7:32 - Oh this looks promising, it's not raining, we have weird characters dressed in costumes, big balloons, bombastic music and a stage setup eerily similar to the Hollywood Bowl. Let the absurdity begin! (All times Pacific.)
7:34 - Okay this music is still going and the we're just watching a bunch of people running around with these balloons. They must be a metaphor for something.
7:35 - Some hot babe named Ni Bheolain is master of ceremonies. Definitely a step up from Samuel L. Jackson and his newsboy cap.
7:38 - We see the Ryder Cup on the grand stage. It's uh, tiny. Oh, Bheloain just mentioned all of the great links courses they have in Ireland. Too bad we won't see one of them this week.
7:42 - Uh oh, a piper is coming out. I suppose this is where we'd bring out a baton twirler in the U.S., so I won't complain.
7:46 - That piper was way too classy.
7:51 - Let the boring speeches begin. Starting with Phil Weaver of the European PGA. He's glued to his script. This doesn't bode well for Woosie getting to read off of a teleprompter.
7:53 - Former captains are introduced, including the legendary Bernard Hunt and then, the King, Arnold Palmer who no one seems to know where he is. Ooops! Arnold wasn't there? Maybe he had to pee.
7:55 - Here comes the new agey Celtic music, complete with guys wearing tank tops who shouldn't wear tank tops. Where's John Tesh when you need him?
7:58 - The Euro spouses, including Mrs. Woosnam are up and dancing to this stuff, the American wives reluctantly are standing and clapping. Mrs. Lehman included.
7:59 - Bathroom break time, PGA of America's Roger Warren is speaking! Lukewarm applause greets him. Wait, he's either memorized his speech or has a prompter. Good news for Woosie!?
8:03 - Warren wraps it up, finally. Says this week will perpetuate the values of the game. Let's hope.
8:05 - Introducing former Irish Ryder Cup players. We saw two of them I think. Stellar camera work. Who let the BBC in?
8:07 - Here comes the dance "extravaganza" according to this Ni gal from the Star Trek Enterprise. Oh we have smoke, we have monks, we see people showing their dirty feet and more new age music. It's no Riverdance. It's worse.
8:12 - Oh no, there's a giant horse with someone on top humping it with flags waving, all set to Celtic hyms. Thank God the children are in school for this.
8:15 - Executives from the Tours are present in matching suits, so glad they spent money on that. Tim Finchem is muttering to Joe Steranka, "boy we have work to do for the President's Cup opening ceremony. Think we can get Celine for Montreal next year?"
8:16 - The teams arrive on stage, the Euros going open collar in lime green jackets, the U.S. in their Price Waterhouse suits. The look like Irish pimps in Miami Beach. The Euro team, that is.
8:24 - We wrap up the national anthems and the awkward shots of players and wives trying to sing along to super fast versions.
8:25 - Uh oh, Captain's speech time. Woosie's Depends are getting some action. But Lehman's first.
8:26 - Lehman's already choked up. He wishes Woosie and the Euros good luck. Woosie looks like he's in pain!!!
8:30 - And now it's time for the speech he's been working on since February...Ian Woosnam. Wait, the podium is taller than Ian. Someone get a phone book! Oh he's a wreck. "They say it could be over a billion" and he's referring to the size of the audience. Right! Just like the Academy Awards.
8:32 - Did Woosie just say Ireland is famous for its crack? His dye job looks great.
8:32 - We're paying tribute to Arnold Palmer...and again, we have no camera shot of him! Where is The King???
8:34 - Woosie has stopped stuttering and is in a groove..wait, he just said Walter Reagan. Oops. Hagen.
8:35 - He's stuttering all over the part about upholding the traditions of the game...not a good sign.
8:37 - Woosie butchers the player intros..going out of order. Nice touch. Keeps 'em on their toes.
8:38 - Pairings announced, Furyk and Woods vs. Harrington and Monty in the first group. Cink and Henry vs. Casey and Karlsson. Third match, Toms and Wetterich vs. Garcia and Olazabal. And finally, Mickelson and DiMarco vs. Clarke and Westwood.
8:41 - Wow, this is a fast ceremony. We would only be on the third bad musical act here in the States! Wait, uh oh. Here come the great pagan gods playing prehistoric golf. "Let the golf party begin" says the Star Trek gal.
8:43 - Large bubbles with people in them are rolling off the stage. Or Lordy. And they are have jugglers dressed as caveman inside the balls juggling bowling pins!! Take that David Wolper! Meanwhile on the stage, an Irish ho-down has broken out, with men and women in plus fours dancing and swinging golf clubs to really music. The sky is darkening and the wind is up. Gee I wonder why.
8:47 - It's over...an expensive bubble cover is enclosing the band and won't reopen until the closing ceremony...they're leaving in droves as the Ryder Cup anthem is played. Well, they get points for keeping it short and sweet!
8:48 - Lerner and Nobilo are here, raving about the weather and the thoroughly Irish ceremony. "What a cracker that is," Nobilo says of the opening match.
8:54 - It's over. No U2 (they got stuck in the epic traffic), no Van Morrisson and no Riverdance. But a couple of killer matches scheduled starting at 3 a.m. EST. Thank God for TiVo.