BRUCE McAvaney missed out on commentating at the London Olympics but there is some compensation— the ‘‘ Master Sportscaster’’ gets to host Channel 7’s Brownlow Medal telecast and call the AFL Grand Final.
McAvaney has spent the past 13 years living in Adelaide with his wife, Annie, and children Sam and Alexandra, but the 59-year-old hints a move to Melbourne could be on the cards.
You have covered so many major sporting events. What is special about the Brownlow?
It’s got such a big live audience, which makes it edgier and more nerveracking. It has a big finale — you’ve got that moment at the end when thewinner is announced and the interview takes place. You want to get that right.
What is your most memorable Brownlow?
The year Jim Stynes won (1991) is hard to beat. Even at the time it felt remarkable that a bloke from Ireland could come out andwin. When I reflect on it now, I realise what a moment it was. He holds such a great place in all our hearts.
In past years, if you hosted the Brownlow you didn’t get to call the Grand Final. You must be glad that is over.
It will hit home in the next fortnight. This is the first time Dennis Cometti and I have done a Brownlow and a Grand Final together since 2001. You feel like you’re missing out when you don’t call the Grand Final.
Whois your tip to win this year’s Brownlow?
I’ve got a feeling that the winner could come from a team that isn’t playing finals — Richmond’s Trent Cotchin, Essendon’s JobeWatson or the Gold Coast’s Gary Ablett.
You’ve called a few games with Mick Malthouse this year. Howdo you think he’ll go coaching Carlton?
He’ll be successful. He is the sort of guy who can come in and make an impact. He has a wonderful rapport with players, he is super-fit, and he hasn’t lost any enthusiasm.
You and Dennis Cometti are big music buffs. Do you share any favourites?
I’m a big Tom Waits and Bob Dylan fan. His tastes are more eclectic. We both like Neil Young.
You moved from Melbourne to Adelaide more than a decade ago for family and lifestyle reasons. Any regrets?
No. The reasons were justified. I know that if I was in Melbourne I would have my hands on a few more (TV sport) things. It’s not impossible to think that we won’t go back there one day. Life changes. Brownlow Medal, Channel 7, Monday, 7.30pm