Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Death of a Commentator

Once upon a time, Alan Wilkins used to be a humorous, lovable and engaging anchor, who was so much better than umpteen other pretenders on various sports channels. However,listen to him of late and you know instantly that he has lost it. Totally.
I hope its a passing bad phase and he can rediscover himself soon. Because we would like to see him get back to his old avatar where he was a facilitator for all the expert discussions and was not trying to that job by himself. Quite honestly, he underdstands very little of tennis and is even poorer when it comes to the history of the game. At least that is what is apparent.Especially with his rampant usage of words/phrases like "history being created", "genius" and many more!
The Murray-Wawrinka match was definitely an exciting one. And one can very well appreciate Wilkins' sentiments, him being a Welsh man. However, hasnt the British-man-winning-Wimbledon romance been done to death during the last two decades? First it was Henman which to me, was a ridiculous fantasy. Now its Murray which is definitely possible. But it doesnt grant a license even to Vijay Amritraj to pronounce him as a genius after something like a routine volley. And though it comes from Vijay, I dare say its gross injustice to words like that which deserves to be used only sparingly. When you do that you are creating hype right there.
Murray's first three rounds were Kendrick, Gulbis and Troicki which he was anyway expected to win in a canter. His first "test" (if it can be termed so) was Wawrinka, a top 20; but again someone whom Murray is expected to take in straight sets. Muray can definitely go ahead and win the tournament. But the commentators could have saved the superlatives and their limited vocabulary for the expectedly difficult matches to come and for more deserving circumstances.
Another big laugh was the phrase "British No. 1" being used generously all throughout the telecast of that match. I mean does anyone know (or care) who the British No. 2 is? Except for a period when Rusedski was sane, Britain had only one tennis player anyway!For arguments sake you can drop names like Arvind Parmar. But Oh Come on now, be a sport!
Footnote: The most exciting aspect of that match, to me, was seeing Wawrinka's devastating single handed backhand and not any of Murray's strokes of "genius".

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