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Phil, Paul and Bobke.(7 posts)

Phil, Paul and Bobke.eyebob
Sep 25, 2003 11:47 AM
Okay. I post this with a bit of trepidation. From what I gather, most if not all of us feel that these commentators are good at what they do. I also gather that for the large part, these guys are the only ones that we hear/see on any type of basis. Are any of us then, qualified to comment on their true abilites? I don't know, but I'm going to try and I'd love to hear other's thoughts.

To me, it's gotta be somewhat hard to commentate on a Stage race. In reality, there isn't much variation and given the terrain of any given stage you can predict what'll happen before they even roll out. I have to give them credit for keeping the commentary somewhat interesting during these stages, but having whatched these guys for about 4 years now, I'm not all that impressed with the effort any more. It sounds like the same old stories and metaphors. And if I hear bobke (an american) mimic the Liggettism "cheecky move" again, I'm going to throw my inner tube at the TV.

I suppose that, being born and raised on American TV I'm used to multiple cut ins on the broadcast involving graphics, stats, side-line interviews which I think, when used properly really do enhance the experience. OLN is to blame (I'm guessing budgetary constraints) for the lack of these tidbits, but I'm thinking that experienced commentators could draw on their experiences of the past to give me a little more than they do to attmept to make up for this. A good example came up on the Stage that Millar won, he won that stage on a tremendous effort on the last climb and a hard descent and flat effort that I'm not sure anyone could match. When he's gaining time because of his descending skills it would have been a good time to perhaps tell us about other riders that have this type of skill (Salvoldelli) or older riders (Yates) that could have done this type of thing. Just traising out the tired old lines that we've all heard over and over really makes it tough to watch for me. To give a comparison, I also tune into a fair amount of Red Sox baseball, and if there's one sport that can be tough to watch due to it's repitition, it's baseball. THe commentators however are good at keeping it fresh by way of their analysis and interestingly, going off topic quite a bit.

I'm not sure whether I'm expecting too much or whether I'm just getting bored. I do know that I have limited exposure to other cycling commentators though. Anyone out there have anything to add?


PS Go Sox!
It goes both ways!Dwayne Barry
Sep 25, 2003 1:59 PM
I heard Phil start using "scintillating" after Bob was using it to describe attacks.

I think Phil has started to lose it over the past couple of years as well. He doesn't get as excited as he use to and he misidentifies riders more often. Paul is the worse for repetitively using the same cliches.

OTOH, tune into Eurosport and listen to David Duffield (and Sean Kelly sometimes). Or every once in awhile when OLN shows a classic they just buy the coverage from Eurosport and Duffield is the commentator. He is absolutely horrible, he acts as if he could careless that a bike race is going on, and just blabbers on and on about totally unrelated stuff. Sean Kelly OTOH has to be prodded to say anything, and sounds like he's about to fall asleep at any moment.
I agree, the Eurosport commentators are pretty dull.....bent_spoke
Sep 26, 2003 12:41 AM
also this Veulta doesn't seem to be all that interesting, especially when compared with this year's TDF.
Familiarity breeds contemptmohair_chair
Sep 25, 2003 2:48 PM
Phil and Paul are the best commentators, hands down. Phil has been doing it for over 30 years, I think, and has pretty much seen it all. He also rode one pro season racing against guys like Eddy Merckx. Paul is a relative newcomer, but he is as good as Phil, and also raced professionally for 10 years or so. Phil does races on his own sometimes, and he's still better than everyone else except Phil.

We get spoiled listening to them two or more hours every day during the grand tours, and at other events during the year. Their stories start to repeat, their phrases start to repeat, and their jokes start to repeat. Bringing in Bob Roll actually invigorates things a bit because he has wacky stories and phrasings of his own.

All you have to do is listen to any of the other commentators out there and you'll realize that no one is as good as Phil and Paul. David Duffield is a Phil-pretender who does some events, but he absolutely puts me to sleep. I don't see how even he can stay awake during his commentaries. He usually teams up with Sean Kelly, a Paul-pretender, and you'd think a rider like Kelly would have hours of great stories to tell, but he doesn't. I guess when you ride at the front of the race your whole career, you miss all the color at the back!

Don't worry, the Vuelta will be over soon, and six months from now when you turn on Paris-Roubaix and hear Phil and Paul, it will brighten up your life, like bumping into that girl that you were in love with when you were 12, and she's still as cute and charming as she ever was.
Yes, but I still impressed on how the call the sprints...bent_spoke
Sep 26, 2003 12:55 AM
maybe it's along season or the V is dull. The TDF gets more of the added media exposure and some of the things that you mention & this year they are lucky not to have wasted the $$$.

I have heard the Salvdelli & Yates comparisons before, maybe they missed the rehash with Millar(nice effort on his part). Phil & Paul can get caught up with the British thing, so maybe they were off somewhere else. I know that Phil seems to be slowing down, but I hate to think about him leaving the sport....he'd be missed!!!
And then there was yesterday's stage...eyebob
Sep 26, 2003 12:59 PM
No sooner do Ipost this and along comes that fabulous stage yesterday. The boys did a very good job animating the call. Really. A terrific job. I wanted to add this to my other comments because I think that it's important to offer praise when it's due as well as the critizism.

Turn them inside out!peter1
Sep 26, 2003 6:18 PM
If I hear Phil say "He is absolutely turning himself inside out" one more time...are we talking about a bike racer or a sock puppet?

Yes, they're a bit stale, but no one else save John Eustice has anything close to their depth of knowledge. I'd like a bit more historical context, though.

Also, they're watching the same crappy Spanish feed we are so they have to work from that.

I'm not sure how you could make some of those flat stages exciting. Even I get bored until the road gets steep.