The following is just a small collection of events that took the place between the night Tiger Woods’ life changed forever and last Friday morning when he spoke to the world and said nothing.
President Obama announced the United States would be sending 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan and in the next breath, accepted the Nobel Peace Prize. Washington Wizards star Gilbert Arenas brought three guns into the locker room, which led to a season-long suspension and possibly jail time down the road. One of the worst natural disasters in history decimated Haiti. We met Scott Brown. The New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl.
Plenty of major news stories. None of which had a lifespan much longer than your average Paris Hilton relationship.
Woods outlasted everything. The New York Post featured him on its front page for a record 20 consecutive days. 9/11 didn’t even get that type of coverage. He was all anyone wanted to talk about from Thanksgiving weekend on through Christmas and New Year’s and into February. But things were starting to settle down. The story was dying.
And then he decided to speak.
He handled his speech (it was a speech, not a press conference) with the same obsessive-compulsive attention to detail that made him the world’s greatest golfer and also what allowed him to cheat for that long with that many women and not get caught. No part of the day could go unscripted, so if you thought the State of Tiger Address sounded like it had been prepared by the guys from The West Wing, you’re probably right.
Everything was planned. The people in the room. The hug for mom. The two camera angles. Even the part of his speech where he tore into the media for following around his wife and daughter was probably written in all caps so he could remember to sound angry.
The problem is, Tiger really had nothing to say. He basically read a statement similar to the one that appeared on his website in December and he didn’t answer the one question we all had: When will you be back?
“I do plan to return to golf one day,” he said. “I just don't know when that day will be. I don't rule out that it will be this year. “
And the world stopped for that?
He offered nothing new. That may very well have been the goal. If he truly believes he can repair his marriage, his return to golf might not matter to him all that much. Some have speculated that this was one of his 12 steps – making amends. Maybe he just wanted to show the world that his wife didn’t decapitate him on Thanksgiving night. Or maybe he was doing it for his sponsors.
All we do know is that Woods was back at the center of the news cycle without actually delivering any news. He talked about trying to reconcile his marriage and wanting a little privacy, but it’s difficult to believe Friday’s production helped accomplish any of that. How could it? It just puts more pressure on him and keeps all of us wondering when or if we will see him again.
We all knew questions were off limits on Friday.
But we still could have used some answers.