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TheTruth
06-11-2008, 04:38 PM
Viewpoint: Too much talk, too many talkers





Less is often more when it comes to commentary, but those in the booth won't stop talking long enough to listen.

© Bertrand Langlois/AFP Getty

Something dawned on me when I was watching ESPN and NBCís coverage of the French Open this year. Television needs to come up with a new mute button. Not one that blocks out the sounds of the game. Listening to the ball come off the strings, the sliding (or squeaking, depending on surface) of the shoes, the grunts of the players, and the "shhhs" of a crowd before a big pointóthis is the soundtrack to my life, my passion.
No, this new mute button will keep all of those sounds but simply, mercifully, block out the commentatorsí blather. And it is, for the most part, blather, dumbed down to the lowest common denominator and more grating than Dick Vitale on Red Bull.

Here are the two main problems with the way ESPN and NBC, among other networks, approach their coverage.

1. Too many talking heads

For Serena Williamsí first round match at Roland Garros, for example, ESPN had four, count íem four, commentators: Dick Enberg, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, and Pam Shriver courtside. What, they couldnít squeeze John McEnroe, Pat McEnroe, and Bud Collins in there, too? Even the Superbowl usually uses fewer people in the booth.

At a minimum, tennis broadcasters feel compelled to have three folks in the booth (a play-by-play guy, plus two "color" commentators) and one courtside for all matches. Clearly, someone has circulated an email suggesting there is strength in numbers, but itís just not the case. This overkill approach turns telecasts into bad dinner parties, where everyone feels the need to get their two-cents into the discussion. Net result is a cacophony of incessant back-and-forth banter, much of which is off-topic. I sometimes feel John McEnroe spends more time talking about how lightweight racquets and string technology allow the players to hit the ball harder than he could in his day than he does actually calling the matches.

This dinner-party dynamic is part and parcel of a second problem. . . .

2. Too much talk

Tennis announcers dread silence, or dead air, as if they were working for radio. This all-the-time chatter ranges from the insignificant to the significant, the obscure to the obvious. One dreadful example: During an Ana Ivanovic match at the French, Ivanovic approached the net to take a floater out of the air. Enberg, who, Iím sorry, needs to start his retirement today, announced that Ivanovic is, well, coming to the net. It was quite helpful . . . . for all viewers of ESPN who happen to be blind, that is. In another match, the commentators described in detail how the chair umpire is checking a ball mark, as if viewers would mistake his pointing to the clay for something else.

Sadly, there are countless examples. And Enberg isnít the only guilty one. Mary Carillo and John McEnroe need to dial their talk (and egos) back. Ted Robinson could throw a few dozen fewer softball questions to McEnroe and, while heís at it, stop offering up almost by-the-minute affirmations to Macís commentary. Itís all enough to drive tennis fans nuts. Really, how many times during a match do we have to be reminded that this is a "big match"? How many times do we have to hear those tired background stories? (I might lose it if I listen to the Ivanovic-pool chestnut one more time.)

With Wimbledon approaching, much of which will be carried on ESPN and NBC, we can expect more of the same. Iím dreading it.

So, at the risk of being presumptuous or rude, Iím confident I speak for most tennis fans when I implore these Chatty Kathys to show some restraint. Weíve got eyes. We can see whatís happening.

More than that, there needs to be an understanding that less is much, much more. Tennis is a beautiful sport. Watching a point play out with only the sounds of the players, ball, and crowd is enough. No, really. And having quiet between points, as the players ready themselves for another slugfest, actually builds tension and adds to the drama. But the matchís momentum and excitement is disrupted when Carillo and company constantly interject their random thoughts, likes, and dislikes about the players. (Do I really need to know, or care, if Carillo admires a player for being "a jock"?)

And if you think the state of commentary in the U.S. is in good shape then you didnít have the privilege of catching the Tennis Channelís coverage of the Masters Series events in Monte Carlo, Rome, and Hamburg. This is tennis on TV the way itís supposed to be. And while the Tennis Channel doesnít deserve full credit for the broadcasts, which come from a world feed, using European commentators who do all the Masters events, the network has, indirectly, shown us a better way.

These announcers, two gents whose names escape me, are all about economy of words. Instead of describing everything the viewers can see, they let the action speak for itself. Instead of throwing out countless statistics, they offer sparse insight. Instead of being caught up in their own images, they rightfully take second fiddle to the players on the court. Instead of telling the back stories of every single player, they keep the attention squarely focused on where it belongs, the tennis.

