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universal sports commentators

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by cc2, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. cc2

    cc2 New Member

    I have been following ISU GP events (particularly ice dance) on universal sports and I find Tanith Belbin really annoying. she talks too much!!! It is really hard to listen to the music when keeps talking non stop.
    NBC needs to bring back either Tracy wilson or Judy? as far as I know they don't normally talk a lot like Tanith.
  2. Jenna

    Jenna Well-Known Member

    Haven't heard Tanith, but I love Judy. She just might be my favorite of all. Being a technical specialist, she is very knowledgeable and articulate in her comments.
  3. TwizzlerS

    TwizzlerS Well-Known Member

    I've been impressed with Michael Weiss' commentary. He's positive but gives pointers on a skater's areas in need of improvement and has a very pleasant speaking voice. I'm always happy to know he's doing commentary rather than Peter Carruthers.
    smurfy and (deleted member) like this.
  4. jenny12

    jenny12 Well-Known Member

    I agree. I really enjoy Michael Weiss's tone and while he is positive, he is also not afraid to be critical when necessary. Carruthers is annoying, but even he is better than Scott Hamilton.
  5. cc2

    cc2 New Member

    I think Peter Carruthers does a pretty good job. I like the fact that he does not constantly chatter about this and that during the performance of the skaters. You can actually listen even listen to the music.
    He explains both the technical and artisitc aspect of the performance in a way even someone like me can understand.
  6. berthesghost

    berthesghost Well-Known Member

    I moved and no longer get us on cable, so I subscribed online and watch their live feed. No commentary! This silence is by far the most enjoyable skating tv I've watched in years. I caught a clip w commentary on YouTube and I was like "shut up. Shut up! SHUT UP!" :lol: love my commentary free online feed. :kickass:
  7. Jot the Dot Dot

    Jot the Dot Dot Headstrong Buzzard

    Hey, be glad it's not Kathie Lee and Hoda commentating while knocking back daiquiris.
  8. Frau Muller

    Frau Muller #1 Dick Button Fan

    Judy Blumberg is 10,000x better as a commentator-analyst for ice dancing than is Tanith. No contest, sorry. [Susie Wynne was also terrific but she hasn't done this is a while.]

    I also like Peter Carruthers a lot. He is quickly becoming the 'Grand Old Sage Commentator' of choice, in the Dick Button mode. Knowledgeable and entertaining at the same time...and often hilarious. I'm just glad that he (Peter) has stopped harping about men's butt spins!
  9. RobinA

    RobinA Active Member

    Carruthers is my favorite. I'm not sure why people don't like him. He rarely makes lame comments, genuinely cares about the sport and makes it understandable, including the nonsense that is CoP. He's also getting experienced enough to make the occasional negative comment, i.e. the fugly spins. He also doesn't gush. Although I think it was him who was waxing a little too poetic about K/S. I've also seen and heard him talking to fans walking down the street and he seems like a genuinely nice guy.

    Weiss has turned out to be not bad, and I'm sure he will get better.
  10. Rob

    Rob Beach Bum

    I like Michael Weiss a lot.
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  11. Chris_E

    Chris_E Active Member

    I also like Peter, especially when he's commenting on pairs which obviously he knows a lot about.

    Michael Weiss is also quickly becoming a fave. He has a very pleasant voice for commentating.

    Overall I'm enjoying some of the "new blood" we've had recently and hope it continues. At this point I'd say anyone is better than Scott!!
  12. orbitz

    orbitz Well-Known Member

    Well Scott's better than John Tesh, Pat O'Brien, Roz Sumners, and Vern Lundquist combined. So it's all relative :)
  13. ponta1

    ponta1 Active Member

    Does anyone have the link to the Universal Sports coverage on Yuzuru Hanyu at CoR? I thought I read somewhere that the commentators didn't like him, which surprised me a bit because most of the other coverage I've seen have been quite complimentary of Yuzuru.

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

    I think it was John Mischa Petkevich that finally deep sixed John Tesh's career as an ice skating commentator. Tesh & Petkevich were paired to do World's in Ottawa in 1984. Tesh was supposed to announce the start of each event, saying something, "This is John Tesh with John Mischa Petkevich, coming to you from the Ottawa Civic Centre with the World Figure Skating Championships." Tesh could.not.pronounce "Mischa." He also could.not.pronounce "Petkevich." He also struggled a bit with "Ottawa."

    Consequently he spent all of the warmups while he sat in the press box, practicing, aloud, the above sentence, messing it up in a startling number of ways.

    Those were the days when the audience could sit near the KnC, so by the end of the event, people sitting near Tesh were repeating the sentence with him, urging him on, and occasionally, but very occasionally (since the Canadian skating audience is a rather civilized audience, even back in 1984), making sotto voce comments about his incompetence.

