As a general experience, I find reportage on sports to be rather dull. This is not because I dislike sport, nor because I believe it is inherently boring, apart from soccer and badminton. It is mostly because in an attempt to distinguish their reports from those of competitors, broadcast sports reporters end up sounding terrifically idiotic.
Last night, I watched the news on SABC 3 at 19:00, which included the premier of that pitiful province, Limpopo, implying that it wasn’t fair of the media to criticise her and her department as they’ve not yet been in office for 100 days, and everyone knows that new regimes have 100 days of criticism-free governance.
So naturally I was left bemused, which persisted until the sports report began, and a prerecorded piece on Wimbledon was aired, giving details of the match between Venus Williams and Swiss Stefanie Voegele.
We were told that despite Voegele giving Williams a little bit of a run at times, “class overcame talent” ultimately, when Williams defeated her opponent. We were also told that Voegele did not show any “respect” for Williams’s prowess in…well…trying her best to beat Williams.
So, the message we TV watchers were left with was that Williams has class (and probably talent) whereas Voegele has only talent, but probably not all that much because she lost, didn’t she? Also, certain players are worthy of respect, while others aren’t. Does allowing a former Wimbledown champion to win indicate respect? Should there have been a ring-kissing ceremony prior to the match? How does the concept of respect come into a tennis match?
As an aside, what I love most about sports reporting is when someone or a team receives a “drubbing”. It makes my day when a team is just destroyed, as the likelihood of the word ‘drubbing’ being used by a commentator or reporter becomes infinitely higher. I try use this word in ordinary conversation but find the fact that I don’t play sport – apart from the occasional squash game – impinges on my being able to use the word in relation to myself.