Watching old Husker games on YouTube, especially from 1995 and 1996, served as a passable pandemic TV sports diversion for a while.
I loved seeing No. 1 Nebraska eviscerate Steve Spurrier’s second-ranked Florida Gators in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl. Never a Spurrier disciple, to this day I relish his grimaces of distaste as the score mounted to 62-24. He looked as if he had stepped on something squishy, stinky and warm in the dark. Barefoot. As delicious as that Big 10 Network no-huddle replay was, it is way past time for something fresh and ‘live’ on the tube, isn’t it?
A recent weekend was a step in that direction, albeit an itty-bitty one.
I enjoyed two live events that have nothing in common save for the fact neither has anything resembling ‘action’ when measured against, say, downhill skiing, hockey or rodeo.
I watched the first post-COVID-lockdown Elite Series bass fishing tournament presented live over several days from Lake Eufaula in Alabama and also the return of real-time PGA tournament play following a virus hiatus of several months.
Not exactly ricochet-off-the-walls action in either case to be sure, though refreshing just the same for the fact both had a palpable, real-time pulse.
Major League Baseball is threatening to fire up the jets one of these days, too, but that’s kind of a non-starter in my world. Do not go hatin’ on me now just because I can’t stay focused for three, four, five hours knowing there might be, at best, only a couple or three slam-bang, edge-of-your-seat moments. When was the last time you saw a squeeze bunt in the Major Leagues? I rest my case.
By contrast you know from the get-go every moment of a golf tournament will be sedentary; the action described in whispers. Certain knowledge the sports will generate not a single white-hot moment is kind of a weird reverse upside of golf. The expectation of action is nil and thus easily met.
In many ways golf actually plays better on TV than in person for reasons of time management, efficiency and scope. It is impossible to see as many different holes and lies and approach angles and great shots and crazy talented players while slogging over an 18-hole, up-and-down (mostly up) layout than to settle into the Big Man recliner with a refreshing beverage clutched in one hand and a remote in the other.
Naturally in-person angling has far more to recommend it than its televised cousin, however tuned-in fishing is better than no fishing at all.
Live fishing and golf may be less than riveting on TV, but their like will have to do until the networks trot out the big guns and we can finally proclaim, “Go Big Red!”