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Saturday
Aug102013

Shark: Fox Sports Wants Me, They Really, Really Want Me

Wasting no time to secure the loyalty of The Villages demo, Fox's David Hill has offered the Great White Shark the U.S. Open lead analyst position for its U.S. Open broadcast team, Norman confirms via email to Tim Rosaforte.

"David Hill has reached out to me, we have spoken and yes, they have offered me the job," Norman confirmed in an email sent from his home in Florida. "I am flattered to have been asked and I look forward to having discussions with my good friend (Hill) in the very near future."

In the U.S. Open, Norman recorded five top 10's including two second-place finishes.

Norman will be 60 when the Fox Sports U.S. Open contract begins in 2015.

ESPN recently highlighted issues with his Shark Shootout's charitable giving. Or lack of such giving.

He is a consultant to Team China's 2016 Olympic hopefuls, and recently removed a Great White Shark mounted to a Medalist Club wall in a spat with the club over changes to his design work. And Tiger's a huge fan.

He has been a passionate advocate for rolling back the Overall Distance Standard in golf, something the USGA has resisted.

"I would rule the golf ball back to 1996 specifications, number one," he declared. "It's a crying shame that so many of the world's great courses have been lengthened by 400-500 yards for one week a year. The cost of that is just ridiculous, especially when you multiply it 30 or 40 times. That money could be better spent elsewhere. Golf is too expensive, and getting more expensive.

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Reader Comments (30)

It's Greg's world, the rest of us are just living in it.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterhighside
Don't forget Chrissie. Stealing your good friend's famous athlete wife seems noteworthy.
He is correct about the ball though. Hey, what about a Trump golf course designed by The Shark? Now there is a marriage made in heaven.
There's a lot of "The Donald" in him.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterStanley Thompson
Let's make everyone play the game with a 1990 Spalding Tour Edition ball.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGreg B.
Norman would be OK, he's undeniably a "star''...just wonder how candid he'd be in criticizing players, and how credible in talking about pressure down the stretch. he didn't handle it that well as a player in majors.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterMedia maven
@Pro: You just gave me a nightmare-ish image of a Trump/Norman synergy. It would never happen IMO. They're both too alpha dog-like to sit down together and hash something out long term.

Anyways...Norman is one of the reasons I took up the game, so I will always be in his debt for sowing my "golf seed" before I discovered gurls and other what-not's. Perhaps he will fit in nicely to a TV colour analyst position. Perhaps not. But I'd like to think that I'm not alone when I say that I would rather see him tee it up and play the game that's given him so much. It's not like he's gotten "Calc and Lumpy" soft in his 50's. He still has the strength to really compress/launch it. Kind of a waste not to use it IMO. And he could always roll it when the mood was right.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
@ johnnycz I hope you realize that was a "tongue-in-cheek" comment re: Trump & Normal collaboration.
Hopefully his jumping the gun will give Fox second thoughts. I have been bemused by Geoff's focus with this, because I think Fox does a good job with the NFL. But Norman as the lead analyst is an ominous sign. I take my bemusement back.

Back to jumping the gun - can you imagine how Fox execs reacted to reading this? They've just committed an enormous amount to a new venture, and the rollout on the new talent is an email from Norman to Rosaforte?
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat
I think Greg Norman as the color commentator sounds great in theory. Whether he is actually good at it remains to be seen. I think it's a brilliant 1st choice for FOX.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff F.
Norman always has his own agenda. I don't need that from the lead analyst in the US Open.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterelf
@Pro: I was well of aware of the absurdity.

What are your thoughts of Norman as a player and why he's basically shunned competitive golf these days?
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Can we dispense with "reach out" please? In this case I can't tell who is playing the part of Adam. Will be an interesting experiment though.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKLG
@ Johnnycz I played with Greg a few years back (casual practice round), right in the middle of the Chris & Greg pressing of the flesh so to speak. Can't say it was a pleasure - honor yes, pleasure, no. He was so pre-occupied at the time with her it was like two school kids at the high school cafeteria in puppy love. Couldn't keep their hands off one another. He was self absorbed in himself re: golf as you might expect and it was not a lot of "fun" to play with -- didn't engage anyone else during the casual round so to speak. It was all about him.

