Wednesday, July 19, 2006

SBS WTF?

I'm frustrated.... now. Last night I was bemused, confused, angry, livid, in between bouts of excitement, wonderment and satisfaction. I was excited as the riders in Stage 15 headed towards the legendary Alpe d'Huez, for what promised to be a monumental battle. I watched in wonderment as spent riders from the early breakaway (read: Voigt, Mazzoleni, Merckx) dug deep into their reserves for one more gargantuan effort to help their team leaders who were approaching from behind. I felt satisfaction as Hincrappy and his Discovery cronies were spat out the back like the pack fodder they have become. But then it happened. As Landis upped the tempo and put Menchov, Leipheimer et al into trouble, SBS cut to an ad. Not one ad, but three ads. Not three little ads, but three long-winded ads. Not three long-winded ads about mobile phones or beer, but three long-winded ads about what shows are on SBS on Friday night! I was out of my seat, contemplating ringing the station to voice my bemusement and disatisfaction (read: abuse the crap out of the poor telephone operator unfortunate enough to answer my call). After what seemed an eternity, we were returned to the action. We'd missed probably the most crucial move of not only the stage, but possibly the Tour to date. Not to worry, at least it's back on now, things are hotting up at the front as Schleck and Cunego battle it out for the stage victo...NOOOO!!! Another F'in AD! Renault. The one with the food as crash test dummies. Good, clever ad, but NOT NOW!!!! The race unfolds once again. Evans is dropped, Menchov looks like he's about to go into cardiac arrest, Schleck attacks, and AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!! You know the rest. A great stage, one of the most famous stages in cycling, ruined (or at best, severely tarnished) by some dropkick pushing buttons in the middle of the night. Ok, gotta pay the bills, but in the two hours of coverage leading up to the finale, there were very few ads, and certainly not three within the space of 15 minutes. Was someone being 'funny?' No one is laughing. It's bad enough we have to put up with Tomalaris' prolific ineptitude, but at least let us enjoy the racing. It wouldn't happen in extra time in a World Cup Football match, why should it happen in Le Tour? Last year it was crossing to the Ashes during the Champs Elysees stage, and now this. Email drafted and ready for deployment. Join me, fellow cycling nuts, in our condemnation of this abhorent sportscasting.
comments@sbs.com.au

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