Chris Fowler as a commentator?

bleno567

Semi-Pro
Is it good? I’ve always resisted it because his self promotion is so off putting to me. Always reminding everyone when he made a good pick. Always hyping young players who are obviously going to be great and trying to make it sound like a big statement. Like, “People think Sinner is going to be good, but I actually think he’s going to be next level good.” But I should still probably read the book. I’ve seen it at Goodwill.
It's 100% worth the read. It's the reason to this day most people in my age demo opt to return serve first. It was drilled into us by all coaches, who had also read Winning Ugly. It also gave me some good, albeit obvious, insight into inner game dynamics e.g. 15-30 / 30-15 are always the most important points in games, etc.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Can't believe I didn't comment on this in 2019.

Anyway, Fowler's useless. That's my 2 cents. And not just for his lack of tennis knowledge (he's not supposed to be the encyclopedia anyway). The network I'm sure adores him because he makes everything slam centric. He's also a low key Nadal guy IMO, or more accurately a Djokodal fan who doesn't like Federer, and will never actually admit it and I hate bias in commentators especially concealed like his is. FWIW I can't stand Chris Evert for being a raging Federer fangirl either.

And like every other present day commentator he has to make the present look like the best thing ever so he uses a few of the same arguments seen on TTW on a daily basis.
 
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MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
Drysdale is 1000x better than the corporate, sleazy, fake, infomercial Fowler. At least Drysdale doesn't try to put on a voice
Drysdale used to be great. Unfortunately he really has lost a step with age. Not that I blame him, he's almost 80 years old.

But it's hard not to notice how many things he gets wrong now and sometimes trips over his words. But I'm still happy when I hear he's doing matches just because of his voice. It's been around for so long that it's comforting and nostalgic at this point.
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
Can't believe I didn't comment on this in 2019.

Anyway, Fowler's useless. That's my 2 cents. And not just for his lack of tennis knowledge. The network I'm sure adores him because he makes everything slam centric. He's also a low key Nadal guy IMO and will never actually admit it, and I hate bias in commentators especially concealed like his is. FWIW I can't stand Chris Evert for being a raging Federer fangirl either.
I think he seems like a good guy, which counts for something. I don’t know if I’d take a knowledgeable jerk over a Fowler. Maybe.
 
D

Deleted member 22147

Guest
Drysdale used to be great. Unfortunately he really has lost a step with age. Not that I blame him, he's almost 80 years old.

But it's hard not to notice how many things he gets wrong now and sometimes trips over his words. But I'm still happy when I hear he's doing matches just because of his voice. It's been around for so long that it's comforting and nostalgic at this point.
I haven't listened to him much recently, once last year which was the first time in a long time.

I like listening to the old boys, many of whom are now dead or retired. I can't stand the likes of Fowler. He is poison to my ears. i think it takes a really simple person to enjoy that sort of set up he offers...
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
Drysdale used to be great. Unfortunately he really has lost a step with age. Not that I blame him, he's almost 80 years old.

But it's hard not to notice how many things he gets wrong now and sometimes trips over his words. But I'm still happy when I hear he's doing matches just because of his voice. It's been around for so long that it's comforting and nostalgic at this point.
Yeah, I hope he doesn’t feel bad when he gets something wrong.

“This one’s for the match! I mean...it might as well be for the match. Very critical point!”
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
It's 100% worth the read. It's the reason to this day most people in my age demo opt to return serve first. It was drilled into us by all coaches, who had also read Winning Ugly. It also gave me some good, albeit obvious, insight into inner game dynamics e.g. 15-30 / 30-15 are always the most important points in games, etc.
For all the Ugly fans of his, he’s got a podcast called Winning Uglier. I’ll check it out.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
I think he seems like a good guy, which counts for something. I don’t know if I’d take a knowledgeable jerk over a Fowler. Maybe.
I think J Mac qualifies as a knowledgeable jerk :p

But seriously I know what you're saying and I don't think JMac is necessarily a jerk as a commentator. I've just never liked Fowler from day one so forgive my bias.

I do like JMac, don't really like his brother. Like Cahill and Goodall. Despise Brad Gilbert. He's not a fanboy of anyone that I can tell, but he's too eccentric for me.

Drysdale used to good, I agree with that. The rest of them, don't care, all in the cookie cutter bin.
 

mike danny

Bionic Poster
Can't believe I didn't comment on this in 2019.

Anyway, Fowler's useless. That's my 2 cents. And not just for his lack of tennis knowledge (he's not supposed to be the encyclopedia anyway). The network I'm sure adores him because he makes everything slam centric. He's also a low key Nadal guy IMO, or more accurately a Djokodal fan who doesn't like Federer, and will never actually admit it and I hate bias in commentators especially concealed like his is. FWIW I can't stand Chris Evert for being a raging Federer fangirl either.

