Will Kooky ABC Host Aaron Chen Be FFA’s ‘Seagull Solution’ Or Fox’s Next Star Host?

‘Our ABC’ has shown yet again its capable of football coverage that gets people talking — unveiling its a new TV star who left a mark, of sorts (and in some cases a scar), on fans across Australia.

A meme featuring the kooky head of ABC hosting debutant Aaron Chen as the “face of evil’

When your face starts featuring on internet memes cooked up by teenage football fans, you know you’ve made it.

The TV football hosting debut of comedian (to some, surely not many) Aaron Chen for ABC’s second-fiddle channel, @ABC2 was so impactful, a bidding war has erupted among the game’s stakeholders for his services.

@aaronch3n

NAILING A DIFFICULT CREATIVE BRIEF

As part of the ABC’s creative brief for the match, Chen was required to act in the role of a passerby who has an awkward disposition, an underwhelming personality and routinely delivers sub-standard one-liners.

On top of that the character needed to be oblivious to what’s required to present on TV, unable to interact with large cameras and distracted by technical difficulties.

Chen rose to the occasion, nailing his role to perfection and convincingly, living to fight another day, with some potentially bright TV prospects.

CLUELESS FEDERATIONS REPORTEDLY TRIGGERED BIDDING WAR

On Thursday afternoon, respected grass-roots, online football outlet, The Football Sack revealed Chen’s future in football was assured, with state federations in a fierce bidding war to secure his services.

The Football Sack cited the state federations’ determination to maintain their tradition of being oblivious to what fans want, as the main driving factor.

But further bidders have now emerged including — we can reveal exclusivel, the @FFA, which has covertly participated in the bidding, despite earlier issuing statements publicly lambasting the match entertainment, featuring Chen.

SEAGULL SOLUTION SPECULATION

It’s understood high-ranking @FFA officials, nervous about the growing number of seagulls invading A-League pitched mid-game, are behind the decision to engage Chen’s unique mix of kooky features,.

Seagulls: A regular, sometimes annoying, fixture at A-League matches last season (pic: Fox Sports)

Chen’s awkward persona and one-liners proven to reliably fall flat, have been identified as a potential solution able to cause enough discomfort to nuisance, flying, pitch-invaders to send them on on their way.

“It’s a low risk approach because there’s buckley’s chance he’ll start cracking jokes that actually do the job,” said an FFA source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

“If I were a seagull, I’d certainly be pissed having him around me and near me, especially on my TV screen. No one deserves that except, maybe, a bunch of nuisance birds trying to take over our A-League playing pitches.

“We’re still nervous things could go wrong — you can never plan for the unexpected, like the fact some fans said they enjoyed his performance.”

The source said the governing body was anxious to send the seagulls back to cricket and AFL and @FFA’s financial projections anticipated the increasing cost of “bird shit removal from stadium seating and other areas”

And in a further development, it’s understood at least one commercial free-to-air television network @FoxFootball are bidding in the hope to acquire Chen’s services, while in another shock move, has put its hat in the ring.

Fox Sports was eager to add that its involvement in bidding for Chen fell within a football strategy that took into account “the welfare of the broader football community and the importance of eliminating distractions to the game’s progress”.

REFLECTION: CONTROVERSIAL BROADCAST A ‘MISSTEP’

On Saturday, ABC Grandstand host Tracey Holmes ‘took one for the team’.

“What happened on Wednesday night was not just an attempt at something new that didn’t quite hit the mark,” Holmes wrote in a piece published on the ABC’s website.

“It was much more than that. It undermined the ABC’s long tradition of quality sports broadcasting.

“There is a place for comedy in sport — think Roy and HG. But in their case the audience is in on the joke. They know where the lines are drawn.

“On Wednesday night the joke was on the audience.”

Criticism of what many fans considered amateurism by the ABC, couldn’t have come at a worse time as it firmed as lead contender for the next TV rights deal covering A-League, Socceroos and other properties including the Matildas.

WHAT WAS ‘AUNTIE’ TRYING TO DO?

When Football Federation Australia gave ABC the ‘green light’ as broadcaster of the friendly match between Sydney FC and global football powerhouse, Liverpool FC, it saw an opportunity to showcase decades of live sports broadcast experience by putting on a world class coverage effort.

Enter comedian Aaron Chen — he’s the ABC’s secret weapon in a mission to snare a long-term football broadcast rights.

Not just any old deal. The kind of deal that could insulate a group of veteran, overpaid, publicly-funded TV executives from a gruesome demise, in a sinking sports department invested too heavily in novelty local sports.

Chen must have been a top secret project with involvement on a ‘need to know’ basis because there’s no mention of him in the media release issued by @ABCTV two days before Wednesday evening’s the match.

But when football fans around the country, tuned into the ABC’s coverage to witness the unveiling of secret weapon Chen, he’d undoubtedly left a lasting impression and fans’ overwhelming collective sentiment was something along the lines of ………

The ABC kept its plan to develop a new TV star strictly under wraps with senior staff at the public broadcaster called upon to help develop and finesse its new on-air sports personality for @ABC2 on a ‘need to know’ basis.

Once fans had a chance to process what they thought of him, after initial shock, the social media commentary came thick and fast.

Twitter featured both derogatory backhanders — including a public canning by football’s governing body, the @FFA, and complimentary backslaps.

For the negative……

To those comments, Chen offered an apology.

And Chen also revealed this pearler received on Facebook Messenger:

And this selection of choice headlines his antics the night before had managed to generate:

Leading the charge of footballing community members disgusted with the ABC’s casual approach to match coverage was Fox Sports’ Robbie Slater, who went even further, commenting on the impact of the governing body’s preference for staff outside the sport which has cleared, by natural attrition, its ranks of staff with football knowledge.

There were compliments too, including tongue-in-cheek compliments from a fake account, purporting to be Socceroo coach Angelo Postecoglou:

And plenty of other Tweets sprung to Chen’s defence:

In an interview with The Greenfield Post, an alternative online outlet that seems to focus on AFL and NRL, Chen responded to criticism leveled at him and will likely do an interview on KiiS FM’s ‘Kyle and Jackie’ breakfast program on Friday.

If you want to relive the hilarity of Chen’s performance or remind yourself why he annoyed you, @ABCTV has proudly made the broadcast available on the iview catchup platform. But be quick. It’ll be gone soon….

(Footnote: Most of the above is written as satire, but also includes some fact. The author Anthony Stavrinos apologises for distress or hurt caused to those unaware)

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