Restoring Tiger's tattered image no quick fix

IAN HUTCHINSON, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:08 PM ET

TORONTO - As the rest of the United States sits down for a feast of turkey and football this week, Tiger Woods will likely recall an incident that is anti-Thanksgiving, one that tore apart his family instead of bringing it together.

Whether that’s the way Tiger remembers Thanksgiving for the rest of his life depends on how jaded he really is behind the repentant image he’s been projecting the past week, leading up to the one-year anniversary of his life unravelling in a sex scandal played out for the entire world.

The porn stars, waitresses and any other form of Tiger tail that exist may appear once again in one last pathetic attempt to present themselves as victims before mercifully fading into oblivion to live anonymously with the reputation they’ve created for themselves.

The glare will then remain on Woods as he struggles to regain his form after a winless season that defies the pre-scandal legend that he created. In the mess that ensued over the last year, those who judge him from outside his realm say that Tiger’s game is secondary to the salacious, juicy bits that they indulge in.

They’ve demanded Woods come clean through some kind of mea culpa when we’ve seen him attend rehab, go though a divorce and deal with his wilting game..

Other than intimate details, I’m not sure what else needs to be told, but Woods and his handlers have reacted with staged productions of Tiger attempting to be forthcoming, such as the failed attempt last spring at TPC Sawgrass.

Through all of that, Tiger came off as trying to control the situation by not allowing any questions to be asked or limiting the number of media people actually in the room as he made his heartfelt speech at Sawgrass. His latest media blitz is just as suspicious.

The reality is that there will not be one defining moment in all of this and Woods’ march through Twitter, Newsweek and ESPN last week isn’t going to change that fact.

A common perception was that it was an attempt to put a positive spin on the story with its one-year anniversary coming up, more directed at the corporate world as he seeks to regain endorsements than it was at his fans.

Rightly or wrongly, that’s the perception of Tiger and his handlers right now, but if he wants to regain the confidence of both fans and corporations, he should accept the fact that it will take time and it all begins with him getting his game back in shape with Canadian coach Sean Foley, at least as far as mechanics go.

Those who consider themselves experts can speculate on whether Tiger can regain his form or not. He has the physical ability, but the wild card is what’s going on in his noggin.

If he’s a better person as he said last week, he might be able to slay the demons still rattling around in his melon and the ones that are sure to pop up as he adjusts to his new life. A Tiger at peace with himself will not only help his game, but also reflect on the different person he was trying to convey to people last week.

Then, he can use the world’s Tiger obsession in a positive way to offer a consistent message over the long term as he tries to rebuild his off-course image in the eyes of his fans and potential sponsors once the celebrity-sniffing buzzards decide to pick at a new victim.

It won’t happen overnight or in a one-week media blitz. The first big step will be getting his game in shape which may take less time than it takes to improve his image, but in both cases, action will speak louder than words.


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