• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.

    Thanks!

English-speaking cycling announcers

Page 4 - Get up to date with the latest news, scores & standings from the Cycling News Community.
May 20, 2010
65
0
0
Visit site
I know there have been several "Vs sucks" threads lately, but I thought I'd pick up this one again.

Sherwin has been doing most stages of TdS alone, and I must say, I prefer him by himself. No, he doesn't always recognize the particular riders from the video, and guesses wrong sometimes. But basically he's knowledgeably calling the race, w/ relatively little Armstrong talk considering.

I may have low standards, but I prefer watching on TV, and Sherwin's broadcasting has been something of a relief. His comments on the crash in today's stage 4, which I had read about and seen pictures of before watching the broadcast, shown from 6 to 7 pm around here, were reasonable and fair, attributing blame to both Hausller and Cavendish, and remarking on the low spirits of everybody after the finish. No where near the "all LA all the time" I'd been led to expect, and felt I was close to seeing during California.
 
Mrs John Murphy said:
Is that who did the DL stages once Kirby had gone? Whoever it was (clearly the ES third stringer) was streets ahead of Harmon and Kirby.

No that was Anthony McCrossan (sp?) who was with Backstead. I didn't mind him but i didn't mind Kirby either. IIRC Kirby was replaced halfway through the Dauphine Libere last year as well. So maybe it was because he was on commentating on something else for Eurosport? and not cause everyone thinks he is craphouse. Because twice in the same race just doesn't seem right and i thought he was half decent at Tirreno-Adriatico.
 
Oct 6, 2009
5,270
2
0
Visit site
English-speaking commentators seem to feel like they have to inject every microsecond with voices. They never seem to pause a moment to figure out what's going on, or change topics. It's much more pleasant to listen to the races in Flemish, where the commentary is more low-key, and less of a distraction from the race.

After watching a lot of the spring races in Flemish, it really grates on my nerves to listen to English commentary again, be it on Versus, Universal Sports, or Eurosport. Magnus is the only commentator with the quieter, calmer commenting style, but his ES compatriots (no matter which one it is), are always over-chattering, constantly trying to keep talking as fast as possible.

Are these guys fearful of a half second of dead air? Slow down a bit, watch the race, speak when there's something worthwhile to say. Otherwise shut up.

The ES commentators are always giving out the damn email address and wanting Magnus to answer email questions from fans right when something interesting happens in the race. Then they can't tell us who has just attacked, because they are in the middle of some off-topic distraction like answering an email question about race tires.

Just call the damn race and be quiet once in a while. Don't be a distraction. Don't answer email Qs in the last 5K. Save that stuff for early in the stage when there's a breakaway and nothing is happening.
 
El Imbatido said:
No that was Anthony McCrossan (sp?) who was with Backstead. I didn't mind him but i didn't mind Kirby either. IIRC Kirby was replaced halfway through the Dauphine Libere last year as well. So maybe it was because he was on commentating on something else for Eurosport? and not cause everyone thinks he is craphouse. Because twice in the same race just doesn't seem right and i thought he was half decent at Tirreno-Adriatico.

Carlton Kirby is the compere for Eurosport's coverage of the 24h du Mans, which always clashes with the Dauphiné. They usually give Harmon the month off between the Giro and the Tour, so Kirby takes the lead role. However, because Kirby is a utility commentator (I've seen him on motorsport - both sprint and endurance, both 2 wheels and 4, cycling, ski-jumping, Nordic combined, various winter Olympic disciplines like biathlon, plus giving all of the Eurosport News bulletins and voiceovers. Man, i'd kill for his job) Eurosport want him for their Le Mans coverage, which means he has to miss the end of the Dauphiné and the beginning of the Tour de Suisse.
 
May 24, 2010
855
1
0
Visit site
Kirby is crap at commentating on anything, you want to listen to his efforts on Ice hockey, woeful is an understatement. As hes been said he's a cheap utility man but he's pitiful at every sport he touches.

Sherwin/Liggett - I'm pleased I don't get OLN/Versus etc etc etc, I can't stick them, sychophancy personified.

harmon - Trying to beat The Liggett/Sherwin Combo in sychophany with ANY English speaking rider.

Kelly - I think Sean's asleep half the time.

I do like Ant McCrossan, Magnus Backsted and Brian Smith, they know what they are talking about and actually talk about it rather than everything but the bike race.

The doping issue is probably my biggest gripe with ALL of the commentators, wash over the realities of what Armstrong and the like are up to but when it comes to non-English speakers they are fair game. Harmon's outbursts after LBL were rediculous just a shame he doesn't have the integrity to have the outbursts against the Armstrongs of this world
 
Jan 25, 2010
264
0
0
Visit site
the vagabond said:
What is it about English-speaking bike racing announcers? I won't mention names, but the vet Brits who cover the T de C are bad despite (or because of?) their long experience, and getting worse every year. But even they are somewhat tolerable compared to the suicide-inducing Irish drone of Kelly over at fromsport with the Giro.

