Better commentator - Patrick or John?

Who's the better commentator?

  • John McEnroe

  • Patrick McEnroe


Results are only viewable after voting.
Who do you prefer as a commentator, John or Patrick McEnroe?

Personally, I prefer Patrick because I find his commentary more insightful and in-depth. And I still find him adequately critical of players when it's called for. Plus I love his signature "HELLO!" He gets me more pumped up during a match than John does.

Although I must say that since John called most of the big matches that I grew up watching as a kid, it does seem to add to the significance of the occasion for me when he's commentating.
 

tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
John is dismissive of lower ranked players but he can analyze matches better than anyone out there

You can see BG , Chris Evert all just riding the score and praising the player with the lead but John can study the game way better .
 

Shank Volley

Hall of Fame
I'm not a huge fan of either, but I'll say Patrick because I feel like John has a more severe case of soundbite-itis. I genuinely feel sick to my stomach every time one of these modern commentators cracks out their 'catchphrases'. Robbie Koenig is the worst example of this. I can tolerate Patrick's "hello" because it's his off the cuff response. Sort of like how some people shout 'Christ' or 'f**k'. It's not watching something play out, then scrolling through your pre-prepared statements and shouting "Moment of mmmmagic!"

Robbie Koenig's spot could be filled by a doll with a string on its back that you pull to hear a short audio clip.
 
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ak24alive

Legend
I'm not a huge fan of either, but I'll say Patrick because I feel like John has a more severe case of soundbite-itis. I genuinely feel sick to my stomach every time one of these modern commentators cracks out their 'catchphrases'. Robbie Koenig is the worst example of this. I can tolerate Patrick's "hello" because it's his off the cuff response. Sort of like how some people shout 'Christ' or 'f**k'. It's not watching something play out, then scrolling through your pre-prepared statements and shouting "Moment of mmmmagic!"

Robbie Koenig's spot could be filled by a doll with a string on it's back that you pull when to hear a short audio clip.

 
I'm not a huge fan of either, but I'll say Patrick because I feel like John has a more severe case of soundbite-itis. I genuinely feel sick to my stomach every time one of these modern commentators cracks out their 'catchphrases'. Robbie Koenig is the worst example of this. I can tolerate Patrick's "hello" because it's his off the cuff response. Sort of like how some people shout 'Christ' or 'f**k'. It's not watching something play out, then scrolling through your pre-prepared statements and shouting "Moment of mmmmagic!"

Robbie Koenig's spot could be filled by a doll with a string on it's back that you pull when to hear a short audio clip.
When I first heard Robbie Koenig, I instantly loved him as a commentator. But as time went on, I got more and more tired with his pre-rehearsed zingers (as good as they may be). Still don't mind him, but I certainly don't love him now as much as I did at first.
 
I'm not a huge fan of either, but I'll say Patrick because I feel like John has a more severe case of soundbite-itis. I genuinely feel sick to my stomach every time one of these modern commentators cracks out their 'catchphrases'. Robbie Koenig is the worst example of this. I can tolerate Patrick's "hello" because it's his off the cuff response. Sort of like how some people shout 'Christ' or 'f**k'. It's not watching something play out, then scrolling through your pre-prepared statements and shouting "Moment of mmmmagic!"

Robbie Koenig's spot could be filled by a doll with a string on it's back that you pull to hear a short audio clip.
I actually can't think of any of John's soundbite catchphrases off the top of my head. Can you list some examples?
 
I'm not a huge fan of either, but I'll say Patrick because I feel like John has a more severe case of soundbite-itis. I genuinely feel sick to my stomach every time one of these modern commentators cracks out their 'catchphrases'. Robbie Koenig is the worst example of this. I can tolerate Patrick's "hello" because it's his off the cuff response. Sort of like how some people shout 'Christ' or 'f**k'. It's not watching something play out, then scrolling through your pre-prepared statements and shouting "Moment of mmmmagic!"

Robbie Koenig's spot could be filled by a doll with a string on it's back that you pull to hear a short audio clip.
'Oil painting of a backhand'... 'Somebody call the police, because X has just got outta jail'... Etc.
 

yokied

Hall of Fame
I prefer John because we haven't seen anyone like him since God was a boy, even though Patrick's backhand is forged in steel.
 

73west

Semi-Pro
John is dismissive of lower ranked players but he can analyze matches better than anyone out there

You can see BG , Chris Evert all just riding the score and praising the player with the lead but John can study the game way better .
Agreed. I think John is a brilliant commentator. His weakness is that his opinion of a player informs his meta-commentary a bit too much. But he's still the best out there. The other thing I love about McEnroe, that is about 180 degrees removed from Chris Evert, is that McEnroe is humble when he brings his own career into the commentary, which he usually does when prompted by a studio-mate. You'll hear a lot of
"John, what would you have done against a player who is in the zone like Nadal is right now?"
"Lost?" Then some anecdote about a loss to Agassi or Sampras late in his career, then, his advice to the overwhelmed player.

