Hey, I was a little shocked at the negative press we at CBS received after the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. What viewers and writers seemed to forget is that Saturday at Pebble Beach has for the last 40 years been hit and giggle day. This year, Saturday happened on Sunday, that’s all. And we did give you Monday, lest you forget. Anyway, people have a right to criticize the network, that’s fine by me, but what I found particularly mean spirited was the media’s shabby treatment of one of the nicest people in television, Ray Romano.
For the record, Tiger Woods was not upset, held up, or frustrated by Ray Romano. I was with Tiger’s group, and I can tell you first hand that Ray picked his ball up about 80 percent of the time, and kept out of his pro’s way. Tiger will tell you the same thing. The other amateur in Ray’s group, Tommy Smothers did not. In fact, on a number of occasions, I thought that Steve Williams, Tiger’s caddie, was going to insert Tommy’s yo-yo into Tommy, and yank on the string until Tommy yo-yo-yodeled. After reading the unsporting press, one could be forgiven for thinking that Ray was single-handedly responsible for holding up play on all three golf courses. Ray got picked on because we showed too much of him, and these days he, unlike Tommy, is a big name.
One notable sports magazine was particularly misinformed and very nasty. They accused Raymond of holding up play (wrong) and of being a bad golfer (right, and which Raymond gladly admits to). But worse than that, they said that he was not funny. It is evident that they did not watch on the Sunday of the AT&T, and have never seen “Everybody loves Raymond.” Ray is one of the funniest and most engaging people that I have ever met, and is exactly the kind of celebrity the AT&T does not have enough of. This was his first time at Pebble Beach, and I suspect I am not alone in hoping that he comes back next year. He has a passion for the game, and next year, he will be just as funny, but a better golfer.