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English-speaking cycling announcers

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Harmon's Cuddles man-crush took on epic proportions today. Praising his 'sculpted calves', declaring him the hardest working rider in the peloton...

Still with the emergence of Richie Porte at least it gives Harmon another Aussie to fawn over.

On the subject of UK announcers - does anyone know what happened to Crystal Balls Christie Anderson? Now she made Kirby seem insightful.
 
I kind of get tired of the Liggett bashing myself. I guess it's because I've been listening to him for almost 30 years and it's kind of like listening to Harry Caray with the Cubs back in the day. You know he ain't as sharp as he was in his day, but I just enjoy listening to him.

For all the biyatching, just be thankful the days of John Tesh and Eric Heiden for CBS are long over.
 
May 20, 2010
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perico said:
I kind of get tired of the Liggett bashing myself. I guess it's because I've been listening to him for almost 30 years and it's kind of like listening to Harry Caray with the Cubs back in the day. You know he ain't as sharp as he was in his day, but I just enjoy listening to him.

For all the biyatching, just be thankful the days of John Tesh and Eric Heiden for CBS are long over.


My wife, who isn't paying attention but is often in the room when I watch, also likes Phil, thinks he's a contrast to watch she dislikes about sportscasters. I'm embarrassed by the Armstrong-talk but find them easy otherwise. The P&P coverage of the classics was fine when Armstrong wasn't around
 
I kind of think that Phil bashing has become somewhat of a badge of honor among some of the hardcore cycling fans. It's like those people who only like "indie rock" or "underground punk" or something.

It also obviously has a lot to do with Phil's relationship with Armstrong as well. Phil's biggest problem as a reporter is probably that he has always let himself get to close to cyclists, and usually takes them at his word. He's naive, when it comes to the goings on in the peloton.

Phil has always defended those accused of doping. I don't think it's because he secretly wants the peloton to dope, but because he just takes the riders at his word. He has for many years... long before Armstrong.

Phil and Paul work for a network with an obvious agenda. Versus (OLN) was a great channel back in its infancy. Their original telecasts were excellent, before Armstrong's return.

It became over the top when Gavin Harvey took over from the old president of the network. He took over OLN, after leaving E!, and brought in crap like Sports Soup and then bull riding. It's sucked since then, but I don't blame p & p for that.
 
May 20, 2010
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Libertine Seguros said:
I think that Phil-bashing is something of a badge of honour for 'hardcore' cycling fans because he treats every single race like the viewer has never seen a cycling race before. I've seen lots and lots of cycle races, so I don't need to be told the basics every single day.

That may be true, I'll listen for that next time. I know I'm like a broken record on this but the Universal Sports coverage has been a revelation. There's a lot of explanation of things I don't need explained there, too, but the presumption seems to be if you've found the coverage you're probably interested.

The account of what happened OLN --> Vs. seems plausible enough. The Tours from seven, eight years ago didn't seem to be at all so slanted, or maybe I just didn't notice. I do know that whenever I watched them with someone else the other people were pretty confused about what was going on, and were astounded I could take in who was in a chase group at a glance, etc. I think the dedicated fan's learning curve can be pretty steep, and compared to many people on these forums I don't seem that knowledgeable, but to everyone else I know irl, I live in a different universe.
Knowledgeable cycling fans are still very rare, at least in the US, and the coverage on both channels seems to reflect that.
 
May 25, 2010
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Phil Liggett is probably the best-spoken English sports commentator I have ever heard. He adds instant respectability to any proceedings. I could be tempted to watch lawn bowls if he was on the mike:rolleyes:

Miss the likes of Murray Walker (F1) and Barry Sheene (MotoGP) - "ooohhh he's lit the candle at bow-f enzz!!!"

Anglophile to the end.
 
Libertine Seguros said:
I think that Phil-bashing is something of a badge of honour for 'hardcore' cycling fans because he treats every single race like the viewer has never seen a cycling race before. I've seen lots and lots of cycle races, so I don't need to be told the basics every single day.

Which is why the hardcore fans won't ever be fully accepting of the casual fans. I'm as hardcore as anyone, but at the same time, I realise that cycling is a very, very minor sport in the States, so to attract new viewers, they do have to dumb it down a bit.
 
Ashtabula said:
That may be true, I'll listen for that next time. I know I'm like a broken record on this but the Universal Sports coverage has been a revelation. There's a lot of explanation of things I don't need explained there, too, but the presumption seems to be if you've found the coverage you're probably interested.

The account of what happened OLN --> Vs. seems plausible enough. The Tours from seven, eight years ago didn't seem to be at all so slanted, or maybe I just didn't notice. I do know that whenever I watched them with someone else the other people were pretty confused about what was going on, and were astounded I could take in who was in a chase group at a glance, etc. I think the dedicated fan's learning curve can be pretty steep, and compared to many people on these forums I don't seem that knowledgeable, but to everyone else I know irl, I live in a different universe.
Knowledgeable cycling fans are still very rare, at least in the US, and the coverage on both channels seems to reflect that.

yes. The absolute best coverage that OLN had was actually the GTs they did before they got the rights to the tour, when they only broadcast the Giro and the Vuelta- which were their main attractions on the channel- while the tour was relegated to one hour nightly recaps on ESPN2 and an hour on the weekends on ABC.
 
