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Dear Tiger Woods,

I hear you're going to apologize today. Again. After having the crap beaten out of you both literally and figuratively by a wide variety of characters both known and unknown to you, after having been righteously punished both in public and in private for your many genuine miscreancies, after having gotten what was coming to you in a way that none of us would wish for ourselves, you are once again going to apologize.

Don't. And if you have already? Please don't do it again.

This nation is an apology factory. People are held up to impossible standards, or even possible ones, and fail to live up to them, as people will, and then the apology machine goes into action and will not shut down again until it runs its course, or is denied of fuel. You are simply giving it more fuel.

This is because you are listening to the two ministers who tend the machine and keep it running: PR people and the press.

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PR people like apologies because they make their living with them. They craft them. They issue them. They even believe in their power. But they are wrong. Unless one has run over a puppy intentionally with a Hummer, all that an apology does is get the machine in gear. An apology simply begins the process of your destruction.

The list of those who have apologized and whose apologies have been found to be insufficient is long and ignominious. The cycle begins with the apology. It ends with your obliteration. Ask John Edwards if he's happy he went on ABC and apologized for his stupidity. Perhaps he will tell you the truth, for a change.

The second group that would love to eat your apology is the press. That is because it too is in the apology business. They take the apology. Turn it around in their paws. Bat it around for a while. Eat it. Digest it. Then they want more. What? No further apologies? But we're still hungry! And we have more questions that should lead to more apologies! You know where that ends, Tiger. They'll be shouting from the galleries about all the things you want to leave behind you. They'll be hitting you with big fat divots when you are prepared for roses.

I hope I'm not too late. You're scheduled to apologize again this morning. Perhaps you won't get this advice until it's too late. If so, you know what? It's still good. You can't unapologize now. But let that be it, forever. Answer no more questions. Say you're sorry, if necessary, to the one person to whom you genuinely owe an apology. No, it's not Barbara Walters.

Be quiet. Do what you do well. Let your club do the talking. Perhaps that's an unfortunate choice of words, but you know what I mean. You don't owe us anything more than a incendiary round at the Masters. I hope you have one, or at least one you have nothing to apologize for.

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