After a long point, they often just add the punctuationó"Brilliant," or, "Absolutely fantastic," or "a perfect clay-court slide"órather than recapping everything you just saw. Sure, they can get carried away, talk too much, and traffic in clichťs, and not everything they say is, in fact, brilliant. But itís better than whatís offered in the U.S. Much better.

Part of this difference is cultural. Televised sports in the U.S. are obsessed with pre-game, in-game, and post-game commentary and analysis and fixated on the notion of turning the broadcasters into stars themselves. Apparently, itís not enough to have celebrities on the field, you need them in the booth, too.

To see this contrast in full view, watch Sports Center on ESPN and the nightly Sky Sports recap of European (and primarily British) sports on Fox Soccer Channel. One set of anchors acts like a bunch of clowns, the others do something far more radicalóthey read the news and let you draw your own conclusions.

Iíd love to think that NBC and ESPN, among others, will sit their commentators down and ask them (nicely, of course) to take a page out of their European counterparts. Itís probably wishful thinking.

In the meantime, Iíll wait for someone to devise that new mute button.

James Martin is the editor-in-chief of TENNIS magazine.

Fee
06-11-2008, 07:42 PM
I agree. American commentators talk too much. The BBC commentators and the ATP Masters Series commentators are usually the best at knowing when to let the point happen, and then talk about it afterwards.

Djokovicfan4life
06-11-2008, 07:49 PM
I like the Master series commentators too. A nice breath of fresh air, IMO.

"A smashing backhand pass", haha, not THAT'S commentating!


McEnroe's not so bad though.

Chopin
06-11-2008, 08:10 PM
Finally someone with some sense!

95% of the American tennis announcers just need to shut up and take a hint from the bbc guys who do a superb job in comparison.

Ted Robinson and Dick Enberg are atrocious. Marry Carillo, if not making absurd comments, laughs at all her own jokes. Gimelstob never stops talking. J-Mac, while making many good comments has a tendency to repeat himself, talk about himself way too much and make obvious points. Just shut up!

At least Cliff Drysdale and P-Mac make an effort to be professional--I know P-Mac is not liked on this board but imo he's much better than his brother.

Still, the british guys on the bbc who occasionally do the TTC clay court commentary are a world apart.

Another thing, can someone explain to why all the American announcers (led by J-Mac) pronounce Djokovic's name "Jock-o-vich" when the guy has said "Hi my name is Novak "Joke-ovich" in more than a few interviews and specifically answered questions about how to pronounce his name?? (It's possible I'm missing something on the last point but I can direct people to videos of Novak pronouncing his own name differently than the commentators).

Fee
06-11-2008, 08:30 PM
Apparently Novak himself asked for the pronounciation change just before Roland Garros. There was a thread about it here at the time.

Tshooter
06-11-2008, 08:50 PM
Everything Chopin said. Ditto. Except PMac and Drysdale stink too.

Basically the Amercian style is awful. The diarrhea mouth. The constant hyping of everything. And the assumption that the audience knows and never will know anything about tennis. Everyone is just stopping by for 2 seconds on their way to the fishing channel. This leads to the use of one commentator as the "useful idiot." Who, of course, is a stand-in for us, the audience. Drysdale takes on this role when teamed with PMac. "So, a good strategy would be to get the ball over the net" "Yes, in tennis the ball should go over the net."

On Djokovitch, I would guess Djokovic's PR people realized that rhyming with "joke" and "choke" is probably something they should avoid.

Didn't Lendl go from "I-vin" (sounds like someone we fought the cold war against) when he first got off the boat with those black sneakers (way before they were fashionable) to "Evonne" and multiple endorsements ?

FEDEXP
06-11-2008, 09:29 PM
I think it was the semi finals at the French Open, J Mac was just on and on with his 30 year old stories, and of course he's always at the center of them. Jeez, makes it tough just to watch a match.

moonbat
06-11-2008, 09:50 PM
Dick Enberg reminds me of a doddering old uncle that babbles on and on at every family gathering and no one knows what to do about it. Mac and Ted Robinson are much better without Mary Carillo--she's a third wheel and offers nothing but appreciation for her own bon mots. Darren Cahill and Chris Fowler were good on ESPN---at least they knew to STFU during points. Carillo is a master at blathering throughout points, but she seemed to rein it in a bit during the French. I didn't scream "Fermez la bouche!" nearly as much as I thought I would.

kalika
06-12-2008, 05:46 AM
Another great point is why there has to be so many people in the booth, especially on ESPN. For a big match there is always at least 4 people. It's ridiculous. I watched a stream of Eurosport international for a Sharapova match and there was one guy commentating and it was so much better than the constant yammering on ESPN.

