JEFF PEARLMAN

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What Tiger Woods should say …

Tiger Talks Golf

On SI.com, the excellent Joe Posnanski wrote a piece on what Tiger Woods should tell the media in today’s statement. Joe is great—but I thoroughly disagree. Here’s my take …

First of all, before I start, I’d like to apologize to my wife Elin and our children. It’s pretty obvious that I’ve been an absolutely terrible husband and, by extension of that, father. If I haven’t ruined everything—and in all likelihood I have—from here on out I plan on making my family my No. 1 priority. The words “I’m sorry” come too late, but they are stated with genuine remorse and humility. I am entirely to blame for this mess. All that has happened to me over these past few months is my own doing. All of it.

That being said, I have asked you—selected members of the media—to come here today so I can state the following.

(Tiger opens up a notebook and pulls out a piece of paper).

Bite me.

(Tiger opens up a notebook and puts away a piece of paper).

To elaborate, by “bite me” I mean that you are the loathsome mold scum of rotted sloth intestine, and I damn you all to a special spot in hell alongside the hollowed-out corpses of diseased swine.

Seriously, have y’all had fun these past few months? Has it been a blast, chasing down every bimbo sorority girl and plastic-breasted barkeep who calls your so-called “news” hotline with wild stories of a sex addict gone wild? Yeah, some of them have been telling the truth. OK, many of them have been telling the truth. But so what? So friggin’ what?

Guess what I do for a living? I hit a golf ball. Literally, I hold a metal club in my hands and thrust it powerfully toward a round object made from the cores of titanium compounds. Then I do it again. And again. And again. Yes, I gross millions upon millions of dollars, and companies like Nike and Buick paid handsomely for me to support their products. But, come day’s end, I am merely an athlete. I have never guided a platoon, issued an executive order, arrested a mass murderer, extracted molars, taught eighth grade math or collected your garbage every Tuesday and Friday mornings. If I have a social impact, it is only because people tend to overstate the value of organized athletics in this country. I am, at my core, a golfer. Just a stinkin’ golfer.

But that doesn’t matter to you, does it? Because, even in this time of 10-percent unemployment and large-scale military deployments, sex sells. And celebrity sex really sells. Back in the old days, you in the press were content to allow our sports heroes to have their own lives. You would write about their exploits on the fields and courts, but when the games ended, your work days ended, too. In 2010, however, it’s all about gossip and innuendo and grabbing the readers. You’ll dig through my garbage, you’ll camp outside my house, you’ll follow my wife—my poor, did-absolutely-nothing-wrong wife—when she drives to Whole Foods for a box of Honey Nut Cheerios. Hell, you even camped photographers outside a rehabilitation center, where people who are truly suffering go for help. I am tempted to ask if y’all consider anything to be off limits, but, sadly, I know the answer. If you are famous in this country, your life is everyone’s life—period.

So here’s what I’m going to do: First, I’m reclaiming my family and working on my personal problems. Second, I’m returning to the PGA Tour in a few months, and I’m planning on kicking ass. I mean it—I’m going to take no prisoners and regain my status as the world’s best player. Third, I’m no longer seeking endorsement opportunities. With sponsors comes social responsibility, and I’m hardly in a position right now to suggest anything to anybody.

Lastly, members of the media, I’m coming after you—hard. I have hired a team of the country’s best private investigators and they have already begun digging into the lives of my most ardent accusers and tormentors. Lauren Sanchez of Extra—you damn well better pay your taxes on time. Jim Moret of Inside Edition—I hope you’ve never visited a strip club. And to the cowardly photographers who stalked me in Mississippi, well, let’s just say I know who you are and I know where you live.

Now excuse me—I have a life to reclaim.