Survivor won't reveal outcome
Give me a good enough reason, and I'm willing to watch a show -- once, anyway. A neighbor turning up on "Survivor"? Not good enough. Though I'm sure I'd watch if one of my own kids were involved. So how about a local golfer making it to the "final four" of "The Big Break"? In case you haven't been following it, that's The Golf Channel's reality series that started Oct. 7 with a field of 10 and has been eliminating one contestant each week until it determines a winner Dec. 9. Among the prizes: Four sponsor's exemptions into Canadian Tour events next season.
Well, I watched last Tuesday night and saw Justin Peters, one-time Player of the Year in Massachusetts, survive the week's test of skills to make it back for tonight's eighth round. The four remaining players get paired off in two teams tonight, in a Ryder Cup-style event.
So, Justin, how did you do in this round? Do you make it through? After all, the shows were taped last July at the Treetops Resort in northern Michigan.
"I signed the agreement when I was accepted for the show that leaves me liable for millions in damages if I let something slip and the news affects the show," he said. For a guy who estimates he's more than $60,000 in debt -- all expenses incurred in chasing his golf dream -- that's plenty of incentive to keep his mouth shut. "It drives my family crazy when we watch the show and they know that I know what's going to happen," he said, "but I've gotten pretty good at it."
Not even Sports Illustrated -- which has a story on Peters "in the can" -- could pry the result out of him or TGC officials.
Peters, a single father, has custody of his 4-year-old daughter, Azia, and lives with his mother, Rosemarie, as he chases his golf dream. Getting on the show has given him exposure he hopes might lead to the sponsorship he needs to make it in the pro world.
"I borrowed $17,500 on my credit card to join the Golden Bear Tour last season," he said, "but I'm not the kind of guy who can play when I'm handcuffed that way on each swing. I wound up having the worst stretch of golf of my life. I really dug myself into a hole."
It was during that stretch that the show was filmed. Hmmm.
These days, Peters is caddying at Adios near his Plantation, Fla., home, working on his game and trying to find some backers.
Peters was amazed at the bonds that grew among the competitors in "The Big Break."
"I keep in touch regularly with several of them," he said.
Mark Farnham, who was eliminated in last week's show, said proudly as he departed, "I hung around with 10 of the world's best undiscovered golfers for seven shows."
"He did some amazing things," said Peters, "then went out with style and grace."
All 10 contestants will be brought back to TGC's Sarasota studios for the three-hour final show Dec. 9.
"It will be great to see everyone again and reminisce," said Peters.
Meanwhile, The Golf Channel already is taking applications for next year. (You can download one at www.thegolfchannel.com.)
"This has been a breakout series for us," said The Golf Channel's Dan Higgins. "We've been very careful to stay true to our mission, but this show has attracted a more general audience and given us a definite spike in viewership on Tuesday nights."
But push Peters for a hint on how the final three shows play out, and he has some simple advice: "Watch."
Contrast button Some of those who were in Houston Sunday -- the CBS crew of Kevin Harlan and Randy Cross, plus Patriots vice chairman Jonathan Kraft -- were raving about Reliant Stadium, site of this season's Super Bowl. However, on TV, the facility had an "Erector Set" look and the lighting seemed dim . . . Loved Bill Belichick's hooded sweatshirt with three-quarter arms (room for some tricks up his sleeve). It looked a lot like a friar's cowl . . . And what's with this CBS jinx? One graphic said Adam Vinatieri had never missed a kick indoors. Doink! His next attempt hit the upright. Another said the Texans had never blocked a field goal in their history just before they blocked a Vinatieri attempt. Patriots fans had to worry when CBS flashed the graphic that noted the Patriots were 7-0 in overtime, tied for the longest current streak in the league. We heard that Brady had never lost in overtime but didn't see a graphic -- though it could have been hidden behind the ubiquitous teasers for "5th Quarter" on Channel 38 . . . Listening to the game on broadcast on WBCN, you knew the Patriots were in for a struggle when Gino Cappelletti noted, "They're not playing with the urgency and intensity you'd expect." . . . On Channel 4, the game did a 26.5 rating (57 audience share), peaking at a 33.8 rating (61 share) in the final quarter-hour of overtime . . . Channel 4's "Sports Final" did a 4.0 rating Sunday, topping Channel 7's "Sports Xtra" (2.5). The movie "Fallen Angel" delivered a good audience into Channel 4's slightly delayed 11 p.m. news . . . Those "5th Quarter" promos during the Patriots' telecast must have helped. The postgame show on Channel 38 did a 3.3 rating, topping Fox's Bears-Broncos coverage, which did a 2.8 on Channel 25 . . . Thursday's Thanksgiving NFL lineup has Packers-Lions on Channel 25 at 12:30, followed by Dolphins-Cowboys on Channel 4 at 4. CBS and Channel 4 have Sunday's Patriots-Colts game at 1. It will be available to those with over-the-air HD receivers. Sunday's other TV games are Chiefs-Chargers (Channel 4, 4:15) and Saints-Redskins (Channel 25, 4).
(Bill Griffith's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org)
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