Mossy and Robbo have established a cult following for their quirky live stream commentary on the Australian athletics circuit. Here are seven reasons why the Down Under duo rock.

1. Human league

Fed up of the bland interviewing style of traditional TV? Silas Moss (Mossy) and Dave Robertson (Robbo) provide something a little different. Embraced by the Australian athletics community the pair manage to tease much more out of the athletes with their irreverent style. There is not a “I'll take it one race at a time” or “yeah, definitely” cliché in sight. Well, mostly.

“I don't feel we are part of the traditional media,” says Robbo. “We are not writing articles or looking for the big headlines and that allows the athletes to open up and enables us to get that human element.”

Robbo and Mossy ()

King David Rudisha loves the Down Under duo and their partner in crime, Jumpy the Kangaroo

2. Embracing the digital age

The duo bring colour, passion and excitement to their track coverage – as anyone who has listened to their ear-splitting commentary of Nina Kennedy's 4.59m world junior pole vault record in Perth earlier this year will attest.

Yet what the duo do really well, in Robbo's words, is “harness social and digital media”.

“One of the things that differentiates live streaming from traditional TV broadcasting is the ability to bring into play social media,” he says.

“These fans are on to you if you call a record wrong or you have missed a key stat. We try and engage in real time with Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and I love that.”

3. Crossover appeal

Keen to attract the casual fan as much as appeal to the athletics geek, Mossy and Robbo are all things to all men (and women, children and even animals, of course). They are avid track fans and know their stuff; but the key element to their work is to put on a good show.

“There is a balance between information and entertainment, and we try to find that sweet spot between the two,” says Robbo. “There are a lot of non-athletics people who might casually be watching.

“If we can hook them in and not tie them down by the technicalities of the sport then that is a good thing, but we also need to educate the die hard fans, too.”

4. Humour (well, occasionally)

The pair play down their show as only offering “occasional humour”, but in reality their outside-the-box thinking results in them frequently raising a smile and a laugh. One of the most successful segments of their 2014 live stream was the tartan couch treatment they gave Australian athletes who gained a qualification standard for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

“The couch worked beautifully,” remarks Robbo, who would insist that the (sometimes bemused) athletes don on a Scottish tartan hat and attempt a Scottish accent.

“Here we are interviewing athletes who have spent their whole lives trying to qualify and within a minute or two of it happening we sit them on the couch, peel them a banana and ask them personal questions that they are not used to.

“From there we can take it anywhere, which I quite like.”

5. The headband

Robbo's schtick is the white headband, which has become a key prop in Mossy and Robbo's live stream. Some athletes are given a replica; for instance Kiwi shot putter Tom Walsh was recently given a black headband in tribute to the All Blacks, New Zealand's all-conquering rugby union team.

“We say the headband is performance enhancing, it is just ASADA [Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority] and WADA are not on to to it yet,” Robbo says.

Mossy opts for the more standard baseball cap, as much for practical reasons as for aesthetics.

“I looked at Robbo with the headband and he looked ridiculous,” he says. “I have red hair so I burn in the shade, so that's why I go for the hat.” Wear sunscreen and slip, slop, slap, and all that. 

6. Have legs. Will stream.

Mossy and Robbo will unashamedly live stream anything. Cricket, rugby, two flies crawling up a wall. Yet the beauty of what they do means that, er, they don't physically need to be there and the duo have some big plans for May's IAAF World Relays in the Bahamas. 

“We have a back up plan, so we might almost live stream that one,” admits Robbo. “We have the Bahamian flag, we love Breezy, the mascot for the World Relays. Although we might not get our passport stamped we will be there in spirit.” Watch this space. 

Robbo and Mossy ()

Robbo congratulates Sally Pearson after she wins Commonwealth gold in Glasgow last year

7. Big plans

The pair's main goals for the future are to be in presenting mode at either the Rio Olympics or the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Yet beyond their personal ambitions, the pair and genuine devotees of the sport and want to see it grow.

“We have drawn a lot of encouragement from surfing, which didn't get a lot of mainstream media coverage but took it upon themselves to start streaming their competitions to make it more accessible,” says Robbo.

“On the back of this, the casual viewers have been attracted to the sport and surfing now has has a very strong product with lots of sponsorship dollars coming in. I would like to see athletics do something similar and I don't see why not.

“The sport has many great stories so sponsors should be knocking the door down. It is simply a matter of trying to showcase the event and to encourage them to get on board.”

And so say all of us.

Header image by Edward Cross Photography