Best/worst T&F commentators


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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby pakillo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:08 am

Powell wrote:
Conor Dary wrote:
pakillo wrote:
I think TV commentators play huge role in increasing/repelling potential fans.


I don't think commentators have much impact, unless you are a big fan already.


I'd say just the opposite. If you're a serious fan, you pretty much know what's going on just by looking at the screen and you may just as well not pay any attention to the commentary. The less knowledgable viewers, otoh, need some extra guidance, and their enjoyment will largely depend on the commentators.

I agree though it's hard not to pay any attention to the commentary especially when it's terrible, incorrect and scandalous. We have one commentator of that kind and I hear some people like him cause he makes them laughing hard (less knowledgeable viewers) but they are actually misguided :x and even after several suspensions he is still there.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby Trackrunner » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:30 am

Steve Cram - Excellent. Brings the sport to life.

Carol Lewis - I probably stand alone in this but I find her ditziness endearing. It's like what Carolism will be uttered next. That aside I think she genuinely tries.

Tom Hammond - Men's 100M London call was worst ever. What race was he watching on his monitor? Here comes Tyson he shouts during the race - Tyson never actually led at any point in the race - and Bolt clearly pulling ahead at the 55m mark and he mentions it after the race was done. They could easily have redubbed it considering that it was delayed 'live' but chose not to - probably did not care. And picking Pistorius as his favorite moment from London is the give away that he cares nothing about track.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby Flumpy » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:16 am

Why has no one mentioned Connie Henry yet?
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby mump boy » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:32 am

Flumpy wrote:Why has no one mentioned Connie Henry yet?


When Valerie took up the PV :shock:
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby Marlow » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:34 am

Trackrunner wrote:Carol Lewis - I probably stand alone in this but I find her ditziness endearing. It's like what Carolism will be uttered next. That aside I think she genuinely tries.

I'm sure she's a great person and was certainly a great athlete, but her greatest gift is an amazing command of the obvious! As in, "There goes Jeter. She's really picking them up and putting them down. Look at her turnover and stride length. They're better than than the others, so she may win this race." I can't remember anything she said that didn't make me wince. As for trying . . . if that's a viable criterion, then sign me up; I'll try really, really hard, I promise.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby pakillo » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:49 am

Some bitching about German Eurosport viewtopic.php?f=1&t=47330&hilit=eurosport+sigi+heinrich
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby G.Ahearn » Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:35 pm

Back in the day . . . was always impressed with Marty Liquori . . . very insightful.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby noone » Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:19 pm

gh wrote:
noone wrote:I wish I knew the name of the incompetent stadium announcer at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. He was a French-Canadian whose command of English was even worse than his T & F knowledge. He would constantly babble on about people having a fight (he meant battle), or else you couldn't even understand him. I kept saying to myself : For God's sake why don't you shut up!


????

There were two French-speaking announcers in Edmonton, and both were from France, and with impeccable credentials regards both knowledge of the sport and speaking ability. I've worked with them at every major international championships since Atlanta in '96. Both also speak a just-fine version of English.


I can't argue with you about their knowledge, and their language mastery is a subjective matter, but I can assure you they (I could swear there was just one guy) detracted from my enjoyment of the event
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby Hil-da » Wed Jan 09, 2013 3:54 pm

Maybe pertinent - a Youtube video by the guy who did the radio commentary for the BBC in London. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sNLb6NT7xo
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby nevetsllim » Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:16 pm

mump boy wrote:
Flumpy wrote:Why has no one mentioned Connie Henry yet?


When Valerie took up the PV :shock:


She also said Vlasic was the greatest women's high jumper ever. :lol:
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby tm71 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:51 pm

To present live sport you need to know everything inside out so you you can think on your feet, he may have known enough to chat with fans but this clearly isn't sufficient and Ch4 had no business letting on tv.

the above statement is not entirely true and depends on other factors too. bob costas is a prime example. his studio presentation of the olympics and us olympic trials on nbc has always been first class (this statement has nothing to do with the producers and their editing of the events or executive decisions not to show certain events live etc). even to his own admission costas is not an expert in any olympic event, but he does his home work, while his verbal skills and presentation are exemplary.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby mump boy » Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:11 am

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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby Bob H » Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:41 am

noone wrote:
gh wrote:
noone wrote:I wish I knew the name of the incompetent stadium announcer at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. He was a French-Canadian whose command of English was even worse than his T & F knowledge. He would constantly babble on about people having a fight (he meant battle), or else you couldn't even understand him. I kept saying to myself : For God's sake why don't you shut up!

