The Spokesmen #85 – Not On His Meds

Listen now by clicking here: [audio:]



Topics Included:

  • Tour de France 2012, including:
    • Was Brad Wiggins “more exciting” than Cadel Evans?
    • Was Wiggins/Froome at Tempest in a Teapot?
    • Peter Sagan – The next Mark Cavendish?
    • Mark Cavendish – The next Olympic champion?
    • Flare and tacks and dogs, oh my!
    • Franck Schleck’s yellow dreams get flushed (thanks, Tim Jackson)
    • What did Chris Horner say?
    • NBC Sports’ coverage
  • USADA v. Armstrong, et al
  • Reve Tour
  • Olympics Preview
  • Cyclists with Earbuds Hear Same as Drivers Listening to Nothing (BikeBiz Article)

How to Listen:


  1. DanV
    July 22, 2012

    Again some odd analysis of the Tour.

    Carlton, agree with you on many things but…… As a Brit I am delighted Wiggins has won the tour, but I can’t understand your issue with Evans. Brad had the opportunity to win in ’11 but he couldn’t stay on his bike so he lost out – he learned a lesson and came back to win just as Cadel did. Anyone who wins the tour (cleanly) deserves it, no more or less than anyone else.

    I sense you are uneasy with the fact that this year’s tour has highlighted the fact that Cadel won a vintage tour which he helped to animate.

    Not as good a tour as last year but you can only win on the course and circumstances you are presented with so fair play to Brad.

  2. Don Bernhard
    July 23, 2012

    It’s always about the money. That should be no surprise. Yes, NBC Sports Network has a sponsor for everything, but so does pro cycling itself. Every team, every jersey, every finish line, every podium stuffed animal,…they all have sponsors. Why should NBC not capitalize on advertising, as well?

    Winning teams, too, are about the money. Sky is one of, if not the best funded team. As NBC commentators (I think Bob Roll) pointed out, Team Sky could afford to take the entire team to train at altitude. They afford the best equipment, the highest salaries, most advanced training programs and coaches, etc… So is it any wonder the yellow jersey is not much of a race? David, you like USA sports comparisons. Think of major league baseball and the big money Yankees. On the other hand, the most competitive leagues–the NBA is a shining example–have salary caps and spending caps to equalize the competition. Something I think cycling could consider.

    The parcourse for the Tour is certainly designed to be an interesting race, but I’m certain there are political, and yes, monetary reasons for stage choices. The Tour brings in many thousands of tourists and their money. I’m certain cities and towns bid for stage finishes. For instance, is it more profitable to end a stage in a town after a downhill off a mountain instead of ending in a small ski resort on a mountain top? I’m guessing it is.

    Yes, it’s always about the money.

  3. andy
    July 24, 2012

    Thought I would mention, BP is a global company with a huge presence in the USA because the smaller BP (UK Company) took over the larger Amoco (US Company), so in a lot of ways, BP is a US company

  4. July 24, 2012


    Of course it’s about the money and I, for one, have no problem with that. My problem is that it too often seemed like there were more ads than content, the ads were overly repetitive, and the sponsored segments were more about the sponsors than the segments.

    Take all the money you can, but do so in a way that doesn’t turn off the viewers. Turn off the viewers and there won’t be anyone to see the ads. Then the money stops.


  5. July 24, 2012


    Of course BP is a global company, although I hadn’t considered the Amoco angle. However, do we see ads from American Express lauding “our” British athletes, or ads from Coca-Cola celebrating “our” Canadian team?


  6. Don Bernhard
    July 25, 2012


    Thanks for the reply. I guess since I TiVo it and never watch it in real time (gotta work, you know), I’m a bit immune. I skip all commercials and some of the boring parts, including some sponsor segments. I do like some of those segments, though.

    I forgot to take the opportunity to say it, but this was a really good Spokesmen show. I appreciate the pro cycling discussion. Next topic. What teams will Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish go to next year to be their own leader? Trade talk begins in August. πŸ™‚

    Thanks, again. You guys rock. (Even though I don’t alays agree.)

  7. Kevin E,
    July 25, 2012


    Another good show! I was curious how Tom Boonen is not the number one choice for the olympic gold.

    Come’on Son! πŸ™‚

  8. Kevin C
    July 25, 2012

    Oh Carlton, sometimes I really want to tell you to STFU (as do others I’m sure). “Sucking wheel is what you do”. Yeah, ask Scarponi how well that’s worked for him. You are so wrong, so often.

    Please, somebody make him take a breath and a moment before he opens his mouth.

  9. Paul M
    July 30, 2012

    Spirited show and despite all the technical glitches, I enjoyed the debate. I would like to voice some support for the Phil/Paul team. I’m in the U.S. and watched the entire tour on the iPad app, most days while having the NBCSports feed on the television with the sound down.

    The experience on the app was fabulous- $15 gets you the live broadcast and stage replays without commercial interruption. It seemed like NBC was going to commercial every 5 minutes, but over the app, we got non-stop racing.

    I really enjoy Phil and Paul’s commentary. I don’t think it’s fair that you guys complain about inaccuracies without giving specifics, and it was a low-blow to insinuate that Phil “was off his meds”. The amount of info that these guys know is impressive, and consider that they are juggling commentary for 4 different countries and broadcasters, and as David pointed out, they are doing 4 hours of talking per day.

    Given the lack of professional cycling coverage in the U.S., I’m grateful that NBC brought the tour app to the American market. As Comcast/NBC targets higher profile sports, we should probably be worried that the Tour likely won’t have a home on the network forever. As long as they do keep investing in the sport, I hope they’ll do the following:

    1) Pony up the necessary $$$ to get Phil/Paul exclusive to their broadcast. This would minimize any errors by allowing them to cater to one market. It’s a bit embarrassing that a U.S. sports network needs to share announcers and camera work with foreign networks. C’mon NBC, take that commercial revenue and take total control.

    2) Lose the boring talking heads on the set. Aside from Bobke, there is no personality at the desk.

    3) More maps. The great thing about the iPad app is you can call up a Google Maps view that shows you exactly where the each group is located in real-time. They should pop that on the television every few minutes to give the viewer better perspective.

    Just my two cents, but let’s not mess with Phil & Paul. There are other places to start to elevate the professionalism of the broadcast. Keep up the great debate on the podcast. Even when I disagree, it’s always informative.

    Paul in New Jersey

  10. oboe
    September 18, 2012

    I find myself agreeing with Carlton more often than not, and I think he brings a refreshing breath of reason to the podcast more often than not. But…I think patriotism may be clouding his vision regarding Wiggins & Sky.

    First, wheel-sucking is “how you win” to an extent. But if you look at the great champions of the past, they didn’t sit on someones wheel for four weeks. Hell, Hinault and Fignon slammed LeMond for being a wheel-sucker who could time trial. Same goes for Armstrong. Sure, you can win some yellow shirts, but the legends of the Tour are those who attacked–often irrationally.

    Second, I find it almost comical that someone can look at a team like Sky, who proved utterly dominant in the last tour, and say, “Thank goodness we’ve finally got a clean team!” Did you miss the half decade of Postal dominance from 1999-2005? There’s no fast evidence against Wiggins, but generally speaking, when you’ve got half your team in the elite selection in the last 10k of a mountain finish on a stage with two HCs, people are going to speculate.

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