Iconic broadcasters of VFL/AFL

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qman

All Australian
Jun 7, 2011
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The recent news of Gerard Healy leaving 'On the Couch' and being referred to by his colleague Tom Morris as an 'iconic broadcaster' got me to thinking, who are the iconic broadcasters from radio and tv for the game. I have put VFL/AFL in the thread title but any WAFL or SANFL mentions would be fine. Personally my knowledge is really only pertinent to the VFL/AFL. Think it would be cool to see peoples lists, given different perspectives and personal favs etc. How long you can remember back too will make a difference. List can be of any length and preferably in order. Healy was good but nowhere near 'iconic' in my opinion.
My list:
1. Bruce McAvaney ( a lot of people dislike, understandable but for me, the greatest SPORTS caller of all time. I am old enough to remember him in his younger days, starting out at channel 10, after he moved to Melbourne, he was just so much more well informed ( self informed ), did so much of his own research, knew things nobody else did and would pluck predictions out of what seemed like thin air and would be proven right nearly everytime.)
2. Dennis Cometti ( have him at no.2 due to his longevity, entertaining nature, called the game with great tone and pace.)
3. Rex Hunt ( I have to be honest, I never really liked the guy but if I listened to hIm call a game on AW in which I had little investment as to who won or lost, I got a laugh. I have him this high simply because he was so well known and popular during his calling hey day.
4. Lou Richards (still remember him calling games from my young days, entertaining caller and obviously a huge media personality in Victoria, for such a long time.)
5. Ted Whitten Sr. ( maybe a bit high on the list as a 'broadcaster but combined with his playing days, state of origin etc).
6. Sam Newman ( another love or hate type personality but given his world of sport, footy show, radio commentary and still going, I have him high on my list. Again hugely popular even infamous in his media prime!)
7. Eddie McGuire ( I feel like this is way to high for Eddie, in regards to the 'broadcasting', I don't think he's a great caller but when you consider what a big name he has been in footy, I had to put him up high.)
8. Bob Skilton
9. Jack Dyer
10. Bob Davis
11.Mike Williamson
12.Peter Landy
13..Sandy Roberts ( just a fav of mine, this may be mocked by some.)
14. Don Scott (just a fave of mine...lol!)
15.Tim Lane.
16.Drew Morphett ( just has to be here, not a fav of mine much like Tim Lane.)
Callers like Harry Bietzel, Jack Edwards etc, I just personally don't know enough about but I'm sure others will list and others from earlier days. Honourable mention for Clinton Grybas, feel he would have been iconic if fate had allowed.
Obviously callers like Anthony Hudson and BT may have fans. I don't think they are iconic, Hudson will be. Taylor for me is just not a good enough caller.
I have probably missed heaps, just done this off the top of my head, filling in time without research!
 
Last edited:

qman

All Australian
Jun 7, 2011
683
384
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Guess, I forgot about Gerard Whateley, not sure if he'd be in my list though.
 

TheJanuaryMan

Club Legend
Jul 29, 2009
1,860
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Not sure Mike Sheahan is a broadcaster per se. Certainly has Open Mike but apart from that - not really a special comments or the like.

A few names that could be considered:

Ian Major.
Ian Robertson
Robert Walls and Malcolm Blight (both long term special comments who had a style unique to them which lasted the long journey)
 

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qman

All Australian
Jun 7, 2011
683
384
Swan Hill
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Essendon
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Traditional vic teams
Not sure Mike Sheahan is a broadcaster per se. Certainly has Open Mike but apart from that - not really a special comments or the like.

A few names that could be considered:

Ian Major.
Ian Robertson
Robert Walls and Malcolm Blight (both long term special comments who had a style unique to them which lasted the long journey)
Yeah you are probably right about Sheahan, more a journo than anything, I should have left him out. I liked Blight as special comments late 80's.
 

BruceTempany14

Loving the Eagles and Cats Salt
Aug 4, 2016
1,132
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Richmond
The recent news of Gerard Healy leaving 'On the Couch' and being referred to by his colleague Tom Morris as an 'iconic broadcaster' got me to thinking, who are the iconic broadcasters from radio and tv for the game. I have put VFL/AFL in the thread title but any WAFL or SANFL mentions would be fine. Personally my knowledge is really only pertinent to the VFL/AFL. Think it would be cool to see peoples lists, given different perspectives and personal favs etc. How long you can remember back too will make a difference. List can be of any length and preferably in order. Healy was good but nowhere near 'iconic' in my opinion.
My list:
1. Bruce McAvaney ( a lot of people dislike, understandable but for me, the greatest SPORTS caller of all time. I am old enough to remember him in his younger days, starting out at channel 10, after he moved to Melbourne, he was just so much more well informed ( self informed ), did so much of his own research, knew things nobody else did and would pluck predictions out of what seemed like thin air and would be proven right nearly everytime.)
2. Dennis Cometti ( have him at no.2 due to his longevity, entertaining nature, called the game with great tone and pace.)
3. Rex Hunt ( I have to be honest, I never really liked the guy but if I listened to hIm call a game on AW in which I had little investment as to who won or lost, I got a laugh. I have him this high simply because he was so well known and popular during his calling hey day.
4. Lou Richards (still remember him calling games from my young days, entertaining caller and obviously a huge media personality in Victoria, for such a long time.)
5. Ted Whitten Sr. ( maybe a bit high on the list as a 'broadcaster but combined with his playing days, state of origin etc).
6. Sam Newman ( another love or hate type personality but given his world of sport, footy show, radio commentary and still going, I have him high on my list. Again hugely popular even infamous in his media prime!)
7. Eddie McGuire ( I feel like this is way to high for Eddie, in regards to the 'broadcasting', I don't think he's a great caller but when you consider what a big name he has been in footy, I had to put him up high.)
8. Bob Skilton
9. Jack Dyer
10. Bob Davis
11.Mike Williamson
12.Peter Landy
13..Sandy Roberts ( just a fav of mine, this may be mocked by some.)
14. Don Scott (just a fave of mine...lol!)
15.Tim Lane.
16.Drew Morphett ( just has to be here, not a fav of mine much like Tim Lane.)
Callers like Harry Bietzel, Jack Edwards etc, I just personally don't know enough about but I'm sure others will list and others from earlier days. Honourable mention for Clinton Grybas, feel he would have been iconic if fate had allowed.
Obviously callers like Anthony Hudson and BT may have fans. I don't think they are iconic, Hudson will be. Taylor for me is just not a good enough caller.
I have probably missed heaps, just done this off the top of my head, filling in time without research!