The good news is that even though I generally have to watch the T de C with the sound off at least with the Giro I can watch it in Italian, and my Italian is improving rapidly and the race just makes a lot more sense than it does in English. I'm beginning to believe that bike racing just doesn't work in English, probably like baseball is absurd in Dutch. Bike racing really only makes sense in French or Italian.

And in Spanish. Don't forget a latin spanish rider has very high chances of winning his third TDF.
 
May 13, 2009
305
0
0
Visit site
I thought Magnus was really good during the Dauphine, I enjoyed his color commentary a lot more than anyone else thus far.

On an off topic but still related to commentary note, by far the best commentators were the Japanese during the Tour of Switzerland. I am hoping they do the tour as well. Their excitement factor was second to none.
 
The Barb said:
Here in New Zealand what little cycling coverage we get is predominantly Ligget and Sherwin, who are just horrible. Matt Keenan is totally at the other end of the spectrum when we have him - that is, the best sports broadcaster I've heard.

Matt Keenan is a great caller. He knows as much about the sport as anyone.
 
May 20, 2010
65
0
0
Visit site
As I said above, Vs with just Sherwin during the week was much better and cleaner than expected. But they didn't show yesterday's stage at all, and today Liggett and Sherwin back together, with all the old problems.

I don't think it's the individuals or the dynamic between them, it's the difference--in the network's view, presumably--between the audience on a Sunday afternoon and those willing to watch or record during the week.

Universal Sports, now owned by the same company as Vs, Comcast, knows its audience is likely to be fairly knowledgeable and motivated. That Vs seemed to vary its coverage to suit a likely viewer is the new experience for me.

One more thing. The Vs. logo is always in the lower right corner of the screen. The feed they're using often displays information which extends to there, and is thus unreadable on Vs. because obscured by the logo. Heart rates, gear ratios, etc. Are they stuck contractually, or is it not worth their bothering to put the logo elsewhere?
 
Ashtabula said:
One more thing. The Vs. logo is always in the lower right corner of the screen. The feed they're using often displays information which extends to there, and is thus unreadable on Vs. because obscured by the logo. Heart rates, gear ratios, etc. Are they stuck contractually, or is it not worth their bothering to put the logo elsewhere?

NBC owned stations have traditionally had the most obnoxious on-screen logos. Their new trick is to permanently display info for another show above the logo, something similar to, "All new Ghosthunters Thursday 7:00 pm," on two lines. Other stations have now started copying the trick.
 
May 6, 2009
8,522
1
0
Visit site
How do English commentators compare to the foreign language commentators? IIRC isso said the Potuguese Eurosport commentator was just horrible.
 
craig1985 said:
How do English commentators compare to the foreign language commentators? IIRC isso said the Potuguese Eurosport commentator was just horrible.
Delgado is always telling absolutely terrible jokes and comparing the tactics we see to those of his days. When he's forced to talk about doping, he'll never stray from the official line: "It's always been a minority, we're dealing with it, the system works, it's getting better, it's a shame everybody talks so much about doping, let's talk about cycling". The usual stuff you'd expect from him, really. Chauvinism gets pretty bad around here, too. The only good thing is that he's actually knowledgeable and has no problem identifying riders and telling the audience how their season is going and what their goals and expectations are.

I prefer Kelly. At least I like his accent.

edit: Delgado isn't on Eurosport though. I misread.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Mrs John Murphy said:
Which is good news for cycling fans because he is crap at commentating on cycling.

Yeh, Kirby kinda does my head in. Ant Mccrossan, knowledgeable guy on the domestic scene, but should not be commentating on pro tour level races. His pronounciations became laughable, the guy needs language lessons.

Backstead I do like, but he needs someone strong next to him to do the actual commentary, hes great, like sean kelly for offering opinions or experience. Sean Kelly I like as well, he does add something to races. But however much I like them both Backstead and Kelly as a commentary team would be chaos.

So we are stuck with Harmon. Funny guy, can be quiete a stroppy one over twitter especially, and a bit self opinionated, but He does on the whole know his stuff. Sadly seems to have attended the murray walker/david duffield school of alzheimers and is now heading down the commentators alley of completely getting the names of riders wrong. The occurances of this are getting more and more frequent. There have been occurances recently where the names he was shouting out in sprint finishes bore no relation to the riders actually on the screen.
 
The reason Backstedt and Kelly wouldn't work is that you always need a play-by-play man to follow what's going on while the analysts do their analysis. Somebody to ask the questions, otherwise you could get Backstedt and Kelly wittering on about stuff that most of the audience hasn't a clue about.

My biggest problem with Kelly is that he is too verbose at times (when he's in the mood to engage. Other times he just blanks things!). Two particular examples spring to mind, both from the 2008 Vuelta. On the stage to Suances, Harmon had asked Kelly a techie question, and Kelly answered it, in fascinating detail actually, in a sentence with about 80 run-on clauses, that must have lasted about four minutes. During this answer, the cameras picked up Alejandro Valverde dropping off the back of the péloton (the infamous rain jacket saga), put his name on the screen and everything. Harmon eventually had to interrupt Kelly's sentence when there was the crash that split the group, and of course Valverde and most of his team save Joaquím Rodríguez were behind the split, and Harmon and Kelly were baffled, they had no idea how Valverde came to be back there. I'm screaming "it was on the screen!!!"

