Masters makes good TV but....

Having Phil and Tiger in the same pairing made for some pretty good television on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Too bad the same can't be said for the announcing! What a typically pathetic job the boy's did, telling the real story of what was going on. Rather than explain how well Kenny Perry was actually golfing under the immense pressure of The Masters lead, shooting even PAR for his first 11 holes and 3 under through 16, they decided to attack the lack of noise or activity in the last two groups.

"It's like a completely different tournament back there."

No shit! The first tournament was where one twosome was doing everything they could to catch up from such a huge deficit, a deficit created by NOT golfing as good as Kenny Perry and Chad Campbell for the previous three days. The second tournament was three men, (totally have to add eventual winner Angel in here!) playing some of the best golf under pressure, that has ever been recorded on television. What Angel, Chad and Kenny did over that last 18 holes and into the playoff, was nothing short of incredible. IMHO, they deserved way more attention and appreciation from the television broadcast crew, than they got.

But in what has become far too standard golf television coverage these days, we were treated to far more Phil eating a protein bar and Tiger mumbling dammit under his hat, than we were to the action of the three great competitors behind. That is of course until Tiger suffered a final two hole melt down, and Phil could only manage a Bogey on #18. Both of which merely brought about a casual, "Oh dear. Well, it was a valiant effort on his part." from the supposedly un-biased announcers, rather than the complete tear down of the play and "failure to capitalize" comments brought on any of the others that played the hole in a similar fashion.

It was only then that the broadcast team was forced to take a look at the play of these three great warriors of the grass. Grinding it out in some cases yes, but also playing a few of the best shots that The Masters had seen in a long, long time as well. Kenny's tee shot into #16 comes to mind to be exact.

Hell if Cabrera had heard some of the crap that had been said about him during the round, I doubt very much there would have been a winning interview done at all.

My point is, using these self-serving puppets as announcers for something as important and classy as The Masters, will never tell the viewers what is really going on out there on the course. It'll all just be the repetitive drone and drool, that the boy's at Augusta will allow you to hear. "Sell the beauty of the course. Sell the toughness. Sell the big names that are playing and say Augusta National every chance that you get. Then we'll all get along just fine." are the key's.

Give me back Johnny Miller and Gary McCord, if it's going to be an important event. At least then we'll get a little refreshing honesty for a change! Because you know what? That fringe really was cut closer than a Brazillian Bikini line and YES!!! I do want to ask, "What the Hell was he thinking at the time?" Because to me that makes for better and more honest enjoyable television, than the crap they presented us with for most of yesterday's NBC broadcast.

My sincerest thanks for dropping by....


DrChako said...

For me, Gary McCord will always be associated with the Masters, just for that reason. I'm afraid that big TV is so scared of the Green Jacket Mafia that they will do whatever it takes to preserve the brand.

It was a helluva battle and some of the best golf I've seen in a while, even if the playoff was a contest to see who would screw up the least. Bang it off a tree and go on to win? Seriously?


Nick said...

Fortunately the commentary team in the UK are actually OK (if I can discount Peter Alliss), so although the TV coverage was way too Tiger/Phil orientated, it's not complete overkill.
Adding to that, we see Cabrera, despite being Argentinian, as one of "ours", seeing as he made his name on the European Tour, and I think this came across in the commentary (we needed to cheer someone on, it was a European disaster, apart from Lyle and McIlroy).
A great playoff though - and there was I convinced Chad Campbell was strong favourite to win the playoff - what do I know???

Memphis MOJO said...

The announcers think that a viewer can't enjoy it unless it's Tiger and Phil.

I think they underestimate us!

Nice post.

Schaubs said...

We probably will not see a Sunday pairing like that for a very very long time. Both are 7 back with one day to play... are you choked because they showed each and every shot? I hope you were like me and had the laptop clsoe by with streaming updates of the entire field.

I'll take Phil and Tiger on Sunday chasing down the leaders with shot after shot magic anyday.

The commentators were weak I agree, but I learned a long time to not care about what they say and just concentrate on the golf, where Tiger is landing it, what his thought process might be, why he is hitting a bunker shot and not even considering going at the pin. etc.

