“Dear Sir or Madam Will You Read My Book?”


Have you ever looked at, been a fan of, or heard about a famous person and thought, “I wonder what they are like in real life?” If you’ve ever asked that question about golfer, commentator, TV star, and funny man David Feherty then buy John Feinstein’s book, FEHERTY The Remarkably Funny and Tragic Journey of Golf’s David Feherty.

According to Bing, John Feinstein has written 44 books. I have read many of them and, without having to give it more than ten seconds thought, can say I think he is the best in the business when it comes to writing about sports in general and golf in particular. A Season on the Brink, Hard Courts, A March to Madness, A Civil War, and The Last Amateurs are must reads. If you play, follow, watch, love golf then A Good Walk Spoiled, Q-School Confidential, Open, Caddy for Life, The Majors, and now FEHERTY belong in your library.

The first chapter of FEHERTY The Remarkably Funny and Tragic Journey of Golf’s David Feherty details golf’s most iconic announcer’s upbringing in a divided Northern Ireland. You get to meet his family, friends, and learn about how world events ended up shaping a young man’s life. Feinstein’s book are special because you are not only entertained but you are also informed. I haven’t read one yet where afterward I didn’t say, “I learned something”. In FEHERTY you learn a lot. If you’re a fan of the man (Feherty I mean) you’ll become a bigger one. If you’re not a fan (what the heck is wrong with you?) or know little about him beyond his work in golf television, you’ll become one.

The book is funny, interesting, emotional, and thoughtful. That’s because David Feherty is funny, interesting, emotional, and thoughtful. It’s well written because John Feinstein wrote it. But it’s not perfect. I went directly to page 197, Chapter Eleven, titled Welcome to LIV. It’s 27 pages and many of the details are mildly inaccurate. Some are just flat out wrong. I don’t blame Feinstein for this. I believe his source, or sources, for the information were more interested in protecting either someone or someone’s narrative than the truth. Another thing that I found odd was that David Feherety worked for CBS Sports for 18 years (1997-2015) and then for NBC Sports for seven (2015-2022). While both networks have folks who worked with Feherty commenting in the book it felt like the NBC people were quoted more than twice as much as the CBS people. That struck me as odd. And one final, minor, complaint is that there were a few times when the writing, the stories, and the message was repetitive. That’s the bad but the good so far outweighs any of it.

I have been lucky enough to work in broadcast television for five decades and in that time have met and worked with some of the medium’s most famous on-air personalities. Some of them are kind, lack ego, generous, talented, and friendly. Some of them are NONE of those things. David Feherty falls into and belongs at the very top of the first group. I first worked with the man around 2005 when The Golf Channel televised a little crosstown, country club rivalry match called The Tavistock Cup. In the beginning it was a match pitting players from one tony Orlando club (Isleworth) against players from another tony Orlando club (Lake Nona). Tiger, Ernie Els, John Cook, Ian Poulter, Trevor Immelman, Henrik Stenson, Mark O’Meara, Nick Faldo among others all played. It was a blast to produce and it was made even more fun because David Feherty and Gary McCord were part of the announce team.

I admit I was nervous. Despite having worked with legends including Vin Scully, I had never worked with Feherty but as a fan of golf I knew who he was and was in awe of his work. He couldn’t have been nicer, more respectful, or a bigger team player. It was a joy to watch and a pleasure to be “in his ear”. Although I must admit he may have never heard nor paid attention to anything I said while we were on the air. The easiest thing to do when producing a live golf tournament with David Feherty on the team is open his mic. Now, nearly twenty years later, I have the honor of working with the man again and that, my friends, is not hyperbole. It IS an honor.

I now consider myself one of the fortunate ones who knows David Feherty. I consider him a friend and the book that John Feinstein wrote, with Feherty’s blessing, is, like the man, a gem. Do yourself a favor and buy this book.

Thanks for reading this. If you don’t know me I am a more than 40 year veteran of sports television working mostly in golf. I have also written 6 books and you can find them at Every opinion written since I started this blog is mine. You are free to like it, hate it, agree with it, disagree with it or ignore it.

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Back In The Saddle

“It’s just like riding a bike”

Moms Everywhere

I am 66 years old and spent more than two thirds of those years working in television. Mostly sports and of those sports, mainly golf. I “sat in the chair” and produced hundreds of golf tournaments for television. First and the local level, then nationally at ESPN, and finally for 18 years at The Golf Channel. The last time I was responsible for what golf shots people at home watched was September of 2013. The event was United States Women’s Amateur Championship at The Country Club of Charleston.

Then I retired. I wrote books (5 of them now and the sixth is what they call a WIP). Books you can buy here thanks. Between and around the works of fiction I was lucky enough during the past 8 years to be asked back to work on several projects but never to produce. That was until October of last year. A former colleague, and still friend, Scott Kazakewich sent me an email (or was it a message on Facebook) asking if I would be interested in producing a live golf tournament again. Scott is in charge of all of the tournament production for the Asian Tour, has been for a decade, but he was part of our live tournament production team at The Golf Channel for years. The tournament turned out to be an Asian Tour event in Saudi Arabia.

After some deliberation I said yes. Several factors went into that decision including:

I was happy to help a friend.

I’ve never been to Saudi Arabia and I probably wouldn’t ever go on my own.

My wife was going to be out of the country at the same time.

So, off I went.

As I mentioned, the tournament was The Saudi International. Recently a part of the Asian Tour schedule it would be the biggest event that tour ever staged and the most controversial. Early on word spread that the PGA TOUR and the European Tour (I know it’s the DP WORLD Tour now but come on) would prohibit its member players from competing. Everybody with half a brain knew that wasn’t going to stick so defending champion Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia, Tommy Fleetwood, Bubba Watson, Ian Poulter, and dozens more were in the final field. It was going to be one of the most, if not the most, star-studded full field event I had ever produced.

