Tiger Woods does not do this. Tiger looks you directly in the eye. And to be honest, it's somewhat disarming. It's also extremely effective. For years, Woods talked a lot but said almost nothing in interviews. But simply by making eye contact, he controlled the conversation. He made reporters, at least in the moment, believe he was saying deep, important things. That he was exactly the person he said he was.
I asked him that day how it would feel if his kids weren't interested in golf -- his ex-wife, Elin was about to give birth to their first child, Sam -- and whether or not that would be difficult, considering what an important role golf had played in his relationship with his own father. Tiger said he didn't think so, because being a good father and a good husband was the most important thing in his life, and golf was always going to be secondary. It made for a cute little anecdote in my story, and countless others.
When Sam was born a few months later, Woods was back at AT&T National, where he looked another reporter in the eye and said he really hoped he and his wife could emulate the marriage Jack and Barbara Nicklaus had throughout Nicklaus' career, because having both his parents there for him was the most important part of his childhood.
I bring all this up not to point out what a farce it all was, looking back, nor because I still can't believe how easy it was for Woods to look people in the eye and say things that he had to know, deep down, weren't really true. He may have wanted them to be true, but every dirty text message and parking-lot hook up that we now know about suggests he didn't want them badly enough.
Instead what bugs me most in all this is how much we wanted the Myth of Tiger Woods to be true.