The other one was at the end of the Angliru stage, when after Mosquera came in Harmon asked Kelly about Valverde clawing back time on Contador and if anybody could catch him. Kelly answered at great length, causing them to miss the finish of a number of riders, which Harmon then had to quickly rattle through before the classification came up.

On the other hand, he can be absolutely fantastic. A favourite moment for me is when Harmon asked him about why Cunego has never been able to regain his 2004 form in a Grand Tour, to which Kelly answered amiably "well, it was a different era of cycling then". Harmon then tried to press him to elaborate, and Kelly answered much more forcefully, "I said, it was a different era of cycling then!". Harmon, cowed, changed the subject, but it made it pretty obvious what was meant.

To be honest, I enjoy their circumvention of doping talk, it usually leaves at least the educated fan in no doubt as to what is meant (Harmon saying, apropos of nothing, "it is an awful shame Alejandro Valverde didn't come to the Tour this year" as they showed them crossing the border into Italy made me laugh out loud). If he could stop fanboying out about Cuddles and Wiggles, I think more fans would tolerate the Alzheimers behaviour (see Murray Walker).
 
Eurosport aren't allowed to show the TdF here, so it's back to the pidgeons for three weeks.

I'm looking forward to it, as some kind of nostalgic experience. Unfortunately that will probably only last one or two "a certain man by the name of" and "the magic of the maillot jaune".

Agree with you LS re: Kelly, it's annoying when he doesn't interrupt his waffling if there's a key happening on the road.
 
I don't mind the Danish Eurosport commentators...
But my fave commentators are the dynamic duo of Dennis Ritter and Rolf Sørensen (last year they were joined by Jørgen Leth)
I think it's good having a commentator who's a former pro himself. :)

(And watching Rolf and Ritter climb the mountains (something they do earlier in the year...) is simply brilliant! :D)
 
Libertine Seguros said:
My biggest problem with Kelly is that he is too verbose at times (when he's in the mood to engage. Other times he just blanks things!). Two particular examples spring to mind, both from the 2008 Vuelta. On the stage to Suances, Harmon had asked Kelly a techie question, and Kelly answered it, in fascinating detail actually, in a sentence with about 80 run-on clauses, that must have lasted about four minutes. During this answer, the cameras picked up Alejandro Valverde dropping off the back of the péloton (the infamous rain jacket saga), put his name on the screen and everything. Harmon eventually had to interrupt Kelly's sentence when there was the crash that split the group, and of course Valverde and most of his team save Joaquím Rodríguez were behind the split, and Harmon and Kelly were baffled, they had no idea how Valverde came to be back there. I'm screaming "it was on the screen!!!"

.

lol

For me it is annoying that everytime Harmon asks a question, Kelly's first word is always : yes. Always in the same dull way.
 
May 6, 2009
8,522
1
0
Visit site
Mike Tomalaris: Do you think Matt Lloyd can one day develop into a GC rider?

Matt Keenen: No.


It was quite funny, although you sort of had to be watching it at the time. Tomalaris is our version of Bob Roll.
 
craig1985 said:
Mike Tomalaris: Do you think Matt Lloyd can one day develop into a GC rider?

Matt Keenen: No.


It was quite funny, although you sort of had to be watching it at the time. Tomalaris is our version of Bob Roll.

Yes he is up there with dumb and dumber, and Roll in the who can blow more smoke up Arstrong's arse. It is almost comical at times.
 
Mar 29, 2010
70
0
0
Visit site
matt keenan is quite good. he has done the vuelta solo in 2008 (cycling.tv) and 2009 (universal sports live streaming). i believe that carlton kirby and then matt keenan did the 2009 giro (universal sports live streaming). keenan also did the intro and outro of the versus tdf live streaming last year. wish he did the entirety of the tdf this year.

after five years of cycling.tv having almost every race, this year i have been watching the sporza/exqi streams, often with cycling.tv audio (romandie, suisse). p&p are okay, in a background fashion. it's not as if i really need them to tell me what's going on in a race, multilingual forums help a lot with that. universal sports broadcast american commentators are the absolute worse. (yo, dudes, listen to jim nantz and phil sims and learn how to do unbiased sports play-by-play, would ya?)

also, rai sport really knows how to do cycling coverage. a do the vuelta with both tve-international and an english version (use to be cycling.tv and then unviersal sports). what with universal sports live stream also having the american commentators, it stands to reason that they also ruin the vuelta live stream as well.

for me, anthony mccrossan and brian smith are my favs. martin (mccrossan) macdonald and maggy are a good pairing as well. ctv are bringing in more english-language commentators, since brian, magnus, and anthony are bebopping over to the eurosport channels. they've brought in paul watson and matt rendall. and another dude who i can never remember his name. they're not bad. but ant and brian are still the best imho.