Sun, May 13, 2007
The Players—7:06 PM
We were nice enough to host The Players Championship this weekend. (Try getting a table at my Chili's tonight – just try it.) The extra traffic is a drag, but the excitement is kind of fun. Blimps circling overhead for days – it's kind of like our version of Oscar season.
It's always fun to see Mickey Tits eke out a win, doubly so on local turf. (Some might attribute his win to a good-luck fist bump from my sister the other day. And who are we to argue?) He's a sweetheart, a crowd favorite, and a very fun player to watch. (And, while he's not the most attractive golfer, he's a hell of a lot cuter than the head shot NBC has for the leaderboard – you know the one, with the Hannibal Lecter hair?)
It's a shame what happened to Sean O'Hair (or, as I've nicknamed him, "Bag") on golf's toughest hole, but he still had a great weekend. I'm told by the NBC commentators that if he'd won, commentators would've had something else to talk about besides the estranged relationship with his father that the NBC commentators couldn't stop mentioning. So, too bad on that score.
My favorite part, though, is always the technical aspect of televising the game. The cameramen are in top form, and NBC does this awesome thing called the "Green Grid," which begins with a computer-generated 3D flyover of the hole, then simulates dropping a grid of golf balls on the green to demonstrate the topography. It's a tough concept to illustrate succinctly, and this brilliant approach is as perfect as you can get.
I tracked down a video to demonstrate this, from the website of the people who make the videos for NBC: hole10.mov. (This is from a few years ago; these days the balls are bigger, so they show up better on TV.) Pretty amazing stuff – very fun to watch, and easily enhances one's understanding of the game as well as the viewing experience.