    It was very funny :)
  15. centerpt1

    centerpt1 Well-Known Member

    Another vote for Michael Weiss.
  16. Clytie

    Clytie Member

    Ugh I hit the wrong button and my post disappeared. And I had such a beautiful rant against Judy Bloomberg written! Can I just say I hate her and her biased commentary. I don't care if she is a tech. specialist. She's a b*tch - especially towards the Canadian dance teams for some reason. Tanith does talk too much. Susie I liked but she did have her biases too. I guess I just prefer Tracy Wilson. I wish they could get Kwan to comment. I think she would be great. I also think she would'nt be dwelling on her golden years either - which leads me to.....

    Tara I liked initially until she kept bringing up her own glory days. Guess what honey- now people especially ladies, get dinged for horrible flutzes and barely rotated jumps. Stop trying to convince me yours was the epic age of ladies skating.

    I feel bad saying this as a woman but the men are the best commentators on US. Carruthers is'nt fantastic but he tries and is generally not overly biased. Weiss is surprisingly articulate and his voice sounds nice. Too bad I hated his skating. Wylie is my favourite. I love that he explains what garners points and what hurts. I do still laugh at his shock re. Buttle's win "That was.... not what I was expecting"

    Overall I think they do a decent job way better than CBS and NBC did in the 80's and 90's. Kurt is still my favourite - but I can understand why some don't like his snark.

    Anybody have a dream team of Universal Sports commentators. I say keep Terry Gannon. Love him as the straight man or what ever they call the non-skating commentators. At least you can tell he has respect for the sport and skaters. I do miss him teasing Dick Button though.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2011
  17. SpeedySucks

    SpeedySucks Active Member

    John Tesh also did the 1985 and 1986 Worlds for CBS with Scott Hamilton. CBS took him off of figure skating after 86 Worlds because he and Scott didn't mesh well together.
  18. acraven

    acraven Well-Known Member

    I've actually enjoyed all the ice dance commentators over the last few years--Judy Blumberg, Susie Wynne, Tracey Wilson, and now Tanith. What I object to is having a non-dancer trying to comment on ice dance.

    I don't find Judy particularly biased; anyone commenting for US TV is going to try to find something positive to say about the US skaters, just as the Canadian/Russian/etc. commentators do for their own skaters (per reports here on FSU). It's true that Judy seems to look at things from a technical specialist's (critical) perspective, but that affects all of her commentary, not just what she says about the non-US teams. This year she pointed out Maia's edge problem in a footwork sequence, and I remember something similar early last season regarding Meryl Davis.

    I'd say Tanith's approach is generally a bit more positive, but--perhaps as a result--she's more talkative. That doesn't bother me (I need all the help I can get when I'm watching ice dance), but I can understand why others would want her to talk less. Still, I think she's doing extremely well for the limited experience she's had.

    I think it's valuable to be exposed to all the dance experts (I miss Susie and want her back) over the course of a season. It's not that they necessarily disagree with each other so much, but they each mention different things, and I learn from all of them.
  19. alchemy void

    alchemy void blowing kisses with bitchface

    Tara rocks. She needs to take Bezic's place on the NBC crew. I could live with her, Scott, and Terry.

    Tom Hammond is the worst.
  20. cc2

    cc2 New Member

    I totally disagree about the comment Clytie made about Judy Bloomberg. I hope NBC keeps Judy as a commentator as she seems to be an expert. With regards to Canadian ice dancers, she has never said anything bad about them. In fact she often compliments Virtue and Moir (how they have good chemistry, the strength of thier programs and so on). So I don't get where the idea that she is biased comes from.
    With regards to Scott, I don't know why some people don't like him. I think he is too kind to the skaters. Even when skaters fall several times, he finds something positive to say about them or their programs.
  21. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    I think people give Peter Carruthers a hard time because before he did a lot of play-by-play commentary, he was the guy who interviewed the skaters just as they got off the ice, and/or did fluff pieces. And those were pretty lame since the questions were so predictable, or in many cases cringe-worthy (ie: when Rohene Ward was surprised by his mother and Carruthers just awkwardly stood there with the microphone shoved in their sobbing faces). I have to wonder how much control he had over things like that (did the producer keep telling him to shove the mic there?)

    As an actual PBP commentator, I think he's terrific. And supposedly he's hilarious in real life. Hoping to interview him someday.
    Kasey and (deleted member) like this.
  22. julieann

    julieann Well-Known Member

    My favorites are Peter Carruthers and Terry Gannon. I don't like any of the American women commentators.

