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05/25/2014

Too cool: Kickin' it with Jim Nantz in the CBS tower

IMG_0306FORT WORTH, Texas - At the end of my interview with Jim Nantz on Tuesday, he said, "If you are at Colonial on Saturday, come up and meet me at the tower at 1:30. I will tell Officer Dean you are coming."

Pretty sure Nantz was full of it, but ... I ventured to the CBS tower at the 18th green on Saturday at 1:30. Sure enough, Officer Dean was there and motioned me in. I walked in, and sitting behind his desk Nantz - whom I had never met - saw me, and then gave me the double-gun, bro-salute and said, "There he is."

It is these moments when this job is pretty cool. The only other time I have done something like this was the 2004 Rose Bowl, when Keith Jackson invited me in the ABC booth to interview him, which remains one of my most cherished professional moments.

Nantz gave me a brief tour of the air-conditioned set up, and showed me his case of ties that he carries to every event.

IMG_0300"I give away a tie after every broadcast," he told me.

Nantz introduced me to his broadcast partner, Nick Faldo - who may actually be Harrison Ford. Nantz is a big fan of Fort Worth, and said he actually is a member of Colonial, although he said he seldom has time to play golf much any more.

"I've got a baby. I've got a daughter in college. I travel a lot," he said. "I hit a lot. I just don't play very much any more. I'm not good."

ME: What is 'not good?'
NANTZ: Oh, I might shoot 85 or 90.
ME: OK, that's fantastic. I'd kill to shoot 85 or 90.
NANTZ: No, really I'm not that good. The biggest misconception about me is that I was good at the University of Houston. The only reason they kept me on the team was because I was friends with all of the other guys.

Much obliged to Mr. Nantz, and the CBS production crew who didn't mind my presence, for a few minutes in the tower.

Twitter @MacEngelProf

tengel@star-telegram.com

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