General Discussion Allen McLaughlin

Discussion in 'General Warriors Discussion' started by bruce, Aug 27, 2016.



  1. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    Allen Mac Tribute Thread

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    There you go. PTB posted that this is mac's last season.. How about a tribute thread to one of the games legends, and we can add comments about his predecessor as well.
     
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  2. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    Radio Sport rugby league commentator Allen McLaughlin is pictured here at Mt Smart Stadium on 30 August 2007. At the time, McLaughlin had covered all but one Warriors game at Mt Smart.

    Our resident journalist Play the Ball says this is the last season for Allen Mac. Like his predecessor Des White "Mac" has been the voice of rugby league on radio for decades. Hopefully PTB knows Macs replacement, but whoever it is will have big shoes to fill.

    For us dinosaurs who grew up in the days when to play league as a schoolboy meant you were a second class citizen Mac held strong to his views on the worth of our great game. He tried to be as fair as possible in his commentary but when the time required him to show his true colours he just showed his bias like the time at Melbourne in 1999 when he described Tony Tutapu's try as "a miracle". He didn't say it he screamed it!!

    I for one will miss Macs commentaries and hope that other posters can contribute to stories about Mac and Des White.
     
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  3. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    Pic of Des White. Media has been hidden. Please Register to view.
     
  4. mcdenda
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    mcdenda Warriors Bench Player

    never heard of him , but mean seats old mate

    chur on the career though
     
  5. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington David Shitwell Contributor

    Voice of rugby league bows out
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    Wed 31st August, 05:40PM
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    The voice of rugby league Allen McLaughlin calls his last Vodafone Warriors match at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday. Image | Link has been hidden. Please Register to view.

    An inextricable link with the Vodafone Warriors will be lost when Allen McLaughlin, the voice of rugby league, and his sidekick Owen Wright call an NRL game for the last time at Mount Smart Stadium on Sunday.

    McLaughlin and Wright will once again be perched high up the West Stand in the RadioSport commentary booth for the Vodafone Warriors’ final regular season match against the Parramatta Eels (6.00pm kick-off).

    It will not only signal the end of the club’s 22nd season in the competition but also the finishing line of a journey McLaughlin and Wright have been on since the memorable night on March 10, 1995, when the Auckland Warriors made their entrance into the competition.

    McLaughlin – aged “66.5” – came into the rugby league commentary game after Des White had been the king of the airwaves at Carlaw Park. He loved going to the game’s warts and all spiritual home and calling matches there. Indeed, he wasn’t at all overjoyed about the move to the venue which is now very much the Vodafone Warriors’ home; he wasn’t alone either.

    But ‘Mac’ thawed eventually to become a critical component in the game day mix at the code’s new base.

    Since that opening night against Brisbane, McLaughlin says he has called all but one of the 253 NRL games the Vodafone Warriors have played at the stadium as well as the club’s matches in Super League’s one-off World Club Challenge in 1997 and Tests the Kiwis have played there since 1989. He doesn't remember the one NRL game he missed but knows it was due to a throat infection.

    If Sunday will be especially poignant for McLaughlin, so, too, was the Vodafone Warriors’ media session at Mount Smart Stadium today (Wednesday).

    He had reason to be a little reflective as he attended what should be his last regular season media day. The emphasis is on ‘should’ because chances are he won’t be able to stay away once the 2017 campaign rolls around. His home is so close Mount Smart Stadium is effectively his second address much of the year (when he’s not doing cricket commentary work).

    The enthusiasm, energy and raw passion he puts into his rugby league commentaries is now the stuff of legend. No question, he loves the game.

    Few can match the cocktail he delivers for his listeners. His high-level excitability apart, he has a special talent for giving some players multiple name pronunciations further enhancing his distinctive place in the annals of sporting commentary. They’re a source of great mirth, not least for the man himself who will chuckle when told about them. His signature is Glen Fisiiahi who, instead of having his name pronounced Fiss-ee-ar-hee, would be Fish-ee-ar-see, Fiss-ee-ar-shee or Fish-ee-are-shee. There have been plenty of others that have been tongue twisters including Watene-Zelezniak which was given the McLaughlin treatment recently.

    He also relishes the opportunity to share stories and pass on some wisdom when he gathers with other journalists on media days. Players won’t forget him either with his close quarters interviewing style.

    Rugby league issues and ill-informed comments excite him readily. He almost always has some in-depth analysis to back up his arguments.