Nov 2, 2009
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Archibald said:
I'm with this.
Love listening to it in Italian - they're like cartoon characters...
blblblblblblbl Cuddle Avins blblblblblb Nibble-lee blblblblb BASSOOO!!! blblblblblblbblblblblblb Saastree blblblblb Scar-pony blblblblblbl... Ah Richee Portay..blblblblbl Cuddle Avins blblbl Basso blblb Avins blblblblb Basso... Bassooo... BASSOOO!!!

the telecast shows the times and gaps and I'm still getting the info I need.
sure beats the complete twaddle of liggett n sherwin anyday


You forgot Arrrrrrrroyo ;)

I have got to the point where I'd rather watch a broadcast in a language I don't really understand. Phil & Paul's worship of Lance drives me nuts, and Harmon can seem mindless at times.

I too enjoyed the classics in Flemish, and am enjoying the Giro in Italian. More of this and I might even begin to pick up the language. :D
 
May 20, 2010
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perico said:
yes. The absolute best coverage that OLN had was actually the GTs they did before they got the rights to the tour, when they only broadcast the Giro and the Vuelta- which were their main attractions on the channel- while the tour was relegated to one hour nightly recaps on ESPN2 and an hour on the weekends on ABC.

Must have been glory days for the early adopters. It seems to me Universal has recreated that early, undiscovered period to some extent anyway, at least compared with the commercial barrage on Vs. now. "Road ID" and "L_nce powers the mobil universe" are the only cycling-related ads for the moment outside the broadcast itself.

With Comcast's purchase of NBC, hence Universal, bringing both channels under one ownership, things may be consolidated, to the detriment of both quality and quantity. And U's coverage is bound to evolve anyway, as it reinforces such success as it has and tries to build viewership.

I'm appreciating every minute it lasts.
 
Ashtabula said:
Must have been glory days for the early adopters. It seems to me Universal has recreated that early, undiscovered period to some extent anyway, at least compared with the commercial barrage on Vs. now. "Road ID" and "L_nce powers the mobil universe" are the only cycling-related ads for the moment outside the broadcast itself.

With Comcast's purchase of NBC, hence Universal, bringing both channels under one ownership, things may be consolidated, to the detriment of both quality and quantity. And U's coverage is bound to evolve anyway, as it reinforces such success as it has and tries to build viewership.

I'm appreciating every minute it lasts.

I have to say that the Univesal Sports guys are starting to annoy me. They attempt to manufacture artificial drama by refusing to state the obvious or the inevitable. A break could have its advantage shaved down to thirty seconds with thirty kilometers to go and the announcers will still be giving wishy washy false hope about the break's chances of success.

They miss obvious stuff as well. Yesterday when Evans crested a climb and pulled a piece of plastic from his jersey pocket and spread it across his chest for the descent, the announcer concluded that he was putting food under his jersey to make it more accessible. Today it was rather ridiculous that they said that Evans was trying to take four minutes from Basso with his attack when it was clear that he just wanted the stage win. If it was one statement then that would be one thing, but they just kept going on and on about it, even pretending that he had the possibility of winning the Giro.

I suppose they have the time to improve...
 
BroDeal said:
Yesterday when Evans crested a climb and pulled a piece of plastic from his jersey pocket and spread it across his chest for the descent, the announcer concluded that he was putting food under his jersey to make it more accessible.

no-country-for-old-men_tommy-lee-jones_josh-brolin_javier-bardem_9.jpg
 
That does remind me of Phil and Paul's overexcitable "LOOK AT THE TIME GAP! ANDRÉ GREIPEL IS LOSING THIS BIKE RACE!!!" comments, over and over again, as the break sat a couple of minutes ahead of the péloton and was kept there dangling, clearly under control, in the final stage of the TDU.
 
May 6, 2009
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For those who don't speak English as a first language, or live in a non English speaking country but understand that countries language (say Spanish), how do they compare to English language commentators? I remember isso mentioning a Portuguese cycling commentator (Paulo Martins IIRC), who by the stounds of things makes Bob Roll look good FFS.
 

laura.weislo

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Last year I really enjoyed watching (I think it was the Tour de France?) on Universal's live stream. I believe the commentator was Marty MacDonald - but I was really impressed with his accurate identification of riders and knowledge of tactics. He also had a nice delivery.
(edit - reading through this thread more closely it was probably Matt Keenan who they used)

Of course my absolute all-time fav is Michel Wuyts just for the sound of his voice.
 
Mar 13, 2009
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laura.weislo said:
Last year I really enjoyed watching (I think it was the Tour de France?) on Universal's live stream. I believe the commentator was Marty MacDonald - but I was really impressed with his accurate identification of riders and knowledge of tactics. He also had a nice delivery.
(edit - reading through this thread more closely it was probably Matt Keenan who they used)

Of course my absolute all-time fav is Michel Wuyts just for the sound of his voice.

Matt Keenan is Australian, Marty is English

Matt is a super pro announcer, in my opinion, but I have only heard Marty a couple of times
 
Related to this - what about all of the moronic 'Armstrong returns to form' stories because the Uniballer managed 5th place in 3km prologue, beats such giants of ITT as Frank Schleck and Borut Bozic...

More depressing is that the Uniballer finishing 5th gets more coverage in the english speaking media than Basso winning the Giro.
 
May 28, 2010
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I agree. Though I am an Armstrong fan, I will be glad to see him retire.
Then he can stop humiliating himself, and we can get some (relatively) unbiased cycling coverage in the U.S....
Again, that's relatively speaking
 
May 26, 2009
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perico said:
Which is why the hardcore fans won't ever be fully accepting of the casual fans. I'm as hardcore as anyone, but at the same time, I realise that cycling is a very, very minor sport in the States, so to attract new viewers, they do have to dumb it down a bit.

Which is why Phil and Paul are good for pro cycling. Casual viewers love them, and their 'naive' approach to doping - i.e. not talking it up and staying excitable and positive - is helpful (probably essential) to keep the sport on mainstream TV. This forum seems to be the only place where I hear (read) harsh words against them.