Bristle Man sweeps to success
HE’S known as the Bristle Man and has carved a reputation as radio’s top football commentator. Brian Taylor feels no inclination to gloat about being named the overwhelming favourite in a Herald Sun Footy Fans Survey on radio callers, but his secret to success is not difficult to pin down.
Taylor, who played for Richmond and Collingwood, racking up 140 games and kicking 527 goals, has an ability to analyse on the run and read play. He’s also one of commentating’s most entertaining lateral thinkers — funny but capable of sledgehammer honesty.
Taylor, a long-time panellist on Channel 9’s The Sunday Footy Show, a host of AFL Teams on Foxtel and a commentator with Triple M, was recently crowned the most popular radio caller for the second year running. In the survey, he attracted 23 per cent of the vote, a surge from 7 per cent in 2005.
Taylor says a vote for him is effectively a vote for the Triple M team, which includes Garry Lyon, James Brayshaw, Jason Dunstall, Mike McLean, Danny Frawley and Wayne Schwass.
‘‘Chemistry is the No.1 thing in commentating and it simply wouldn’t work if we didn’t get on,’’ Taylor says.
‘‘I don’t think I’m that creative, but the guys I work with know which buttons to push to get me to say certain things. We do come from a slightly different angle,’’ Taylor says of Triple M. ‘‘We’re not sarcastic, but we do take the p--- a bit. We are trying to add a bit of life and colour to something that can be drab.’’
Unlike many who call the game for TV, Taylor’s not afraid to call bad umpiring when he sees it. He also has a low tolerance for umpires who become theatrical in their desire to impose themselves on a game.
‘‘If they are doing a good job, we tell them. I think they (umpires) should be open to people expressing views about the job they’re doing,’’ Taylor says.
Taylor hosts AFL Teams live from Federation Square on Thursday at 7.30pm. He will call the grand final for TripleMon Saturday and the following day take his position on The Sunday Footy Show’s panel.
‘‘I love the gig on the Sunday show because it’s the perfect mix of people,’’ Taylor adds. ‘‘It’s just a joy to arrive there in the morning and see a legend like Lou Richards switched on and ready to go. I pinch myself that I’m working with people like that.’’