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The state of commentary in the AFL is at an all-time low, filled with corny catch phrases and a large 'boys club' mentality, rather than covering the game.

The state of the commentary in the AFL right now is at its lowest.

For a long time, football fans have seen some greats of the game go by, but in more recent times, we’ve had to deal with cringeworthy catchphrases and over injecting their personalities where it doesn’t belong.

Growing up, I was blessed with listening to some of the best.

Bruce McAvaney, Anthony Hudson, Stephen Quartermain and the late Clinton Grybas.

There’s a common denominator among those four commentators.

They never played the game at the highest level. Yet, they were, and some still are, the best.

Lately, what AFL commentary has become is more of a ‘boys club’ mentality, with borderline barracking for sides and particular players over the traditional calls.

The desperation to make moments happen and try to spur something on.

I’ll give you the hot tip, football fans aren’t idiots.


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Commentary is about complimenting what is going on on the field.

We see it all the time in basketball, commentators are known as the ‘voice’ of the particular sport, because they do their job and compliment the talent which people tune in for.

People don’t tune in for the commentary, but I’m sure as hell lately some have been tuning out.

Football is another key example. Brenton Speed’s terrific call of Riley McGree’s scorpion kick was one of those.

Mid-analysis, suddenly cut off with pure ecstasy and astonishment.

The reaction isn’t fabricated, it’s genuine, it’s real, it’s what most people felt as they watched it unfold.

One of the more recent examples of AFL commentary going down the gurgler is what happened on Friday night with Shai Bolton’s Mark of the Year candidate.

It was one of the most remarkable marks we have seen, but it was left with minimal excitement from Brian Taylor.

We compare it to Bruce McAvaney 20 years ago as Gary Moorcroft soared over Brad Johnson to take arguably the greatest mark of all time.

Those videos compared side by side shows the decline we’ve seen in our commentary.

Now, we move onto the ‘boys club’ mentality that is some commentary teams.

As AFL fans, we understand who the stars are. We watch them each and every week.

I’m sure new people tuning in don’t find it that difficult to understand who the stars are either.

The over the top mentions of Dustin Martin when Richmond plays, Eddie Betts when Carlton plays, Lance Franklin when Sydney plays – we know they’re out there.

We don’t need consistent predictions that they’re going to do something magical. We know their talents, we know what they’re capable of.

Fans don’t need barracking of particular players to do remarkable things, just call what is going on in front of our faces.

We also all appreciate an underdog story. However, that shouldn’t mean the team which is putting on a clinic should be disregarded.

Time and time again, when teams are more than likely out of it, they’re being egged on by commentators to try and keep it interesting.

I’m sorry but a team five goals down with five minutes to go ain’t doing much. Unless they actually start doing something, then get yourselves all revved up.

Call it as it happens and let the moments happen naturally.

Analysis and views are good and some of the current day special commentators are terrific.

Luke Hodge’s views on the game have been an unbelievable addition to the Channel 7 team, while Daisy Pearce and Abbey Holmes are similar.

Kill off the catch phrases, commentate what’s going on and take the back seat to what is really the action – the game on the ground.

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3 thoughts on “Huddo’s Hot Take: Give us some good commentary

  1. When Bolton took that great mark I got excited I didn’t need the commentator to over exaggerate his excitement. I also get sick of Dermott Brereton repeating himself, he knows how to labour his point. My pet hate is hearing Ricciuto on Port games, fair dinkum most Port supporters hate Roo because he played for the Crows, but he’s not eloquent and he adds very little to the broadcast. Please have a Port person on the commentary team on Port home games!

  2. rather watch with sound turned off and i am not the only one, find some professional commentators and leave the old players at home !!!

  3. Agree completely with the sentiment here – although I heartily disagree with McAvaney being included in the top group of callers (would have Tim Lane and Dennis C in that top group in place of Bruce). BMc is a sensational caller of athletics (and horse racing as well) but his skills didn’t lend themselves naturally to the AFL arena, where if you listen to his commentary it principally consisted of calling out the names of the players – but not what they were doing or how they were doing it. He would then get excited at certain times and call out the same name over and over should they have done something extraordinary! Channel 7 just wanted to give him something to do in between his stints going to the Olympics every 4 years.
    As to the main thrust of the article, I live overseas and always turn off the Channel 7 commentary in favour of the radio calls… although syncing can be a pain! The radio calls – by necessity – give you the place on the ground where the action is happening and also is far more descriptive!

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