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

    Judy was extremely complimentary to V&M at the event she was the commentator for this year (Skate Canada). However, some V&M fans have complained about her commentary in the Worlds SD. I've transcribed most of it here, since I don't see the video with commentary on youtube any more:

    The commentary free video is here:


    And yes, V&M did not get credit for the key point in the GW where Tessa was on the wrong edge.

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  24. Lavergne100

    Lavergne100 New Member

    I just joined this site and am sooo grateful to have folks to discuss skating with! Finally! (My hubby watches hockey, not figure skating...) So, as a newbie I apologize in advance if I'm not following proper protocol by "jumping in" here, but I had some comments about the commentators myself.

    I've always favored Scott Hamilton as a commentator. Even the weakest skater at an event has worked hard, training for years to get to that level. Scott is knowledgable, humorous and very constructive with his critiques. And he's respectful of the skaters, no doubt because he understand the sacrifices that they've made for their sport. He's also enthusiastic and positive. I also liked having Peggy Fleming comment alongside someone. Even if the other commentator was critical, Peggy could always be relied upon to find SOMETHING positive to say: even if it was saying that the skater's "costume was pretty" or something. Peggy balanced things out.
  25. Lavergne100

    Lavergne100 New Member

    I like Peter, as well.
  26. Clytie

    Clytie Member

    Your right, but I am not a huge Virtue/Moir fan - it just really rankled because when Meryl and Charlie were off in unison for their twizzles she just mentioned his problem with grabbing the blade and said maybe it would effect them. Same thing with the FD. Again I am no expert and she is- its just the tone and the way she words her 'compliments'. I also remember her being dismissive of Bourne/Kraatz, which I am sure some would agree with. But hearing commentary that is contrary to hers, be it Eurosport or even ABC at the time really makes it stand out. That and I hated her interviewing style. I admit I am biased -she just bugs me. I would rather hear Paul Wylie comment on dance than her.

    I think that is were it comes from too. Some of his interviews were just cringe worthy. It really is crappy job. I am not sure anyone does it well.

    Scott seems like a nice guy but he does'nt add anything to commentary that any average skating fan could'nt. I like flutzes being pointed out or wrong edges or not being on the music. I can see when someone falls. And the yelling is too much. Sandra should not be allowed near a mike ever. I'd take Judy over her every time.

    DORISPULASKI Watching submarine races

    Did Judy ever do commentary about Bourne & Kraatz?

    Back in that day, it was usually Sandra Bezic, Tracy Wilson, or Susie Wynne. Or Dick Button himself. Dick did the dance at the 1998 Olympics.

    2002 Olympics for NBC isn't Judy; I think it is Tracy.

    I don't remember her as a commentator at all from pre US sport days?.

    Do you have a link of Judy doing B&K commentary?

    The D&W version of her commentary from 2011 Worlds is not on fsvids (it's expired) and what's on the US Sports website is the no commentary version, but what I remember about it was when he missed grabbing his skate, she said they'd lose a level.

    --and they did.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  28. snoopysnake

    snoopysnake Well-Known Member

    You are correct. Peter is a very good commentator for pairs and not bad at it for singles, either. He seems to have been dropped from the fluff pieces and skater interviewing where he was indeed cringe-worthy. He is now getting to do what he does best.

    I really like hearing Michael Weiss and Tara Lipinski doing PBP. IMHO Paul Wylie should be the anchor announcer. I do enjoy Terry Gannon but would rather have an all-skater lineup. Of course, I would like enough skating on TV to require quite a few announcer slots to be filled. Bring back "Push Dick's Button!"

    I also love Scott Hamilton's announcing, contrary to most FSU-ers.
  29. Clytie

    Clytie Member

    Hey DORISPULASKI . Sorry I don't have a link to her commentary for Bourne and Kraatz, I happen to have it on a DVD from clips I either got off youtube or FSV. Its the ESPN version from 1998 worlds. Dick's commentary was pretty different from hers regarding Riverdance.
    I actually watch vids while on the elliptical at home. Helps keep me motivated. So I have heard a lot of commentary the last four years. Nothing was as bad as Peggy and Dick during the 84 Olympics. I enjoy some snark but often it was just nasty.

    As for Davis/White I do have that clip too - She says Charlie grabs his foot late and it could be a deduction. She then goes on to say how everything is clean and pure. And just to be nitpicky Charlie kicks up snow in the same spot as Scott did and she never mentions it or brings up toepicks. It was just that her and Chris Howarth's opinions were so different that I really picked up on it. And I feel like maybe I spend too much time thinking about this lol.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2011
  30. rhumba

    rhumba New Member

    I think Judy could do better job if leave out the bias, she's definitely D/W's fan. However, I still prefer Judy than Tanith. At least I learned something from Judy. Please no more Tanith, she is so annoying.....her voice, her talkativeness.....urghhhh...