Murphy’s Law: Cometti, Foreman and the ‘punt kick’

WE all make mistakes, right? The difference is, most of us don’t make them in a public forum, on national radio.

It was a Monday, blue sky, the sun was shining, not too hot and a light breeze.

To top it off, I was catching up with Dennis Cometti at Trigg Island Café, overlooking one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. What better way to start the week?

It was one of the interviews for dad’s book that I’d been looking forward to most. I’ve said that before, too. Twice, I think; with Kim Hughes and George Young.

I suppose that’s one of the unexpected positives of this whole experience, that I get to hear some amazing stories from some amazing people and, in some little way, get to reunite with dad.

It was a beautiful day.

And it probably wasn’t too dissimilar to one particular day more than three decades earlier.

The ABC Perth team was Wally Foreman, who took over from Drew Morphett and joined the team in 1975, and Dennis Cometti, with George Grljusich in charge of the department.

It was footy season.

Cometti and Foreman were in the commentary box.

And, from this point, I’ll let Dennis tell the story.

“This is a true story, it probably has no place in any book,” Cometti said.

“One day, we were doing the footy and your dad – and we’ve all done things on air that, in retrospect, we wished we hadn’t – but he had to call a ‘punt kick’.”

Suffice to say, “punt kick” is not what dad called.

“Your dad was cool, he just continued on, but we all looked at each other like, ‘Did that just happen?’,” Cometti continued.

“He did that and (our boss) has called him in.

“Wal’s come back into the office and it was like, ‘What did he say?!’, because it wasn’t as if anybody tried to do that.

“He said, ‘He doesn’t want me to do it again’.

“So, all week, your dad’s going, ‘I must not say it again, I must not say it again’, and, of course, you know what happens.”

Oh yeah, I knew what happened.

Dad had been like the stuttering forward who was lining up for his second set-shot on goal having sprayed the first one.

It’s Murphy’s Law; the harder you try not to stuff it up, the more likely you will.

“I think he got it in his head,” Cometti said.

“Of course, we’re all taking the mickey.

“Certainly, in the first place, I don’t think there were any complaints (from the public), because it was just a slip of the tongue.

“The following week, he’d looked for help and, of course, there was none, because we were all cowering and laughing.

“He had to carry on and battle through it.

“I shouldn’t even be talking like this, because you can induce this sort of thing.”

So, the next time you make a mistake, remember, it happens to the best of us.

And, then, thank God you’re not a commentator on national radio.

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