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View Full Version : ESPN needs a fact-checker


Brian Stewart
Jun 25th, 2005, 11:55 AM
The stats/info guys at ESPN have not had a good Wimbledon so far.

It started innocently enough, with the misspelling of Angela Haynes' name as "Hayes" in a graphic promoting the match with Serena, which Chris Fowler dutifully read verbatim (apparently not knowing her name himself). This could have been a simple typo, or it could have been sloppiness on the part of the research staff. Normally, you would expect it was the former. However, in subsequent events:

During an interview with Clijsters, Fowler made the comment that "not too many" of the top women played the grasscourt warmup events. A cursory glance at the draws showed 7 of the top 10 did. Apparently "not too many" means the top Americans didn't.

During a Roddick match, a graphic listing the gaps between first and second slam singles titles for some prominent men had the gap for Connors at 4 years. (It was 4 years between the '74 Australian and '74 Wimbledon?) Amazingly, this was not corrected by Patrick McEnroe. Not surprisingly, it wasn't caught by Dick Enberg, whose contribution to the telecasts consists of being the "books on tape" version of the media guides.

Had a double-dip on Friday. First, during the Dementieva/Washington match, Fowler stated that Washington was from Houston. When Fernandez later compared Washington's game to Rubin's, Fowler chimed in with "speaking of players from Houston". ??? Rubin's lived in Louisiana her whole life. (I'm surprised Mary Joe concurred with Fowler's mistake.)

Then, during an interview with Myskina, Fowler said her opponent (Jankovic) was 16 years old! Surprised the hell out of Anastasia.

Did I miss any? Were there any similar flubs in international telecasts? Might as well have fun with this thread.

mrush2004
Jun 25th, 2005, 12:00 PM
well if the facts are incorrect i'm sure they wouldnt want to correct eachother cause it would embarrass them and espn on air.

Lady
Jun 25th, 2005, 12:00 PM
Good thread! :lol:

Brian Stewart
Jun 26th, 2005, 01:27 PM
And still more today.

After Serena's loss, Fowler incorrectly informed us that Craybas was the lowest ranked player ever to beat Serena. (It was Anne Miller, at #149.)

And, as pointed out by comeon55, it was stated that the USA had no one in the top 20 junior girls. Oops.

But then, considering Fowlup is involved in most of these errors, maybe I'm blaming the wrong folks.

True story: I was passing along this info to Lawrence Jeziak (the tennis TV critic). I included most of them in one email, including the Connors 4-year gap error. In a subsequent update, I told him about the Jankovic error (16 instead of 20), to which he quipped "there's your 4-year gap". :)

graf_fan_
Jun 26th, 2005, 02:16 PM
They are horrible.

The commentators consistently call Dechy a 'claycourt specialist'. I don't know where they get that.

I stood next to the ESPN booth during the family circle cup while a telecast was going on. Inside the booth Pam Shriver had this big white three ring binder notebook that said her name on the front. I guess this is what they get for their 'study guide'.

We the home viewers would like to think/hope that their 'study guide' was being involved full time with the tour, knowing all the players games....what is going on on the tour etc....

But WE know more than they do. They waltz in off the plane...get their big white notebook and thumb through it on the air to give us their 'insights'

If i had that job..........geez ............i would actually TRY.

joaco
Jun 26th, 2005, 04:30 PM
They are horrible.

The commentators consistently call Dechy a 'claycourt specialist'. I don't know where they get that.

I stood next to the ESPN booth during the family circle cup while a telecast was going on. Inside the booth Pam Shriver had this big white three ring binder notebook that said her name on the front. I guess this is what they get for their 'study guide'.

We the home viewers would like to think/hope that their 'study guide' was being involved full time with the tour, knowing all the players games....what is going on on the tour etc....

But WE know more than they do. They waltz in off the plane...get their big white notebook and thumb through it on the air to give us their 'insights'

If i had that job..........geez ............i would actually TRY.


Totally.... ESPN commentators in Argentina are trully beyond PATHETIC. I really don't understand why ESPN simply doesn't care their viewers get good commentators. At least in the USA you get to commentate a few former players, some pleople who, like it or not, know the game (although it may, most of the time, look like they don't).
In Argentina the tennis commentators are those 'all around ESPN commentators' who will be commentating when ESPN is showing duck hunting, or motorbike racing. They don't GIVE A SHIT about tennis, and their comments are abolutely not insightful. Insightful? They are completely irrelevant and obvious.
They don't make stats mistakes because they don't even give them! And they always repeat the same comments or say phrases such as "Nalbandian will have to improve technically for his next opponent". Technically?! How? In what concern? They have absolutely no idea what they're talking about, and I hate they try to show they do. Everyone realizes they don't!

