The annoying commentator

There’s something very nice about listening to live sports with commentary. Despite the fact that all commentary isn’t good commentary, very few of us listen to live sports without the sound. Maybe the chatter adds a social event to watching sports? Or, maybe we just want to learn more about what’s happening.

While it is fantastic to listen to a commentator who knows what he/she’s doing, there is one kind of commentator that tends to exasperate me – the person who takes it upon himself to pick on the best teams/players. I am sure there is a market for contrarian advice. And, yes, these teams/players make mistakes. But, the annoying commentator takes it upon himself to question their thought process and judgment, repeatedly.

This is when I wonder – “If you’ve got this figured out, why weren’t you one of the world’s best players yourself?” (They generally weren’t)

Sports aside, we’ve got more commentary in our lives today than ever before. Do something and it is likely you have many willing to give you their opinion via news articles, blog posts, social media and the like. Sure, there’s a piece of all of this that is good feedback. But, it is worth remembering that it is very easy to sit by the sideline and give your opinion. I can’t tell you the number of time I’ve watched soccer and thought to myself – “Jeez, why didn’t he make that easy pass?” But, from my own experience playing, I realize that the simple stuff is so hard to do in a regular game.

That’s the beauty of actually putting yourself out there and shipping stuff. You become more tolerant of things done wrong as you’ve probably made those mistakes yourself. You begin to appreciate simple things done well. And, most importantly, you learn to respect folk who bring their A-game consistently.

So, don’t sit on the side and be the annoying commentator. Either go in and fix it or learn to shut up and let them do their thing.

And, if you are a commentator by profession, consider developing a deep understanding of what it takes to excel in the field you are covering. Probably most importantly, keep it as objective and possible.. and classy. We don’t need more commentary. We need better.

(A salute to Martin Tyler – who does a fantastic job as a commentator for the English Premier League and European Champion’s League)