I need more information to understand. I don't like most of them, but there are some great ones too. I mostly know tennis these days. Bad ones: Chris Evert and John McEnroe. I liked both as players, but I don't care to listen to them. There are so many good ones, though. Brad Gilbert is one of the best on the men's side. The women in particular have a stellar bunch: Mary Joe Fernández, Rennae Stubbs, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Carillo, Martina Navratilova, Pam Shriver, Chanda Rubin. The funny thing is that most of them are considered the "B" crew and do the less marquee matches or are on the Tennis Channel. The key to a lot of it is knowing when not to talk. Major networks, like ESPN, seem to not like silence and talk and talk and talk, while the Tennis Channel lets an entire point happen in silence, for instance, which I find refreshing. Lindsay Davenport is especially adept at that. I've watched matches with her commenting when she lets 2 and 3 points played without saying a word. Then she'll hit you with some key knowledge and insight.
Baseball has a lot of good ones. I don't watch hardly any football, but Tony Romo is surprisingly good and can explain the intricacies and insider playbook type information. I don't know how people watch football. They're always talking, filling air time with actual filler. Maybe the general public doesn't like to be left to their own thoughts?
I'm watching a baseball game. The ball and strike count is in print, on the screen, changing with each pitch, the score is on the screen, as is the pitcher and hitter's names. The announcer announces the hitter is swinging as I'm watching him swing. "It's a fly ball to left field"...........I see that, don't need to be told. It's more a problem with the older announcers, who feel the need to constantly provide sound. Usually, now, I have the sound turned low enough that I really can't hear the mindless jabbering.
If you want to hear a terrible baseball announcer, try Steve Stone. I think he works for the White Sox now. His voice makes me want to push roofing nails into my ears, and he offers little insight. He was a pro player, too. You can tell the players who really thought about the game and understood it on a molecular level vs the guys who were just talented. All things are like that though, I guess. I've heard artists talk about art in an interesting, philosophical way (Richard Serra, for instance), while others can't articulate a thing about it.
You can always mute the TV. My friend used to loathe the TV announcers, but still wanted to hear the play by play of the baseball game. He’d mute the TV and turn on the radio station. I thought it rather inventive.
Way too many games with way too many out of work/former athletes who think they know what they're doing! I also cut down the TV and feed the radio folks thru an ear plug. I do this at live games also. I put a cell-phone sized radio tuned to my local fav sports station in my shirt pocket with a line running to my left ear. FWIW, FTRPLT
This is probably for another conversation, or for even our Tennis thread, but if you watched the US Open, because of Covid restrictions, there weren't any lines people. It was all done with Hawkeye technology, and I LOVED IT. The Players weren't given challenges (each given 3/set and 1 bonus in a tiebreaker), because no one could dispute calls. The players, the umpire, and the ball kids. That was it. It cut down on so much nonsense and shaved some time off the matches. Every now and again, a player would ask to see the image of a shot, but they were few and far between. Testing their own perception, I guess, and it was obliged. Baseball could do the same thing with calling pitches. No mistakes. No arguments. No more catchers farting around with holding pitches and implying disagreement.
I'm old enough to remember the fun of the John McEnroe explosions and the baseball umpires who had big personalities with big theatrics. I understand. Nevertheless, see ya! It was nice knowing you. Feel free to go build wagon wheels with the other extinct demands. There's now a more precise, more fair, undisputed tool at our feet. Let's get the game rolling and shut up.
Play by play is a long honored tradition in the world of sports…a hold over from radio days. Still done as part or the show. Tell blind folks it’s not necessary. When I was a kid my folks used to watch Lawrence Welk on TV (major groan) so I tuned in the game and listened happily while I worked on my models. To each his own.
This is why I’m glad I could listen to play by play…