Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Let's Avoid This Buttock-Clenching Spectacle

I don't know about you, but I find some of these post race trackside interviews very uncomfortable viewing indeed. Should athletes really be expected to do interviews within seconds of their race of event finishing. I have just watched Andrew Steele do one just after he failed to get through an athletics semi final. He was having to give instant analysis of his failings in the race. Yesterday four women rowers were in floods of tears, having just failed to clinch a gold. Apart from being voyeuristic in the extreme, what purpose do these interviews actually serve? Surely a more considered view a bit later would be a bit more enlightening for everyone.

26 comments:

Andrew Efiong said...

People want entertainment and the athlete, still panting and sweating from the battlefield, is what people want.

If you interviewed people 30 minutes later, you would just get sanitised and dull quotes, think Lewis Hamilton after each race.

Believe me, as much as the runners and rowers might not like losing, they all want to be on TV and win or lose, it's part of the game.

Alex said...

It's part of the show. We pay the TV license fees and buy the Lottery tickets. The athletes get paid and the TV interviewers get paid to harrass them. Since the interviews are brainless ("How does it feel?"), the interviewers are cheap and it fills in the TV time while the officials prepare for the next race.

AfricanMum said...

Ohuruogu's comments in the last few minutes were a classic.
Interviewer: how does it feel etc? Ohuruogu: Sorry, I don't know what to say.
Well done to Team GB though. Never knew I'd see this in my lifetime. We're 3rd only behind China (athletes hot-housed from when they're toddlers) and America (traditional 1st place country). Looking forward to 2012!

Newmania said...

I like them and sport is not about considered issues its about emotion , as well as skill etc.

Yeahhhhhh ! We just got another gold in the 400m I am amazed and a silver in the high jump for god`s sake.

trevorsden said...

It was ever thus.

But why are we 3rd in the table ... because we are good in cycling rowing and sailing. And an exceptional swimmer.

Which is great - its good to be good at one thing, 3 is great. But where would we be but for all the privately educated sports people?

By the same token a good chunk of the USA's medals came from one swimmer.

But I have not changed - as soon as I here the words 'team GB' I switch off.

Why cannot we get back to the individuals. Can we not get rid of the flags at the Olympics if we cannot get rid of the Olympics themselves?

We should be grateful for Lottery funding. I do not do the lottery since labour started using it instead of govt funding. And of course that has meant less for good causes like training sportsmen/women

Anonymous said...

We have to give the 437 staff the BBC have sent to Beijing something to do....

Robert said...

Congratulations, Iain, an excellent post. Has it sunk in yet ?"

Newmania said...

I noticed that trevorsden

"The Mayor of London Community has been phoning the ,most unspeakable tosh recently for his doubloons ,but is back on form today with at least one statistic, bound to annoy Polly Toynbee .“Roughly 58 % of the contestants from team GB sentot Athens in 2004 were educated at independent schools , who educate 7 % of the population .In the past three Olympics the independent sector has walked off with 45% of the medals “. Our cyclists have to live in Manchester to benefit from funding ,forming what you might call an elite stream...... "

Newmania said...

LOL Robert

Is there anyone you would like to thank for your witty performance. Coach , family ?

Alan Douglas said...

How do I feel ?

Gutted and shocked.

That's why I have not watched a single minute of the Olympics.

Bring back Korbut, say I !

Alan Douglas

Paul said...

The worst was the 100m final interview with all the losers Wasn't Bolt amazing? Didn't you suck? You're really useless aren't you? Aren't you priveleged to be beaten to the Gold you've worked all your life for by someone who jogged the last 10 metres?

It's the quality that needs to be improved more than anything else.

Geoff said...

I've not watched a second of the drug-fest going on in Peking.

However, I'd guess it's the same at a by-election. Your party has a 15,000 majority to defend and you've just found out that you've been buried beyond belief.

10 mins after the Returning Officer has given you a metaphorical kick in the guts you're up to give a (perhaps) unexpected concession speech on live TV.

Worse than that, your off-the-cuff speech in defeat could define your entire political future in the eyes of a Party.

Slightly more pressure than not having thrown a javelin quite far enough.

Unsworth said...

Yeah, Yeah, but it's entertainment innit?

This Olympics show has got to go on. It's almost as good as 'Stenders or Street - only the production standards are not quite as high.

You've got to understand that it's a fortnight of pure escapism - just the World Cup only shorter.

I see Jowell has said there's no more cash available for the London Olympics. That's a relief, bearing in mind her crap accountancy. Let's see if she sticks to it, having robbed everyone so far.

Laurence Boyce said...

Buttock-clenching . . . a new Olympic sport maybe?

Anonymous said...

Changing tack slightly, I was listening to 5 Live while driving home and had to hear some bleeding heart whining about how "unfair" it was on all the other countries that Britain was winning all these gold medals as it was making them feel depressed.

FFS!!!

Anonymous said...

Buttock clenching - would that rival Beach Vollyball?

As for the rest - move the Olympics back to Greece - we've given them enough money through EU subsidies, so let's save further costs on ourselves.

Scallywag said...

Since the BBC have shipped most of the cast of Ben Hur to Beijing to 'cover' the olympics, and they are certainly covering them, perhaps it's more to do with the Beeb using the immense resource they have there rather than worrying about silly things like viewer appeal and good taste and all that guff...

Jeremy Jacobs said...

I agree, absolutely pointless.

Iain, did you hear John Major on Radio 4 this morning?

Anonymous said...

Laurence Boyce said...
"Buttock-clenching . . . a new Olympic sport maybe?"

You could pair up with Donal Blaney for it.

Anonymous said...

Doen't make my buttocks clench Ian. Anyway publicity is what the athletes and their sponsors want.

The Remittance Man said...

As Alex says, these parodies are needed to fill the gaps between races when the officials are sweeping the track and resetting the starting blocks.

Of course if the BBC had a few decent interviewers and commentators they might manage something better, but with only 437 staffers in Peking what can you expect? Especially now they've censored Sharon Davis's nipples from the screen as well.

Norfolk Blogger said...

They are not forced to do the interviews, they do it through choice. One would expect free will to be something a Tory would support ?

let them eat twizzlers! said...

I went to an independent school. Great at sports of all kinds.

We got to play on proper sports fields, as they had not been sold off by the Tories.

We ate proper food at luchtime, cooked in the school kitchens - the service hadn't been out-sourced to the cheapest provider of turkey-twizzlers and chips.

One gold medal in 1996 - says it all.

Iain Dale said...

I am not sure you are right. The Premier League have an agreement where the manager has to be interviewed after a game and so does one player from each side - usually within minutes of the game finishing, I suspect the same is true here. They have to do them whether they want to, or are ready or not.

Anonymous said...

'Buttock-clenching'

Quite right Iain. Same as when Sue bloody Barker saunters onto the court at Wimbledon. Excruciatingly embarrassing.

jd said...

Would have been better if the interviewer had commented to Ohuruogu, "Don't forget to go for your dope test".

Was amused by the Five Live comment today though, that if you do the medal table by Head of State, rather than country, the Queen is trouncing the rest.