Thursday, January 20, 2011
What Happens in the Mornings....
Every morning I wake up and watch Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN2. This week…due to some tennis tournament…probably a big deal but I don’t know and don’t care what the event was…I have been unable to do so. Since I started my Fantasy Golf (yahoo sports) this week and I am supper pumped about it, I detoured to the Golf Channel’s Morning Drive with Erik Kuselias and Gary Williams. (We will re-visit this topic shortly.) Thursday, John Feinstein was on as a call-in guest. Feinstein, author of Season on the Brink and A Good Walk Spoiled, was blabbing on about how Lee Westwood was a “bogus number one” and other such comments. The topic of conversation was concerning Westwood’s decision not to take part in the 2011 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in May. Let’s quickly look at this decision by Westwood. Simple enough, Westwood does not own a home in the U.S. He has chosen not to be a PGA Tour player this year and instead stick with the European Tour because of his location (supposedly.) This stance in consideration, and since he was a 2009 PGA Tour member, Westwood is allowed to play 10 tournaments in the U.S. and also the Players. That leaves this equation: Four Majors, plus three World Golf events in the U.S, plus the Houston Shell Open before the Masters, plus the Honda Classic in between events and last the FedEx St. Jude Classic the week before the U.S. Open and also where Westwood will be defending. This leaves no opportunity to play stateside the week before The Players, so the world’s number one golfer bowed out. Going back to the Feinstein blasphemy...I was in a state of high irritation. I like Lee Westwood. I really enjoy him as a golfer and as a sports figure in general…he entertains me. It just so happens, that part of this entertainment is from frequent banter on Twitter. At the time of this interview on Morning Drive, Westwood and Poulter were blowing up Twitter from Abu Dhabi, which in turn was blowing up my iPhone. I don’t always pay keen attention to these tweets, but I thought to myself that Westwood was surely not aware of the foul comments Feinstein was sharing to the world. Thus I decided to advise him. Very quickly a response ensued. Needless to say, I was cheered that the world number one decided to acknowledge my informative Tweet with a witty response almost immediately. I do what I can folks…I’m here to take a stand for the golf elite! This was only the start of what seemed an irritating day (evening in Abu Dhabi actually) for Westwood. There were continued comments on Twitter about what Westwood viewed as a non-story of his decision to forgo The Players. However, I tend to agree with Brian Katrek of the PGA Tour Network’s radio show Teed Off, “In order for this not to be a story we would have to say that he is not that important, and that wouldn’t be very polite.”
About this new show on the Golf Channel called Morning Drive. Here is an example of the Golf Channel getting it right in my opinion. The live show debuted on January 3rd and airs from 7-9 A.M. Hosting the show are former ESPN commentator Erik Kuselias and former Mad Dog Radio (Sirius/XM) host Gary Williams. There is a definite ESPN feel to the show, but it works. Popular music going into and coming from commercial breaks, sporadic chatter of football and other pop culture topics, and celebrity guests liven up the show and leave a different feel than typical Golf Channel shows. To my liking, since Kuselias was such a staple on Mike & Mike (filling in for Mike Greenberg), I felt even more content in watching Morning Drive. I may leave it on the Golf Channel for a while.