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Just My Type

April 20, 2009
April 20, 2009

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April 20, 2009

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Just My Type

The Interview

This is an article from the April 20, 2009 issue

Jim Nantz
SMOOTH TALKER

The voice of theFinal Four called his 24th Masters for CBS last weekend

Dan Patrick: Howdoes losing the green jacket affect Kenny Perry?

Jim Nantz: Ithink it's going to take him a long time to get over it. He's a man of deepfaith, though, so he'll be able to handle it. The last time he got this closeto a major was in 1996 at the PGA. He lost a playoff to Mark Brooks. Hefinished 40 minutes ahead of Mark, and he came up into the booth and joined meand Ken Venturi, and never went out to warm up again. Afterward we got ripped.It was portrayed as though I had personally chained him to the desk at theValhalla 18th tower. It took him 13 years to get into position to win a majoragain.

DP: Do you havethe authority to light the fireplace in Butler Cabin?

JN: I don't thinkany of us would even entertain the idea of lighting that fireplace. By theway—real logs.

DP: Reallogs?

JN: Real firelogs.

DP: Could yougather some ashes and maybe put them in a Baggie for me?

JN: No, it hasn'tbeen lighted in a while.

DP: Do youpractice your Masters voice before you go to Augusta?

JN: It's the wayI talk 365 days a year. You ought to hear me order breakfast in themorning.

DP: O.K., cue theMasters music and I'll answer the phone. "Room service...."

JN: Yes, I wouldlike some scrambled eggs, please. Soft and gentle. Not too firm or overdone.And some bacon, crisp, crisp as a beautiful spring morning in Augusta. Nowlet's send it back down to room service.

DP: I came upwith an idea: Masters cologne that smells like azaleas and dogwoods. What doyou think of that?

JN: Listen,everything here is so perfect. You wish that everything in your life could belike this. Maybe there is a Masters cologne. I'd buy it. I love being a part ofthis. I get asked about the Masters every day of my life, and that's noexaggeration. I take it as a tremendous honor.

The DistantDuo

BY FAR, the mostcompelling twosome on Sunday at the Masters was Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.They're the Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer of their day—right down to how theyinteract with each other. David Feherty of CBS said, "There's been a lotmade of their relationship, but they don't have one. They don't know eachother. It's just like Jack and Arnie. They're great friends now, but theyweren't when they were playing against each other." Whatever Tiger andPhil's relationship, or lack thereof, they certainly bring out the best in eachother. It's not easy for two guys who didn't even make it into the playoff todominate the day at Augusta, but that's what happened. As Jim Nantz said,"When they walked off the green at 18, you almost had to remind yourselfthat there's still a tournament. It was like we were covering a one-on-oneskins game and the tournament for the green jacket was the second act."

Rejecting theNotion

PATRICK EWINGdebunked an old tale last week. He was called for goaltending on NorthCarolina's first four baskets in the 1982 NCAA championship game, and for yearsthe story has been that Georgetown coach John Thompson told him to do it onpurpose to intimidate the Tar Heels. "He didn't tell me to," saidEwing, who to this day believes that only two of the goaltending calls werelegit. Ewing also talked about another tough loss—to Villanova in the '85 titlegame. Ewing still crosses paths with former Wildcat Ed Pinckney, who's now aTimberwolves assistant coach; they agree a rematch might be ugly. "Neitherteam would win," Ewing said. "All of us are out of shape and fat andcouldn't get up and down the floor." Pinckney said if they played,"You'd better bring a bunch of defibrillators and ice packs."

A FutureKing?

BLAKE GRIFFIN,who decided last week to enter the NBA draft, lost six games in high school and18 in his two years at Oklahoma. He'll be looking at that many losses by theend of December if he winds up in Sacramento. One place you probably won't seeGriffin next year: the slam dunk contest. He'd rather be a spectator. "IfLeBron's in that, I might just watch it from the stands," he told me.

THE FINE PRINT:Last week a chunk of concrete fell from an overhang at Angel Stadium. No onewas hurt. Even more amazing, Vlad Guerrero didn't swing at it.

Go toDANPATRICK.COM for more from Jim Nantz and other recent interviews, and hearlive audio of Dan's radio show, 9 a.m.-noon ET, Mon.-Fri.

ILLUSTRATIONILLUSTRATION BY KEITH WITMERPHOTOFRED VUICH (WOODS & MICKELSON)PHOTORICHARD MACKSON (EWING)PHOTODAVID CANNON/GETTY IMAGES (NANTZ)