Olympic Commentators - Tom Hammond, Sandra Bezic, and Dick Button
Last night was the opening telecast of Olympic figure skating, the pair's short program. And the trio in the broadcast booth for NBC was Tom Hammond, Sandra Bezic, and Dick Button.
May I respectfully say to NBC - "What were you thinking of, guys?" Hammond comes across as stiff and completely lacking in personality, Bezic is as opinionated, snobby, and arrogant as ever, and Dick Button looked like the token member of the AARP (American Association of Retired People) who seemed a bit tired and out of his element. As much as I admire Dick Button, perhaps the time has come for him to retire from these types of marathon assignments.
When the camera first panned to this trio, none of them were smiling. It was clear that there wasn't exactly great chemistry among them, and Bezic was hard pressed to smile at the cameras. As usual, she corrected Button once or twice, and he returned the favor. Touche!
IMHO, one of the best trios the American television networks has ever assembled was Verne Lundquist, Tracy Wilson, and Scott Hamilton. This trio obviously liked and respected each other, both professionally and personnaly, and their wonderful chemistry came through in every assignment they undertook. Their enthusiasm, articulate commentary, and "good vibes" made watching and listening to them a pleasure, at least to me.
And now we have two weeks of Hammond/Bezic/Button. Definitely, I'm using the MUTE button!
I caught some of the American broadcast (I'm watching the Olympics on CBC in Canada) and I have to say, I hope these three can settle into it more. Bezic looked really stiff in the opening discussion between the three, but I actually like her commentating quite a bit more than you do. At least she had the technical expertise to comment knowledgably about some of the specific elements in the pairs. Button seemed totally out of his depth, making only a few rather superficial remarks that made it clear he was not a pairs officianado. Hammond - I can't say I remember him at all — that pretty much tells you how much of an impression he made. Thank goodness for Barb Underhill and Paul Martini on CBC.
What a difference in the commentatin from NBC to CBC. All you hear form Dick is the negative-that was ugly- this was ugly. Nobody wants to hear that. If he hasn't got anything nice to say about the skaters, he shouldn't say anything at all. The viewers that are watching don't want to hear these kind of comments, it's a turn off.
I get the feeling they are not compatible types for this type of broadcasting.
Sandra reminds me of my exwife who would never agree with anyone even when anyone is trying to agree with her. It's that verbal dominatrix which can stop conversation instantly and is uncontrollable.
Dick was Dick and using his standard schtick. (that almost seems like porno). Harmless, when he was happy to see I&B complete the 3A throw but there was Sandra interrupting to change the subject. Oh well...... did Scott have anything to say about her?
Hammond, I really didn't notice. He must have been all right, if not, a complete bore.
Seems to me, to be an Unholy Triumvirate.
I thought interesting that Button, presumably under contract to ABC/ESPN shows up on NBC.
Button may be quite picky about some moves, but I agree with him. That waist bend-rump roll into a death spiral is not pretty.
Just wish he didnt have to refer to it with each skater, better to point out the pretty moves. We''ll get the gist.
I didn't notice Hammond at all, much as I don't notice Terry Gannon. Speaking of whom, he, Peggy and Dick don't sit around with great grins on their faces so why expect Sandra, Dick and Tom to do so?
Sandra? I like her commentary.
I was THRILLED to see Dick in the booth! It was a nice surprise!! Sandra is ok, but she's a bit of a drama queen. I missed Terry Gannon making Led Zeppelin comments to Dick.
I would love to have Scott and Dick commentate this whole Olympics. They have the overly postive and overly negative ying yang going on (unless something's really bad or really good) that I think would work well together.
Dick more or less created US television FS commentating. This could very well be his last chance at an Olympics. He's in his mid 70's or so and he was injured a few years back so though his mind is still vivid it's harder for him to voice his throughts right away. I throught he was the best last night
[QUOTE=SkateFan4Life]. . . Dick Button looked like the token member of the AARP (American Association of Retired People) who seemed a bit tired and out of his element. QUOTE]
Hey, now, I am a AARP member since the age of 35 (married an old fart.LOL). Good discounts, though. Anyway...I agree that Dick does look tired. I really do not like Tom too much, I can't believe I am saying this, I miss Terry Gannon. YIKES!!!!!! Shoot me, NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wicked Yankee Girl
Dick was the best of the group. It was nice how happy he was with Zagorska and Siudek and I&B's throw 3A. And I have the same death spiral prejudice and sitspin and spin unison prejudice that he has.
I also liked Dick the best of the three--but his views often echo mine (though I wasn't alive when he started commentating!). I have always felt that Sandra has an aura of negativity - some of it may be unintended (her voice is not the best). She brought me down way more than Dick; she interrupted him a few times quite rudely. I now have a new appreciation for Peggy!
I know she has pairs experience and he does not; but she does not add anything to my knowledge or viewing experience, IMHO. Dick, on the other hand, always makes the event more enjoyable for me. I have missed him at the Olympics. Canada, can she and Scott come up there and let us have Kurt and Jaime and Dave? ( I like Scott as a person-he just yells too much when commentating)
BTW-We will keep Dick! (some Canadians will probably be fine with that part!)
Last edited by 76olympics; 02-12-2006 at 06:56 PM.
I can't say excited to see that Dick was comentating at the OLYS. It probably was discussed here, but I didn't know untill lastnight! I respect his historical presence in the Figure Skating world.
I'm sorry to say, though, that I can hardly stand to hear SAWndra Bezic speak, but owell!
Da' Spellin' Homegirl
Dick is 76. I still like him. I have learned so much from him. And I don't consider 76 to be at death's door. It's true we may have a little more trouble with memory, etc. but sure not ready for pasture. So, I'll stick up for him.
I was fine with Dick's commentary, Tom Hammond was boring but harmless, and Sandra Bezic was annoying, though not as bad as I was expecting. I like 76olympics' idea.
I was amused at how positive Button was about the American skaters, even with H&P's fall. This is the first time I've heard him commentate on an international event. His pro-US bias may become even more pronounced. I hope so, if only to counter Bezic.
I fiound Dick to be the only professional of the three. Bezic needs to go.How could NBC bring her back. Hamilton commentaing with Button would be an interesting idea.