Wednesday Thoughts

Coming Soon:  Is Lanny H the Most Powerful Person in Golf?

Morning Drive is Just Plain Sad:  There have been some comments recently about Morning Drive going downhill when they made the change from a “radio format” to a “Today Show format.”

I hadn’t really thought about it that way before, but it sure sounds right.  There’s no real debate or discussion.  It’s gimmicky crap followed by more gimmicky crap.  Over/Under, Game Ball, Front Nine/Back Nine.  What’s the freaking difference?  And everyone must be happy and ceaselessy amazed and “energetic.”

The topics are dull, generic and passionless.  Why not have people debate Woods and PEDs?  And what’s wrong with having a guy who says about a player, “I am just not that impressed with…”  Brandt Snedeker is a player who epitomizes the good things about pro golf, but I’ve had to pull against him this spring because of the Euro Seven thing.  I can “bash” him without hating the guy.  Of course, I wasn’t criticizing Snedeker for show; I was passionate about the Euro Seven; Sneds was collateral damage.

The point is, you can passionately discuss things as an adult.  I bet your local sports talk people do it all the time.  If there are multiple pro or college teams in your region, it’s the most natural thing in the world.  Golf Channel would go to a city bordering Michigan and Ohio State and do a segment, “Harbaugh is The Best Coach — and so is Urban Meyer.”

For better or worse, people pay attention to personalities and conflict.  GC overdoes the personality in their Tiger Woods obsession, but they are devoid of even the mildest conflict.

When your local radio people discuss golf, it’s far more irreverent.  I once heard a guy refer to Jimenez as “that creepy looking greasy old guy.”  He DOES look like that.  The lockstep golf media would never say that about their “most interesting golfer in the world.”  I’ve heard Woods and PED use discussed.  It’s okay for the hosts to disagree — passionately — with each other; it makes for interesting viewing/listening.

Golf Channel acts like they are first grade teachers leading the class on a field trip.  Smiles, everyone!

There’s no need to mention the Tiger Woods obsession, but I will say it’s gone beyond annoying to just plain sad.  Have you seen the movie “The Wrestler”?  Remember the scene where the main character plays the hopelessly outdated video game (bearing his name) with the neighborhood kid?  The Golf Channel’s continuing focus on Woods is that video game.

Then there are the endless “golf tips.”  Those have their place, but who the hell wants to hear a stray tip every 20 minutes at 7:00 am in the morning?  If they want to walk over to the simulator to show a few holes from this week’s event, fine.  But otherwise, the show should, as the commenters said, return to more of a radio format.  With dissension.  Mike and Mike, Boomer and Carton — the list is long — don’t always agree.  They step on some toes.  Maybe some of it is insincere and forced, but some of it is genuine and passionate.  And — are you listening, Golf Channel? — interesting.

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2 Responses to Wednesday Thoughts

  1. I agree with you Lanny, which is why I rarely watch TMD anymore. Just too dull for me. But I have found a replacement for them. PGA Tour on Sirius. There are a couple of shows I listen to where the kind of format you are speaking about is working. Sure, some are dull to listen to, but I like the conflict and/or debate and discussion style formats. I also like Hank Haney’s show because, invariably, he finds a way to work Tiger into the discussion, if he’s not point blank asked a question by a caller. This ‘entertainment’ angle isn’t working on TMD and they need to go off script more often.

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