Back to work on Monday and one thing I noticed from the sports weekend. It seemed the networks did not want to compete with the U.S. Open on NBC. CBS Sports was mostly dark except for an America’s Cup recap late Sunday afternoon. ESPN decided not to feed ABC anything. No WNBA, no celebrity golf, no figure skating repeats, nothing. Fox had baseball on Saturday and Formula 1 racing on Sunday, but other than that, it was the U.S. Open.
I did like the way NBC covered the Open. It wasn’t the Masters where CBS would not talk negatively about Augusta or the golfers. Johnny Miller was on top of things including Jim Furyk’s choice of driver at 17 which turned out to be disastrous and for all intents and purposes, eliminated him from consideration even though he still had a chance to tie Angel Cabrera. Tiger Woods made just two birdies in his last two rounds and the entire NBC crew was quick to point it out. Kudos to Roger Maltbie for asking Tiger about it in the postgame interview. As Cabrera was making shots, it was perhaps best for him to be playing ahead of Furyk and Woods to put the pressure on. Reaction shots of Cabrera as he made birdie at 10 and made excellent approaches on the back nine were covered. And as he went into the clubhouse, NBC cameras were there as Cabrera was watching the action as Woods and Furyk tried to catch up.
As the drama was reaching a crescendo, NBC hardly cut away to commercial and kept Bob Costas to the postgame interview of Cabrera. Johnny Miller was caught up in the action as he watched Woods miss the final putt on 18 to try to force a playoff. He said it was great drama and as Woods missed, you could hear Dan Hicks and Miller trying to catch their collective breaths. Overall, NBC gets an A for its coverage. You can understand why the USGA has kept the U.S. Open on NBC since 1998.
Entourage returned from a two week break with a pseudo documentary of the making of “Medellin”. The MVP of the episode was director Billy Walsh, played by Rhys Coiro. This wasn’t a typical Entourage episode, but it was good. Funny stuff.
Let’s get to the links.
Michael Hiestand of USA Today praises NBC for the U.S. Open.
Jim Williams of the DC/Baltimore Examiner talks about honesty making it into sports broadcasts.
Tom Jones of the St. Petersburg Times gives his take on the best and worst of the Sports TV weekend.
In the Houston Chronicle, David Barron says the U.S. Open should garner decent ratings for NBC.
After one season, it appears that Brett Hull is done at NBC. In a news and notes column in the Vancouver Sun, there’s one sentence mentioning that Hull is out. Boy, what a way to make an announcement. Hull did a good job in the studio with Bill Clement and Ray Ferraro.
Funny story of note, CBS and Fox remain uptight about Trojan Condom commercials. The New York Times reports that both networks rejected an ad depicting a condomless pig.
That’s it for now. I’ll be back later with more links.