And like every other present day commentator he has to make the present look like the best thing ever so he uses a few of the same arguments seen on TTW on a daily basis.
Don't really know the commentators by names, but what did Fowler and Evert say that gave you these impressions?
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
Don't really know the commentators by names, but what did Fowler and Evert say that gave you these impressions?
I don't know exactly with Fowler. It's been many things over many years, but with Evert I remember it was one of the Wimbledon championships in 2014 or 2015 I think. Pre tournament picks time or something. She just went on and on about how much she loved Federer. The typical fangirl saying stuff like "no one compares to Roger." The way he floats on court yada yada. No disrespect to the other players but I want Federer to win so badly I'd sell my house (something like that). I feel like he deserves another Wimbledon (this before a ball was even struck). And it sounded altogether bad coming from a commentator IMO.

And and all the crew was there, and they were like "Wow you really want Federer to win." "Oh yes more than anything." They were basically making fun of her lol.
 

Jack the Hack

Hall of Fame
I think Fowler is OK. I'm used to him being an announcer for other sports in the US, like college football. In tennis, it feels kinda' like when CBS used to pair Pat Summerall (a classic sports announcer) with Tony Trabert (a tennis guy) at the US Open. That pairing was one of the best, and I think ESPN is trying to create the same mix with Fowler and whatever random ex-tennis pro they put in the booth with him. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

As for others, I like the quirkiness of Brad Gilbert, but can see why others would get irritated by him. Also, I think him and Chris McKendry should get a room. Geez, everytime they are in a studio together, it seems like BG is trying to get in her skirt.

I've disliked Carillo for years, but she's not as bad as Navratilova and Evert. I immediately mute it when Chrissy is on. What an airhead!

I like John McEnroe's commentary, but his brother Patrick grates on me.

Courier seems to do a professional job. Agassi was awesome the few times he's come on air. Roddick could probably be Hall of Fame if he decided to announce.

Right now, Darren Cahill is among the best for me. And speaking of Australian announcers, I've been watching all of my Aussie Open this year on the ESPN app over Roku and my PC. On there, they just use the Tennis Australia announcers, which is refreshing. From that, Mark Philippoussis has really been excellent in my opinion.

Going forward, I think I'm going to continue to search out broadcasts from other countries just to see who else is out there.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
It's 100% worth the read. It's the reason to this day most people in my age demo opt to return serve first. It was drilled into us by all coaches, who had also read Winning Ugly. It also gave me some good, albeit obvious, insight into inner game dynamics e.g. 15-30 / 30-15 are always the most important points in games, etc.
I always questioned the idea of returning first at rec levels below 4.5. At higher levels, service breaks are rare and so if you get a chance to break in the first game, it is a sound strategy. At lower levels, it is very rare for a set to be decided by one break of serve and there might be 3 to 5 breaks before a set is decided. I think it might be worth considering serving first so that you are serving first at 4-4 or 5-5 instead of being under the gun serving second at 4-5 or 5-6. Lower level players feel a lot of pressure if they are down 15-30 or 0-30 when they are serving at 4-5 or 5-6 knowing that they are two points from losing the set and most can’t pull out a big serve or two to bail them out.
 

Swingmaster

Hall of Fame
I think Fowler is OK. I'm used to him being an announcer for other sports in the US, like college football. In tennis, it feels kinda' like when CBS used to pair Pat Summerall (a classic sports announcer) with Tony Trabert (a tennis guy) at the US Open. That pairing was one of the best, and I think ESPN is trying to create the same mix with Fowler and whatever random ex-tennis pro they put in the booth with him. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

As for others, I like the quirkiness of Brad Gilbert, but can see why others would get irritated by him. Also, I think him and Chris McKendry should get a room. Geez, everytime they are in a studio together, it seems like BG is trying to get in her skirt.

I've disliked Carillo for years, but she's not as bad as Navratilova and Evert. I immediately mute it when Chrissy is on. What an airhead!

I like John McEnroe's commentary, but his brother Patrick grates on me.

Courier seems to do a professional job. Agassi was awesome the few times he's come on air. Roddick could probably be Hall of Fame if he decided to announce.

Right now, Darren Cahill is among the best for me. And speaking of Australian announcers, I've been watching all of my Aussie Open this year on the ESPN app over Roku and my PC. On there, they just use the Tennis Australia announcers, which is refreshing. From that, Mark Philippoussis has really been excellent in my opinion.

