Journalist opinion of NBC comentators

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bogwoppit

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Ron Judd | Trying to figure out the scoring of gymnastics could make you crazy | Seattle Times Newspaper

Extremely funny, and spot on. If I didn't know gymnastics and understand the scoring system, I wouldn't have learned a thing from them.

Here it is.....

Due to a longstanding personal rule against interviewing people who you could fit between two slices of Wonder Bread, I've never become an expert on gymnastics.
And now, after three nights of watching it from the Beijing Games on NBC, I have to confess I know even less about it than I did before.
Credit for this goes to the Peacock Network's crack gymnastics broadcast team — Al "Somewhere Back in the Peleton" Trautwig, and former gymnasts Tim Daggett and Elfi Schlegel.
They are all there to help you understand what's going on, which, if the first couple nights of gymnastics were any indication, they clearly all three have sworn, on their mother's graves, never to do.
Let's say a gymnast is making that scissor-kick motion over the pommel horse. He smacks a thigh into the horse, stopping cold.
What you at home want to know:
Is it over? How big of a mistake was that? What's the ramifcation for the score? Will he ever have children?
What Daggett usually will tell you instead:
"Ooh! That was bad!" Or, if the slip on the apparatus has, say, actually punctured an athlete's lung, and he is leaving the arena strapped to a board: "That was crazy bad!" (These might not be exact quotes. Can you imagine writing that down?)
Conversely, if an athlete does something outstanding, Daggett will inform you just how outstanding, using precise gymnastic terms, such as:
"That was GINORMOUS!"
That's pretty much it. No calling out the moves as they happen so we know what they are. No instant analysis of points deductions and medal ramifications. (Not to mention: Rare acknowledgment that any other nation's athletes are even in Beijing, let alone on the floor.)
Once in a while, Schlegel, sensing a vacuum, will chime in helpfully:
Daggett: "That was crazy bad!"
Schlegel: "Indeed. Crazy. And bad."
Sometime in the middle of the women's team competition the other night, it finally dawned on me: NBC's broadcasters aren't keeping us from information just to mess with us. They actually might not know what's going on.
Reason: International gymnastics has adopted a new scoring system. It's not unlike the new scoring system for figure skating, which succeeded in devising a scheme so unbelievably convoluted that not even the most greedy sellout judge from France can figure out how to sell her score to the highest bidder.
Here's all you need to know:
• A perfect "10" (remember Nadia?) is now a perfect 16.9 — or somewhere thereabouts.
• The old "10" standard is gone, retired, locked up and hidden away, all saggy and deflated, like Bo Derek. In its place is a two-pronged scoring system which is, at least theoretically, open-ended, meaning there is no limit to what you can earn — a score that might be truly ginormous.
• A gymnast's "A" score begins at zero. You get different fractions of a point for various maneuvers, ranging from the common hair-flip/giggle (.1) to the flaming-sword-swallowing-full-frontal-fakie-double-half-caff-three-hitch dismount (.7) You get more fractions of points awarded for the maneuvers performed in various combinations.
It's believed that the most "A" score points a gymnast could possibly cram into a program, given current time limits — and current points at which a gymnast's body would actually explode, or perhaps break in two — is about 7.0. Although American gymnast Nastia Liukin has an uneven-bars routine with a possible difficulty value of 7.7.
• The "B" score is for execution. Here, you start at 10, and get a per-boo-boo deduction, ranging from .1 (mascara run) to .5 (severed carotid artery) to .8 (a fall) to .9 (causing an apparatus guy wire to snap free and put out the eye of the chairman of the International Olympic Committee).
Note that you can get a perfect 10 for execution, but it's not likely. And it doesn't matter, because the A and B scores, compiled by separate panels, are added together for a composite A-B score. That's your point total.
So what's a good score? Roughly, 14 and up. Fifteen is great, 16 is excellent. More than that, and you're likely heading toward the medal stand, and perhaps having Daggett say, "That's gymnastics, 101!" without explaining what that means.
You can go over 17 — Liukin did once with that crazy big uneven bars routine, which earned a 17.1.
Alas, that didn't happen at the Olympics, where a few Americans were putting up scores in the "12" range the other night. It briefly confused Chinese spectators who thought the scoreboard was displaying their own athletes' actual ages.
What can we say? They look crazy young.
Ron Judd: rjudd@seattletimes.com. Read his Olympics Insider blog at: www.seattletimes.com/Olympics
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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Thanks bog - I needed a good laugh today - that was great :rotfl::hyper::rotfl::hyper:
 

kgymn

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That was great. I particularly liked how a severed carotid artery is less of a deduction than a fall.

