Sports TV News
Trevor Immelman: First Masters As Lead TV Analyst Same Adrenaline Rush As Playing
“The adrenaline rush that I get when I’m about to go on and during the show is identical to what I would feel when I was playing.”
This week at The Masters, 2009 champion Trevor Immelman will get to do something new as it will be his first Masters as the lead analyst alongside Jim Nantz. Like all of us who go into doing something for the first time, Immelman does feel some nerves.
Immelman was a guest on the Fore Play podcast this week and he said that he does feel some nerves, but he gets the same adrenaline rush that he had while he was playing.
“The adrenaline rush that I get when I’m about to go on and during the show is identical to what I would feel when I was playing. Have I done enough preparation? Have I done the right preparation? Will I find the right words in the right moment? I get a lot of the same feels.
“I’m nervous to not say something stupid, I’m nervous to be able to find the right words at the right time, to give the right explanations of how the course is playing or what a player is facing. The last few weeks, I’m thinking about different ways to explain things and get my point across quickly.”
Since Immelman has gone from playing the golf course to calling the action, he has learned how much more he loves the sport.
“The underlying factor is I really love the game and what’s quite interesting to me is that I think I only started to actually figure this out when I started doing TV. When I was competing — and in some way, shape, or form, I’ve been competing since I was 5 or 6 years old on this run of trying to be as good as I can be at whatever level I was playing — I was just so focused on improving, trying to win, competing, and you can become a little jaded at points because the game is so tough.
“Since I’ve gone all in on the TV and stopped competing, I’ve really, really come to realize how much I love this sport. It’s authentic excitement and love for the sport and the venues and the tournaments and how good these players are. I just try to let that come out.”
Even though CBS has not aired a tournament over the last month due to the NCAA Tournament coverage, Immelman detailed the prep work he has been doing and the role he wants to bring to the viewing audience.
“It never ends. I see it as my job and my profession so I’m constantly paying attention. Put a lot of work in when I was starting as lead analyst for the west coast swing. Even while we’ve been off over the last 5-6 weeks, I’ve watched a lot of golf, I’ve read a lot of articles, I’ve listened to a lot of the podcasts. You just keep picking up nuggets and learning new things.
“On top of that, I have all of my notes since I’ve been doing the Masters broadcast (2020). I keep all of the stuff I do every tournament when we go back the following year, then I go over that and pick out nuggets I like and things I can use again.
“You realize you are being paid to talk. You have that in the back of your mind and really it comes down to have confident are you and how comfortable are you saying nothing at all rather than saying something stupid or something cliche. You have to have a lot of confidence to be able to do that. The Masters provides a great opportunity to say nothing because it’s so beautiful to watch on TV. You can hear the voice of the patrons, and the sound of the strike as it reverberates through the trees.”
While Immelman has been at The Masters for the last 20+ years in different ways, this week will feel full circle for him because of adding a new experience into the mix.
“Now, it’s been full circle starting at The Masters as an amateur in 1999 and then starting to play there and eventually winning, and then going back year-after-year as a champion and now having the ability to sit in Butler Cabin next to such a legend in Jim Nantz. It’s going to add an extra layer for me. I’ve had so many unique experiences at Augusta National and doing The Masters. To add this to be calling the action at a golf course and a tournament that changed my life, it’s going to be seriously cool.”
Ricky Keeler is a reporter for BSM with a primary focus on sports media podcasts and national personalities. He is also an active podcaster with an interest in pursuing a career in sports media. You can find him on Twitter @Rickinator555 or reach him by email at RickJKeeler@gmail.com.
Sports TV News
Charles Barkley ‘Was so Mad’ at ESPN Coverage of LeBron James
“We all love LeBron, [but] he didn’t say he was retired yet. It should’ve been all about the Denver Nuggets.”
When the Denver Nuggets advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in the 47-year history of the franchise, ESPN showed the team’s celebration for all of four seconds. It then quickly switched to a shot of LeBron James, stoic but obviously disappointed, walking through the tunnel back to the Los Angeles Lakers locker room.
Tuesday on ESPN’s First Take, JJ Redick criticized the network’s NBA coverage for highlighting larger markets and a small faction of players considered to be “superstars.” There’s no way to tell if Charles Barkley was watching, but Redick’s point is one he agreed with.
