Things We Can Learn From Sports TV

Would anyone argue that professional sports on TV isn’t generally improved by having former pro athletes as commentators? Take, for example, the case of John McEnroe, whose commentary on tennis is wonderful, or even Johnny Miller, whose golf comments, while overrated, are still much better than the usual blather.

So … why doesn’t financial television do the same thing? Sure, many current investors show up, but most of them are made suspect by their presence: I always worry that anyone who wants the attention is someone to whom you shouldn’t, by definition, be paying attention.

You can argue, I suppose, that it’s about not needing the money. After all, Peter Lynch doesn’t need $500 now and then for a spot on TV. But it doesn’t seem like a McEnroe or a Miller needs regular cash spliffs either, and yet that doesn’t keep them off the big shows.

So, if it’s not about the money, and we can agree it would be good to have more former successful investing pros in the media, what’s keeping them out? Is it cultural? Is it that most people in the investing game, unlike in sports, just want the hell out by the time it’s over?

Idle thoughts, but where is the John McEnroe of financial commentary?