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At the start of 2002 Nine had on its books both Tim Lane and Dennis Cometti but were not going to pair them together for FNF. Eddie the network pin up boy had to be on FNF.

Shame. Cometti and Lane would have been a great pairing.

Admittedly a collingwood supporter, but I do try to discern whether Eddie is being blatantly pro-collinwgood in his calling - because inevitably everybody seems to comment to me about how biased his umpiring was.

I think that there are some examples which skirt the line, but I also think people are holding him to a fairly fine line. All commentators have occasion to speak favourably about one team or the other (eg Richmond have really lifted the tempo here) and all commentators talk up the possibility of a comeback so that the game doesn't get boring. But when Eddie does this about the pies, he is slammed for it because everyone knows he actually believes it.

Maybe this means that the conflict is too great, that he simply can't hold down both jobs. However, I might say that I have noticed on a couple of occasions Eddie declining to comment where a possible collingwood free had not been called - allowing Gary Lyon or whoever to make the call.

As a collingwood member, I don't think Eddie should commentate Friday night footy, especially when the Pies are playing.

I can't listen to his commentary - its the worst on TV by a long shot.

Personally, teach Phil Liggott the basics of AFL and he would be the greatest commentator of them all!!!

Would have been GOLD, Anthony. Pity it never eventuated. Eddie should do the intro and host the links, etc, but Dennis and someone else should do the game call. Eddie's a crap commentator.

Pretty fair call, Dan. On occasions Eddie IS unfairly criticised, but like I said above, I've noticed his bias is more pronounced lately. And he could still avoid the COI problem by not doing the call. At all. The problem's been most starkly pointed out by his comments last week, which because the AFL haven't called him to book, mean he can APPARENTLY get away with whatever he likes. That's just wrong, wrong, wrong. It's not as if Frank Costa, Paul Gardiner, etc are afforede the same luxury.

Spot on about him being the worst, Ferret. He's shocking. Bad voice, forced fluency, shrill. Get him off. Top call about Phil Liggett. Another gun commentator.

If I was Eddie, I certainly wouldn't want to be trying to keep my emotions in check and call a balanced and non biased version of the game. I'd want to be in the terraces with the fans going off! It's not as if the ratings will fall drastically if he doesn't do the games involving Collingwood, or games at all.

As Tony said, a compromise would be to have him introduce, then do "Holden" half time. But I'd rather not have him there at all. Why not give Dennis the lead, along with another slightly more animated commentator. I like 3AW's Tony Leonard ("big man who travels by train") but apart from that there's not too many you could give that job to at the moment. Keep Gary Lyon on there, you only need one special comments guy...

Piss Dermie off, hes shithouse.

Equally bad in his conflict of interest is Dermot Brereton.

He was immediately talking down the severity of both the Crawford and Brown reports during Sunday's game.

They all do it and they all pretend that they don't. It shits me.

You don't HAVE to commentate! That's the funny thing.

Sack the facking lot of 'em I say.

An interesting theory I read (sorry - no link) is that Aussie Rules on TV is, like, duh, a visual thing. So why the fuck do I need Eddie (or Dennis, or Tim, or Dermie...) telling me that someone has handballed it when I just saw it for my very own eyes?

The "theory" went on to compare Aussie Rules TV commentators with English Soccer TV commentators.

Our English TV counterparts are much more minimalist, tending to describe little of the action, and concentrating on just the names of the players who are in possession.

In other words, it’s not non-stop "yabber yabber yabber" for 30 minutes a quarter. They actually shut up when there’s nothing to say, and don’t feel the need to describe the bleeding obvious.

I’d like to hear a Aussie Rules game on TV called that way just for a laff.

(Rest assured that Dennis "I love Dennis" Cometti or Eddie "me me me" McGuire won’t be the first to volunteer. They love the sound of their own voices too much.)

Ads, I'm not totally sold on Tony Leonard, he's got a rotten voice. However, a pairing with Dennis could be a boomer because both have a strong sense of humour and a broad knowledge of theings other than footy with which to pepper the call for colour. Remember, the Coodabeens loved Dennis and Ian Cover even does a good imitation of him. They're long time fans. Gary Lyon's OK, bit of a suck, but OK. Dermie's just gotta stop trying to use words he doesn't understand. He's gotta realise it's OK not intellectual ... especially when you're not.

