Wednesday, April 25, 2012

ESPN Classic to replay 1975 World Series game 6

ESPN Classic will replay game 6 of the 1975 World Series (Reds-Red Sox) on Mon 4/30 at 3 pm ET. The game ended on a Carlton Fisk 12th inning home run. However, the famous camera angle of Fisk's reaction was not the result of planning by NBC, but was actually caused by a rat inside Fenway Park which was bothering the cameraman. This game which had been delayed 3 days by rain was ranked #1 on the recent MLB Network list of MLB Greatest Games. The NBC telecast was called by Joe Garagiola, Tony Kubek, and Dick Stockton.

Some other notable baseball rebroadcasts coming up on ESPN Classic:

  • 1992 NLCS game 7 on 4/27 at 1 pm  
  • 1986 World Series game 6 on 4/30 at 11 am 
  • 1960 World Series game 7 on 4/30 at 5 pm
  • 1987 World Series game 6 on 5/2 at 5 pm 
  • 1977 World Series game 6 on 5/3 at 11 am
  • 1986 ALCS game 5 on 5/3 at 1 pm  
  • 1986 ALCS game 7 on 5/3 at 3 pm  

Sunday, April 15, 2012

CBS again omits Gary McCord from classic Masters footage

I recorded the recent CBS special Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta: The 1987 Masters which included footage from the final round of the original telecast. Once again, CBS went out of its way to ignore/hide the involvement of Gary McCord on the CBS broadcast team that day. In 1987, McCord was the CBS announcer on hole 14. The footage that CBS used in this special featured action from every back 9 hole including #14. However, these clips contained audio from every hole announcer on that telecast with the exception of McCord. Instead, CBS superimposed music and Jim Nantz narration over the footage it showed from the 14th.

In 2006, the inaugural Jim Nantz special covered the 1986 Masters on which McCord had also been the CBS announcer on the 14th hole. But on that special, the same thing happened as CBS showed some original footage from hole 14, but included no audio or mention of McCord who was last part of the Masters TV coverage in 1994.

In both cases, it seems obvious that the omission of McCord was intentional. What is unclear is whether CBS edited McCord out of the footage to avoid ruffling feathers with the Green Jacket Establishment or whether CBS did so under orders from the Lords of Augusta as a condition for approval in replaying this footage.

The 1987 Masters went to a playoff on holes 10 and 11. Interestingly, for its coverage of the playoff, CBS used the originally assigned hole announcer (Bob Murphy and Steve Melnyk respectively) along with main analyst Ken Venturi. Lead announcer Pat Summerall who was in the 18th hole tower was not part of the playoff coverage. Venturi called the playoff action from the fairway as he talked about getting club selections from the caddies.

The 1987 playoff coverage also leads to the intriguing question as to how the CBS Jim Nantz special would have handled this footage had McCord been the assigned hole announcer on one of these playoff holes, especially on the deciding hole. Or had a critical shot or memorable audio moment (along the lines of Verne Lundquist with "Yes Sir!" or Nantz with "The Bear has come out of hibernation.") from either of these Masters tournaments occurred at hole 14.

Non-broadcasting side note: I found it very interesting that some players had a caddy attend the flagstick on much shorter putts than you see today.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Looking back on the Al Campanis interview

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the infamous 4/6/1987 Al Campanis interview on the ABC Nightline program which was the focus of a recent ESPN Outside the Lines episode.

The remarks Campanis made on this show generated a storm of controversy and quickly cost him his job as general manager of the Dodgers. But putting aside what he said, I find it stunning how amateurish Campanis looked and sounded during this segment. I am stuck by his strange demeanor throughout the program and his awkward laughter around the 0:38 mark on this clip. One would expect that a man who had been a longtime Major League Baseball executive would have had a vast amount of experience with press conferences, media interviews, and other public speaking engagements. But the video footage seems more consistent with someone who is appearing live on-camera for the first time.

Monday, April 2, 2012

CBS special on 1987 Masters golf tournament

The latest edition of Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta will focus on the 1987 Masters tournament. CBS will air this one-hour special on Sunday 4/8 at 1 pm. This episode will feature original CBS footage from this telecast and commentary from Larry Mize on the 25th anniversary of his playoff victory. The CBS broadcasters who covered the 1987 Masters included Pat Summerall, Ken VenturiJim Nantz, Verne Lundquist, Gary McCord, Ben Wright, Steve Melnyk, and Bob Murphy.

During the 2006 inaugural Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta special on the 1986 Masters, CBS did not include any audio clips of (or any mention of) McCord and I assume this was intentional. McCord has not been part of the Masters TV crew since the infamous 1994 "bikini wax"/"body bags" comments. I will be interested to see how CBS treats (or ignores) the involvement of McCord in the 1987 telecast.

The Jim Nantz Remembers Augusta series has become an annual tradition since 2006 leading into the final round coverage of the Masters. For completeness, here is a list of the previous episodes, all of which contained original CBS footage which had never before been rebroadcast:
  • 1986 Masters (aired in 2006)
  • 1960 Masters (aired in 2007)
  • 1978 Masters (aired in 2008)
  • Seve at the Masters (aired in 2009)
  • 1977 Masters (aired in 2010)
  • 1975 Masters (aired in 2011)