Best of SI: Video Star Michael Crane Missed Shooting the Masters for a Bank Robbery

Justin Grasso

Michael Crane was no golfer. But he did dream of a star turn at the Masters, a chance to show off his handiwork and skill, a culmination of years of practice. And in April 2007 his chance arrived: At 31 he was handpicked to work one of the most-watched broadcasts on the sports calendar.

A freelance TV editor, Crane specialized in quick-cutting highlight packages that played within event broadcasts—the type that would embroider any big game—and his career was flourishing. That year alone, he recalls having already worked the Super Bowl, the Final Four and more than a dozen other events. Now he would be venturing to the most exalted golf course in the U.S., working for CBS on its commercial-free broadcast of “a tradition unlike any other.”

Yet here it was, the Monday morning of Masters week, and instead of focusing on Augusta National’s greens and, ultimately, the green jacket, Crane was fixated on a different color: red. As in the red dye spurting over his hands and tracing an arc, before splashing onto his rented Chevy Monte Carlo. An exploding cartridge, he would later realize, had been placed in the pile of bills handed to him by a teller at the Augusta bank he had just robbed with two strangers.

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