The XX Factor

Tiger Woods’ Mea Culpa

Jess , I agree that watching the face of Tiger’s mother as he delivered his mea culpa was one of the most riveting parts of this strange drama. There she was, arms across her chest, mostly not making eye contact, but occasionally shooting him the kind of look parents have on their faces when their kids say, “I wasn’t the one who bought beer!” Through most of the speech I wondered if he’d actually acknowledge the nature of what he did. There was a lot of “my behavior,” “what I’ve done,” “these things,” and “issues I’m facing.” Finally he did say, “I was unfaithful,” “I had affairs,” and “I cheated.” And while Elin hasn’t left him, neither is it clear she’s going to stay. He has become versed in the tenets of celebrity-entitlement therapy. (Remember John Edwards’ “I’m a narcissist” interview?) Tiger said he’s come to realize that the rules of normal, human decency do apply to him (even if the world acknowledges he’s so much better than normal people). And when he mentioned that he’s worked so hard all his life that he thought he should be able to do whatever he wanted, I remembered watching him when he was 4,  showing off his golf skills on The Mike Douglas Show . He was astounding, but at the time I also felt a little sorry for this little prodigy, with all the pressue to perform he must be under-which doesn’t mean I’m excusing his grotesque behavior. But this latest chapter again makes me wonder: If he liked the fact that endless, siliconed women wanted to throw themselves at him, why did he decide to get married?

Photograph of Tiger and Kultida Woods by Pool/Getty Images Sport.