Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter! Chris Berman Not at the Masters!

Remember when I mentioned several months back about ESPN attaining coverage of the first two rounds of the Masters, basically as a quid pro quo from Augusta for being the international provider of record to broadcast the event everywhere but the US? Maybe? Anyway, at the time, I mentioned that there was absolutely no way that Chris Berman - the man who bastardizes the US Open's first two rounds - would be let near the gates of Augusta National. And guess what? I was right...again!

This past October, from the moment ESPN announced it had entered the
mix to televise the Masters, the fear and loathing among golf fans in
anticipation of Chris Berman's smothering presence has grown by the day.

With the Masters just three weeks away, e-mails, once expressing
mere anguish, have begun to arrive carrying vague "goodbye-cruel-world" threats. The imagined sounds of Berman on the telecasts - "K.J. Choi To The World, for par" - have made people tense as a mousetrap.


Berman will have nothing to do with this year's Masters telecasts, no presence whatsoever. There's not even a pro-am for ESPN to show him clowning in. Mike Tirico will be the only ESPN person seen through the network's Thursday and Friday, 4-7 p.m. window. And Tirico is assigned to conduct interviews from Butler Cabin.

The rest of ESPN's telecasts will be in the hands of CBS and CBS personnel. Berman won't even be a member of ESPN's three-man, on-site "SportsCenter" team.
Apparently, this had to be written because the NY Post was getting lots of concerned emails about the telecast. They should have just read me, or any other golf blogger...I think we all said the same things. I think we all said this, too:
It therefore stands to reason that the Masters boys, who keep a firm grip on everything from TV announcers to tickets - the grains of sand in the bunkers are numbered - made it clear from the start that Berman not make ESPN's cut. Either that, or ESPN preemptively volunteered to bench Berman.
Don't think it was the latter.