February 19, 2010
On Friday, the world stopped for one man: Tiger Woods. He was the center of everyone's world when he delivered a 14 minute speech that touched on his sorrow, his guilt and the fact that he won't be returning to golf anytime soon. So, what grades do we give his speech. Read on.
Sincerity -- B: If there is one athlete better suited to deliver a speech where you must make yourself seem a certain way, I don't know him. Tiger is a master of the game, and he made it seem like he was very sorry for what he had done. Did it come across to the public? Sure, his eyes welled up when he first approach the podium and he looked like he genuinely was upset with himself. Do we know for sure how he feels after this speech? No, and we will never. That's Tiger for you.
Speech -- C-: Listen, I'm all for writing down a speech and delivering it when it is this monumental, but like a lot of people have remarked on the Internet, it was a little too robotic to take completely in. Tiger spoke for 14 minutes, most of those as he read from a statment, and his .... constant .... pausing made it almost unbearable. As my buddy Dan Levy from On the DL remarked, "Why can't these people just talk like people?" Tiger has always been remarked as a great guy to chat with and talk to. That didn't come across in this speech, and the entire time you were waiting for the teleprompter guy to write something funny just to break the tension.
Apology -- A: He apologized to the right people, in the right order. He said that even though he has discussed things with Elin, nothing can be done with words, just actions. Check. He said that he has let his sponsors and fans down and for that he feels terrible. OK. He beat into the ground that he felt he was above the law but now realizes that morality is a thing that translates to all individuals. All right. All in all, his apologies seemed legit and for that you have to give him some respect.
PR Tactics -- C: Tiger's PR team, for all intents and purposes, has been disappointing at best. Waiting 84 days before allowing Tiger to speaked seemed sketchy, and the way they handled most everything over the past three months has been very hazy (to the point that I got e-mailed from a PR head that works with another high profile PGA Tour golfer, saying he and his coworkers laughed at one of my posts on how bad Tiger's team had been doing because they had been saying it for weeks). Tiger approached the bench as plain as possible, offered up a speech that seemed sincere for the most part and ended with a "made for TV" hug with his mom. That said, it was all too planned. The general public isn't nearly as clueless as we once were to Tiger's antics, and the approach would have worked better if it had been more real, without notes, and just a man speaking from the heart.
Wardrobe -- D-: The jacket and shirt were simple and respectable, but how did nobody fix the man's collar before he went out to give the most important speech of his career? Fail.