he is just making things worse and actually undermining his own desire to put it in the past.

Instead of controlled sessions in front of friends, Woods needs to put it all out there in a forum that America trusts.

Whether that is through an interview on Oprah or maybe with someone like Jeremy Schaap, I believe the way to start his national redemption is to have an interview with no rules and no “that’s personal” responses.

I respect the desire to keep his wife and children as guarded as possible and agree with that. But in regards to his own personal actions, who knew about it and how it came about, if Woods doesn’t want to have to live in fear of the next tabloid story for the rest of his life he needs to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

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