Sunday, May 9, 2010

There's a geezer in F1 (and its NOT Schumacher).

"The five red lights eliminate and the *insert name* GP iis GO!"

Quite literally, ring a bell?

For religious followers of Formula1 who watch the telecast on Espnstar, every race begins with those words being spat out in mighty excitement by Steve Slater. And boy, is he one special character!

Before I stick to boring tradition and list out points as to why the man ought to be out looking for his screws, let me state that I like him. He's a fine chap, a typical middle-aged British man, I suppose, hyper and overly joyous all the time. Irrespective of everything I say, Formula1 RaceDay needs him. But considering all that bumbling, messing up and guffawing, I decided there had to be a post on the bugger. So, quickly getting down to business, here's what I find annoying/amusing about the man :

* The tone of his voice + accent.

Maaybe I shouldn't comment in this category because of my bias toward the baritone. But hey, its only fair that a sport have a commentator with a charming voice. I mean, the sport is a two hour show with cars going about one track, a shrieking voice can get to you, y'know? Alright, maybe not his voice per se , its pitch perhaps. Well, you get the drift.
And I won't trash the accent - I don't hate it. Especially since it can get amusing at times.

* Mr.Excessivley Hyper

Yeah, I'm no one to rant about somebody else being annoyingly hyper, but this man simply ought to calm down! What is he now, 50? All that excitement could rub his BP the wrong way. Earlier, there was the ever-calm Chris Goodwin, who kept things going steady, without giving any one's pulse a sudden jolt.
Agreed, there are two sides to the coin. Without Slater's constant cackle, non-crazy F1 fans might catch a snooze before lap 20. But just sometimes, his excitement can get to one's nerves.

* Blunders galore

In the name of Ayrton Senna, someone please help him get all those names right. Slater almost always remembers to drop in a blooper during a telecast. In all his excitement, it seems like he often loses his train of thought. For instance (and this is just one of hundreds), at this weekend's Spanish GP, he went,
"Whatever Sebastian Vettel can do, Vettel can do it 300th of a second better."
Replace the second Vettel with Webber, please.
Yes, I know, to commentate in real-time is very tough, I would've made a bigger fool out of myself.. yada yada yada. But one ought to know the basics like team and driver names, yes?
"Kobayashi there, driving for the BMW Sauber.....Sauber...whatever it is they call it now! hehe!"
BMW Sauber Ferrari, thank you very much.

* Talking over a driver's radio conversation.

Here's something that actually makes me want to send out a flying punch. When a driver's radio goes on for the viewers to listen to, you quit rambling and let people listen to the driver-engineer conversation! Slater always has a fellow commentator remind him to shush. When the man finally completes his rant and goes quiet, the radio conversation would be three fourths done with.

* Well, strictly speaking, this is not a valid point. His bro-crush on Lewis Hamilton has nothing to do with this post. Yeah, he was a true Schumacher fan but jumped wagon. So? He never makes any biased remarks in Hamilton's favour now, does he? Does he?
Well, at least its better this year. Its just him going ga-ga over the Ham-boy. There is no bright orange-clad-pussycat's-annoying-doll going fruity in the pit lane. Phew!

Anyway, not digressing further ; the listed issues aside, there's Slater's constant comparison between F1 and chess ( "they're playing chess at 250kph!") and his never ending stuttering, among many such idiosyncrasies.

But like I said before, he's one endearing old bloke. He adds his Brit jazz to Formula 1 every Sunday and my race wouldn't be complete without him or his flubs. Of course, other sports have funnier people to celebrate, but here's my toast to that yeasty geezer from Formula 1 - Cheers.