'Bad Call'

Fritz Huber for The Paris Review, on TV sports commentators in the US:

After a prolonged TV spectacle like college football’s Bowl Week (whose contests last year included the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl and the Taxslayer.com Bowl, the latter being only a slight improvement on the all-time most absurd Galleryfurniture.com Bowl), watching English Premiership matches or Six Nations rugby on BBC feels like a cultural upgrade. There’s less advertising. There’s less analysis of bullshit statistics (“Headed into this matchup, the Kentucky Wildcats are 11-3 in games played within four days of their coach’s annual colonoscopy”). And, on British television, the commentators’ linguistic repertoires don’t feel as inhibited; there’s more room for an occasional flourish. Why can’t we have a color analyst like Ray Hudson, who, in his exuberance, will announce that we’ve just witnessed “a Bernini sculpture of a goal,” or claim that watching Lionel Messi “softens the hard corners of our lives”? A really good piece, as it parallels my thoughts on sports telecasts nowadays. I feel networks (ESPN in particular) and on-air talent bend over backwards to compliment and praise teams/players. Everything is a positive spin; nary a critical word is spoken. It's as though people are afraid to offend by using "bad" or "mediocre" in their analysis, for such language could cost them relationships and future interviews. In short, I think it's bad journalism, because I think it lacks objectivity and honesty: not every player and/or team is a good one. Why not just say so? (via Daring Fireball)