Sunday, April 10, 2005

The weekend, TV and Tiger

The weather being as fine as it was, I didn't watch much TV on Saturday. Plenty of tasks awaited in the yard, and it was good at the end of the day to feel the beginnings of sunburn on my neck. This is Ohio, after all, where any good April day may lead to weeks of rain -- or even snow.
But on Sunday, around the time we went to church, I suggested to my wife that we make some TV time. The reason? Tiger Woods was charging at the Masters.
Tiger is the reason I watch a good bit of golf on TV. I had watched bits and pieces before his rise, but often felt a bit bored by the shots of beautiful greens, men in brightly colored pants and the stroll around a little white ball that was requisite to the contemplation of the putt. If sports can be considered reality TV -- and it should be -- then golf sometimes seemed to cry out for an editor as skilled as those on "Survivor.''
My view changed with Tiger. He brought drama. There was always a chance of something extraordinary, beautiful, dramatic.
I am not saying Tiger is unique in doing that. Certainly, for other viewers, Arnold Palmer brought the same thrill. And, of course, Jack Nicklaus. You could see the excitement Nicklaus brought to the game in a CBS special about his Masters experiences, which aired before the final round on Sunday.
Once one player captivates you, it's easy to be drawn into the game at large. Granted, I am less likely to watch a golf tournament without Tiger. But on Sunday, as he tried to cling to the championship (which he finally won in a playoff), there was even greater drama in watching Chris DiMarco try to outplay and outgut Woods -- and almost pull it off.
Of course, Sunday was also a beautiful day, and there were some things I did outside, and some other things I should have been. But the TV held out the possibility of magic -- and I'd have hated to miss it.

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