I heard a strange remark yesterday on Golf Channel; it was a teaser about an upcoming segment where they intended to discuss how Jordan Spieth could win even though he lacked Tiger Woods’s physical stature. I didn’t stick around to hear the discussion, but the remark struck me as odd because, well, take a look for yourself:
As you can see, Jordan is actually a little bit bigger. He is taller, his head is larger, his neck broader, these things showing a stronger underlying bone structure. The forearms and wrists are at different angles, but it appears Jordan has a slight edge there as well. You can quibble about this feature or that feature, but the point is the guys are almost the same size, with Jordan being ever-so-slightly bigger. And Jordan didn’t have to “bulk up”; he’s at his natural size.
So how does Golf Channel decide Spieth lacks Woods’s physical stature — when Spieth is actually larger? This is the stupidest thing ever.
I forgot all about the matter until very early this morning when I was flipping through the sports channels and noticed Jordan Spieth being interviewed by Kelly Tilghman and two others on a repeat of yesterday’s Golf Central. Not fifteen seconds into my viewing, Kelly stated that Jordan was accomplishing a lot even though he lacked Tiger Woods’s physical stature. Jordan, ever the gentleman, joked, “That wasn’t very nice,” but he must have been flummoxed, as he obviously knows Woods is slightly smaller. It would be surreal, if it weren’t standard operating procedure for Kelly Tilghman and golf channel.
I was pleased that Jordan called her out on it. He did it gently, smoothly, but he didn’t let Tilghman’s remark go completely unchallenged.
Tilghman needs to be fired or reassigned — remember this incident? — but I think Golf Channel’s All Tiger All The Time act has driven away viewers to the point where they are just going through the motions now. I don’t know the precise situation at Golf Channel, but I do know the promises of the new media revolution, with its possibilities of detailed coverage for the “expert fans,” has been a major disappointment in the world of golf (and elsewhere). More on that later.