Friday, March 21, 2008

Masters:Welcome, ESPN. Leave The Blowhard Behind

As you might have heard, ESPN was granted the rights to televise the first two rounds of The Masters this year. This is a huge get for the World Wide Leader, another impressive feather to add to the cap which already includes the NFL, NBA, and NASCAR.

Surely, one would think, the coverage would be anchored by someone who is synonymous with the network. Someone who dons an (enormous) green blazer of his own every Masters Sunday while anchoring Baseball Tonight. Someonme who, each year, handles the on-site coverage for the U.S. Open. Someone who has been with the WWL since its inception in 1979. Someone like.....Chris Berman, right?

Um, no.

As reported in Phil Mushnick's column today, the ESPN coverage team does not include the rotund schtickmeister. Since no rationale is given by Masters officials nor ESPN for the omission, it stands to reason that the Augusta National folks, who are extremely protective of the televised presenataion, said a big fat "No" when imaging Berman yukking it up during the telecast.

We'll just have to get by without hearing nicknames for the golfers, tired references to Eagles and/or Fleetwood Mac songs, or a ramble on how a wedge from 90 yards "could...go...all...the.....WAY" into the hole.

How will we manage?

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