Tiger Woods and Beau Hossler Disappear From Network After They Fall From Contention
NBC Sports must like the prettiest girl at the dance.
The head cheerleader, the homecoming queen, the winner of the beauty pageant.
If you’re anything less, then it won’t pay any attention to you. Even if you arrived as the belle of the ball.
That’s apparently the philosophy of the network, as evidenced from it’s ahem, “coverage,” of the U.S. Open golf tournament.
And this is what we have to look forward to with the London Summer Olympic Games in the U.S.!? Oh, great!
With Tiger Woods just a few shots off the lead and a 17-year-old high school senior in contention at the start, NBC lathered all over them as if they were Victoria’s Secret models. Then, as Woods and new fan favorite Beau Hossler made a couple of bogies, NBC dropped them off the TV screen faster than Woods’ ball rolled down the hill on 17 in the second round.
Instead, we got a steady diet of Ernie Els John Peterson, Lee Westwood and Webb Simpson in addition to the leaders pairing of Jim Furyk and Graeme McDowell. Yes, they had risen on the leaderboard, but NBC started showing these players the first few holes. The network should have saved that for later when Woods and Hossler were finished to focus on them.
NBC showed every Woods shot the first three holes, but after two bogies and a double-bogie the network seemed to think he withdrew. All we got the rest of the way was the the occasional putt. Hey, this was Tiger; he could catch fire at any time! Plus, watching Tiger struggle these days is actually more fun than watching him stick shots close to the pin. The once-invincible Woods, a shoe-in to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships, has suddenly become human. Does NBC not think the American public would rather watch Tiger drive into the rough and miss greens than see the bunch of no-names that is pro golf today?
And what of Hossler? Hard to say, because viewers received only occasional winks from NBC: A shot here, a shot there, after he made bogey at #3. He wound up shooting a 78 to finish at +9, but he wasn’t really out of it until he bogeyed 13. In fact, he had birdies on 7 and 9.
Els plays the kind of boring English-style of golf that is great for the British Open but is Sunday afternoon couch-inducing snoozing for an American championship (bounce and roll shots, being on the green and putting for par but never, ever, taking any chances). Yet he got more airtime than Bob Costas.
NBC completely blew the Vancouver Winter Olympics, showing just nightly highlights rather than live action. It sucked all the drama out of the individual events and performances. The Summer Olympic games are exciting, but it’s unlikely American audiences will experience any of the dramatic buildup to instant emotion.
On the plus side at the U.S. Open, NBC did listen in on conversations between caddies and players and even between a caddy, player and official when Simpson wanted a ruling on a shot from the rough around the 18th green and him tied for the lead (Simpson eventually won the tournament).
Still, NBC’s coverage was nothing better than a double-bogey at best. When it comes go golf, NBC doesn’t even make the cut.
And the Olympics, well, things are looking as foggy as Sunday at Olympic.