28 Aug 2006 15:27:22
Alistair Potts
UK: BBC TV commentators

(in my opinion:)

Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever. Has a bunch of stock
phrases about rowing and randomly applies them to whoever's on screen.
To be fair, this has the advantage that he need do no research at all,
and may not need to be actually present during the event. The only
commentator in the whole of sport that makes me want to chuck stuff at
the TV.

Gillian Lindsey: 4/10 Seriously, a lovely lady but badly needs a bit
of voice coaching: she sounds like Dr Doom. The Orla Guerin of
commentary. Sadly, under Topolski's tutelage, her analysis has started
to go awry - e.g. berating the Russian W4x for actually looking out of
the boat and seeing what they need to do to win ("that's not looking
out, that's just bad technique!") as opposed to our girls who could have
done a bit of the same...

Herbert: 7/10 Not his very best weekend, but he does his research very
thoroughly even for the heats and tries to make every race exciting. I
know that can be frustrating for rowing types when it's bloody obvious
that someone's going to win at a canter, but from non-rowing friends and
relations they always make a point of remarking that he adds to the
event, which is a rare accolade for a commentator.

Top Herbert moment (Herbert was a GB cox): anchorman asks Redgrave
whether coxes are important; Redgrave has a playful dig at Herbert; cut
to Herbert to tell us that all boats except the 8+ are just so much
window-dressing. "Forget the four, forget the pair, the eight is the
blue riband, the real boat that matters here, it's just so exciting"
etc. etc. It may not have been intentional, but I like to think it was.

I caught some of the Radio 5 stuff during the week with Martin Cross.
Give that man a TV job. Give him Topolski's job.

A


28 Aug 2006 11:16:19
c.anton@blueyonder.co.uk
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Alistair Potts wrote:
> (in my opinion:)
>

Not watched the BBC videos yet, but I'm told that the portaloos were
prominent in the background! Guess no-one imagines things like that.
Noticed that the BBC as usual just carried on interviewing throughout
the medal ceremonies - very bad manners, and hardly showed any of them.

The BBC did tend to miss fast finishing crews - and there were plenty
of them.

I transported lots of journalists around over the week, TV, radio and
press. I was amaazed at the number of press journalists who were there
whose first time it was at a rowing event. One whose normal sports are
golf and tennis was very dismissive of the crowds saying that he didn't
think it was very busy and had exepcted queues back to the motorway. He
didn't even stay until Sunday preferring to jet off for the US Open
(tennis). Also noticed a piece in yesterday's Sunday Telegraph (UK)
which was by someone I'd never heard of rather than RQ. This poses the
interesting question why attend a rowing event if you know nothing
about the sport?



28 Aug 2006 11:19:38
Liz
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Alistair Potts wrote:
> I caught some of the Radio 5 stuff during the week with Martin Cross.
> Give that man a TV job. Give him Topolski's job.
>
> A

But while Martin may know something about rowing, when he's not allowed
to interject and tell you how boats are placing in the race (ie it took
several minutes before I could work out what was going on in the W4x)
due to the blithering of greenie.

And Ms Lindsay doesn't seem to have a clue about technique these days -
just seems to like to imply to listeners that she's great mates with
all of the womens squad.



28 Aug 2006 15:06:54
stan
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Liz wrote:

> And Ms Lindsay doesn't seem to have a clue about technique these days -

Is why LEH have gone off the boil do we think??

> just seems to like to imply to listeners that she's great mates with
> all of the womens squad.

very true, bet she doesn't bake them triple chocolate cakes though.



29 Aug 2006 02:36:13
Rookie
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Alistair Potts wrote:
> (in my opinion:)
>
> Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever. Has a bunch of stock
> phrases about rowing and randomly applies them to whoever's on screen.
> To be fair, this has the advantage that he need do no research at all,
> and may not need to be actually present during the event. The only
> commentator in the whole of sport that makes me want to chuck stuff at
> the TV.
>
> Gillian Lindsey: 4/10 Seriously, a lovely lady but badly needs a bit
> of voice coaching: she sounds like Dr Doom. The Orla Guerin of
> commentary. Sadly, under Topolski's tutelage, her analysis has started
> to go awry - e.g. berating the Russian W4x for actually looking out of
> the boat and seeing what they need to do to win ("that's not looking
> out, that's just bad technique!") as opposed to our girls who could have
> done a bit of the same...
>
> Herbert: 7/10 Not his very best weekend, but he does his research very
> thoroughly even for the heats and tries to make every race exciting. I
> know that can be frustrating for rowing types when it's bloody obvious
> that someone's going to win at a canter, but from non-rowing friends and
> relations they always make a point of remarking that he adds to the
> event, which is a rare accolade for a commentator.

