NBC, ACC officials thrilled with Tahoe boaters for ‘partying smartly’
STATELINE, Nev. — Jon Miller, president of NBC Sports, took a few minutes Sunday to step out of the production truck and take in the scene at hole 17 during the American Century Championship.
There was drinking, partying, heckling and lots of interaction between fans and celebrities, but the scene did not deteriorate into a drunken mess that embarrassed Lake Tahoe on national television.
In fact, it was just the opposite. The Tahoe boating community “partied smartly” like tournament officials hoped and they couldn’t have been more pleased.
Boaters lined the beaches at Edgewood Tahoe in lesser numbers this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and they all obeyed the guidelines put in place by tournament officials.
“I think that the Lake Tahoe community should be congratulated,” Miller told the Tribune. “They have been unbelievably supportive and they’ve done everything we asked them to do. They understand the importance of obeying the regulations that were put in place. They’ve really shown themselves to be outstanding citizens and really make us feel very proud that we made the decision to come back this year.”
The interaction between fans and celebrities at 17 is a Tahoe tradition. And that tradition stayed alive this year, although differently. Fans respected the players and the rules.
Miller described the par-3 17th hole in the past as a mob scene with fans throwing balls to celebrities and in turn they would throw them back, sometimes with an autograph.
Fans normally would stand along the beach and would be right there if a celebrity hit a wayward shot into the sand. Players would be offered shots and beer bongs and oftentimes would get sucked into the party for a few minutes.
This year, fans were not allowed on the beach and boaters were instructed not to tie together and obey social distancing guidelines. Law enforcement was there to make sure there was nobody stepping foot onto the course.
“It’s so serene, it’s different. It’s not necessarily bad, it’s just different,” Miller said. “I know what it was like the past couple of years with the DJ and all the craziness, just teaming with people. It’s just different now. I think the people who are here are enjoying it and having fun and they’re able to interact with the players who wave. But they have not thrown balls and stuff onto the fairway for people to catch and throw back, so I’d say it’s been pretty good.”
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