Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Lee Trevino

Ask a passer-by on any British High Street what a colour analyst does, and I imagine they might come up with lab work, or cosmetics, or possibly consultancy to the likes of Duluxe, Kodak or Ralph Lauren. None would be quite on the money; but if you ask the same question in, say, New York, they will know exactly what you mean. A 'color analyst' is what we would call a pundit, or co-commentator, in sports broadcasts: someone, normally a former player, who can add inside knowledge, anecdotes and statistics - colour - to someone else's ball by ball, lap by lap commentary.

'Supermex' on the cover of Sports Illustrated

For most of the 1980s, Lee Trevino was color analyst for NBC television's golf coverage, where the 'Merry Mex', already a golfing legend (he won six majors between 1968 and 1984) and an icon of the Mexican American community, further endeared himself to the American public with his self-effacing style, his warmth and above all his sense of humour. During the 1975 Open he had been famously struck by lightning, suffering a spinal injury which permanently affected his play; and when asked what he would do if he was on the course again and it began to storm, he said he would take out his 1 iron and point it to the sky, 'Because not even God can hit the 1 iron.'

Winning the 1972 Open

'Supermex' turned 71 today.
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