Monday, June 20, 2011

'Quiet, please.'

I watched most of The U. S. Open Golf Championship with my son, Roy, over the past 4 days. If you watched or read about the tournament you know that some great golf was on display and one young man, Rory McIlroy, ended up the runaway victor breaking many records during his remarkable stroll around Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, MD. Yes, the play was stellar. The coverage, on the other hand, was awful, just awful. Were it not for Johnny Miller - his observations and complete understanding of and respect for the game – the daily coverage could have been viewed with the mute button engaged on the remote. Surely Andy North and Paul Azinger added professional and educated commentaries before and after the hole-by-hole coverage. Everything else about it was boring, repetitive, opinionated, unnecessary, over-the-top, aggravating, boring and repetitive. ESPN and NBC were the co-conspirators in this drivel they passed off as sports coverage.
I suppose the least egregious – other than Miller’s unique perspectives – would be the hole-by-hole announcers. Across the board they are former players with big-time playing experience and, for the most part, they offer interesting and accurate commentary on specific shots and situations. My favorite of these reporters, by far, was Roger Maltbie because of his ease in communication and common sense. My least favorite in this category include Curtis Strange and Peter Jacobsen – the former is stodgy and dry while the latter tries too hard to be funny with little or no success. The balance of the on-course reporters were, as usual, stationed on the same tees, fairways and greens throughout the entire 72 holes resulting in monotonous banter like, ‘The fairway cants right to left’ or ‘You simply can’t go at this pin’ or ‘The smart play off the tee is a fairway metal.’ They also cow-towed to every question and remark served up to them by Prince Miller: ‘Yes Kimo Sabe.’ Pathetic.
Perhaps more maddening were the special interest cutaways to people like Bob Costas, Jimmy Roberts and Tim Rosaforte. These men and these segments should be banned from all future telecasts. It feels to me like I’m being forced to watch the talent portion of a Miss America contest or a rerun of The Galloping Gourmet. Few of us wish to know background stories on these players – especially the little fairytales about kids who grew up playing golf everyday at a country club. Yes, there are some very compelling stories and that’s all good. But how many times in 4 days (not to mention every weekend since The Masters) did we have to suffer through McIlroy’s wash out in Augusta? How many times did we need to be reminded that Poor Leftie has yet to win an Open? Who really cared how many presidents were members of Congressional? How many times on Sunday were we made to feel as if our own fathers were no-count pimps compared to the oh-so-special relationships between these golfers and their dads? Zip it, guys. Just zip it.
Finally, there is Chris Berman. 30 years later and I still can’t stand this guy. He should never be allowed near a sporting event, a television or a microphone, again. I long for the day when I can write – Finally, there is no Chris Berman.
On the other hand – I hope Young Rory is around for a long, long time!


Post a Comment

<< Home