The League

Leonard Shapiro
Columnist

Leonard Shapiro

Washington Post sports reporter, editor and columnist who has served on the NFL HOF Selection Committee.

Time to tee it up

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As public apologies go, Tiger Woods orchestrated his highly anticipated mea culpa to the max Friday morning. Friends and family only, though not his wife. A few members of the media, but no questions, thank you very much. A 13 ½ minute script written by who knows who, a seemingly heartfelt speech surely rehearsed beforehand who knows how many times.

But at the end of the day, none of those words will amount to much unless his future actions speak much louder. So before anyone attempts to judge his sincerity, it may be wiser to wait and see what sort of husband and father he turns out to be, whether he stays off the serial womanizing wagon, whether he starts signing more autographs for his fans and stops throwing around F-bombs every time a shot goes astray or a putt grazes the edge of the cup and doesn't drop.

I've said this before. Tiger Woods doesn't have to apologize to me. He can live his private life any way he chooses. But if you continue to sell yourself to your sponsors, your fellow players and your once adoring public as the consummate family man and pillar of the community, perhaps it might be wise not to sneak around and act like a boorish rooster in heat.

I, too, am appalled at the invasion of privacy when it concerns Woods' wife and two toddler children, ambushed by the TMZ, National Enquirer and Radar types, and the pond scum paparazzi who help feed those beasts. At least to his credit Friday, Woods took full
responsibility for the actions that led directly to those appalling consequences for the rest of his family.

Selfishly, as a reporter who has covered golf for the last two decades, here's all I really want to know going forward. When is the No. 1 player in the world, arguably the greatest golfer of all time, going to tee it up again at the highest level of the game? That's how I plan to judge Tiger Woods from now on: simply as an athlete. Did he win, or lose and how did he play the game?

Anything else, he's on his own. I don't want him to be a role model for my grandchildren. If he wants to keep helping disadvantaged youngsters in his learning centers and with college scholarships, good for him, and them. But I don't really care what he does behind closed doors in gated communities, Vegas hotel suites or yachts named Privacy. That's his business, not yours and mine. Just play, baby. No more apologies.

By Leonard Shapiro  |  February 19, 2010; 3:49 PM ET  | Category:  Fans Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Wow. Just in-freaking-credible. I just did a search. In the past 24 hours, the Washington Post - a supposed "newspaper of record" for this increasingly ill-informed slab of continental crust - has published THIRTY-SIX PIECES on this irrelevant non-story. Thirty-six. Chiming in with an offering was virtually every Washington Post employee outside of the mailroom boy and the janitor (my apologies if I missed their blog posts amidst the din):

Eva Rodriquez, Gene Robinson, Ruth Marcus, Tom Shales, John Feinstein, Tom Boswell, Michael Wilbon, Sally Jenkins, Joel Achenbach, Lisa de Moraes, Liz Kelly, Paul Farhi, Valerie Strauss, Michael Kun, Josh Levin, Michael Cavna, Sally Quinn, Steven Levingston, Dawn Knight, Leonard Shapiro, Robert Littal, Emil Steiner, Dave Goldberg (AP) Matthew Prowler (guest), Clark Strand (guest), Bill Aiken (guest), Sarah Skidmore (AP), Doug Ferguson (AP), Anne Peterson (AP), Frazier Moore (AP), a Discussion Group, a Video, a transcript, a Poll and Dave Sheinin's original news story...

...with Howard Kurtz doing the only thing he is good at by leading the Tabloid Parade with his piece.

Meanwhile, NOT ONE ARTICLE - *ever* that I am aware of - on what has been the biggest story in Europe for WEEKS, and is about the WAR THAT WE STARTED. The Iraq War inquiry is taking place in the UK, oblivious to the consciousness of the average American (and certainly the unfortunate readers of the Post). They are holding their leaders accountable there for a war started on lies that killed a million people. The country that started it, not so much.

Could it have something to do with the media that was so shamefully complicit in rubber-stamping all the lies? Is that why we aren't hearing anything about this? Fred Hiatt afraid that if Americans see other countries owning up to their small part in that slaughter, that we might get the crazy idea WE should be doing the same with our LARGE part in it?

Might an inquiry here put the damper on future wars, which are so GOOD FOR BUSINESS in the news industry?

Naw, I'm sure it's a mere coincidence and oversight. Besides, Tiger Woods is so immportant to our lives, isn't he?

Posted by: B2O2 | February 20, 2010 2:21 PM

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