Phil and Paul, Time to Move On?

This could get me offside with a hell of a lot of people, but discussion is good so here goes.

It is my opinion that the so called voices of cycling, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwern should hang up their mikes. It has gotten to the point that I am muting the TV sound and using the audio from a EuroSport feed to accompany the terrific pictures shown on SBS. When that isn’t possible, I find myself getting tense listening to Paul and Phil make mistake after mistake, repeating some fact that the spoke of 5 minutes earlier or talking about Chateaus and turrets. When you are watching a 3 week tour, it is bad enough getting the same 5 ads over and over and over again, but to then have Phil and Paul spewing forth the same anecdotes or facts, day in, day out, drives me crazy.

Pies, Phil and Paul.

The more Phil and Paul dig into their suitcase of clich├ęs, the more my memories of them are tarnished.

For those saying there are no others, have a look at the EuroSport coverage. Guys like David Harmon, Sean Kelly and Brian Smith are great. Even the excitable Carlton Kirby can be good value.

I realise it can’t be an easy job, and in 3-4 hours of commentary, there are going to be mistakes, but Phil and Paul are reminding me of the great Murray Walker, who at the end of his career was known more for his blunders than his professionalism.

This brings me to another point. On stages like last nights stage, there needs to be some innovation. Imagine if the commentators could see live data from the riders. I think that is something Jonathon Vaughters has suggested. Something EuroSport do is show rider interviews when not much is happening. More of the live interview with team bosses or the directeur sportif in team cars. Why don’t we have cameras on bikes like in car racing and numerous other sports?

I also recognise the fact that as a cycling fan, the commentators have to direct their comments mainly at people new to the sport, but surely that doesn’t mean spouting the same inane drivel night after night after night.

I appreciate the fact that we get live coverage from SBS, and if it means Phil and Paul or no coverage, I’ll just have to hit the mute button.

Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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12 Responses to Phil and Paul, Time to Move On?

  1. Stevo says:

    Nailed it. As much as I appreciate the SBS feed and the good work of Matthew Keenan, Phil andPaul are just soft pedalling. Time for new blood and getting some Aussie voices in the booth.

  2. kiwi-Jacque says:

    I agree with you. They so often get the names of the riders wrong like last night on the lotto train train they referred to Adam Hanson (Who I really like as a rider) as one of the lead out men and in fact it was Jurgen Roelandts. This is a continuous mistake of theirs. I find Matthew Keenan good to listen to then they change to the horse racing commentators of Legget and Sherwan that get so much wrong. If there is a rider leading they often have no idea who the rider is. The repeating of information continuously and they it always seems to be the same dozen riders we hear about over and over again or the same pro team Sky this Sky that. (I do like sky but would like to hear about a few other teams.

  3. Visible Procrastinations says:

    My problem is that every stage is now commentated as if to a new audience that has never watched a cycling race before Not the Eurosport is perfect, Sean Kelly has annoyed me more than once while watching/listening to races that SBS doesn’t cover. Value added additions to the coverage would be excellent such as some of the SRM telemetry readings (these seem to have disappeared from online as well for 2012), and some live feeds from the GoPros that apppear to be every where in this years race ~ my hunch is that the ASO controls the look and feel for all of its broadcasters and these will take a while to appear.

  4. ken hillier says:

    finally some-one has pointed out that the emporors have no clothes …you are so right time for ligget and sherwen to depart ,and as you say check out the eurosport guys for quality both in knowledge and to me most important pronunciations.and now my biggest complaint KEENAN is hopeless PARTICULARLY with pronunciations.How pissed of would you be as a sponsor of a team atown paying big big bucks for a depart or arrivee or a rider to have to hear his continual screw-ups.when at sbs (and yes great visuals but arent they a feed from french tv ?)you have silvio riviara from global village or gabriel gate and an host of other cosmopolitan people to show him how to get it right …i cannot understand how when he got the gig he didnt contact french italian spanish speakers or any other foreign languages represented in the world tour racing and get some coaching to GET IT RIGHT .dismal fail
    ag nelloti ??not anyellotti
    cant wait till the tour rocks up to reims and see how he mangles it
    ..yeah mute button for me

  5. Sam B says:

    Fair go Norbs… I don’t mind a bit of French nostalgic commentary to fill in the gaps.

  6. bugwan says:

    To me, Phil and Paul have become part of my yearly late night tradition. It simply wouldn’t be the tour without them for me. At the start of the tour I line up 10 bottles of red, a couple of kilos of cheese, various choc knick knacks, headphones, blanky and get comfortable. It isn’t until Keenan hands over to the Kings of Cliche that my tour gets going.

    I think access to live telemetry, however, is crucial to where the tour coverage should go. I can’t believe we don’t have anything more than the post-race readouts in 2012. The speed of the peleton could be permanently shown in the corner of the screen, or perhaps BPM of a couple of key riders too?

    If Eurosport-style interviews are going to be done during the race, perhaps run a split screen, so we don’t miss any action (or Chateaux)…

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  8. coquiguaca says:

    cameras on bikes? youre an idiot just for that, but to suggest to replace Phil and paul…Sean kelly’s voice is the most annoying voice in all sports…

    • norbs says:

      Hahaha. Thanks for your valuable feedback. You know what they say about opinions.

    • Daniel says:

      Ha – cameras on bikes are exactly what we have! Don’t sweat it – I didn’t see it coming either. I do think an apology is in order though…

  9. Ken Evans says:

    What a load of rubbish give me phil & Paul any day to those muppets on Eurosport .Factual informed comment delivered in a professional manner .

  10. MagnusTheMagpie says:

    Wrong! We are getting more and more of the ever-intense Keenan and his off-sider and less of P&P. Keenan starts off super-enthusiastic and excited and only gets more-so as the race proceeds. The more laid-back style of the other two is much better-suited to a 200K race. FWiW, I quite enjoy all the Eurosport guys as well: my only complaint is that we seem to miss a lot of their coverage (on other Eurosport channels we can’t get in Aus I assume(?)).

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