Thursday, April 9, 2009

Versus Cycling Commentary, Part Two

Adrian Karsten
From Misc Bike Pics

Adrian Karsten hosted the Tour de France coverage on ESPN, so he may not belong on this list, but he was the guy who sat with Phil and Paul for the earliest regular coverage. He was a football player turned ESPN color commentator. He also committed suicide just before he was scheduled to go to prison for tax evasion. This brings to mind a couple of things. First, my grandmother has a saying that was applicable here. Keep in mind that my grandmother was of the always-wears-pearls-and-pumps set, but she once said of someone, "He was a son-of-a-bitch while he was alive, and he still a son-of-a-bitch now that he's dead." So, the fact that Karsten offed himself shouldn't change my opinion of him, but on the other hand, I don't feel like making fun of him anymore.

Al Trautwig

This will surprise some of you, but I try to not ALWAYS operate from a position of ignorance. So, instead of finding a picture of Al and making fun of the fact he was a spray-tan fan way before it was cool, instead I will quote this from the Al Trautwig Wikipedia page:
Trautwig was from 2004 through 2007 a cycling commentator for the Versus cable network's coverage of the Tour de France. Despite his years of experience as a broadcaster, he was sometimes criticized by cycling fans, for his occasionally uninformed commentary, and his tendency to compare the Tour to various mainstream sports he covers.
Huh. I didn't know we criticized him for his "occasionally uniformed commentary;" I thought we made fun of him for his inability to learn anything. He seemed so genuine in his lack of understanding form day to day and from year to year. Somehow he thought his role was to bring the "everyman" perspective to the broadcast and that to do this, it was important to never, ever be tainted by knowledge of the sport. And no, we didn't like his comparisons to mainstream sports because, for the most part, we don't like those sports which is why we are watching cycling on television. Do they do hockey comparisons during soccer? Cage fighting analogies during football? Sports analogies during NASCAR? No, because these things aren't comparable.

Oh yeah, here is the picture of Al. You know you wanted it.
From Misc Bike Pics

Craig Hummer

What can I say about Craig Hummer that can't be perfectly summed up by this:
From Misc Bike Pics

Oh, I guess I found a few words to say about Craig Hummer, like these:

Thoughts on the Tour of California

Dr. Spalm Discusses Craig Hummer

Things More Annoying Than Craig Hummer

Rasika Mathur

You know, I'm sure that there are people who found Ms. Mathur funny. They are wrong. She was a useless addition to the Tour of California. Like REM, I had lost my religion, but I just found it again. I am praying fervently that Rasika Mathur is not part of the Tour de France coverage team. Amen.

Frankie Andreau

From Misc Bike Pics

I think Frankie is probably a good guy. I feel bad about the situation he got into with Lance, his wife and various lawsuits. I also feel bad that I don't like him more than I do as a commentary person. It's not that he is bad, because I don't think he is. It's just that he isn't that good. A guy who knows this much about cycling should be marvelous. He is closer to the days in the saddle than Paul or Bob, but he has a hard time translating it into his comments. I think most of the time he is trying too hard. I suppose it's a cut-throat business, since some female Indian comic is waiting in the wings to take your place, but Frankie needs to relax. I also suppose it's hard to relax when the GREATEST CYCLING STORY OF ALL TIME LANCE ARMSTRONG is gunning for you and anyone who hires you is subject to scrutiny from GCSOATLA, but Frankie after a couple of beers is probably the commentator I want to hear.

Kirsten Gum

From Misc Bike Pics

Oh Kirsten Gum, we hardly knew you. Oh sure, we knew about your days doing NASCAR commentary which were ended by an inadvisable DUI in the early morning hours before you were due trackside, but did we really get a chance to know the real you? Maybe we did, but when the internets were going crazy calling for your head and drumming you off of OLN, we had NO IDEA what a load of buffoons were going to come along to replace you. Would anyone in their right mind really trade Kirsten Gum in for Al Trautwig?

There is a saying that you can't really appreciate what you had until it's gone, and with Kirsten, it's true. Yeah, she needed to keep learning and she needed to keep quiet and let the Phil and Paul show go, but in hindsight, she was SO MUCH BETTER than most of those that came afterward that I have been missing her more and more. And just to be clear, it's not all about the boob job. I would be glad to have her back regardless of the size of her chest. But that's just the kind of guy I am.

So I guess Kirsten is off doing some other shows, at least one featuring deep sea treasure hunting, but if I have to pick between Craig Hummer in his speedo or Kirsten Gum on the beach, it's no contest.

From Misc Bike Pics

1 comment:

  1. I liked Kristen, especially the flirty blonde Kristen with Bob Roll. She has expressive hands, and ahem, yeah, huh huh huh. She was fun, was picking it up and generally okay for a non-cyclist. Still miss her, though not sicko stalker miss her. The peloton rolls on.