In arguably the most depressing football news possible – short of the AFL announcing that the 2016 grand final entertainment will consist of Guy Sebastian, Rebel Wilson and David Koch teaming for a medley of Up There Cazaly, The Holy Grail and a selection of jingles from popular insurance ads – it has been announced that from 2017 on, we won't have Dennis Cometti to kick around any more.
In fact, Cometti announced it, so you would figure he ought to know.
The irony of his latter-day career is that as other commentators confused themselves into believing they were the entertainment we'd tuned in for, Cometti never did, even though he was, unlike them, actually entertaining.
In that sense, he was out of step with the times. Granted that's not so much criticism as it is cascading praise. But given a column dedicated to gainsaying, when it comes to knocking Cometti, the ammunition tends to the scant.
Of course, not everyone could have liked him. The interweb has taught us that there is no wall painted so white that some pinwheel somewhere can't be found to insist that it is purple with yellow spots. Also, the social media has identified a certain genus of sport fan with a medical immunity to humour, and quite possibly mirth of any kind.
Those folks might not get Cometti.
Yes, he can fillet, slice and serve a match description like a microphone master chef, work in his pretzel-minded gags, and toss in a sly grenade of analysis without falling all over the furniture and special comments guys.
But, as rock critic Billy Altman shrewdly observed in Creem magazine 35 years ago, there are consumers out there who don't want "more things done better". So they might not miss Cometti.
Meanwhile, fear grips the soul at the thought of any replacement. I've already had nightmares in which Tom Harley, now a match-caller, returns and works the words "infrastructure", "synergy", "governance" and "paradigm" into his very first sentence, about a player taking a set shot for goal.
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