????

There were two French-speaking announcers in Edmonton, and both were from France, and with impeccable credentials regards both knowledge of the sport and speaking ability. I've worked with them at every major international championships since Atlanta in '96. Both also speak a just-fine version of English.

I can't argue with you about their knowledge, and their language mastery is a subjective matter, but I can assure you they (I could swear there was just one guy) detracted from my enjoyment of the event

I don't understand something. The French-speaking announcers in Edmonton announced only in French. How would you know about their command of English? If you were sitting in the stands, you never would have heard them speaking English. The English was spoken by the English-language announcers, both of whom were native English speakers and neither of whom was a French Canadian.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby gh » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:06 am

Two options here: during the Opening Ceremony, as I recall they had a French-Canadian guy from the CBC doing commentary in both languages (the track staff was not involved), and his ability to pronounce the names of many countries was definitely severely compromised.

Second thought (with tongue in cheek): there was infield commentary provided by Jon Ridgeon, and perhaps his British accent was so heavy that you thought it was French-Canadian :twisted:
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby bobguild76 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:03 am

gh wrote:Two options here: during the Opening Ceremony, as I recall they had a French-Canadian guy from the CBC doing commentary in both languages (the track staff was not involved), and his ability to pronounce the names of many countries was definitely severely compromised.

Second thought (with tongue in cheek): there was infield commentary provided by Jon Ridgeon, and perhaps his British accent was so heavy that you thought it was French-Canadian :twisted:


I used to fly into Calgary & Edmonton for work, and love what many Canadians said about their politicians; "English and French are both their second languages." :D
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby lonewolf » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:34 am

When I worked in Calgary in 1968-69, I had native (western) Canadian co-workers who laughingly admitted that after 16 years of mandatory French lessons in elementary, HS and university, while they could read French, still could not understand or speak it intelligibly.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby gh » Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:56 am

mandatory French lessons? I find that hard to believe.

When I grew up in British Columbia (with a very rigid "classic" curriculum) you could get into university without ever having taken a word of French (did have to have 2 years of some foreign language, but didn't have to be French). And you could get a HS diploma with none.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby lonewolf » Thu Jan 10, 2013 11:01 am

gh wrote:mandatory French lessons? I find that hard to believe.

When I grew up in British Columbia (with a very rigid "classic" curriculum) you could get into university without ever having taken a word of French (did have to have 2 years of some foreign language, but didn't have to be French). And you could get a HS diploma with none.

Well, he was not under oath.. :)
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby noone » Thu Jan 10, 2013 5:03 pm

Bob H wrote:
noone wrote:
gh wrote:
noone wrote:I wish I knew the name of the incompetent stadium announcer at the 2001 World Championships in Edmonton. He was a French-Canadian whose command of English was even worse than his T & F knowledge. He would constantly babble on about people having a fight (he meant battle), or else you couldn't even understand him. I kept saying to myself : For God's sake why don't you shut up!

????

There were two French-speaking announcers in Edmonton, and both were from France, and with impeccable credentials regards both knowledge of the sport and speaking ability. I've worked with them at every major international championships since Atlanta in '96. Both also speak a just-fine version of English.

I can't argue with you about their knowledge, and their language mastery is a subjective matter, but I can assure you they (I could swear there was just one guy) detracted from my enjoyment of the event

I don't understand something. The French-speaking announcers in Edmonton announced only in French. How would you know about their command of English? If you were sitting in the stands, you never would have heard them speaking English. The English was spoken by the English-language announcers, both of whom were native English speakers and neither of whom was a French Canadian.


No, that's just it! The French guy did play-by-play in English. As a former resident of Montreal, I can assure you that if in Quebec a native English-speaker announced in equivalently poor French he would be hooted and/or booted.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby zidan » Thu Jan 10, 2013 7:22 pm

Check out Lance Whittaker and Hubert Lawrence from cmc. They are terific together. They did the last two Olympics. Everyone in the Caribbean loves them.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby gh » Thu Jan 10, 2013 8:49 pm

noone wrote:.....
No, that's just it! The French guy did play-by-play in English. As a former resident of Montreal, I can assure you that if in Quebec a native English-speaker announced in equivalently poor French he would be hooted and/or booted.


