From The Inbox

Reader gives CBS low marks for its golf coverage

Aside from ‘jewel’ Dottie Pepper, the trite commentary makes the broadcast sound more like a soap opera than a sports event

John Hawkins' piece about CBS golf coverage was right on target (“CBS faces widening gap in its golf coverage,” Nov. 19).

Hawkins touched on almost everything that irritates me and has me muting the dialogue. If you tried to find a more banal and inaccurate commentator than Nick Faldo, you would fail. I wholeheartedly agree: Dottie Pepper is the jewel in the roster.

Add to that the trite comments about players' families and goings on, and the coverage begins to sound like a soap opera. In no other sport do commentators and analysts drone on about family matters. I suspect someone at the network thinks this softening into the area of human relations will attract viewers. I think not.

Then, if the actual coverage isn't bad enough, there's the overwhelming number of commercials that pepper the programming. It is absolutely astounding. While it's not CBS that uses “Playing Through” to add even more commercials, there is more than enough interference with flow that it's annoying. This results in shots being shown out of sequence within the same playing group. We see the “away” player find the green while his competitor's ball is already there. I suspect that the producers don't grasp how this detracts from fan appreciation of performance under pressure.

Yes, I agree with Hawkins, that CBS executives don't appreciate the deterioration of their product.

Bob Baribeau
Naples, Fla.

Find a way to clone Dottie Pepper
After reading John Hawkins' excellent piece on network golf coverage, I started thinking about what a perfect (for me) golf telecast would look like (“CBS faces widening gap in its golf coverage,” Nov. 19):

Dottie Pepper and two or three clones doing on-course; Paul Azinger in the booth to share his thoughts and banter with The Dotties; more audible player-caddie interaction (probably need a 10-second delay for that); more roving cameras (more actual shots being played); someone to handle interviews.    

That's it.  

Let's get to work on the Clone Dottie project, assuming she's OK with it. (There probably will be some paperwork involved.)

Jim Westerman
Hanover Park, Ill.

Cover more than the leaderboard
Not to shovel more dirt on CBS, but my impression of the coverage is that it was as if I were watching the LPGA (“CBS faces widening gap in its golf coverage,” Nov. 19).

I love the women’s tour, but all you see is the last couple of groups and a few putt outs on the 18th. I'm a big fan of Masters champion Dustin Johnson, but you've got gamblers and fantasy players out here that would like more than a leaderboard. The Masters website provided that.

Martin Donnelly
Elmhurst, Ill.

‘Control’ Ian-Baker Finch, and ‘eliminate’ Immelman
John Hawkins’ article about CBS was insightful, and I agree with most of it, but I would like to add a few additional observations (“CBS faces widening gap in its golf coverage,” Nov. 19).

Ian-Baker Finch needs to shut up. And does he have to begin or end every sentence with “Dottie”? Control him.

Bring back Gary McCord. He was honest, insightful, and often voiced the same comments I was thinking about as a viewer.

Eliminate Trevor Immelman.

Someone needs to direct their announcers and tell them what lane to stay in.

Alberto Forcella
Palm City, Fla.

Good advice for CBS’ McManus, if he’ll take it
John Hawkins’ article on CBS’ coverage of the Masters and golf in general was spot on (“CBS faces widening gap in its golf coverage,” Nov. 19).

It’s too bad that CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus won’t take any of it to heart and make any real changes with the announcers and analysts, including the obsession with foreign accents.

I long for the days of voices and professionalism in golf coverage of people such as Ken Venturi and Pat Summerall. They let the game of golf speak, rather than a bunch of boobs talking too much and criticizing too much. Jim Nantz and Verne Lundquist are really good, and I don’t mind Dottie Pepper. But most of the rest need to go or learn not to talk so much.

Tim Baughman
Bosque Farms, N.M.

How about some respect for the opponent?
I couldn't agree more with Dan O’Neill’s article about Dustin Johnson (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18).

I've been a sports fan all of my life and will continue to be, but there's no question that the excessive “look at me” celebrations have diminished my enjoyment. I've always loved seeing athletes get excited and celebrate a big play or amazing catch with their teammates. But watching a celebration dance, strut, wiggle, crawl after a defender in football makes a tackle three yards downfield, or a defensive back waggle his finger in a “no way” motion when a quarterback overthrows a receiver by five yards is absurd.

The bat toss and stare into the opposition dugout has the same effect on me. The celebration of a play by someone on a team who is getting crushed by the opposition is another one. A 6-foot-10-inch basketball player screaming in the face of his opponent after a dunk (not much of an achievement if you're 6-10, and still only worth two points), is absurd. More so when you're losing by 15.

To me, it makes the players look as if they have no idea of what true competition is about. Respect for your competitors and some common sense shouldn't be a trait only for the old and stodgy.

Bob Burian
Carversville, Pa.

Well done, O’Neill and Johnson
Bravo, Dan O’Neill and Dustin Johnson (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18).

O’Neill’s article was reminiscent of the captivating work of the late Frank Deford. Well done.

Craig Merkle

Oh, so that’s why we’re here
Dan O’Neill wrote the best column ever (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18). Spot on.

This is what the Morning Read should be about.

Dave Snellings
Newnan, Ga.

A lesson for all
Dan O'Neill wrote an excellent article about Dustin Johnson's demeanor but more important was his commentary about demonstrations by sports figures and the behavior by the public in general (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18).

I am old school. The maxim of, Don't think like a knucklehead and then open your mouth or do something to confirm it.

Be humble in victory and gracious in defeat.

Dave Richner
St. Johns, Fla.

Humility wins
That was the best article on Dustin Johnson (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18).

Humility goes a long way. It sets a great example. Thanks for that. 

Mike Cassidy
Secane, Pa. 

‘Simply refreshing’
Dan O’Neill is a talented writer. I am waking up with coffee and just finished his accurate and articulate romp about Dustin Johnson (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18).

And, yes, Johnson’s fiancée was wearing a marching-band outfit, and she did wear it well.

From “Crumbling Cart Path” to “Common Ragweed,” O’Neill had me chuckling. His writing is refreshing and free of this world's current Stockholm syndrome of politically correct tropes and sarcasm. His article simply was refreshing. Thank you. 

I will keep an eye out for Dustin Johnson in a new way and look for O’Neill’s next piece.

Josie O'Brien

Don’t resent the doers
Thanks, Dan O’Neill, for your wonderful article on Dustin Johnson (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18).

Lots of critics will never understand because they can't feel it. They have never accomplished anything on their own, and they resent those who do.

Alvin Meeks 
Forest, Va.

‘A bit of fresh air’
What a great article by Dan O’Neill (“Celebrate Dustin Johnson for what he isn’t: Full of himself,” Nov. 18).

It’s about time that someone pointed out the obvious as to how disrespectful sports players have become. Their silly antics, especially in football, make me want to turn the channel.  Dustin Johnson is a bit of fresh air. Thank you for taking the time to write about it.

Why do the team owners accept this type of nonsense? I think they are afraid to demand respect from their players, and it shows.

Linda Fergus

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