Last Thursday, I was away from the television set so I decided to follow the Blackburn Rovers against Aston Villa Carling Cup tie via the radio for a change.
Listening to the Tunin.FM radio app on my iPhone, I was immediately captivated by the commentary for a few different reasons.
First, radio commentary sounds more dramatic than TV commentary. The radio commentators have better voices than most of their television compatriots, and they use their radio voices to good measure to pull you in to the action.
Second, the radio commentator is in complete control of your emotions. All you have to focus on is their voices and the sounds from the stadium so you feel yourself being pulled in “closer to the action.” The near misses sound closer on radio as your heart skips a beat, and your blood pressure rises and falls dependent on what happens.
Third, radio commentary is far more exciting. With games shown on television, it becomes a paint by numbers exercise as you see what’s happening on the pitch just as well as the TV commentator does. With radio, you’re more at the mercy of the commentator who paints a picture to tell you what’s happening. The crowd noise through the radio sounds much louder than on television, which adds to the excitement. Or maybe because you’re more focused on the sounds on the radio that it volume of the crowd sounds louder?
For me, the experience of listening to English football on a radio is probably similar to grabbing an old vinyl album, putting on an amazing pair of headphones and being swallowed up by every note of the music.
If you’ve never had a chance to listen to a radio commentary or it’s been a while, I highly encourage you to try it. You may be pleasantly surprised. Plus it’s a nice way to appreciate life in a different way instead of getting burned out watching television. If you do give it a try, listen to a radio commentary from BBC Radio Five Live for the best experience.