AAgassiradical88
06-12-2008, 05:56 AM
I dont like the commentators too much either. i CANT STAND carillo ( she is the most annoying commentator in my opinion, tries to be funny, but fails miserably all the time) She makes the most OBVIOUS comments about anything. I actually like to listen to Robinson and J-Mac, and Drysdale and p-mac arent too bad , but can get annoying after watching the AO for 2 weeks and P--Mac is way too biased towards US players ( yeah hes the DC captian but still arent commentators supposed to be nuetral). Enberg is alright, but he does need to shut up sometimes. I also dont like Gimelslob and navratilova ( both dont shut up ever i am watching tennis not listening to them yap about everything). I agree tho, the best commentators are the TMC ones, they know when to talk and when to be silent so all of us can enjoy some great tennis.

madmanfool
06-12-2008, 05:57 AM
The brits set the standard. I love watching Wimbledon at the BBC.

dropserve
06-12-2008, 06:14 AM
I think english commentators are the best. Especially in football. Very objective,few words and they can understand that you ,also, are watching the game.

nickb
06-12-2008, 06:17 AM
I agree...British commentators are the best...and its not because im British!

SempreSami
06-12-2008, 06:20 AM
Frew McMillan and Chris Bradnam are the best pairing, they're on British Eurosport.

10isDad
06-12-2008, 06:22 AM
McEnroe's not so bad though.

While McEnroe says some good stuff, he usually says it during the points, not after.

Worst is Carillo. I happened to dig out an old match (Marcello Rios vs. Andre Agassi) a few days ago and she talked constantly during the points.

The only time commentator talking during the point is welcome, in my opinion, is if it drowns out the shrieks of Sharapova or the Williams...

spaceman_spiff
06-12-2008, 06:30 AM
BBC coverage is great except for two points.

1. For Wimbledon, they bring over the annoying McEnroe and Connors, so you have to listen to them all the time.

2. They are just as bad as the Americans when it comes to pronouncing foreign names, especially from Russia and Eastern Europe. I have never heard any native English speaking commentator pronounce Sharapova correctly, just to mention one. It is painful for me to listen to any of them when it comes time to discuss most of the Russian players.

nikdom
06-12-2008, 07:09 AM
I agree with you all that US commentators talk excessively during points and their self-absorption is distracting and highly irritating to dedicated tennis fans like ourselves who would like to focus on the tennis.

Having said that, I think I understand to some extent the rationale behind the 4 person commentating team and the constant yapping. It comes down to the larger TV audience in the States and their passing interest in the sport of tennis. I suspect that to many casual TV viewers of the sport, the kind that will catch a GS final on a Sunday morning because NBC is carrying it and not necessarily because they knew about it before hand, the commentary is their steak sauce that goes with the meat of the actual match.

A liberal dosage of back stories or the familiarity of Johnny Mac's voice make every bite of their visual meal easier to gulp. To more sophisticated palates, the juicy round of steak of a quality tennis matchup is rewarding in itself without additional garnishing in the form of blather. But to the majority of the populace here, tennis is not a mainstream sport. Even when the American's were at the top of the game, personalities such as Agassi and their off-court antics were of more interest to the average viewer and probably brought more eyeballs to the sport than the other way round.

It is this kind of lowest common denominator audience targeting that I believe, is the reason for the TV networks to do what they're doing. Also, I don't know how it is in Europe and elsewhere, but stardom and celebrity have to do as much with commentating as with the live action. Whether it is the number of times a player's face is shown in closeup or the camera pans to the player's box or player bios are discussed, the accent is always on the 'newsworthy'. No wonder they went on about Davenport's motherhood this past AO and Serena's butt the year before.

I prefer the more detached approach of Jason Goodall and Robby Koenig on the ATP masters series TV (BTW Robby is South African and Jason is British), but frankly, their audience is different. And yes, I wish there was a way to turn off the commentary without losing the ambient sounds from the match.

10isDad
06-12-2008, 07:36 AM
BBC coverage is great except for two points.

