When Danni met Cometti

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If you’re like me, you don’t think too much of footy commentators until you watch the footy. Although their commentary can be drowned under our loud screaming and swearing, they bring that weird feel of passion to the game that feel of genuine excitement and live reaction.

In a way we can appreciate their witty remarks and what they bring to our viewing experience at home. I’ve never really had a favourite commentator but after having the privilege of hearing Dennis Cometti talk to my journalism class, I can say that now I do.

We all know that Cometti’s love for footy is well…centimeter perfect but he also has a huge passion for music. While starting out his media career as a DJ for city radio station 6KY in Perth, Cometti answered the phone to a call that later sparked his sport commentating career. Perhaps fate was calling when he answered the phone and volunteered to call his first game of footy on the radio station, fuelling his interest in sports commentary as a career and I guess the rest is history!

In his talk Dennis spoke to us about how he prepares to call games. His wife tapes games he might need for next week. He watches these tapes with the volume turned down to avoid clichés. He stated that clichés are invented because commentators start using the same expressions as other commentators and with that in mind I think it’s safe to say other commentators can’t compete with a Cometti catchphrase.

Dennis was very encouraging of us young journalists, preaching that he admires the work of journalists who show “smart aleck humour.” He really highlighted the importance of “showing people who you are” saying that journalists should be “human not robotic.” This had me sit up a little straighter in my seat, I nearly dropped my pen…Dennis just put his own spin on my personal journalism motto of “Not your typical robot journalist.” Finally somebody who understands me! I wanted to jump out of my seat and give him a hug. You all know how I like to put myself in what I write and it was just so reassuring to me to hear such a respected media professional praise that kind of writing attitude when so many other people put it down as unprofessional. Lighten up people, why so serious!?

When asked about how to best remember players’ names Dennis had wise advice. The more we’d watch the more we’d be able to recognise players. Just how well can Dennis recognise players you ask? Well when there’s a bunch of players going in for the footy and the camera angle is low, Dennis is such a pro he can recognise players by their legs! Why can’t I do that!? My new mission is to be able to do that! So yes you can say I have been inspired in more ways than one!

Thank you Dennis, I’ve found my favourite commentator!

About Danielle Eid

Im 23, cute and most importantly im the Collingwood Football Club's very own PRINCESS!! :) A Latrobe Uni graduate from Bachelor of Journalism. Admirer of Samantha Lane and Jon Ralph. Not your typical 'Robot Journalist' Loves Alex Fasolo


  1. Nice story Danni.
    Dennis is one of the best commentators around. It seems he has a unique or quirky phrase for every player. It always sounds natural, so he’s either the best actor in the game or his commentary is spontaneous and natural.
    I remember interviewing Tim Lane years ago. It was refreshing to hear him talk about his career and what motivated him.
    That, for a student journalist, was motivating…

  2. Luke Reynolds says

    Great stuff Danielle. Really interesting to read that Dennis watches games with the sound down to avoid clichés. Fantastic for your journalism class to get a broadcaster of that calibre. Always enjoyed Dennis’ work, his love of music certainly shows in his commentary. And he’s obviously a very tall man looking at your photo!!

  3. Cheryl Critchley says

    Great report Danni. We learned a lot about Dennis in your story and I’m sure you guys did too from his talk. It’s always fantastic when people like him take the time to speak to students. It really helps the next generation of journalists understand what is needed to “make it”. Well done!

  4. Steve Fahey says

    Good on you Danni, and god luck with your continuing studies, we need more Pies-supporting journalists out there.

    Dennis was waiting for a cab after a game outside the G a few years ago and was more than happy for pose for photos with the younger brigade in our crew, and was very generous with each of them, asking about their studies and their sports. He made a very positive impression, centimetre perfect !!

  5. Thanks Matt :) COOL id would have loved to speak to Tim Lane, him being the father of one of my idols and all. You’re so right meeting the pros really helps motivation and inspiration!

    Glad your enjoyed reading Luke :) haha he is tall but I am also VERY short!

    Thanks! Yes we did learn a lot about Dennis and he was very kind to give us advice that will help us be better journalists.

    Hey Steve, thanks so much I hope I end up getting somewhere with my writing and make you all proud haha :)
    Yeah I can see him doing that, he had a chat to some of the students afterwards and took photos, he’s very humble, great man :)

  6. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Great stuff Danni

    anyone who has a language named after him is doing pretty well. There is a small book of Comettisms titled: That’s Ambitious, which contains some of his famous and not so famous lines. Case in point: “Matthew Clarke is a dinosaur thriving on climate change.” Well worth a look.

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