Why Are They Famous?
Tiger Woods By the Numbers
By Jabulani Leffall
Feb 23, 2010

Okay so that happened.

This is what you get when you wait patiently from November to February to hear someone say absolutely nothing except what you already knew.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos called it “one of the most remarkable public apologies ever by a public figure.”

More appropriately, a former Yankees public relations officer called it an “informercial.”

This is why I love the Yankees.

So I was going to analyze this issue, dissect this issue. You know, Tiger as a symbol of false positives and modern American facades. Tiger’s tragic trajectory as an infallible brand tarnished by unimaginable hubris.

I was going to go into an in-depth character study on how his dalliance and ultimate contrition will be similar to his equally excellent sports peer and equally asocial enigmatic kinsman Kobe Bryant.

I was going to urge him to wear all black for a year straight, bring back Versace shades, start hanging with Jay-Z, Venus and Serena, bring golf to the hood, shoot from the hip when he finally made an appearance and not read from a statement. Then I was going to say, Tiger, now go out and play your best golf ever.

But then he went and did this.

That’s how you want to do it bruh? Okay I understand, crisis PR and all that. Well then don’t begrudge me now when I say that instead of talking about the caveats inherent in being so great at something that the opportunity cost of being a human being can create crippling rite of passage that will ultimately round you out as a man, I’m going to go down my list on my own little podium.

While you were reading I was counting.

-Number of minutes of this Tiger and Pony show: 13.5 minutes

-Number of sponsors and potential sponsors who are waiting for him to return to golf:  43 ba-jillion

-Number of man hours dedicated to coverage: Ten Solar Trillions

-Number of actual reporters at the press conference: 3

-Number of times he looked down and consulted his prepared statement: 300 Drilli-on

-Number of golf beat journalists that cover the sport present at this sham: zero

-Number of times he specified when he'd be returning to a sport that’s the only reason anyone cares in the first place: zero.

-Number of questions he took: Goosegg

-Number of dalliances Woods is accused of: Googleplex

-Number of plastic trees that died to make that small podium: none

-Number of neckties that wish they could have kept this guy from looking like a post racial "Rain Man": Ten Kabillion.

-Number of African-American women with “if he had just rolled with us,” scenarios: 197 zillion

-Number of times his betrayed wife showed her face: zero

-Number of times he should have said something before now: The number pi x forever + a day.

-Number of months he’ll deprive us of golf while forcing us to speculate: solve for x

What were you saying Tiger? Oh okay you're sorry, well good.

At any rate, because this is America, many are rooting for this pantheon of achievement to quickly make us forget that men of this caliber of accomplishment are not perfect.

In this vein, perhaps the most famous sportsman this decade had a real chance to not only vindicate himself but to let us off the hook for believing what was and is being sold to us through all the Gatorade and red golf shirts, collateralized debt obligation packages, subprime loans, high fructose corn syrup and sweat-shop shoe products complete with hero fist pumps.

But thanks to the same old, same old we get this because you gave us this.

Mind you he has a right to live his life and present it the way he wants to but he could have done something truly historic and changed the status quo, set a standard, as he has in golf, for the way public figures own up to their own hypocrisies and simultaneously interpret the larger world’s duplicity.

But instead he chose to consult the playbook. He came with the old “I’m sorry but this is ultimately my business and I don't know when I'm coming back,” faux contrition that keeps consumers of media and good and services cynical, complacent, thoughtless, fickle, easily dooped and largely asleep. 

This press conference is over. Good luck anyway Tiger, we’ll all need it.



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