Nov
28
2009
Tiger Woods Taking Crash Course in Damage Control (And Fire Hydrants!)
By Stephanie Wei under General

The biggest mistake Tiger is making right now is that he still thinks if he continues to not talk to the press, this (National Enquirer “other woman” story, post-Thanksgiving early morning getaway, wife’s smash-and-rescue story, the origin of his injuries, the location of the fire hydrant) will all go away.

On Saturday when Florida Highway Patrol troopers tried to interview Tiger and his wife, Elin, Tiger’s agent relayed to them that they were not available and told them to return on Sunday. It was their second trip to the Woods’ residence after they were turned away on Friday and asked to come back on Saturday. The FHP has stated that the matter is still an ongoing investigation.

Because he’s Tiger Woods he can say, “Sorry, I don’t feel like answering your questions that will expose my private life because I’m Tiger Woods. Come back when I’ve prepared a believable story and the claw marks on my face have sufficiently healed.”

According to TMZ’s latest update, their sources claim Elin changed the story she told the first officer on the scene:

The Windemere Police Department says Tiger’s wife went outside, saw that her husband had struck a fire hydrant and a tree, and then went back inside the house for a golf club to use to try and extricate him from the vehicle. But we’ve learned Nordegren told a very different story to the Florida Highway Patrol, and it does not involve going back in the house for a club. Our sources will not allow us to be more specific.

TMZ also discovered another inconsistency to the initial report that Tiger sustained facial lacerations from the car accident: “[T]here was no blood found on the steering wheel of Tiger’s SUV — putting into serious doubt that Tiger sustained his injuries from the crash.”

And photos published by WFTV Orlando of Tiger’s Escalade smashed into the tree show the front passenger tire crashed into the tree. So, why did Elin have to break the back windows to heroically rescue her husband? Unless it was one of those Poltergeist trees that had its branches wrapped around his throat.

Whether or not his personal life is our business is besides the point now. The longer Tiger avoids speaking to the police and the press, the more we’ll continue to speculate about the conflicting stories and rumors.

Tiger’s dozen or so staffers, who are supposedly PR crisis management experts, have failed to do their job. Now it’s up to Tiger to fix his previously impeccable image. Even if Tiger gives the most sanitized, watered-down version, he needs to personally speak to the public — you know, something like, “This is a private family issue. I apologize for the spectacle it’s caused. I understand this is the downside of part of the life I’ve created for myself as the most recognized athlete in the world.” Then everyone will forgive and eventually forget — as they did when Josh Hamilton fell off the wagon and when Michael Phelps showed us his Olympic-sized bong-ripping technique. (Obviously, Tiger’s debacle ranks on an entirely different level.)

And he should make a statement before the 9-1-1 tapes are released by the authorities on Sunday. As scary as it might be for the man whose privacy is sacred to him. Until then, everyone will keep assuming the worst. Except these naive people.

[Photo via WFTV Orlando]