Great effort . I think sandy was an absolute superstar . I’d have Eddie in top3 .
Thank goodness no Katie Underwood!!!


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com
 

TheJanuaryMan

Club Legend
Jul 29, 2009
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Great effort . I think sandy was an absolute superstar . I’d have Eddie in top3 .
Thank goodness no Katie Underwood!!!


Sent from my iPhone using BigFooty.com

Agreed. Members of Bardot have no place in this list:

1637980022810.png
 

MauroFogheri

Fill the crucible
Jun 14, 2017
295
381
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3. Rex Hunt ( I have to be honest, I never really liked the guy but if I listened to hIm call a game on AW in which I had little investment as to who won or lost, I got a laugh. I have him this high simply because he was so well known and popular during his calling hey day.
4ff the top of my head, filling in time without research!
Rex was a brilliant caller separate from all the nicknames and BS...Richard Hinds, who inhabitats a different universe to Rex, once wrote a fantastic, technical appraisal of his skills as a caller and labelled him the best in the business. My favourite thing Rex did, and it is extremely difficult to relay without the actual audio, was to "undercall" when a crescendo moment came (an important goal), letting the crowd noise and his fellow callers in the background take over with their "Oh's!!!" and all that. Tim Lane is by far and away the best caller of Australian Football there has ever been, gritty, and without the rehearsed, whiny soliloquys of Huddo et al
 

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Falconista

Team Captain
Dec 31, 2019
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Wally Foreman.
Mainly radio and more WAFL than AFL, but his commentary was accurate and he had a demeanour that made him likeable.

Adam Papalia at FOX is another who I have high hopes for. Seems to mainly call the Sunday twilight Dockers/WA games and does them well despite the standard often being poor. If given an expanded role, I personally think he'd be regarded similarly to Huddo and the late Clinton Grybas.
 

RAPPA

Brownlow Medallist
Feb 20, 2008
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Bruce early days was good. Then he became all too emotive and the calling suffered.

Rex, Sandy and Drew were favourites of mineas a kid in the 90s. Drew’s remarkable ability of integrating “molested” into his calling was quite entertaining.
 

1989

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Mar 29, 2010
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Rex was a brilliant caller separate from all the nicknames and BS...Richard Hinds, who inhabitats a different universe to Rex, once wrote a fantastic, technical appraisal of his skills as a caller and labelled him the best in the business. My favourite thing Rex did, and it is extremely difficult to relay without the actual audio, was to "undercall" when a crescendo moment came (an important goal), letting the crowd noise and his fellow callers in the background take over with their "Oh's!!!" and all that. Tim Lane is by far and away the best caller of Australian Football there has ever been, gritty, and without the rehearsed, whiny soliloquys of Huddo et al
Great observation. He executes this perfectly in the middle of ten minutes of chaos when Stuart Dew bangs in a goal from 50 in the third quarter of the '08 Grand Final.
 

Mazlum

Boss
Apr 3, 2007
7,433
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AFL Club
Collingwood
When I think about my lifespan of footy from the 70's to present day the names that spring to mind are :
  • Peter Landy
  • Sandy Roberts
  • Ian Robertson
  • Bruce Macavaney
  • Drew Morphett
  • Lou Richards
  • Anthony Hudson
  • Rex Hunt
And sadly..
  • Clinton Grybas
 

mike ross

Team Captain
Jun 8, 2021
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A bit of a different one here.
Shane Healy used to partner Rex on AW in the early nineties.
Obviously not remembered by many but I loved his commentary style, painted the picture well and was a great partner for Rex. Those two are my favourite combo.
 

sosos

Premiership Player
Apr 5, 2007
3,458
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Melbourne
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Carlton
A bit of a different one here.
Shane Healy used to partner Rex on AW in the early nineties.
Obviously not remembered by many but I loved his commentary style, painted the picture well and was a great partner for Rex. Those two are my favourite combo.
Good point, it is so often the combination that brings the magic.
 

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