Surprise, surprise. Some people think Tiger Woods should be sorry for the way he said sorry.


This apology could go on forever.

Who was Woods actually apologising to so publicly over the weekend? If it was the public, count me out.

I never wanted an apology because his sexual wanderings didn't upset me, or feel like they were any of my business, in the first place.

He hasn't got close to ruining my faith in humanity because that comes from people close to me, and certainly not sports stars I only know from the TV screen.

The illicit sexual activity of great athletes has never influenced whether I enjoy sport or not.

I realised a long time ago that personalities are complex, way beyond the measure of sound bites and adverts. Woods didn't share all his inner secrets with us - and nor do all the people slagging him off.

But some people craved a public apology, or at least recommended one, and they got their wish over the weekend, when Woods took nearly 14 minutes to say sorry for cheating on his wife.

For all the criticism, a scan of blogs and reactions also shows a fair deal of support of Woods. The apology was a brave effort, and like a lot of things, not perfect, partly because he is a golfer and not an orator.

In the long run, this crash may do Woods good, because he has a chance to clear away the dishonest behaviour and start again.

But a meaningless public apology did not have to be part of the re-birth. He was hounded into doing the apology of course, and has not kept the hounds at bay. They just can't get enough blood.

Critics claim the "press conference" was staged managed, and carefully scripted. Well of course it was - it beats a loose invitation and reading a few impromptu notes from the corner of a napkin.

So he didn't take questions.

Who in their right mind would allow themselves to be harassed about their sexual preferences and marital situation by a room full of strangers, to be broadcast to the world.

"Right folks, now I'll take questions from the floor about my favourite sexual ploys and then we can move on to dissecting the four hour argument I had with Elin."

People claimed he wasn't sincere.

Someone like me has no interest about whether he was sincere in an unwanted apology. And hey, let's face it. This could be sincere today, cocktail waitress tomorrow. But who cares? It's his private life.

And the cap certainly fits, because professional sport is built on insincerity, where the great and the good put one hand on their heart and the other deep inside your wallet.

An American columnist wrote that Woods' apology was fake. Maybe the press is also fake in its outrage, since none are emotionally tied to the injured parties.

Woods did not hurt a member of the public, so the press can't claim any genuine public interest. Woods actually told a difficult truth, that fame can corrupt.

Living in a world where people continually fall at your feet must screw with your mind.

As for claims he constructed a false perfect image - rot. In the arena that we should judge him on - the golf course - Woods was anything but clean cut.

In fact, Woods is the biggest brat in golf - spitting, cursing and throwing clubs. He is the most ungracious champion. The myth makers and believers just chose to ignore this for a long time.

The mystery is this: Who exactly was Woods making the apology to?

He will have said sorry to his wife Elin. He will have attempted damage control with his sponsors. But he doesn't owe the rest of us anything for his private activities.

He is not an elected politician, and he's not an official on the public payroll. He's neither killed nor assaulted, nor swindled money.

As for those who whine about a philanderer making adverts ... .if people suddenly find that their razor blades aren't working because Woods shagged a porn star, ask Gillette for your money back.

Woods did however create his own promises of perfection on the golf course. We came to expect that he would play the most amazing golf ever seen, and he kept delivering in that area to unimaginable degrees. He excelled at the game, and anything else was always a game.

To me, Woods was welcome to go on the offensive, telling the world that his private life was his own, that if any news merchant broke privacy rules he'd come down on them with a ton of bricks.

So the apology may have been to appease sponsors. Why condemn him for that even? Every Tom, Dick and Harry in the western world is obsessed with money, and people used to marvel at the size of Woods' endorsement deals.

The holier-than-thou reactions have perhaps been encouraged by America's religious zeal and reliance on those mythical family values. This could be a fable, but America is united by its fables, and they allowed one to build up around Woods who then blew the scam apart.

I love and treasure many things about America and its people. But America's covert forces have committed crimes against foreign states and citizens without the merest hint of an apology.

When you factor that in, having the world stop to monitor the weekend's sorry-fest becomes a sick joke.

A final note. I'm all for the right of protest, but only for worthwhile, humanitarian causes.

Any Woods hecklers distracting the golfers and affecting the enjoyment of tournaments for spectators should be turfed off the course.

* Weekend winner:
The Phoenix. The (sensational) Wellington crowd (again). New Zealand soccer. Liam Reddy.

* What to watch:
Cricket - the Aussies are finally here, with Twenty20 matches on Friday and Sunday to whet the appetite.