Posts Tagged ‘World Cup’
South Africans, as are Australians, are sports mad. The biggest difference here at home, it seems, is demographic lines are etched more finely than Down Under.
In Australia, rugby, cricket, tennis, Aussie Rules, hockey, swimming, athletics, bowls, cycling and anything international are fervently followed by a seemingly endless eclectic procession of fans … and from a national population of only 21 million.
Sometimes it seems as if all of Australia from Darwin to Perth is either glued to a TV set, or attending something live.
In South Africa, the population of 49 million is choosier. Blacks prefer soccer, everyone rugby, whites watch golf, surfing, off-road and off-beach racing, some bowls, cycling, tennis and swimming, coloureds love rugby, soccer, horse racing, motor racing and bike racing; the lines do overlap, but are far more clearly defined than Down Under.
That is why commentating on sport, especially on television, becomes so vital. A need to offer expert, clear background and intelligent commentary, not on what everyone can see, but the implications, nuances, historical probabilities and statistics.
Alas, while in Australia, except for a couple of exasperating commentators, Channel 9 Sport is slick, smart and its staff totally professional, viewing at home and especially on SuperSport, is largely a nightmare.
Perhaps too many are rushed before the cameras? Week after week they provide banal, boring, and repetitive monologues. Their biggest problem is they cannot differentiate between radio commentary and TV descriptions. The transgressors fail to realise that viewers, thanks to superb camera teams, are able to actually see what is happening; they do not want the obvious pushed down their throats. Does no one train the staff; not in their sports, but in TV commentary technique?
Some expert commentators, love the sound of their own voices (cricket non-stop gabblers Mike Haysman, Ian Healy) others (alas, even Pom Mbangwa and Hugh Bladen) ask and answer questions themselves, leaving their interviewees without anything to say; clichés abound as feeble attempts are made to inject excitement.
Do perpetrators ever listen to what they have said? Does anyone tell them, or is the majority of those watching satisfied either with mediocrity or simply do not know better?
Good commentators provide insight and allow viewers to espouse their own judgment.
Greats such as Aussie, Ritchie Benaud (watching, waiting, whack), Britain’s golf whiz, Peter Allis (“he’ll find David Attenborough in there,” after an errant shot went into the woods); former England cricketer Robin Jackman (stand and deliver, smack);
The following are a few of the excruciating drivel to which viewers are subjected:
- “…It’s been raining, so it’s wet underfoot…”
- “… Another single past the bowler…”
- “… By putting them in, they hope to get some quick wickets…”
- “…He’s hit that like a tracer bullet…”
- “…He’ll cut or hook anything short and wide…”
- “…It’s a dead, dry pitch, with some live grass rolled in…”
- “…More for Mr Extras…”
- “…After the downpour the bunker sand will be wet…”
- “…That’s not what he was expecting before he arrived here…”
- “…He’s volleyed that home on the full…”
- “…They converse in Afrikaans so no one can understand them…”
- “…Do you think you can beat Roger?”
- “… He’s really hit that, it’s gone high in the air…”
- “…That’s gone all the way to the boundary for four runs…”
- “…Both teams are desperate to win this one…”
- “…Yes, he’s called heads, it is a head, not a tail, so he has won…”
And many more … perhaps you might like to tell us your pet hates?