Friday, February 19, 2010

Grrrrr Tiger

Abby says:

Today, Sheri Riley is joining me as a blogger guest -- she used to be the "other half" of Candid Girl Chat. We both worked together for a long time in marketing and media relations, so we have definite opinions of the Tiger Woods press conference. "Grrrr" is all I have to say. Yes, that is supposed to be a growl of disapproval.

I haven't walked in his shoes and had access to all the things money and fame will buy and tempt you with, so I won't judge his life and his activities. Everyone else has done a fine enough job of it. But, in my opinion, his press conference didn't seem sincere. I guess I was hoping for something less formally scripted and more from the heart. After all, he was supposedly talking to a room full of family and friends. It seemed that he was reading the whole time, so I give him a 2 out of 10. In my opinion, it was lame with a capital "L". The material was on track but didn't sound much like he meant it. So, maybe he has a good speech writer but bad advisers. Maybe he was nervous. Maybe he's a narcissist. Maybe this, maybe that.

I guess my big question is whether he "gets it" about what he's done -- and how he hurt so much more than just his golfing future. Is he forever tainted by money and fame, or can he make a sincere effort to turn his life around and think about someone other than himself?

I believe Sheri and Tiger might share some common geography...?? Her deceased in-laws lived in Hattiesburg, Mississippi -- where Tiger is supposedly undergoing therapy. I think two years ago Sheri traveled there twice in 6 months for in-law funerals. Prior to that, I had not heard of the town.

Let's bring up the sex addiction therapy issue. I am sure this is a legitimate illness/condition and I honestly mean no criticism. But, I've been around a lot of "cheaters", and the only people I've ever heard of with "sex addict" problems are pro athletes and Hollywooders. Hmm. It seems as though any time someone famous strays from a spouse, they end up going in for sex addiction therapy. I wonder what Drew have to say? Food for thought.

Sheri says:

I am sure (now more than ever) that Tiger is a control freak. Maybe during his stints in rehab for sexual addiction they can also address this feature of narcissistic behavior. The media stunt -- and let's be honest, it was not a press conference -- was a perfect example.

A well-polished and rehearsed statement, complete with woeful looks as carefully crafted as the language. A sad confession of bad behavior coupled with an almost defiant demand that the media leave his wife and children alone. Only a couple of wire service reporters were allowed in the room. Only two cameras were allowed in. And, Tiger took no questions. This was another example of using his power and position for HIS benefit, no one else's.

Elin wasn't there which didn't surprise me. His repeated statement that whatever truths that come out need to be between him and his wife rubbed me the wrong way. For someone who chose to gallivant with oodles of women, reminding us all of the sanctity of marriage and their right to privacy seemed ridiculous and out of place in an apology speech.

All in all, I think it was too little, too late. He's a cad. But he's a helluva golfer and ultimately, that will make or break his redemption story.

And sadly, it's also a fact of the breakdown of media. This was not breaking news. It was not news at all. It did not need to be covered live by all the networks and it certainly did not need to be the lead story on the local news. There were (and are) a lot of sad things about Tiger's apology and the "press conference." The fact that it commands such media attention may be the saddest part.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Olympic Memories

Since I was a little girl, I have loved watching the Olympics on TV. Being a former athlete, the excitement still gives me goose bumps, and I have a deep appreciation of what it took for them to get to the Games. My favorite parts have always been the opening ceremonies when the athletes march in and the medal ceremonies when they played the National Anthem.

By luck of the draw (and much personal persistence), I was able to get a spot working at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles as a media operations representative at swimming and diving (my former sport). I must say, this is by far the best memory I have as a young adult working any type of job. Not only was it great fun hanging out for several weeks with the top athletes, coaches and media from around the globe, I made some incredible business contacts that helped me to get where I am today -- and I continue to stay in touch with them. There is something to be said for "being in the right place at the right time".
I have two very fond memories of those Olympics. We all bunked on the campus of USC -- I think I stayed at the Sigma Phi Epsilon house (minus the cute frat boys). When I was carrying my luggage to my room upon arrival, I noticed an older woman by herself who needed help with her stuff. So, I stopped to carry her suitcases. Little did I know this was my soon-to-be Olympic boss' mother. She later knocked on my door to thank me and asked if I'd be her guest at the Opening Ceremonies that night. Wow, of course I would! We didn't have just any old ordinary seats either -- which would have been great as well. Rather, we were right above the opening where the world's athletes marched out into Memorial Coliseum. We were almost close enough to touch them. It was so overwhelming I could hardly breathe. The roar of the crowd. The music. The camaraderie. The dancing. The singing. And finally, the lighting of the torch by Rafer Johnson.
The only thing that topped this is that one of the staff members I worked closely with procured me an official Olympic ring -- reserved mainly for the athletes and coaches. It's sort of like the Super Bowl ring for amateur athletes (at least back in that day Olympic athletes were still considered "amateur" status). While I am certainly not deserving of wearing this, it was a great gift and one I keep tucked away for special occasions of reminiscing. I don't think I could ever top this experience. (photo from

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Have you ever stopped to think about all the ways we get germs?

No wonder there are so many viruses constantly circulating. I normally don't stop to think about this, but I recently ended up getting pretty sick after being on an airplane with lots of coughers, sneezers and sick kids wiping their noses on who only knows what (not to mention the gentleman across the aisle from me who took his shoes off. Isn't it bad etiquette to have smelly feet on a plane?).

No amount of Airborne I took could have killed all the nasty germs that were floating around the recirculated air in that plane. Eleven days later, I still have a raging sinus infection, and I'm officially a germy cougher. The good news is the doctor said I'm not contagious.

I thought about my typical day at the office and where I can get germs. It sort of stunned me to compile this list.
* Opening the front door to our office building (we have lots of sick kids rolling through the doctor's offices)
* Accepting the cup of coffee from the barista at Starbucks
* Touching the coffee creamer carafe at Starbucks
* Touching the menu at the coffee shop during lunch
* Touching the salt, pepper and ketchup bottles at the coffee shop during lunch
* Touching the door knobs to the various doors I walk through at my appointments
* Touching the handle of the shopping cart at the drug or grocery store
* Exchanging money with the cashier at the drug store or grocery
* Touching the workout equipment at the gym
* Touching the hot and cold water handles in a public restroom
* Touching the paper towel handle in a public restroom

The list goes on. I am pretty avid about taking vitamins and using the hand sanitizer (I keep it in my car), but short of wearing a mask and carrying disinfecting wipes around in public, it's nearly impossible to avoid icky germs. My sister swears by grapefruit seed oil and takes it religiously. I may try it.

The virus bit me this time.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Mountain Climber

We returned from Zona yesterday and are back to the daily grind at the office. (Sigh.)

Our last day of the trip entailed a climb up the foothills of Black Mountain. For some of us, the adventure was shorter than for others. I made it maybe about 2 miles. I was not wearing the most sensible shoes for a climb, and the drop-off down the mountain looked a bit too steep for my somewhat fear of heights. I also did not want to impale myself on a giant cactus. Our friend Cynthia (new nickname "Mountain Girl") hiked a daring 5 miles. Here she is in all her glory shortly before I turned around and headed back to the ranch. You go girl! It was another great year at Camp Big Sal.