|Fowler pregame of Arkansas-Alabama game Sept 25, 2010.|
Courtesy of ESPN and my digital camera.
My first recognition of him is a commentating on pro tennis matches. I never understood why he was commenting on tennis when he has no formal training or background in the sport. Most of the commentators are professional players that had retired after an actual pro career in tennis whether it was short or long.
When Fowler would comment during a match or even ask questions during player interviews, I would always say to myself, "Who the fuck is this?!" and "Why is HE talking to the player?" I mean I get not every pro has a knack for speaking but John (and Patrick) McEnroe, Jim Courier, Justin Gimelstob, Mary Jo Fernandez, Brad Gilbert, that Corina chick, and even Martina Navratilova speak just fine for the interviews and have an inside, personal knowledge of the game of tennis.
Not Fowler. He seems more like one of those stats or textbook commentators. What he knows is from what he reads and from talking to those that experienced. It seems hollow to me when he commentates or interviews. I guess it's the tennis player in me but that's just the way I see it. Some of his comments (and the pros-turned-commentator's but his more) annoy the crap out of me. It's almost like he's there just to add some difference...I can't think of what that difference is but I'm sure it's something the producers come up with.
I just don't like impostors when it comes to sports. I don't know a lot about football, basketball, rugby, lacrosse, Nascar or golf. I have a working knowledge of some sports and a somewhat deeper knowledge of others. I don't comment on those that I do not faithfully know or follow. Fowler knows his stats although I feel like someone who's lived or played the game over their lifetime is more genuine than those you can read off a sports ticker.
Anyway, I'm not hating (okay, maybe a little) on Fowler. According to his wiki, he's obviously a talent that ESPN loves based on the different sports he's commentated over the years. I'm just a tennis snob and I think only tennis-affiliated people should host/comment at professional tennis events.
Dick Enberg (or Bob Costas, I think) is another one but I won't even get started on him.