There's a slight-slight chance that one of the French guys did some English during the decathlon pole vault, but other than that (which I'm not even sure happened), there was no French voice doing English at any other point in the meet.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby Gabriella » Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:32 am

Ah, gh, so it was you that was commentating on the women's 4x400 in Edmonton? I remember the replay vividly where Reid drops the baton and we hear you go "whoops!"
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby John G » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:32 am

IMO, Crammy is not just the best athletics commentator but the best sports broadcaster I’ve ever seen (and having spent half my life on a sofa watching sport I consider myself an expert).
His career peak for me was the last 700m of the OG 5000. It’s a masterclass. He remains cool enough to cover every significant move, not wasting a single word and yet at the same time sharing his own emotions. Hell he even manages to coach Mo down the home straight (“The arms have got to pump, the knees have got to come up”). I was on the back straight with noises emitting from me that were barely human, possibly speaking in tongues, so how he kept his head is beyond me.
Lacking in BBC impartiality? Oh yes, and all the better for it!
Actually, he got one thing wrong. After a brief pause (there was a camera on him and you see him press thumb and forefinger against the top of his nose) he composes himself and says: “My words cannot do justice to how I feel.” He was wrong – he actually did justice to how all Brits felt.
On my last day on earth I intend surrounding myself with friends and family ........ with a loop of that race and commentary on a TV in the background.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby John G » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:34 am

IMO, Crammy is not just the best athletics commentator but the best sports broadcaster I’ve ever seen (and having spent half my life on a sofa watching sport I consider myself an expert).
His career peak for me was the last 700m of the OG 5000. It’s a masterclass. He remains cool enough to cover every significant move, not wasting a single word and yet at the same time sharing his own emotions. Hell he even manages to coach Mo down the home straight (“The arms have got to pump, the knees have got to come up”). I was on the back straight with noises emitting from me that were barely human, possibly speaking in tongues, so how he kept his head is beyond me.
Lacking in BBC impartiality? Oh yes, and all the better for it!
Actually, he got one thing wrong. After a brief pause (there was a camera on him and you see him press thumb and forefinger against the top of his nose) he composes himself and says: “My words cannot do justice to how I feel.” He was wrong – he actually did justice to how all Brits felt.
On my last day on earth I intend surrounding myself with friends and family ........ with a loop of that race and commentary on a TV in the background.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby gh » Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:43 am

Gabriella wrote:Ah, gh, so it was you that was commentating on the women's 4x400 in Edmonton? I remember the replay vividly where Reid drops the baton and we hear you go "whoops!"


Me or Bob Hersh.... no particular recollection one way or another at this point.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby lionelp1 » Sat Jan 12, 2013 12:59 am

John G wrote:IMO, Crammy is not just the best athletics commentator but the best sports broadcaster I’ve ever seen (and having spent half my life on a sofa watching sport I consider myself an expert).
His career peak for me was the last 700m of the OG 5000. It’s a masterclass. He remains cool enough to cover every significant move, not wasting a single word and yet at the same time sharing his own emotions. Hell he even manages to coach Mo down the home straight (“The arms have got to pump, the knees have got to come up”). I was on the back straight with noises emitting from me that were barely human, possibly speaking in tongues, so how he kept his head is beyond me.
Lacking in BBC impartiality? Oh yes, and all the better for it!
Actually, he got one thing wrong. After a brief pause (there was a camera on him and you see him press thumb and forefinger against the top of his nose) he composes himself and says: “My words cannot do justice to how I feel.” He was wrong – he actually did justice to how all Brits felt.
On my last day on earth I intend surrounding myself with friends and family ........ with a loop of that race and commentary on a TV in the background.


