AFL: Brian Taylor slammed for refusing to change pronunciation of player's name

Other Sport,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 14 May 2019, 12:19PM
AFL commentator Brian Taylor. Photo / Getty
AFL commentator Brian Taylor. Photo / Getty

If there's something in this world Brian Taylor enjoys more than calling a game of footy when Orazio Fantasia has the ball in his hands we're yet to know about it.

The AFL great turned commentator for Channel 7 and Triple M has a certain way with words and he's helped turn the Essendon small forward into a cult hero with his exaggerated pronunciation of his name.

Taylor's excitement levels kick up a gear whenever the Bomber gets involved in the play and he makes sure everyone watching and listening at home knows about it as he lets rip with his trademark pronunciation of "Oraaaaaazio Fan-tay-sha".

But while Taylor was absent from the Channel 7 commentary box on Friday night for Sydney's win over Essendon, his colleagues took it upon themselves to set the record straight about how to say Fantasia's surname correctly.

"So BT's not here tonight, he's having a sleep in. Orazio is back in. 'Fan-tay-sha' or 'Fanta-sia?'", Seven commentator Hamish McLachlan asked Essendon captain Dyson Heppell before the match.

"'Fanta-sia'," Heppell said. "'Fanta-sia' it is. So yeah, I think everyone's been running 'Fan-tay-sha', but it is 'Fanta-sia'."

Heppell reinforced he'd like to hear everyone use the correct pronunciation and he got his wish from the Channel 7 team of McLachlan, Bruce McAvaney, Basil Zempilas, Wayne Carey and Jimmy Bartel who made sure "Fanta-sia" was given a run behind the microphone.

Footy fans may have expected this development to break Taylor but the commentator doubled down on his commitment to doing things his way, completely rejecting Heppell's suggestion and claiming he won't be doing anything differently next time he calls a Dons game.

On Triple M on Saturday, Taylor explained why he was standing firm.

"In Italy, it's 'Fanta-sia'. Guess where we live? Australia, and we call it 'Fan-tay-sha'," Taylor said.

"We don't pronounce Italian names in Australia in the full Italian way.

"We pronounce it with the Australianism in it, and that's how we'll continue to do it."

Last year Fantasia told Triple M how to pronounce his surname correctly but admitted he's used to copping "Fantay-sha" and expects it now.

However, while Taylor's stance was tongue-in-cheek, some on social media certainly didn't see the funny side to the broadcaster's declaration he would intentionally mispronounce the star's name.