Thursday, June 12, 2008


ESPN gets a really bad reputation for taking things that are popular, lacing them with Disney advertisements, and shoving them down our throats until we think we're in hell. Today, though, they got something right.

ESPN is handling their coverage of the U.S. Open exactly how USA, NBC, and CBS want to cover golf, but are afraid to. Almost half the field has teed off, but for the last 45 minutes, they have only shown Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, and Adam Scott, who are all grouped together. Once, just once, did they show the full leaderboard, and only ONCE did they show a golfer other than those three---and that was after he made an 80-yard chip in for birdie.

I disagree with them not showing the full leaderboard--when I first tuned in, they only showed Woods', Mickelson's, and Scott's scores, leading me to believe they were the only group that had teed off.

All of the other networks that cover golf are afraid to do this, and ESPN is really taking a risk by doing this, but I'm loving it. We need to be honest with ourselves, golf is golf is golf. If you like watching golf, chances are you're either watching because you love the game and don't care who is taking the shot, as long as you get to watch...or you're watching for Tiger.

It will be interesting to see how ESPN handles the rest of the weekend, because none of these three will be flirting with the top of the leaderboard come Sunday.

My pick to win? Mark O' Meara.

*Update - 12:07 p.m.*
I take back my complete and utter praise of ESPN. Though I love that they admit what they're doing, calling it "Coverage of 'The Big Three'," instead of "Coverage of the U.S. Open," this leads to a lot of downtime where rather than showing us the other 153 golfers in action, they maul us with sob stories of the qualifiers and their tragedy-to-triumph tales of how they got here. Oh well. Maybe The Price is Right is still on.

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