Amid profound popular ennui, I will cease my mean-spirited critiques of OLN’s sterling Tour de France race coverage. Though — one last thing — you start to wonder if play-by-play man extraordinaire Phil Liggett will ever, ever get the difference between kilometers per hour and miles per hour. On practically every big descent on the tour so far, he’s taken a look at some picture of riders hurtling down the road, sized up the situation, then announced: “These boys are going ’round about 50 kilometers an hour here.” No, Phil, that’s 50 miles an hour. There’s actually quite a difference. Sometimes Paul Sherwen, the anointed OLN analyst, corrects him.
But my bashing aside, here’s the point: It’s not that Liggett and Sherwen are so rotten. It’s just that they seem to have a lock on the job no matter how well or badly they do — and much of the time they’re really mediocre. It’s hard to believe that there’s not a single English-speaking sports guy out there who’s deeply knowledgeable about competitive cycling and the Tour and who could sound half-way smart on the tube. Say (Kate’s suggestion) Greg LeMond (though Greg is on the outs with the whole “We Love Lance Armstrong” movement, so he’d never get the job. OK, then. Tyler Hamilton. Wait — he’s an accused doper.
Well, there’s got to be someone.