Today is a grouchy day at Wimbledon, with Jelena scowling through her upset on Court 18 (look out for Tamarine!), the Williams sisters icily accepting their graveyard court assignments (click here), and me, annoyed to no end by the television coverage.
I understand that ESPN has done right by tennis over the past few years – expanding coverage and improving its production values. Their record-setting 14 hours of uninterrupted Aussie Open coverage was phenomenal. And while NBC has better opening montages, their taped coverage continues to fall short. That said, I’m starting to suspect that ESPN prefers showing corny vignettes and Brad Gilbert’s face instead of live tennis!
Today, Chris, Brad and Pam chatted right through the first two games of the Fed-Hewitt second set, while Roger scored a crucial break. They continually pulled away from live action to give us “updates” on matches that had already been completed. I understand this during the first couple of rounds, when there are scores of matches and little chance of upsets (well, except for this tournament!), but by the fourth round, the focus needs to be on the live tennis. Duh!
And am I the only one who groans every time one of those black and white montages featuring Terrance Stamp’s voice and a whole bunch of activities that aren’t tennis (like break dancing) come on? That one red strawberry at the end kills me every time!
My final grump: I hate ESPNS’s one line scoreboard. It complicates things – you have to read it one way for service games and the other way (depending on how the names are ordered) for the tiebreaks. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!
Alright, now that I’ve fumed for a little bit I’ll get back to watching tennis. . .