Best and worst commentator??

I commentate for a living on horse racing and most Pool commentary I have heard is abysmal. They talk way too much. We do not need to be told "that was a great shot." It is television, a visual medium, we can see that for ourselves and when commentators start anecdotes about players and so on, it is so obvious they want to tell their story over what is happening. Any Pool broadcaster who wants professional, laid back, commentary, feel free to email me!
 

fan-tum

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Best and worst pool commentator of the modern game.

Who do you have??
Like: JJ, Frost, Granier, Incardona(underrated?), Danny's ok except for irritating calls....was he ever right on balls going in?
Don't like: Varner,omg his laugh...way too loud, Earl...mumbler and hard to understand.
 

straightline

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Learn a bunch from commentary. There are also times when I'd rather utter the sweater dialogue in my head - like the fans onsite.
 

MattPoland

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Honestly? JJ is one of my favorites. The knowledge is impressive. I learn nothing. Not because he isn’t saying the right things. It’s because those lessons aren’t learned via a passing comment. He speaks to wisdom only truly internalized via table time. But I still enjoy hearing it.

What really stands out to me is the production of an event. Telling the stories of the player. Making me invested. Taking the moment where two humans are striking sticks against spheres and turning it into stories. Taking a moment and infusing it with drama. The ability to take the broadcast and add a layer of tension and release. That’s music to me. Jeremy isn’t bad at it. Jim Wych, Ted Lerner, Jay Helfert, Jerry Forsyth, Karl Boyes, and Sid Waddell are masters at it. Many fans complain that they don’t predict a shot accurately and completely miss what their value is to a broadcast and to fans.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Honestly? JJ is one of my favorites. The knowledge is impressive. I learn nothing. Not because he isn’t saying the right things. It’s because those lessons aren’t learned via a passing comment. He speaks to wisdom only truly internalized via table time. But I still enjoy hearing it.

What really stands out to me is the production of an event. Telling the stories of the player. Making me invested. Taking the moment where to humans are striking sticks against spheres and turning it into stories. Taking a moment and infusing it with drama. The ability to take the broadcast and add a layer of tension and release. That’s music to me. Jeremy isn’t bad at it. Jim Wych

i've learned lots listening to JJ, but i'm a bit of an autist in that sense, i watch what's going on between the rails and don't care too much about the characters. your assessment is probably right though, stories and investment is more important than game physics for the general audience
 

MattPoland

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
i've learned lots listening to JJ, but i'm a bit of an autist in that sense, i watch what's going on between the rails and don't care too much about the characters. your assessment is probably right though, stories and investment is more important than game physics for the general audience
My “go to” thing to say is this. I know a lot about pool. I’m no pro but I’m very well versed. There are neophytes that just make me want to pinch their cheeks. You watch them play and you know every mistake they are making. Many are fundamentals. They jerk their cue. You think, “I just pull straight back, easy transition, and send it forward smoothly to a precise point and follow through. How is this so hard?!?”

I’m right handed. It is so natural and comfortable for me. But ask me to play left handed and I look like those neophytes. No amount of knowledge makes that arm stroke the cue any better. I realized 90% of pool is the brain>nerve>muscle pathway being developed to a masterful level of fine motor control. The knowledge matters amongst people that master that. But those that don’t master that are doomed to flail.

And the knowledge JJ gives is just like that. In the ears of the viewer, it sounds smart, but tomorrow your FargoRate doesn’t move up a single point. You need to cement that as a skill on the table through effort and practice or honestly it’s in one ear and out another. I’d argue most people learn absolutely zero from JJ even though every word from his mouth is pure wisdom.
 

skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
My “go to” thing to say is this. I know a lot about pool. I’m no pro but I’m very well versed. There are neophytes that just make me want to pinch their cheeks. You watch them play and you know every mistake they are making. Many are fundamentals. They jerk their cue. You think, “I just pull straight back, easy transition, and send it forward smoothly to a precise point and follow through. How is this so hard?!?”

I’m right handed. It is so natural and comfortable for me. But ask me to play left handed and I look like those neophytes. No amount of knowledge makes that arm stroke the cue any better. I realized 90% of pool is the brain>nerve>muscle pathway being developed to a masterful level of fine motor control. The knowledge matters amongst people that master that. But those that don’t master that are doomed to flail.

And the knowledge JJ gives is just like that. In the ears of the viewer, it sounds smart, but tomorrow your FargoRate doesn’t move up a single point. You need to cement that as a skill on the table through effort and practice or honestly it’s in one ear and out another. I’d argue most people learn absolutely zero from JJ even though every word from his mouth is pure wisdom.

i don't agree about the neophytes either lol. i always tell new kids to practice as much as possible but also watch pro pool, even if pro commentary isn't meant for their game. it's a short track that i never had when i started playing (but i also didn't have to fade the current $$ table rent). not saying it replaces playing, that's silly
 

justnum

Billiards Improvement Research Projects Associate
Silver Member
Any chance a woman is a commentator. WPBA commentary has all the tops pros doing the talking.

Men traditionally are poor communicators. The history of men and billiards led to players being scammed and hoaxed.
 

jbart65

Well-known member
Pool is a hard game to comment on as evidenced by the critiques here.

