Tiger Bares Soul; Let's Leave Him Alone
Continue to laugh and ridicule him if you must. But it took considerable strength -- more than you or I might have -- for Tiger Woods to stand in a makeshift confessional Friday, stare into a camera and tell millions of TV viewers that he is a narcissist who needs help. The same Woods I saw at Torrey Pines two summers ago, winning the U.S. Open on one leg, is the same Woods I saw in a contrived yet humbling environment in which he admitted he was living a lie and a double life.
Only this Woods was a flawed, tortured soul, who had to reach down and acknowledge character flaws, a necessary act as the world's first billion-dollar athlete and a closet adulterer who was trying to paint himself as a family man when he was anything but that. It would have been convenient enough to issue a brief statement and return to his sex-addiction clinic. Instead, he delivered a 13 1/2-minute guilty plea that provided just about everything I wanted to see and hear in his first public words in 79 days: pain in his voice, dampness and remorse in his eyes, an inner shame that already seems to have changed the way he interacts with the public world.
"I am deeply sorry for the irresponsible and selfish behavior I engaged in,'' he said. "I was unfaithful. I had affairs. I cheated. What I did was unacceptable, and I am the only person to blame.