If you don’t know what I’m talking about, footy commentator and national treasure Brian Taylor has spent the past several Fridays annoying the living daylights out of AFL players.
Forget the usual post-match change room interview. That was pretty stock standard. The camera would cut to the commentator or boundary rider with a noteworthy player or two. Teammates in the background would have to make sure they didn’t drop their dacks in front of a live national audience but, apart from that, it wasn’t too much of an inconvenience. Teams adjusted over time and the warm-down room has essentially become an after party. Nobody gets changed. Most players ice up and rehydrate. Family members, sponsors and, of course, media members flood in and say hello. It’s clear once that commotion ends, the team moves into another area where players have a chance to actually shower, get changed and maybe receive a pep talk. That is of course if more media responsibilities such as the ridiculous televised coach’s press conferences (featuring answers so necessarily dull they are essentially pointless) allow time for, you know, actually coaching.
BT knew the change room scene had become a farce, and he treated it as such. Rather than teeing up a cliche-ridden interview, he started moving from one player to the next like a madman. It made for thrilling car crash television. After poor-quality games, BT’s harassment of the winning team was the most entertaining part of the telecast.
Social media created a storm about the weekly segment, which the people dubbed Roaming BT. The joke grew, and BT became a meme. This was the brief but glorious peak of Roaming BT.
Since then the Channel 7 footy crew has made a big deal about the segment and started trying far too hard. BT and the rest of the gang have become in on the joke and it has, unsurprisingly, lost its magic. Roaming BT is now an uncompetitive footy match with 20 minutes remaining. It was for a while, but now? Just blow the siren already.
I’m not advocating a return to the boring interviews of years past. Let Roaming BT show the executives behind these broadcasts viewers want more than just drab post-game coverage. Inject some humour, some unpredictability and some life into this ritual. May it be Roaming BT’s legacy.