Sidepodcast - All for F1 and F1 for all

Live comment long and prosper - Potential topics for returning and upcoming live thread discussions

Published by Steven Roy

More live commenting on the horizon
More live commenting on the horizonCredit: NASA

During a recent Twitter discussion with Mr C on whether or not we should live comment an ice hockey match I somehow volunteered myself to write a post on events we have live commented on Sidepodcast and what we should live comment in future.

Naturally suggestions are more than welcome so feel free to make them in the comments.

F1 and other racing

When I first visited Sidepodcast, F1 was already being live commented and Christine and Mr C would regularly say F1 was the only sport they were interested in. Changed days. Naturally the first forays into things other than F1 were other racing series like Indycar and sportscars. Franck Montagny being in sportscars of course helped and because these events proved more popular than anticipated people were encouraged to try new things.

One of the highlights of these races was Allan McNish’s recovery drive after crashing his Audi into a wall on the way to the grid, starting the race two laps down and still winning. His final run will live long in the memory as he slashed through traffic and overtook the leaders to win.

As it happened: McNish takes the win.

Other sports

Of course it was only a matter of time before we ventured into other sports and Sidepodcast being Sidepodcast things were not done by halves. Having never live commented a football match somehow it was decided that we would live comment the entire 2010 World Cup. Soon Christine was not only enjoying football but had become a fan of Diego Forlan.

Since then Mr C and her have even been to see a real match.

Crashed Ice

One Sidepodcast favourite is the Red Bull Crashed Ice series. For anyone who has never seen it picture four ice hockey players racing down a specially constructed ramp/stairway in a city centre with a large crowd at the bottom. The races are short and eventful and the action moves along very nicely. Crashed Ice is back with us in 2012 and will be live commented as usual.

As it happened: Crashed Ice 2011 gets underway.


A very long time ago I put a casual comment in the daily to say I was watching a space shuttle launch. After a few questions a live commenting session sprung up and somehow Sidepodspace came into being. After that every shuttle launch and landing was live commented and even the odd space walk has had that treatment. I am sure everyone who saw it remembers the woman astronaut watching her tool bag drift away into space because someone had not attached a tether. It showed perfectly how things that are ludicrously easy down here due to gravity are impossible up there without it. She immediately realised the situation and although the tool bag was only a few inches from her finger tips there was absolutely nothing she could do to recover the situation.

Now the shuttle is grounded and while we look forward to all the exciting developments in space travel we have to rely on Soyuz for our fix. Everyone knows Soyuz is the one where the commander pokes at controls with a stick. Unfortunately Soyuz landings are rarely covered in a watchable way so all we have is the launches. The next one is on December 21st, by the way.

As it happened: Shuttle Discovery returns to Earth.

This, that and everything

All sorts of other things have been live commented like the Children in Need telethon, Doctor Who, and of course there have been several movies watched and discussed. Who would have thought when we first had dial up internet that one day people all round the world would hit the play button at the same time and discuss a film with their friends as if they were watching together in the same room?

As it happened: A live syndication of the festive Love Actually.

More recently we have expanded into American sports. I believe this started with a Super Bowl a couple of years ago. That event attracted interest from people who knew the game well to people who had never seen it before. That led to the late Sunday night game being live commented on although that seems to switch back and forward between Sidepodcast and Google+ now. Mr C’s interest at times seems to be more on how they do the on screen graphics than the game so we all learned a bit about how they managed to put lines across the pitch and logos all in real time.

NFL led to MLB and baseball. Unfortunately the first match we live commented was a complete dud so I am sure some people have totally the wrong impression of that game. I will do my best to turn that round next season as it is a great game to watch. The live data is out of this world. Mr C and I missed half a game once trying to figure out how they could show the path of the ball during a pitch and list the various spin angles etc. Unfortunately the free version of their live data has been simplified a bit but it is still incredible.

We have also added other motor racing events like the Bathurst race for the Australian V8s. That is now a regular part of our schedule and not to be missed. We live commented all 24 hours at Le Mans too. We have tried to live comment speedway but streams are hard to find but we will try to rectify that in 2012. The tennis from Wimbledon was live commented this year and I have no doubt that will be an annual occurrence. Finally despite showing generally good taste in all things the community insists on live commenting the Eurovision song contest. If you have never seen this you will not believe it when you join in the session in 2012.

As it happened: 25 European nations do battle with a pop tune and a mirrorball.

The future

I am sure I have missed things but it is safe to say that live commenting events of all kind is a favourite pastime of the community and one that is certain to grow. So what of the future? It seems inconceivable that the 2012 Olympics won’t be covered especially as Sidepodcast has people in attendance and of course we all enjoyed live commenting the Winter Olympics. There is no way Alex Zanardi’s Paralympics races will pass without a commenting session and no doubt other events there will spark some interest.

I would like to see a couple of matches from the 6 Nations Rugby live commented and I would like to see a Moto GP race covered too.

Those are my thoughts but which events have you enjoyed live commenting? Which would you recommend to people who have never seen them before and why? Most importantly which sports or other activities would you like to see given the treatment in the future?