Unfortunately his grasp of geography and flags isn't so great - in the
LM4- final he described the burst from the Chinese four to move into
the lead with "And here comes the Rising Sun of China!!!!"
>
> Top Herbert moment (Herbert was a GB cox): anchorman asks Redgrave
> whether coxes are important; Redgrave has a playful dig at Herbert; cut
> to Herbert to tell us that all boats except the 8+ are just so much
> window-dressing. "Forget the four, forget the pair, the eight is the
> blue riband, the real boat that matters here, it's just so exciting"
> etc. etc. It may not have been intentional, but I like to think it was.
>
> I caught some of the Radio 5 stuff during the week with Martin Cross.
> Give that man a TV job. Give him Topolski's job.
>
> A



29 Aug 2006 05:05:31
J Flory
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Alistair Potts wrote:
> (in my opinion:)
>
> Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever. Has a bunch of stock
> phrases about rowing and randomly applies them to whoever's on screen.
> To be fair, this has the advantage that he need do no research at all,
> and may not need to be actually present during the event. The only
> commentator in the whole of sport that makes me want to chuck stuff at
> the TV.
>
One of the commentators on the FISA DVD's, I think it's Topolski,
frequently says of fast crews, "They sit low in the boat." This always
baffles me, because you sit where the seat is and I don't think they
are hunkering down. I suppose you could have a boat made with low seat
decks or low risers on the seat carriages. Can anyone explain what
he's talking about?



29 Aug 2006 14:50:49
Zbycho BikeRider
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

Alistair Potts wrote:
> (in my opinion:)
>
> Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever.

Is it by any chance the same Topolski that was a coach of Oxford's eight?

--
Yours Virtually, Zbigniew A.


29 Aug 2006 14:16:22
Carl Douglas
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

J Flory wrote:
> Alistair Potts wrote:
>
>>(in my opinion:)
>>
>>Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever. Has a bunch of stock
>>phrases about rowing and randomly applies them to whoever's on screen.
>>To be fair, this has the advantage that he need do no research at all,
>>and may not need to be actually present during the event. The only
>>commentator in the whole of sport that makes me want to chuck stuff at
>>the TV.
>>
>
> One of the commentators on the FISA DVD's, I think it's Topolski,
> frequently says of fast crews, "They sit low in the boat." This always
> baffles me, because you sit where the seat is and I don't think they
> are hunkering down. I suppose you could have a boat made with low seat
> decks or low risers on the seat carriages. Can anyone explain what
> he's talking about?
>
No. It is inexplicable.

C


29 Aug 2006 06:47:02
david.henderson@aea.be
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Yes indeed.

He's also got several Henley winners' medals and a couple of world
championship golds, at lightweight.

So he *ought* to know what he's talking about...

Dave H

Zbycho BikeRider wrote:
> Alistair Potts wrote:
> > (in my opinion:)
> >
> > Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever.
>
> Is it by any chance the same Topolski that was a coach of Oxford's eight?
>
> --
> Yours Virtually, Zbigniew A.



29 Aug 2006 15:47:36
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

On 29 Aug 2006 05:05:31 -0700, J Flory wrote:
> frequently says of fast crews, "They sit low in the boat." This always
> baffles me, because you sit where the seat is and I don't think they
> are hunkering down.

Back slightly too rounded for his taste, or the shoulders a little
high, or the neck a bit cramped (especially at the finish).

--
E. Dronkert


29 Aug 2006 15:49:46
Rutger Thijssen
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

Zbycho BikeRider wrote:
> Alistair Potts wrote:
>
>>(in my opinion:)
>>
>>Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever.
>
>
> Is it by any chance the same Topolski that was a coach of Oxford's eight?
>
Yes.

