Just wanted to touch on ESPN’s Ryder Cup coverage quickly this afternoon as the morning matches come to an end. I’ve said before that the network’s College Football coverage is head and shoulders above all the other Sports on the “Leader”, but after taking in the U.S. Open and today’s Ryder Cup coverage, it’s safe to say that Golf is coming awfully close to matching it.
If you compare ESPN’s Golf coverage to CBS’ there’s a bit more of a tendancy to over-explain aspects of the game, but there’s nothing really wrong with that. I think the big thing with the Ryder Cup is explaining the format, and what wins and matchups actually mean leading up to the afternoon play and the Tournament as a whole. Mike Tirico is spot on and Andy North compliments him almost seamlessly. Both of them also work well with the on-course group of Judy Rankin, Bill Kratzert (although Rankin has described just about every shot as “very hard” this morning) and they have the ex-Golf Networker Van Pelt to round everything out. I could deal without Tom Rinaldi, but we’re being positive today so I’ll pass on him.
It’s easy to focus on the negative in these parts because there’s so much of it, but I’m really impressed with the improvements that ESPN has made to their Golf game. As far as the tournament itself, the Americans are actually winning early on and the afternoon four-ball matches are going to be a blast. If anything crazy happens I’ll be sure to have the video, but if you can get off work early to watch some of the matches, definitely do so.
A Look At ESPN’s Ryder Cup Coverage (Awful Announcing)