NBC just took advantage of pairing that everyone has been waiting for... and for it to happen on Sunday at Augusta was nothing short of total awesomeness.

The shot that Kenny hit was amazing I agree. Angel hitting the tree on 72 hole and then making par... just amazing... I can't even fathom the pressure he was under.

Kenny Perry pulled a Len Matice.

Too bad his putter let him down throughout the week.

Very nice post.

BamBam said...

No Schaubsy, like you and a few million others, I really wanted to see every shot in that pairing. It was truly remarkable and something we may not witness again for a really long time.

The point I was trying to make and maybe I didn't do a good enough job of it was, Augusta National still owns the media. What they say goes and no one other than honest golfers such as McCord and Miller, will stand up to them.

It's no secret that there are "green jackets" in the production trailer during all Masters coverage. That takes some of the heart and soul out of the event for me.

The hardest hole of the day was #9, yet we got ho-hum coverage of four guy's bustin' a nut to stay ahead of the most impressive two man attack on a leaderboard in modern history.

What I'm trying to say I guess is, "The roar is back" was the Augusta Nationals catch phrase this year, because they have been rather bad television of late. But the "roar" was no more important or any better TV, than what ended up being just three real contenders in the end.

It is only my opinion of course, but do you think Phil or Tiger would have gotten the near zero coverage that a faltering Jim Furyk ended up getting, if they would have had the same round?

Jim was grinding it out, it just didn't happen. The other three did some grinding, did some saving and definitly did some things that were truly amazing. The blah-blah-blah of "it's just not the same back there" and "they can't get anything going in the last two groups" was total BS.

I'm just saying their play deserved honesty, integrity and even possibly a sympathetic view, considering the pressure that they were being put under. But if those aren't always possible at Augusta, at least offer them the respect that their play on the day truly deserved. I personally was burning inside, at the "they're all washed up at the back" attitude, from a few golfers and broadcasters, that aren't fit to clean a person like Kenny Perry's, Angel Cabrera's or for that matter, Chad Campbell's clubs at the time.

Just my $0.02 worth though. Thanks for running the pool! Glad to see it was $ amounts! (I forgot that!) By cash I was dead mid-field but buy PAR, holy crap 5 of my guys sucked!

Do I hear U.S.OPEN pool...


Schaubs said...

US open pool is great idea. I will work on that.

I did hear the commentators mention something about these final two groups just not being able to handle the pressure of the roar. The roar is different when Tiger or Phil hit a shot or drop a eagle putt. The roar is what makes golfers make mistakes because they know a tiger or a left is lurking and making a charge.

For them to make pars was great, but you always like to cheer for the guy who comes from behind to win, at least I do.

Having it handed to you is not that fun, but a win is a win!

DonKaaa said...

I couldn't agree with you more Bam. There were several amazing stories and phenominal rounds of golf being played on Sunday that received little to no coverage whatsoever.

John Merrick and Steve Flesch posted two of the top rounds for the day, finished 6th overall tied with Woods yet I can't recall seeing a single golf shot or putt that either one of them made. Then there is Katayama who did get some coverage but not nearly enough for what this guy brings to the game.

Other than the coverage, the only thing that I was truely disappointed about was the 18th hole and playoff. That was some of the worst golf I've seen.

Kenny Perry has a 1 stroke lead teeing off on the 18th hole on the final day of the Masters and pulls out a driver off the tee? What the heck are you thinking you dumbass? That tee shot requires him to hit a fade and he's a draw player. Bunt that 3 wood down the middle and hit your 6 iron to the centre of the green. Sheeesh. Even his shot from the bunker was painful to watch.

And then there is luckbox Cabrera who hits his tee shot dead into the trees in the playoff. Plays his second shot, catches hard wood and stands puzzled as to where his ball went? Oh look, its in the middle of the fairway. OMFG..... Granted he did make a great up and down to save par.

I don't even want to comment about the 2nd playoff hole other than to say that Kenny Perry played the best 70 holes of golf in his career only to completely crumble under the pressure.

The best player didn't win .... the luckiest player did.

Oh and by the way, I heard that Augusta National just passed a new policy that will be enforced next year.