1. For Wimbledon, they bring over the annoying McEnroe and Connors, so you have to listen to them all the time.

2. They are just as bad as the Americans when it comes to pronouncing foreign names, especially from Russia and Eastern Europe. I have never heard any native English speaking commentator pronounce Sharapova correctly, just to mention one. It is painful for me to listen to any of them when it comes time to discuss most of the Russian players.

I have a match from a few years ago where McEnroe actually pronounces Ivan Ljubicic as "EYE-vun lu-BYE-chick". Makes me laugh every time I hear it...

barry
06-12-2008, 07:53 AM
Here in America we get the worse commentary plus get to watch a ticker tape across the bottom of the screen, showing yesterdays "street ball" scores. ESPN uses the ticker tape to try and advertise other sports on their crappy Disney owned network. Plus they mandate every cable or satellite provider must have it on the basic service. At $8.31 a month, I would like the option of dropping it.

The ESPN commentary is always about some other match where and American won, or how the great Sampras did so well playing nobody. I think the commentator should call the current match and eliminate the ticker tape. Also ESPN has a habit of showing the bimbo sisters, which is about as boring as it gets. ESPN often shows re-runs rather than a live match. Tennis coverage in America just plain sucks.

The only way I watch ESPN these days is to turn the volume off, and put the image in wide screen eliminating the ticker tape.

Mikael
06-12-2008, 07:57 AM
Nikdom is right, it is about the audience.

I remember listening to Brazilian commentators when Guga had just become no 1 in the world... man it was terrible... to me of course, because I'm a tennis fan. They would use every point to explain basic tennis rules, like "Let. The ball touched the net and bounced in the service box, so the server gets two serves."

They had the traditional pairing of the idiot on one hand who just describes every point and pretends he doesn't know anything, and the "insider" who comes up with "great" tactical insights every game or so ("his volleys aren't so good, he shouldn't come to the net").

It was terrible for me, but more than half their audience had probably no clue about rules, players etc.

OTOH the best team of tennis commentators I've ever seen was on British Eurosport (McMillan, Reed, Mercer and a couple of others). But then again, you'd assume that people watching tennis on British Eurosport know something about the game.

spaceman_spiff
06-12-2008, 08:13 AM
I have a match from a few years ago where McEnroe actually pronounces Ivan Ljubicic as "EYE-vun lu-BYE-chick". Makes me laugh every time I hear it...

At first it's funny, but then it just starts to get painfully annoying as it continues.

The funniest one I've heard lately was from a football/soccer match the other day. The Czech team has a defender named Ujfalusi. One of the announcers (the famous David Pleat, for all you Brits who might be wondering), kept calling him "Useful-lazy."

Morrissey
06-12-2008, 08:26 AM
Viewpoint: Too much talk, too many talkers





Less is often more when it comes to commentary, but those in the booth won't stop talking long enough to listen.

© Bertrand Langlois/AFP Getty

Something dawned on me when I was watching ESPN and NBCís coverage of the French Open this year. Television needs to come up with a new mute button. Not one that blocks out the sounds of the game. Listening to the ball come off the strings, the sliding (or squeaking, depending on surface) of the shoes, the grunts of the players, and the "shhhs" of a crowd before a big pointóthis is the soundtrack to my life, my passion.
No, this new mute button will keep all of those sounds but simply, mercifully, block out the commentatorsí blather. And it is, for the most part, blather, dumbed down to the lowest common denominator and more grating than Dick Vitale on Red Bull.

Here are the two main problems with the way ESPN and NBC, among other networks, approach their coverage.

1. Too many talking heads

For Serena Williamsí first round match at Roland Garros, for example, ESPN had four, count íem four, commentators: Dick Enberg, Mary Carillo, Mary Joe Fernandez, and Pam Shriver courtside. What, they couldnít squeeze John McEnroe, Pat McEnroe, and Bud Collins in there, too? Even the Superbowl usually uses fewer people in the booth.

At a minimum, tennis broadcasters feel compelled to have three folks in the booth (a play-by-play guy, plus two "color" commentators) and one courtside for all matches. Clearly, someone has circulated an email suggesting there is strength in numbers, but itís just not the case. This overkill approach turns telecasts into bad dinner parties, where everyone feels the need to get their two-cents into the discussion. Net result is a cacophony of incessant back-and-forth banter, much of which is off-topic. I sometimes feel John McEnroe spends more time talking about how lightweight racquets and string technology allow the players to hit the ball harder than he could in his day than he does actually calling the matches.