    McLaughlin’s a fund of knowledge on other subjects with a huge appetite for sporting history and also rock music. Get him started there and he will roll out one snippet after another.

    Mount Smart Stadium and the Vodafone Warriors will never be the same after this Sunday’s call of the clash against the Eels.

    It has been such a huge part of Mac's life but he has been an even bigger part of the rugby league experience for countless listeners who have taken in his commentaries across the club’s 22 seasons.

    Enjoy the rest Mac. It’s richly deserved. The memories will live on.

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  6. Murraytd
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    Murraytd 1st Grade Fringe

    Sad, certainly the voice of league in NZ for me. Like Iain Gallaway with cricket, his voice automatically conjures up rugby league. Hoping the whole warriors organization honour his last call.
     
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  7. Trugoy
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    Trugoy 1st Grade Fringe

    I didn't have Pay TV for many years so spent many many arvos here in Aus tuned into Macs commentary.
    One of my favourite callers ever.
    Will be weird not hearing him calling Warriors games. And what a hard act to follow.
    All the best for the future Mac!
     
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  8. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    Macs pretty much the greatest caller of the game in my time out of NZ.

    Favorite memories include:

    We sat around the transistor and listened to Mac call Auckland Versus the Kangaroos.

    Auckland Won in a thriller. Mac was all over it. That was the best league experience of my life.

    My next best Memory was the pacific cup 1st ever final.

    The favorite's were the Maori team, Tim s
    Sheens was there at Carlaw and snapped up the stand out forward Johnny Lomax.

    Samoa knocked the Maori side out, thereby pitting Samoa against Tonga.

    That final was a death match. Their was no golden point.

    At full time it was a draw. After overtime it was a draw. After more overtime it was a draw, I can't remember who eventually won.

    The thing I respect most about Mac is his acknowledgement that it was the greatest game of rugby league that he has ever seen (this guy has seen them all).

    Would a commentator of other sports have the honesty and the objectivity to make that call about two minnows in any other code ?

    That was the greatest game in any sport I've ever seen played too.

    Lastly....when I was living in Waitara, and had no access to telly....I tuned into the old faithful Wireless to hear NZ win their first ever world cup.

    The ABC callers were arrogant for most of that game, they politely invited comment from Mac intermittently as their invited guest.

    Mac was cast in the role of the sideline type comments man.

    That was until the Kiwis turned the tables on the Roos....the ABC boys started to go quiet.

    Amidst that silence and postmortem type chatter, the Kiwis made a decisive strike at the Aussies.....Mac took over the call and you could hear him shouting the Kiwis home.....

    " AUSTRALIA YOU ARE DEAD AND BURIED"
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2016
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  9. Rick O'Shay
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    Rick O'Shay 1st Grade Fringe

    Wonder who will replace him, any candidates out there?
     
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  10. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    PTB has been quiet about that one;)

    NRL: Voice of league tackles his last set of six
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    Tomorrow is an end of an era for the Warriors - and New Zealand league fans. Commentator Allen McLaughlin, the voice of the sport for more than three decades who has covered every NRL season since 1995, is hanging up his microphone. He sits down with Michael Burgess to look back on a remarkable career.

    Since that first game in 1995, how many Warriors games have you called?

    I've called 305 games in total both here and in Australia. I've missed one game at Mt Smart through illness so tomorrow's match will be the 254th home game. Former Kiwis second-rower Owen Wright has been my comments man for 251 of those. Altogether since 1995, I've watched either live or on tape about 4500 matches.

    Describe your typical match day?

    I'm always at the ground early and if there are three games on I'll see all of them. Preparation is done during the week and then some adjustments on the day.

    At the end of it I'm mentally drained. I've never been to an after-match function or anything - usually just straight home.

    Where did your love of league come from?

    My Dad, Colin. Every Sunday we would go to Carlaw Park and sit in the concrete grandstand to watch the curtain-raiser and the main game. After that we would head into town for steak, eggs and chips and movies at the Civic. That night we would read about the games in the 8 O'Clock newspaper.

    How did you get your start in radio?
    In 1975, I went for a job with 1YD in Auckland as a music DJ. The audition manager Bob Wright said my voice didn't suit what they were looking for, but mentioned a sports vacancy at 1ZH in Hamilton. I did a two-minute review of a recent New Zealand cricket tour, and got the job.

    And you have broadcast a wide variety of sports, aside from league and cricket?

