There isn’t much to say that hasn’t already been said about Tiger Woods’ news conference — given the limited media presence and the lack of media participation, like none, it seems disingenuous to use the term.
But I was struck by two reactions to it over the weekend from widely disparate sources. I heard a host on ESPN Radio on Saturday evening interviewing a guy whom the host described as being a public relations consultant from “one of the biggest firms in New York” — I didn’t recognize the name, quite frankly. But he said something that was pretty insightful, if a little obvious.
In answer to a question from the host, he said that Woods’ public image wasn’t going to be rehabilitated by doing news conferences and interviews. Woods has never been a media friendly sports figure anyway, and many commentators remarked last weekend on his career-long discomfort with being a public figure — particularly in uncontrolled situations like live media interviews.
I thought, as many others did, that he came off as rehearsed and a little wooden, and so did the PR expert. “He’s going to rehabilitate himself with the public by doing well what he does well, and that’s play golf,” he said.
The other comment on the Woods situation that stuck with me was from that noted golf expert, the Dalai Lama.
The Buddhist religious leader is in the U.S. to visit with President Obama and make some other public appearances, and the Associated Press asked him during an audience in Los Angeles whether he had any thoughts on Woods and his situation. Woods, of course, referred in his remarks Friday to straying from his Buddhist faith with his affairs.
Turns out the Dalai Lama had never heard of Woods. But when he was filled in on the details, he said that Woods would be well-served to fall back on his faith in trying to repair his marriage, given that “self-discipline with awareness of consequences” was a major tenet of Buddhism.
I’m wondering if the news in all this really is that there’s someone in the world who hasn’t heard the Woods story yet, given all the attention it’s commanded for a while. The Dalai Lama’s response puts it all in refreshing perspective.