Hi, my name is Stephanie and I’m addicted to Tiger. Since November 27, I’ve been held hostage to the unfolding of Tiger’s sex scandal. In the month of December, I checked TMZ and RadarOnline obsessively. I put “Tiger Woods accident” and “Tiger Woods affair” on Google alert. For 83 straight days, I posted something about Tiger. Many times more than once. I covered it all from the cocktail waitresses he boinked to the sponsors dropping him to the crude texts he sent to porn stars. But yesterday, I realized that something’s changed: I now have Tiger fatigue. I don’t need to hear about how his Kindergarten teacher claims he lied and wants an apology. I guess this is how you break your addiction. I just really don’t care about any of it.
Okay, that’s not true. I care about his game.
No doubt Tiger messed up big time and he’s the one who has to live with his mistakes. But four-plus months later, I’m beyond over it. At least for today. (I’m not saying that I won’t continue covering Tiger, but hopefully it’ll be mostly directly golf-related.)
What else can we ask for from Tiger? He publicly humiliated himself with his awful apology speech. He gave two one-on-one interviews, albeit only five minutes long each. He let the media fire questions at him without restrictions (at least explicit ones) for 34 minutes.
Sure, I wish he would just tell us what the hell he went to rehab for instead of abruptly saying “That’s personal.” It seems pretty obvious, so why not just admit to it? Isn’t that part of treatment, anyone? Alcoholics talk about being alcoholics. And I think we’re far beyond what’s personal and what isn’t at this point.
I also wish he would have clarified what role Ambien and/or Vicodin played in his car crash. And I wish someone would have asked about the validity of the recent reports that reveal his inner circle knew about his affairs, contrary to what he said in the Golf Channel interview.
But — I honestly don’t care enough anymore to make a huge fuss over it. People will continue to press for answers and I commend them for their tenacity. As we’ve seen with this melodrama, the truth will come out eventually. Just not from Tiger. (At least anytime soon.) But at this point, I’m just tired of chasing it.
I have to admit Tiger revealed more of himself than I’ve ever seen on Monday. Even if that doesn’t say much — the bar has been set pretty low. But the Tiger I saw sitting behind the podium was considerably softer, gentler, less confident and even a little nervous (which makes me think he must feel the same about his golf game).
He even shared an anecdote about how upset he was that he missed his son’s birthday (because he was in rehab). His ability to command an audience was still present, but something was different. Maybe he said it best: “When you live a life where you’re lying all the time, life is not fun. And that’s where I was. Now that’s been stripped all away and here I am. And it feels fun again.”
When grilled about the treatment he received from Dr. Anthony Galea, who has been charged with importing performance enhancing drugs, he described the reasoning for the platelet-enriched plasma treatments. But of all the doctors, why Dr. Galea? “Well, he’s worked with so many athletes,” he explained. He also divulged an injury he hadn’t previously shared — a torn Achilles tendon. (Which actually brings up more questions because from my understanding, that is very painful and you can’t even walk.)
Tiger’s proven himself to be a very good liar, so it’s not like I believe him without reservation. But really, after the past few months, all he had to do was smile and come across as genuine to win most people over. Part of me is still skeptical, but the Tiger we saw today sounds similar to the one that gave Hunter Mahan’s caddie, John Wood, a man hug when the cameras weren’t around. Maybe it’s just that I’m weary, so at this point seeming genuine is good enough for me. And if I’m weary, imagine how he’s feeling. I mean, really — the kindergarten teacher. So — when he says he’s had enough — and acts like it, for 34 minutes — I actually am inclined to believe him.
So, well done, Tiger. Now go play some golf. Because that’s all I want to care about from you any more. I only need to read about you on the sports pages, not Page Six. No more Entertainment Weekly special reports, just SportsCenter’s top plays (on the golf course). And stay away from pancake joints — stick to the drive-thru at McDonald’s.
Stephanie Wei is a freelance writer/blogger in NYC. She graduated from Yale University in 2005, where she was a member of the Women’s Golf Team. She blogs regularly about golf at weiunderpar.com.
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