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View Full Version : I can't believe I'm saying this, but I miss Cliffy


Defcon
05-29-2006, 11:09 AM
For all his quirks, CliffyB was at least entertaining, and could always be counted upon to get into a heated argument with PMac over silly little things.

Dick Emberg comes across as a blubbering old buffoon who's forgotten his meds. I don't care how many Superbowl's he's called, the man has no business talking about tennis! Some of his gems -

- "2 games from the set" when the score is 30-15, 5-4
- "Fed was down by 2 sets" on his 0-2 start
- "on the verge of establishing a 29 year old legacy" !!! (Nadal breaking Vilas' record)
- the endless comparisions with baseball - just shut up, they are not pitchers/hitters
- to top it all off, an annoying nasal voice

He has no insights to share and I wonder if he's even played the game. I know the commentary on ESPN is not the best, but the prospect of listening to this man for the next 2 weeks is truly frightening. Anyone who makes PMac look good gets no respect from me.

That's it, I'm done ranting now.

dmastous
05-29-2006, 11:18 AM
I was kind of laughing as Mary Carillo ham-handed her way through the Gaston Gaudio/Roko Karanusic match.
First she said Gaudio put more pace on his one handed backhand than Karanusic one handeder, though he used the two handed for topspin and had a one handed slice. Then Karanusic hit a two handed return and she seemed surprised when when she said "when he wants to hit harder he hits two handed". As if this is a Fabrice Santoro type circus shot.

Ken B.
05-29-2006, 11:25 AM
where is Jim Courier when you need him? I've seen him do the US Open stuff on USA and he was pretty good. I would think having him on during the French Open, his bread and butter in his prime, would be the smart thing to do. His champions league or whatever isn't going on now is it?

Wondertoy
05-29-2006, 11:27 AM
Dick Emberg comes across as a blubbering old buffoon...

That's what happens when you employ a generic sportscaster for a specialized sport. What sport did Enberg ever play?

slice bh compliment
05-29-2006, 11:31 AM
...What sport did Enberg ever play?

Tearjerking. Multiple gold medalist tearjerker.


Oh, My.

fastdunn
05-29-2006, 11:32 AM
I liked Cliffy. He is humble. yet has great insight and never arrogant.
And he was good moderator who is good at balancing
all commentators and making them look good.

dmastous
05-29-2006, 11:35 AM
where is Jim Courier when you need him? I've seen him do the US Open stuff on USA and he was pretty good. I would think having him on during the French Open, his bread and butter in his prime, would be the smart thing to do. His champions league or whatever isn't going on now is it?

I may be wrong, but I think he is employed by CBS which owns USA. ESPN is owned by Disney which also owns ABC. It's unlikely there would be a sharing of Courier's services between ABC and CBS.
But you are right. He would be a great addition to any staff.

thatballwas_IN
05-29-2006, 12:41 PM
If DICK Enberg says "terre batu" one more time... I am going to lose it!
He says it every 15 seconds!

Chadwixx
05-29-2006, 12:45 PM
Cliff used to be one of the best, then espn told him what he could and could not say. Fred stolle and cliff were one of the best duo's to ever commentate on a tennis match. Now the commentating is a joke, they arent even trying to appeal to people who know how to play tennis.

lucky leprechaun
05-29-2006, 01:03 PM
Which one is the one that (edit: pat) mcenroe is always putting down in the booth? was that cliff drysdale?

Viper
05-29-2006, 01:10 PM
I enjoyed JMac for some weird reason today. I have no idea why though.

prostaff18
05-29-2006, 01:48 PM
Why isnt Brad in there with Mac? That is what I want to know. Cliff is by far the best at ESPN, it's a shame that I have to listen to Dick for the next two weeks. Also can Mac ever shut up in the points, he is always talking about how his brother did this or that. Hey Mac we dont care!!!!! We just want to see tennis.

sureshs
05-29-2006, 01:52 PM
Cliff is down with a virus

Moose Malloy
05-29-2006, 03:03 PM
Dick Emberg comes across as a blubbering old buffoon who's forgotten his meds. I don't care how many Superbowl's he's called, the man has no business talking about tennis!

