To make the bye round even worse, NRL commentator Ray ‘Rabs’ Warren has officially retired from NRL commentary.

Widely acknowledged as the greatest voice in the greatest game, Rabs announced his Bradman-esque retirement yesterday, falling just one match short of calling 100 State of Origins.

However it’s not only footy fans who will mourn Rabs retirement, but the wider Polynesian and European migrant community in general – as they farewell the first Australian media identity that made an effort to correctly pronounce their names with true grace and conviction. 

“Rabs was able to roll his Rs and extend his vowels like a real uso” says Vena Mafi-Vatuveione, a prominent leader of Betoota’s historic Pacific Islander community.

“From the early days of Filipaina and Hopoate, right through to the Papalii and Fa’asuamaleaui era. He nailed the pronunciation with the Shakespearean cadence of Kenneth Branagh”

Father Aleks Stefanovic from the Betoota Flight Path’s Serbian Orthodox Church says Rabs will be remembered fondly by Southern and Eastern European families for these same reasons.

“There are babas around the world who needed to fan themselves because of the way he would gracefully dance through Trbojevic.”  he says.

“Tommy Raudonikis could have easily been anglicised as Tommy Rodman, and the Minichiello brothers could have decided to just go by Mina-kello… But they never had to worry about their surnames in the hands of Rabs”

Although the pioneer of rugby league commentary’s retirement is still fresh, it has already been widely accepted that the game will never see this standard of match calling again.

Especially when compared to the commentary of former players whose commentary will likely one day be used as evidence in a class action case over the NRL’s handling of concussion trauma.

“Commentators these days sound like they’re sneezing when they say Dallin Watene-Zelezniak” says the local pastor.

“Some of them can barely get through his initials, Dee Dubya Zed”



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