Archive for February, 2010

…it was exactly thirteen minutes and thirty two seconds long, umm he then spent approximately fifty nine seconds hugging his mother and friends and then he disappeared behind a curtain. Remember, that if you were listening to this press conference on radio and were not watching it on television, there is a great difference there.

Richard Nixon years ago ended a debate with JFK, it was shown later that he had won the debate on radio, but lost it on television. From a television perspective (note: I was able to free up some time and head down to the MLSE employee cafeteria and watch it there with my co-workers Christina R, Ryan B, Taylor D and Kris B) for those that only listened on radio, Tiger from the very first moment he came out had red eyes, and was nervous and anxious and it looked like once earlier on, he was about to cry.

On radio it might have seemed more robotic, but radio and television are two completely different mediums. You know, a lot of people are stars on radio but not on television and vice versa, this was a very emotional, especially I thought in the first minute, a very emotional Tiger Woods, he got more robotic, some of it was rehearsed, the first four words I wrote down when watching it live were “Nervous, verge of Crying, Personal, and Pain” Twenty seconds in, he was apologizing to his wife, at three minutes and thirty eight seconds “I’m so sorry” and he paused, stared at the camera, and that I thought that was the single toughest moment in the entire speech for him, at three minutes and thirty eight seconds in, when he paused and looked at the camera. I thought he was very deliberate, and as somebody who’s spoken in public, that’s one of those things where the tear ducks form.

I thought he was very close to crying, again that’s what I saw from the television, at four minutes and ten seconds in, he mentions Elin again and then again at four minutes and forty seven seconds, something he said more than once “I’m the only person to blame” he mentioned temptations at five minutes and twenty two seconds, talked about a life of integrity at six minutes and thirty seconds, he was often quoting decency and character, I did think that at eight minutes and forty seven seconds it got a little ham-handed and rehearsed, when he put a hand to his heart, I think that was totally coached, he talked about rehab at the seven minute and fourty second mark, he showed some emotion at nine minutes and fifteen seconds talking about the kids and the media, I thought that was something that Tiger wanted to put in the press release that his handlers probably wished he would’ve avoided

It felt like Tiger probably fought for those thirty seconds, my gut feeling was that this was rehearsed by people and Tiger probably fought for that, his handlers probably wish he would’ve avoided that, but that was very personal. He raised an octave or two, he mentioned Buddhism at ten minutes and ten seconds, I wrote down on my piece of paper “Buddhism à religion always connects” at twelve minutes exactly. Wasn’t sure about his golf future, he addressed golf etiquette (I thought this was interesting) and I’m not sure how many of you picked this up, but at twelve minutes and fifteen seconds, he not only addressed golf but his golf etiquette, he kind of took a jab at himself “I need to clean up my golf etiquette” which has come under fire from golf purist. He can swear, he throws clubs, he kind of looks like Maury on a Saturday at a public course occasionally and I thought he mentioned that.

At thirteen minutes and fifteen seconds, he asked for your heart, which I thought was smart, he included you in that conversation and that’s what I wrote down. At thirteen minutes and thirty two seconds it was over. For fifty nine seconds he hugged his mother and for about ten seconds  he then hugged a couple of guys, there were some tears from a women next to his mother (not sure who that was) at fourteen minutes and thirty seven seconds he disappears behind a blue velvet curtain, there you go.

So the fb messages that day were all over the place. They wanted to get my take on arguably the most dominant athlete in his respective sport. Jason, good buddy from middle school, wrote to me and said “he had 3 months to prepare that speech and you can’t memorize it? Out of all the sports rants Andrew, I thought for sure you would’ve ripped him!” Well Jason, I call it the way I see it.

As someone who’s made plenty of public speeches when hosting Spanish conversation labs in University (last six school semesters) and I don’t think you have that. You don’t memorize speeches, you bring notes. Jason you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about, nobody memorizes a speech, the president doesn’t and Tiger doesn’t, it’s absolutely absurd!

I will say this though, I have a basic rule on press conferences, I write down what I see and I write myself several notes because I believe in what I see IN THE MOMENT, I don’t wanna look at it in hindsight, I want to write down my initial emotions, because I think those are the most accurate. Then I close my eyes for thirty seconds, because I’m a sports ranter, so I wanna see what it’s like when I can’t get the visceral reaction from the footage, so I just want to get the “hear his voice” only perspective.

When I closed my eyes, it sounded more robotic, it should be noted that Tiger has always been a robotic speaker, he wasn’t going to come out and sound like Jim Carey, he’s always been robotic, and when I closed my eyes it sounded robotic.

When you watched it on television, it seemed more emotional. I thought the toughest time for him was at three minutes and thirty eight seconds into the speech. When he paused and looked at the camera and said “I’m very sorry” that seemed to me, though rehearsed – that doesn’t matter. I’ve rehearsed stuff as well, it’s still emotional. I thought he was a little sappy at eight minutes and fourty seven seconds when he put a hand on his heart. That seemed to me, very rehearsed, so everyone was all over the board.

I had people saying to me that they thought it was awful to some thinking it was great….and I’ve always said this, that’s why they have 3 judges for a boxing match…one on each side, they all see different fights. The truth is it was neither brilliant nor horrible…yet all my fb messages were either “he was brilliant” or “he was horrible”…it was somewhere in between, I would lean emotional…yes of course this was rehearsed, you do not speak to 150 million people simultaneously without rehearsing it…absolutely it was rehearsed…this wasn’t written last night on toilet paper, uhh he probably went over it a half dozen times….that said, there were genuine moments of, I don’t know if quivering is right, his lips never quivered nor did his chin…which is like the first sign that your gonna cry, but his eyes looked very red….folks, whether or not you thought he was sincere …let’s say that was completely insincere…can we not agree that at least unlike Bill Clinton, unlike Roger Clemens…at least he went out and took all the blame!! Never once did anything he say shift blame from directly on Tiger…maybe to some of you he was inarticulate, or robotic as I mentioned earlier…he’s a fairly robotic dude, he’s not gonna come out and sound like a Chris Rock, that’s not who he Is, okay?…I think he had a speech impediment early, he has never been a glib in front of the microphone…when he came out he gave a message…if nothing else, HE TOOK THE HIT!!! Please, give him a little credit here…

Check out the full length press conference at the link below