Eurosport commentary

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Sorry its off-topic, but for many of the newbies, the less informed and those who have never watched a cycle race in their lives Sherwen & Liggett were unbeatable RIP Paul.
I agree. I happen to have a lot of time on my hands and have been watching races from back in the day. Liggett and Sherwen were a perfect match. Liggett has a way to spin a yarn and come up with awesome similes . "Coming across the line, mouths like gold fish" is one I will never forget. Sherwen provided concise knowledge from a riders perspective. They never talked over one another and seemed to work perfectly together. Sadly, Liggett has taken a schit-kicking here over the years, as has my man Carlton Kirby, but leaving everything aside, he is a fantastic commentator.
 
I personally could never stand Liggett and Sherwen. I only started watching late 00's so maybe I missed their peak years but there was something about their commentary style that was really hard to listen to. Whenever one finished a sentence, the other would immediately start their own and it would go on and on the entire race without a moments silence. Like radio commentators. And Liggett's Armstrong bias was nauseating.

In comparison I think the Eurosport commentary team are all great.
 
I personally could never stand Liggett and Sherwen. I only started watching late 00's so maybe I missed their peak years but there was something about their commentary style that was really hard to listen to. Whenever one finished a sentence, the other would immediately start their own and it would go on and on the entire race without a moments silence. Like radio commentators. And Liggett's Armstrong bias was nauseating.

In comparison I think the Eurosport commentary team are all great.
Yes you were about 10 years too late before they swallowed the Armstrong lie wholesale and became propaganda merchants 1st and commentators 2nd.
 
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Aug 10, 2010
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I personally could never stand Liggett and Sherwen. I only started watching late 00's so maybe I missed their peak years but there was something about their commentary style that was really hard to listen to. Whenever one finished a sentence, the other would immediately start their own and it would go on and on the entire race without a moments silence. Like radio commentators. And Liggett's Armstrong bias was nauseating.

In comparison I think the Eurosport commentary team are all great.
I do agree with you on the question of Armstrong I think it was clear to even the most naive that something was not quite right, and once you dug a little deeper reading etc the small of the sewer got even stronger. As for silence, I am not sure I agree TV is a broadchurch that reaches out to people who have NEVER seen a cycle race and are perhaps attracted to see who the people they hear about are and what they do, and cycling is a complicated sport to understand, I well remember the first time I watched a TdF I genuinely could not get my head around why the race leader was not trying to win every stage! It was listening to Phil and Paul that helped me to not only understand what was happening but to fall head over heels with the most wonderful sport in the world their job is extremely difficult they HAVE to make the program appeal to more than just us dyed in the wool fans and to speak on something that changes so quickly for hours and hours is NOT an easy thing to do. In respect to Eurosport I think their commentators have improved immeasurably over the last few years if only they could get Sean to be a little more demonstrative sometimes he brings what is an exciting situation down having Brad on the bike and some of their colour commentators are great, then they throw Orla Chennaoui at us Why? she should be commenting on Athletics NOT cycling she is a truly appaling commentator. ITV 4 are for me one of the best sources David Millar is insightful and knowledgable, Gary Imlach is top notch and his experience shows, Ned is not a bad generalist, Chris Boardman was like Millar top notch and massivly knowledgable and interesting and I hope we shall see him back in 2020 for the TdF Vive La Tour!!!
 
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Eurosport today learnt the hard way - Unless your commentators are on site or working from a studio then you could have a disaster - Only one of the five commentators had a working connection - Lucky Kirby has Stephens join him halfway through the stage.
 
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I personally could never stand Liggett and Sherwen. I only started watching late 00's so maybe I missed their peak years but there was something about their commentary style that was really hard to listen to. Whenever one finished a sentence, the other would immediately start their own and it would go on and on the entire race without a moments silence. Like radio commentators. And Liggett's Armstrong bias was nauseating.

In comparison I think the Eurosport commentary team are all great.
Sherwin was more pro-Armstrong than Liggett, though both were bad. Unfortunately I won’t hear it again, but when Paul was alive, if I heard the term “a certain Lance Armstrong” one more time I was going to lose it.

Despite their biases and Phil’s decline in old age, I still watch him every stage. I am old (not that old but in my early 40s), and have been watching since 1984. So I literally grew up with Phil Liggett being the only constant in the cycling world until the late 1990s (and God Duffield was terrible too). I was a diehard Contador fan, so Phil and Paul and the American coverage really pissed me off during “the comeback” and the need to turn the Spaniards into villains, but some of that was more pushed by the NBC brass. After Armstrong retired againit got better, and they weren’t overly biased towards Anglo riders.

Now I’ve listened to just about all the English speaking commentators over the years. Kirby is a buffoon, but I enjoy him when he’s on. He’s got personality and his fanboyish obsessions with random riders that nobody but him follows is amusing. I mean who else in the world looks at a stage and thinks,” This could be a good day for Sebastian Reichenbach?” He cracks me up. I like Keenan a lot, and think Robbie McEwen is the best sideman in the business today.

However if Phil’s on, I can’t help but listen to him. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but he’s like a part of my family that I see a couple of times a year. I work in sports media and cover college football. American play by play guys in general just annoy me with their smugness. I make a living literally listening to them and I no longer find much personal enjoyment in watching the sports. Cycling however is mine. I don’t have to watch it. My wife and kids don’t watch it. The only person I can talk racing with is my father, who is the same age as Phil and got me into the sport at a young age. I watch it because it’s the one sport that I enjoy watching whenever it’s on.

I apologize for the long post, but I grew up in an era where the only cycling we got on television was roughly 7 hours out of a year. 1-2 hour highlights on the weekend featuring John Tesh and Yanni soundtracks. Tesh was also the lead commentator and even though he at least showed some passion for the sport, he didn’t have any clue what was going on. The guys that followed him like Dockery and Trautwig were like the B-team Olympic coverage looking for a paycheck and clueless about the sport. The former 7-11 riders from Heiden to Roll, Davis Phinney, and Ron Keifel all tried it at one point and none were fun to listen to.

So forty years of bad coverage, but there was one constant- Phil. Is he well past the point of being good at his job? Yes, but for me, I don’t care. I’m just happy to have him.
 
So Jens Voigt works as a Co-Commentator for German Eurosport now, and he's doing it in a particular way. He explains EVERYTHING. So someone who only watches one race in ten years can understand what's going on. I was really irritated and annoyed in the beginning, but he was growing on me during today's stage. Have to listen more to make a final judgement, but he's nice towards all the riders and does not support the German riders more than the other ones, so that's definitely a plus.

But one thought I had during his commentating: There should be diffent levels of commentation and you should be able to chose in the player: for beginners, standard, advanced.
 
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Yeah, Voigt just doesn't have an off button... but he generally knows his stuff. Had a memorable moment during the Paris-Roubaix edition that Degenkolb won. When the leading group came around the corner into the velodrome he just said matter-of-factly "well this is going to be easy for John now." You don't hear that often from commentators.
 
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Sherwin was more pro-Armstrong than Liggett, though both were bad. Unfortunately I won’t hear it again, but when Paul was alive, if I heard the term “a certain Lance Armstrong” one more time I was going to lose it.

Despite their biases and Phil’s decline in old age, I still watch him every stage. I am old (not that old but in my early 40s), and have been watching since 1984. So I literally grew up with Phil Liggett being the only constant in the cycling world until the late 1990s (and God Duffield was terrible too). I was a diehard Contador fan, so Phil and Paul and the American coverage really pissed me off during “the comeback” and the need to turn the Spaniards into villains, but some of that was more pushed by the NBC brass. After Armstrong retired againit got better, and they weren’t overly biased towards Anglo riders.

Now I’ve listened to just about all the English speaking commentators over the years. Kirby is a buffoon, but I enjoy him when he’s on. He’s got personality and his fanboyish obsessions with random riders that nobody but him follows is amusing. I mean who else in the world looks at a stage and thinks,” This could be a good day for Sebastian Reichenbach?” He cracks me up. I like Keenan a lot, and think Robbie McEwen is the best sideman in the business today.

However if Phil’s on, I can’t help but listen to him. I’ve only met him a couple of times, but he’s like a part of my family that I see a couple of times a year. I work in sports media and cover college football. American play by play guys in general just annoy me with their smugness. I make a living literally listening to them and I no longer find much personal enjoyment in watching the sports. Cycling however is mine. I don’t have to watch it. My wife and kids don’t watch it. The only person I can talk racing with is my father, who is the same age as Phil and got me into the sport at a young age. I watch it because it’s the one sport that I enjoy watching whenever it’s on.

I apologize for the long post, but I grew up in an era where the only cycling we got on television was roughly 7 hours out of a year. 1-2 hour highlights on the weekend featuring John Tesh and Yanni soundtracks. Tesh was also the lead commentator and even though he at least showed some passion for the sport, he didn’t have any clue what was going on. The guys that followed him like Dockery and Trautwig were like the B-team Olympic coverage looking for a paycheck and clueless about the sport. The former 7-11 riders from Heiden to Roll, Davis Phinney, and Ron Keifel all tried it at one point and none were fun to listen to.

So forty years of bad coverage, but there was one constant- Phil. Is he well past the point of being good at his job? Yes, but for me, I don’t care. I’m just happy to have him.
i liked Liggett and Sherwen especially the earlier version before Phil would miss things and make mistakes, less than now anyway. Sherwen would correct Phil when he overlooked something most of the time. They had distinctive voices and the delivery was more pleasanst than many other announcers. They were on the Australian broadcast for years and I got used to them. It actually improved when they inluded people like Robbie McEwen into the race call. As for the Armstrong thing, they knew him quite well so there was a friendship involved but I am sure there were doubts although the last time I saw Liggett talk about Armstrong not long after the Oprah interview it seemed he was taking it personally and was obviously bitterly disappointed with Armstrong's actions. He was talkng of retiring then and there as according to him the whole doping issue was killing his enjoyment of the sport. To me Sherwen sounded more diffident about Armstrong as if he expected the news to break eventually.
 
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Despite their biases and Phil’s decline in old age, I still watch him every stage. I am old (not that old but in my early 40s), and have been watching since 1984. So I literally grew up with Phil Liggett being the only constant in the cycling world until the late 1990s (and God Duffield was terrible too). I was a diehard Contador fan, so Phil and Paul and the American coverage really pissed me off during “the comeback” and the need to turn the Spaniards into villains, but some of that was more pushed by the NBC brass. After Armstrong retired againit got better, and they weren’t overly biased towards Anglo riders.
Wash your keyboard, Duffield was a legend. My brothers had no interest in cycling, but sat down to watch the Tour with me just to see what craziness he'd be on about now, or which cafe in the little village he'd recommend.

I missed a lot of the Lance years (or if I caught it, I watched a lot of it on Irish language coverage, which was an experience), so didn't see the change in Phil and Paul, but when I was full-time in the US with them commentating on every race, I could tell the decline. Bob Roll's WWE-esque analysis, though, always made sure that they weren't the worst part of the coverage.

But in cycling terms, I grew up with Phil. His commentary on Roche collapsing at La Plagne, or Indurain and Chiappucci demolishing the field on the way to Val Louron, were a big part of what got me into the sport as a sport, rather than a hobby.
 
Rob Hatch let his accent slip quite a few times today. I’ve often heard/read that his natural voice is broad Lancastrian, but that he has an accent free voice in commentary. Definitely picked up on the gradely today.
 
So Jens Voigt works as a Co-Commentator for German Eurosport now, and he's doing it in a particular way. He explains EVERYTHING. So someone who only watches one race in ten years can understand what's going on. I was really irritated and annoyed in the beginning, but he was growing on me during today's stage. Have to listen more to make a final judgement, but he's nice towards all the riders and does not support the German riders more than the other ones, so that's definitely a plus.

But one thought I had during his commentating: There should be diffent levels of commentation and you should be able to chose in the player: for beginners, standard, advanced.
This does make sense, unfortunately it's something that just comes with the Tour and you'll have to grin and bear it. If he's still doing this when he's commentating on the Tour du Haut-Var or the Binck Bank Tour or the Ruta del Sol, then it will be absolutely excruciating. But the very fact that the Tour de France has such currency to a lot of casual fans means there will be a lot of novice cycling fans. Many of whom don't need it dumbed down that much and can pick it up themselves given time, but many of whom will need a primer in the basics.

I mean, on this forum in the 2010 Giro we had a host of newbie Australian fans who were apoplectic that Ivan Basso wasn't being accused of wheelsucking on the Monte Grappa stage, because he didn't help Evans and Scarponi chase Nibali, and this was evidence of the forum's clear anti-Evans bias. This rage only worsened when Basso sprinted away for 2nd to steal bonus seconds from them after doing no work. But this was elementary cycling tactics that anybody who knows the sport would not just tolerate but expect. In fact, had Basso done anything else he would rightly have been pilloried for his stupidity. And of course, the following day, Basso, fresher than the other GC men because of having got the free ride not chasing his teammate, was strongest on the Zoncolan MTF. But because of the almost unique status of cycling as all three of a pack, a team and an individual sport, some of these nuances were lost on newcomers.

This is the kind of thing that is meant. Do I need to hear Phil and (formerly) Paul tell me about little petrol engines and big diesel engines for the eleven thousandth time? Of course not. But the sport also will not generate new fans if they aren't given the opportunity to learn. The Tour, for better or for worse, frequently the latter, is the hook that brings most people to the table for their first meal of the sport, and attracts a larger casual audience. Once you know the basics, you really can't learn much from Phil Liggett compared to Séan Kelly, but Séan's dry delivery, heavy accent and willingness to talk over the action with technical issues and complex discussions of tech and the like could be off-putting to a novice fan, especially one that doesn't know what a coup having somebody as legendary as Kelly in the commentary booth is.
 
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