Not sure why he doesn't have more juices flowing for competitive golf -- sort of same for Faldo I guess. The nerve endings must be really frayed and mentally burned out on the whole process with little more to prove - I can only guess. He is certainly narcisstic to say the least. As much as TW I think. Maybe the run he had at the OPEN a few years back was his last hurrah, and perhaps that took the wind out of his competitive sails. Just speculating of course. His business interests must occupy his mind.
@KLG: +1

Are you inferring that Rosaforte didn't simply "stumble upon" the email? Or...does someone have a relative working at the NSA?
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
@Pro: Thanks for the insight(s)

To me, as a fan of his I just want to see him pull a Peter Thomson and blow all of his former golfing peers away...just to say he could (and did) do it. One season will do fine. I know It won't happen, but it's kind of sad since when I took up the game in '85 and in '86 was when the hook was forever set with greg winning the Saturday Slam. Tway's bunker shot really stunned me...don't even talk about Mize's one-in-a-thousand-even-under-the-best-of-conditions playoff miracle shot.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
How about David Frost going from fairway bunker to greenside bunker, and holing out for a 3 to take the New Orleans Open trophy out of Norman's hands? I personally witnessed Robert Gamez's hole out at Bay Hill in '90 from directly behind the green, just underneath the tower as another title was snatched from his grasp. Or what about Fuzzy whipping him in Playoff at U..S. Open in '85 67-75; or the play off lost at the '89 OPEN to Calc. And of course his collapse at the Master's setting up the stage for Faldo's third jacket. And another play off loss to Azinger at the PGA. His playoff record was a dismal 4-8 on top of the last hole dramatics he suffered. Normal could have easily had another 4-6 majors, easy.
I read the header to this and thought, "Who else?" IT'S FOX. There is no more rabid rightwinger than Norman (except maybe Crenshaw, and nobody could possibly want him). Norman's abilities may or may not be adequate to the task, but his politics being so aligned gives one pause about the Fox approach.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
@Ghillie: Then please explain why Bill Clinton used to bunk with him while being president of the USA...and ask em about the late night knee damaging accident. Right/Left/Middle/etc....it's all the same folks pushing the buttons from behind the scenes anyways. Wake up.

@Pro: Please stop twisting the knife. The Frost and Gamez hail mary's were merely salt in the wounds. And he "over pured" a few shots in the Calc playoff...he never knew his own strength. For all his "faults"/chokes/near misses...NO ONE can say there was a better modern era persimmon ball striker....and his long irons weren't too shabby. I also remember him winning said New Orleans event with a power faded 2iron on the last hole to about 6inches. Johnny Miller was newish in the booth and labeled it a Jack Nicklaus special while it was in the air!
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Not intentionally 'twisting the knife', just noting how many times he got 'stabbed', either self-inflicted, or by someone else. No argument on being the greatest driver of the golf ball (perhaps not limited to just persimmon era). Just saying he had the opportunity to go down (no pun intended) in history as one of the greatest of all time. He was a complete golfer - not bashing him - just saying he had a lot of opportunities that did not turn out in his favor. He moved the needle in his day as well.
High spin golf balls would be great. The ball would curve more, returning a penalty for miss hits. Playing into the wind would be tougher. The ability to shape the ball would improve greatly, making courses like Colonial great again. Players would be spinning shots off the green making both short and long pin positions more difficult.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDoug
I think we're in the same frame of mind Pro. "What could have been" is one of the most worn out questions in golf...and perhaps life.

Greg did good...and he brought alot of people to the game. No one can take that away from him. How his legacy turns out is up to him. This TV gig might be the avenue...or he may go down in self-inflicted flames....yet again. Overall, we're lucky to have lived in his era.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
Yepper! You got it Johnny, we are all so fortunate.
So Rupert Murdoch is the new Chris Evert.

Does that make The Shark the new Wendi?
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterPhew
I like your way of thinking Phew. LOL.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered Commenterjohnnnycz
We'll see if it lasts long enough to get out a second edition. Chrissie was out after one set!
@johnny cz: I know Clinton and Norman were pally, and about the accident. Their common ground was golf. After all, James Carver and Marey Matalin are (or were; I have not kept up) married.

Norman himself said in an onterview I read that "I am a rabid rightwinger." It's his own term, and he uses it with pride. He might have played with Clinton. But you can bet he never voted for him.

Wake up yourself. (If you can stay awake through the riveting Furyk-Dufner battle.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterGhillie
Norman was an amazing driver of the golf ball. I rooted for him as a player, but can't say I am a fan off the course.
08.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilltop
I was a big Norman fan back in the day; watching the 1996 Masters live was like Chinese water torture.

I remain convinced that it was the Mize chip-in that did him in; had he won that tournament, he would have won 4-5 more majors. But tha scar tissue builds up.
08.12.2013 | Unregistered CommenterSari
+1 on the Tour Edition ball
09.11.2013 | Unregistered CommenterDL

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