What would you ask Tiger during Monday's news conference?

We find out from some of the top sports interviewers questions they would ask

April 04, 2010|By Teddy Greenstein | Tribune Newspapers

Golf Channel's Jim Gray would ask Tiger Woods about his relationship with the Canadian doctor charged with supplying HGH to elite athletes.

NBC's Jimmy Roberts would delve into Woods' stated plan to "make (his) behavior more respectful to the game."

And Mike Tirico of ABC/ESPN would ask him: "What drives you now? What defines your goals?"

All three have interviewed Tiger Woods for years, if not decades.

It was Gray's question to an 8-year-old Woods that elicited the comment later woven into a Nike commercial: "When I grow up, I'm gonna win all the majors and beat all the pros."

Woods, at last, will face the media (and the music) at 2 p.m. Monday in the interview room at Augusta National, site of the Masters.

This session will not resemble his 13 ½-minute prepared apology of Feb. 19, and will differ from the five-minute interviews he gave ESPN and the Golf Channel two weeks ago. At the very least, he won't be standing.

"It will be very interesting," Roberts said. "I don't think he'll say: Just golf questions."

Gray believes that most of the mainstream press "is not interested in asking about what (Woods) calls his transgressions. That is between him and his wife. But everything that became public (i.e. the SUV accident in the early-morning hours after Thanksgiving) is fair to be asked about.

"I think he'd be much better served in accomplishing his goal of moving forward if he's forthright, rather than by continuing to sidestep them."

Gray also would ask a question Woods has avoided: "What did you go into rehab for?" and this: "Why would you allow yourself to be packaged and pulled and create an image of a lifestyle that you clearly weren't living up to?"

Said Gray: "My feeling is if you're like Charles Barkley and tell people you are not a role model, then people don't wince when you throw someone through a window (at a bar) or get pulled over."

Tirico would avoid any questions related to Woods' private life, rejecting the argument that his multimillion-dollar sponsorships afford the public any special insights into Woods, the man.

"I've never chosen my razor based on which athlete endorses it," Tirico said. "I count on Americans to be smarter than that."

Roberts said his goal is to ask questions "that people watching on their couches want to ask."

In Woods' case, those include: "How have you changed, and what can we expect to see?"

On a personal level, Roberts also is curious about what Woods meant during his Feb. 19 apology regarding being "more respectful to the game."

Does that merely refer to less cursing and club-throwing or also to being more generous of his time with fans, fellow Tour players, club officials and reporters.

"I don't want to make this about the media," Roberts said. "But I don't have to tell you that a lot of us are probably hoping we don't get the contempt we've gotten from him in the past when we've asked reasonable questions Tiger can be prickly, he intimidates people and he has never granted audiences that willingly."

Roberts added: "I've known him since he was 17 and we've had our highs and lows. I only hope things turn out well for him."

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