Nantz nar­rat­ing Woods is per­fec­tion

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - TALKIN’ TV

It was pretty dif­fi­cult to up­stage Jon Snow and the re­turn of “Game of Thrones” Sun­day, but Tiger Woods man­aged to do it by re­turn­ing to the throne of the Masters.

I am not just join­ing the cho­rus prais­ing Woods for win­ning his fifth Masters at age 43, when many peo­ple thought he was fin­ished two years ago due to the in­juries he has had to en­dure.

I am here to praise an­nouncer Jim Nantz, who does all the big sports events at CBS and is best at an­nounc­ing golf.

He was ex­cep­tional Sun­day, cap­tur­ing every mo­ment of Woods’ tri­umph and the af­ter­math.

I watched Woods play the fi­nal six holes while work­ing out at the gym, the TV sound off and closed cap­tion­ing on. I re-watched the fi­nal hours on my DVR just to hear Nantz speak the words that ap­peared on the TV screen at the gym.

He had me at his first four words af­ter Woods’ short putt clinched his tri­umph.

“The re­turn to glory,” said Nantz, beau­ti­fully cap­tur­ing the mo­ment.

When Woods left the green to em­brace his son, Char­lie, Nantz found just the right words again.

“I never thought I’d see any­thing that ri­vals the hug with his fa­ther in 1997,” said Nantz of the scene af­ter Woods’ first Masters’ vic­tory. “We just did.”

“If that doesn’t bring a tear to your eye if you’re a par­ent, you’re not hu­man,” said Nantz.

CBS then re­played the scene of Woods em­brac­ing his

late fa­ther, Earl, in 1997 af­ter win­ning his first Masters with the scene of Woods em­brac­ing his son.

“That’s a very pow­er­ful back-to-back re­play,” Nantz said. “The gen­er­a­tions of the Woods fam­ily and the con­nec­tion of a fa­ther to a son two times over.”

Con­fes­sion: I did cry while watch­ing the hug at the gym and all over again when hear­ing Nantz’s words.

I was a lit­tle sur­prised by my emo­tion be­cause I haven’t been a big Woods fan since rev­e­la­tions about his per­sonal life de­stroyed his mar­riage and his im­age be­fore his game and body fell apart.

Of course, Nantz and CBS weren’t about to dwell on those is­sues. They barely were ad­dressed even pe­riph­er­ally.

I sus­pect some peo­ple who stopped be­ing a Woods fan years ago tried to hold back the tears and were un­able to do so.

That I – and as­suredly oth­ers – could be moved to tears de­spite some neg­a­tive feel­ings about Woods il­lus­trates what an in­cred­i­ble come­back story Woods had achieved and the will­ing­ness of sports fans to for­give he­roes for mis­takes that cause other peo­ple pain.

Sun­day also was a tri­umph for golf, which al­ways ben­e­fits when Woods is in the hunt for a ti­tle.

As CBS an­nounc­ers re­peat­edly said Sun­day,

Woods was com­pet­ing against many younger golfers he had in­spired, and they fi­nally got to see a throw­back ver­sion of Woods play.

The “old” Woods and the rainy weather in Buf­falo un­doubt­edly also drove view­ers to their TV sets.

CBS’ cov­er­age, which was moved to the morn­ing be­cause of pre­dic­tions of nasty weather in Au­gusta, Ga., hit a dou­bledigit lo­cal rat­ing on WIVB-TV (Channel 4) start­ing at 11 a.m. It grad­u­ally in­creased to a 15.3 rat­ing by the time Woods had tri­umphed around 2:30 p.m. The fi­nal hour av­er­aged a 14.2 rat­ing.

Those are in­cred­i­ble num­bers for any sports event other than an NFL game.

To put it in fur­ther per­spec­tive, the much­pub­li­cized episode of the fi­nal sea­son pre­miere of “Game of Thrones” Sun­day had a 4.7 lo­cal rat­ing. (Of course, HBO plays the episode mul­ti­ple times dur­ing the week).

The high­est-rated prime time tele­vi­sion en­ter­tain­ment pro­gram lo­cally dur­ing the Fe­bru­ary sweeps was “The Big Bang The­ory,” which av­er­aged a 13.6 live rat­ing.

The Os­car tele­cast in Fe­bru­ary had a 13.5 live rat­ing.

Of course, the Woods story Sun­day was bet­ter than any movie last year.

Tri­bune News Ser­vice

Fans cheer as Tiger Woods sinks a par putt to win the Masters. Jim Nantz de­scribed the mo­ment as “The re­turn to glory.”

Tri­bune News Ser­vice

Tiger Woods is met by his son, Char­lie, and girl­friend, Erica Her­man, left, af­ter he won the Masters on Sun­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.