Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Memo to The Golf Channel
It's apparent that right now your suits in the corner offices have their collective sphincters puckered tighter than a Q-school hopeful standing over a 4-footer to secure his Tour Card.
It's been almost a week since your lead studio analyst Brandel Chamblee, dared to imply that Tiger Woods was a cheater in a column for a completely different golf publication that you have nothing to do with.
And of course, Tiger isn't a cheater. Nah.
The two dozen skanky mistresses were the result of his "sex addiction."
The association with known PED-quack Anthony Galea was pure coincidence.
The four "incidents" this season were only because Tiger is the subject of unfair TV camera scrutiny and a bunch of nosy armchair rules officials at home.
Let's move forward, as Tiger and his agent so ominously threatened on Monday from China.
A week of pure radio silence from you guys on this issue? Nothing? Not a peep? Hello, anybody home?
If you think Chamblee was unfair and crossed a line, say so. And do what you think is right.
Or, if you think his commentary was in bounds, and fair play, then say that and "move forward."
Or better yet, say it's a Golf.com issue, which it really is, and go back to running your business.
But it's obvious you are trying to figure out how to somehow appease Team Tiger while keeping your best golf voice for big events. Will Team Tiger accept a humiliating forced-march apology by Chamblee on air? How about a 2 week suspension? Do they really want his scalp? Will Tiger decide he's never coming on Golf Channel again, as long as Chamblee remains on your air?
Here's some advice from one of your loyal customers: me.
I really, really, really like what you guys are doing. I play golf and I love the game.
I watch lots and lots of hours of your channel, and even though I don't necessary like all of your personalities, I respect the diversity of opinion and style.
If you touch Chamblee, you've lost me.
Not because Brandel's opinions - while excellent, in my opinion - are irreplacable.
But because you will have made a bold declaratioin that you don't care about me. You care more about appeasing a shallow bully, whose only time saying sorry was in front of a blue curtain in hopes of salvaging whatever was left of his fleeing corporate sponsors.
You will have forfeited your reputation as an honest broker for legitimate issues in the game, and traded that in for cheap "Team Tiger" t-shirt.
a. If you need Brandel's phone number, we have it.
b. If you want to debate him on our airwaves, we can arrange it.
c. If you don't like a or b, go fuck yourself.
I don't know what your research says, but as a fairly experienced radio host and avid golfer I can say with confidence: most Tiger "fans" don't watch Golf Channel. They watch a few majors every year on Sundays, and only if he's somewhere near the lead.
You need people who love golf. People who will be there with your programming all summer, and even through the long dark winter months watching your lovely brand of warm weather"golf porn" from exotic locations.
You don't need Tiger to sit down with "Morning Drive" to offer the same bland, uninteresting drivel he feeds the regular tour press every week in the media center. On a good day, this guy's a bore. On a bad day, an asshole.
Yeah, I know. No more 60 second chats with Steve Sands behind the driving range. So sad.
Go ahead and suspend Chamblee, or fire him, and I'd like to say I will never, ever ever watch another minute of your programming again - but I know that's a lie.
I'll swallow my pride, and probably choke down a few "Live From's.." during the majors. All the while with a sick feeling in my stomach wondering just how hard the surviving members of your on-air crew are going to buff-shine Tiger's ass if he's anywhere within 10 shots of the lead.
The next time Tiger takes a bad drop, or moves a giant boulder, or slams a club, I am sure your crew will freely speak their minds as to what they really think. Why would I care what Frank Nobilo has to say anymore about anything? You move on Chamblee, you will poison your entire cast, and your brand forever.
This is your moment of truth, Golf Channel. You've got a great thing going. Don't blow it. Not for this guy. Not with his track record. It'll be the worst decision you've ever made.