America likes watching celebrities who can't get their stories straight. But we love it when they admit to screwing up.
So Tiger, just come clean. America will love you even more.
As of Monday afternoon, Woods was still refusing to talk to the police about his little smash-up around 2:30 a.m. Friday, when he bounced his SUV off a fire hydrant, then into a tree on his neighbor's property in Florida. A neighbor who called 911 reported he was unconscious. He went to the hospital with many cuts and bruises.
Theories abound as to what happened, especially since Woods said on his Web site his wife Elin Nordegren busted out a back window with a golf club and bravely pulled him to safety. Sounds nice, but the door on the SUV didn't look damaged after the low-speed crash. Also, Woods is a fairly big man and his wife is a skinny Swedish model who may or may not be able to heroically pull a small poodle through a window to safety.
Maybe they breed them stronger than they look in Sweden. Maybe she just happened to be carrying a golf club and wasn't actually chasing her husband to hit him and his car after the National Enquirer published a story last week saying Woods was having an affair. Maybe I'm going to win the lottery, move next door to the Woods family, and have him beg me to show him how to putt.
Tiger, just come clean. Go on Jay Leno's show like Hugh Grant did, look contrite, apologize, publicly suck up to your wife, and hope she doesn't divorce you and you don't lose any endorsement money.
America loves when the rich and famous publicly apologize (Grant, Jason Giambi, David Letterman). It makes them look human. We even forgave Bill Clinton, who lied, then came clean, and may or may not have finally figured out what the definition of "is" is.
Conversely, we loathe the ones who, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, look us in the eye and lie themselves purple (Roger Clemens, O.J. Simpson, Rod Blagojevich). It can't be easy, since Woods was one of the last untarnished huge celebrities. Plus it's got to be embarrassing to not only get caught cheating (you know, allegedly), but then getting beat-up by a Swedish woman with your own golf club (you know, allegedly).
But nobody's buying the official line. It's a good thing you still have years left to dominate your sport. Roger Clemens probably couldn't get a job as a Little League umpire.
Coming clean is usually a great strategy when you've been caught. Murderers avoid the death penalty by coming clean. Marriages are saved that way. I used to avoid detention in high school that way. My counselor would call me in, ask me if I drove on the sidewalk coming back from lunch, and I would say (since I knew there were about 200 witnesses, including a vice principal) "Yes ma'am, I did. I was obviously in a hurry to get back to class and eagerly launch the afternoon learning." She'd roll her eyes and, instead of detention, I was free to drive on the sidewalk some more right after school.
C'mon, Tiger — fess up. It makes everyone feel better and spares you the embarrassment of babbling through stories no one believes anyway.