Generalist vs Specialists in Sports coverage


Club Legend
Oct 11, 2006
Parts Unknown
AFL Club
Thread starter #1
What prompted my thoughts on this thread title was seeing Bruce McAvaney on the Channel 7 coverage of the cricket and vomiting into my lunch plate at the pub.
Thankfully, the TV was muted so I was spared the ignominy of having to listen to his hyperbole but it got me thinking - is it fair to vomit on my lunch plate at the sight of Bruce participating in the lunch conversation of a test?
Conversely, I REALLY enjoy listening to Andrew Symonds who provides insight and context to a game
“He needs to hunch his shoulders over the ball before picking up the ball” which explains what is happening and why.

Which leads me to the question:-
What place does a sporting generalist have in commentary of a sport vs that of a specialist?

Is it the sport, the person’s ability to articulate or a combination of the 2?

Was I wrong to vomit my steak at the pub upon seeing Bruce on the cricket coverage or as the publican said while bringing a cloth

“It does taking some getting used to”

(Log in to remove this ad.)


All Australian
Jul 29, 2009
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
A very good broadcaster can converse on a range of sports with knowledge and be able to discuss most at a reasonable level. Would think many specialists also take an interest in other mainstream sports to give them another string to their bow in the off-season (eg Dwayne Russell doing AFL in winter and NBL in summer).

Sometimes the specialist can be TOO ingrained in the sport and give knowledge/opinions which require a more technical knowledge than the average sports follower (not in the case of the Symonds statement above, that is an interesting observation he makes which would be handy to a casual cricket follower).

A broadcaster like Bruce, with a strong knowledge of a range of sports (AFL, Olympic sports, racing etc) isn't out of place in a situation like that, IMHO. He's been in the game long enough to hold the credibility to discuss something like cricket without losing too many points. If he was a complete newcomer, then yes, I'd agree with you to a degree.

Saintly Viewed

Premium Platinum
Aug 10, 2015
AFL Club
Bruce as channel 7’s main sports banana can have a place in any sport.
He will always be well researched so that wouldn’t be an issue you’d think.

However, if Bruce goes his (becoming usual) sycophantic indulgence style then it would a real turn off.

Not sure Bruce realises he’s becoming old embarrassing uncle syndrome. Tone down son, tone down.

So to answer the question, a generalist well versed presenter can do many sports; the dumb no knowledge talking heads should stay away. (Bruce is unfortunately becoming a different category of over the top indulgence. Shame.)
Top Bottom