Thank you, Discobold. And JER, I will defend her, because we're all entitled to an opinion. I think Melanie is doing a fine job enlightening the uninitiated about the basics of the sport, which is what her job is for the network. Those who are already involved in equestrian activities do not need an introduction to our jargon ("what's an oxer?"), and we will each do our own analyis of the performance of every horse and rider combination. But, as I've said before, Melanie is not there to negotiate world peace or write the great American novel. She's to entertain and inform; and do it all at lightning speed with no tape-delay or other opportunity to compose her comments or retract a gaffe. Try it yourself; turn the sound down and do the commentary along with the TV broadcast as if this were your job. I bet you cannot think of 2 coherent things to say before you get tongue-tied or flustered. And this British guy this morning on the internet is no genius either. In his whispered tone, as if he's going to spook a horse that is not located within 10 miles of the studio he is sitting in, he's saying things like "Smashing great mare". Let's just all enjoy the fact that, between NBC, NBC Sports, MSNBC and the Internet, we can watch live or taped broadcast of every minute of the equestrian events, and that has never happened before!
Let's just all enjoy the fact that, between NBC, NBC Sports, MSNBC and the Internet, we can watch live or taped broadcast of every minute of the equestrian events, and that has never happened before!
This I totally agree with, however, commenting (degrading actually) other countries riders because their hair isn't netted, or their stock tie came out of their coat IS uncalled for. Especially, when our own country gets our butt kicked by those very same riders! I was a little taken aback by her "holier than thou" tone on that particular segment.
I LOVE the British guy on NBC. He just loves these horses and says comments that show he clearly knows the horses and riders and how they're thinking. Except for the XC, I've been getting a lot of silence when I watch for 4-5 hours at a time.
I like MST personally but I do find it somewhat annoying how she continually ploughs over the top of her co-commentator. He seems educated enough (truthfully no idea who he is) and he has a pleasant voice and manner of speaking. And he's been being ploughed down by her for years. Let him speak for a second too.
And it's just she's used to seeing the Americans (and most of the foreign competitors as well) net up their hair. We all have preferences. She just so happens to have a microphone and your attention to make hers known. would it be better if it was GM saying it?
Oh, please, I would rather listen to Melanie Smith for ten hours than to ten seconds of the irritable incessant complaining on this board. Do you people ever just sit back and enjoy life ?
No kidding. She kind of drove me crazy for the few minutes I watched the broadcast rather than the online feed, but not nearly as bad as the complaining here. But like the volume button on my TV or computer, I can opt out of listening here too. Headed outside to enjoy this spectacular day of sun in the Northwest.
I happen not to find her commentary irritating. If the information she shares is sometimes basic, generalized, or doesn't use the industry terminology with which most of us are familiar, it's simply because she's not addressing an audience of educated horse people. She's addressing everyone who might be watching NBC at 1:30 in the afternoon on a weekday-- clearly, a broader crowd. Using language or expressions that are essentially jargon to limited crowd doesn't serve the purpose of the broadcast, and it doesn't help grow our sport when nobody knows what the heck the commentator's talking about.
Another poster commented that she has a tendency to talk over her broadcast partner, Tim Ryan. I haven't really noticed this, but if I had, I'd find it a point worth addressing.
I listened to the NBC Extra broadcast online earlier today and liked the English commentator as well.
I like MST personally but I do find it somewhat annoying how she continually ploughs over the top of her co-commentator.
I waited to watch the NBC coverage before commenting. Having watched it, I felt Melanie and Tim Ryan worked very well together. In the earlier coverage, he was sometimes so busy giving the "back story" that he missed what was happening on course, and she brought us back to it, but I didn't find her to talk over him. This time, paying closer attention, I found the commentary was very harmonious
I think it is VERY important to expand the interest, and thus the coverage, that basic information be given because those educated horseman watching are a teeny tiny percentage of viewers. That should be apparent. I think more basic info needs to come out...people are curious about the horses "hats or bonnets", why the horses don't slip when they hit water, why the bits look different etc. I think there is so so much they could do to make it more appealing to the masses. A short film of what is involved getting the horses to England with airplane footage for example, would be interesting. So many riders have great stories and we don't hear about them. Ian Miller rode today and all they said was he was 65 and had ridden in 10 Olympics! Two Swedish sisters rode mother and daughter horses...there is a story. We need some up close and personal stuff. Still and all, it has been very good in my opinion and I agree, IT IS FABULOUS to be able to watch it all live via computer.
I don't find her irritating, she's fine. Remember, they are not narrating for us who know and understand the sport, they are narrating for people who know nothing about horse sports but happen to tune in. They are trying to make it interesting. There is still a good bit of silence, they don't prattle constantly like the commentators in many other sports which I appreciate. Plus they don't tend to zero in on competitors after bad rounds so we can see them all tear up. I appreciate that too. All the videos of the gymnasts crying really put a damper on my enjoyment. "Watch NBC, where we strive to film the crushed hopes and dreams of teenagers!"