Having only watched pro pool for 2 1/2 years, I can’t say much about the commentators from prior eras.

Among the current crop, Boyes is my favorite. He is still not fully formed as an analyst. But he doesn’t talk too much or try to figure out every shot like JJ. He also adds more color about players and is better at recognizing and playing up dramatic sequences when they do happen. Be interesting to see how he develops in the next five years.

JJ talks to much, yes, and he speculates too much on upcoming shots, but his knowledge and foresight is second to none. It’s true the only drama he knows is about a cue ball going too far, but I don’t mind his dry approach if paired with the right sidekick.

I have also been impressed with Imran Majid in some occasional fill-in duty on MR. Wonder if someone will hire him full time once he stops playing. Ditto for one of the Fishers. Can‘t remember which one.
 

Johnny Rosato

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Best and worst pool commentator of the modern game.

Who do you have??
Best Jeremy Jones, close 2nd Billy Incardone, And I like Danny D.
Worst, and RIP, Sid Waddell.
(unnecessary dramatic screaming).
I've been startled by his loud outbursts while watching, I would keep
those matches muted.
 

boogieman

It don't mean a thing if it ain't got that ping.
Billy Incardona is utterly annoying to me.

Most of the time I can't stand him. All he does is argue with the other commentator. I really enjoyed Grady Mathews insights on the game but when Billy was in the booth with him, he just would not stfu and stop arguing with him. I think the dude was coked out or something, just jabbering to say how right he was all the time. I'd rather hear the greats talk and see their insight than some fool arguing everything they said.

I don't know Incardona's accomplishments, he may be the greatest player ever, but I know when he's in the booth I will be treated to an annoying egotistical argumentative commentary. Like nails on a chalkboard. It might be a good shtick to throw an opponent off but it makes lousy commentary.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I am in the minority in that I am not a big fan of JJ's voice. His knowledge and insights are great, but the monotone just kills it for me. You ain't gotta be Kasey kasem, but a little inflection and pitch would go along way, imo.
I get tired of having EVERY SINGLE SHOT explained like the viewers don't have a fkng clue about pool. JJ would be even better if he'd just let the game talk for itself every now-n-then. As far as the rest? Some good, some not so much but hey pool is popular again so i don't worry too much about the talking heads. Wasn't that long ago that pool fans were begging for content. Now we have the luxury to bitch about the coverage. How times change.
 

midnightmark

Registered
Below is my opinion.

Nothing wrong with Mark Wilson.
Colin is a hard worker.
Sommerville "works solo" and tries hard.

Of course JJ, FROST and ROBERTS are are wealth of knowledge.

OLD or health ailing... whatever the reasons are, I don't like Danny Diliberto. He's off his rocker !!
 

Colonel

Raised by Wolves in a Pool Hall
Silver Member
JJ is head and shoulders above the rest, but is better on Accustats than he is on MR broadcasts by far. Scott Frost has potential to be very good with a little more time in the booth.
 

nmh2008

Member
Earl’s commentary on the “Billiard Network, home of global pool on You Tube” is so entertaining. He’s so raw and unfiltered and it really gives you a look into how he sees the tables and the different shots.

For the most part I like all of the Matchroom group. I really like Josh Roberts for one pocket. He’s also fun to watch play, I wish there was more of his games available for viewing.

Worst commentary IMO is John Schmidt. I just watched Alex & Fedor one pocket match that JJ and Schmidt commentated and John was INSUFFARABLE.
 

pt109

WO double hemlock
Silver Member
Earl’s commentary on the “Billiard Network, home of global pool on You Tube” is so entertaining. He’s so raw and unfiltered and it really gives you a look into how he sees the tables and the different shots.

For the most part I like all of the Matchroom group. I really like Josh Roberts for one pocket. He’s also fun to watch play, I wish there was more of his games available for viewing.

Worst commentary IMO is John Schmidt. I just watched Alex & Fedor one pocket match that JJ and Schmidt commentated and John was INSUFFARABLE.
Speaking of Alex, he and Josh Roberts work really well together on one hole commentating.
 
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skogstokig

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Earl’s commentary on the “Billiard Network, home of global pool on You Tube” is so entertaining. He’s so raw and unfiltered and it really gives you a look into how he sees the tables and the different shots.

For the most part I like all of the Matchroom group. I really like Josh Roberts for one pocket. He’s also fun to watch play, I wish there was more of his games available for viewing.

Worst commentary IMO is John Schmidt. I just watched Alex & Fedor one pocket match that JJ and Schmidt commentated and John was INSUFFARABLE.

haha was it the political stuff? schmidt is unfiltered and i think that can be fun as at times
 

nmh2008

Member
haha was it the political stuff? schmidt is unfiltered and i think that can be fun as at times
No, just an annoying tone. He was too excited about everything. He spoke entirely in hyperbole, I think he told JJ like 5-6 times how JJ was just an absolute one pocket legend. Nobody moved like him. Nowadays players don't know how good they have it because they can listen to someone like JJ commentate a match and learn what used to take 10 yrs of being on the road to learn
 
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