The Golf Channel’s PGA Tour coverage is, typically, something of a televisual Stepford; a precariously balanced world of stilted banter, sporting non sequiturs and avuncular asides, all of it held in place by little more than a selection of fetching tie pins, Kelly Tilghman’s endless capacity to be fascinated by shrubbery, and hairspray, lots and lots of hairspray.
By its strange, otherworldly system of values, the commentary-booth presence of Nick Faldo can be considered edgy, even exciting.
I say “typically” because every so often the imperatives of broadcast journalism demand more of the Golf Channel: substance, rigour, a narrative with which to frame to the business of watching men – to borrow Rory McIlroy’s phrase – hit a white ball around a field.
At odds with the channel’s brazenly sycophantic impulses, it’s a charge that can usually be met without casualties.
Unless, of course, you happen to be a PGA Tour minnow whose only biographical entry of note lists an arrest and three-month suspension for the possession of marijuana.
In that case, your potential value from the perspective of human interest and narrative-building far outweighs your claim to golfing fame. You are, to put it bluntly, expendable; never more than eighteen holes away from a heartfelt, character-defining interview with Kelly Tilghman.
You are background colour.
By the same reductive process that has seen Robert Garrigus designated “Recovering Drug Addict Guy” and Steven Bowditch “Recovery from Depression Guy.” Fate has declared that you, Matt Every, shall don the mantle of “Stoner Guy”.
But what if you decide not to play ball? What if you refuse to cooperate and allow those cumbersome hints (“You seem like a mellow guy.”), those heavy-handed cues (“I know that the word ‘lost’ might also be a fitting word to describe the state of your mind and game maybe about two years ago…”), to gain any purchase?
What if you shrug them off and, in defiance of all expectation, reject the mea culpa demanded of you?
You give, quite simply, the most gloriously subversive interview in the history of golf broadcasting.