There is no worse feeling in all of sports (I'm tempted to go "in all of life" but that may be pushing it) than turning on a match, hoping to hear John McEnroe and hearing Brad Gilbert instead.
 

tudwell

Legend
Agreed. I think John is a brilliant commentator. His weakness is that his opinion of a player informs his meta-commentary a bit too much. But he's still the best out there. The other thing I love about McEnroe, that is about 180 degrees removed from Chris Evert, is that McEnroe is humble when he brings his own career into the commentary, which he usually does when prompted by a studio-mate. You'll hear a lot of
"John, what would you have done against a player who is in the zone like Nadal is right now?"
"Lost?" Then some anecdote about a loss to Agassi or Sampras late in his career, then, his advice to the overwhelmed player.

There is no worse feeling in all of sports (I'm tempted to go "in all of life" but that may be pushing it) than turning on a match, hoping to hear John McEnroe and hearing Brad Gilbert instead.
John does have some insightful things to say, but he buries it in all kinds of unrelated or only tangentially related ramblings that he's talked about over and over (see: fifth-set tiebreaks). Gilbert seems to me to have the strongest engagement with the actual tactics of the players involved in the match being played. He's a little ridiculous with his nicknames and catchphrases, but he actually says things that I feel a coach would say to their player.
 

73west

Semi-Pro
John does have some insightful things to say, but he buries it in all kinds of unrelated or only tangentially related ramblings that he's talked about over and over (see: fifth-set tiebreaks). Gilbert seems to me to have the strongest engagement with the actual tactics of the players involved in the match being played. He's a little ridiculous with his nicknames and catchphrases, but he actually says things that I feel a coach would say to their player.
In all sports at all levels, my number rule for evaluating commentators is "do you think I tuned in to listen to you?"
I did not. I emphatically did not. I tuned in to watch the sport, and to have the commentator help me understand what I can't plainly see. But Brad Gilbert so totally dominates the broadcast with his personal anecdotes, personal nicknames, stories about connections to players that he clearly thinks I tuned in to watch Brad Gilbert, and there happens to be a tennis match on in the background.
 

tudwell

Legend
In all sports at all levels, my number rule for evaluating commentators is "do you think I tuned in to listen to you?"
I did not. I emphatically did not. I tuned in to watch the sport, and to have the commentator help me understand what I can't plainly see. But Brad Gilbert so totally dominates the broadcast with his personal anecdotes, personal nicknames, stories about connections to players that he clearly thinks I tuned in to watch Brad Gilbert, and there happens to be a tennis match on in the background.
That's all fair enough. He's better when he's courtside. Doesn't talk so much.
 
I like Patrick McEnroe. He's a little more insightful and natural than John. But both are great.
Agreed that Robby Koenig is extremely annoying, although when he isn't yelling the same tired old catchphrases, he does good match analysis too.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
Both are good, but I like John more because he tends to have more to say about the top players from his regular interactions with them in the locker room, on court, at charity events, etc, whereas Patrick is a more technical commentator who just sits in the broadcast booth.

I can't stand Cliff Drysdale (his voice and what he says) and Paul Annacone, as nice as he seems to be, has an annoying voice.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
No neither option. Invalid poll.

Seriously I like Patrick more. He's over the top at times sure, but he does a good job overall IMO. Both do know what they're talking about for the most part so not much difference there, but John is more annoying to listen to, especially these days. 10 years ago I would've said John was better, but not now. John says too much strange stuff in his older age, and his GOAT opinion changes overnight.

That's enough for me to say Patrick.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
When I first heard Robbie Koenig, I instantly loved him as a commentator. But as time went on, I got more and more tired with his pre-rehearsed zingers (as good as they may be). Still don't mind him, but I certainly don't love him now as much as I did at first.
Robbie and Jason Goodall as a duo are still the best IMO, but Goodall definitely does the heavy lifting there, and I totally understand being fed up with Koenig's million catchphrases.
 

Mainad

Bionic Poster
Robbie and Jason Goodall as a duo are still the best IMO, but Goodall definitely does the heavy lifting there, and I totally understand being fed up with Koenig's million catchphrases.
I used to like them too but Jason has moved on. Robbie commentates with Nick Lester these days (at least he was doing so at IW and Miami).
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
I like them both, though I dislike P-Mac's laugh. His commentary is sound and interesting. John I also like in the booth, but he spends way too much time talking about himself, his matches and his "greatest rival," Borg. He will mention Borg (guaranteed!) in most matches he commentates. It's quite repetitive. I detest Navratilova and the droning Chris Evert. Boris is quirky on the BBC, but can't stand Andrew Castle.
 