    I have covered a variety of national tournaments - hockey, netball, badminton, basketball, softball, and the Interdominion trotting and pacing carnival in Auckland. My first overseas assignment was with the New Zealand men's basketball team in Singapore in 1982. I've called the Maadi Cup final at Lake Karapiro, and also had the honour of calling John Walker's 100th sub-four minute mile at Mt Smart. Perhaps my most bizarre assignment was the 1976 New Zealand wrist wrestling qualifier in Hamilton. One of the competitors broke his arm, and I was calling it on live radio.

    What about your love of radio?

    I've always loved live sport and looked up to commentators like Keith Quinn, the late Alan Richards and Grant Nisbett. I'll always remember being up a ladder, fixing bolts into a roof during the 1974 Commonwealth Games. I was listening to Keith's commentary of Dick Tayler 10,000m race and it was enthralling. I told the boss I had to go and shot home to watch the rest on TV.

    How did you begin your league calling career?

    In the early 1980s at Carlaw Park I worked alongside Des White, who was a Kiwis legend and a great commentator. When he retired in 1985, station management asked four of us to audition for the upcoming Kiwis tour of England and France. I recorded a commentary of Otahuhu playing Ponsonby at Sturges Park, while sitting on the bonnet of my Vauxhall Viva, and got the gig.

    An eventful tour?

    My first full commentary was at Central Park in Wigan. It was so dark they turned on the floodlights at 3pm. Kevin Tamati was my comments man. In those days media travelled on the team bus and stayed in the same hotel so there was a lot of insights to be had.

    What are your favourite league memories?

    The Kiwis tours were always great experiences, especially in the UK. I loved Auckland club league in the 1970s and early 1980s. It was as good as anything in the NRL today.

    Any career disappointments?

    Not calling the 1988 League World Cup final at Eden Park. Management at the time decided to use Greg Hartley and Peter Peters from Australia.

    And your favourite venue?

    Mt Smart has become home, Suncorp Stadium is a spectacular venue and there are some great grounds in England. But Carlaw Park was the best. You could hear the bones crunching as players ran into each other, smell the Liniment from the changing rooms and were close enough to see the dandruff on the player's necks as they ran out.

    Who are the best commentators you have come across?

    I think racing commentators are unmatched. To call up to 18 horses in a field, all with different colours, on a 10-race programme - their skills don't really get enough credit.

    Who are the players that stick in your memory?

    Stacey Jones is the greatest Warrior - he had everything, while Ali Lauiti'iti was a once in a generation footballer. I admire Simon Mannering greatly, as a person and player as well as a host of former Kiwis - Mark Graham, Ruben Wiki, Sean Hoppe, Richie Barnett (too many to name). Awen Guttenbeil deserves a mention; he copped a tremendous amount of injuries but always put his body on the line.

    What's the hardest part of being a commentator?

    Identification of players and pronunciation of names were often the two biggest bugbears. I once called a game from a table on the deadball line in Townsville which was a bit of a challenge.

    What are your guiding principles?

    The late Alan Richards was my mentor and he always said 'imagine you are broadcasting to a blind man and your mother. The blind man can't see the game and your mum doesn't know anything about it'. In other words, be descriptive and keep it simple. I always try to build up the tension and you need to constantly remind people of the score.

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  11. Play The Ball
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    Play The Ball 1st Grade Fringe

    I honestly don't know what station management have in mind. I've been told we will talk about in due course. I am not suited to play by play calling and am not seeking to be Mac's replacement in that regard. It is a very specialist art being a radio play by play caller. Not many can do it. A lot of it comes down to hard work but I think there is a fair amount that is about natural ability too and I don't have that. I'm not lying or trotting out the company line when I say I have no idea who will do the job next season.
     
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  12. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington David Shitwell Contributor

    What station does this guy broadcast on? Might tune in to his last call which will be my first time hearing him. Do people do that? Listen to him while watching the game at Mt Smart? Seems odd...
     
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  13. Murraytd
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    Murraytd 1st Grade Fringe

    Always done it, in most sports actually. Radio commentators always better. You get used to the slight delay.
    By the by, astounded you have never heard Alan Mac..
    I pick him up on 612 ABC or MMM in Brisbane. Think he is on radio sports in NZ.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016
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  14. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington David Shitwell Contributor

    Just not a radio commentating kind of guy. Always been to the home games or simply watch the game on TV. Listening to games on the radio is so 1950's lol...
     
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  15. brightman
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    brightman 1st Grade Fringe

    He and Owen Wright are as professional and entertaining as Nigel Yelden or Peter Montgomery. For me, Allen Mac retiring is a far bigger loss than the Warriors crap season...
     
