Author: Gareth Hutchens
Date: Sydney Morning Herald 18/01/2014 p10.
It is a tale of misspent Australian youth: a young cricket fan starts recording the odd televised cricket match, and then he begins to tape every game on TV. Soon, he starts washing cars, and delivering newspapers, doing anything to buy more tapes for his hobby.
A few years later and he gets a job at Coles, deliberately, because he wants to use the supermarket’s buying power to order cheap video cassettes by the hundreds.
Nearly 30 years later – after a digital revolution – he has amassed 25,000 DVDs worth of cricket footage of virtually every match ever broadcast in Australia since the mid-1980s.
He has also become a cult phenomenon on the internet.
Rob Moody’s tale is one of an obsessed collector as much as a cricket fanatic.
Asked why he couldn’t stop taping everything and his answer makes perfect sense: “I just didn’t wanna miss out on stuff.”
Moody’s YouTube channel – Robelinda2 – is a cricket buff’s dream. After starting to upload snippets of his vast archive online a few years ago, now his channel features unusual, historic and often hilarious outtakes of hours of cricket coverage from over the years.
Fans in India, Pakistan, England and Australia have learnt that they can ask him to upload rare special footage from their memories, or to make video compilations of their favourite players, and he can do it. Journalists have learnt to ask him, too.
Recently, he even heard former Australian fast bowler Jason Gillespie was after footage of English batsman David Gower getting repeatedly caught on his leg side in the 1980s by traps set by Australia. It took Moody 30 minutes to put the video together.
He says he learnt to edit his footage by copying the techniques used in Channel Nine’s cricket coverage. And his favourite thing to do with the footage is to make compilations of different players or incidents.
He has exposed Australian batsman Shane Watson’s defective technique in a video that compiles every one of his painful LBW test dismissals.
Another video features every test match run-out of the ungainly Pakistani batsman Inzamam-ul-Haq.
Over the years Moody has had to transfer his valuable footage from VHS to DVD to hard-drive, to save it from deteriorating.
He says he still loves the sport, though he can’t watch too many games while his two children, aged 6 and 4, are awake.
What does his wife think of his collection?
“She’s fine,” he says. “It looked physically a lot worse when we first got together because it was all on video tapes, thousands of video tapes.
“It’s not all over the house like it used to be.”