You see them in just about every shopping mall now, the “As Seen on T-V” stores, where you can purchase those items of dubious effect-ability that look so clever and neat when pitched by the fast talking hucksters in the infomercials.  They aren’t the only dubious sell jobs you get from T-V these days.  Television has a habit of giving us a distorted view of the sports world and the more sports television changes the more it stays the same and when it does change it isn’t always for the better.

The PGA Tour season officially began over the weekend in La Jolla, California.  Actually it started with a half dozen tournaments in 2013 as the Tour went to a wraparound season, and three 2014 events were already in the books, but television didn’t really get a chance to show it’s chops until the Farmers Insurance Open.  Tiger Woods finally made his first appearance of the season and T-V is already in mid season form.  It’s not likely television will ever turn the focus from a co leader, who’s trying to save par with an up and down from a tough lie in the greenside rough, to a player who’s 17 shots off the lead and unlikely to make the cut, unless, of course, the player who’s 17 shots back is named Tiger Woods.

With Jordan Speith about to take his swing at a critical shot, the scene immediately shifted to Tiger taking a meaningless shot.  It was Speith’s misfortune, and that of the viewing audience, that he was ready to play at the exact same time Tiger was ready.  Tiger shot a 79, missed the secondary cut and, as we learned later from Jim Nance, “politely declined” a CBS request for an interview.  Biting the hand, so to speak.

You’d think they’d learn.  After last season Golf Channel star Brandel Chamblee called Tiger out for playing fast and loose with the rules of golf all season.  Tiger came very close to forcing a halt to Chamblee’s television career.  A couple of times during the Golf Channel/CBS coverage of the Farmers Sir Nick Faldo came dangerously close to drawing similar ire, particularly when he properly put Tiger’s pursuit of Jack Nicklaus’ record for major victories in perspective, saying Tiger needs as many to pass Nicklaus as Phil Mickelson has won in his entire hall of fame career.  “At age 39”, said Faldo, “Tiger will have to put together Mickelson’s whole career the rest of the way.”

Watch it nick.

If television has done anyone a service, it’s Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, who’s agent said his total income from endorsements so far has probably matched his $550,000 single season base salary, then gleefully added that, thanks to all the T-V exposure of his inane, sociopathic blast at Michael Crabtree after the win over the 49ers, he’ll make millions in endorsements by the end of Super Bowl week in New York.  Sherman was quickly added to the rotation of those ads for sound deadening headphones that already include Colin Kaepernick and Kevin Garnett, the ones that allow star athletes to shut out those annoying fans who pay their salaries.

You know that old Super Bowl joke?  Here’s this year’s punchline.  Tuesday 10 P.M.  The joke?  What time does the Super Bowl pre game show start?  NFL partner ESPN says it’s going with 115 hours of pre Super Bowl programming, roughly 4.8 days.

Just because it says, “As Seen on T-V”, doesn’t mean you want to buy it.

With a comment from the sports world, I’m Scott Gray.


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