Yeah, its kinda odd. He's covered every Wimbledon/French final from the late 70s to today, yet still sounds like he's never seen a tennis match before.

Skppr05
05-29-2006, 06:06 PM
I agree. I actually really liked CLiff Drysdale. He actually took some time to think about what he was going to say before he said it

superman1
05-29-2006, 06:09 PM
I can't stand Cliff Drysdale. Enberg at least has that voice that makes you remember that this is a Grand Slam. Drysdale is just amateur hour.

Captain America
05-30-2006, 06:47 AM
I agree with the anti-Enberg sentiment. He has nothing to add.

I'd like to see Dan Patrick behind the mike and Ernie Johnson/Charles Barkley/Kenny Smith doing the studio coverage. :mrgreen:

Galactus
05-30-2006, 06:53 AM
In the UK they have fairly good commentary:
For Wimbledon, the BBC have John Barratt (been doing it for years), Andrew Castle, John Lloyd, Boris Becker and last year, Jimmy Connors.

SKY usually have Mark Petchy, Barry Cowan, Leif Shiras and Peter Fleming.

HollerOne5
05-30-2006, 07:43 AM
Doesn't everyone love Enberg's "Oh My" comment he seems to throw into every match, as if it were its own legacy.

I don't understand why Brad Gilbert is just working the desk for in between sets and matches. He should be commentating on all the matches. He keeps it real, gives insightful opinions, and is actually pretty funny. Enberg and Carillo are a snoooooooze fest.

schaef
05-30-2006, 09:47 AM
I wish they would all stop talking over the points.
Most of the time they aren't even talking about the match. Please, i wish they would just let the tennis do the talking and use their "skills" as commentators to connect the dots in between points to underscore the dramatic arc of the match.

scoot
05-30-2006, 11:02 AM
Dick enberg is a joke. Its hilarious when he salivates over Nadal - watching FO coverage last year was nauseating. "The muscular mallorcan" takes the court. "Oh my, he's so virile." "look at those biceps." You'd think he'd be arrested if they ever caught some of his "off the mike" comments on air.

MagicMT
05-30-2006, 12:58 PM
If DICK Enberg says "terre batu" one more time... I am going to lose it!
He says it every 15 seconds!
i kept hearing him say that too. what does it mean? is it french for clay or something? :confused:

slice bh compliment
05-30-2006, 01:01 PM
Yeah, it's French for clay. More literally, battue means beaten. Terre means earth...soil...or dirt.

EclipseRydr97
05-30-2006, 01:08 PM
Where did Cliff go?

BigboyDan
05-30-2006, 08:44 PM
The USA network is owned by NBCUniversal.

Also, on US television, it is normal for the lead "play-by-play" announcer to be a professional sportscaster and NOT a former player - those slots go to the "color" announcer. This is the norm for all televised sports, and Cliff was one of few exceptions to the rule...

FEDEXP
05-30-2006, 08:58 PM
Jesus, half the time Drysdale didn't even know the score...literally.

chiru
05-30-2006, 09:01 PM
i wish courier was around more i agree. but yeah enberg just really doesn't know whats going on. I mean the things he says are usually repeats of what other ppl say, things like "my waht a superb forehand federer has got" like no really? good work enberg! want a cookie?

superman1
05-30-2006, 09:26 PM
Enberg adds a nice touch, though. Very heartfelt. Johnny Mac and Enberg are the perfect combo. And throw in Brad Gilbert at courtside, he always has insight and I don't know why he gets a bad rap on these boards.

Defcon
05-30-2006, 09:32 PM
Its not like the rest of the ESPN crew are geniuses, so it takes real talent to stand out as the worst of the lost.

I know some people hate her, but I enjoy Mary Carillo's stories and turn of phrase. She is the most well spoken and comes up with good quotes, along with some great blunders. At least she has character.

PMac is there to worship Roddick and Fed, but he's tolerable and actually says something worthwile. Plus he's a good foil for CLiffy.

Chris Fowler is what an announcer should be like - he knows his limits when it comes to things he doesn't know much about and doesn't talk nonsense. He actually has some common sense.