~Katy
 

gymdog

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Alas, that didn't happen at the Olympics, where a few Americans were putting up scores in the "12" range the other night. It briefly confused Chinese spectators who thought the scoreboard was displaying their own athletes' actual ages.
FUNNIEST THING EVER.

I also noticed when watching diving that the commentators, who were a little annoying, explained the dives (i.e. 2 1/2 twisting 1 1/2 salto or whatever was performed.) Occasionally Tim says what a gymnast is doing physically, but not consistently. He's more likely to say "Watch this! This is big!" Or that annoying "stock WAYYYY up" thing that he and Al snuck in there a few times over the last couple days.
 

gymadison

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Jan 20, 2008
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we thought one of the many funny insane remarks made from them was when nastia was about to get the gold medal one of them said "from now on she'll be known by one word" which made no sense but then he didn't say what the word was! dh said maybe that he meant 2008olympicgymnastallaroundgoldmedalwinner ;)
 

I-Heart-Beam

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Sep 9, 2007
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LMAO. There was a British article almost the same, but not quite as funny.

"Mastering the discipline's deeply arcane language is a fairly strenuous exercise in itself. When the commentator spotted some "great leg separation" on the pommel horse, it was easy enough to understand, but someone else was apparently experiencing "a full twist in the Kovacs", which sounded as painful as it probably was. I may have been mistaken (it was all happening so fast), but I thought I also picked up references to "a half-Zhivago", "a complete Cristiano Ronaldo" and "an American hot with extra anchovies".
As the extraordinary Xiao Qin, of China, stepped up to the stage, Mitch Fenner had some wise counsel for Matt Baker, Fenner's partner in the commentary box. "When you write the book on pommel horse technique, Matt, the word you will use is ‘stretched body'," Fenner said. Encouragingly, that's two words, in fact, Mitch, leaving only 59,998 words or so before the book is a goer. Nevertheless, what a volume this will be. "
 
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gracefulone

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Alas, that didn't happen at the Olympics, where a few Americans were putting up scores in the "12" range the other night. It briefly confused Chinese spectators who thought the scoreboard was displaying their own athletes' actual ages.

That was my favorite too!
 
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Helen88

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'Once in a while, Schlegel, sensing a vacuum, will chime in helpfully:
Daggett: "That was crazy bad!"
Schlegel: "Indeed. Crazy. And bad."'

LOL that reminds me of some of the Eurosport commentators:

1: 'oh no!! He fell off!!!!'

*Pause*

2: 'He fell off!!

*Longer pause*

1: 'How much damage will that do?'


Umm yes...that's what you're meant to tell us!!
 

kaenhu

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Jun 5, 2008
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So does anyone actually like Tim/Elfie/Al? I have never liked them and I hear nothing but parodies and complaints about them. When will NBC bring in new blood? And who do you all think the new commentators should be?
 

I-Heart-Beam

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Sep 9, 2007
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So does anyone actually like Tim/Elfie/Al? I have never liked them and I hear nothing but parodies and complaints about them. When will NBC bring in new blood? And who do you all think the new commentators should be?
Ex elite gymnasts but they should be like "guest commentators"- a different one each time. Like Mary Lou Retton or one of the Mag. 7- it'd be so interesting what they'd say watching a gymnastics competition today.
 

Cynical-Chick

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Mar 5, 2008
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So does anyone actually like Tim/Elfie/Al? I have never liked them and I hear nothing but parodies and complaints about them. When will NBC bring in new blood? And who do you all think the new commentators should be?
I loved the team of Bart Conner and Raj, for the men's, in the '07 Worlds (for WCSN.com). For the women's, Bart teamed with Tasha Schweikert, who was as bad as Elfie & Tim. "Wow, HUGE dismount!" "HUGE double-double from Shawn!" I should buy the poor girl a thesaurus.

ETA: IHB, you are aware that Tim & Elfie are former elites, right?
 