I agree Bruce. I would much prefer to have NO club representatives in the commentary box. It's ridiculous the way the footy reps in the media keep trying to justify their LEVELS of clubness. You either are ... or you're not. There's no halfway. It's the same with the point Eddie's spinmeisters (I assume he's got some kind of advisors in his ear) have got up regarding his commentator first, president second argument ... and vice versa when it suits argument. It's a bluff to snow the critics. No matter where he sits, he's still the Collingwood president. As I said avove -- especially in light of the lattitude he gets compared to the other presidents.

Big, I seem to remember when Optus first started doing the AFL a few years ago, they trialled a system whereby they just talked about the games like fans rather that did kick-by-kick. In the end they reckon it didn't sound quite right. I reckon they dumped it because it required exceptional communication skills and was too hard to do consistently. Much easier to get someone to follow the ball. I never heard it, but I would have liked to. Sounds like my kind of descriptor. Don't know who did it either, but I think Dermot was involved. Now THAT would have been tough going.

>>>"...they just talked about the games like fans rather that did kick-by-kick."


Itcould be worse, you could have Bruce "Special" McAvaney dribbling his simulated enthusiasm and magazine-article derived expertise at you. Dig up Captain Blood and slip some new batteries in him I reckon - "Umpire if you please!" and the most famous piece of radio commentary in Oz sport - "Did you see that?" followed by a complete lack of information.
If that doesn't work then slip a few beers into Kerry O'Keefe and send him south for winter. At least he'd remember that it's still a game.

So much for MY exceptional communication skills, Big. Sub "that" for "than". And in case you didn't get my drift, I meant they didn't follow the ball with a kick-by-kick commentary, but just talked about what was going on all over the field in a conversational manner.

Yeah, I don't like McAvaney for footy either, Dirk. In fact -- I may be taken to task here -- I don't believe he has a strong feeling for the game. As you say, it's a "magazine-article derived expertise". But I DO think he does an excellent job at things that require less nuance. Like racing. Of whatever kind.

And Kerry would be a hoot for the conversational style, but might have trouble keeping up with kick-by-kick. Pretty hard to chuck in an anecdote about a barby with Mick Jagger between half back and half forward.

Yeah I could see Kerry launch into a big speil about the time he got on the piss with Doug Walters and Thommo and had a wrestle outside some famous monument and somehow relate it to a melee thats happening on the field!! Now that WOULD be interesting!!

But yeah the style of commentating has to befit the medium it's on. Commentators like Tim Lane and the like do very well on radio because that's the type of commentary they are good at: play by play, clear and concise so they put you AT the ground. However you can see it with your own eyes on the telly, so more excitable people seem to do well.

I was listening to the races down at the TAB on Saturday and I found a perfect excitable commentator for the footy. His name slips me now but he was doing the Oakbank meeting this particular time. I'll tell you what, it was a 1000m Maiden Class 9 or something like that and he was calling it like a Bonecrusher v Our Waverley Star epic!!

Someone sign him up!!!

McGuire's conflict of interest wouldn't be tolerated in US sports and the AFL just displayed how big his influence inside the league is by how they reacted this week.

Tim Lane had it right. Too bad no one at the AFL or Channel 9 noticed.

You bring up a good point, Ads. TV and radio commentaries are entirely different beasts. It's important critics remember that.

Not that they didn't notice, Rob. They didn't care.

It's SOP here to dismiss critics with: "Aw shucks, I wouldn't do anything wrong." And just acrry on regardless, backed by the employer.

We don't have any standards.

>>>You bring up a good point, Ads. TV and radio commentaries are entirely different beasts. It's important critics remember that.


But the TV footy commentators are doing it "radio style".


Ever heard Davis Cup on the radio? Crikey that must be hard to commentate. Imagine how absolutely absurd it would be if they commentated like that on the TV!

Well, why doesn't it occur to everyone that the current style of footy commentating on TV is equally absurd?

I want answers, dammit!

No answers here Big. I agree. The TV wallahs seem to think "more's better" I happen to think the reverse. It's exacerbated because the TV commentators try and use lots of big words, especially Dermot. The result is, the commentary's overcooked.

But the point's the same, TV needs a different style to ray-jo.


Any chance of getting a "most recent comments" section up the top of your blog? Most bloggers have them.

Interesting discussions like this drop off the radar a bit too quickly (in my humble opinion).

Funny you should mention that, Big. Pending.

[in my best Homer Simpson voice]


Awww, shucks Tony.

But shouldn't that be "pontifications"?

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