Please help me find high level, intelligent sports commentary/analysis
February 8, 2014 1:18 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to see commentary during sports events, or interviews with athletes after a sports event, that are high level analysis, that would be more fit for a professional athlete rather than the average fan. Specifically where the athlete is revealing his strategy, or thinking during the sporting event, and where the athlete is taking into account what his opponent was thinking. Most commentary is "lebron shoots a 3, and he scores, wow lebron is really heating up, better watch out, if lebron can get over 40 points this game, then Miami really has a chance" I'd prefer something more like "you see how Lebron took that 3? he could take it because he had fake a pull up to shoot twice before, and then took it to the hole, so now the defender is leaving a little more room for lebron to shoot the 3, and so he is capitalizing on that, I wouldn't be surprised if next time you see the defneder mark Lebron a little tighter, and then lebron fake the 3 and take it to the hole". I'd like this level of analysis for any major sport. Thank you.
posted by lijiaxiaoniu to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
When Steve Stone was broadcasting for the Chicago Cubs, he was excellent at providing analysis about why pitchers were pitching the way they were, what the batter should be looking for and why, etc. He's with the White Sox now and I can't stomach Hawk Harrelson so I don't know if the quality is still there, but there should be clips on youtube.
posted by jabes at 1:44 PM on February 8, 2014

Former Washington Huskies and journeyman NFL QB Hugh Millen gives nerdy, in-depth American football analysis on Seattle's KJR 950 AM, but if you tune into it you have to listen to the other people on the program, who are sexist in a sort of never-grew-up-from-age-13 kind of way, which is sometimes just irritating and sometimes outright offensive.

But Millen's analysis is exactly the kind of thing you're describing. It's also packed with all kinds of insider football schematic jargon, which I think is kind of cool, but is a little confusing sometimes. The KJR hosts usually do a pretty good of reining him in and making him put it more in layman's terms for the listeners.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:05 PM on February 8, 2014

The SF Giants' broadcast teams are really good at this. Both the radio (KNBR) and TV broadcasts will have some of what you're looking for.
posted by colin_l at 3:02 PM on February 8, 2014

Zonal Marking is neither live during an event, nor is it interviews with atheletes, but it is the kind of deeper analysis you seem to be talking about.
posted by juv3nal at 3:50 PM on February 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I don't know if you consider it a "major sport", but in my experience, most of the commentary during big gymnastics competitions are pretty high level and technical, getting into the physics of the moves and stuff. Of course, since gymnastics is a very stop-and-go sport, there's also a lot of light chatter in between routines, about injuries and coaches and code of point changes etc.
posted by hasna at 7:04 PM on February 8, 2014

So, you're specifically not interested in high level post game (or general) analysis that isn't an interview with an athlete? Because that's where the good stuff is happening. I mean, the NBA has SportVU cameras now that capture pretty much every movement on the court and store that data for later analysis, and there is amazing work being done (an example from this week). It would be impossible to communicate those insights in real-time on a live broadcast, and most athletes don't pay attention to advanced stats unless their coaches are telling them something specific.

But if it's in-game commentary that you want, then how about rewatching the BCS Championship with a group of college coaches? This was broadcast during the game on ESPN News and was pretty well-received, so I'd expect it to be repeated. For interviews with athletes, you might enjoy Jon Gruden's QB camp.
posted by acidic at 7:28 PM on February 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

Juv3nal beat me to Zonal Marking, so I'll second him. I've not seen anyone else doing genuine tactical analysis in football.
posted by Kreiger at 8:16 PM on February 8, 2014

Check out the Spike Lee documentary about Kobe that goes over his thought process during a game in depth: "Kobe Doin Work"
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:09 PM on February 8, 2014

Matt Bowen does this for football. I've linked to his columns, but he does regular appearances on radio and TV as well.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:22 PM on February 8, 2014

Although it is not live commentary, Zach Lowe of Grantland devotes many of his columns to higher-level analysis of NBA teams and players through a nice blend of stat analysis, interviews, and commentary. Here's one recent exemplary piece on how the Brooklyn Nets have improved thanks to their changes in their defense.
posted by fizzix at 2:30 PM on February 9, 2014

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