The contrast and moment is similar to trying to compare Vin Scully and Jack Buck’s calls of Kirk Gibson’s 1988 World Series home run since one legend was working television and the other legend on radio.
Jim Nantz was in Butler Cabin at that point for CBS while in the 18th hole booth Mike Tirico was working for Westwood One.
We were a little busy in the press building so I didn’t realize how long the CBS team went without saying anything: just over 2 minutes and 30 seconds. That is beyond an eternity in television history, but especially in modern TV.
For perspective, Scully went a minute after “She is gone!” before resurfacing with the brilliant “in a year that has been so improbable the impossible has happened.” Then another thirty seconds. Both eternities but Nantz and Faldo stayed quiet even longer as Tiger greeted his family and friends.
“I have a hard time going through it with great detail because nothing was scripted out, and I’m not exactly sure of what I said in that entire scene at the 18th,” Nantz said.
Tirico had almost the same reaction. When I talked to him on Monday following the tournament, he had heard his final call several times from audio clips online. But immediately after the tournament, when he was asked on Golf Channel to describe his call, he couldn’t remember. “I just did it from the top of my head,” he said.
And that’s why we have embeds these days and kudos to the Masters social feed for including the full clip.
Tirico, on the other hand, could not leave Westwood One listeners listening to crowd noise, so he offered this exuberant call: