This could get me offside with a hell of a lot of people, but discussion is good so here goes.
It is my opinion that the so called voices of cycling, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwern should hang up their mikes. It has gotten to the point that I am muting the TV sound and using the audio from a EuroSport feed to accompany the terrific pictures shown on SBS. When that isn’t possible, I find myself getting tense listening to Paul and Phil make mistake after mistake, repeating some fact that the spoke of 5 minutes earlier or talking about Chateaus and turrets. When you are watching a 3 week tour, it is bad enough getting the same 5 ads over and over and over again, but to then have Phil and Paul spewing forth the same anecdotes or facts, day in, day out, drives me crazy.
The more Phil and Paul dig into their suitcase of clichés, the more my memories of them are tarnished.
For those saying there are no others, have a look at the EuroSport coverage. Guys like David Harmon, Sean Kelly and Brian Smith are great. Even the excitable Carlton Kirby can be good value.
I realise it can’t be an easy job, and in 3-4 hours of commentary, there are going to be mistakes, but Phil and Paul are reminding me of the great Murray Walker, who at the end of his career was known more for his blunders than his professionalism.
This brings me to another point. On stages like last nights stage, there needs to be some innovation. Imagine if the commentators could see live data from the riders. I think that is something Jonathon Vaughters has suggested. Something EuroSport do is show rider interviews when not much is happening. More of the live interview with team bosses or the directeur sportif in team cars. Why don’t we have cameras on bikes like in car racing and numerous other sports?
I also recognise the fact that as a cycling fan, the commentators have to direct their comments mainly at people new to the sport, but surely that doesn’t mean spouting the same inane drivel night after night after night.
I appreciate the fact that we get live coverage from SBS, and if it means Phil and Paul or no coverage, I’ll just have to hit the mute button.
Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.