This dinner-party dynamic is part and parcel of a second problem. . . .

2. Too much talk

Tennis announcers dread silence, or dead air, as if they were working for radio. This all-the-time chatter ranges from the insignificant to the significant, the obscure to the obvious. One dreadful example: During an Ana Ivanovic match at the French, Ivanovic approached the net to take a floater out of the air. Enberg, who, Iím sorry, needs to start his retirement today, announced that Ivanovic is, well, coming to the net. It was quite helpful . . . . for all viewers of ESPN who happen to be blind, that is. In another match, the commentators described in detail how the chair umpire is checking a ball mark, as if viewers would mistake his pointing to the clay for something else.

Sadly, there are countless examples. And Enberg isnít the only guilty one. Mary Carillo and John McEnroe need to dial their talk (and egos) back. Ted Robinson could throw a few dozen fewer softball questions to McEnroe and, while heís at it, stop offering up almost by-the-minute affirmations to Macís commentary. Itís all enough to drive tennis fans nuts. Really, how many times during a match do we have to be reminded that this is a "big match"? How many times do we have to hear those tired background stories? (I might lose it if I listen to the Ivanovic-pool chestnut one more time.)

With Wimbledon approaching, much of which will be carried on ESPN and NBC, we can expect more of the same. Iím dreading it.

So, at the risk of being presumptuous or rude, Iím confident I speak for most tennis fans when I implore these Chatty Kathys to show some restraint. Weíve got eyes. We can see whatís happening.

More than that, there needs to be an understanding that less is much, much more. Tennis is a beautiful sport. Watching a point play out with only the sounds of the players, ball, and crowd is enough. No, really. And having quiet between points, as the players ready themselves for another slugfest, actually builds tension and adds to the drama. But the matchís momentum and excitement is disrupted when Carillo and company constantly interject their random thoughts, likes, and dislikes about the players. (Do I really need to know, or care, if Carillo admires a player for being "a jock"?)

And if you think the state of commentary in the U.S. is in good shape then you didnít have the privilege of catching the Tennis Channelís coverage of the Masters Series events in Monte Carlo, Rome, and Hamburg. This is tennis on TV the way itís supposed to be. And while the Tennis Channel doesnít deserve full credit for the broadcasts, which come from a world feed, using European commentators who do all the Masters events, the network has, indirectly, shown us a better way.

These announcers, two gents whose names escape me, are all about economy of words. Instead of describing everything the viewers can see, they let the action speak for itself. Instead of throwing out countless statistics, they offer sparse insight. Instead of being caught up in their own images, they rightfully take second fiddle to the players on the court. Instead of telling the back stories of every single player, they keep the attention squarely focused on where it belongs, the tennis.

After a long point, they often just add the punctuationó"Brilliant," or, "Absolutely fantastic," or "a perfect clay-court slide"órather than recapping everything you just saw. Sure, they can get carried away, talk too much, and traffic in clichťs, and not everything they say is, in fact, brilliant. But itís better than whatís offered in the U.S. Much better.

Part of this difference is cultural. Televised sports in the U.S. are obsessed with pre-game, in-game, and post-game commentary and analysis and fixated on the notion of turning the broadcasters into stars themselves. Apparently, itís not enough to have celebrities on the field, you need them in the booth, too.

To see this contrast in full view, watch Sports Center on ESPN and the nightly Sky Sports recap of European (and primarily British) sports on Fox Soccer Channel. One set of anchors acts like a bunch of clowns, the others do something far more radicalóthey read the news and let you draw your own conclusions.

Iíd love to think that NBC and ESPN, among others, will sit their commentators down and ask them (nicely, of course) to take a page out of their European counterparts. Itís probably wishful thinking.

In the meantime, Iíll wait for someone to devise that new mute button.

James Martin is the editor-in-chief of TENNIS magazine.

Those names he forgot were Jason Goodall, Robbie Koenig and Doug Adler. Excellent commentators. The standard.

nikdom
06-12-2008, 08:53 AM
Those names he forgot were Jason Goodall, Robbie Koenig and Doug Adler. Excellent commentators. The standard.

You had to quote all of the OP's 1000+ words just to say that? :)

Djokovicfan4life
06-12-2008, 09:23 AM
I have a match from a few years ago where McEnroe actually pronounces Ivan Ljubicic as "EYE-vun lu-BYE-chick". Makes me laugh every time I hear it...
At least that's better than pronouncing it "La-jubi kick".

