There isn’t much that bores me more than some rich celebrity doing the “Talk Of Shame” thing in an effort to explain why this one or that one has been behaving badly again. I watched Tiger Woods Talk Of Shame in order to play “Talk Of Shame Bingo” and it was something that was not only more of the same, it was also quite different.
Fill out a Bingo Card with such expected phrases like “disappointed my fans” and “let my family down” and of course the ever present “professional help” slot is going to be filled. You do not get extra points each and every time the words “I’m sorry” are uttered, and if you are any sort of “Talk Of Shame Bingo” player at all you’ll put that one in the center. The “attack on the media” slot is almost too easy, and I always wonder why famous people seem to think they are going to get only positive press. As long as the spotlight is warm and fuzzy all is well but as soon as it becomes too hot it’s suddenly hell. I had on my card the “work hard to earn your trust” and “thank you for your support” and both were dutifully filled. Oh, and the obligatory “family” references were a nice touch, if you had that on your card. I maxed out twice before Tiger was done with first page of nicely polished notes.
It ought not surprise anyone Woods decided to toss in a remark or two about the rumors his wife attacked him with a five iron. He was adamant the event never happened, and considering how much trouble that woman can cause him, and how much money she can cost him, Woods is well advised to make sure she doesn’t turn on him in public. Since this thing broke, Mrs. Woods hasn’t so much as spit in public which leads me to believe she’s already found very competent legal counsel. Elin’s name was repeated throughout the ”Talk Of Shame” and I curse myself for not having that personal pronoun on my card. I also missed the “Dead Dad” reference Woods was sure to drop. All in all, I did fairly well, though I tagged Michael Vick’s ”Talk Of Shame” much better.
If I sound incredibly cynical it’s only because I am. The first surprising comment by Woods was something we all know, but no one ever says out loud; Woods, because of the fortune and fame, felt in some way “entitled” to do as he damn well pleased. The one real odd thing sticking out of all of this might be other than getting drunk and wrecking his vehicle, Woods hasn’t broken any laws. This is quite simply a moral failure, albeit one with a very large prenupt. Tiger Woods, by having a reputation as a moral man must now rebuild the image, and I suspect there was more than one corporate sponsor involved in the ”Talk Of Shame”.
Another unusual part of the Mea Culpa, sponsored by Gatorade, was Woods mention of his Buddhism. While most shame talkers roll around in the “forgiven by God” slot on the Bingo card, Woods missed his chance to connect with mainstream (read: American) religion, and instead openly professed the belief system with which he was raised. Almost certainly this will not go unnoticed by those who put great stock in such things, but I think Woods might welcome any distraction at this point.
In the end, Woods’ not filling out the last slot on the “Talk Of Shame Bingo Card” might be the most telling. Someone had to tell him he must reconnect with his old moral self, and by having some great show of religious contrition, there are those who would welcome him back from anything short of child molestation. Hell, the Catholics could teach him a thing or two about even that. Instead, Woods either stuck to his own core beliefs, or he really doesn’t think he’s in serious enough trouble to pander to the preachy people.
In the end, there are those who would like to believe Tiger Woods is a caring father and still capable of being a role model. Yet history is littered with men, and women, who have fallen short, no matter how far they might hit a ball.