You whooo: David Feherty’s landing at NBC Sports starts his next 20-year ‘plan’

Dfeherty3After two decades playing professional golf followed by two more at CBS cultivating his unique style as a on-course golf analyst and reporter, David Feherty said today he hopes to have another 20 years left in him to fulfill a new contract with the NBC Sports Group that includes adding his voice to that of Johnny Miller on the 2016 Olympics, the British Open and the Ryder Cup going forward.

“I’m just happy to be here in your country,” the native of Northern Ireland joked, as usual, on a conference call with reporters.

In addition, Feherty will continue doing his interview show series for the NBC owned Golf Channel and he has a development deal in place for the Universal Television department.

“In almost 20 years of playing, it felt like an apprenticeship for holding a microphone and I started to feel at home just a few years ago,” Feherty said. “When I got the gig at Golf Channel, it was a liberating experience, more of an intellectual challenge for me and I felt I could be good at it.

“Now I have this opportunity with the Olympics, the Ryder Cup, and a different set of players. I’m leaving behind a lot of great friends and great memories. I’m nervous about this. I hope they don’t drug test announcers, because I’d fail on several accounts with my psyche meds. Especially with the Olympics. I’m doomed there.”

Some reports that came out earlier this month when it was announced Feherty was leaving CBS indicated he was a bit unhappy with his situation there, wanted to do more reporting in the tower instead of walking, and sought new challenges.

This NBC deal seems to accommodate his desires at a time when NBC Sports producer Tommy Roy says Miller, the long-time tower analyst, has asked to cut back his schedule, as have on-course reporter Roger Maltbie and Gary Koch.

“We have open positions by happenstance,” said Roy. “This could not come together at a better time.”

dfeherty1Feherty said he did not read any of the news stories about his contract negotiations.

“I’m not sure how you could characterize the way it went,” he said. “There were offers and counteroffers and I’m left to make a decision that could have gone either way. NBC was the opportunity I couldn’t get anywhere else. The negotiations, I don’t know much about. I’m comfortable with the decision I’ve made. I’m not saying it wasn’t difficult. It was extremely difficult and emotional for me.”

Feherty said he “never asked” CBS if he could work more in the tower because “we were filled up there. People identify with me on the ground. There were a few occasions on a Thursday and Friday broadcast (with Golf Channel) when I could enjoy working in the tower and having more time to describe things. I’ll have more of an opportunity to do that in the coming years.”

Feherty’s role with NBC begins in January, 2016, so he will not be at the last two FedEx Cup events for the network, capped off by the Tour Championship in Atlanta next weekend.

dfeherty2Preparing to have three surgery on his hands and shoulder in the coming months, he admitted it can be a grind on his body to constantly walk the course week after week with the microphone pack and headset.

“I’m 57, but I’m like a net 75 with way I’ve treated myself,” he said. “I had no idea I’d live this long or I would have looked after myself. My hands are arthritic and people don’t believe me when i say I can’t grip a club.

“(Walking the PGA Championship at CBS) at Whistling Straits, you’re at a 45 degree angle and you can’t get on the center of the fairway. But then, it’s golf, not football and nobody’s going to tackle me. I’m using my time now to get my body back into some sort of shape and get some fitness back, because if I was a horse they’d shoot me.”

The development deal with Universal TV was a large part of the decision to switch over from CBS to NBC, Feherty said.

Golf Channel president Mike McCarley said that deal was “open ended. One of the great things about developing his (‘Feherty’) show for Golf Channel was opening his crazy brain and letting the ideas some out and then filter them. (‘Feherty’ producer) Keith (Allo) and his team did a great job having his voice come out in that hour-long show. It’s the same concept with other projects. Now we have a more formal agreement on how to do it and the projects stay within our company.”

By the way: An episode of “Feherty” where Feherty did a sit-down a couple of years ago with Donald Trump reairs tonight on Golf Channel at 7 p.m.

“I really enjoyed being with The Donald,” Feherty said. “He looked at me and said I needed a new suit, and he had one made for me in an hour and a half, which I wore.  I’ve only had the opportunity to vote twice as a U.S. citizen since 2010. It’s really interesting to watch this because Ben Carson and Donald Trump are really two outsiders, and I like both of them. You can’t say this is not the most interesting presidential race certainly in my 20 years here. It’s fascinating.”

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Play It Forward Sept. 14-20: Time for USC, UCLA to supersize

The BYU fan’s eye view of Tanner Mangum’s latest prayer answered, versus Boise State on Saturday.

