Since my soccer team Dawn advances 21 points In the fourth quarter And losing at home to a franchise that has made NFL games three times in the 21st century, the switch to championship golf last weekend offered a certain therapeutic allure, which could be the nicest thing anyone has ever said about their LIV Golf TV experience. Sunday afternoons can be very stressful when your favorite ball club can’t stop the forward pass. When it comes to a 54-hole event with a gun start and a no-nonsense finish, there is no such pain.
There is no reason to care who wins. It is a blessed state of mind.
still wriggling out 469 yards and six landings we surrendered in the airMy emotional balance didn’t improve so much that Sunday night’s NFL show was an option. That means more golf, this time from the PGA Tour, although the leaderboard for the final tour in Northern California didn’t exactly make up for TV to watch.
The differences in the two broadcasts were astounding. Golf Channel’s coverage of the tour’s season opener was a tight production that was masterfully handled by three high-quality broadcasters, while LIV’s broadcast still lacked the polish and depth of knowledge you’d expect from a big league operation. Like a lot of things posted on YouTube, it comes as homemade for the exact viewer, which would be fine if we were talking about grandma’s cookies, and not a new bra product with an overly inflated opinion of itself.
My GM spent $70 million, plus a first-round pick to rebuild his high school over the holiday season. guess what? He didn’t get his money, and neither did the Saudis. David Ferti, who delighted fans for two decades as a curator of quirky humor and a provider of offbeat insights, appears to have calmed down since he made the leap in the rival league.
Mr. Ferti’s sober is somewhat worrisome, particularly in his new role as Principal Analyst at LIV Golf. What few people know is that he and Greg Norman are old friends, which may explain why the shark boasted such a prominent presence in the cabin, but the flashing lights had little effect. Verti looked distracted, almost detached, during the final round in Chicago. The livestream was plagued by several long periods in which no one said a word — 30 seconds of dead air in the TV industry translates to about 18 months of real time — a remarkable diversion from the best two-and-a-half game half a month ago in Portland.
Not that viewers will discover an abundance of insight when someone speaks. In response to a question about Cam Smith’s 20-foot tackle in the early noon nine, Bubba Watson, who had been following the lead trio in an attempt to impersonate a reporter on the course, took out a 48-ounce can of cliché that most tour pros can’t live without.
“He showed a lot of courage, trying to win this tournament,” Buba replied. You can’t run to the corner store and buy such wisdom, folks.
What was Watson doing with the microphone anyway? Norman gave him the usual outrageous loot to join the Rebel battle, but he hasn’t played yet, apparently due to injury. Bubba is a good guy and all, but he’s not a broadcaster, and he proved that conclusively in Chicago. It’s laughable, the way LIV Golf tries to make friends while ostracizing its enemies, and much of it has to do with not recognizing the value of the visual medium.
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More than 99 percent of all golf enthusiasts get their fix by watching it on screen, not attending tournaments in person. Presenting such a heavily funded project to the public in a substandard manner is strategically criminal – and ridiculous. Norman shouldn’t want anyone to watch his show now. Don’t dress like this.
Meanwhile, the Tour refrained from responding to the taunts and bluffs of its arrogant opponent, opting to hide behind a wall of lawyers and wait out the storm. Norman declaring that he didn’t want a truce because his upstart had already worked, Phil Mickelson’s comment that the two organizations needed to unite because the little guy wouldn’t go far… It’s all just nonsense and positions.
Until the emerging rabble-rouser figure out how to showcase their products to the mainstream, Camp Ponte Vedra has nothing to worry about. Dean Beeman was acutely aware of how big priority television was to the public health of the sport when he took over as commissioner in 1974 – he began buying back the rights to each event as soon as he got the job. Fifty years ago, media ownership belonged to the actual tournaments themselves.
The visionary even needed until the end of the seventies to complete the task, but Beeman completed it. Unlike my team’s general manager or billionaire sheikhs, he got a lot more out of his financial fortune — those purchases laid the foundation for what became the undisputed sports empire. With that in mind, it’s hard to imagine a larger gap between two entities competing for a growth component of this importance.
The YouTube deal simply won’t cut it. Relationships with her TV partners are perhaps the tour’s greatest strength, and to that end, she manages the programming details with both hands. Since it’s a conservative approach with little tolerance for on-air criticism or shady subject matter, networks are happy to comply. And while the Golf Channel has no choice but to continue, the Tour knows how important this partnership is to brand consistency.
Last Sunday’s show was an excellent example. Anchor Terry Gannon and booth analyst Curt Byrum were great on a freaky day that included tons of rain and a telecast that opened with the last group on the 16th hole. The decision to go to the top was certainly an easy one – you don’t really have much of a choice in this day and age – and when Danny Willett got rid of his first American win in more than six years with three bullets from within four feetYou had to be at least half nuts to stay in full replay.
Byrum gets no recognition, let alone praise, he deserves the job he performs during the early rounds of the heart of the season and as the main voice in the less important events. He’s so much better than CBS fan Ian Baker Finch that he’s nowhere near funny, but then, he’s not supposed to be. Despite his backup status, Byrum appears on every mission ready to talk and exceptionally well prepared. He’s not a comedian, but he’s not a pastry chef either. It tells you what it sees, and in alignment with the main assets of a powerful analyst, it sees a lot.
Gannon seems to have been around forever, and for good reason. It’s another great resource that seems to appear at a time you might least expect – wasn’t it just an invitation to a major network ice skating competition last weekend? Its versatility resonates to good effect when hosting a gathering of the little white ball, bolstered by his extraordinary conversational skills that make the most of everyone sitting next to him, even the fearsome Nick Faldo.
As was the case when he played Jim Valvano as a reserve guard on the 1983 North Carolina National Championship team, Gannon still knows how to run the show. It may be that he and Byrum don’t rise above seeing big events is a matter of their choosing, but Excellence doesn’t care how many tournaments you cover or how much money you earn. This is another way of saying that the reserve broadcasters for the tour are superior to anyone who is currently flapping at LIV Golf.
Until Norman finds himself some real head start, aversion to a truce is certainly a ruse.
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