Commentary legend steals the show in the Logies, clubs are calling for a footy facelift on Friday evening

Broadcasting great Bruce McAvaney has been inducted into the Logies Hall of Fame, as a fitting tribute to an icon of Australian sport.

McAvaney, who remains the voice of Channel 7’s Olympics coverage and was the network’s main AFL caller for nearly 30 years, received a standing ovation Sunday night after the award was announced, with the 68-year-old stealing hearts with a typically humble acceptance speech.

“I’m emotional, but my voice is not as strong tonight as it should be,” he said.

“I wondered how I would feel tonight walking here. I actually feel a lot of love and a lot of warmth.”

McAvaney was quickly hailed on social media, with a legion of Australian media outlets including Peter FitzSimons, Jim Wilson and others paying tribute.

McAvaney also revealed that the pinnacle of his commentary career was naming the Western Bulldogs’ fairytale 2016 grand final triumph, while his recall of Cathy Freeman’s 400m gold medal at the Sydney Olympics is one of the most famous in Australian sporting history.

The comment doyenne stopped calling AFL in early 2021 but confirmed he has his sights set on many more Olympics.

“I feel so excited right now,” McAvaney said.

“I’ll keep going as long as I feel I can do them right.”

Bruce McAvaney

(Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Clubs urge league to bring footy forward on Friday night

AFL club bosses have called for an earlier start time for football on Friday night, telling the league that the current first bounce of 7:50pm is impacting attendance.

The AFL is currently dealing with dwindling crowds at games as attendance dropped well below pre-COVID numbers.

According to The ageOne possible solution suggested by the clubs is to start the Friday evening matches earlier, as the current time makes it difficult for families with children who play junior sports on Saturdays to attend.

The masthead surveyed leading figures in each club, with an anonymous boss saying the 7:50 PM start time is “just too late for people.”

“People find ticketing too difficult and have stopped using it. Cost is a factor, as is some planning,” she said.

“Some COVID factors will just take time; there are also behavioral problems with crowds that reject people.”

The AFL has already reduced the ability of a physical ticket for supporters to attend games, after operating under a much-maligned digital ticketing system since the start of the pandemic.

The average audience figure over the first 12 rounds of this season was 31,062 – over 5000 less than the 2019 average.

Saturday night’s game between GWS and the Western Bulldogs drew just 6,208 fans.

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Suns gather around Powell after ‘nasty’ injury

Gold Coast coach Stuart Dew has admitted the Suns struggled to regroup emotionally after defender Wil Powell’s sickening leg injury in their win over Adelaide.

Powell suffered a dislocated ankle in the third quarter at Metricon Stadium in an incident so horrific to Fox Footy chose not to display reruns.

With a 30-point lead at the time, the Crows narrowed the gap to just 13 midway through the final quarter, before the Suns held out by six goals to one to run out of 43-point victors.

After the game, Dew said the team’s reaction to the incident was “only human.”

“A few guys said they saw it on the scoreboard. If it’s your mate, and everybody knows ‘Powelly’ lives for footy,” he said.

“For a short period of time there was a little bit of effect emotionally and then they were able to settle in. It is only human that when such a bad thing happens there is a short period of time that they are behind.”

Powell will have scans to determine the severity of the injury, with the in-form defender likely to miss the rest of the season.

Dew said Powell’s uplifting attitude off the field would be missed as much as his on-field excellence.

“It’s obviously filthy, ankle and bone. In general, if the ankle does that… there could be a fracture there too,” Dew said of Powell’s injury.

“We still have to celebrate the goodness of this win, but we said that if ‘Powelly’ was in the dressing room that’s exactly what he would want. He’s one of our most dashing team members.

“We are thinking of him and we will check him as soon as possible.”