Tiger Woods apology

February 19, 2010 12:44:41 PM PST
To be or not to be. Cynical, that is. That's the question. Watching Tiger Woods give the most public of mea culpas for the most private of indiscretions gave me a case of mental whiplash.

Pass the Ibuprofen please.

Clearly, the world's best golfer has gone through a journey to explore his core and his deepest demons. Either that or he's faking it really well. But it's hard to imagine that, at least for now, he hasn't reached a new level of self-awareness, the kind that comes after sinking into the emotional abyss and confronting the raw truth about yourself.

Whether he's simply still intoxicated from the sometimes cult-like rhythms of rehab and the non-stop, forced introspection, or whether he's truly a transformed man, we just don't know. At least not yet. But if it's not real, we'll soon know. Certainly his wife will.

Woods said it best -- that it's not his words of apology that matter, it's his actions.

The cynical part of me kept coming back -- even during the most emotional parts Tiger Woods' emotional strip search, and there were a few -- that this guy is ultimately a businessman. The most successful athlete in history has hundreds of millions of dollars at stake here. And professional golf has no small stake here either. Tournaments without Tiger Woods tend to be lackluster and, most importantly, not nearly as profitable as those with Mr. Woods in the field. He knows that. The PGA knows that. The corporate sponsors know that.

There were many who thought Woods would announce he was returning to golf. That might have appeared too easy. Too fast. Rehab, after all, takes time. Whether it's real or not. Golf will wait, he said. His family's reconciliation comes first. We'll see. For now, I'll choose to think this rehab is double-pronged: Personal and professional.

We'll have reaction to Woods' dramatic public apology, tonight at 11. Scott Clark, already in Florida for baseball spring training, leads our coverage.

And by the way, did anyone else notice how Tiger's mom barely looked at her son during his 15-minute soul-bearing? Her head was down, her eyes, except for a couple of glances, were aimed away from her son's.

Also at 11, we'll have the latest on the condition of New Jersey's U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg. The 86-year-old Democrat was diagnosed today with stomach cancer. His office insists he'll make a full recovery. If he hadn't collapsed on Monday, and was then examined in the hospital, doctors may not have caught the cancer.

And we have the story of a pregnant woman, who had been selling memberships to one of the tonier gyms in our area, but found herself out of a job and out of luck trying to collect her commissions. She knew she needed some personal coaching from Nina Pineda and 7 On Your Side.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's weekend AccuWeather forecast. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

BILL RITTER


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