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All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

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    All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

    I'm sure this must have been done before, but anyway here goes - your choices can be living or dead

    1 Richie Benaud

    2 Bill Mclaren

    3 Dan Maskell

    4 Barry Davies

    5 Peter Aliss

    #2
    All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

    Alliss, clearly, will always be my favourite. I went to see the great man at "an evening with ..." style event at a threatre in Lytham last summer, he was mesmerising, even at the age of 80. Treasure his commentary at this year's Open, you never know, one year it'll be his last.

    1953, he was the young player thrown in at the deep end who lost the Ryder Cup for us at Wentworth. That's 59 years ago. Apart from winning an Open himself (he did finish in the top ten five times, and won 3 British PGA titles) he's pretty much done, and subsequently seen, everything there is in golf over the years.

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      #3
      All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

      1. Benaud

      2. Harry Commentator is the Carpenter

      3. Coleman (yeah, I know, but he was a master)

      4. Reg Gutteridge

      5. Adrian Healey (ESPN)

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        #4
        All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

        The bloke who does the cycling on ITV4 (used to be Channel 4), too. Phil something. I could listen to him ramble on for hours (indeed, do).

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          #5
          All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

          This thread is an age giveaway:

          John Arlott

          Eddie Waring

          Kenneth Wolstenholme

          Raymond Baxter

          Jim Robson (unknown outside Canada I imagine)

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            #6
            All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

            Benaud, Arlott, Laker, then perhaps Peter O'Sullevan, then the field. I've never truly rated a football commentator, oddly--though Clough was, and Keane is, a wonderfully undiplomatic "analyser". McLaren was obviously very good at what he did, but he ended up annoying me, with all the stuff about golf and that business of pretending League didn't exist.

            Speaking of which, the BBC have never had a national RL commentator who's anywhere near up to the job. I'm less familiar with the Sky lot--and with Sky commentators generally, whom I only ever hear over the hubbub of a pub conversation.

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              #7
              All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

              You didn't rate Eddie?

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                #8
                All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                Always found him Waring. Ah ha ha ha.

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                  #9
                  All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                  Heh heh... super.

                  I don't know if he was really any good, but in the middle of a gloomy January, when Hitchin weren't playing at home, he perked up Saturday afternoons.

                  "And it's ah Featherstone ah Rovers ah three, and ah Hunslet three." I mean where were these places? I was from Yorkshire but had no idea. Eddie made them seem quite jolly though.

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                    #10
                    All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                    [quote=satchmo76 post=688070]
                    3. Coleman (yeah, I know, but he was a master)

                    No one said "One - Nil" better than Coleman.

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                      #11
                      All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                      1. Bill Mclaren - His commentary had a grandfatherly quality, I loved his wacky metaphors and his love for the game was so evident in his broadcasts. In my eyes the guy was/is peerless.

                      *Daylight*

                      2. John Pearce - Loved him when he first worked on Capital Gold in the late 80s/early 90s, at the time his style was a breath of fresh air in a world of dour.

                      3. Marv Albert - Synonymous with the Jordan era of the NBA, just a great, authoritative voice.

                      4. Murray Walker - Bit of an annoying tosser but he made so many mistakes in his commentary that it was amusing. Like Mclaren his passion and enthusiasm for the sport was irrepressible.

                      5. John Amaechi - Booming baritone, thoughtful and articulate - his commentary really enhanced my viewing pleasure during the 2012 Olympic basketball tournament.

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                        #12
                        All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                        Bill King for me.

                        Knew his sports (announced basketball, football and baseball) - and via radio he perfectly described the game.

                        You'd never guess he was a Bay Area announcer now would you?


                        Probably his most famous bit - the "Holy Roller" Raider/Charger game.

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                          #13
                          All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                          El Tel wrote: 1. Bill Mclaren - His commentary had a grandfatherly quality, I loved his wacky metaphors and his love for the game was so evident in his broadcasts. In my eyes the guy was/is peerless.
                          According to an aunt of mine, this wasn't a persona, either. He was also grandfatherly when dealing with people behind-the-scenes. She was working in PR for the BBC, and said McLaren was lovely to deal with. Perfectly happy for the young people to be around and to chat with them, but saw no need for them to do things for him that he could easily do himself.

