Nicole Cooper interviews BLIVE NRL commentators Fordo and Butts at the Cessnock Sportsground.
I am here at Cessnock Sports Ground, Why? Because we have two of the most experienced, but lesser known guys, not in the local footy though, Fordo and Butts, guys, can I ask, I am assuming you played football to start with, what made you want to get into commentating.
Well basically, you are right, we played in the local competition for a number of years and we found ourselves sitting at home on the weekend with little to do and thought this was a bit of a niche market of covering the local football.
Do you have families, how do your wives feel about you guys ducking off every weekend to call the footy instead of changing diapers.
Ah well kids are out of diapers luckily at this stage, but they take it pretty good they actually enjoy us getting out of the house more than anything.
Now I know alot of the younger players for the Knights come through these ranks, the Real NRL, have you commentated anyone that we know from the Knights famous that have moved onto other clubs.
Good question, and the answer is probably at the moment Mark Taufua is playing for Western Suburbs side who came from the Knights, realistically it’s mainly people who who are coming back from the NRL rather than going going forward because generally they have been picked up by those bigger clubs at a younger age.
Because you have been around the traps a little while can I ask a personal question, how do you guys feel about NRL players switching codes.
Well i’m an old coach myself from way back so I think it’s probably overblown a bit, I mean, they are all capable in both sports they should be able to play both sports.
And the money? Do you think NRL needs to raise their money maybe let them do a few sponsorships
and a bit of an under the hat kinda thing
I think as far as the money is concerned, particularly with the Real NRL here it will be good to see some of the media money which is generated over the last couple of years being filtered down to the local clubs like the Cessnock and the Toronto’s and the Western Sub… well probably not Western Suburbs but, it would be good to see them get a bigger piece of the pie so to speak.
Fantastic, well speaking about getting a bigger pie of things, Hunter TV, if it comes on, what will that mean for local footy.
Well I think it would be a great initiative, people can actually tune in to the game each week rather than live stream it where there is issues with dropouts and what not so I think it would be a great thing for the local Rugby League, so the local supporters have something to look forward to every weekend.
Now as commentators do you guys have to warm up, do you do a few laaaas or do you run around the block, pump up, listen to Rocky, that kind of thing.
Yeah we usually warm up at the local Hotel, which ever ground we’re at and that way we can get a feel of the local surroundings and the supporters etc. So today we where at the Railway Hotel, we’ve been known to visit Heddon Greta Hotel, General Roberts Hotel and we find that that puts us in a relaxing mood for the next 2 or 3 hours.
Few beers on the way as well i’m sure when you go to those things, well know, guys, I have to say you do a great job, love your commentating, what would be the hardest thing to commentate, I know, last round there was a bit of a biffo (Fight) near the end of the match, what do you do when when guys go punch on, do you commentate or do you just ignore it.
Last week I was actually on the sidelines to go and give the man of the match award out and Butts did a fantastic job of commentating the big stink after the siren, it was great viewing and he did quite a good job at that. But I think the hardest part of commentary is when there is a bit of a blowout and and the crowds walking out on the ground, thats the hardest part but we still enjoy it and stay till the final whistle, don’t we butts.
Yeah well, one of the hardest things was when we’ve been sledged a couple of times and last years grand final when Toronto Scorpions won reserve grade and they were celebrating their victory and at the same time we where trying to do a pre-game of the first grade and we copped a bit of flack then, that was a bit hard, but I suppose we’ve just gotta get used to it.
One question before we go, we’re coming up to grand finals, which two teams do you think are going to be at the top.
I think personally think Wests are going to be gone, I think they’ve got some issues over there with a bit attitude now I think I like to see Souths Macquarie mix it up a bit.
Yeah i’m thinking South Macquarie, I think now that Coach Miller has flown the coop from Wests to Cessnock there are probably a few issues over there as Darren said and I think South Macquarie will be a good grand final.
Lovely well no matter what you guys will be commentating, you’ve met Fordo and Butts, the faces behind the voices.