To say things have changed in the world of golf production in the eight years since I did it last would be a gross understatement. Mainly due to technology and a pandemic the machinations behind the production were markedly different. That said my approach to producing the event stayed stubbornly the same. Show as many players and shots as possible on Thursday and Friday, avoid tap ins, and tell the story on the weekend. I admit I used to watch a lot of golf on tv but doing that has become less and less interesting to me over the past handful of years. I still tune in to watch if I know friends, and former teammates, including Jerry Foltz, Curt Byrum, or Kay Cockerill are on the show but that’s one of the only reasons why I watch now. But to prepare for the Saudi show I watched (thanks to a recording because I’m not staying up until 2 AM for ANYTHING any more) a couple of Scott’s Asian Tour productions. My first reaction was that they were well done and my second was there is no way I was going to be able to pronounce many of those names. I mean, say Suradit Yongcharoenchai three times fast. But I digress. It was Denver to Frankfurt, Frankfurt to Riyadh, Riyadh to Jeddah, then an hour car ride to the hotel.

I mentioned the controversy swirling around the tournament and allow me to address that now. Much and I mean MUCH was made in the golf press as a whole, and #golftwitter specifically, about the moral aspects of professional golfers accepting money and invites to play in a golf tournament sponsored by and played in Saudi Arabia. Adding fuel to the fire was the accelerant that was Greg Norman. He’s in the midst of starting a rival golf league that has the major tours, and golf media, up in arms. That league has very little to do with the Asian Tour. The little it does have to do with it is $$$. Norman was the face behind a previous $2 Million investment in the Asian Tour and he was on site this particular week alongside Asian Tour Commissioner/CEO Cho Minn Thant and that tour’s best player Joohyung Kim to announce an additional$1 Million in support. Question Mr. Norman’s motives all you want but it doesn’t change the fact that the investment is life changing money for that tour and its players and a real boon to golf around the world.

But let’s get back to the real reason I decided to write this. It’s a letter of appreciation to Scott, his higherups at the Asian Tour, and the incredible crew that worked the event. I have subscribed to an important philosophy my entire career… You are only as good as the people with whom you surround yourself. And those people, that week in Saudi Arabia, were top shelf. It was great to be reunited with Mel Hundley and Rob Gunter (two of the best in the business) but it was also a treat to work with Mark and Simon and Szu Wei and Steve and Paul and Sharon and Aditha and another Simon and Nick and Toby and Ryan and Steve and Tox (who graciously played Pat Green for me before every show) and Qui Lim and Ranish and Raz and the dozens of others who are worthy of mention. They were professional, remarkable, passionate, and most of all they made the week fun.

No one more than Scott. When I first met Scott Kazakewich he was a young, energetic, curious, talented, but somewhat goofy, kid. Now he is an energetic, curious, talented, young man. Sure, he’s still somewhat goofy but that is part of his charm. What he has accomplished in his career and what he has done for the Asian Tour is inspiring. When he wasn’t afforded a well-deserved opportunity in tv golf stateside he took a chance and moved to Singapore. Boy did that pay off. He was my director and hand holder at The Saudi International and he did an outstanding job at both.

The other group that deserves my unending appreciation is the announce team of Dougie Donnelly, Dom Boulet, Kate Burton, Anthony Kang, and Tim Low. I have had the great privilege to work with some of the world’s best announcers (Scully, Musberger, Anderson, Lerner, and more) and Mr. Donnelly goes right on that list. He is legendary in Scotland and now I know why. He led a superb team. Maybe it’s because I grew used to the mostly American voices that populate tv golf here or maybe it was because this team was that good but I found them to be an incredibly easy listen. Pet peeve alert Even if they did talk too much at times 😊. I would relish another chance to work with any and/or all of them again. 

We were what is called the World Feed for the event. If you watched stateside you watched it on Golf Channel but other people in various points all over the world watched our work on whatever network carries golf in their homeland. That changed the way I had to think about what I was doing. Basically, we never went to commercial. I counted the announcers down to a “layout” which meant they stopped talking for a second or two but then we kept on keeping on. That second or two allowed “the world” to go to break. When they came back to the broadcast minutes later there’s no telling where I was in the show. It could have been right before Dustin Johnson teed off or right in the middle of Ratchanon Chantananuwat’s ball in flight. I have no idea what it looked like back home but one of these days I’ll watch the recording.

I would say it was mission accomplished for all four days and the fact that it was one of the most exciting finishes of this, or any other, year certainly helped. The tournament came down to a duel between Bubba Watson and Harold Varner III. Bubba, playing a couple of groups ahead on Sunday birdied the 71st hole then made eagle on the 72nd to take a two shot lead. But HV III still had the drivable par 4 17th and the reachable par 5 18th to play. He made easy birdie on 17 and drove it well on the last. His second shot ended up just in front of the green 92 paces from the hole, the trophy, and a million dollar first place check. At that time, we were all expecting a playoff so I was instructing Mel and Mark and Simon and Ranish to prepare for that. Then, by golly, Harold made the darn putt for eagle and the win. Pandemonium broke out on the green (Varner’s caddie leapt into his arms, Bubba raced from the practice tee to the 18th green to congratulate the winner, and we were cuing up replays and reactions from every angle we could find. For a few hours at least all the controversy around the event turned into a celebration of an amazing win.

I had a blast. I will admit I was nervous. Every. Day. But thanks to Scott and the aforementioned great team I managed to produce a compelling telecast. I will admit producing live golf is, as always has been,exhausting. I guess if you do it right it should be. Will I do it again? Don’t know. First someone has to ask (definitely not a given) and then the stars would have to align (much like they did this time). But regardless of whether I do it another time THIS time was something I will never forget. Thanks Scott.

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Rings Around The Rosie

They came to collect silver and gold”


If you’ve visited here before you know I am an insatiable sports fan. I am also a proud American and a huge fan of the Olympic Games. Summer. Winter. Para.

I was lucky enough to attend one, the 1960 Winter Games at Squaw Valley. We lived in Reno, Nevada at the time. My Dad, who was GM at a TV station there, was head of the broadcasting committee. A guy named Jean Vuarnet won the downhill (years later I would buy a pair of sunglasses named for him). The USA beat Canada for hockey gold and Americans won gold in men’s and women’s figure skating. In all Team USA finished third in the medal count with 10.

