Tiger Woods has penned an essay for the soon to-be-merged Newsweek.com, called “How I’ve Redefined Victory.” In it, he recites boring platitudes about family and regret and “looking inward” to “repair the damage.”
Golf’s formal season ended this month and courses around the world will be mostly dark until 2011. That’s normally a time for rest, relaxation, and a break from the travel and grind of the PGA season.
But for Tiger, it’s time to focus on the most important part of his game — image rehabilitation.
We’re coming up on the one-year anniversary of the car accident that unravelled his life. He was outed as a philanderer, lost his wife, his reputation, and every golf tournament he’s entered in the past year. But if Tiger wants to reclaim the No. 1 ranking in the world, he’s going to start by becoming No. 1 in people’s hearts again.
Instead of awkward press conferences and creepy commercials, he’s reaching out to the people. The next few months will give him a chance to work on reshaping his media image, without also worrying about constant updates on his high scores and shaky swing. By doing it during the offseason, he keeps golf in the spotlight, without worrying about actual golf.
Then he can come back in the spring, rested, ready, and (if he’s lucky) a more sympathetic fan base then he met last season.
He can’t disappear completely, so now is the time to control the message. And that message is “I’m sorry.”
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