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Observations on the TdF Broadcast: What Paul Sherwen really brought to the Tour

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Observations on the TdF Broadcast: What Paul Sherwen really brought to the Tour

Old 07-25-19, 11:00 AM
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Observations on the TdF Broadcast: What Paul Sherwen really brought to the Tour

We've had a couple weeks of the Tour de France broadcast and I thought it might be time for a few observations . . .

Paul Sherwen -- What did he really bring to the broadcast? Racing experience and expertise, of course, but having now experienced Bob Roll, I have a greater appreciation for Sherwen's professionalism. Sherwen always appeared prepared. When he read those inane travelogue scripts about the castles and churches and historical events, it sounded as if he knew and cared about them. You never got the impression he was reading from the promoter's script. With Phil and Bob? We've now seen a glimpse behind the curtain. Whenever the cameras pick up an historic landmark, they obviously scramble to find the script. And read it poorly.

Bob Roll -- What does he bring? Like Sherwen, he's got pro peloton experience. But he also brings a great sense of humor. Did you see him on the pre-ride wearing tourist garb on the bike, descending at 45+ mph? Dark knee socks, Bermuda shorts, and a bowling-style shirt. Classic.

And what about the abbreviated highlight shows? Didn't they used to broadcast a 1-hour highlight show in the evenings? I watch every minute of the Tour, but I've got to admit that there are days (sprint stages) when an hour of highlights would be enough. I hesitate to recommend that a newbie watch the Tour (sprint stages) because most people can't tolerate 5 1/2 hours of abject nothingness (sprint stages) to get to the exciting 300 meter sprint. I think they need to bring back the 1-hour highlight show. It would be good for ratings and for the sport.

Finally, it's a shame that Froome was injured and unable to race. But it's a vastly better Tour without him. Best TdF in a decade or more.

Those are my two cents. Any other observations?

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Old 07-25-19, 11:05 AM
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My cat messes up his English less often than Bob Roll.
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Old 07-25-19, 11:24 AM
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Which commercial was Bob Roll in? All I see when I watch the Tour De France is commercials.
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Old 07-25-19, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Sojodave View Post
Which commercial was Bob Roll in? All I see when I watch the Tour De France is commercials.
There ARE a ton of commercials. I'm thankful for DVR -- skip right through them. (Otherwise, I'm not sure I would make it through the broadcast.) But I'm glad they are able to sell so many commercials. That should keep the TdF broadcast alive.
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Old 07-25-19, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
We've had a couple weeks of the Tour de France broadcast and I thought it might be time for a few observations . . .

Paul Sherwen -- What did he really bring to the broadcast? Racing experience and expertise, of course, but having now experienced Bob Roll, I have a greater appreciation for Sherwen's professionalism. Sherwen always appeared prepared. When he read those inane travelogue scripts about the castles and churches and historical events, it sounded as if he knew and cared about them. You never got the impression he was reading from the promoter's script. With Phil and Bob? We've now seen a glimpse behind the curtain. Whenever the cameras pick up an historic landmark, they obviously scramble to find the script. And read it poorly.

Bob Roll -- What does he bring? Like Sherwen, he's got pro peloton experience. But he also brings a great sense of humor. Did you see him on the pre-ride wearing tourist garb on the bike, descending at 45+ mph? Dark knee socks, Bermuda shorts, and a bowling-style shirt. Classic.

And what about the abbreviated highlight shows? Didn't they used to broadcast a 1-hour highlight show in the evenings? I watch every minute of the Tour, but I've got to admit that there are days (sprint stages) when an hour of highlights would be enough. I hesitate to recommend that a newbie watch the Tour (sprint stages) because most people can't tolerate 5 1/2 hours of abject nothingness (sprint stages) to get to the exciting 300 meter sprint. I think they need to bring back the 1-hour highlight show. It would be good for ratings and for the sport.

Finally, it's a shame that Froome was injured and unable to race. But it's a vastly better Tour without him. Best TdF in a decade or more.

Those are my two cents. Any other observations?
Good observations. I miss Paul but I also like Bob. I think he's done a good job of filling Paul's spot. He certainly doesn't have the proper (British? South Africian?) accent but does bring some goofiness to the team.

Check out NBC Sports YouTube chanel for a good 10-15 minute summary of the day. https://www.youtube.com/user/2012NBCOlympics/videos I've been watching those the last couple of days to get through the sprint stages, but you bet I'm going to be on the couch for tonight, Friday and Saturday to wach the final mountain stages. No spoilers please!
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Old 07-25-19, 08:32 PM
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The day I figured out how to watch Eurosport was the day I finally enjoyed watching the TdF on TV.

Having to listen to any of the guys on American broadcasts is torture.

I prefer to listen to the race in Dutch or German or some other language I can't comprehend than watch the NBC show.

Oh, and no commercials when there's something happening in the race!
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Old 07-25-19, 08:41 PM
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Paul did a great job with the side notes about he various castles etc. While I'm sure Paul was just reading crib notes, it definitely sounds like Bob is in fact reading.

Pual's interactions with Phil were seamless, and Bob's at this point are awkward. This is to be expected, given the years Phil and Paul worked together.

On a positive, i think Phil has upped his game. Without Paul to rely on to correct his mistake, i think Phil is sharper.

On the negative, I think the "Paul" roll Bob now plays limits the inner Bobke.

I personally like Bobke in a more free wheeling commentary roll.

