Where have you gone Henry Blofeld*? A nation turns its ears towards you

One was sitting quietly, when Ep decided to drop by. You know Ep? Ep E. Funee? Yes, that Ep. Now, conversations with Ep tend to be quite mentally-stimulating, which also means tiring, so one approaches such visits with wary interest. But this one was worth it.

After the usual preliminary chit-chat in which Ep yet again smiled enigmatically when asked about the reason behind life (which is very irritating, and makes one suspect that Ep doesn't really have an answer, but just pretends to know it, and this non-silence is just a way to get one to keep searching for the answer, so that when one does find the answer (and it will be easy to identify it as the right answer because it will be so obvious and everything will make sense and fall into place and rainbows will burst forth and the earth shall sing and generally represent a scene out of a cheesy fantasy book) Ep can simply go "Ah child, now you understand", thus not only appearing smug and superior, and having evaded all the work, but also having got the answer. Shyaana bugger), the real reason behind the visit was explained.

"Have you realised", said Ep - although that's not quite true...Ep doesn't talk, but instead the words just sort of appear in one's head...except they're not so much words, as complete entities, born of ideas, and clothed in language.

So. Ep noted, "Have you realised that you have never seen a televised sports event that did not have a commentary running in the background?"

.....one hadn't.

No sports event? Ever? That can't be true - can it?
The Olympics? Nope.
Cricket? Nope.
Football? Nope.
Tennis, basketball, badminton, TT, snooker, F1, curling, darts, rugby, gymnastics, track and field? Nope, nope, nope.

It is true.
So true, that it bears repeating -
One has never seen any televised sports event that did not have a background commentary.

And that just feels......weird.

Because right now, one can think of several occasions where one simply wanted to watch a match on TV, with only the noise from the stadium, and no chit-chat. Edberg vs. Becker at Wimbledon. Game 6 of the Bulls-Jazz NBA finals in 1998. India-Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001. Just imagine that.

So, do we really always need commentary? When did we need to be this spoonfed? Yes, commentary is obviously essential for radio. But on TV? Not so sure. Especially since we seem to be subjected to a barrage of mostly mindless drivel, which is only getting worse.

A good commentator should anticipate what the player might do, or point out what's happening on the sidelines, provide some relevant background, appropriate statistics (because what's sports if not a series of statistical highlights?), and some interesting anecdotes and juicy gossip. That's it.

But instead, nowadays, it's not so much a comment-ary, as a report. We don't really need people telling us what's happening - we can
see that Sachin's just tapped the ball to cover, and Federer just played a delicate dropshot. That's expected from an online sports website, not from commentators during a live match. And neither do we need a constant coaching manual - he needs to approach the net more/ the defenders need to cover their man/ just tap the ball and run. Oi, shut up you.

An enterprising sports sports channel could so easily use this as a ploy - matches broadcast with sound, but no talk. And those who have digital TV could even select a statistics ticker running along the bottom of the screen. Problem solved.

* Not that he was the best, but at least he was entertaining.


Pri said...

it depends on the fool doing the commentary. some of them i like. chappel before he decided to "coach" india was decent.
personally i like to say stuff and then ten minuted later have some commentator say the exact same thing and feel all superior. damn maybe this is proof of how we've been trained.

??! said...

agreed. John McEnroe is good too. but it's just the thought of watching a match, with all the dhamaal, surrounded by friends doing inane talk, without having to listen to TV-talk.

Revealed said...

I agree, I agree. You can mute it but it's not the same cos 1. you can't hear the crowd and general noise 2. you can't hear ball on bat and that is *so* important!

In other cricket news, very proud of Rahul I am. Wasn't he perfick? As usual?

Revealed said...

Also I notice you left out the lonely. Vairy vairy claiver.