If there's one thing I've learned, one thing I know absolutely, it's that you have to acknowledge your mistakes. I have to, you have to, we all have to. If George Shinn had apologized for his misdeeds, we would have forgiven him and he, and not Bob Johnson, would own Charlotte's NBA team.
Say what you want about Shinn, but he cared for this city, invested a lot of time and money in helping us become a better place, and is by far the best NBA owner we've ever had. I don't even know who is second.
Fans are more than willing to forgive sports figures. They want to forgive them. Once the athlete, or team owner, humbles himself and admits guilt, fans will accept it, and life will move on. We forgave Steve Smith for the cheap-shot punch he threw at teammate Ken Lucas in training camp because (a) Smith immediately apologized (b) the Panthers quickly suspended him and (c) Lucas graciously forgave him.
The apology, however, has to be real. There's nothing real about the apology Tiger Woods plans to offer Friday. He's going invite selected members of the media but he's not going to take questions from them. In other words, they won't be reporters. They'll be props. Under the circumstances, why should they even show up?
Tiger no longer is king of the world. To read, after all this time, from a statement while looking contrite and sad (and probably not wearing a red shirt) is merely a start. If he's accountable, he'll put down the paper with the statement, a statement he probably didn't write, and take questions.
If all he does is read, there's one question we're all going to have.
Tiger, buddy, what are you trying to hide?