Time will tell if Bob grows into the shoes of Paul.

But for now to paraphrase Loyd Benson, " I knew Paul, and you sir, are no Paul"
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Old 07-25-19, 08:44 PM
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
The day I figured out how to watch Eurosport was the day I finally enjoyed watching the TdF on TV.

Having to listen to any of the guys on American broadcasts is torture.

I prefer to listen to the race in Dutch or German or some other language I can't comprehend than watch the NBC show.

Oh, and no commercials when there's something happening in the race!
well listening to Sean Kelley on Eurosport, your already not listening in English.
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Old 07-26-19, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
On a positive, i think Phil has upped his game. Without Paul to rely on to correct his mistake, i think Phil is sharper.
Absolutely correct. In the past two or three years, I've begun to wonder if Phil should retire. He seemed a little addled at times . . . and sometimes a lot addled. But this year, he's definitely back on his game. Much sharper.
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Old 07-26-19, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
well listening to Sean Kelley on Eurosport, your already not listening in English.
Exactly! English through a mouthful of mashed potato sandwich.

I still like it, and it's very different than the NBC one.
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Old 07-26-19, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by merlinextraligh View Post
On the negative, I think the "Paul" roll Bob now plays limits the inner Bobke.

I personally like Bobke in a more free wheeling commentary roll.
Having watched some of his YouTube channel in recent years (Bobke TV), I was shocked to see this smiling, polo-shirt wearing, clean shaven Bobke on the Tour coverage. The inner Bobke needs to be released!

He does have a good TV voice, though. Almost Bob Costas-like.

I like the guy. They need to keep him around.
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Old 07-26-19, 10:14 AM
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According to Roll, there is a country called Argen-teeny-ya. It must be an extremely small country.
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Old 07-26-19, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post

He does have a good TV voice, though. Almost Bob Costas-like.
Unlike Chris Horner.
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Old 07-26-19, 02:09 PM
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Sherwen annoyed me often with these simplistic explanations about cycling and why things are happening over and over...every broadcast he would repeat the same things like a bunch of people are watching that never rode a bike ever or seen cycling at times.

There were times when he was good as a former racer, and he was a very generous person and good human being/citizen to the World.
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Old 07-26-19, 03:35 PM
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I have to say that I'm kinda enjoying the travellogue that Bob and Phil are providing. Makes me feel like I'm getting a bit of a long distance, fly over vacation in France.

Loved the yellow sheep that the farmers and dogs were herding into the jersey shaped corral the other day. THAT was innovative
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Old 07-26-19, 03:53 PM
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Paul was one of my favorite announcers in all sport and I miss him as I knew I would. Not to say Bob is doing a bad job but those are some huge shoes to fill. And I totally agree about Paul's professionalism in presenting the interesting sights and sounds throughout the race. He was always prepared and even though he was reading from a script I'm sure, he did make it sound like he wasn't. Plus, I always had the impression he was a pretty sharp individual and enjoyed always enjoyed listening to him.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
My cat messes up his English less often than Bob Roll.
And would know the route better and recognize riders better on sight than either Phil or Paul.
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Old 07-26-19, 04:27 PM
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There's a great discussion from 7 months ago between LA and Bob Roll as to who would ever fill Paul's shoes, what a great man Paul was, etc. The man was practically a a saint. Couldn't climb worth a damn though. Sherwen discussion begins at 34:15, I found it riveting.


One of the things Armstrong said about Raul Alcala proved kinda prophetic, when he speculated how huge it would have been for the sport had Alcala, a Mexican, won the Tour. Now in this year's race, we have a situation where a Colombian may win the Tour for the firsr time. I can only imagine the dollar signs the bike industry must be seeing right about now, should Bernal ride into Paris in yellow. South America is a huge market.
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Old 07-26-19, 05:12 PM
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I followed your link and arrived at a page full of NFL videos. Such is the case when crossing international borders. I will continue to search the site and see what I can find. Here, the only video I have access to is the 6 1/2 minute GCN things.
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Old 07-26-19, 05:43 PM
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I believe you are the same person who was having the board software doing some really bizarre auto-censoring of your posts. Your luck with the internet seems terrible. I don't know any other way to hear the podcast, other than maybe on a phone. It's the "The Bob Roll Interview" from late 2018, or early 2019. Search for "Lance Armstrong Podcast".
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Old 07-26-19, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by zigmeister View Post
Sherwen annoyed me often with these simplistic explanations about cycling and why things are happening over and over...every broadcast he would repeat the same things like a bunch of people are watching that never rode a bike ever or seen cycling at times.

There were times when he was good as a former racer, and he was a very generous person and good human being/citizen to the World.
You also have to consider the audienc. The way you comment on the Tour de France, which draws an audience including many casual fans, is different from the way you comment on De Ronde.

Just as commentators calling the Super Bowl dumb down the Analyis the would do for Monday night football
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Old 07-26-19, 09:13 PM
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While I miss Paul, Bob is doing a helluva good job.
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Old 07-26-19, 09:16 PM
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I like vendevelde and Horner they were great additions in the last few years or so
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Old 07-27-19, 06:39 PM
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Phil Liggett absolutely drives me nuts. He refuses to try to pronounce riders names in their actual language. His latest pronunciation of Matteo Trentin as Trenton as in the capitol of NJ makes me crazy. I know you're British but, really, it's not that hard.
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Old 07-28-19, 05:51 AM
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Not a big fan of Chris Horner.
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