Dear Coach: Upgrade your subscription and make calls like The Masters

Dear [Coach] Customer:

With Verizon expanding the reach of its FiOS network into your service area, we at DirecTV would like to make you aware of new upgrades and features-particularly to our sports programming-that we hope will result in your loyalty and retention as a DirecTV customer.

We are proud to introduce our DirecTV Sports On-Demand You Make the Call service; launched during last week's Masters. If you were watching The Masters you saw our cutting-edge new interactive You Make the Call feature in action, when a You Make the Call subscriber was able to call-in a two-stroke penalty on Tiger Woods for, as the subscriber apparently saw, from his couch, Tiger's improper placement of his golf ball when replaying a shot that had bounced off of the flag-stick and into a (water) hazard.

We, at DirecTV, are excited about our new You Make the Call service; as it represents a sea-change in the interactive nature of watching sports on TV. As a You Make the Call subscriber you are given direct access to the phone numbers of decision-makers, and rules-officials overseeing the biggest games on the biggest stages of the sport of your choosing.

Karl Hess blows a call in the Final Four; You Make the Call and it will be reversed. Jim Joyce calls ball; you see strike; You Make the Call; strike, it is. Act now and we'll include our You Make the Call Alternate Announcer option. Can't stand Clark Kellogg; You Make the Call; and, we'll sub-in Ian Darke; done.

Don't just watch TV; DirecTV; and, make the call to sign-up today; so that You (can) Make the Call and change the outcome of your favorite sporting event from the comfort of your own couch.

Michael D. White



Setting-aside for a second the fact that golf is a gentlemen's game; one in which a player calls penalties on himself; a player's playing partner calls penalties on that player; and, where, in an event like The Masters (which despite being billed as "an event unlike any other" is just like every other PGA tournament insofar as) there is a PGA Rules Official on each hole, walking alongside each group or twosome-Before receiving that email, I spent the better part of last week thoroughly confused (and at the same time, impressed) by how, according to the media, the controversy surrounding Tiger's near DQ and the two-stroke penalty he was assessed was brought to the (Masters') Tournament's attention, not by Tiger, not by his playing partner, and not by the Rules Official on the hole; but, by a random (Direc?)TV viewer, watching the tournament at home (on his Genie?).

I tried playing a game in my own head; tried to figure out, if I had a similar issue with something I saw in an NCAA Basketball or NBA game, who could I call; and, even if I got through to a decision-maker, how long would doing so take me?

I could get to Mark Emmert in two degrees/calls; Stu Jackson in two too. But, even then it would take calling in a favor, having something legitimate and important to discuss, and probably a week or so and at least one gate-keeper-styled call with that person's Administrative Assistant.

And so, I found it laughable that we were supposed to believe that in under an hour (two at the most) Joe TV Viewer, a viewer we were lead to believe, was just like the rest of us, was able to make a call or two; possessed enough clout to get that call answered, his protest to be taken seriously, and to be passed-upward along the chain to a decision-maker with the pull to call Tiger into question and to enforce the two-stroke penalty rule; and, that all that happened, within the course of an hour or two.


I thought maybe it was Tiger's ex brother-in-law; he'd still have the number. Maybe Tiger's former caddie, Stevie called it in from the parking lot? A racist member of Augusta; someone with Hootie Johnson on speed-dial? Maybe, seeing that Tiger could be carrying real momentum into the weekend of the first Major tournament of the year, Jack Nicklaus called-up PGA Commissioner, Tim Finchem; cited that golf is, after all, a gentlemen's game; and, got the ball rolling on the potential DQ and eventual momentum-swinging two-stroke penalty assessment.

But, conspiracy theories abound and be damned; it turns out all I need to do is upgrade my DirecTV subscription.