I don’t remember any of it. I was 5.

Fast forward fifty-eight years and my wife got a job with the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee. A pretty big job. A job that meant I was about to attend Olympic Games that I’d be able to remember starting with The Tokyo Summer Games in 2020.

Well, you know what happened.

Thanks to Covid-19 she went to Tokyo with Team USA. Without me. For three weeks my schedule was turned upside down staying up until all hours of the night staring at one, two, or three tv’s AND my phone. After all there was a lot going on. Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of Mountain Time in the USA so I’d get to talk to my bride twice a day. Once when she got up (late afternoon for me) and once when she went to bed (usually just before my morning dog walk). It wasn’t anywhere near enough but it had to do. We’d talk about her day and the amazing accomplishments and bitter disappointments of Team USA on the field of play. We’d talk about her plans for the next day, which events she’d attend, with whom she’d meet. It was my daily job to give her updates on results via a phone app. It was a job I took extremely seriously. So I watched. Night and day. Living and dying with every event, checking the medal count, dozing off and awakening before the alarm, which I had set at 3 AM to watch wrestling, went off. It was exhilarating and exhausting. In the end it was all more than worth it.

I was glued to my devices, as incredible men and women from all over the globe, competed. I watched with pride whenever someone from Team USA took the field. Through it all, Covid sidelining our men’s pole vault medal hopeful, Simone Biles shocking withdrawal, protests, extreme conditions, and no fans, these Games were not found wanting. They thrilled and they inspired. They introduced us to “new sports” and made us remember what we love about the “old ones”. They showcased the best athletes in the world who impressed us with their athleticism AND their sportsmanship.

And as I write this these Games are NOT over. Several events are still to be decided and many medals yet to be hung around athlete’s necks but up to now these are, in no particular order, my favorite Team USA Olympic moments.

Lydia Jacoby and Seward, Alaska

Navin Harrison

Caleb Dressel

The A-Team

Katie Ledecky


Sport Climbing

Sydney Mclaughlin


Bobby Finke

Women’s 3 x 3 hoops

Krysta Palmer

USA Wrestling

Ryan Crouser

Tamyra Mensah Stock

USA Boxing

Valarie Allman

Athing Mu


USA Baseball

Katie Nageotte

Lee Kiefer

Women’s Water Polo

Sam Mikulak, Allyson Felix, Kara Winger, and Brittany Reese

I realize that’s a lot of “favorite moments” but MAN there was a lot to like. If some of the names are unfamiliar I humby suggest you look them up. You won’t be sorry you did.

If you were one of the folks who claimed you “didn’t watch” I feel sorry for you because you missed a hell of a show.

Team USA will come home with their heads held high, and they should. Then they’ll turn around and head to Beijing for the XXIV Winter Games. As of now it looks like I’ll be watching those from the good old U S of A too. I know it’s not about me but damn I want to go. Maybe Paris.

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Let’s Extinguish “The Match”

“Thank you sir, may I have another

Chip Diller

There I was, fingers at the keyboard, a television a dozen feet away, 90 minutes from the fourth iteration of The Match.

I watched the first one, Tiger v Phil at Shadow Creek, on November 23, 2018. It was predictable, terrible, and predictably terrible.

I watched the second one, Tiger and Peyton Manning v Phil and Tom Brady, on May 24, 2020. It was fantastic. Peyton Manning showed off his entertainer chops. Charles Barkley showed us why he is one of the best in the business. Justin Thomas showed up as a guest on-course announcer and, surprisingly, contributed. Tom Brady played like a chop until the 6th hole when he holed a shot from the fairway, said “Suck on that Chuck”, and then ripped his pants picking the ball out of the hole. This version had humor, it had good golf, it had terrible golf, it had technological bells and whistles, it had superstars, and it had Tiger. It was one of the best made for TV spectacles I have ever seen.

I did not watch the third one, Phil and Charles Barkley v Peyton Manning and Steph Curry. Why would I watch that? Why would anyone?

Now we’re a little more than a hour from number four. This time Mickelson (the only participant in ALL of them) is back and teamed with Brady again. But they aren’t taking on Tiger. Instead they’ll play Bryson DeChambeau and Aaron Rodgers. Will I watch? I’m still not sure. I might because it’s at a venue of which I know nothing but have heard spectacular things about. I might because I have several friends and former colleagues involved in the production. I might because it’s Tuesday afternoon and I love watching live sporting events on television. I might because Charles Barkley is back as an announcer and general pain in the butt. But I might not because there’s no Tiger. I might not because I’m guessing the four guys playing are going to try too hard to entertain me. I might not because it’s a beautiful day where I live and I could go hit balls. I might not because the second one was so damn good and I know nothing they do today will compare.

Bottom line… I compromised. I watched until I couldn’t watch any more. That point almost came when somebody thought it was cute to have talking goats in the tease. It actually came on the fourth hole. By that point I had invested almost 2 hours of my time and had very little to show for it. I tuned out, did some errands, walked the dogs, and came back. Unfortunately things didn’t get much better. That’s not to say there weren’t some things I really liked…

1. The views were spectacular. Not the golf course (funky bounces, tricked up holes) but the scenery. It was breathtaking.

2. Charles Barkley. He’s a treasure and an absolute must in an exhibition like this. Not playing (like he did in the third version of The Match), broadcasting. If there were a dozen memorable moments from this Barkley was responsible for 10 of them.

3. Charity. The amount of money raised and meals donated was impressive and potentially the only reason to have another one of these things.

4. Cart cams. This technology is a godsend to this exercise and one of the few elements that “works” every single time. It was, once again, expertly used and should have won an EMMY when it was first employed during The Match II.

5. Brian Anderson. He just might be the best and most versatile play by play person in the business.

That about does it for the positives. As I mentioned there were several entertaining moments during the broadcast. Aaron Rodgers was clutch, Tom Brady hit what might have been the best shot in the entire telecast. Sir Charles was funny. So, let’s put that number of entertaining snippets generously at a dozen. Give each moment 30 seconds and you’ve got 6 minutes. The problem with that is the show was more than 5 and a half hours long. The negatives were plentiful so I’ll just give you a few.

