But Tiger Woods' apology set off reaction in Chicago that ranged from its effect on his business prospects to the triumph of the feminist movement.
The tightly scripted setting befitted a man who has been known professionally for mental toughness.
Sports marketers say Woods' positioning at the forefront of what it means to be excellent was something sponsors will likely still pay for -- in time.
"He did do a nice job today of apologizing, being very contrite and forthright, so today was a nice first step," said Jonathan Jensen, director of strategic consulting at Relay Worldwide. "Americans are very forgiving, but you need to at least come out and acknowledge that what you did was wrong and say you're sorry."
Beyond the business, Woods' explanation of his failings is just the latest in singular moments of men falling from grace.
"Sincere enough. I thought it was acceptable and that it fit the standard. It is something that he thought he should do," said Chicago resident Renee Mcclendon-Brown.
Mcclendon-Brown says that necessity is a reflection how equal men and women really are in 2010.
"It is the mainstreaming of the feminist movement, that point of view that men have to be held accountable to the way men behave towards women has become a part of our culture," said Barbara Risman, UIC sociologist.
That's a view that was in accord with many who thought, while deeply personal, Tiger Woods had to be out front Friday.
"I think he lifted up his wife a little bit, and I think she deserves that at this point, after everything she has been through," Philadelphia resident Doreen Siha told ABC7 Chicago.
"An apology was a nice thing to do, but I think it is personal business between him and his family. I don't know him personally. So, it doesn't really have much meaning," said Steve Lavin of Chicago.
Lavin added that he would still watch Tiger Woods play golf when he returns to the sport.
Woods said Friday he was unsure when he would play again.
Two big sponsors, Nike and E.A. Sports, said Friday they continue to stand behind him.