In his latest attempt to win back fans, Tiger Woods sat down for a pair of interviews that aired Sunday night, his first since his Thanksgiving night accident and subsequent adultery scandal. Sitting down with ESPN's Tom Rinaldi and the Golf Channel's Kelly Tilghman, Woods talked candidly about his remorse and his desire to reform his life. He would not, however, answer specific questions about his affairs, his treatment, or the night of the car accident.
It remains to be seen whether the interviews won over Woods's former followers. As for the media, they were divided over the sincerity and openness of this latest apology. (Commentary after the ESPN vid).
- Nobody's Buying This, Tiger Fanhouse's Jay Mariotti has no patience for an interview replete with evasions and vague, half-honest answers. "The last thing we want from Woods is more control, more calculation, more spin," Mariotti explains. "Even when he's trying to be remorseful, salvage his marriage and resume some sort of normalcy, he comes off as a plastic man who's trying to outsmart us. Really now, what more did he say this time that he hadn't said already in his no-questions apology last month?"
- Think Birdies, not Interviews At ESPN, Bob Harig argues the rehabilitation of Woods' public image will come on the golf course, not in front of the microphone. "It is between the ropes and along the fairways where Woods will do his best rehabilitative work. A five-minute television interview is not going to accomplish that goal."
- No, It Was a Huge Step Forward "He killed two birds on the same day," exclaims Fox Sports' Robert Lusetich, who approves of both the interview and Woods' alleged break with former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer. "100 days after his world fell apart, Woods signaled he was ready to reclaim his life, or at least begin a new one," Lusetich declares. "Meanwhile, the controversial spin doctor Fleischer, I’m reliably informed, has left Team Tiger."