Kelli Underwood AFL commentary underfire over mistakes

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Footy commentator Kelli Underwood has come under fire for some gaffes during Sydney’s victory over West Coast at Mount Barker in the Adelaide Hills.

Underwood is a well known sports media personality, through her work as host of the ABC’s Offsiders program and a number of other television and radio roles.

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The 47-year-old is also credited as being the first female AFL caller on TV, no small feat that she achieved with Channel 10 back in 2009.

But her commentary has often polarised fans, who have been quick to point out her mistakes over the years, sometimes cruelly and sometimes with justification.

There were some headscratching moments in the Swans’ clash with the Eagles during Gather Round on Sunday, starting with the opening goal of the match, kicked by Sydney spearhead Logan McDonald.

“So in his 49th AFL game, Logan McDonald, he produces his 10th AFL goal,” Underwood stated after a goal review.

“And it’s the first one of the afternoon.”

It was the 66th goal of McDonald’s AFL career and 10th goal of this season, while the game number was correct so it was hardly a glaring error.

“She obviously meant for the season,” was one reply to an X post about the moment. “I hope you pull up the other commentators too for their errors but somehow I doubt that.”

At the start of the second quarter, as the AFL takes games to some regional venues in South Australia this weekend, Underwood then came up with this headscratcher.

“Country footy at its very, very best,” she began as an intro.

“We’ve gone up the freeway, on the way to Melbourne, we’re about an hour out and we’ve pulled off on the right and here we are in beautiful Mount Barker and it’s game on between these two sides.”

As some fans pointed out, Mt Barker is about 700km north of Melbourne and she clearly meant Adelaide.

Again not a fatal error, but another slip of the tongue.

It follows similar slips she has made in the past, which fans have been quick to point out on platforms like TikTok, including referring to Charlie Cameron as Charlie Curnow and the GWS Giants as “the orange team”, seemingly struggling to recall the team name.

She’s far from alone in this field, with the likes of Brian Taylor and Matthew Richardson, among others, also regularly coming underfire for commentary mistakes.

It is also a high-stakes and pressure-filled environment calling live matches and there’s a reason former AFL commentators, such as Dennis Cometti and Bruce McAvaney, are so revered for their ability to capture a moment so eloquently.

There was one other odd Underwood error that she has now made in consecutive weeks.

The Eagles had yet to win a quarter of footy in any game this season and Underwood pondered on Saturday: “Can they win a quarter of football in 2014?”

She also suggested the year was 2014 in last week’s clash between Richmond and Sydney.

“She does it on purpose now I swear,” was one comment on X.

“She has to be deliberately doing it,” wrote another.

“I like her around for the laugh tbh, you never know what’s coming next,” wrote another.

Winless West Coast did win that second quarter, kicking five goals to three for a surprise five-point halftime lead.

The heavily-favoured Swans responded after the long break, however, kicking nine goals to four the rest of the way for a 15.14 (104) to 11.12 (78) victory.

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