No cover-up as Thais leave golf fans in rage

PUBLISHED : Monday, 31 July, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 31 July, 1995, 12:00am

YOU may think Hong Kong sports television is bad for scheduling and presentation cock-ups.

But in Thailand during last week's British Open golf, Channel Seven viewers suffered even greater frustration than the average Hong Kong sports fan is used to.

When Costantino Rocca's miracle shot tied John Daly to force four extra holes, the Thai channel had to leave St Andrews and go over to Montevideo for the Copa America final. So fans who stayed with the day's 18 holes were denied the chance to see the climax.

It sounds like the worst nightmare from the vaults of Hong Kong sport television's atrocities.

But, by all accounts, golf fans' howls of outrage were momentarily quelled by the bizarre way in which the channel did the handover.

Cutting back to the studio the programme presenter proceeded to take off his ear phones and microphone and stand up at his desk to reveal that he was wearing only boxer shorts below the waist. He then ambled off-screen to be replaced by another man wearing the same uniform.

The Thais may not have any more sensitivity to the unpredictabilities of sports scheduling than their Hong Kong counterparts but at least they make their boo-boos in style.

WHARF Cineplex make their second foray into the pay-per-view live fight game later this month.

After the controversial but boring Foreman-Schulz 12-rounder, they now have what should be a more lively and more decisive bout - Mike Tyson's first outing since his release from prison against virtual unknown Peter McNeeley. The morals of pro-boxing have long been in question - both for its fundamental brutality and for the dubious cast of hangers on it attracts. With Tyson there's the added moral dilemma of appearing to glorify a convicted rapist.

Luckily for Wharf's marketing wing the Tyson name alone should be enough to sell the fight, because if they're relying on their own wordsmiths they will be struggling to attract anyone except surrealists or sexual deviants.

To see why, here is the verbatim text of punchdrunk print ads Wharf ran in newspapers last week.

'Mike Tyson is back. He's out of the boxing ring for a while. He was in jail. But now he's back, as awesome as ever. Even more. For what he has swallowed, he'll let it out this time.' Er, you what? Proof positive that boxing is bad for the brain.