Mugu

Rookie
i've always liked them both too. i still remember the first time i heard Patrick sit in on a match i thought he was great and could definitely make
a career out of it. i feel that even more with Federer. i think he's already the best tennis analyst out there. if he wants it, i can't wait to have
him in the booth.
 

True Fanerer

G.O.A.T.
Patrick goes with whatever the new trend is. Wants on court coaching, a goat for every surface and totally overrates Djokovic. John keeps it real.
 

Spanglish72

Rookie
Patrick is a better host, John is a better color guy.

Anyone is better than Scary Carillo....she needs a lifetime ban!
 

big ted

Hall of Fame
I like John, but I already know what he's going to say 99% of the time. "This sets done, he should conserve his energy." "He should've moved in on that play." "Mentally, he knows he can't beat this guy."
jmac does talk more about the mental aspect than the others... belief, wanting it more, and if player X can "dig deeper"...
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
jmac does talk more about the mental aspect than the others... belief, wanting it more, and if player X can "dig deeper"...
Which I can appreciate, but it's all very surface level. And often times he's inferring something that isn't there and ends up being completely wrong.

I can't tell you how many matches I've watched where a player goes down a break or double-break and John says something like "he's giving up on this set, he knows it's not worth the physical or emotional investment to get back in it." Only for the player to grind out every point from there to claw his way back.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
John I also like in the booth, but he spends way too much time talking about himself, his matches and his "greatest rival," Borg. He will mention Borg (guaranteed!) in most matches he commentates. It's quite repetitive.
But not before he compares Nadal with Connors.
 

Terenigma

G.O.A.T.
I can't stand John's commentary, he says what everyone is already thinking and i really don't agree with people saying he has insightful observations. Most of them are generic that even a casual tennis player would notice and a lot of his "behind the scenes" knowledge is still known via media outlets if you read about tennis news often. I wouldn't say i overly enjoy Patrick's commentary either but he's better than John.

I'm not entirely sure i know the names of the commentators i like but i always enjoy the guys who cover the Australian open (With the Aussie accents) and i have enjoyed Bartoli, Henman and Roddick's commentary over the years at RG/Wimbledon.
 

fedfan08

Professional
I hate John because all he does is complain. Every point is a complaint about what someone didn’t do right. No player ever wins a point with him it’s always the other player doing something wrong, not hitting the right shot, not coming in etc. Gets annoying after awhile.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
they are both good. Jimmy Arias is as good and in many ways more interesting. Jimmy's analysis of tactics is very good.
 

Zetty

Hall of Fame
Patrick McEnroe commentary is akin to paint drying. I'd rather hear Brad Gilbert on acid.
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
I like both McEnroe brothers.

Disagree strongly with the above statement about Arias being good. I find him god awful and think he's the worst besides maybe Shriver.
 

Robert F

Professional
Both are great in there own way.
John can be a little more entertaining but at times farther off base.
Pat is usually spot on and willing to call people out on stuff.
 

OddJack

G.O.A.T.
Patrick is a matter-of-fact commentator. He's above basic, but lacks creativity. He does not have an analytical eye for the match.

John sees and suggest tactics and strategy to some extent. Mixes it with some sense of humor. If provoked by Fowler he can talk his mind and defend his opinions. He does not gasp or get excited like Patrick does ( which is doing it by the ESPN book BTW ) but his appreciation of a great shot or a great move is somehow felt stronger. All of this makes him way better than his brother

Cahill is analytical. He remains a coach while commentating, looking for solutions and always thinking and hence talks the least. He predicts better than the other 2 for the same reason. He also likes and tells stories from the game which are always interesting to hear.

All of the above and almost all commentators comment the score board. If a player is behind they see and comment negatively on the player who's behind, even if the overall state of the match suggests otherwise. For example in 2017 AO final Federer lost the first game of the 5th set but from then on he was holding easily and Nadal had difficulty holding. Up to the 6th game that Nadal was broken all three commentators were commenting negatively on Federer's game. Even when he held at love they said his serve speed has decreased.
If you watched Tennis channel for the same match Martina Navratilova was the only one who pointed out that Nadal is having difficulty holding.
After Federer held for 4-3, Federer became "superman". Fowler said Nadal's "wear and tear" is showing and Patrick said he ( Nadal) has had difficulty holding.
 
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