Did you notice what you didn’t hear on ESPN’s Masters coverage yesterday? No promos for upcoming shows (won’t miss hearing the endless plugs for Two Broke Girls on CBS this weekend); obviously limited commercials; and drum roll please, no Chris Berman.
Each year, ESPN commits a major golf crime by allowing Berman to be part of its early-round U.S. Open coverage. His schtick is completely out of place at such a huge event.
You know Berman only is there because he tells ESPN he wants to be there. He enjoys golf and this is his chance to have his shot at a major. ESPN has to know he is horrible, but the network goes along with it because he’s “Boomer.” They want to keep him happy.
In 2008, ESPN lands early-round coverage of the Masters. Well, if Berman loves doing the Open, you would think he would take up residence in Augusta for a chance to work the Masters. Make no mistake, he definitely wants to be part of ESPN’s team for the biggest tournament of the year. It’s “a tradition unlike any other.”
So why isn’t he? Unlike the United States Golf Association, which mysteriously allows Berman on its telecasts, I am certain the august officials of Augusta National said, “No Boomer.” They don’t want his prattle (Clifford “The Big Red Dog” Roberts) messing up the pristine Masters telecasts.
As a result, we heard Mike Tirico handle the host chores Thursday. Now there is an ideal fit for ESPN and the Masters. We heard the familiar voices of CBS; the birds chirping when the fans, er “patrons,” went quiet; and the cheers when somebody rolled in a birdie putt.
We didn’t hear Chris Berman. The sound of that silence was beautiful.