Friday, July 17, 2009
For those of you outside of the cycling world, the Tour de France has completed 12 stages over the last two weeks. This is the premier cycling event and the blogosphere, web and television coverage has been overwhelming to say the least. I must qualify, that I have a limited attention span for televised sports in general. I have not made it through an NFL, NBA, or MLB game in quite some time. I have managed to keep up with Triathlon coverage as it has only been about 3 hours/month.
Versus has been providing live coverage early in the morning along with two re-caps. This amounts to about 6-8 hours of potential Tour de France viewing for every stage. The rest days include a review of the previous stages as well as a preview of what is coming up. I have been tracking my television viewing to date and it had hovered around 1 hour/day and consisted mostly of movies and primetime dramas. However, I have not been able to take in even an hour to date of the last two weeks of action.
It turns out that I have just been too busy for television and when I did have free time last week, I preferred to catch up on movies instead of bicycle racing. The grand tours in bicycle racing are very different from the one day classics. A comparison can be made to the NBA and MLB playoffs. A person can enjoy watching a game, but can only get into it by watching the whole series. Bicycle racing is as much a chess game as a physical endeavor. Without understanding what has happened and thinking a few stages ahead, the action doesn’t make sense. One is left with watching a blur of colorful jerseys, the French countryside, and fans. At least Tivo helps with the abundance of commercials and often less than insightful commentary.
As a side note the World Series of Poker main event has been in full swing the past two weeks as well. The final 9 players have been determined and the only pro in the pack is Phil Ivey. It is much easier to keep up with poker as the bloggers have the only coverage. The ESPN commentators for the World Series of Poker just make it painful to watch.