“Johnny Hates Jazz” part two

This is NOT a post about the British new wave band. Sorry. They did have a hit with “Shattered Dreams” in 1988 (I’m sure you can get it on iTunes for .99). Shattered dreams could be an apt description for the coupling of David Feherty and NBC Golf. They were back together again on Saturday and I couldn’t wait to watch. But of course NBC MADE me wait!

Irony of ironies Dan Hicks proclaims “we want to get you RIGHT OUT TO THE ACTION” just past 3:08 PM. Yep RIGHT out to the action more than 8 minutes after coming on the air! Eight minutes that were full of junk including a sponsored “sports update” and a long winded, overly dramatic for a Saturday in February, “tease”. By the way the “action” we got “right out to” was an Adam Scott birdie putt that was pre recorded. Why not show that straight up at 3:00 and THEN go to the sports update ( or if it wasn’t quite all the way part of history yet) show it after the Jimmy Roberts nonsense and before the tease. By the way the graphic told me it was a 7 foot 9 inch birdie putt so we also didn’t get to see (live or recorded) a pretty darn good approach shot because NBC network golf coverage was showing golf fans everything but golf coverage. But I digress… This was supposed to be an update on the what is sure to be a tabloid cover relationship between NBC Golf and David Feherty.

When last we left you David (assuming the role of a Montague in our play) was uncomfortably trying to fit in with Johnny, Rog and the rest of the Capulets. They were responsible for broadcasting the event in Phoenix then had a couple weeks off to go to couples therapy. In Phoenix, for some reason, they force fed us David WITH Maltbie to cover the final grouping on both weekend days. In Florida Saturday the PGA TOUR was playing twosomes so splitting the two alpha announcers made much more sense. But which one would go with the final pairing and who would go with the penultimate one?

Feherty was given the plum assignment, the last group, the 36 hole leaders. Roger Maltbie had the second to last group (Sergio and Adam Scott). When NBC came on the air, but didn’t show golf, Feherty’s pairing was 3 over par and Maltbie’s was 6 UNDER. That meant they were still going to show Rickie and Jimmy but less live and without as much conviction as Sergio and Scott.

Then Adam birdied his fourth straight hole and “Jimmy Fowler” played the ninth like Jimmy Fallon and at 3:34, because Tommy Roy doesn’t like his announcers calling shots on tape, David Feherty became completely irrelevant to the broadcast. I’m guessing Johnny Miller and his band of merry men couldn’t have been happier. In case you were wondering in that first 30 plus minutes Johnny and Feherty had exactly ZERO interaction. In fact as far as I could tell Johnny never said a word to David all day. Just the way Miller wanted it.

To add to the perception of Feherty’s exclusion were the post round interviews. Steve Sands, who SHOULD do them ALL, spoke with Scott while Roger talked to Garcia (one bad question). Feherty, again I’m guessing, spoke to no one but probably called his therapist, his agent and a divorce lawyer.

So Sunday we have Scott and Garcia atop the leaderboard at minus 9. The penultimate pairing of household names, Blaine Barber and Justin Thomas, four and five shots back respectively. Bigger names populate the third to last pairing of Rickie Fowler and Graham McDowell but they are five and six shots off the lead. They tee off at 1:20, Sergio and Scott go at 1:40, with Barber and Thomas in between. So how will the on course announcing assignments be doled out? I’d have Feherty with the leaders and Roger start with Fowler and McDowell and give them an hour and a half to make a move. You can bet Johnny has already told Tommy what he thinks should happen.

To finish what I started and return to the Johnny Hates Jazz theme maybe Feherty and Miller would BOTH like to “Turn Back the Clock” on this relationship.


About Keith Hirshland

My name is Keith Hirshland and I am a four decades television veteran who has spent time both in front of and behind the camera. During nearly forty years in broadcasting my path has crossed in front of, behind and alongside some of the best in the business... And some of the worst. Many of those people I count as friends while others wouldn't make the effort to spit on me if I was on fire. This television life started early watching my Mom and Dad found, fund and run a local affiliate TV station in Reno, Nevada. As a teenager approaching adulthood I worked for them, first as an on-air sports reporter/anchor and later as a director and producer. Jobs in the industry took me across the country and then to many places around the world. Sports is my passion and putting it on TV has been my business. Production credits include auto racing, baseball, basketball, bowling, college football, field hockey, soccer, volleyball and water polo but the majority of my time "in the chair" since 1990 has been invested in the game of golf with both ESPN and The Golf. Channel ( I was one of the first forty people hired by TGC in 1994 ). I am a fan and I watch TV sports as a fan but I also have hundreds of thousands of hours watching from inside a production truck. I think that makes me qualified to comment, my hope is you agree. I have written four books, Cover Me Boys, I'm Going In (Tales of the Tube from a Broadcast Brat), a memoir that is a tribute to my parents, the hard working, creative people who started ESPN2 and The Golf Channel and a look back at my life in television. Cover Me Boys was awarded the “Memoir of the Year” in 2017 by Book Talk Radio Club. In February of 2019 it was released anew by Beacon Publishing Group. My second book is a novel, Big Flies, and is a mystery that tells the story of a father and a son with four of the world's most notorious unsolved robberies as a backdrop. Big Flies was named “Solo Medalist” in the True Crime category by New Apple Awards. My third book, another mystery titled The Flower Girl Murder, was published in 2018. Book number four might be the most fun I ever had on a writing project. Murphy Murphy and the Case of Serious Crisis is a mystery, a love story, and an homage to good grammar. It is both the Book Talk Radio Club BOOK OF THE YEAR for 202 and a TopShelf Awards first prize winner in the mystery category. All four are available at Amazon. Book five is in the capable hands of the good people at Beacon Publishing Group and should be available soon. I look forward to sharing new thoughts about golf, golf television, sports in general and the broadcast industry with you. The views expressed here are mine and mine alone. They are not connected to nor endorsed by any other person, association, company or organization.
This entry was posted in general observations, Golf, golf on tv, sports and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s