There was an article in the (Dutch) paper NRC Handelsblad about how great it was
that one of rowing's finest coaching was doing the commentary for the BBC, etc.
etc., but apparently you folks in the UK weren't convincends.
I was planning to watch the BBC, but our boathouse turned out to have only
Eurosport, which adds an extra level of excitement: you never know when they'll
switch to a different sport (apparently this is done at random)

Cheers,

Rutger


29 Aug 2006 14:56:16
mpruscoe
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

Ewoud Dronkert wrote:
> On 29 Aug 2006 05:05:31 -0700, J Flory wrote:
>> frequently says of fast crews, "They sit low in the boat." This always
>> baffles me, because you sit where the seat is and I don't think they
>> are hunkering down.
>
> Back slightly too rounded for his taste, or the shoulders a little
> high, or the neck a bit cramped (especially at the finish).

I take it to mean rounded back, maybe with relatively high feet, and
I've never had the impression that it is said with disapproval.


29 Aug 2006 06:57:33
J Flory
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Ewoud Dronkert wrote:
> On 29 Aug 2006 05:05:31 -0700, J Flory wrote:
> > frequently says of fast crews, "They sit low in the boat." This always
> > baffles me, because you sit where the seat is and I don't think they
> > are hunkering down.
>
> Back slightly too rounded for his taste, or the shoulders a little
> high, or the neck a bit cramped (especially at the finish).
>
> --
> E. Dronkert

Sorry Ewoud, I neglected to point out that he's actually _enthusiastic_
about this "sitting low in the boat" business: "look at them, they sit
low in the boat and just drrrrive".



29 Aug 2006 14:58:21
mpruscoe
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

Rutger Thijssen wrote:
> Zbycho BikeRider wrote:
>> Alistair Potts wrote:
>>
>>> (in my opinion:)
>>>
>>> Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever.
>>
>>
>> Is it by any chance the same Topolski that was a coach of Oxford's eight?
>>
> Yes.
>
> There was an article in the (Dutch) paper NRC Handelsblad about how
> great it was that one of rowing's finest coaching was doing the
> commentary for the BBC, etc. etc., but apparently you folks in the UK
> weren't convincends.
> I was planning to watch the BBC, but our boathouse turned out to have
> only Eurosport, which adds an extra level of excitement: you never know
> when they'll switch to a different sport (apparently this is done at
> random)

My favourite Topolski commentary - "She's shortening up. She's losing
it". Name the race...


29 Aug 2006 16:05:27
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

On 29 Aug 2006 06:57:33 -0700, J Flory wrote:
> Sorry Ewoud, I neglected to point out that he's actually _enthusiastic_
> about this "sitting low in the boat" business:

Oh right :)

--
E. Dronkert


29 Aug 2006 07:14:48
Rower123
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

can't name it I am afraid.

I do remember from Athens Olympics at 1000m gone in heat of mens VIII
Topolski comenting on how disappointed he was with the USA and that
he'd expected more from them. At that point they were in 2nd place,
1-1.5 secs down on double world champion and long time unbeaten Canada
(they were looking ok to me).

Anyway, USA goes on to beat Canada, setting a world best in that race
and stormed to win the final.

Not very insiteful, rubbish punditry actually.

Herbert is good. Topolski not very and Lindsay absolutely embarassing
(I challenge you to find anyone involved in tv commentary of any sport
who stumbles so much or uses such an array of soundbite nonsence
without saying anything of note).

better people exist - the commentary team (Alison Mowbray & co) from
Dorney world champs was v interesting and would do a far superior job.


mpruscoe wrote:
> Rutger Thijssen wrote:
> > Zbycho BikeRider wrote:
> >> Alistair Potts wrote:
> >>
> >>> (in my opinion:)
> >>>
> >>> Topolski: 0/10 Adds no insight whatsoever.
> >>
> >>
> >> Is it by any chance the same Topolski that was a coach of Oxford's eight?
> >>
> > Yes.
> >
> > There was an article in the (Dutch) paper NRC Handelsblad about how
> > great it was that one of rowing's finest coaching was doing the
> > commentary for the BBC, etc. etc., but apparently you folks in the UK
> > weren't convincends.
> > I was planning to watch the BBC, but our boathouse turned out to have
> > only Eurosport, which adds an extra level of excitement: you never know
> > when they'll switch to a different sport (apparently this is done at
> > random)
>
> My favourite Topolski commentary - "She's shortening up. She's losing
> it". Name the race...



