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Isner and Mahut a hit But Storm is not

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George Ofman

I know my stuff. 36 years in broadcasting. Sox Cubs Bears Bulls Hawks. You ask, I'll answer

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It finally ended, and I couldn't have been more relieved. The longest tennis match in history had become a tortuous exercise in being annoyed. And this is coming from a tennis lover who watches way too much of "The Tennis Channel!  John Isner and Nicolas Mahut created wonderful theater, albeit several acts too long. Aces were the rule, not the exception. Long rallies were short. Guts and adrenalin were not. Holding serve seemed a right. Breaking it might get one of the combatants a jail sentence. The only intrigue was when it would end, not how. But while the riveting 5th set marathon was creating its own drama, it also was creating a babble fest in the broadcast booth. This is when being tortured and annoyed became unwitting partners.

If only I could serve an ace to Hannah Storms chops. She literally ruined day 2. Why she was foisted upon us I'm not quite sure. Patrick McEnroe, Brad Gilbert and Pam Shriver were more than enough. Two is company; three is a crowd and adding Hannah was an abomination to my ears.  Spewing out superfluous superlatives and excessive stats as if ordered to by network officials, Storm overwhelmed me to the point where I was seriously considering the mute button. The entire crew had enveloped the world of the overwrought with the exception of Shriver whom I wished I heard more from.

I understand the gravity of moment or in this case, the hours. But the marathon of a lifetime was being reduced to a wrenching word fest.
 
I'm ready to extract the words incredible and phenomenal from my vocabulary. And the next time Gilbert uses the term "Off the charts"; someone should take him off the broadcast.

At least there was more decorum Thursday morning when Storm was less of an irritant. And when Isner finally won the match, the only sounds you heard were from the court and from Wimbledon officials. At least they got this right.


You can catch me on twitter @georgeofman and on Facebook. You can also hear me on WGN radio.

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4 Comments

Andy-Kid said:

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What's your problem with Hannah Storm? She's one of the few ESPN personalities I can stomach. Is it her voice? It can't be the fact that she was citing statistics, because that's what ALL commentators do. You say "Spewing out superfluous superlatives and excessive stats as if ordered to by network officials, Storm overwhelmed me to the point where I was seriously considering the mute button." I have to ask, why DIDN'T you mute it? The fact is that she's paid by ESPN to give her commentary. I think your gripe should be with ESPN or sports broadcasting in general. In my opinion, Hannah Storm is one of the few people keeping ESPN afloat. She's attractive, not unlike her vapid counterpart and media hog Erin Andrews, and unlike Andrews, Storm seems like she actually knows what's going on. It's fair if it's her voice that bothers you, but to condem her because she was citing statistics and giving commentary isn't right. That's her job.

George Ofman said:

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I actually like Hannah. She simply went way overboard in taking a sport where the less said, the better unles you;re john McEnroe. I don't care if that's what ESPN pays here to talk, she should no when not too.
Thanks for reading.

Lester's Fan said:

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I agree with you George. For the record, she wasn't even commentating, she was chatting over every point and repeating the same thing over and over again. Commentating should add to the sport, not detract from it. She was annoying to no end.

George Ofman said:

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You know the old saying "Too many cooks...."? Well, she ruined the meal.

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