Unlike Any Other

The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of RCN or any other agency, organization, employer or company.

Unless you have absolutely zero access to anything that resembles news or social media, you know that Tiger Woods won the Masters on Sunday afternoon. The event not only produced great golf drama, but it also always produces some of the most unusual announcing, and artistic scenery.

I also believe the 9:00 AM start probably helped viewership. Knowing that Tiger was in the championship hunt, even a West Coast fan of golf would either get up early or DVR the program just to watch it when they arise. I personally loved the early start which led to an early finish. I had to emcee a function Sunday night and I would have missed the finish.

While watching the golf telecast, I am always amazed at the amount of wires, production people, and announcers that need to be coordinated throughout the four days. With ESPN involved on Thursday and Friday, the telecast must use some of their announcers (Scott Van Pelt and Curtis Strange) during those broadcasts despite their reports being somewhat awkward. They appear to be just filling contractual space until the CBS announcers take over the actual four-day golf coverage.

I’m sure you, also, notice the absolute reverence in the voices of the announcers when they describe anything – none more than Jim Nantz, who often sounds like he is offering up a eulogy instead of describing the golf.

There is no question that the Masters is different and it is required to be by the Masters committee (why else would it be called “a tradition unlike any other”?). Take note of some of the oddities:

• An announcer must refer to the fans as “patrons”. One is not to use the word “fan” or “spectator”.
• The “rough” MUST be called the “second cut”.
• Only four minutes of commercials are allowed every hour of the CBS broadcast.
• Caddies MUST wear a white jumpsuit and a green Augusta hat.
• Patrons may bring collapsible chairs, but they cannot have armrests.
• Patrons may not wear hats backwards.
• No running.
• Augusta membership is around 300. You cannot apply – you must be nominated.
• The course is actually closed in the summer.
• The green jacket won by Tiger Woods is the same jacket he wore when he won his first Masters. He may only keep it for this year and then must return it.
• Each player gets a brand new Mercedes for their use during the week.
• It may be the toughest ticket in sports, but it is not expensive to be there – $325 for the week and, if you bought everything on the food menu, it would cost you less than $57.00.
• There are 125 different styles of hats in the pro shop.
• There is a fence around the entire course which keeps out ALL animals. It is said that no one has ever seen a squirrel on the grounds.

If you would like to see it LIVE, you can enter a lottery for tickets at https://tickets.masters.com/en_US/ticket_info.html . I know people who have gotten tickets this way.

Me, I enjoyed an early breakfast, an early finish, and the comfort of my recliner. That is my “tradition unlike any other”.

ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)

1. Tiger Woods wasn’t the only winner on Sunday. A bettor on a sports book in Las Vegas placed his first bet ever. He bet on Tiger Woods to win the Masters. He bet $85,000 and received 14-1 odds. With Tiger’s win, he won $1.19 million, not quite the $2.02 million Tiger won, but he never hit a shot. The last three seven-figure winners at this sports book came when the Eagles beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl in 2018.

2. If you are a NL MLB East fan, buckle up for a great ride. Of the five teams, four of them are .500 or better. The Phils, Mets, Braves, and Nationals could stick around in the race for a long, long time. By comparison in the AL East ONLY Tampa Bay has a winning record. The Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox, and Blue Jays are all under .500 which might make their division just as interesting.

3. Whitehall product Matt Millen returned to the broadcast booth on Saturday to broadcast the Penn State Blue-White game. Matt, a former Penn State and NFL all-star, received a new heart on Christmas Eve. He waited 98 days for a match to be found. The native of Hokendauqua is back and ready to work in the booth.

4. The Lafayette College Spring Maroon and White spring game will be played on Saturday and televised on RCN-TV at 11:00 AM. Mike Joseph and I will be there to make the call.

5. Morning Call sports’ reporters Paul Reinhard and Keith Groller were honored this past Sunday. It seemed like every notable Lehigh Valley sports personality was there (well over 250 people attended). The two have combined for almost 100 years of tireless sports reporting. I was proud to be able to emcee the affair at DeSales University.

Gary Laubach About Gary Laubach

Gary began his broadcasting career with Twin County in 1972. Twin County eventually became C-TEC and then RCN. Gary holds the dual role of Director of Media Services and Sports Director/Broadcaster. He currently broadcasts about 140 sports and entertainment broadcasts a year, and oversees the scheduling of all sporting events for RCN.

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