The rest of them - Tim Ryan, Enberg, Shriver, Mary Joe are sock puppet fillers who like the sound of their own voices too much.

dmastous
05-30-2006, 09:49 PM
I think both Pam Shriver and Mary Joe Fernandez are a little more than sock puppets. Neither have what I would call great voices, but both achieved quite a bit of success on the pro tour and bring a lot of knowledge to their commentary. Mary Carillo has but one title, a French Open Mixed doubles with John McEnroe, the best doubles player on the planet.
I used to like Mary Carillo alot. She had a quirky, at times surprising sense of humor. But I think of late she's gotten a bit too aware of her success, and takes herself too seriously now. Her railing against the merits of the replay system (I know it's not really a 'replay' system, but a computer generated representation) in Key Biscayne even in the face of it's obvious success got on my nerves.

HollerOne5
05-30-2006, 10:07 PM
I think both Pam Shriver and Mary Joe Fernandez are a little more than sock puppets. Neither have what I would call great voices, but both achieved quite a bit of success on the pro tour and bring a lot of knowledge to their commentary. Mary Carillo has but one title, a French Open Mixed doubles with John McEnroe, the best doubles player on the planet.
I used to like Mary Carillo alot. She had a quirky, at times surprising sense of humor. But I think of late she's gotten a bit too aware of her success, and takes herself too seriously now. Her railing against the merits of the replay system (I know it's not really a 'replay' system, but a computer generated representation) in Key Biscayne even in the face of it's obvious success got on my nerves.

I agree....I'd much prefer MJ Fernandez or even Pam Shriver over Mary Carillo commentating on women's tennis anyday. However, Tim Ryan as MJF's sidekick, needs to go. He talks as if he was on the pro tour instead of just announcing the score and commercial breaks like he is supposed to....

Actually, out of the ESPN Line-up, the perfect duo for me would be Brad Gilbert and Mary Joe.

volleys_tennis_master
05-30-2006, 10:14 PM
ha, i always laugh when cliff drysdale calls dick enberg "dickie enberg"... best wishes to him, and hope he gets better from whatever he has...

dmastous
05-30-2006, 10:16 PM
I agree....I'd much prefer MJ Fernandez or even Pam Shriver over Mary Carillo commentating on women's tennis anyday. However, Tim Ryan as MJF's sidekick, needs to go. He talks as if he was on the pro tour instead of just announcing the score and commercial breaks like he is supposed to....

Actually, out of the ESPN Line-up, the perfect duo for me would be Brad Gilbert and Mary Joe.

Tim Ryan bores me to tears. He does a lot of Pac 10 football and some other stuff too. His voice is grating to me. I've never liked listening to him. I don't know what he's saying because my brain automatically tunes him out.

christo
05-30-2006, 10:16 PM
Mary "mouth diarrhea" Carillo. Somebody whack her upside the head and tell her to stop for breath. Best ESPN move today was with Gonzo serving for a 2 sets lead, they cut to A Rod telling us he has a sprained ankle, or was it a broken fingernail or whatevaaaah! These wankers at ESPN think that we only tune in to watch anything with Red , White and Blue attached to it and that if it ain't American we don't care. God help us if it rains, we'll get to watch reruns of Venus' match 35 f***ing times in a row.

HollerOne5
05-30-2006, 10:20 PM
Mary "mouth diarrhea" Carillo. Somebody whack her upside the head and tell her to stop for breath. Best ESPN move today was with Gonzo serving for a 2 sets lead, they cut to A Rod telling us he has a sprained ankle, or was it a broken fingernail or whatevaaaah! These wankers at ESPN think that we only tune in to watch anything with Red , White and Blue attached to it and that if it ain't American we don't care. God help us if it rains, we'll get to watch reruns of Venus' match 35 f***ing times in a row.

