In 1966, CBS commentator Jack Whitaker referred to a patron gallery at Augusta National Golf Club as a “mob.” He was banned from ever covering the Masters again. In 1994, Gary McCord, another CBS broadcaster, remarked that the 17th green was running so fast as to have possibly been “bikini-waxed” prior to the day’s round. He followed this nana-appalling comment by suggesting that “body bags” were located behind the green for players who missed approach shots. At the request of the club, he has not returned to broadcast a single Masters since.
This is the legacy of irreverence at the Masters. The three terms: mob, bikini-waxed and body bags. Bold expressions, each and every one of them.
We were reminded of this on Friday when NBC’s Bob Costas, sports commentary’s Audrey Hepburn, visited Dan Patrick’s radio show and expressed a no uncertain amount of disapproval with CBS’s coverage of the Masters. Specifically, his disdain was aimed at the network completely ignoring Augusta’s long and sad history of discrimination.