Pace of play. Good Lord why does this exhibition have to take SOOOOOO LOOOONNNNGGGG?!? One of the drawbacks of playing it on this particular golf course was there was no mercy for errant shots and there were plenty of errant shots. Do we really need to watch anyone (let alone Bryson DeChambeau, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson) wander around the mountains looking for Titleists? That’s a rhetorical question by the way. Create a local rule… If you hit it out of sight, drop one and play on.

Anybody NOT named Brian Anderson or Charles Barkley. I know and like Trevor Immelman and I think the 2008 Masters Champion has a bright future in golf television. I have met and worked with Larry Fitzgerald on a few occasions. He is a wonderful guy, a Hall of Fame receiver, and a pretty darn good golfer. I don’t know, nor have I ever met, Cheyenne Woods. Having said that I can also say none of them were necessary on this telecast. With players mic’d up and clearly willing to engage and two of the best in the business in the booth why add voices?

Putting the best cameramen in the golf television business in a position to fail. The guys behind the lenses are indeed the best. They work for every major network covering world class golf on a weekly basis. Following a golf ball in the air from 300 yards away is a near impossible task for most humans and these guys can do it in their sleep. But not on a mountainside with blind tee shots and little to no preparation. Now I’m guessing they rehearsed, they always do in events like this but I’m sorry NOTHING could prepare them for having to follow shots hit by those for guys on that golf course. The broadcast made a “big deal” of the potential 500 yard drive but when push came to shove we couldn’t see any of the shots. Not the camera guys fault.

The “One Club Challenge”. Let’s have a blind draw to see which one club the four guys will have to use to play one particular hole. “It’ll be great!”, “sounds fun.” 30 minutes later I couldn’t have been the only one wishing they hadn’t done that. In fact I looked up “bad tv” in the dictionary and the definition was “a one club challenge on the side of a mountain in The Match.”

Phil’s “playing lessons”. Don’t get me wrong, the first one was fantastic. The eighth, ninth, and tenth? Not so much. And just because Phil Mickelson is good at it that doesn’t mean we should ask everyone else playing to do it.

But the biggest problem with “The Match” going forward is that it peaked with the second one. Tiger/Peyton v Phil/Brady was GREAT television. It was compelling, entertaining, interesting, different, and dramatic. It should have been the “drop the mic” moment for this franchise. Nothing going forward will ever be as good, the last two iterations proved that.

Nothing is going to make “The Match” worth 6 hours of someone’s time. Even if Tiger comes back and plays in one of them. That’s just too long of a commitment and the golf, the banter, the forced “guest interviews” and even the worthwhile charities, just aren’t compelling enough to clear that particular forced carry. Put “The Match” to bed. Kiss it goodnight.

Now, a very smart boss once told me, “don’t come around here with problems, bring solutions instead.” So here’s mine.

Bring me a modern day version of “Shell’s Wonderful World of Golf”. Two players, head to head. They can be Tour pros, they can be celebrities, they can be sports stars. They can be great players, good players, or decent players. It can be men against men, women against women, or women against men. Play a nine hole match on some of the world’s best courses. Give shots if the handicaps of amateurs is warranted. Have Phil Mickelson host it.

You’re Welcome.

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Doing My Civic Duty

Juries scare me. I don’t want to put my faith in 12 people who weren’t smart enough to get out of jury duty.”

Monica Piper

We have lived in Colorado Springs since the fall of 2018. A few weeks ago I received a summons to appear for jury duty in the mail. Of course my first thought was, “how the heck can I get out of this?” Full disclosure… I am a 65 year old white male and I have NEVER fulfilled my civic duty by serving on a jury. Don’t get me wrong, the various jurisdictions in which I have resided throughout my past have requested my presence. I’ve just been able to avoid it or, quite frankly, just ignored it with complete success. But, for some reason, this time even though my first thought was avoidance at all cost an immediate second thought was, “why not?”

Since I left my career in broadcast sports television I’ve been writing books, most of them are mysteries. All of those involve cops and crimes and circumstances that may or may not involve courtrooms, judges, and yes, juries. So it was going to be research! It was also something that I honestly believe is my duty as an upstanding member of the community in which I now live. It’s also a fact that I don’t have a good reason any longer NOT to serve. I have the time. A quick glance at my calendar showed the only thing on the horizon was a colonoscopy and having to reschedule that procedure wouldn’t break my heart. So the bottom line is I logged on to the El Paso County website and, in so many words, informed them that I’d be honored to serve.

Crimes happen in Colorado Springs and El Paso County every day. Some of them are serious. Like any place in America with more than a million people folks get robbed and assaulted and murdered. Banks get robbed, cars get stolen, bad people do awful things. Sometimes good people get accused of doing awful things and they need good lawyers and a jury of their peers to seek the truth and free them if they are indeed innocent of the thing their being accused of committing. I, of course, had no way of knowing the circumstances of the case to which I’d be assigned and I didn’t care.

According to the summons I was juror number 2435. I was was scheduled to appear on a Thursday and instructed to call the court the prior Wednesday evening to receive my instructions, which I did. My number fell in the group that was required to show up at the courthouse no earlier than 8 AM and no later than 8:30 AM. I was given instructions with regard to a special entrance for prospective jurors, where to park, and what I was allowed to and not to bring. Thursday came and to downtown Colorado Springs I headed.

When I arrived there were 15 to 20 people in line ahead of me and four or five more showed up and fell in behind me. I noticed the folks ahead of me were a mix of young, older, male. female, white, and not. As we waited in the “jurors only” line other folks walked past and right into the building. For what purpose or to what fate I hadn’t a clue. There were attorneys, for sure, and I wondered which of them would be standing in front of me as I sat in the jury box. Would it be the middle aged guy with the shoulder length hair in the shark skin suit? Maybe the blonde in the colorful dress and magenta stilleto heels? Or even the young, prematurely balding, gentleman who dropped a handful of files while efforting to attach his mask before going inside. Would they ask me questions and, if yes, what would they be? Would they see me as a potential ally or a threat?

