Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.
Does Jim Nantz script some calls? Nantz: yes. 'No kidding!'
Late in my conversation with Jim Nantz about his Masters calls (see post below), he veered off in another direction, addressing another common complaint about his work:
That he scripts what he will say after a big game in advance.
I happen to think this mostly is a bad rap, and told him so, but that didn't stop him from venting. Here goes:
"The other criticism, which I think is really amusing and really unoriginal: Did you script that line? 'A win for the ages?' No, you know what I did? I went out and drank all Saturday night with Tiger nine shots in front going into Sunday's round.
"If you're there to write it, wouldn't you be thinking about your lead on Saturday night? If not, then you should have your credential taken away.
"What would you think, at a moment that big I'm not going to figure out in advance some options of what I'm going to say at the end of that broadcast? People are like, 'Oh, he scripted that.' No kidding!
"Do you think you might be cobbling together some thoughts? I know how important the lead is in your world. The caption is in mine, the perfect narrative to go with the clip is kind of important.
"So I am going to sit there absent-mindedly waiting until Tiger Woods walks up to the 72nd hole on Sunday and say, 'There it is, a win for the ages?' Oh, that was good. It came right off the cuff!
"I mean, seriously, if you're not thinking about how you're going to handle that moment, you shouldn't even be there. You're not good enough to be there."