Details/TV: At the Coliseum, 5 p.m., Channel 7
NO. 10 UCLA vs. NO. 19 BYU
Details/TV: At the Rose Bowl, 7:30 p.m., FS1:
You’d think USC and UCLA might do a better job coordinating their home-game kickoffs, so college football fans in L.A. could attempt to coordinate  schedules and take in both of these intriguing matchups – if not in person, at least in their living rooms without having to keep hitting the “last” button on the remote.
But here is what we have:
Start with a tweet from the fellow who professes to be ThePlayoffGuru:

Son of a gun. The first reference is to BYU’s latest quarterback, true freshman Tanner Mangum, who has thrown a couple of prayers up and had them competed to give the Cougars a 2-0 start. (Some may refer to those as a “Hail Mary.” We’ve heard it referred to better as a “Hook and Latter-Day Saint” play). The phrase #MangumStyle is more a Twitter thing than the Guru’s labeling of it. The 6-foot-3, 210 pounder from Idaho bailed on Boise State and decided to back up the oft-injured Taysom Hill, and it’s already paid off. His 167.1 passer efficiency rating is 24th in the nation. The other truer 13th grader in this scenario, Josh Rosen, ranks 55th with a 142.1 rating, but he’s also navigated a couple of victories. Albeit without the same dramatic flair. UCLA may have won seven of the 10 previous meetings against BYU, but with a 59-0 loss at Provo, Utah in 2008, their last meeting, these two kid QBs may not have even been born yet.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan fumbles when hit by USC's  J.R. Tavai on the Cardinal's last offensive possession in 2014.

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan fumbles when hit by USC’s J.R. Tavai on the Cardinal’s last offensive possession in 2014.

Since we’re on this QB rating thing, USC senior Cody Kessler is second in the nation with a 215.3 – seven TDs, no picks, 79 percent completion rate. Sure, against Arkansas State and Idaho, but …  Stanford senior Kevin Hogan is 68th (135.3), and the currently unranked Cardinal is a questionable 1-1 after a season opening loss to Northwestern followed by a presentable 31-7 win over Central Florida. Hogan’s first TD pass of the year was a 53-yard flea flicker to Michael Rector in Week 2, and he finished with a career-high 341 yards. Kessler comes off a career-best 410 yards throwing. We know this USC-Stanford rivalry has also been dramatic in recent years. Unranked USC edged No. 5 Stanford, 20-17, in 2013 under then-coach Ed Orgeron. Last season, in the Pac-12 opener at Stanford, Andre Heidari’s 53-yard field goal with 2:30 left allowed No. 14 USC to pull off the win against No. 13 Stanford for new coach Steve Sarkisian (with an assist on the sidelines from AD Pat Haden). Kessler completed 15 of 22 passes for 135 yards and Hogan was 22 of 30 passing for 285 yards. But neither one threw a TD pass.
Other top games this week in college football:
Georgia Tech at Notre Dame (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 4)
Auburn at LSU (Saturday, 12:30 p.m., Channel 2)
Cal at Texas (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., Channel 11)
Ole Miss at Alabama (Saturday, 6:15 p.m., ESPN)


After Corey Seager makes his Dodger Stadium debut when the Dodgers face Colorado (Monday-Wednesday), there’s a dicey three-game set with Pittsburgh at Chavez Ravine (Friday-Sunday) … The Sparks start the WNBA playoffs against Western Conference leader Minnesota (Friday, 6 p.m.), then host Game 2 at Staples Center (Sunday, noon) … The NFL finishes off Week 1 with a doubleheader on ESPN (Philadelphia-Atlanta and Minnesota-San Francisco) …  More at this link.

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No more Jay Mohr? A Saturday LA show arrives

062513soloWe mentioned recently how lineup changes in the Dodgers’ new co-ownership of  KLAC-AM (570) resulted in hanging onto local programming, which meant somehow that Jay Mohr, hired two years ago as the morning drive replacement for Jim Rome, is now unceremoniously the odd-comic out of the L.A. airwaves. This is because Colin Cowherd joined the IHeartRadio team this week and started in the 9 a.m.-to-noon spot.
Hiring Mohr in the first place was a logical move for KLAC. But after moving him once already to noon-to-3 p.m., he’s expendable?
The Dodgers stipulation there be seven hours of local programming to promote their brand is why this musical chairs scenario has happened, and why Mohr, a national show, is moved out in L.A.
And, sure, it’s still on the stream. But Mohr has more to offer.
“Mohr Sports Los Angeles,” part of the Podcast One Network, is an hour-long L.A.-centric podcast launching on Saturday afternoons, also available on
It’s just him. No guests.
“And I’m not pulling any punches — it’s a super-deluxe R-rated show, as if I was doing stand-up,” Mohr said this week. “Stand-up is a service industry and I’m here to serve. I’m really excited to do this without a corporate clock, without restrictions, without a censor, just my ranting and raving lunatic love for Los Angeles sports. I’m fired up about this.”
Mohr said he understands how L.A. listeners must feel when an intimate friend on the radio somehow goes away without much explanation.
“These people did nothing wrong,” said Mohr. “What do you do? Go away? Or think of a way to service those people. L.A., I’ve got you covered.”

