Sports drink won't quench thirst of frenetic CBS golf announce

MEDIA WATCH

August 13, 1999|By Milton Kent

If you've got the iced tea and portable toilet concession at the Medinah Country Club near Chicago for this weekend's PGA Championship, you could make a handsome profit, especially if you set up shop around the CBS compound.

Lance Barrow, CBS' coordinating producer for golf, will be at the helm of the network's 11 hours of coverage of the year's final major, and where Barrow is, a cold glass of Lipton or Tetley is probably not far away.

"I'm a big iced tea drinker, and by Monday, I'll have 20 or 30 gallons in me," Barrow said.

Said CBS executive producer Terry Ewert: "They'll have to pry him off the roof by Monday."

If the iced tea doesn't keep Barrow jittery, the telecast may. While golf may look like a sedate and serene sport from this side of the television screen, it is a frenzy of activity from the course.

"Unlike other sports, we are on air for the entire time. There are no halftimes or timeouts. In this sport, we go on the air until we go off the air, no matter what time it is," Barrow said.

"It includes our people in the truck, our announcers, but more importantly, our technical people who are running up and down the golf course with cameras on their backs and microphones, who are really out in the open. They don't get a break, they go from shot to shot. In golf you never stop.

Said anchor Jim Nantz: "There are scenarios in golf that you don't deal with in other sports. You have more than 100 golfers on 100 acres of the course, all firing at the same time. There are a lot of different stories spread out all over the place and the coordination to determine how you get one shot on the air with a corresponding graphic and corresponding commentary -- there really is nothing like it in sports television. It is the hardest sport to broadcast."

That should make the telecast this weekend as challenging for the broadcasters as playing the course will be for the golfers. The Medinah course is a long one, at more than 7,100 yards, but the length appears to be concentrated in the par-5 holes.

"It's an enormously long golf course, but it really favors good drivers of the ball," said CBS reporter David Feherty. "I suspect you're going to see the type of players like Jeff Maggert, Justin Leonard and Fred Funk as well as some of the shorter hitters do well here because it's a real technician's golf course."

"You need to be able to put the ball in the right place to hit these greens. You get out of position here and you have some very big furniture between you and the fireplace."

CBS' 18-hole coverage commences at 1: 30 p.m. tomorrow (Channel 13) and continues on Sunday, same time, same station. The network will also do a late-night highlight show at 12: 37 a.m. tomorrow, with Nantz and Feherty as hosts.

In addition, TNT will carry coverage today at 1 p.m., and pick up early third- and final-round telecasts tomorrow and Sunday, starting at 10: 30 a.m.

Around the dial

You're not likely to see a more lively boxing telecast than tomorrow night's "Ballroom Boxing" card on Home Team Sports at 6. The six-fight card, taped recently at Michael's 8th Avenue in Glen Burnie, has of the wildest action seen in a local boxing ring in quite some time. Be sure to catch the third round of the James Johnson-Jimmy Lange junior middleweight brawl. For pure action, it rivals the Hagler-Leonard fight of the 1980s.

The football exhibition season begins in earnest, as ESPN carries tonight's Giants-Minnesota game at 8: 15, and CBS airs the Jets-Packers game tomorrow night at 8. Jerry Glanville will be on hand to provide analysis; keep your snickers to a minimum.

Chip Caray and Jeff Torborg venture into Cleveland's Jacobs Field for tomorrow's Orioles-Indians game (Channel 45, 1 p.m. for the pre-game), and the Washington Mystics continue their mad dash for the WNBA playoffs tomorrow afternoon against the Los Angeles Sparks (Channel 11, 4 p.m.)

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