Sans Chris Berman, ESPN's First Coverage Of The British Open Is Successful

The review from Waggle Room on ESPN's first full British Open coverage is in. And the result: Total victory. Well, for the most part. It still featured Rick Reilly on camera, and any broadcast with Rick Reilly can never earn full marks.

↵
↵

The talent low of the week - again - was Rick Reilly.  Since signing with ESPN, Reilly has struggled to find his place. Reilly has been asked to convert the prime rib version of his writing into essayist work in golf, probably because the average golf viewer still recalls his glory days.  Reilly quickly dismissed Oosthuizen's chances going into the weekend.  He said he was rooting hard for John Daly. (Who isn't?)  

↵

The essays were contrived and seemed to lack a real emotional connection with the topic and the audience.  The Open has such a depth of history that there is no need for easy jokes, and golf has such a niche audience that it is almost insulting to offer such cursory analysis.  Jack Whittaker, Reilly is not.  Rich Lerner, Reilly is not.  As though Bristol was beaming Nielsen Portable People Meter results to Scotland in real time, Reilly was mercilessly moved to the tail end of the weekend telecasts or extricated altogether.  He was the only reason the clicker came out all weekend.

↵

If the network wants to bring a writer into the booth, bring in Jason Sobel.  He is not often in front of the camera, but the guy knows his stuff and, frankly, could be one of those guys that has real crossover potential in the game.

↵
↵

Aside from that, the network excelled by using a small army of former players, along with addition by subtraction, the result of leaving Chris Berman stateside. This left Mike Tirico and Scott Van Pelt to steer the ship, two guys who are not only far less abrasive than Berman, but actually know the game and its players.

↵
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.