Well Mary is also annoying, not because she is a huge dizyke, but because she actually says things like "jock tennis, big babe tennis, dude, man, and buddy" which, I'm sorry, are typically things I wouldn't prefer a female commentator to say. I mean she literally calls women tennis players "jocks"

GS
05-31-2006, 08:07 AM
Remember years ago when tennis fan, Johnny Carson, stopped his opening monologue on "The Tonight Show" and said, "I'm sorry---this guy hosting the HBO coverage of Wimbledon really irritates me." That was one great moment in television. (Barry Tompkins was that guy.)
The best coverage on TV I ever saw was a Connors/Becker match back in the 80s in Chicago. It was thru a satellite dish network feed, meaning no commentators, no commercials, just the sounds of the match and the ump calling the score. It was heaven.
Yeah, get Carillo and her annoying "heh heh heh" laugh outa here. She started out good, but now her ego is in the way. But what babe to replace her? Shriver, Mary Joe, Chrissie and Tracy all grate on me. Maybe only Navratilova is left, but her Czech accent doesn't appeal to the networks.
And get Pat Mac outa there and put Courier in. He's insightful and never annoying. Plus, make him Davis Cup captain someday---Pat Mac just looks scared on the sidelines, like, "hell, what do I say to my guy now?!"
And Dick Enberg? Oh my, him and his "I can announce any sport!" ego are really bad. At least we don't have to listen to Bent Hamburger, I mean, Brent Musberger, since he's on ABC. But I've heard him handle tennis coverage in the past, and it was the worst.
So bring back the lesser of all evils, good ole Cliffy! (And Fred, while you're at it.) I'll always enjoy Cliff's best flub---"Michelob, because so much is riding on your tires." I have it on tape.

Gugafan_Redux
05-31-2006, 09:56 AM
Lol, that Michelob flub is a good one, GS.

I would have to say all the tennis commentators at ESPN have earned a smack upside the head at one time or another. Sometimes they annoy the hell out of me, other times they're pretty entertaining. Let's not forget Mal Washington. That guy fills every available millisecond from the end of one point to the start of the next with mindless blab, blab, blab. He's the worst! All match long, explaining the mechanics of every shot, what went wrong on every point.

Gotta disagree about Curier though. He can be quite the toolbox. Get him and Folwer in the studio, and it's like a couple of 7th graders in study hall, pulling verbal pranks, trying to be more clever and cool and in the know, trying to out-jargon each other and being cynical about an some no-name's chances against a top seed in the early rounds. Serving up bagels, bread sticks, etc. No kidding, Curier? It doesn't take a 3-time French winner to predict a straight set win by Federer in the first round over Jose No Name on grass or whatever.

GS
05-31-2006, 11:56 AM
I'm guess I'm just saying that Courier is a lesser evil than the rest of em. But the rest of em have network contracts, so we have to listen to em for awhile more. He's better than any Jensen, Hamburger, Enberg, MacKay, Pat Mac, Carillo, Austin, etc. Ever hear Jimmy Arias? Once a great player, but his voice sounds like a weasel. Leif Shiras is okay. Maybe give Todd Martin a try---there's always openings in this job field.....

Gugafan_Redux
05-31-2006, 12:03 PM
Yeah, I like Lief Shiras' commentary a lot. Pleasant voice, smart insight but not overdone, humble, pokes fun at himself. Doesn't say too much.

I bet Todd Martin would be great! I think he may have joined Johnny Mac and Ted Sorenson in the booth at the US Open once. I also remember Kafelnikov sitting in there and being very interesting and well-spoken, light-hearted, funny.

SteveI
05-31-2006, 01:28 PM
Remember years ago when tennis fan, Johnny Carson, stopped his opening monologue on "The Tonight Show" and said, "I'm sorry---this guy hosting the HBO coverage of Wimbledon really irritates me." That was one great moment in television. (Barry Tompkins was that guy.)
The best coverage on TV I ever saw was a Connors/Becker match back in the 80s in Chicago. It was thru a satellite dish network feed, meaning no commentators, no commercials, just the sounds of the match and the ump calling the score. It was heaven.
Yeah, get Carillo and her annoying "heh heh heh" laugh outa here. She started out good, but now her ego is in the way. But what babe to replace her? Shriver, Mary Joe, Chrissie and Tracy all grate on me. Maybe only Navratilova is left, but her Czech accent doesn't appeal to the networks.
And get Pat Mac outa there and put Courier in. He's insightful and never annoying. Plus, make him Davis Cup captain someday---Pat Mac just looks scared on the sidelines, like, "hell, what do I say to my guy now?!"
And Dick Enberg? Oh my, him and his "I can announce any sport!" ego are really bad. At least we don't have to listen to Bent Hamburger, I mean, Brent Musberger, since he's on ABC. But I've heard him handle tennis coverage in the past, and it was the worst.
So bring back the lesser of all evils, good ole Cliffy! (And Fred, while you're at it.) I'll always enjoy Cliff's best flub---"Michelob, because so much is riding on your tires." I have it on tape.

