UPDATE 8/8/13–looks like we’re stuck with the theme one more year before Fox takes over. And Fox is threatening to reinvent golf on television. Phoo. See the link below to see where golf on tv needs to go. And Fox paid the USGA $100 million a year for the rights? Of course that money’s going straight back into the game of golf. RIGHT? And the timing of the USGA announcement suggests that maybe the USGA is threatened by the PGA, reminiscent of a Presidential primary frontrunner first acknowledging a competitor. We might have seen the beginning of a US Open drop to “3rd major” status, a notch below the Masters and British Open. Here’s hoping not. Anyway…to the original post:
We interrupt the PGA Championship pre-tournament buildup with an important public service announcement. “Yanni’s Theme” is officially dead. Actually, it’s called “In Celebration of Man” but I’m calling it “I’m Celebrating it’s gone”. Whatever it’s called I have also called it unbearable for the last EIGHTEEN YEARS! However I sit here today having managed to survive the worst song ever used to introduce a major championship. NBC has lost the rights to the US Open golf tournament and other USGA events. Or should I say “Golf Channel on NBC” has lost those rights. Maybe it’s political to some degree as the rights now go to Fox for the next 12 years and I would think that the USGA leans a bit to the right, away from the folks at NBC.
Whatever the reason, the music alone was enough for the USGA to finally move in another direction. The broadcasts on NBC were badly in need of new blood, new music, new everything. Actually, I would argue that what Fox should do is go back in time for inspiration. Before a softspike version of Cleatus rears its ugly head let me make a suggestion: for inspiration, look no further than this incredible clip which opened up the final round of the 1980 British Open at Muirfield: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PYB_r5ImNBk
Just check out the first couple of minutes. What a fanfare, there’s never been better. The great Jim McKay building up the anticipation. Tasteful, simple graphics that would stand the test of time, I would put just a slightly-updated version of that on today’s broadcast without hesitation. And yes that’s Barry White’s music, it’s called “Love’s Theme” by the immortal baritone’s Love Unlimited Orchestra. It’s the quintessential golf music. And the tournament seemed so much more “Major” than some of them do today. And they called it the “British” Open (see this post for more on that subject: http://blog.ggog.com/?p=2011).
There has to be a diamond in the rough out there, a true broadcaster like Jim McKay who would also help bring back the goose bumps when it comes to televising the majors. Fox, I’d be happy to consult with you on your presentation of our national championships! I think you would find my services quite reasonable. Twitter @greatgameofgolf.
For you Yanni fans, don’t despair. Just watch golf on CBS. Except don’t be mad at them for ditching his music as well, they use another theme during the PGA telecast.