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                            #14
                            All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                            Chick Hearn

                            Vin Scully

                            Keith Jackson

                            Marv Alberts

                            Al Michaels

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                              #15
                              All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                              I liked Marv, but couldn't respect him after that creepy sexual charge.

                              Chick Hearn and Vin Scully - total pros.

                              Keith Jackson also a solid announcer. I worked with him for a couple of OU games in college and he was a decent guy.

                              I'll throw in Dandy Don Meredith as my favorite 'color' announcer - by a mile.

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                                #16
                                All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                Wow, you worked with Keith Jackson?

                                I may have to bump Al Michaels for Dick Enberg. Wimbledon still isn't the same for me without him announcing it. Was also the UCLA men's basketball TV play-by-play man in the 60s and 70s.

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                                  #17
                                  All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                  Peter Jones.

                                  Not that Peter Jones, or that Peter Jones, or any other Peter Jones.

                                  The Peter Jones.

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                                    #18
                                    All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                    Mike Lang - Pens hockey
                                    Marty Brennamen and Joe Nuxhall - Reds on the radio
                                    Al Michaels
                                    Steve Jones - Does all Penn State sports and the State College Spikes
                                    That one time NBC, I think, tried an NFL game with no announcers. I liked that the most.

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                                      #19
                                      All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                      Incandenza wrote: Wow, you worked with Keith Jackson?
                                      Well, worked as in I did some pre-game computer graphics and relayed stats for him in the press box. No yellow ABC blazer for me.

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                                        #20
                                        All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                        David Coleman - if only because I can do a passable impersonation, which has the added bonus of irritating TLMG something rotten.

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                                          #21
                                          All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                          Richie Benaud, by a long way.
                                          Ron Pickering
                                          Bumble
                                          Mikey Holding
                                          John Arlott

                                          It's nearly all about cricket.

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                                            #22
                                            All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                            An important thing about Arlott and Pickering is that they were primarily journalists and broadcasters by trade. This might sound like protectionist whinging but we've swung far too strongly towards the presumption that you have to have played something to be any good at comment(at)ing on it. Ex-players predominate, and they tend to be part of cosy in-clubs which ensure difficult questions are less likely to be asked. Whereas a lifetime's informed (and obsessive) watching is as good a grounding as any.

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                                              #23
                                              All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                              To Benaud's great credit, he did see the necessity of a thorough grounding in journalistic skills. At the end of one of his tours of England in the fifties he stayed behind to take a presenting course with the BBC - as a sort of hedge against his approaching retirement - and then worked as a general reporter on the News of the World before moving into sports journalism and presenting.

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                                                #24
                                                All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                                @E10

                                                I'd go along with that. Though it might be a pendulum thing, also the Arlotts and Bernard Joys came from a time when it was possible to be part of the "club" and also have an existence outside it. For example, Raymond Baxter was part of the Motor Racers club literally and figuratively but had a professional life outside it. Sport then wasn't a 24/7 activity, even at its top levels, most athletes had other jobs out of season, so the overlap between journalism/commentating and participation was much more organic than it is today.

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                                                  #25
                                                  All Time Favourite Sports Commentators

                                                  While I broadly agree with E10 about the supplanting of journalists with former players, there have been times, usually listening to the cricket on the radio, when former players have offered an insight you might not get from a journalist.

                                                  I remember listening to Michael Vaughan during a test match and he was asked what he would do to break up a stubborn partnership if he were in Andrew Strauss' shoes. He suggested a bowling change and where the new bowler should bowl and what the field should be. It was real insider's stuff, based on his intimate knowledge of the players involved.

                                                  Best commentators for me:
                                                  Bill McClaren.
                                                  Richie Benaud.
                                                  David Coleman (because they'd only wheel him out for the big matches).
                                                  Bryon Butler.
                                                  Peter Jones.
                                                  John Arlott.
                                                  Jonathan Agnew.

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