GS,

Great post... yup... gotta love Cliffy. You are so right about Davis Cup and PMac... if there was someone so over his head.. it is him. If he does not win this year.. I am guessing he is HISTORY!!!

Miller Time BabY!!
Steve

norcal
05-31-2006, 03:57 PM
Cliff used to be one of the best, then espn told him what he could and could not say. Fred stolle and cliff were one of the best duo's to ever commentate on a tennis match. Now the commentating is a joke, they arent even trying to appeal to people who know how to play tennis.
Fred and Cliffy were by the far the best.

5/31/06, a day to remember - I completely agreed with Chadwixx.

dmastous
05-31-2006, 06:21 PM
Fred and Cliffy were by the far the best.

100% agreed.:p
It also coincides with the time I grew up in tennis. So hearing them call Lendl, Mac, Conners, Edberg et al... signifies the best it got.

dantyem108
05-31-2006, 06:58 PM
what about Jensen?? Seems like he knows what he is talking about and is always enthusiastic...sometimes too much I guess.

dmastous
05-31-2006, 07:05 PM
what about Jensen?? Seems like he knows what he is talking about and is always enthusiastic...sometimes too much I guess.

That's just it. He's a salesman.
He and his brother were the clown princes of tennis. They won a couple doubles tournaments and Luke had the distintion of hitting both lefty and righty serves during a match, as he saw fit. But in the end they were more noise than game.
Luke has toned it down somewhat since he first got the sideline gig, but he's still a bit too much flash for me.

EclipseRydr97
05-31-2006, 08:46 PM
Where did Cliff go?

str33t
05-31-2006, 08:47 PM
I miss his cool accent. :(

rfprse
05-31-2006, 09:07 PM
Let's not forget Mal Washington. That guy fills every available millisecond from the end of one point to the start of the next with mindless blab, blab, blab. He's the worst! All match long, explaining the mechanics of every shot, what went wrong on every point.

Gotta disagree about Curier though. He can be quite the toolbox. Get him and Folwer in the studio, and it's like a couple of 7th graders in study hall, pulling verbal pranks, trying to be more clever and cool and in the know, trying to out-jargon each other and being cynical about an some no-name's chances against a top seed in the early rounds. Serving up bagels, bread sticks, etc. No kidding, Curier? It doesn't take a 3-time French winner to predict a straight set win by Federer in the first round over Jose No Name on grass or whatever.

Well said, couldn't agree more.
Anyway, I think 'Cliffy' is one of the better ones in ESPN.
I like him in general except for his constant, blind pushing for shot spot in the past couple of years. I do miss him since we have to suffer from Fowler (and Gilbert) more than we could bear.

SteveI
06-04-2006, 07:04 AM
Where did Cliff go?

Hi,

He is ill.. ;-(

Steve

WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis
06-04-2006, 08:09 AM
I always liked the Drsydale/Stolle combination when calling matches. Remembered once when the vid went out during a Wimbledon match, and they called it the old way, shot by shot. Excellent stuff. Carillo sometimes gets a bit stuffy and fluffy for me. Courier...can't say that I like him. He is capable certainly, and knows the game, but I hate it when he is biased against players. And more likely than not, its a non-American player. All he sometimes does then is undermine whatever good shots they make against the player he likes.

WillAlwaysLoveYouTennis
06-04-2006, 08:16 AM
Yes, I agree with Gugafan about Courier, some of the modern "slang" he uses in an effort to be new and happening, just is stupid sometimes.