Going forward, I think I'm going to continue to search out broadcasts from other countries just to see who else is out there.
Yeah, what is it about Patrick? Maybe it’s all the good natured ball-busting he does with his colleagues. Cheap humor. Get’s old.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
Then he sure was putting on one hell of an act here-- he's always been a Fed fan.
Do we really care about their fandom? I don't. Most of these commentators are particularly effusive about players they especially admire (such as Annacone, about Rafa) and I've never had the impression Fowler was more egregious about this. As REAL news people discarded their objectivity years ago, I see no reason to hold a tennis broadcaster to a higher standard.
 

BeatlesFan

Bionic Poster
Do we really care about their fandom? I don't. Most of these commentators are particularly effusive about players they especially admire (such as Annacone, about Rafa) and I've never had the impression Fowler was more egregious about this. As REAL news people discarded their objectivity years ago, I see no reason to hold a tennis broadcaster to a higher standard.
I don't care about their biases either, everyone is biased, some hide it better than most. Drysdale and Stolle were the least biased, but they're both 80 years old and old school. Robbie Koenig is biased, I have no issue with any of it. And Evert's fangirling over Fed is odious, but then again, Evert as a commentator is horrible all 'round. I also see nothing wrong with Fowler, he's fine.
 

MeatTornado

G.O.A.T.
I think people hear what they want to hear with commentators. It happens in all sports, fans always think the booth is biased against whoever they're rooting for.

I don't buy for a second that Chris Fowler leans one way or the other as a Federer, Nadal or Djokovic fan. He's just there to sound excited and sell the show.
 

Federer and Del Potro

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't know exactly with Fowler. It's been many things over many years, but with Evert I remember it was one of the Wimbledon championships in 2014 or 2015 I think. Pre tournament picks time or something. She just went on and on about how much she loved Federer. The typical fangirl saying stuff like "no one compares to Roger." The way he floats on court yada yada. No disrespect to the other players but I want Federer to win so badly I'd sell my house (something like that). I feel like he deserves another Wimbledon (this before a ball was even struck). And it sounded altogether bad coming from a commentator IMO.

And and all the crew was there, and they were like "Wow you really want Federer to win." "Oh yes more than anything." They were basically making fun of her lol.
It's all gut feeling but I admit I've had the same feelings about Fowler in the past. Also feel the same way about Patrick Mcenroe.
 

Steve0904

Talk Tennis Guru
It's all gut feeling but I admit I've had the same feelings about Fowler in the past. Also feel the same way about Patrick Mcenroe.
I've never really thought about it with PMac. I just don't like his overall style that much, and I'm probably reading too much into Fowler, but I've had that opinion for so long I just had to get it off my chest so to speak.

But that's exactly why I can pinpoint that I like JMac because I find him very deferential to all 3 guys. He may have a different GOAT every day, but I feel he respects all 3 which I really like.
 
Her calling of Serena matches is an absolute embarrassment. You essentially have the President of the Serena Fan Club calling her matches.
What i really find nauseating as well is, she'll inject her accolades and accomplishments etc etc during the play. It's ok once, but she can be on and on about it
 

lisea

New User
They are all horrible. Carrillo, McEnroe and Evert are the worst and are unbearable to listen. James Blake is decent and should get better over time. I don’t know if Mats Wilander does any commentary but he does a pretty good job interviewing for Eurosport. I think Agassi would be interesting as a commentator? So the question is who would you like to see replacing the commentators at ESPN/Tennis Channel??
 

bleno567

Semi-Pro
They are all horrible. Carrillo, McEnroe and Evert are the worst and are unbearable to listen. James Blake is decent and should get better over time. I don’t know if Mats Wilander does any commentary but he does a pretty good job interviewing for Eurosport. I think Agassi would be interesting as a commentator? So the question is who would you like to see replacing the commentators at ESPN/Tennis Channel??
Boo. Carrillo and McEnroe are tried and true fan favorites. I'll take them over even Blake for a while, and I say that being a Blake fan and thinking he's a great commentator.


Roddick is the true ATG people want:

 
They are all horrible. Carrillo, McEnroe and Evert are the worst and are unbearable to listen. James Blake is decent and should get better over time. I don’t know if Mats Wilander does any commentary but he does a pretty good job interviewing for Eurosport. I think Agassi would be interesting as a commentator? So the question is who would you like to see replacing the commentators at ESPN/Tennis Channel??
blake sucks. just rambles on and on
 

BER256

New User
I think why I like Chris Fowler is he injects that football energy into the game of tennis. I guess a really good TV pro is the word. But I always like it when he's on the crew
 

SonnyT

Hall of Fame
I love Chris. He has a very dry sense of humor, common for Brits, uncommon for Yanks.

I remember one tennis episode in particular: the '18 Wim SF Djokovic/Nadal, the one with the roof controversy. He was broadcasting for ESPN with J Mac. Mac mentioned that he and Borg had played tennis in front of a royal audience. And Fowler drily asked: Roof open or close? Mac just laughed.
 
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