Whilst I am a fan of Cram's delivery generally over the years on his BBC slot with good info, a sense of the drama and a good Geordie sense of humour, I was appalled by his ridiculous OTT commentary on the 5/10 k races in London. The best commentary for me was the IOC's integrated coverage by Peter Matthews, available on Youtube; it was enthusiastic and informative without the quite absurd screaming by a commentator.I am quite certain that Farah knew what he had to do off a poor slow pace without Crammys advice.
Having sat several times in the press stands during a world champs I noted that they keep their composure irrespective of their national predilections without going into hysteria mode.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby pakillo » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:22 pm

and just love to hear regularly about that very young runner who is 23 years old and that very experienced 29-year-old veteran! :evil:
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby eldanielfire » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:28 pm

I'm going to contribute Paula Radcliffe here and early. She is only beginning but her knowledge and ability to clearly explain the technical aspects, analysis, faults and in's and out's might exceed even the brilliant Michael Johnson and she is refreshingly honest.

I saw critical 2 months back but she is really growing into it.
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby portsea57 » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:42 pm

My all-time favourite is UK's Adrian Metcalfe.
You can hear a number of his commentaries on Youtube ( Coe's 1979 800m and One Mile records, for example).
It's a pity that he disappeared, too soon, into management... or whatever
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby iain » Sun Mar 03, 2013 1:45 pm

mump boy wrote:Amazing commentary :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bngGgqdtVg


Lord that was hilarious. 'lots of people watching what is, essentially a very boring sport'
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby Flumpy » Sun Mar 03, 2013 2:07 pm

Katharine Merry has been the stadium announcer at the EI's in Gothenburg this weekend and did a fantastic job.

Watch out Garry :D
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby norunner » Sun Mar 03, 2013 4:02 pm

Flumpy wrote:Katharine Merry has been the stadium announcer at the EI's in Gothenburg this weekend and did a fantastic job.

Watch out Garry :D
I was surprised by that, why did they have an english announcer in the stadium but not a swedish one?
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby iain » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:09 pm

norunner wrote:
Flumpy wrote:Katharine Merry has been the stadium announcer at the EI's in Gothenburg this weekend and did a fantastic job.

Watch out Garry :D
I was surprised by that, why did they have an english announcer in the stadium but not a swedish one?


I think they did, there was someone different introducing the Scandinavians in (what I presume was) Swedish
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby lionelp1 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:00 am

firstly, full marks for Kathleen Merry; clear, precise, hardly a mistake all w/e, made a number of intelligent observations.
The Swedish presenter whose face appeared on screen literally screamed his comments and was appalling in Swedish; lord knows what the Swedes thought about this guy who thought he was a Brazilian soccer presenter after a brazilian goal
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby peach77 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 1:55 am

I don't know how the conversation has gotten this far, with Brits involved, without mention of John Regis, who was surely the absolute nadir for anyone watching BBC coverage (and that is saying something) in the past 20 years. I can remember him commenting on a 100m race where he referred, in one race, to Sevatheda Fynes as "Sevatina Hines", "Sevareda Fynes" and "Severina Sines" (I paraphrase, but you get the idea) and he was utterly terrible, poor chap...
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby nevetsllim » Mon Mar 04, 2013 2:36 am

peach77 wrote:I don't know how the conversation has gotten this far, with Brits involved, without mention of John Regis, who was surely the absolute nadir for anyone watching BBC coverage (and that is saying something) in the past 20 years. I can remember him commenting on a 100m race where he referred, in one race, to Sevatheda Fynes as "Sevatina Hines", "Sevareda Fynes" and "Severina Sines" (I paraphrase, but you get the idea) and he was utterly terrible, poor chap...


I thought it was quite ironic how he was slating Colin Jackson's punditry on Twitter over the weekend. :lol:
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby vencio2 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:07 am

eldanielfire wrote:I'm going to contribute Paula Radcliffe here and early. She is only beginning but her knowledge and ability to clearly explain the technical aspects, analysis, faults and in's and out's might exceed even the brilliant Michael Johnson and she is refreshingly honest.

I saw critical 2 months back but she is really growing into it.



I want to like Paula on BBC much more than I actually do.

I think the BBC really really need to firstly turn her mic up because 90% of the time I can barely hear what she says and she sounds like she's mumbling.

Yes she knows her stuff and can talk intelligently about the races and athletes but I think she sometimes gets the wrong side of the balance between geekery and accessibility - she makes lots of references to people/coaches/situations that keen fans know about but I think a lot of what she says probably goes over 'casual' viewers' heads (that's if they can hear her in the first place, re. first point above) - talking about Oregon Project and Mustafa Muhammed being two examples I can remember. Cram does a better job of putting his comments in context.