SteveI
06-06-2006, 01:47 AM
I always liked the Drsydale/Stolle combination when calling matches. Remembered once when the vid went out during a Wimbledon match, and they called it the old way, shot by shot. Excellent stuff. Carillo sometimes gets a bit stuffy and fluffy for me. Courier...can't say that I like him. He is capable certainly, and knows the game, but I hate it when he is biased against players. And more likely than not, its a non-American player. All he sometimes does then is undermine whatever good shots they make against the player he likes.

Hi,

I also "love" when Courier is all over a player for not coming to the net or missing an easy volley. Heck.. Courier was one of the worst net players of all time and he just seems so full of himself at times. BTW.. can someone tell Mary to SHUT-UP when the ball is in play???

Steve

flymeng
06-06-2006, 04:57 AM
There is an article of Cliff in the July issue of Tennis magazine. He lives in South Florida and looks good for a 64YO. I am surprise that his girlfriend looks so young. I would say she is about 35. Amazing. ;)

SteveI
06-06-2006, 11:24 AM
There is an article of Cliff in the July issue of Tennis magazine. He lives in South Florida and looks good for a 64YO. I am surprise that his girlfriend looks so young. I would say she is about 35. Amazing. ;)

Hooooooo Hiaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

Steve

Gundam
06-06-2006, 11:30 AM
There is an article of Cliff in the July issue of Tennis magazine. He lives in South Florida and looks good for a 64YO. I am surprise that his girlfriend looks so young. I would say she is about 35. Amazing. ;)

I also found her very attractive. Mature, intelligent, caring, yes, probably in 30s.

Brettolius
06-06-2006, 11:34 AM
Well Cliff has annoyed me in the past, but not nearly to the degree of Dick Enberg. How long has he been calling tennis matches?(a long time i know) And how much longer till he figures out how the scoring works? (seemingly never)

EclipseRydr97
06-08-2006, 11:28 AM
There is an article of Cliff in the July issue of Tennis magazine. He lives in South Florida and looks good for a 64YO. I am surprise that his girlfriend looks so young. I would say she is about 35. Amazing. ;)


Money

LeftyServe
06-08-2006, 12:41 PM
It's too bad everyone in the States doesn't have access to Eurosport, where the color commentary for the French is by Mats Wilander. Mats is articulate, knowledgable, even-handed, interprets the game from a champion's perspective. He's got a bit of the Swedish way in that when he criticizes a player it doesn't sound mean-spirited or offensive, and when he praises it doesn't sound overly fawning. And he knows when to shut up and let it play.

SteveI
06-09-2006, 05:08 PM
It's too bad everyone in the States doesn't have access to Eurosport, where the color commentary for the French is by Mats Wilander. Mats is articulate, knowledgable, even-handed, interprets the game from a champion's perspective. He's got a bit of the Swedish way in that when he criticizes a player it doesn't sound mean-spirited or offensive, and when he praises it doesn't sound overly fawning. And he knows when to shut up and let it play.

Man you are so lucky!!!

Steve

Saito
06-09-2006, 05:10 PM
It's too bad everyone in the States doesn't have access to Eurosport, where the color commentary for the French is by Mats Wilander. Mats is articulate, knowledgable, even-handed, interprets the game from a champion's perspective. He's got a bit of the Swedish way in that when he criticizes a player it doesn't sound mean-spirited or offensive, and when he praises it doesn't sound overly fawning. And he knows when to shut up and let it play.

You really are lucky.... I'm sure you don't even realize just how lucky you are. Cheers

SonicSpeed
06-10-2006, 03:28 AM
Tim Ryan is absolutely the most annoying commentator on the planet. It's embarassing how many facts he gets wrong and his voice makes me want to cut off my ears!!! And he goes on and on!

pound cat
06-10-2006, 03:42 AM
They talked to Cliff on ESPN and he plans to be back for Wimbledon. He is currently in Miami playing golf. He sounded weak when they were talking to him. No mention of what it is that ails him,

pound cat
06-10-2006, 03:45 AM
The best woman commentator I heard on ESPN was Chanda Rubin, who they had in for an interview, and then asked her to do the next set of whoever it was that was playing. She was excellent...no silly talk, articulate, good voice, fun. BTW, where is she? I know whe had injury problems.