Not that I've ever done that or something.................

TheTruth
06-12-2008, 10:17 AM
Finally someone with some sense!

95% of the American tennis announcers just need to shut up and take a hint from the bbc guys who do a superb job in comparison.

Ted Robinson and Dick Enberg are atrocious. Marry Carillo, if not making absurd comments, laughs at all her own jokes. Gimelstob never stops talking. J-Mac, while making many good comments has a tendency to repeat himself, talk about himself way too much and make obvious points. Just shut up!

At least Cliff Drysdale and P-Mac make an effort to be professional--I know P-Mac is not liked on this board but imo he's much better than his brother.

Still, the british guys on the bbc who occasionally do the TTC clay court commentary are a world apart.

Another thing, can someone explain to why all the American announcers (led by J-Mac) pronounce Djokovic's name "Jock-o-vich" when the guy has said "Hi my name is Novak "Joke-ovich" in more than a few interviews and specifically answered questions about how to pronounce his name?? (It's possible I'm missing something on the last point but I can direct people to videos of Novak pronouncing his own name differently than the commentators).


It is Djoke-ovich, but Novak asked them to pronounce it Jockovitch, presumably because Jock sounded better than Joke, (for real). There was an article on ESPN a week or so ago heralding the new change!

ShcMad
06-12-2008, 10:20 AM
I think that the ATP Masters Series commentators (Jason Goodall and Doug Adler) are the best. They never blabber about unecessary stuff like all the other american commentators.

Cyclone
06-12-2008, 10:31 AM
what really gets me (and i know this might stir up the hornet's nest) is that you cannot watch a federer match without every single commentator licking his feet after every point, even when he was just first coming up. i mean, for crying out loud, yes he's #1 in the world, i understand that he's one of the greatest players, etc etc, but i can't stand hearing johnny mac gush every twenty seconds "and boy mary, he's just so fluid, he moves sooooooo welllll, his forehand is soooooo smoooooth, i want to marry him!" and of course carillo replies with a characteristic obsequious "i know john, he just does EVERYTHING RIGHT! but really, i don't think we talk much about his mental strength. or his net game. or his serve. you know cliff, at the end of the day, i just wish i could sleep with him." to which the silly and hapless cliff drysdale replies in his quaint accent, "you know mary, i think you're right. we don't talk enough about how good federer is."

NEWSFLASH: YOU DO TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD HE IS. ALL THE TIME. please stop talking and let me watch some tennis. and if you're going to be so obnoxious, at least spend some time on his opponent other than mispronouncing the poor guy's name and the country he comes from, and saying "he just really doesn't stand a chance against the beauty and class of federer's game".

TheTruth
06-12-2008, 10:39 AM
what really gets me (and i know this might stir up the hornet's nest) is that you cannot watch a federer match without every single commentator licking his feet after every point, even when he was just first coming up. i mean, for crying out loud, yes he's #1 in the world, i understand that he's one of the greatest players, etc etc, but i can't stand hearing johnny mac gush every twenty seconds "and boy mary, he's just so fluid, he moves sooooooo welllll, his forehand is soooooo smoooooth, i want to marry him!" and of course carillo replies with a characteristic obsequious "i know john, he just does EVERYTHING RIGHT! but really, i don't think we talk much about his mental strength. or his net game. or his serve. you know cliff, at the end of the day, i just wish i could sleep with him." to which the silly and hapless cliff drysdale replies in his quaint accent, "you know mary, i think you're right. we don't talk enough about how good federer is."

NEWSFLASH: YOU DO TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD HE IS. ALL THE TIME. please stop talking and let me watch some tennis. and if you're going to be so obnoxious, at least spend some time on his opponent other than mispronouncing the poor guy's name and the country he comes from, and saying "he just really doesn't stand a chance against the beauty and class of federer's game".

I totally agree. The same with Sharapova. She's the mentally toughest one out there. She never gives up. She is dedicated to tennis. She's an endorsement god. She came here from Siberia...and on and on. They give no credit to their opponents, only to say how they will not win. It is a shameful display of broadcasting, I can't believe ESPN and others would let them hamper the sport to this extent!

zacinnc78
06-12-2008, 05:19 PM
this thread is spot-on! the best match i ever watched was a secondary feed on ATP-Tv ...it was just what the OP described ...all the tennis sounds..no commentating

you could see for yourself what the players were doing/going through without being told down to the molecule what they are thinking and everything(like anybody really knows lol)

Chopin
06-12-2008, 05:37 PM
It is Djoke-ovich, but Novak asked them to pronounce it Jockovitch, presumably because Jock sounded better than Joke, (for real). There was an article on ESPN a week or so ago heralding the new change!