When she's sat on the stool next to Denise and Collin I can't stop thinking that she looks like a slightly awkward school girl in comparison. Denise and Collin know (almost) nothing but have the media presence and training to make knowing nothing look good.

As you imply though, I think that she can keep growing into this role and will only get better. The good thing that this seems to mean, unless her injuries recover and she starts running again, is that it's no more Brendan Foster!
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby norunner » Mon Mar 04, 2013 6:12 am

peach77 wrote:I can remember him commenting on a 100m race where he referred, in one race, to Sevatheda Fynes as "Sevatina Hines", "Sevareda Fynes" and "Severina Sines" (I paraphrase, but you get the idea) and he was utterly terrible, poor chap...
That's what you get on German Eurosport during every single T&F broadcast. Nadine Hildebrand (german hurdler) gets confused with Franziska Hildebrand (german biathlete). Reminiscing about that famous 4x4 in 91 where the brits beat the americans, they talk about how the brit John Akii-Bua held off Butch Reynolds (it was Kriss Akabusi and Antonio Pettigrew). Once they confused a female javelinthrower with a male discusthrower, and so on. And of course, they can't pronounce names, Dylan (Armstrong) becomes "Dailan", (Allyson) Felix becomes Feliz (like in Feliz Navidad)...
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby pauluk63 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:07 am

Colin Jackson is awful in a different way from John Regis he over emphasises things "silky" "majestic" oh he's dreadful and lacks so much knowledge he is there because the BBC love him! I find Denise far better he will at least get into debate! Colin just agrees and yaps on!

But ahead of colin as worst ever for me is connie Henry wow she was annoying and dreadful shouting away making mistakes dreadful!

The best for me Steve cram I like Michael Johnson for knowledge he really does show colin Jackson to be a fool over and over!

I think with media practice paula will improve she loves the sport and knows the sport knows who athletes are which is more than colin and Denise do!
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Re: Best/worst T&F commentators

Postby eldanielfire » Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:59 am

vencio2 wrote:
eldanielfire wrote:I'm going to contribute Paula Radcliffe here and early. She is only beginning but her knowledge and ability to clearly explain the technical aspects, analysis, faults and in's and out's might exceed even the brilliant Michael Johnson and she is refreshingly honest.

I saw critical 2 months back but she is really growing into it.



I want to like Paula on BBC much more than I actually do.

I think the BBC really really need to firstly turn her mic up because 90% of the time I can barely hear what she says and she sounds like she's mumbling.

Yes she knows her stuff and can talk intelligently about the races and athletes but I think she sometimes gets the wrong side of the balance between geekery and accessibility - she makes lots of references to people/coaches/situations that keen fans know about but I think a lot of what she says probably goes over 'casual' viewers' heads (that's if they can hear her in the first place, re. first point above) - talking about Oregon Project and Mustafa Muhammed being two examples I can remember. Cram does a better job of putting his comments in context.

When she's sat on the stool next to Denise and Collin I can't stop thinking that she looks like a slightly awkward school girl in comparison. Denise and Collin know (almost) nothing but have the media presence and training to make knowing nothing look good.


I agree Paula is raw, but the fact is she is a breath of fresh air, explains herself well, even the geekery and compliments the other BBC commentators who know nothing. A good sports event is balance and the BBC have needed the balance and knowledge Paula brings for awhile. Her best parts are in the little bits after the race when she analysing the in's and out's of an athletes performance.

I wouldn't say that the others make knowing nothing look good, there is a tad bit of smug about the others and you always get those moments where Jackson obviously has nothing to add or Denise clearly doesn't know what to say for a moment.


As you imply though, I think that she can keep growing into this role and will only get better. The good thing that this seems to mean, unless her injuries recover and she starts running again, is that it's no more Brendan Foster!


I can't remember if it was here or AW but when I saw her on for the cross country in December I was quite critical, however she is growing and learning FAST!

I'd argue she clearly got better as the weekend went on. Not only that I noticeably felt Jackson was using his technical know how for the first time in years outside a video package and pulledaway from being a mindless cheerleader to showing he actually knows his stuff. He was wonderful when talking about the 60m. And trust me, I'd never have predicted that before the Euro's. This is potentially a good change.
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