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Shut Up Ray Hadley - Stick To Rugby League

The Mad Chatter - Monday, October 17, 2011

Ray Hadley is great at rugby league but not so sure about rugbyVerbal diarrhoea is a painful social affliction whereby its sufferers just won’t shut the hell up. It annoys and alienates victims who will desperately look for any excuse to get away from a dizzying full-frontal attack. But there’s no escape from the comfy surroundings of your own home on a Sunday night when you just want to plonk yourself on the lounge in front of the telly, relax and unwind before the working week ahead.

Ray Hadley is great at rugby league but not so sure about rugbyVerbal diarrhoea is a painful social affliction whereby its sufferers just won’t shut the hell up. It annoys and alienates victims who will desperately look for any excuse to get away from a dizzying full-frontal attack. But there’s no escape from the comfy surroundings of your own home on a Sunday night when you just want to plonk yourself on the lounge in front of the telly, relax and unwind before the working week ahead.

Ray Hadley’s machine-gun call of the Rugby World Cup semi-final was even worse than the Wallabies bumbling, fumbling, stumbling 20-6 loss to the All-Blacks.

The shock jock obviously thought he was behind the mic in the 2GB studio because he called every single friggin’ piece of play for eighty minutes. At times it was so hysterically rapid-fire, I wondered if he’d popped some special medicine before the game. That’s okay if you’re calling for the radio. His rugby league calls for 2GB are great and he's the best in the business.

But for TV, we see what’s going on. We don’t need those images of Quade Cooper kicking out-on-the full to be reinforced by a notorious loudmouth stating-the-obvious who clearly doesn’t understand the basic tenet of storytelling: show don’t tell!

This is something the great sports commentators understand. All of them. Like football’s Martin Tyler, the NBA’s Marv “Yesss!” Albert and our very own Richie Benaud, the doyenne of cricket commentators around the world. Their calm, measured, reassuring tones are every bit as important to the coverage as the games they call. More often than not, they add colour and enjoyment to the occasion.

Grate Ray’s gabfest deserves its place in the “Commentators Hall-of-Shame” right next to Kate Fitzpatrick’s infamous one-test stint in the Channel Nine cricket commentary box during the Australia v Pakistan series in the summer of 1983/84.

But whereas Fitzpatrick was an actress taking part in a cheap publicity stunt, Hadley is apparently a pro. Based on last night’s performance, he should stick to radio. Or maybe go back to driving cabs.

There is a lesson to be learned from Channel Nine’s latest atrocity: less is more. Less Ray Hadley. More Gordon Bray.

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