Clearly this is as good a time as any to repeat that I have never before served on a jury and my experience of the experience is restricted to books, movies, and television shows. Because of that I admit to probably harboring a romanticized version about what goes on.

There were other people who made their way into the courthouse building as I stood and waited in line. Law enforcement officers for certain. Defendants, maybe. Witnesses, could be. Family members and observers, no doubt. Some of the lawyers carried briefcases, others had both hands under boxes and still more pulled their work product behind them like luggage headed through airport screening. I watched and wondered what facts existed in those boxes and cases and what arguments, both for and against, were the byproduct of everything inside. I took a couple of steps closer to the entrance.

As I did I took another look at my fellow jurors and considered whether if it was me on the inside, awaiting trial, would I want this group of my peers deciding my fate? Then I realized it didn’t matter a lick. The man or woman, guilty or not, was going to get most of us whether he wanted to or not. I was getting more and more curious about what the next several hours would be like. The voice on the phone when I called on Wednesday informed me that I could bring a book or a tablet. My wife mentioned that I could be there a while doing a while lot of nothing so I brought along my current read. It’s a novel called, ironically, The Last Policeman, by a talented writer named Ben H. Winters. If you haven’t read anything he’s written I highly recommend a quick google you won’t be disappointed. I was also, honestly, getting more and more excited about the prospect of being on a jury. Would it be a high profile case? How long would the trial take? Who else would comprise the 11 other jurors? Would they elect me the foreman? Would we be sequestered? Hey, I told you I was romanticizing the entire process! Another person made his way inside in front of me. Two left before I too would be in the building.

And then, just like that, I was one body away. It was a young lady who was on her phone wrapping up a conversation with someone. “I hope I can get out of this,” I heard her say. Then another gentleman with an authoritative air and wraparound sunglasses approached and asked me for my summons. “Here we go,” I thought. He wrote down my juror number on a piece of paper. Then he pulled the paper off his clipboard and handed it to me.

“You’re excused,” he said and walked away.

So, right there in the bright, warm, Colorado morning sun, my dream of being just like Jimmy Stewart in 12 Angry Men died just six feet from the entrance to the courthouse. It looks like the scheduled colonoscopy is a go.

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They Are ALWAYS Worth Watching

“I’ll be watching you.”


If you’re a golf fan you know that because of Covid-19 the USGA is playing the United States Women’s Open Championship this week. If you’re a golf fan on social media (specifically Twitter) you NOW know the US Women’s Open features athletes who are #worthwatching.

What a load of hooey.

Not because these amazingly talented professionals AREN’T #worthwatching it’s because these amazingly talented professionals have ALWAYS been #worthwatching. This nonsensical campaign shows you what happens when panderers and bureaucrats sit in bubble chamber boardrooms and think they’re clever.

“Hey! Little else is going on in the world of golf this week let’s tell people that women who play golf at the highest level are suddenly #worthwatching!”

“Great idea Biff!” “Bravo Chumley!”

Peeshaw! I mean what? These incredible players weren’t #worthwatching last week? Or last month? or last year? Or when Annika Sorenstam won her THIRD US Women’s Open in 2006? Or Karrie Webb won back to back in 2000 and 2001? Or Michelle Wie won her long awaited major in 2014? Of course they were. But the geniuses would have you believe that THIS is the week the greatest players in the game are #worthwatching

To underline the shortsightedness of the whole charade is that NBC doesn’t really think they’re all that #worthwatching. Twenty-five and a half hours broadcast across the NBCUniversal platforms (Peacock, Golf Channel, NBC). Sound like a lot? It should be after all these tremendous players are #worthwatching. But back in September the US Open was scheduled to be on for 37 1/2 hours. I guess those players were 12 and a half hours MORE #worthwatching.

If you read this and think the point I’m trying to make is that the best players in women’s golf ARE NOT #worthwatching I’ve either done a terrible job writing or you’ve done an awful job reading. OF COURSE I think they’re #worthwatching. The difference between me and them, however, is that I’ve ALWAYS thought it. I didn’t just decide they were #worthwatching this week.

I could give them the benefit of the doubt and say “at least they’re doing something” but that’s calculating too. There WERE two simpler solutions. The first would have been to disregard the idea of #worthwatching altogether. The second, and better in my opinion, would have been to make it this…


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The Best Seat in the House

” Should I stay or should I go”

The Clash


I used to work in sports television. I was one of the guys who sat inside a converted tractor trailer in a maintenance area, parking lot, or the bowels of a stadium, staring at close to a hundred tiny television screens, yelling at people. I was part of, or led teams, that broadcast golf tournaments, car races, baseball/football/basketball games, motocross events, volleyball, field hockey, water polo, and soccer. I watched from there so you could watch from home.


I am also a fan, having attended many of those same events after having bought a ticket or been invited to attend. I’ve walked the fairways, sat in the bleachers, enjoyed corporate suites and the best seats in the house. I love sports. I loved producing and directing sports for television and I love watching sports. As those of us who are sports fans wait for MLB, the NBA, the NFL, the NHL and other professional and college sports to resume we wonder how it will all look and sound. We wait for the “okay” to attend in person and in the meantime watch our favorites on the telly. I’m waiting too and while I wait I thought I’d give you my perspective of the best way to watch.



Several sports fit into this category. The most notable for me are (in no particular order):



College Football and Basketball

Olympic Sports

The best in arena v television experience for me is hockey. The game is so fast and the athletes are so impressive that you can’t get the same experience by watching on television as you can from a seat, any seat, in the building. The nuances, the line changes, the strategy, the speed, and the puck are all lost, or mostly lost on a TV screen. If you’re a sports fan and have never been… go to a hockey game.

I feel the same way about the in-person experience of a baseball game but for different reasons. The noise, the feel, the surroundings of a game in a big league stadium is an unrivaled sports experience for me. If you’ve read some of my musings you know I am an unapologetic baseball fan. It’s my favorite sport and, despite MLB’s best efforts to change my mind (universal DH), it always will be. Go to a game, sit in the stands, eat a hot dog and drink a beer. Watch the players in the field, but even better, in the dugout. The only drawback to going to a game in person is that it means you can’t listen to your favorite broadcasters. That would be Mike Krukow, Duane Kiper and Brian Anderson for me.

