I couldn't believe my ears.
Not once, but twice.
NBC's opening of its U.S. Open coverage Sunday showed men from the military raising the American flag, showing monuments from Washington, D.C., while children recited the Pledge of Allegiance - all but three words.
Somehow finding the cutting room floor were "under God" and "indivisible."
Not once, mind you, but twice.
I was appalled.
But, considering this came from NBC shouldn't really be shocking to anyone.
Someone decided, with the approval of others, to intentionally edit out those three words.
They, apparently, did not want to offend anyone.
Well, I was, as were thousands of others, if not more than that.
NBC tried to save face, as if it cared, by issuing a statement on air Sunday that was read by commentator Dan Hicks, "We began our coverage of this final round just about three hours ago and when we did it was our intent to begin the coverage of this U.S. Open Championship with a feature that captured the patriotism of our national championship being held in our nation's capital for the third time.
"Regrettably, a portion of the Pledge of Allegiance that was in that feature was edited out. It was not done to upset anyone and we'd like to apologize to those of you who were offended by it."
First, NBC couldn't even use the words "under God" and "indivisible" in its apology. Which, basically, means it omitted those words three times and on purpose.
Second, NBC only regretted the fact that people were outraged and immediately went to social media sites and began to voice their opposition.
Third, how in the world did NBC actually think people would not get mad? Sorry, NBC that was done, not necessarily with the intention of making people mad, but editing out "under God" and "indivisible" was completely intentional.
To me, a "portion" would be more than three words of the 31-word Pledge of Allegiance.
But, still, this was done on purpose.
And, NBC does not care at all.
This, folks, is not about the Constitution, our Founding Fathers or the fact the "under God" wasn't added to the Pledge of Allegiance until 1954 on Flag Day by President Dwight Eisenhower. It does not matter that "under God" was not in the original Pledge of Allegiance. It is there now, the fourth version of the Pledge of Allegiance, the first being in 1892.
This is about a company with an agenda. NBC knows that we will soon forget what some employees did on purpose and go on with our daily lives.
This is about other companies, ESPN, the USGA and the Golf Channel, who have not come out with a statement against NBC, meaning, by keeping their collective mouths shut, I believe they endorse what NBC did.
This is about sponsors of those programs being OK with what was done because, last I checked, there were no stories published of sponsors pulling their advertising dollars because of what was done intentionally.
This is about the writers and personalities at ESPN, TGC and NBC not caring about what was done. This is about them not caring that "under God" and "indivisible" were purposefully left out of the Pledge of Allegiance.
This is about a bunch of people who do not care in the least that this was done.
So, it's up to us who do care.
I sent e-mails to NBC and the USGA, called and left a voice mail for Mike McCarley, president of the Golf Channel and sent a letter to the editor to USA Today.
And, yes, you guessed it, I received no responses.
I now have a choice on what to do with NBC, the USGA, ESPN and the Golf Channel.
This is really not about whether you believe in God or not, of which I completely do and am not ashamed of it.
It is about blatant censorship.
It is about us making choices with those four companies because of the choice of one - NBC.
It will be hard, but I can live without watching the three.
Here I come, Food Network!
(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org).