When the Tiger Woods scandal first erupted like a broken fire hydrant last year, I wrote that it could ultimately benefit him. At last, it seemed, the ultimate sportomaton had shown his human side. But his televised apology last week made my heart sink. The golfer seemed more robotic than ever as he delivered a scripted statement that sounded more like a re-launch of Brand Tiger than a genuine mea culpa.
Fortunately, I have fed his script into my special de-spinning wheel (patent pending), to remove the PR sheen from Tiger's words and find out what he was really thinking.... "Good morning, and thank you for joining me. As I used to say to those cocktail waitresses. I want to say to each of you, simply and directly, I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behaviour. Deeply sorry that I got caught.
While I have always tried to be a private person, there are some things I want to say. And now that I have been caught, there are some hoops I have to jump through. Elin and I have started the process of discussing the damage caused by my behaviour. Quick, hide my clubs! What we say to each other will remain between the two of us. And possibly the windshield repair man. For many of you, my behaviour has been a personal disappointment.Unless you work in the media, in which case Thanksgiving was the feast that kept on giving.
It has caused considerable worry to my business partners. Must...stop...haemorrhaging...cash. I once heard that it's not what you achieve in life that matters, it's what you overcome. I've been eating a lot of fortune cookies since Elin stopped cooking meals for me. It's hard to admit that I need help, but I do. I don't really. I understand the press wants to ask me for the details and the times I was unfaithful. Please know that as far as I'm concerned, these are issues between Elin and me.
And maybe that windshield guy again. Maybe I should just ask him to leave a few spares in the garage. Starting tomorrow, I will leave for more treatment and more therapy. Tonight, let's party! Er...waitress? I need to regain my balance and be centred so I can save the things that are most important to me - my marriage and my children. I need to regain control of my balance sheet so I can save money.
That also means relying on others for help. I've learned to seek support from my peers in therapy. Especially that hot blonde. And I hope some day to return that support to others who are seeking help. That hot blonde's sister. I do plan to return to golf one day, I just don't know when that day will be. But it'll be after I get my clubs back from the repair shop. Elin keeps bending them. On my Cadillac.
Finally, there are many people who believed in me. I ask you to find room in your heart to one day believe in me again. Or, if I screw up again, never mind the room in your heart. Just find me a room in your house, because Elin will lock me out. Will Batchelor is a writer, broadcaster and self-confessed cynical sports fan. firstname.lastname@example.org