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  16. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    Don't be hard on yourself PTB. The real key for Mac and Des White before him was the absolute passion for the game. I think you have that in spades. Is the Dalai available for the job or is he sticking with TV?

    It is more than that Welly. A true league fan loves the history of the game and that was Mac all the way. He loved and respected every bit of it. I quote some lines from his interview with Malcolm Burgess.
    You young guys never experienced the passion that was Carlaw Park, it left Mount Smart for dead. The opposition (always internationals) knew they were not welcome, they hated the place. The old stand just reeked of liniment, and a coach who liked to lay it down , like the late Lummy Newton of Mount Wellington and NZ Maori could be heard upstairs. As for the half time interview, no need, the scribes and radio jocks would hang out below the windows of the changing rooms and hear it for real!
    Excuse me while I wipe the tears of nostalgia. With my dad it was pigs trotters from the fish and chip shop. God bless you Malcolm Burgess but the 8'oclock was published on SATURDAY night!!! One day when you have a Gold Card you will understand.:(
     
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  17. mt.wellington
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    mt.wellington David Shitwell Contributor

    'Allen Mac' included in birthday honours
    Monday, 05 June 2017
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    Radio Sport rugby league commentator Allen McLaughlin interviews Ali Lauitiiti during a Warriors training session. Photo/Photosport


    Former Radio Sport commentator Allen McLaughlin has been made a Member of the NZ Order of Merit in Queen's Birthday Honours for his services to sports broadcasting.

    Over a career that spanned more than 40 years, McLaughlin became the voice rugby league, calling more than 300 NZ Warriors matches and missing just one home game through illness, before retiring last September.

    "It's very nice that someone has thought that I was good enough to get an award, but really it's for the time I spent in radio," he reflects. "I've spent most of my life in radio, and I've loved working in that environment during the amateur and professional era of sport in New Zealand.

    "When you spend long enough at something, you tend to be rewarded perhaps."


    While he was best known for his coverage of league and cricket, "Allen Mac" insists some of his memorable moments came in lesser known sports.

    "I remember, along with Murray McKinnon, broadcasting John Walker's 100th sub-four minute mile from Mt Smart Stadium," he says. "A lot of people wouldn't have known that.

    "I also did a world wrist-wrestling commentary from Hamilton, where one of the contestants broke his arm while he was on air. That was one of the most sickening sounds you will ever hear in your life.

    "Little things like that will stick in the back of my memory, as well as the big sports like rugby and rugby league, but obviously the Kiwis winning the [2008] World Cup ranks really high."

    McLaughlin acknowledges the massive changes that have taken place in the media industry and is thankful that his career only briefly overlapped with the social media era.

    "I look back at radio and think it was a much better product a long time ago, because it served as a service to many people out there, whether they be people sick in hospital or at home, or people working late shift or living by themselves.

    "I think radio served a great purpose, but I don't know whether it quite does that now, with the social media emphasis. It's more about headlines than substance in many cases.

    "Sports broadcasting has changed so dramatically, there used to be people like myself who were trained as professional broadcasters, but nowadays you get former sportsmen who finish their careers and are thrust into the role through their profile. Some of them are very, very good at it and some struggle."

    But McLaughlin is full of praise to the people who have helped him through the good times and bad, especially family and workmates.

    "There are lots of people who have helped me to do what I've done," he says. "Some of the technicians that have worked with me have been absolutely fantastic and we've had to work in some pretty average conditions.

    "I share my award with all those people who have helped me and all those who haven't been recognised."

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  18. bruce
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    bruce Warriors 1st Grader Contributor

    Our great game has had some legendary people, Allen Mac is one of them.
     
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  19. Sup42
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    Sup42 "Dave"

    Yeah good on you Mac.

    A few calls standout.

    That World cup moment I remember well.

    I was in rugby league stronghold Waitara at the time.

    Couldn't watch the game on telly. Tuned in to the Radio....

    ABC Aussie commentary.....with Mac playing a minor role....

    The Aussies were gloating (great callers team ABC as good as any) then as the tide started to turn the ABC lot kept banging on negatively about Australia's problems....

    The Kiwis struck. The decisive blow.

    That's when Mac took his moment "YOU ARE DEAD AND BURIED AUSTRALIA!!!" Rang out through a still Waitara Evening.....

    Sitting on the porch I took in the moment as shouts could be heard from peoples houses in a small NZ town.....all the frustration of not seeing it on the telly disappeared.

    Thanks Mac.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
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