I’m sorry, but this has gone far enough. In the interests of all that is good about our game and the clash this Saturday, I make an impassioned plea on behalf of those of us who will have to watch the Grand Final on Channel 7.
STOP. WITH. ALL. THE. POINTLESS. MEANINGLESS. SPACE-TAKING-UP. SHOWING OFF. STATISTICS!!!
Look we all know, Bruce loves his stats, whether produced by him or by a locked basement full of IT freaks and stats gurus.
And I love a good stat as much as anyone. It’s just that I am sick to death of them taking up valuable space and time in a broadcast when we could be, (I don’t know, crazy thought here), TALKING ABOUT THE ACTUAL GAME!!
Last week in the Swans game, we all knew that Jude Bolton was playing his 300th game and good luck to him, he’s a great player. But that also seemed to give rise to every stat possible about 300 gamers and we were then treated to the Bruce stat that he was only the second player to win a final in his 300th game.
Ok, Fine. Happy for him. But who cares?
A few weeks ago, with the Bulldogs being thrashed on a meaningless Sunday afternoon televised game, Bruce spent most of the second half breathlessly waiting for Ryan Griffen to break the record for the most possessions in a game by a Bulldogs player since Simon Atkins. He did, the Bulldogs got belted and the game once again finished 10 seconds before they cut to the Sunday 6pm news.
It’s at the Brownlow that Bruce seems to rise to the stats pinnacle, with comments that only two players in Brownlow history had polled more than Watson had by Round 7, or he’d got more votes by a certain stage than when Dick Reynolds won one of his medals, or he had more at round 13 or whenever than anyone ever had.
Bruce seems to love quoting stats to players about themselves, that they couldn’t possibly know, solely for the purpose of either embarrassing the player into being awkward or making himself look good (too close to call that one)
(Imagine if a player said “yes, I was aware that I am now the greatest vote winner in St Kilda history and not before time too!”)
Last year he was talking to Dane Swan after he won about the fact that his tally and that of Scott Pendlebury was the highest one club/two player tally in history. Swan earned my undying respect for not going with ‘big deal Bruce’ or ‘so what’ when it was more his moment to cherish as the winner, not Bruce totting out this stuff to further enhance his reputation.
It just makes him look like a know-it-all.
Now, I used to love Bruce. I think his race calling was stunning and I have heard him do phantom or reproductions of Cox Plate calls that are brilliant. His hosting of the return to the mounting yard of Makybe Diva’s third Cup was restrained and respectful, and the Cathy Freeman call is legend.
But I think he may just have been sipping on his own bathwater just a touch. My fear is that he’s becoming a parody of himself. This is after all a bloke who if memory serves, took twelve months off from footy and broadcasting before the Sydney Olympics to prepare for his hosting and calling duties.
Bruce, calm down. Peter Donegan seemed to move effortlessly from calling the VFL at North Ballart to being in London a few months back, and we don’t need to know every stat about every PB and placing in an athlete’s career to enjoy the spectacle.
My Dad didn’t quite get or like cricket, but tolerated it because it was a passion of my mum’s. However, he’s always loved teasing her by impersonating Alan McGillivray and Lindsay Hassett with ‘is that the highest score on a Tuesday afternoon in December by a red headed left handed second drop with a name starting with P on this ground’ sort of stuff that makes cricket great.
Some stats are helpful and some fascinating. There are some quirks of stats that make for great trivia. I love the fact that most people seemed to know that Jason Blake hadn’t scored a Brownlow vote in his career up until last night.
This week will be full of stats. The traditional and useless (how many pies will be eaten at the GF), the intriguing (the Swans with the most miserly defence against the Hawks high scoring average) and the historic (the Swans record at the G).
But can we stay away from all the other ones that just don’t matter. Don’t tell us that the Swans win a certain % of games when leading at half time, or that the quarter time score is the same as when they last met in a final or that if a player kicks more than a certain number of goals his team always wins.
Many of these stats are best written down and followed with a “really?” before moving on. That’s the place for them.
But don’t, please don’t, use up the airwaves with useless stats designed more to show off the commentary team’s research in favour of talking about the game itself.
Many stats about games signify nothing anymore. Players rack up meaningless possessions, uncontested marks and turnovers that really only matter to Dream Team aficionados.
The main stat is the score, and if Bruce tells me about the history of who leds at three quarter time in a GF, I’ll ask if they give out medals based on that.
No. In the end, the final score will judge the GF winner, as it does every year.
So Bruce, leave us alone, retain some of the dignity you once had, and treat us with respect:
PLEASE. LEAVE THE STATS RUBBISH ALONE AND CALL THE BLOODY GAME!