The in-building experience for major college sports is also leaps and bounds above watching those games on TV especially if it’s a game at a big time arena. Watching football and Notre Dame or Ohio State or Michigan or Alabama is goosebump inducing. Seeing a contest at Cameron Indoor Stadium, Allen fieldhouse or Pauley Pavilion will be a lasting memory. Sure there are too many TV timeouts but that just gives you more time to enjoy the antics of the students in attendance.

How many times have you watched, in person, elite athletes compete in a swimming, track or gymnastics meet? Watched water polo in person? Seen a weightlifting, fencing, boxing, or judo competition? If the answer is never you are missing out on some of the most interesting and compelling competition in sport. Every two years a lot of us are glued to our televisions when athletes, representing countries from all over the globe, compete in the Olympic Games. Those events give us dozens of memorable moments. Keep watching but if you get the chance to go to a National Championship, or an Olympic qualifier, in any of these sports don’t think twice. Go.


There’s No Place Like Home

By contrast watching some sports is just better from the comfort of your living room, man cave, or friends house. These, again in no particular order are:



Auto Racing

I spent most of my career in sports television broadcasting in the golf space. I wrote a book about my life in TV called, Cover Me Boys, I’m Going In (Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat). I tell a bunch of behind-the scenes stories. Go buy it. Anyway, my point is I have been to hundreds, maybe thousands of golf tournaments in my life and I can say in no uncertain terms that the best place to watch a golf tournament is on TV. In person you can watch one hole or a few players at a time. TV can give you the entirety of the golf course, most, if not all, of the players in contention and a running leaderboard to let you know where the players stand to par and each other. You don’t get any of that on site. What you do get is exercise, fresh air, and the chance to see the backs and backs of heads of hundreds of golf fans just like you. If you’re going to a PGA TOUR event because you think your son or daughter is going to get a hat, ball, or pin flag signed by Tiger Woods, don’t. You’re not.

I would offer one caveat to this advice. If you have the chance to go to one of pro golf’s four major championships, DO IT. I know there’s even more people and less chance of seeing your favorite player up close and personal but being at a major is, or should be, a bucket list item for sports fans. Especially The Masters and I say that with no disrespect intended toward my friends at the U S Open, the British Open or the PGA Championship.

Auto racing is another sport, at least for me, that is best watched at home. The broadcasts are so good and so thorough that unless you like really loud noises, the smell of grease, ethanol and body odor just stay home and watch it all unfold. Again, there are exceptions. If you have access to pit road, get yourself to the track. And like the situation with golf if you get tickets or the chance to attend The Indy 500 or the Daytona 500 take advantage of that. Once.

The absolute, no doubt in my mind, worst sporting event to attend in person is an NFL game. I don’t care which team floats your boat the in game experience in any of the stadiums around the country is PAINFUL. So many stoppages of play, so little anything of interest between plays, and practically zero information about players, plays, and coaches is given to fans. It’s expensive, crowded and, at least for me, unfulfilling. Watch the game on TV, or better yet, get the NFL RedZone network and watch all the games on TV.


So that’s my primer, my advice. Take it with a grain of salt and go enjoy what you enjoy however you enjoy it. You may have noticed that I didn’t mention the NBA. That’s because I don’t watch it on tv or in person.

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The SKINS Game Finally Met Its Match

“There are no new ideas in television. Just better execution of old ideas.”

Don Ohlmeyer


The great producer Don Ohlmeyer created a made for television golf competition that took the world by storm and captured the imagination of sports fans, not just golf fans. It was called The SKINS Game and it made its debut on Thanksgiving weekend in 1983. Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Gary Player played in that first match that saw each hole worth a predetermined amount of money. Gary Player ended up winning the most “skins” and $170,000.


Ohlmeyer’s creation was an instant success. During the next twenty plus years golf’s best players and biggest names participated. All the greats from Arnold to Zoeller with Nicklaus, Trevino, Stewart, Strange, Faldo, Daly, Norman, Couples, and more in the mix. Tiger played three times (and never won) while Freddie played in more (13) and won more money ($3,515,500) than anybody else. The players wore microphones, traded verbal jabs, holed shots (Trevino made one of golf’s most famous holes-in-one in 1987), missed putts, and had a ball. We had a ball right along with them.


I was fortunate enough to be a part of the production team for four of them (1990-1993). Curtis Strange won the first one I worked beating Nick Faldo in a playoff. The late, great Payne Stewart won the next three. I was also there for the LPGA Skins and the Senior Skins Games. I tell a number of stories about those days in my memoir, Cover Me Boys, I’m Going In (Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat). You can get a copy through


They played The Skins Game from 1983 until 2008. Like with most things that hang around past their sale by date people started losing interest in the early 2000’s. Tiger gave the franchise a shot in the arm for two of those late years (’04 & ’05) but when Fred Funk won in 2005, Stephen Ames was victorious in 2006 AND 2007, and K.J. Choi grabbed the most cash in 2008 the die was cast and SKINS was sunk. Despite spewing oil at the end like a Clint Bower NASCAR Ford The SKINS Game, that Ohlmeyer masterpiece, was the gold standard of all the “silly season” golf events. I say was because then May 24, 2020 and The Match II  happened.


There had been an original The Match in 2018 but it was a doze bowl. It was also original slated to be televised via pay-per-view. The premise was simple Tiger Woods would take on Phil Mickelson for the staggering sum of NINE MILLION DOLLARS at the mysterious Shadow Creek Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada. Must watch TV right? But inherently there were problems, the biggest being Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. Tiger was almost 43,  had won a total of ONE tournament in five years, and was months away from his remarkable 2019 Masters victory. Phil was even longer in the tooth at 48 and also had posted one win in five seasons. Needless to say, at the time, both appeared miles past their prime. And it showed. The golf was sketchy, the banter almost non existent, and the feeling of golfers and golf fans almost universally was one of disappointment.