ANyway, I'm watching tennis mute right now. It gets me much less frustrated. Sorry for my complains, I just had to get it out;)

Joaco

ptkten
Jun 26th, 2005, 06:28 PM
What's been so irritating for me the last couple of days is Mary Carillo continuously complaining about Venus not playing doubles, but Venus is entered in the Mixed Doubles, which I don't think any of the commentators even realize :rolleyes:

Julia1968
Jun 26th, 2005, 07:47 PM
You don't seem to like ESPN that well. In fact, you've more than once attacked Mary Carillo.

As someone who has played and followed the game going on three decades, I find it comforting that I can now view early round coverage of grand slam events on television. That wasn't always the case.

ESPN's first entrance into tennis coverage was in the late '80's after the new stadium was built at the Australian Open. Of course, we remember that they only covered the semi's and finals during that time period. Their predecessor, HBO, was the first to televise COMPLETE early round coverage of Wimbledon in the mid '80's. Before that, only CBS and NBC would show highlights of early round play on the weekends, but they never showed hours upon hours of play like the cable networks USA Network, HBO and ESPN did/does.

However, we all remember the Thursday afternoons on CBS and NBC when they pre-empted the soaps for Wimby and US Open coverage for about three good hours.

As a fan of tennis, I am appreciative that they now show early round coverage of ALL the grand slam events. That's huge for a tennis fan. And having lived during a period when that wasn't always the case, it makes me even more appreciative.

So when someone needles, and nit-picks ESPN about silly factual errors that occur during programming, I think its really stupid and unappreciative. Consider that ESPN shows hours upon hours of tennis coverage, its bound to happen. Because I don't think I've ever watched ANY sporting event where it didn't happen.

There are many of us which catch those little historical errors while watching, but I don't really care. I don't watch ESPN tennis to sit and write down every historical error that they make. I enjoy watching the tennis!

franny
Jun 26th, 2005, 08:14 PM
You don't seem to like ESPN that well. In fact, you've more than once attacked Mary Carillo.

As someone who has played and followed the game going on three decades, I find it comforting that I can now view early round coverage of grand slam events on television. That wasn't always the case.

ESPN's first entrance into tennis coverage was in the late '80's after the new stadium was built at the Australian Open. Of course, we remember that they only covered the semi's and finals during that time period. Their predecessor, HBO, was the first to televise COMPLETE early round coverage of Wimbledon in the mid '80's. Before that, only CBS and NBC would show highlights of early round play on the weekends, but they never showed hours upon hours of play like the cable networks USA Network, HBO and ESPN did/does.

However, we all remember the Thursday afternoons on CBS and NBC when they pre-empted the soaps for Wimby and US Open coverage for about three good hours.

As a fan of tennis, I am appreciative that they now show early round coverage of ALL the grand slam events. That's huge for a tennis fan. And having lived during a period when that wasn't always the case, it makes me even more appreciative.

So when someone needles, and nit-picks ESPN about silly factual errors that occur during programming, I think its really stupid and unappreciative. Consider that ESPN shows hours upon hours of tennis coverage, its bound to happen. Because I don't think I've ever watched ANY sporting event where it didn't happen.

There are many of us which catch those little historical errors while watching, but I don't really care. I don't watch ESPN tennis to sit and write down every historical error that they make. I enjoy watching the tennis!

You are correct, people should be more appreciative. But there is something wrong and unfair about ESPN's coverage. ESPN isn't showing us tennis for the sake of showing tennis. They are making money, OUR money, by showing tennis. So let's not make it seem like ESPN is a saint for showing tennis, they are just doing business. They are doing business and really not caring about the consumers, those of us who sit at home wishing to watch our favorite players but instead get hours and hours worth of coverage of Roddick. If we pay the same amount of money as everyone else, why should we not have the equal opportunity to watch our favorite players? I understand that in America, many fans only care about Americans. But that still does not make it less unfair, for everyone pays equal amounts. And seeing as how there are few alternatives, the only thing we fans can do when we see injustice and stupid mistakes like those already mentioned in this thread is complain and hope that ESPN hears our complains and does something to fix their coverage. Lack of coverage of European and foreign players combined with stupid and insulting errors on the behalf of ESPN deserves our criticism.

mboyle
Jun 26th, 2005, 08:29 PM
Guys, we should complain about WHOM they cover, but give them a break w/ the errors.