Friday, April 09, 2010

In The Hole


TO: The broadcast commentators
FROM: The President of CBS Sports

For the 55th straight year, CBS Sports will be broadcasting the Masters Golf Tournament. We are proud to maintain our ongoing relationship with the Augusta National Golf Club to bring the American viewing public this historic sporting event.

This year is special, of course, not only because it marks our 55th anniversary but also because it marks the return of Tiger Woods to the professional golf circuit. In order to minimize any awkwardness for Tiger and to maximize our viewing audience and advertising revenues, I am asking all of you to refrain from any deliberate or inadvertent golf-related metaphors or innuendos that might embarrass Mr. Woods, his family or our viewers.

To this end, please abide by the following guidelines:

(1) Avoid the words "out of bounds." There are lots of ways to say that Mr. Woods has mishit his shot. For example, you could say that he hooked it or sliced it or topped the ball or whatever. You can even say that he put his ball in the woods, a nice play on words. But don’t use the phrase "out of bounds" for obvious reasons.

(2) Don’t use "hazards, traps or bad lies." Even if Tiger’s shot doesn’t miss the fairway, he can still find himself in other difficult situations — on the course, that is. Best to avoid any reference to the particular lie and instead simply say that he will have a tough shot coming up.

(3) Be careful with club references. For example, at no time should you ever mention the shaft of Mr. Woods’s club. Same goes for the stiffness of the club. You can use the term "wood" but be cautious in doing so.

(4) Same goes for his putter. Never say "Tiger takes out his putter" or "Tiger plays with his putter" or any similar expression. Also please refrain from indicating how he is stroking a particular putt.

(5) Although Mr. Woods is noted for his long game and his multiple Major victories, please do not mention them during the Masters coverage. Viewers might take the references the wrong way.

If we can all remember these few simple guidelines, I believe we can maintain the prestigious TV coverage of the Masters that we have become known for. All in all, I think that’s a fair way to deal with the situation.

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