An Open Letter to Channel 7’s Commentary Team
Wowee, a centimetre perfect Open Letter from the boy out of the Star of the Sea Stingrays, letting the Channel Seven crew know exactly how they’ve been in the first nine rounds of the season. It’s special! Take it away tbetta! (Actually, it’s RLGriffin! Sorry: just pulled a Tony Shaw).
Every Monday night DTTalk’s regular GWS guru @RLGriffin85 steps up to the plate to articulate the thoughts of AFL Dream Team coaches everywhere. Be it pointing the finger of blame at Senior AFL Coaches, setting a fire below underperforming players or just throw away comments about how bad Zac ‘Lurch’ Dawson really is; there’s no topic he isn’t willing to write about! Who’s in his sights this week?
An Open Letter to: Channel 7’s Commentary Team
Dear Channel Seven,
In a recent poll held by The Age, 17,551 people voted on if they are happy “with Channel Seven’s AFL coverage”; twelve percent were. If it wasn’t for Dennis Cometti learning how to use the internet recently, I’d say the votes cast in favour would have been much, much lower.
Now I know with any job there will be teething problems. I know that when you cross live to Cameron Ling like you did on Saturday night to ask him about a late withdrawal, getting more than a stunned look and a stuttering of slurred names is an achievement, but don’t pretend that you have not been in the job before.
Friday night specialist, Bruce McAvaney, is one of the most knowledgeable men in the commentary the game, but if I got as excited as him every time Cyril got near the ball, my wife would start testing me by asking if I wanted to watch Barbra Streisand movies or go to a flower arrangement seminar. On the mic’s Bruce is paired with Denis Cometti, a man who has better one liners than Charlie Sheen. Separately they add brilliance to any broadcast, but the best pairing in the channel seven line up have clearly been given free reign, and by the second quarter, it’s like listening to an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants. Although entertaining, for ones sanity, exposure can only last for so long before you just want to hear about the football… or bury your head under water. How about some balance?
Then you have Brian Taylor, the man with the mo from Punt Road, who needs to inform viewers of the a made up nickname and playing locality of each and ever player in just about each and every call. Wowee! I know you are obviously trying to re-school some of the commentary team but if B.T. spent as much time at English lessons as he did in geography then he would learn the pronunciation of e.Vahn (not Eye-Van) Maric, and learn to put the Euro (EU) in Hawthorns super-sub BRSSSSST. Imagine that; Wowee!
Tony Shaw obviously is the reason for modern day concussion tests, as half the time his calls don’t even match what’s actually happening on the field. Leigh Matthews plays his role well, presuming his role is to depress the audience with continuous negative comments about players, and amongst it all, Tom Harley is doing one of the best jobs because he is actually watching the game, even if he can’t articulate it without repeating back the exact wording of every cross he receives. Then you’ve got the new boys!
I’ve already mentioned underperforming recruit Cameron “Droopy Dog” Ling, a man who would find the term ‘a face for radio’ a compliment, but let’s add Bret Kirk to the mix. Kirk, who is one of the games best personalities gave his all on the field, but the only thing he’s been giving me lately is headaches with outfits that would make Beetlejuice cringe. Personally, I’d prefer stare at John Anthony’s forehead whilst he talks about how sad it is that Ross Lyon doesn’t recognise him in post match functions than his wardrobe. But that’s not even the worst part.
When I was in primary school I used to eat craft glue; not as a regular thing, but I was curious, and one day during arts and craft, a had a taste. My teacher called me a “unique individual”. I’m pretty sure she meant I had the IQ of a hamster. Brett Kirk recognised that the commentary team is a set of “unique individuals” recently in a monologue that would make Chris Klein’s acting seem dynamic and Oscar worthy. In an impassioned speech of verbs and adverbs, Kirk managed to make me more excited about cleaning out the scum in the bottom of the fridge than watching Saturday afternoon football. For crying out loud, how hard is it to find people who will just call the game? Dermott Brereton is sounding like a genius over on Fox Footy, and he’s had more blows to the head than a urinal at Oktoberfest.
But it’s not all bad; at least we can put it on mute and watch the footage right? You know, if you like watching a Michael Bay directed music clip of pixellated men following around a blurry dot. I haven’t been more confused on action wide shots and close ups since watching Transformers 2 whilst drunk in a cinema in Kunming in China. And that was dubbed in Mandarin! The quality of the broadcast is just as crap visually as it is audibly.
So as the team exchanges “ideas, thoughts and even their energy” fans exchange cringes, gawks and even their horror at how bad this team is going. “Just like you, we care, just like you, we’re passionate about the game”, but unlike you, we don’t accept the poor quality of this great game as ‘teething issues’ that are acceptable. Unless your excuse is Mark Neeld is at the helm, make some changes and bring in some talent. Otherwise… Ah crap. We’re stuck with you for five more years, aren’t we? Shit. Well, just make sure you don’t bring in Carolyn Wilson!
The Wider AFL Community
Ps. I would have mentioned the poor showing of team sheets, the low definition broadcast and constant replays more, but this is a letter, not a thesis. I’ll leave that to those who comment on this letter instead. Pick up your game seven!