That night on Inside the NBA, Barkley said he was annoyed with the amount of attention put on LeBron James after the game. He wanted to see the reactions of Nuggets stars Nikola Jokić, Jamal Murray and head coach Michael Malone to making the NBA Finals. Instead, he and other viewers were inundated with more content centered around the Los Angeles Lakers.
“I was so mad this morning I actually turned the TV off,” Barkley said last night on Inside the NBA, “because the Denver Nuggets sweep and get to the Finals for the first time. We all love LeBron, [but] he didn’t say he was retired yet. It should’ve been all about the Denver Nuggets.”
James, for the record, did not even say that he was seriously considering retiring. In a post-game press conference following the Lakers’ elimination, he said he “had a lot to think about” in the offseason.
The Walt Disney Company has reported its most-watched NBA playoffs on ESPN platforms in the last 11 years, according to data provided by Nielsen Media Research. The games have averaged approximately 5.6 million viewers, a 9% increase from the year prior. Moreover, Game 4 between the Nuggets and Lakers peaked at around 11.5 million viewers from the 11 to 11:15 p.m. EST quarter hour window, and averaged 8.2 million over the duration of the contest.
Sports TV News
ESPN Layoffs Resume, NFL & NBA Talent Likely To See Biggest Cuts
“The company is beginning its latest phase of layoffs this week with Vice President of Research, Insights and Analytics Barry Blyn receiving a pink slip Wednesday morning.”
ESPN will look to slash $30 million in salary as The Walt Disney Company’s layoffs continue, with a majority of it coming from talent covering the NFL and NBA. The network’s goal is to have the layoffs completed by the end of June according to a report by Front Office Sports.
Through it all, Max Kellerman’s afternoon television show This Just In could be canceled in order to slot Pat McAfee’s show into the daily programming lineup. Kellerman’s show airs from 2 to 3 p.m. EST, meaning more moves could be on the way to hold McAfee’s statement that his show will air immediately following First Take, which concludes at noon.
Employee morale at ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol is reportedly quite low, with people questioning why the company chose to pay McAfee and lay off a litany of its dedicated and longtime staffers.
The company is beginning its latest phase of layoffs this week with Vice President of Research, Insights and Analytics Barry Blyn receiving a pink slip Wednesday morning. More names are surely to follow as The Worldwide Leader looks to do its part to contribute to Disney cutting $5.5 billion in costs. The final round is expected to impact 2,500 employees in different areas of the company.
The company expects to report its own earnings for the first time this November, and sources have stated that the numbers will be impressive. Conducting the layoffs in separate rounds and saving on-air talent for last, however, has certainly played a role in public perception of the moves, and this week’s round will largely impact executives and other personnel behind the scenes.
Sports TV News
Eli Manning: ‘People Enjoy’ When ManningCast Has to Apologize for Language
“We get a lot of curse words, some from Peyton, some from guests.”
The ManningCast on ESPN has become appointment viewing for select Monday Night Football games. Eli Manning loves the fun, laid-back nature of the show he and brother Peyton put on for fans.
But with live TV, sometimes unpredictable things happen, and sometimes people use profanity. Eli, speaking on Tuesday at the 4se sports and entertainment event in New York City, said viewers get a kick out of when the two let occasional profanities slip and have to scramble to say sorry.
“We get a lot of curse words, some from Peyton, some from guests,” he said. “I feel like we’re apologizing for a lot of things on the show, but I guess people enjoy that part.”
Manning has said previously that the goal is for viewers to get the sense that Peyton and Eli are right there with them on their couch watching the game. Eli said it’s been fun getting to show some authenticity now that he’s retired.
“When I was playing, there was a conscious effort; I didn’t want either my fans or coaches to think I had a life outside of football,” he said. “Once I retired, I realized I didn’t have to hold back.”
Jordan Bondurant is a features reporter for Barrett Sports Media. He’s a multimedia journalist and communicator who works at the Virginia State Corporation Commission in Richmond. Jordan also contributes occasional coverage of the Washington Capitals for the blog NoVa Caps. His prior media experiences include working for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, the Danville Register & Bee, Virginia Lawyers Weekly, WRIC-TV 8News and Audacy Richmond. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @J__Bondurant.