ESPN's Golf Coverage Continues To Impress

Friday, September 19, 2008


Just wanted to touch on ESPN's Ryder Cup coverage quickly this afternoon as the morning matches come to an end. I've said before that the network's College Football coverage is head and shoulders above all the other Sports on the "Leader", but after taking in the U.S. Open and today's Ryder Cup coverage, it's safe to say that Golf is coming awfully close to matching it.

If you compare ESPN's Golf coverage to CBS' there's a bit more of a tendancy to over-explain aspects of the game, but there's nothing really wrong with that. I think the big thing with the Ryder Cup is explaining the format, and what wins and matchups actually mean leading up to the afternoon play and the Tournament as a whole. Mike Tirico is spot on and Andy North compliments him almost seamlessly. Both of them also work well with the on-course group of Judy Rankin, Bill Kratzert (although Rankin has described just about every shot as "very hard" this morning) and they have the ex-Golf Networker Van Pelt to round everything out. I could deal without Tom Rinaldi, but we're being positive today so I'll pass on him.

It's easy to focus on the negative in these parts because there's so much of it, but I'm really impressed with the improvements that ESPN has made to their Golf game. As far as the tournament itself, the Americans are actually winning early on and the afternoon four-ball matches are going to be a blast. If anything crazy happens I'll be sure to have the video, but if you can get off work early to watch some of the matches, definitely do so.

A Look At ESPN's Ryder Cup Coverage (Awful Announcing)

Posted by Awful Announcing- at 12:52 PM

19 Comments:

I agree that the morning's coverage was very good. It's good that loud-mouthed obnoxious Chris Berman isn't there like he is for the U.S. Open, which improves the broadcast immeasurably. I still don't understand why they let that fat windbag pollute the airwaves during that event.

Gregg said...
Sep 19, 2008, 1:30:00 PM  

Your attitude will sour once they haul out Rick Reilly's ego.

GMoney said...
Sep 19, 2008, 1:36:00 PM  

Do you make enough scratch off this blog to be watching golf on a Friday morning?

;o)

hollywood wags said...
Sep 19, 2008, 1:52:00 PM  

They and CBS are tops. NBC always has to clear thier comments through Johnny and it just drives me crazy. Gary Koch has changed a bit more to challenge Johnny. No one comes close to Nantz, Lundquist, Feherty and team.

Anonymous said...
Sep 19, 2008, 2:00:00 PM  

And now the NBC "Talent" has taken over, and the quality from the morning is shot to hell...

Anonymous said...
Sep 19, 2008, 2:06:00 PM  

you obviously missed Dottie Pepper saying: if Lee Westwood misses this shot, he'll be 5-yards "further closer".
is that like a football official stepping off a penalty both ways?

Anonymous said...
Sep 19, 2008, 2:12:00 PM  

Damn...I didn't even know Hicks was coming on this afternoon. Oh well.

And HW, I make enough to do this fulltime, unfortunately I haven't been watching all day. F'ing blogger screwed me with the auto scheduling again when I was out running around this morning. But hey, it's Friday....no biggie right?

Sep 19, 2008, 2:28:00 PM  

I don't mind Hicks... or maybe just dislike him less than the masses. I thought he was very good during the Olympics. But I love ESPN's golf team, and long thought that Tirico/Azingner/Faldo should have been the model for what ANY sports broadcast should be. Solid PBP guy, who's not putting himself above the broadcast, and knowledgable analysts who aren't afraid to criticize, but also back up the criticism with reason. Add in the rapport that Faldo and Zinger have, it made their broadcasts fantastic. IMHO, of course.

Rob in WI said...
Sep 19, 2008, 2:39:00 PM  

Now I'm listening to Rick Reily making same predictable jokes followed by forced laughs by Tirico.

Anonymous said...
Sep 19, 2008, 4:36:00 PM  

Glad Reilly read his story from earlier this week. Does his contract say he can't go over 1500 words a fortnight or something?

PlayoffBeard said...
Sep 19, 2008, 4:40:00 PM  

I'm about 90 minutes behind in the coverage but Bob Murphy just refered to the "blue ball tracker" for the Euro side, and then laughed at himself. Good to know middle school humor is still effective at his age.

Sean said...
Sep 19, 2008, 7:05:00 PM  

thought Hicks was good during the Olympics?
he BLEW the call of the greatest swim in history...giving the Americans silver 2 legs into a 4 leg race.
why everyone is praising him for the call -- i have NO IDEA!

Anonymous said...
Sep 19, 2008, 9:15:00 PM  

Tirico is a piece of useless shit. I know he's black, which means you bastards won't touch him. He's fucking horrible.

Anonymous said...
Sep 19, 2008, 9:49:00 PM  

Bullshit. Tirico is one of the best in the business; he's a joy to listen to.

cb said...
Sep 19, 2008, 10:30:00 PM  

Tirico is solid. Gives his opinion occasionally, but it's not crazy or anything, which makes it okay for a play-by-play guy. I think the entire MNF crew has brought down his rep. a bit. Guilt by association.

Burning River said...
Sep 19, 2008, 11:12:00 PM  

"You hate to lose to a guy with a pony-tail."

Johnny Miller in reference to Miguel Angel Jiminez playing for Europe.

Lucas said...
Sep 20, 2008, 8:56:00 AM  

"Mickelson is going to need an ice bath after all these fist bumps and high-fives from Kim."

Mike Tirico

Too damn funny.

There was another moment when AK really slapped his hand hard. Tirico exclaimed "careful Kim! Don't bruise him!."

Lucas said...
Sep 20, 2008, 10:47:00 AM  

After Jim Nantz mentions European caddie, Fanny Suneson, was Faldo's caddie for a "number of years"; Good 'ol Johnny Miller replies:

"I think she was with him, Faldo, longer than any of his wives!"

Miller holds no punches.

Lucas said...
Sep 20, 2008, 6:51:00 PM  

Johnny Miller:

"You shouldn't comment on how the sandwich tastes until you take a bite."

"There'll be time enough for countin' when the dealin's done."

Lucas said...
Sep 21, 2008, 6:59:00 PM  

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