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  • #16
    Originally posted by einnod23
    Originally posted by Brian
    Most of these people have to follow the guidelines that the network/channel believes will appeal to the viewers. That's why the fluffy "Up Close and Personal" crap. That's why nearly 1/2 of the time duration of the last lap of the women's Olympic 10,000 meter race was spent showing the ongoing reaction of the bronze medalist's mother.

    [Show her AFTER the race; that's why God created video tape.]

    The core problem is the dumbing down of the sport by the viewing media in this country. No one would ever THINK of doing anything but calling the play on the field in (American) football or on the court in basketball. No what Brett Favre had for breakfast, no LeBron James' favorite pets as training partners, etc. Who the hell cares! Show the goddamn game!!--is what you'd hear from Joe Sixpack.

    If the sport were called as does the BBC (for the most part), if US viewers were treated as intelligent people watching a sports event, the standard of "track smarts" would rise among that viewership.

    Why not try? The opposite sure hasn't worked for twenty-plus years now.
    While I understand your points, the problem is this. In order to draw and keep average Joe, one HAS to do those up close segments. Most of the American public don't know who Tyson Gay is, and he is supposed to be America's best athlete! Viewers want to know the personality behind the athlete, and those up close and personals, while hated amongst hardcores, are well needed. I'll take Brian Clay playing fireman with his kids anyday, to get him more known to the public!

    As for BBC, I've said this before....big, British, baritoned voices don't work in much of the USA. Big, baritoned American voices do!

    I absolutely disagree. The "spots" should preview--like the 5-10 second primetime promos promoting "Kobe and the Lakers...versus LeBron and the Cavalliers...it's the NBA on CBS...Saturday." As far as the telecast itself, I honestly believe a Pygmalion Effect would eventually occur.

    Take someone like Usain Bolt, put him against Tyson Gay, and then do the above for a week beforehand. Send a message in a way that even a casual observer will believe he will really be missing out on something special if he/she/it doesn't tune in. Then treat them like intelligent human beings instead of neilson ratings stats.

    What good does it do to get people to watch and then treat them like dummies? If you want someone to get more deeply interested, hook them in and then (gradually) educate them to a deeper level of appreciation. As I said, the current stuff hasn't worked for nearly two decades now.


    Let me tell a story.

    Early eighties. Friends running in a road race in a rural area outside of Duluth, MN. I drive out with them, but I'm not running, so I kill the hour+ (for their registering and warm-ups) by watching the US nationals in the nearby bar. Nobody watching the TV, so the bartender tunes in the meet. Locals--being bored locals--wonder what's going on (on the tube). I start telling them about the meet...ends up being literally event by event. Not only are these cigarette-smoking, beer-drinking men and women interested, they ask me who I think will win each time, as though we were watching a horse race. Field events threw them, but I was able to name Carl Lewis and others jumping/throwing and then told everyone how the athlete jumped and who was leading and how many jumps they get/have left, etc.

    This was done at first for reasons of survival: if I could get at least a few of the people interested, some drunk trouble-maker couldn't demand that the bartender "Turn this sh*t off."

    The highlight ( in a sense; keep reading and you'll understand why) was this semi-drunk woman, who, by the time she had listened to me/the broadcast for nearly the whole hour, saw Edwin Moses destroying the field in the 400 hurdles and pointed out excitedly to her friends, "Look at that big coon run! He's GREAT!"

    The racism aside--and believe me, I didn't like hearing her say that--it was a great example of what a superb athlete like Moses, combined with a minimum of education could inspire in a complete neophyte to the sport. By the time she understood the idea behind the style of competition, even this "white-trash" cliche' of a woman knew this guy was doing something exceptional.

    Same thing happened to me in 1976 when--not taking into account the Eastern/Central time difference--I was playing pool with friends after work at the local VFW only to noticce the Motreal Olympic 1500 meters was about to be shown. No time to get home, I asked for the TV to be turned up. Long story short, it was the same situation: People wanted to know why I was so keen to see this race, so I told them about John Walker, Filbert Bayi, both being record-holders, the African boycott, etc. When Walker won in a flurry of bodies, the place cheered--for the race and for Walker, whom I had said was a personal favorite of mine and had explained how--with Bayi out--all the pressure was on him to win.

    Both times, I knew NONE of these people by name. I simply treated them as intelligent human beings who didn't know much about track & field YET. How I didn't treat them was as percentage points I had to continually cater to in order to beg for their attention. Both times, once they got interested, they gave it their attention. For at least an hour each time.

    I can't believe the same principle of education wouldn't hold true for a larger group of people.

    My opinion, based on personal experience in two places in two small towns who collectively couldn't give a rat's ass about track & field..until they learned the significance of what they were seeing, that is.

    Comment


    • #17
      Originally posted by mcgato
      Since my Gators were in the final round, I watched a lot of the WCWS. Kruk seems to know what he is talking about regarding women's softball. Not that I'm an expert. It almost seems like he has daughters in the game, so he has become a big fan. But I have no idea if he has any children.
      That would imply he's had sex which is kind of scary having viewed mr. kruk.

      Comment


      • #18
        I'm in Brian's corner as far as the way the sport should be televised.

        Comment


        • #19
          Great post, Brian. I've had similar experiences.

