“Our Game”

This piece is having a holiday.





About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Dare I say, “Spot on, Smokie”

    For example, last night BT referred to Rory Laird (2017 All Australian) as one of Adelaide’s big improvers this year, early in the call.

    I’ve said this before, but the hardest working person on the 7 production team is the person yelling the players’ names into his earpiece. The second hardest is the one who has to change his bib at the end of each quarter.

    But we are fools to think that 7 cares about the quality of the commentary teams, or anything really, when they have Wayne Carey, Campbell Brown, Tom Browne and Sam McClure on their payroll.

  2. Chris Daley says

    Last night when Walker ran through Touhy BT screamed out “Accidental jaw clash”..that about summed him up

  3. Smokie, I have applied the mute button to the Channel 7 commentary for years now.

    I choose to listen to my extensive collection of music whilst watching the game. At any moment I can be enjoying Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Black Sabbath, The Waterboys or Bruce Springsteen instead of having my evening spoiled by the superannuated muppets of the alleged comentary team. I’d hardly get the time to revisit my favourites if I did not combine footy and music. I should be thankful to the network for making this workaround necessary!

    A further benefit is that I am blisfully unaware of any advertisements during the telecast.

  4. I am with Ken. At games I listen to the radio for the first quarter to identify all the opposition players and then just watch and place my own interpretation on events. I have 3 knowledgeable companions to share my “observations” with or query about tactics.
    On TV I only closely watch and listen to Eagles games and the occasional “big game”. Particularly at this time of year with so much great sport in Europe – tennis; soccer World Cup; golf; F1; Tour de France cycling – why bother with spakfilla AFL games full of scrappy 36 man defence?
    Let alone the chewing gum for the mind of BT et al.
    I am proudly a sports tragic first and a footy fan second.

  5. Earl O'Neill says

    Yep, I listen to music instead of commentary, several friends do likewise.

  6. Good work Smokie

  7. High Mark says

    And why does Taylor use two syllables to pronounce the word ‘here’? Drives me crazy!

  8. Stainless says

    This is a tricky subject. Leaving aside one’s opinions of individual commentators, what you’re describing are two broad TV commentary styles.
    The unobtrusive “BBC” style aims only to inform but not intrude. Its rationale is that the viewer can see what’s going on and doesn’t need it described for them. The problem with this style is that for every Martin Tyler or Richie Benaud, there are dozens of commentators who are as dull as ditch water. It’s the preferred style of the sports aficionado but not an approach that will “engage a mass audience”.
    The other approach assumes that what is being presented is entertainment and that the commentary can and should augment that entertainment package. For this reason, networks use former star players rather than anonymous experts. They add to the allure of the package even if their commentary isn’t particularly insightful. Similarly, this approach encourages, even demands that commentators project strong personal styles even to the point where it seems to be more about them than the game they’re calling.
    I would suggest that television coverage of Australian Rules has always tended towards this style of commentertainment, with the exception of the ABC. You can’t tell me that Mike Williamson and Lou Richards weren’t regularly in the same self-indulgent mould as BT and they added precious little analysis to the vision. Similarly, Denis and Bruce have been just as guilty of imposing their personalities into their calls. You may prefer their styles to BT’s but I can assure you plenty of folk don’t. My point is that they’re all part of the same genre of commentertainers.
    The interesting thing for me is that the great sporting moments preserved through television are forever be coloured by the accompanying commentary, flaws and all. I cannot think of the 1966 Grand Final without recalling “Hit the Boundary Line” from EJ, and “I tipped this” from Williamson. I could say that these comments were inappropriately biased from EJ and self-centred from Williamson, or I could argue that they are an essential part of the legend of that day. But whether we think these overlays add to or detract from the experience of re-living history, it’s impossible to ignore them.

  9. Mavis Osborne says

    None of Foxtels brigade are any better. And their plethera of special comments are also boring and “state the bleeding obvious”
    TV needs Gerard Whately, Adam White and a comeback from Denis. And RIP Clinton Grybas…brilliance cut short.

