February 22 — Not since Boston’s own Bill Simmons nailed Friday’s Tiger Woods’ apology-palooza for the farcical charade that it was has another golf observer so ruthlessly skewered the top-ranked golfer in rehab.
- View photos of Tiger Woods’ televised apology
Enter the Boston Herald’s Gerry Callahan. Despite what many Boston golf fans consider to be his repugnant right-wing views, which he shamelessly espouses on WEEI radio, Callahan penned a perfect poke at Woods and his penchant for pitching practically everything from Nike golf products to himself.
Props. “[Woods] handpicked the audience and refused to take questions,” Callahan wrote. “He spoke from PGA headquarters in front of an obsequious PGA commissioner while two official PGA events were being played elsewhere. He actually pulled another PGA player, Notah Begay, out of a tournament and used him as a prop.
“It sure is a good thing Tiger Woods isn’t playing by his own rules anymore.” Callahan stated, the sarcasm dripping from his typing fingers. “That might give him a sense of entitlement, and we know how dangerous that can be.”
And with that, Callahan took off the gloves.
Clutch. “The greatest clutch performer in all of sports came through in the clutch,” Callahan wrote.
Woods did everything he usually does on Championship Sunday — he hit his approach shot with perfection, although this time he aimed it at his wife and the world rather than the 18th flag at Augusta.
Cue the camera. Indeed, Woods read his lines, gazed at his mother, allowed for pregnant pauses, seemed on the verge of tears, and stared directly into the camera — all on cue. True, his delivery could have used some practice; it seemed robotic and hollow — more like a three-quarter stinger than a crisp wedge shot — but he used all the right words.
For all the pre-Friday build-up and the months’-long wait for any Woods sighting at all, Callahan noted that, despite the performance, Tiger pulled the same act he’s been pulling since he first stepped on the world’s stage.
“This is a man who literally has been fooling all of the people all of the time for 13 years now,” Callahan pointed out. “What’s another 13 minutes?”
Where’s the skepticism? Woods was not Callahan’s sole target. He gave it to the “normally flippant” Rick Reilly and the “usually cynical” David Feherty (among others), both of whom struggled, post-mea culpa, to find the rights words to express how totally they bought the entire Tiger sham.
And don’t even ask Callahan about the whole “Elin [Nordegren, Woods’ wife] deserves praise, not blame” segment of the Hallmark dramedy.
“WHO THE HELL EVER BLAMED ELIN FOR ANYTHING?” Callahan demanded [his emphasis]. “She’s just another pawn in the Tiger Woods corporate army, no different from the somber-faced suckers who sat like cardboard cutouts for your infomercial.”
Take that, Begay and Nike Inc. woman sitting in the front row.
Positive buzz. With Zeta Interactive noting that Woods’ online popularity skyrocketed after his “Tiger comments on current events” talk Friday, it’s apparent Woods won over a huge segment of his global audience.
Not Callahan, who did give Woods props for his amazing ability to come through in the clutch. In the end, however, Woods showed himself to be the same phony the golf world has rooted for during the last decade-plus.
“Tiger vowed to change his stripes, but this much is still the same. He’s still a great performer, still superb in the clutch,” Callahan says. “He was brilliant for 13 minutes, but that doesn’t change the fact that he lived a lie for 13 years.”
You can read Callahan’s column here.
We’ll return to our regularly scheduled Tiger Woods programming after a word about John Daly. Read about the newly svelte golfer’s new career as an underwear model. Yup, you read that right.