Then 2020 said “hold my beer”. Covid19 forced the cancellation of March Madness, the postponement of the Summer Olympic Games, and generally tossed a box of grenades into the bucket of all sports. So people were starving for something live to watch when May rolled around. Golf folks tried with a “skins game” featuring Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy playing against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff at rarely seen Seminole Golf Club. It was fine, a valiant attempt, raising more than three million dollars for charity but when the best thing you can say about a golf match was that it was “cool” to see PGA TOUR players carrying their own clubs how good could something like that actually be? We found out the very next Sunday.


The Match II was a rematch of sorts with Woods and Mickelson reentering the ring. Sure they were even older than before but this time, at least, Tiger had another green jacket and his fifteenth major championship. He also had a partner this time around. They both did. Two of the greatest NFL quarterbacks to ever play the game were part of the festivities. Tiger was teamed with two time Super Bowl Champion Peyton Manning while Mickelson would partner with six-time champ Tom Brady. The stakes were higher too. This time $10 Million was the starting point and challenges and donations would kick that number up from there (Eventually the broadcast raised an even $20 Million for Covid19 relief charities). Gone was the pay-per-view platform replaced by the family of Turner Broadcasting networks. Since it was on Turner we were also treated to Turner’s announcers; Brian Anderson, Charles Barkley, Trevor Immelmann, Amanda Balionis and a guest appearance from Justin Thomas. It was the number four player in the world’s maiden voyage with a microphone and he did a terrific job. Having the respect of the four participants as well as being Tiger’s good friend and a member at host club Medalist didn’t hurt. And THAT was it. Five announcers. And it was more than enough. In fact it probably would have been too much, just like every other try at this, if it wasn’t for the efforts of the guys in the truck.


Technically this broadcast was a marvel. Too bad inclement weather (a full on downpour to start the match and another squall on the back nine) robbed them, and us, of a technically perfect show but what we got was still damn good. The producer was Jeff Neubarth and the director was Steve Beim. Full disclosure Steve is one of my best friends and we’ve been that as well as colleagues for thirty years. He’s great at what he does, I’d say the best in the business, and it doesn’t hurt that he learned his trade at Don Ohlmeyer’s side . Steve was a part of, if not the director for, dozens of those amazing early SKINS Games. He knows the value of technology  but more important he understands the value of getting out of the way and letting his announcers know they should do the same. That’s what happened Sunday.


Neubarth also produced the first Match and he would be the first to tell you there were a million things he would have done differently. It looked like he did them all this time around. It helps that he wasn’t burdened with way too many announcers, all trying to prove there was a reason for them to be there. He was luckier this go round with Brian Anderson as the traffic cop, Trevor Immelmann as the analyst and Charles Barkley as Charles Barkley. Neubarth and Beim handled them all beautifully but my guess is, with the possible exception of Sir Charles, there wasn’t much handling that had to be done. Anderson is the consummate play-by-play guy and Immelmann (who is just in the infancy of his broadcast career) is a quick study.


The players wore microphones (also a staple of these hit and giggle events) but this time Beim added a twist by also having them wear earpieces. That meant they could not only talk they could listen to who might be talking to them. More often than not that was Barkley who was tremendous. You could argue that Charles (or Chuck as all the world class athletes called him) ignited a fire under Tom Brady. The new Tampa Bay Buccaneer quarterback was having a miserable time for the first six holes. He barely hit a good shot let alone a fairway or a green. Then Barkley started giving him shit, in his ear, on live tv. Offering up at one point $50,000 of his own money if Brady could hit a par three green in regulation. When Tom didn’t Charles said he should have offered him the money to “keep the ball on the planet.” The smack talk didn’t stop into the next fairway. After Brady hit his tee shot into the hazard on number 7 Barkley told Tom, he wanted a piece of him on the golf course. Suddenly a guy who couldn’t find the clubface became the guy who had won six Super Bowls. Brady stood over his fourth in the fairway, swung, made great contact and sent the ball flying toward the green. It landed just past the hole, spun back and went in for a four. Beim cut back to Brady who said simply, “suck on that Chuck.” It was the moment of The Match II and I fear if it had been any other announce team or production team we never would have heard Brady say what he said.


It was an entertaining watch, from beginning to end. The guest appearances were short, sweet, and meaningful including Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. He was invited on the show because he is a “Wheels Up (one of the sponsors) spokesperson” but while he was there he pledged to donate a hundred thousand meals every time a player hit his tee shot on the par three they were about to play within 8 feet. Brady did, Phil did, Manning did, Tiger did not. 300,000 meals for needy families thanks to the broadcast and Russell Wilson. The best technology addition besides the earpieces was the “Cart Cam Technology” another Beim idea. Cameras were mounted on each player’s golf cart so we could see and hear them as they sped down the fairway to their tee shots or traversed the space from green to tee. It turned out to be some of the show’s best audio.


Now the bad news… and there is only this when it comes to the bad news. Sunday’s fantastic broadcast has spawned an endless string of “Who Should Play Next” suggestions on social media. The answer is simple. NOBODY. At least for a year. That was the beauty of The SKINS Game, the vision of Ohlmeyer. Every year lets take the four best, or most interesting, or most accomplished, players and get them together. So lets give the masterpiece that was The Match II some time to hang in golf television’s Louvre. Let’s continue to appreciate it for what it was and not get out our paint by number sets and try to recreate the “next” one. We don’t need the next one yet.




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Happy Anniversary Golf Channel

“I ain’t here for a long time. I’m here for a good time”

George Straight

Twenty-five years ago today, January 17,1995, Joseph E. Gibbs and Arnold Palmer flipped a big ‘ol golf ball switch and the Golf Channel became a real life, bona fide, television network. I was there.


I was hired in October of 1994 to be the first, and at the time, only producer for the channel’s live domestic tournament coverage. I’ve written about it a bunch; in fact I wrote a whole darn book about my life in television and a lot of it was stories about my time at The Golf Channel. Go buy it and read it. You’ll like it.