          Comment


          • #20
            Originally posted by DecFan
            Great post, Brian. I've had similar experiences.
            I have had a few experiences like this, but more or less with family or friends, not in public so much.

            What is funny is that there have been a few situations where I have been "predicting" the races and somehow get them all correct. Not so hard to do when you have tape delayed events and already know the results. All the people watching the TV with you are extremely impressed and want to become your best Vegas buddy soon thereafter!

            :lol:

            Comment


            • #21
              Great post!

              You had three things going for you......

              1. Two icons of the sport. Iconic status has the ability to overcome any racial views!

              2. 30 and 35 years ago, where the sport had more of an appeal. It would be much of a challenge to do this now. That's why things must be appoached a bit different. There's a reason why NBC had either John Tesh and Al Trautwig doing gymnastics!

              3. Your own personality, which went a long way in changing the bar patrons' attitudes.

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              • #22
                How would any of the announcers sound on radio? I understand some of you want your cake and eat to, no problem. However when you attend a live track meet, where's the announcing?

                With the state of track & field as it is with respect to coverage (t.v.), we're fortunate to have what we have now, so let's just take the bitter with the sweet, remember it could be radio.
                on the road

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                • #23
                  Typically, the tv announcers try to do exactly what Brian did--explain the significance of the race and the key runners before the race. Whether they always do it well is debatable, but they certainly make the attempt. I suspect that the main reason Brian's intervention was necessary was that in a bar, nobody ever listens to the announcers in any sport. In some bars, there are multiple sports videos with no sound at all. Even with only one channel, in a typical bar, there's lots of conversation, and people aren't just sitting there silently watching the screen. So if there's no Brian to take the lead, there's nothing at all. But at home, if the tv announcers do their job well, you don't need a live interlocutor.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by odelltrclan
                    Originally posted by mike renfro
                    And to beat a dead horse (oh boy, do i wish ), Tom Hammond is a BAD man, as in :twisted: :evil: . It will be a happy day when he goes off and does horse racing (or whatever it is he does) full time.
                    Please expound on why you are calling him BAD, is there some things that have happened that I am not aware of?
                    Sorry to be so slow in responding. My personal animus toward Hammond goes back to 1985. On super bowl sunday, he was announcing an indoor meet in Europe (badly, duh :shock: ). He made it clear that he would rather be anywhere but there, but he had to make a living, so..... The capper came at the end of the telecast and his cohort (can't remember who) asked, "so to real sports, who do like in the the SB? Quoth Tom, Dolphins, BIG". As I watched my niners kick the shit out of the fins, I thought, Tom, this one's for you. You asshole. And that amount of expounding will probably get me banned for a bit.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      [quote=mike renfro]
                      Originally posted by odelltrclan
                      Originally posted by "mike renfro":b7yum3sl
                      And to beat a dead horse (oh boy, do i wish ), Tom Hammond is a BAD man, as in :twisted: :evil: . It will be a happy day when he goes off and does horse racing (or whatever it is he does) full time.
                      Please expound on why you are calling him BAD, is there some things that have happened that I am not aware of?
                      Sorry to be so slow in responding. My personal animus toward Hammond goes back to 1985. On super bowl sunday, he was announcing an indoor meet in Europe (badly, duh :shock: ). He made it clear that he would rather be anywhere but there, but he had to make a living, so..... The capper came at the end of the telecast and his cohort (can't remember who) asked, "so to real sports, who do like in the the SB? Quoth Tom, Dolphins, BIG". As I watched my niners kick the shit out of the fins, I thought, Tom, this one's for you. You asshole. And that amount of expounding will probably get me banned for a bit.[/quote:b7yum3sl]

                      I can understand your distaste for him after hearing a broadcast like that. Its a shame. I never had a problem with him but would have had I heard that I am sure. It is too bad we cannot get someone with some passion for the sport to be its primary announcer.

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Guys..... use your volume button :lol:
                        on the road

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                        • #27
                          out of professional courtesy, gh never says anything bad about TV announcers. On the other hand, rarely do I say anything nice, becuase they tend to be my "friends," and I don't want to look to be commenting in a biased manner.

                          Having said that, at the post-meet Pre luncheon today, they showed a rerun of today's TV show, and Tom Hammond's call on the end of the men's 3000 drew rave-rave reviews, with somebody at my table saying, "There aren't many guys who can bring a race alive like that!" and Another saying, "Hammond really is a pro, isn't he?"

                          Methinks that "you guys" critique TV shows with far too critical a focus (I never watch the stuff, so I can't tell how accurate your thinking is).

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by gh
                            at the post-meet Pre luncheon today, they showed a rerun of today's TV show, and Tom Hammond's call on the end of the men's 3000 drew rave-rave reviews, with somebody at my table saying, "There aren't many guys who can bring a race alive like that!" and Another saying, "Hammond really is a pro, isn't he?"
                            But before the last lap, I don't think they mentioned Shaheen at all and IIRC, even when he made his big moves on the last lap, they identified him by name and maybe by country, but gave no clue that he was a world record holder.

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                            • #29
                              totally irrelevant; he brought genuine excitement to the race and one can ask no more of an announcer.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by gh
                                totally irrelevant; he brought genuine excitement to the race and one can ask no more of an announcer.
                                He did? I saw it on NBC and don't remember his commentary, certainly nothing extraordinary. Is there a copy to review, as I don't have it recorded.

                                Comment

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