Tiger Woods is preparing his comeback and the first step on his road to recovery is taking place tomorrow. It’s not clear what the event tomorrow morning is, other than it isn’t a press conference. Many are suggesting that it will be a day of apologies. I’m not convinced. It may be speculation, a leap in the dark, but I would suggest that this tenebrous public outing, in the presence of a few yes men, is aimed at helping Tiger take back control of his life.
If he is setting out to refocus the world’s attention on Tiger the golfer rather than Tiger the philanderer, he is unlikely to want to apologise for the very thing he wants to avoid. It also helps to remember that the current trend is for not saying sorry at all. Mel Gibson didn’t, David Letterman didn’t, Beckham didn’t, Blair didn’t. So why should Tiger Woods be any different? I think that, tomorrow, Tiger will set about redefining the word sorry.
I strongly suspect that tomorrow will be about Tiger taking control of the tank and trying to prove that he’s still firing on all cylinders. It is most likely that there will be a carefully controlled statement and no hard questions. I think that Tiger will face down his critics unapologetically. Bear in mind that the event is timed to detonate the day before a tournament sponsored by Accenture, who dropped Tiger at the end of last year. Tomorrow, I suspect, will be about Woods asking: “Who is more important, me or golf?”
Tomorrow will also be about “framing” a new reality, a fresh idea, about creating a new meaning for the Tiger Woods brand. It will be an enactment of apology, a burst of bullish positivity to construct a new journey.
And there’s every chance that Tiger will get away with it if he stalks straight into his first tournament and wins. If he can get back to winning, and winning with style, people will forget that there was ever a problem. We like our heroes flawed, as long as they keep winning. If he loses, however, not even the humblest of apologies will save him…