Nov
18
2010
Tiger on Radio: Still Happier, So Thankful
By Stephanie Wei under Tiger Woods

Tiger: "Thanks, fans, for being so awesome!"

If you slept through Tiger Woods’ interview with radio hosts Mike Golic and Mike Greenburg on ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning, you’ll be shocked to hear that you missed nothing, especially if you read his cliched op-ed column in Newsweek yesterday. Oh, well, there was one thing that Tiger revealed: He shops for groceries at Albertsons (and he gave the chain a free plug!).

Mike & Mike opened with asking for the reason behind the 24-Hour Tiger Woods Media Spree. Obviously, Tiger just wants to give back.

“I think it’s about time I basically made a connection to the fans, who have been absolutely incredible to me in the past year,” said Tiger. “I went through some pretty rough times, pretty low moments. I want to say thanks and reconnect with them.”

Asked who he leaned on in these tough times, Woods replied, “I have some very close friends. Some people that have been with me for a very long time. We’ve had numerous long talks about what happened in my life, where I need to go and how I need to get there. That’s something I’m very thankful for.”

Well, duh. I think Mike & Mike were going for specific names, whether it be his friends, agent and/or mother, etc. Before they tried again in a pseudo-follow-up, Tiger continued with the psychobabble party lines.

“I have some very close friends,” said Tiger. “Some people that have been with me for a very long time. We’ve had numerous long talks about what happened in my life, where I need to go and how I need to get there. That’s something I’m very thankful for. I found out how strong and resilient my friends are and how lucky I am to have them in my life. They helped me go through some really tough times and helped me be more introspective. And I met some good people on the way, as well.”

Oh, so Tiger did participate in group therapy!

Asked if his enablers friends, such as Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, were people he reached out to, Tiger just completely sideswiped it. I mean, you could almost hear him smirking over the radio waves. Idiots! They know I’m not going to answer that! Which he did, despite stumbling over his first few words (hard to figure out how to lie appropriately on the spot?).

“The people I knew the longest, who were closest to me, those were ones I relied on,” Tiger said. “Those were the people…if you’re lucky to have three people in your life that are close, then you’re very blessed.”

/yawn

And of course, Tiger Behaving Badly didn’t happen overnight. He focused too much on work (and Vegas and waitresses, etc.).

“It was a slow, gradual process. I had slipped away from my upbringing. It took years but it took me to where I was at. It was not a good place and did not feel balanced and was destructive.

Naturally, he’s glad that his lies and betrayal were exposed because it made him a better person.

“The worst part was those closest to me, the ones I love, and how much I hurt them. It was the best thing for me to go through that and come out the other side. I feel so much better and everything is in a much better perspective.”

Asked if he’s happier today than he was a year ago, Tiger replied resolutely, “Infinitely.”

He emphasized that his number-one priority were his kids. What he sounded the least enthusiastic about was golf — because the “message” is to get across the point that it’s not as his focus since he’s a changed man. But it’d be neat if he won more majors and beat Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 career titles.

“I’d still like to get to 19 [majors],” said Tiger. “Obviously I need to play better. I need to shoot lower scores. Shooting in the 70s ain’t going to get there.”

As Thanksgiving approaches, he’s most thankful for his kids and “teaching them something new every day,” like he dad did with him.

“Each and every day would be life lessons, whatever they may be. I try to do the same thing with my kids, and it’s just a blast.”

Life lesson of the day for Tiger: Drop the psychobabble scripted rehab-speak (for the 568th time). And for the rest of us: Don’t wake up before 8am for Tiger unless he’s playing golf. Well…even that’s been debatable lately.

(AP Photo/Andrew Brownbill)