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What’s new with Rick Neuheisel? Not the same old tune at CBS with the SEC


On the first episode of CBS’ new “College Football Today” studio show, Rick Neuheisel was apparently expected to grip it and rip it. With his analysis as well as with his guitar.
So he did. And very acutely acoustically with both tasks, we should add.
Ripped away from the Pac-12 Network as its featured studio analyst, the former UCLA quarterback and head coach has already set the bar high for those who expect a song-and-dance man to summarize the SEC coverage that CBS is locked into these days.
(See the clip above: He also managed to find a way to get “CBS” in as the last rhyme. His next appearance is on Saturday’s pregame before Georgia-Vanderbilt at noon on Channel 2).
“I like goofing around with the guitar, but on a much smaller scale,” Neuheisel said this morning. “Give me a verse and I’ll sound clever and half-way entertaining. These ensemble pieces are going to out me as a clear amateur in the ways of music. Hopefully we can reduce it so it still catches the listener by surprise and they don’t realize I’m really tone deaf.
“I’m just a guy who can play 30 percent of every song, but it’s really much better if you’ve had a lot to drink.”
Having decided that he’s so committed to this new CBS gig that he actually relocated to New York and is putting his Manhattan Beach place up for rent, Neuheisel explained some of the transition involved in this latest media-related career move, which includes doing a daily show called “Full Ride” from 7-to-10 a.m. PT on Sirius XM College Sports Nation Channel 84 with partner Chris Childers:

engineer_dorm_room1Q: This isn’t just a weekend gig for CBS that involves flying up to San Francisco, doing a few studio shows and then relaxing at the beach? You’ve really had to do a lifestyle change for this?

A: I feel like I’ve gone away to college again and I’m staying in my dorm room. Swear to goodness. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all over again. I’m in constant contact with college football, whether it’s TV or talking on the radio or doing interviews. I do feel like a coach again. I look forward to having my wife finally able to join me here in the Big Apple. This really is a leap of faith, taking a swing at network TV. I loved working for the Pac-12 Network and especially with the people there.

Q: But now you have to become an expert in the SEC, because that’s CBS’ baby, and that must be something of a culture shock as well?

A: I gotta tell you, I went on my own private tour to all 14 SEC schools. Took my wife and got in the car and did the whole Grizwolds thing. I even stopped at the Mississippi River as we were going to Memphis and Knoxville and I did the whole Clark Grizwold line about the ‘Old Miss …’ It was my own ‘Vacation’ movie.
I had been to Georgia before, because we played there when I was UCLA. Tennessee, I had coached there. Texas A&M and Missouri I had seen. But never had I been to the other places, and to go to these little college towns like Auburn and Fayetteville … I get it now. I don’t mean to any abandonment of the Pac-12, but I get the media attention to this conference. They have this beacon on the hill as a stadium and the towns revolve around it. It’s really charming. It’s just a completely different take on the game than anywhere else.

Q: So all the way back in New York, were they talking about Josh Rosen’s first game at UCLA? Were some there calling it the best performance by a true freshman — ever — as many in the media were going off? Continue reading

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Weekly media notes version 09.11.15: Funny you should ask, Rob Riggle …

Rob Riggle co-stars in a “Key & Peele” piece for Comedy Central. Remember who gets a bagel, and who doesn’t, OK?

What’s likely coming up Sunday:

Did the NFL provide comedian Rob Riggle with enough material this off season so that going to work on his first “Fox NFL Sunday” show was merely just picking and choosing what to satirize now and what to save for later?
Yeah, pretty much.
This morning, we caught up with “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” veteran as he was in the make-up chair, and he made up some nifty answers to questions we had about what’s going this season.
We couldn’t get a good read on exactly what he intends to do for Sunday’s first show, but only wish he was given more than just two minutes.
Remember how in Week 2 of last season he was already in “Fantasy Owner Rehab?”

A sample of our Q-and-A with Riggle:

Q: Did you learn much from “The Daily Show” and “Saturday Night Live” that you can apply to sports comedy, taking real events and finding the not-so-subtle satire in them?
I think there are elements to that. But I don’t focus on trying to present news or educating anybody. I’ve only got two minutes each week to write a sketch and entertain people. And do this and that. I’m not really trying to present any news stories. I got from ‘SNL and The Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in doing improv and sketch comedy, because that’s really what this is. That’s me. Frank Caliendo did crazy impersonations in a monologue, and that was great. Jimmy Kimmel did things his way.

Q: Where does Tim Tebow land in the comedy spectrum of what you might tackle?

A: (Laughing). I like Tim personally. He’s a really nice guy. I got to meet him when I hosted the ESPYs and he played along with some of the bits we did, so I appreciated that. Yeah, he’s on the receiving end on this show. It comes down to, I guess, what the lead is. Right now, his not making the Eagles isn’t necessarily the lead.

What we think is worth dropping in today: Continue reading

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