People, so called experts, said a 24 hour, 7 day a week, 365 days a year, TV network devoted to golf would NEVER work. Never. Ever. My bosses at ESPN in October of 1994 said it too. Clearly they were wrong. There are a bunch of folks in Orlando, Florida celebrating today, and rightfully so, but by most accounts only FIVE of them have been employed by the all golf network since that amazing day in 1995. FIVE. I was there 18 of the 25 years, including day one of year one and spent the last couple days racking my brain trying to remember the names of the brave, talented, slightly to mostly crazy, wonderful, folks who were there with me.


My list doesn’t include the freelance folks our live tournament team hired to put the PGA TOUR, The Nike TOUR and the LPGA on the air. Karel Schliksbier, Emmett Loughran, Chuck Whitfield, and Daisy Phipps hold a special place in my heart. So do Donna Caponi, Denny Schreiner, Jim Nelford, Gary Smith and Kay Cockerill.


The names of the full-timers come from a 64 year old’s memory. I know I forgot a bunch of folks and probably added one or two who weren’t actually there on 1/17/95 but the point is this… These are the people who deserve to be celebrated today. These are the people, in no particular order, who took a chance, believed in a dream, worked their tails off to make it a reality, and should sit back today – 25 years later- and smile.

Joe Gibbs, Bob Greenway, Gary Stevenson, Mike Whelan, Del Wood, Chris Murvin, Matt Scalici, Peter Gordon, Jeff Gershengorn, Jeff Hymes, Mark Friedman, Chris Lincoln, Sue Heard, Brian Hammons, Kraig Kann, Lynda Cardwell, Duane Ballen, Tom Nettles, Paul Farnsworth, Lori Dawson, Mark Oldham, David Graham, Lee Siegel, Ken Garren, Peter Kesler, Kirsten Sheen, Lara Ibarra, Chris Sullivan, Philip Hurst, Leslie Williams, David Manougian, David Kamens, Ben Lord, Gene Pizzolato, Tim McClelland, Dana Parker, Josh Schwartz, Lee “Nate” Rosenblatt, Marty Jenkins, Tomi McElroy, Chris Flynn, Dave Desmond, Mason Seay, Brett Bowman, Mike Ritz, Bob Van Dorn, Scott Van Pelt, Pam Cooke, Mark Lye, Jennifer Mills, George White, Bill “Action” Jackson, Chris DeCelle, Daryl Woody, Joy Hennenberger, Kevin Plate, Robby Roberts, Eric Saperstein, Bob “Swanny” Swanson, Drake Schunk, John Gibbs, Emilio San Martin, Rusty Billingsly, Jay Kossoff, Chris Olivere, Carol Dotson, Kenny Taht, Dawn Hiatt, Pat Devlin, Dana Parker, Steve Johnson.

I’m sorry to those who I forgot. It wasn’t intentional.

Congratulations Golf Channel on Twenty-five amazing years. Here’s to the next 25.

With respect,


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Another Baseball Season in the Books

“Love is the most important thing in the world. But baseball is pretty good too.”

Yogi Berra


The 2019 Major League Baseball season is over for me. It “officially” ended on the evening of October 9th when the Washington Nationals eliminated the Los Angeles Dodgers in game 5 of the National League Division Series. The season didn’t end in the 10th inning of that game because I’m a Dodgers fan. It ended, thanks to Howie Kendrick’s grand slam, because I’m a San Francisco Giants fan.



It was ingrained in me as a young man that we Giants fans have two jobs. Number one is cheer for the orange and black. Number two, or more accurately number 1A, is root as hard as you can against the Dodgers. My wife has scolded me on numerous occasions that that attitude is an undersirable one. “You should never root against any one, or any team”, she says. Bless her heart. Any self respecting SF Giants fan knows that the Bums that travelled west from Brooklyn are more than deserving of our hopes for their failure.



It hasn’t been all that easy. I was born in 1955 and became a lifelong Giants fan on May 28, 1957. That was the day that MLB owners approved the move for both The New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers. But there were conditions. Both teams had to move or neither team could. The Giants committed first, hosting a farewell party at a game on September 29. The Dodgers followed suit nine days later. The rivalry came west with the teams. We had just moved to Reno and San Francisco was the closest city with an MLB team.


Before the move (their’s and ours) The Giants had won 4 World Championships and the Dodgers owned one. That changed when the Brooklyn Bums became the LA Bums. They won the World Series in 1959, 1963, 1965, 1981, and 1988. And we suffered through them all. Then a strange thing happened, LA stopped winning. Don’t get me wrong, they won plenty of games, division titles, and National League pennants but the World Series well ran dry after Kirk Gibson dipped into it for his “I can’t believe what I just saw” home run at Dodger Stadium. It wasn’t all good news for us Giants fans either. Between 1988 and 2002 we reached the World Series twice as many times as the Dodgers (2-0) but lost both. One in spectacular fashion as the Oakland A’s swept the Giants four games to none in 1989 in a series that included an earthquake. The other was in heartbreaking fashion as our boys, with the greatest home run hitter of all time Barry Bonds, lost both game 6 and game 7 in Anaheim to the “rally monkey” Angels. Then 2010 happened.




That year, then two years later, and two more years after that Madison Bumgarner, Buster Posey, Tim Lincecum, Brandon Crawford and dozens more became heroes. Legends even as improbably our san Francisco Giants won three world championships in 5 years! And the official World Series trophy tally became NY/SF 7 and Brooklyn/LA 6. So there! As I’ve already stated the Dodgers are good at winning games and division titles. In fact they’ve won seven of those in a row compiling a won loss record of 671- 464. But to me, and no doubt to them, the only numbers in recent history that matter are 3-0 (as in RINGS BABY! And while the faces of San Francisco Giants success have been thoise of Timmy, and MadBum, and Buster, and others the lone face of Los Angeles’s delicious defeats has been Clayton Kershaw. He’s one of the game’s best regular season pitchers, a multiple Cy Young Award winner and the ace of their staff. But he just can’t get it done when it matters and he came through (as far as we were concerned) again Wednesday night.




The night the 2019 baseball season ended for him and me.


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