That's quite funny though given his parents comments it's not surprising. Thanks for the information.

justacityboy
06-12-2008, 05:56 PM
not to mention that when an american is playing, they crank up the yak to a level that defies logic. i think my dislike of the williams sisters partly stems from the constant gushing they receive from carillo and the gang

Morrissey
06-12-2008, 06:05 PM
You had to quote all of the OP's 1000+ words just to say that? :)

I'm not like American commentators. I get to the point.

Morrissey
06-12-2008, 06:07 PM
what really gets me (and i know this might stir up the hornet's nest) is that you cannot watch a federer match without every single commentator licking his feet after every point, even when he was just first coming up. i mean, for crying out loud, yes he's #1 in the world, i understand that he's one of the greatest players, etc etc, but i can't stand hearing johnny mac gush every twenty seconds "and boy mary, he's just so fluid, he moves sooooooo welllll, his forehand is soooooo smoooooth, i want to marry him!" and of course carillo replies with a characteristic obsequious "i know john, he just does EVERYTHING RIGHT! but really, i don't think we talk much about his mental strength. or his net game. or his serve. you know cliff, at the end of the day, i just wish i could sleep with him." to which the silly and hapless cliff drysdale replies in his quaint accent, "you know mary, i think you're right. we don't talk enough about how good federer is."

NEWSFLASH: YOU DO TALK ABOUT HOW GOOD HE IS. ALL THE TIME. please stop talking and let me watch some tennis. and if you're going to be so obnoxious, at least spend some time on his opponent other than mispronouncing the poor guy's name and the country he comes from, and saying "he just really doesn't stand a chance against the beauty and class of federer's game".

Amen brother, I feel your pain and I second that. Wholeheartedly.

SempreSami
06-12-2008, 06:09 PM
Frew McMillan is the best.

leonidas1982
06-12-2008, 08:40 PM
I think english commentators are the best. Especially in football. Very objective,few words and they can understand that you ,also, are watching the game.

Its funny, ESPN dropped most of its American commentators for Euro 08. No more Balboa.

superstition
06-12-2008, 09:47 PM
I say we bring in Bob Goldthwait, Richard Simmons, and Gilbert Gottfried.

moonbat
06-12-2008, 09:49 PM
It is Djoke-ovich, but Novak asked them to pronounce it Jockovitch, presumably because Jock sounded better than Joke, (for real).


I don't know about that---Jock-o-itch anyone? Both versions can be twisted accordingly.

TheTruth
06-13-2008, 12:19 PM
I don't know about that---Jock-o-itch anyone? Both versions can be twisted accordingly.


Too funny! lol!

charaseac
06-13-2008, 12:25 PM
i remember this one commentator in FO. During fed-monfils matach there was this one time when monfils split to reach the ball. Then this French commentator ask the other commentator "Can you do that? (the split)".. "no".. then after half minute of awkward silence, the commentator ask the other guy "How about you?" "not a chance"... then its another couple minutes of awkward silence...

Sigh...

pound cat
06-13-2008, 12:40 PM
I agree...British commentators are the best...and its not because im British!


Absolutely and we're lucky to get them in Canada s lot. Right now BBC has a live stream of Queens and if you're out of the uK you can get it by using a proxy (explanation of proxy is on anothere thread, search the messageboard to find out exactly how you do it) or watch on http://www.justin.tv/brainz..no muss, no fuss, just watch, no matter where you are.

gdskg4761
07-23-2008, 03:46 AM
always look forward to the Masters Series matches. The commentators(Jason, Robbie, and Doug) do an excellent job of keeping chatter to a minimum and when they talk it is directly related to the players and the game at hand and not some obscured who gives a rat's a s s comment.
Dick Enberg
Marry Carillo
Ted Robinson
Justin Gimelslob
These four will drive anyone to the loony house unless ofcourse Dick has a heart attack(he is 80 something?) Mary dies laughing from her own stupid jokes that make no sense, Ted panicks when he doesn't get an anwer to another question which he probably has asked 20 times previously and Justin, well, he's beyond help. What can you say about a guy that's in love with himself. He got banned recently but unfortunately not long enough.
Someone please help us get some new blood that knows what they're doing.