Iconic broadcaster Dennis Cometti’s name being called on Thursday night completed a distinctly national flavour to the 2020 class of Australian Football Hall of Fame inductees.
- Dennis Cometti called more than 1,000 games over his 40-year broadcasting career
- Friend and colleague Bruce McAvaney said he is “the benchmark” for all AFL commentators
- Port Adelaide champion John Abley joined Cometti as this year’s final two inductees
Cometti was inducted along with former champion Port Adelaide defender John Abley to conclude a four-night schedule of inductions.
The traditional formal gala event was not possible this year because of coronavirus restrictions preventing large gatherings.
Cometti, who was also a player and coach at West Perth, hung up the microphone at the end of 2016 after calling more than 1,000 matches on radio and television throughout a decorated 40-year career.
The 71-year-old becomes the 12th media member inducted into football’s Hall of Fame.
Cometti’s unmistakable style, highlighted by accuracy and wit, made him a fan-favourite and earned high praise from colleague Bruce McAvaney.
“The legacy that he’ll leave above all the other things is that one-liner that summed everything up so brilliantly and made us all smile,” McAvaney said.
“There are a lot of very good commentators, many that have come before Dennis and there’ll be a lot that come after him, but I really believe he’s the benchmark.
“Of all the people that have called the game, Dennis has created an aura about himself and an excellence that does stand alone, and for that he should be very proud.”
Often criticised for being too Victorian-centric, the Hall of Fame committee went far beyond the game’s Melbourne heartland to find this year’s class of inductees.
Black’s Brisbane triple-premiership teammate Jonathan Brown, a Victorian product, also got the nod, as did St Kilda’s NSW-born star Lenny Hayes.
Fittingly, Abley was one of two South Australian icons and Port Adelaide champions inducted in the famous club’s 150th year, following Greg Phillips’ induction earlier this week.
Hawthorn father figure John Kennedy was on Monday elevated to ‘Legend’ status in the Hall of Fame.