  10. Excellent summary. I am sure that they must do customer research and most punters must say they like it which must show that they are pitching it to the majority which is probably a reflection on our society. Agree that Jason Bennett is quality, right amount of drama and description. They must get told to use their nicknames to each other all the time, laugh at each others’ jokes and really laugh when Taylor does his roaming thing. That is particularly unfunny and must be loathed by the players and yet the commentators are sitting there laughing about nothing to make whoever is still watching think it is funny. Taylor and Carey for that matter should not be on air for their antiquated view of the world. Gilbert McAdam was a breath of fresh air a few weeks ago, also find is it Daisy Pearce?, quite good. On the cricket I am so looking forward to not having Ian Chappell bring up another story from the 1960s.

  11. Paddy Grindlay says

    Spot on Smokie

  12. Manny Koufalakis says

    Yep I mute as well though its a toss up whether its because of the commentary or the ads.

  13. Shane John Backx says

    Only listen to Tim Lane and Tony Leonard on 3AW. Rarely even watch the footy since I only like day games and they are rarely on here in Queensland. Which has the added bonus of not having to see the dross that the game has become and is dishing up each week.

  14. Peter Flynn says

    Sound down or go to the game.

    Old Mate and I were talking about this over pomegranates and bacon last Friday morning.

    Taylor recognises Bennett as good and won’t call with him. That is good mail.

    Michael Williamson was superb (the best). The 66, 67 and 70 GFs are masterclasses. Blight’s kick in 1976.

    Of the pundits, Daisy Pearce is superb. And a very good interviewer.

    Jimmy Bartel is into footyspeak but I like what he’s trying to do.

    Timely piece Old Smoke.

    Bruce was seat 1B on QF684 today.

    In addition to Alison Mitchell (the last person to interview Bob Woolmer and it’s a spooky interview), Isa Guha is a gun.

  15. Thanks for the comments, one and all.
    BT’s commentary certainly polarises if nothing else.

  16. Jarrod_L says

    100% on the money, Smoke.

    We can only hope the times are a changin’ – in the mean time, I’ll be glad for small mercies borne from following people like you on twitter and avoiding those like that awful trio of moral/intellectual vacuums you mentioned at the start of the piece.

  17. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    I hear ya Smo..Kee ! Wow wee and zipitty dooh dah, why haven’t you been seduced by BT’s candy?
    Too much noise, too many voices. Just sound bites and very little of substance on Channel 7.
    Above everything else, it sounds too bloody contrived. And then there’s the other extreme Darc, the most monotonous, wooden, characterless commentator I’ve ever had the displeasure of hearing.

    Classic formula: 2 commentators + 1 special comments person and a boundary rider. Daisy Pearce the best special comments expert in the footy media by a mile.

  18. Jarrod_L says

    What, you don’t just love the way Darce goes about it, Phil?

  19. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Jarrod, I liked ‘the way he went about it’ as a player, but as a commentator…Zzzzzzzz

  20. Jarrod_L says

    Haha, I agree wholeheartedly – just a bit of a tongue-in-cheek Darce-ism. On a related note, all-time greatest team of commentators could be a goer?

  21. Marcus Holt says

    Unfortunately I got here too late to read the original piece, and now I’m very curious as to why it’s been taken down. But, I can add my voice to the chorus of anti-BT fans. He drives me INSANE! So much so that I mute the sound, delay the broadcast (the wonders of modern televisions), tune into the AFL website and listen live to one of the radio commentaries and then sync it up to the TV to get around the delay. It’s a bit of mucking around and can be tricky, but is infinitely better than Taylor et al. On a similar note, I was a long time ABC listener but with the departure of Gerard Whately, clearly in my opinion the best commentator going around, I now listen to SEN more, though the ads are obnoxious! I tried the ABC team but Mick Malthouse doing special comments is a new form of aural torture, the negativity is mind-numbing. Why 7 continue to give Taylor the microphone is a complete mystery. I know he appeals to some but who exactly? no idea!

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