29 Aug 2006 15:22:01
mpruscoe
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

Rower123 wrote:
> can't name it I am afraid.
>
> I do remember from Athens Olympics at 1000m gone in heat of mens VIII
> Topolski comenting on how disappointed he was with the USA and that
> he'd expected more from them. At that point they were in 2nd place,
> 1-1.5 secs down on double world champion and long time unbeaten Canada
> (they were looking ok to me).
>
> Anyway, USA goes on to beat Canada, setting a world best in that race
> and stormed to win the final.
>

Different regatta, similar circumstances - Atlanta, just as Ekaterina
Khodotvich takes the rate up and heads off the front to win gold.

>
> mpruscoe wrote:
>> My favourite Topolski commentary - "She's shortening up. She's losing
>> it". Name the race...
>


29 Aug 2006 23:15:16
Nick Suess
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


"mpruscoe" <mpruscoe@hotmail.com > wrote in message
news:44F44D89.9030803@hotmail.com...
> Rower123 wrote:
>> can't name it I am afraid.
>>
>> I do remember from Athens Olympics at 1000m gone in heat of mens VIII
>> Topolski comenting on how disappointed he was with the USA and that
>> he'd expected more from them. At that point they were in 2nd place,
>> 1-1.5 secs down on double world champion and long time unbeaten Canada
>> (they were looking ok to me).
>>
>> Anyway, USA goes on to beat Canada, setting a world best in that race
>> and stormed to win the final.
>>
>
> Different regatta, similar circumstances - Atlanta, just as Ekaterina
> Khodotvich takes the rate up and heads off the front to win gold.
>
>>
>> mpruscoe wrote:
>>> My favourite Topolski commentary - "She's shortening up. She's losing
>>> it". Name the race...
>>

Topolski's father Feliks was a famous artist. I suspect he has become one
too.




29 Aug 2006 21:15:14
Justus J.
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

On 29/08/2006 15:49, Rutger Thijssen wrote (amongst others) :
...
> I was planning to watch the BBC, but our boathouse turned out to have
> only Eurosport, which adds an extra level of excitement: you never know
> when they'll switch to a different sport (apparently this is done at
> random)

Don't forget the "brilliant" comment on Dutch Eurosport.

Justus


29 Aug 2006 19:03:29
Neil Wallace
Re: BBC TV commentators

Alistair Potts wrote:
> Gillian Lindsey: 4/10 Seriously, a lovely lady but badly needs a bit
> of voice coaching: she sounds like Dr Doom.

come on... we have to have a token Scot in any BBC commentary team.
haven't you realised this yet?




30 Aug 2006 09:46:29
Neil Wallace
Re: BBC TV commentators

Alistair Potts wrote:
> Top Herbert moment (Herbert was a GB cox):

the other one was his comment when the W4x came in second.

"easy to win it once... difficult to do it twice".

easy to win it once my arse.




30 Aug 2006 04:31:24
Robert Treharne Jones
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Rower123 wrote:
> better people exist - the commentary team (Alison Mowbray & co) from
> Dorney world champs was v interesting and would do a far superior job.

Very kind of you to say so!

Robert



05 Sep 2006 21:26:33
Jonathan Anderson
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators

Those guys on the radio at Dorney seemed to be enjoying themselves. At
one point one of them lost it trying to pronounce the names of one of
the lightweight rowers from (I think) China and Alison Mowbray had to
step in to cover for him.

Bizarre.

Jon


06 Sep 2006 04:19:53
Robin Walker
Re: UK: BBC TV commentators


Jonathan Anderson wrote:
> Those guys on the radio at Dorney seemed to be enjoying themselves. At
> one point one of them lost it trying to pronounce the names of one of
> the lightweight rowers from (I think) China and Alison Mowbray had to
> step in to cover for him.
>
> Bizarre.
>
> Jon

That would be me then - Damn! - I thought I'd got away with it, as
Alison did such a brilliant job picking up where I left off - it took
me quite a while to recover my composure.
We certainly did enjoy doing the commentary, and may I echo Robert's
thanks for the appreciative comments above.