I-Heart-Beam

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Sep 9, 2007
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I loved the team of Bart Conner and Raj, for the men's, in the '07 Worlds (for WCSN.com). For the women's, Bart teamed with Tasha Schweikert, who was as bad as Elfie & Tim. "Wow, HUGE dismount!" "HUGE double-double from Shawn!" I should buy the poor girl a thesaurus.

ETA: IHB, you are aware that Tim & Elfie are former elites, right?
Yep. Came to me right after I closed down my computer :ashamed:.

I meant more famous or recent ex elites.
 

all-aroundgirl

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Aug 26, 2008
646
Texas
They are not as bad as Rowdy Gaines, the swimming commentator. Did any of you hear him? It sounded like he WANTED America to lose. He kept saying "There is no way that the (swimmer or US) can possibly win this." I loved it when he was proved wrong! :p

Tim did use techincal terms (if you didn't notice) like how much of a deducation it would be from the score (note: he usually only did that if it was a foreign competitor. Very pro-US that man) while the other two were like :Uhhh...yes....I think?"

The women's basketbal team commentators where AWFUL! They told us the score for both of the indoor volleyball games before they had aired. It's like HELLO! Did we WANT to know THAT! Uh....NO!

They won't replace these guys. I swear Rowdy Gaines and the other commentator (I can never remember his name) need to get FIRED! Just because one girl for swimming's name was Hannah Miley, they kept bringing up "Hannah Montana aka Miley Cyrus is not swimming" and thinking they were SO funny! How bout SO STUPID!:eek:

Tim was good enough in the "deduction area" that my 12 year old brother could figure out the mistakes and deductions. Course he would only do it if it was from any other team than America. especially with China he did it. They did act weird when one girl went and they were like "she's gonna win" and I was like HELLO! Her routine like SUCKED and there was no way she could beat Nastia or Shawn. These NBC commentators can drive one insane. I'm ranting now...:D Habit of mine!:D:D:D
 

Cynical-Chick

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Mar 5, 2008
374
Sydney
I love NBC's programming (The West Wing = best show EVER), but damn do I hate them when the Olympics roll around.

I feel sorry for Hannah Miley. My first name is Hannah, my last name not anything like that, and the next person to call me Hannah Montana will have their eyes removed with a spork.
 

I-Heart-Beam

Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
964
Scotland
I love NBC's programming (The West Wing = best show EVER), but damn do I hate them when the Olympics roll around.

I feel sorry for Hannah Miley. My first name is Hannah, my last name not anything like that, and the next person to call me Hannah Montana will have their eyes removed with a spork.
Lmao. Hannah Miley is the guy I sit next to in maths' next door neighbours cousin!!! How cool is that?
 
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GatorGradKt

Guest
Go NBC!


Go NBC – we missed Tim & Elfie at Worlds 2010



Clearly there are a lot of varying opinions here but let’s be honest, if you really kept up with the sport you would know what they're talking about 99% of the time. And sure, they go a bit much on pointing out the obvious sometimes but that is, after all, part of their job.

For instance, have you ever listened to the BBC or any other commentators that cover the sport, its athletes and coaches anywhere near as well as Tim and Elfie on gymnastics? NO

If any of you watched this year's Worlds via Universal Sports and didn't want to throw something at the TV/laptop for the horrendous lack of prelims coverage and knowledgeable commentary (not NBC's televised but all online)... well, we agree to disagree.
 

GAgymmom

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new commentators

I think it should be the two Johns on WipeOut. At least then it will be enjoyable to listen to. As we watch broadcast gymnastics, we at are house constantly yell at the TV, "Shut up, Tim!" I also hate it when the cameras follow a particular gymnast after their routine (or before it, waiting to go), as they drink water, un-tape, get dressed, stare at the scoreboard, pace, etc., instead of letting us see other gymnasts that are still competing. Believe it or not, we tune in to watch GYMNASTICS, not just certain gymnasts pick their nose and walk around.
 

Terpsikhore

New Member
Oct 6, 2010
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England
I think it should be the two Johns on WipeOut. At least then it will be enjoyable to listen to.
I love this idea!

The good thing about the Eurosport commentators is that at least they keep quiet a lot of the time...or at least they USED to. I haven't owned a television set for quite a few years, so they've probably changed to a set of commentators now who rabbit on all the time too. But I'd much rather have the odd satisfying 'thunk!' as someone lands a skill, than a pair of voices droning on about so-and-so's performance at the Worlds last year and how well she attacks the apparatus.
 
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