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I ask myself, do American commentators like Rich Lerner learn to talk incessantly and hold enough breath to last through a thousand words or more? Is there a training institute for these silver-tongued announcers where they practice their hot air-filled art? Americans talk fast and constantly to cram the air waves with excessive wordage. Golf, when all is said and done, is a quiet game with the clubs doing the talking. Brooks Koepka is a good example of this. TV land is a world where advertising and sponsors populate the screen time like a plague of mice. The networks employ past players and professional announcers to entertain a range of viewers with their informed comments.

Brandel Chamblee Spouts Speculative Commentary like A Burst Main

Insight and anecdote can imbue a televised sporting contest with complementary information for the viewer. Indeed, some fans want the whole thing to last longer and involve them more intellectually. However, things can be taken too far, as with American sports commentary jam packed with hot air. The level of statistical data driven commentary provided by exponents like Brandel Chamblee and Rich Lerner reminds me of losing sight of the forest for the trees. Speculative narratives sprout in a myriad of directions like an out-of-control creeper in the garden. Brandel Chamblee spouts commentary like a burst main.

Golf Channel Talkfests at the Majors

The talkfest that occurs on the golf channels, especially during the majors, could power a fleet of hot air balloons. Fly me to the moon may not be such an outlandish lyric for the late Frank Sinatra to have sung in these conditions. Americans utilise a dozen words where one or two will suffice. One wonders what prompts such behaviour. Is it a population thing? Lots of people means lots of words to garner the attention of those listening, maybe? Or is it the whole sales ethos, where everyone in the country is trained to sell their message like a door-to-door salesperson? Willy Loman lamenting on the price of eggs or something? Whatever the case the yanks love to yak till the cows come home.

Creating storylines from a mass of indiscriminate events is the key to engaging viewers and readers. A missed putt or a pulled drive becomes something far more catalytic or cataclysmic in the context of a larger narrative. A collection of strokes and details are sewn together to form the fabric of a complete outfit worn by competing players in a tournament. Misses become signs of choking by contenders. Everything has a deeper meaning and consequence. Data is condensed into judgements for ‘has been’ turned commentators wielding skewered information like spears of destiny. The flurry of wordage spun by these sports announcers amounts to nothing much more than hot air but the media feeds on it like jackals on a carcass. Endlessly repeating and recycling bites of information and pronouncements of their brethren. To talk up a storm is a very American phenomenon. A flat world is transformed into a dramatic Hollywood script. You can almost hear Brandel and Rich taking deep breaths before launching into diatribes of data and namedropping to enrich the proceedings.


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