Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Sore Subject...

Well now… It seems that I struck a nerve or two with my comments about “The Haney Project” on The Golf Channel. So, in fairness, I watched it again this morning. The Golf Channel makes it easy to do that since their content repeats within 12 hours or less and often back-to-back. Case in point; “Golf Central” is a half-hour show that runs 3 consecutive times most mornings.

In my second viewing of episode #1, I did realize that I had been a little hard on Charles Barkley. The truth is that he doesn’t actually speak “painfully slow.” Barkley just speaks with a unique pattern that makes him seem slow (no pun intended.) Otherwise, there was little else I would change about yesterday’s blog.

I do feel compelled to explain the undercurrent of disdain for The Golf Channel that must have been evident in my musing. I’ve been a viewer, if not a fan, since the network began in 1995. Lately the content is extremely unappealing (with a few bright spots.) The decision making on programming, content concepts, talent has been pretty lame. Sure, the live (and not so live…see repeated every 12 hours or less) and expanded broadcasts of the PGA Tour have increased and that’s nice…nice but not nearly enough.

Here are just a few of my personal “beefs” with The Golf Channel:

The 50th Anniversary Bob Hope Chrysler Classic hosted by Arnold Palmer was wire-to-wire coverage by The Golf Channel. There were monster possibilities for some amazing stories and great content. The coverage was OK but the entire week ended with a resounding “THUD.” Shortly after Pat Perez drained his eagle putt on the 72nd hole (oh yeah…an eagle, when a par would win the tournament… that boy’s got big stones) and raised his arms in his first victory, The Golf Channel cut away to Kelly “…hang him in an alley” Tillghman and about 5 minutes of meaningless banter. OK, no problem, the network needs to fill time so the Player can take care of business at the scorer’s trailer as arrangements are made for Mr. Palmer to present the winner’s trophy. Surely, after the commercial break, viewers would be taken back to the Hope to watch the King present the trophy. Nope! The Golf Channel went directly to coverage of the Champions Tour. Come on, would it have been a problem for anyone if we missed seeing Jeff Sluman making a routine par on an easy par-4? Sluman…Palmer, Sluman…Palmer, amazing, and Rodney Dangerfield believed that HE got no respect!

Can you see why I may be a bit Harsh?

Then we have the “talent” on The Golf Channel. A quick recap; Rich Lerner is so incredibly full of himself that he leaves little room for anyone else on the small screen. Kelly Tilghman READS WELL but the last original thought she conceived was so awful that it almost got her fired! Frank Nobilo somehow just makes it hard to like him and I really don’t know why. The talent isn’t ALL bad, Stephanie Parks HAS GAME and, when allowed to be spontaneous she is stellar. Oh, wait a minute; is she even on The Golf Channel anymore? Brandel Chamblee is by far the most entertaining, insightful, informative and easily understood of the bunch. There are some other bright spots as well but mostly the “talent” is pretty vanilla.

Not an inspiring bunch overall. But here’s where my shorts knot up…the “entertainment” programming.

In the interest of time, mine and yours, I’m only going to talk about the worst show EVER… it is called “The Approach.” In this ridiculous program PGA Tour journeyman, Andrew Magee and some guy named Alex Miceli, argue various golf questions. The answers to these questions are either “solid” or “Shank”… how very cute, huh? The host is Kraig Kann, and the “match” is decided by whomever good old Kraig agrees with on the subject. That’s right, this dude Kraig Kann, who has hosted almost every show aired on The Golf Channel since 1995, decides who answers correctly. Why does HE get to decide? What’s his handicap anyway? Why not let golfers decide? Maybe an “expert panel” that has been pre-surveyed could determine who is right? You know, like “Family Feud” except about golf! “And the survey says…” Honestly, I’d rather swing by my local muni and get into a debate with a bartender, an Assistant Pro and a 16-Handicap dentist!!!

There you have it, my explanation. Thanks for all the calls, e-mails and instant-messages, they were way more entertaining than “The Haney Project.” Please…keep ‘em coming!

Head Nut #0001

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