Friday, July 31, 2009



Maybe it is because I have been watching a few old US Nationals, and they are full of the worse commentating hyperbole and cliche, but I am raging right now!!

Okay, we all whinge about the Schlegel/ Dagget/ Trautwig commentating trio.  In fact I had quite a field day at it once (See "They Said What?") in one of my early Couch Gymnasts posts.  
And they are annoying. 
But I have always held out a little in defense of them, mostly because it is impossible to be great at something like commentating, and certainly hard to please all the viewers with their various biases and opinions on a subjective sport.  
But lordy, really, I have HAD ENOUGH!  
I have had enough of inane commentary.  
I have had enough of them saying the same things over and over again at every Nationals.  
And I have certainly had enough of Andrea Joyce's naff post-meet interviews.  (Besides, I am not sure I will ever quite forgive her for her insensitive interview with Alicia Sacramone after the Beijing Team finals.  Wanna rub salt in to a newly gaping wound Andrea?)
Whoever makes these broadcasting decision needs to do some thinking.  
There must be many, many younger, more in touch ex-gymnasts out there who are capable of bringing something to the commentary table other than the same old tired cliches. 

Hell, Bart and Tasha are better.  
Bart, though he talks about Nadia a little too much for my liking has a much more international focus.  he actually seems to know about other countries. 
 And Tasha has the wonderful balance where she is openly admiring and impressed with good skills and she is strict.  She is not afraid to say something isn't performed well wether the gymnasts is the golden girl of the moment or not.  
And she has improved a lot over the years.  Less gauche silence and more opinion.  
I actually think Tasha should have Andrea Joyce's job.  I think she'd be great at the interviews.  She would actually remember how it felt to win or to have a dud meet and be sensitive to it and the girls she interviewed might actually engage a little more.
And I miss Kathy Johnson.  
She was a great commentator.  Bring her back!!
Even the NCAA commentators do a better job.  They know ALL the gymnasts.  
We need new blood.  Because I am BAYING FOR THE BLOOD of the evil trio right now!!!


  1. I was just pondering this commentator issue lately.
    Though I must disagree in that I am NOT a Tasha fan. An example I used on another blog was that Tasha just randomly blurts out "NICCCCCEE Tkatchev" or "OH! NICCCCEEEEE Piked full in!!!!!". Ok? What was nice about it? As a well-versed gymfan, I personally know why it's good but the average person doesn't. Tasha doesn't have the skill/confidence to do the play-by-play side or the color side of commentary. She's just average.

    I have totally been having Kathy Johnson withdrawl though. LOVE her commentary.

  2. I love Kathy Johnson's commentary!!! Best American commentator ever in my opinion. I agree, bring her back!

  3. You want good commentary, you should listen to the British trio: Christine Still, Mitch Fenner, Matt Baker. They are really good esp Christine, giving lots of technical commentary, telling us things we don't already know (Dagget Trautwig and Schlegel seem to forget this is the primary point of commentary). I only wish they could have a few more US style fluffs, which are great fun if ususally very silly. I fell like if I didn't already know a lot about gymnastics their commentary would teach me nothing, whereas the British commentary teaches you loads!

  4. I can deal with Bart. I'm not a big fan of Tasha, but I like her a little better than Amanda Borden. and I can't wait until Al, Elfi, Tim AND Andrea Joyce all retire from this gig. That "she looks like a little kid on a playground" crap is so worn out.

    I LOVE the BBC commentators. They do a great job explaining what the gymnasts do well and where they are short--even if they are overly excited about beth tweddle, who wouldn't be? ;)

  5. Yes, of course the BBC commentators rule all that is gymnastics commentating. I love them. But they don't tend to cover the US Nationals!

  6. I think one of the main reasons everyones so tired of al/tim/schlegal is because NBC has the monopoly on almost all evens.
    abc always had better coverage

  7. The thing is, with Daggett/Schlegel/Trautwig, a layperson could not understand a thing about gymnastics. Much prefer the BBC duo, who actually talk about gymnastics rather than offer cliches about some gymnast's epic struggle to the competition.

  8. Remember John Tesh doing the "commentary"...the only thing he knew was that they were suppoed to "stick the landing."

  9. i completely agree. the lack of helpful & knowledgeable commentary is especially disappointing in a sport that can be so complicated. its sad that 'simple' sports like baseball have commentators who analyze every inane detail of the sport, whereas gymnastics commentators (at least in the U.S.) spend most of their time talking about the same thing over and over again - rarely adding any true value to the broadcast. and andrea joyce is a terrible interviewer who appears to completely lack common sense or tact