My already low expectations were not exceeded by Golf Channel/NBC on Golf Channel's roundtable from Arizona featuring Johnny, Faldo, Brandel, Roger and Dan Hicks. The first 17 minutes were devoted to Tiger, followed by tour talk, and topped off by a tiny last segment glossing over the state of the game. Hardly shocking, but ultimately why the Golf Channel still doesn't have the full attention of avid golfers the way, say, Tennis Channel's lively commentary makes it must-see-TV for their hardcore fans.
Here you have a show titled "State of the Game" and it felt like nothing more than a launch to what will be a neverending deluge of synergy branding. Or is it branding synergy? Either way, it's coverage heavy on logos, name dropping and plugging whatever comes next (U.S. Open talk!?).
It'd be great to see a follow up show that rekindles the spirit of Golf Channel's 2003 "State of the game" show. That featured people grappling with the game's issues and in touch with the masses (Brandel displayed traces of that in his excellent comments about the everyday game).
But the night did produce one mystery: what was that on the center table? A collection of monkey brains dipped in Hershey's syrup? Recovered bocce balls from the Gulf of Mexico floor?
**Steve Elling found Johnny's latest Tiger analogy worthy of a blog post:
Miller said he feels like he is watching the second installment of an all-time American sporting tragedy.
"It's a little bit like a Mike Tyson story to be honest with you," Miller said. "Sort of invincible, scared everybody, performed quickly under pressure, and until the Buster Douglas came along, of life, Tiger started to hit that in his life."
Tyson was convicted or rape charges, took an upset beating at the hands of Douglas and was never the same in or outside the ring.
"His life crumbled and it's like Humpty Dumpty," Miller said. "He was on the high wall way above all the other players and had a great fall, and there's pieces all over the place and [he's] trying to put them together.