Tiger’s press conference

I just finished watching Tiger Woods’ press conference.

Unlike those television commentators I have listened to so far commenting on Tiger’s “A+” performance at his Masters’ press conference, I wasn’t very impressed with Tiger’s performance and the quality of the questions asked by the journalists in attendance. (Weak, fearful questions.)

I didn’t see much of change from his written statement to this unscripted questioning. (So how much have you paid Elin to stay in the marriage? How much have hush money have you paid to your non-marital sexual partners? Does Elin support your return to the golf tour to play in The Masters? You reference your therapy a lot, but can you be more specific about how Buddhism will help you clarify and recenter your life? You say you weren’t in that “place” before your crash to deal with your pathology properly, but honestly, if you hadn’t crashed/been caught, would you have acknowledged your need to change? Why should we believe you are committed to changing since you didn’t initiate the process on your own?)

(I wonder if they were afraid of losing their tournament credentials if they asked tough questions. Where was TMZ when you need them?)

No questions were asked about the upcoming article in Vanity Fair addressing Tiger’s influences supporting his straying from his marital vows and questions regarding his father’s drinking and womanizing. (Like father like son?)

I wasn’t impressed with Tiger’s self-pitying laments, his lack of detailed responses, and overly trite, thoroughly practiced therapeutic rhetoric. (But it seems to have worked marvelously so far for the lapdog media enthusiasts.)

None of this will likely hurt his golf performance in the long run, but the general question of his “character” remains up in the air in my opinion. It’s still too early to tell what will happen with his marriage and family, but any open and honest responses were not apparent today.  (Maybe it all depends how much hush money and contractual changes Tiger has made to quiet Elin’s disquiet. I doubt it’s over.)

Frankly, I was waiting to hear a more detailed Buddhist response by Tiger. So far, Buddhism is only an abstract, casual reference when he discusses his general approach while using therapeutic rhetoric and terms for the most part to describe his confrontation with internal demons. I’d be more interested to hear how he practices and understands Buddhism in terms similar to the words below that I might put into his mouth:

“Since craving is the source of suffering and my craving led to my personal suffering and the suffering of others, I choose to no longer crave to win because this is all culturally illusory anyway.  Indeed, I have caused my wife and family to suffer because I have craved the illusion of intimacy and power that casual sex with numerous women offers me. If I am to be true to myself in my Buddhist practice I must acknowledge that I am simultaneously dark and light, bad and good, suffering and peace. My pursuit of these temporal experiences–self-gratification, public fame and approval, and material wealth–are not part of living mindfully which means that I must see things the way they are–as impermanent and illusory–not as I would like to see them.”

“In other words, I cannot own or control anything including myself, loved ones, and material possessions. I must let go of all these attachments which are just temporary forms that have created unnecessary suffering. If I am to be a mindful practicing Buddhist, I must recognize the limited, arbitrary character of all these forms. To be at peace I must not cling to these things.”

“This has been the source of my suffering and that which I caused for others in my sphere of influence.”

“What I must become more mindful of is that the ego is a key source of suffering. Remembering the illusory character of the “I” or self will help me let go of the idea that I must possess anything at all to be at peace and happy. I must remember not only my impermanence, but that of all things. Once I am able to experience and practice this I will be able to let go of suffering in my life and stop causing others to suffer as well.”

“In sum, I will follow The Four Noble Truths of the Buddha:”

1. Life means suffering

2. The origin of suffering is attachment.

3. The cessation of suffering is attainable.

4. The path to the cessation of suffering (is achieved in following the eightfold path).

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