Footy Media Watch: Why does everyone hate the Crows all of a sudden?

Yes, I know the premise built into the title is not fit for accepting (the last four words are superfluous) but it’s not been the best week and a bit to be a Crows supporter, truth be told. For the season to end with a whimper rather than a bang was dismal but the positives should not be lost: the AFL gives out three trophies to teams (the AFLW premiership trophy, the AFLM premiership trophy and the McClelland Trophy) – the Crows won two and came second in the other.

 

As a result, notwithstanding some of the drama around the club in the last few years, the Crows could lay claim to being an extremely well run club. Players are not getting caught taking drugs or assaulting police, the club president does not have a golli collection and the CEO has not just been shown the door in the name of the footy boys’ club. Yet, the last week of the Crows’ media in relation to the departure of Jake Lever would have you thinking the place is in crisis.

 

How much of this is based in fact though? Around 1,000 people hold AFL media accreditation, some of them are even journalists. But just as many hold no journalistic qualifications and deal in the opinionating and rumour mongering that feed the 24 hour footy news cycle. So in the spirit of the very hungry caterpillar, let’s review the week of Crows coverage and try to work out what’s going on:

 

On Monday, the Crows, including Jake Lever, all did their Mad Monday thing and Kane Cornes started a rumour that Rory Sloane wanted to go to Collingwood. But the media was still hungry.

 

On Tuesday, Jake Lever announced that he wanted to be traded to the Melbourne Football Club to be closer to his family and Brett Burton said it was really about money and the Crows could not afford his demands. Sam McClure, presumably fed by the Lever camp, reported that senior Crows players were angry Lever was leaving (along with vague references to bullying, while Lever’s manager suggested some players had not wanted him to play in the finals). But the media was still hungry.

 

On Wednesday, Andrew Fagan confirmed the Crows’ belief that Lever’s decision was primarily based upon the money seeing as he nominated a specific club and multiple media outlets went with a blurry photo claiming Lever was seen at the local tip throwing out his Crows gear. The quality of the footage suggests it could have been bigfoot, which would have been more plausible. Meanwhile, Charlie Cameron requested a trade to Brisbane for family reasons. But the media was still hungry.

 

On Thursday, Josh Jenkins denied players had not wanted Lever to play in the finals while Kane Cornes claimed the Crows had offered Steven Motlop a small Caribbean island, posited as hypocritical given their Lever stance. But the media was still hungry.

 

On Friday, Jay Clark reported that Lever’s manager had told him he wanted to attend the Crows’ best and fairest but he had been instructed not to. Nick Dal Santo called the Crows petulant and told them to grow up. But the media was still hungry.

 

On the weekend, Sam McClure led the media charge in suggesting that Lever not making the top 10 in the Crows’ best and fairest was a surprising result, despite him missing a quarter of the season. The AFL’s Adelaide based reporter, Lee Gaskin, criticised the club for not announcing their delistings until the day after their best and fairest (a not uncommon practice). Meanwhile, Jay Clark reported that Lever’s father was pleading with the Crows to accept Melbourne’s offer to allow their family to be together, while only Reece Homfray at the Advertiser reported Alana Fagan’s statement on Triple M that Lever had, in fact, told the club he would not be attending the best and fairest. But the media was still hungry.

 

On Monday and Tuesday, Rohan Connolly accused the club of workplace bullying over the management of the Lever issue while Caroline Wilson called the club’s response a ‘dummy spit’. Both stories accepted pretty much all of the media reports from the previous week as factual. Taylor Walker gave his side of the Jake Lever phone call story and was generally described as petulant by various commentators and mocked for suggesting the Crows are successful. But the media is still hungry….

 

There’s a clear pattern here. The footy media has feasted on stories that appear to be hand fed to them by the Lever camp. Their veracity is never tested, nor are motives questioned. Those stories don’t appear to have been tested with the Crows and then are treated as fact by those that do the subsequent opinionating. Principles of natural justice or quality journalism are ignored by most, even by those who should know better.

 

So what should Adelaide have done? To borrow advice proffered unrequitedly to Essendon on this great website some time ago, the Crows should have shut up from the start.

 

At the end of the day, this isn’t about right and wrong. With local and interstate media keen to sink in the boot (i.e. it is more socially acceptable to find the next available issue to have a crack than to publicly say ‘sucked in, you lost the Grand Final’) this was never a debate the Crows were going to win and not one they needed to have. They could never be right and don’t need to be.

 

Fagan and Burton should have left their remarks to acknowledging that they would not match Melbourne’s offer to Lever and that they would be seeking the best possible trade. Against no opposition whatsoever, there would be no oxygen for the Lever camp flame; no wrong to rail against. In the end, the Crows’ attempt to placate fans by further suggesting that his demands were unreasonably greedy have been that sufficient puff of air.

 

There is one exception.

 

That said, the club’s reputation has now been dragged through the mud sufficiently that something must be done to address it. That job should now fall to president Rob Chapman. Something simple that clarifies the club’s position on the Lever trade and the events leading to his non-attendance at the best and fairest. Most importantly, reinforcing that the club, as an employer, takes allegations of bullying and harassment extremely seriously and will be contacting Lever, seeking further information in that regard.

 

Nothing will stop the negative publicity because minds have already been made up. Nothing will make fans feel better because, hey, they lost a Grand Final less than two weeks ago. But it would be nice if Crows fans felt it was safe to head into the media, social or otherwise, sometime soon. Other than that, get the trade done and it will eventually go away… until next October, anyway.

 

Read Dave’s SANFL Grand Final report here

 

Read about an Adelaide premiership here.

 

 

 

 

About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. “Play up Norwoods!”

Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Is it too much to ask the media to attempt to obtain the facts by asking all concerned before reporting? I think I’ve answered my own question on that one.

    Just as galling is the constant repetition of the assertion that Adelaide has a huge problem with player retention, by trotting out ancient history (Davis, Bock, Tippett, Gunston) without any context or comparative analysis.

  2. Ben Footner says:

    Glad I’m not the only one feeling like that! It has been a feeding frenzy comparable to sharks around a dead whale carcass. Everyone competing for a bigger pound of flesh.

  3. The Crows are the Rebel Wilson of the AFL. Stuff and nonsense abounds. Well argued Dave.

  4. Ben Footner says:

    Also – the same media identities who lauded Adelaide for building such a formidable outfit with minimal high draft pick and deft trading are now questioning Adelaide’s list and contract management techniques.

    Contradiction to the extreme.

  5. Aileen Dolheguy says:

    So sick of all the negative stories about the Crows about time the Victorians realise it is the AFL not the VFL and some of the worst comments I am sad to say have been by South Australian Journos. The Media will do anything to sell a paper. Get over it and Move On, GO THE CROWS

  6. ‘Just as galling is the constant repetition of the assertion that Adelaide has a huge problem with player retention, by trotting out ancient history (Davis, Bock, Tippett, Gunston) without any context or comparative analysis’.

    Maybe it’s the water Swish.

    While I agree with you on the media and a blood trail Dave, Tex didn’t do himself any favours with his post match speech. We were in a Tiger bay surrounded on both sides by Westlakes Faithful. We felt for them, and we felt they deserved and, you’d think, expected more than the ungracious words they got from their Captain. I repeat: Captain. This wasn’t a kid who’d had a microphone stuck under his nose seconds after the siren.

    And the death stare thing was a bit theatrical too, wouldn’t you say? Once the blood’s in the water, the feeding frenzy begins. It’s biological.

    But look on the plus side ; what fuel to ignite The Rabid Adelaide Mob to burn anyone fixtured to play at the PAO next year.

  7. I blame this Trade Radio nonsense. For some reason there’s this concentration of footy media, far more media than actually occurs when games are happening, over a fortnight where it’s acknowledged that stuff all happens until the last 48 hours.

    It gives second rate gossip writers, namely Kane Cornes, opportunities to report complete fiction which are accepted by the rest of the media as gospel because they’ve got nothing to report as nothing is actually happening.

  8. What you dont understand and you have no idea how bad it is ,is M Rucci and K Cornes are both Port people and will lie and do anything they can to hurt the Crows, The story around Lever is mostly wrong and made worse by these two Port people,Then Williams had his say ,also a Port person and not to be believed.They hate the Crows because we where first in the AFL, never mind how they were in going behind the SAFL backs, Crows have done so well in the 25 yrs, have drafted Captains /Brownlow medalists, Back to back ground finals ect ect ect, and Port hate it. And will try to and do anything to hurt them. Lever deserved what he got, he told AFC he was a 10 yr player when drafted, Crows wouldnt match Melbournes offer, because money is shared, dosnt go to one player.So that says he was after money and not loyal after everything AFC did for him, Carlton did the same with Gibbs, so why cant AFC.All Media is making things up,

  9. Browny,
    I agree with much of what you say – post-grand final AFL media is a turn-off, so that is exactly what I do. Social-media-wise, I don’t comment on trades etc unless it specifically pertains to my club.
    To continually use Gunston as an example of Adelaide’s inability to retain players is ridiculous: he left in 2011 and has played 6 seasons at the Hawks!
    Having said all that, Adelaide have played the Lever situation very poorly and lost control of the narrative at a very early stage. They need to be better than that.

  10. I heard that Alberton was decked out in the Yellow&Black of Struggletown before the GF. And cars were driving around with Richmond scarves hanging out their windows afterwards. Can anyone over there verify that?

  11. I’d have a lot greater respect for the opinion pieces that the Crows “got ahead of themselves”, that they are “sooks”, “bullies” etc. if there was just one article to that effect in the weeks and months leading up to the Grand Final. In Grand Final week, the culture was praised by most of those who are now sinking the boots in. There are actual stories here (the abuse by players and agents of the rules covering non free agents, the role played by BT in this story), but that would require some digging when yelling into the echo chamber is so much easier.

    The Lever camp have got nothing to lose and everything to gain from playing the victim card here (see, it’s not about the money, Tex got really really cross). They’ve also got no real skin in the negotations – providing the deal gets done, it doesn’t affect them whether the deal is 2 first round picks or Bernie Vince’s used shoelaces.

    The Adelaide Crows have got everything to lose and nothing to gain from engaging. While negotations are underway, they’d be crazy to do anything that might devalue Lever as a trade asset (as the Bulldogs have done with Stringer).

    Most of it is yesterday’s fish and chip wrappers, but the role of “AFL media” and “AFL Trade Radio” sitting under the auspices of the league and running twitter polls about whether the Crows should sack Tex as captain, as well as promoting rumours and speculation is a pretty distasteful situation.

  12. Robert Woods says:

    Listening to 3AW coming home from Mildura on Monday morning. Neil what’s his name, a Melbourne supporter talking to another broadcaster named Jones were pouring vitriol on Adelaide because Lever was going home for family reasons. The loss of a grandparent, unwell family members etc etc. Not one mention of monetary gains

  13. I don’t understand why Lever has not said THANK YOU to the Crows for picking him up when no one else wanted him. Then looking after him for a year while he recuperated from his injuries. Gave him support & help all the time & then just shut down & let all the rubbish be splattered over the media.
    he has a lot to thank the Crows for & nothing is ever said about that!! Even lied to the media saying he never met with Melbourne when he had.
    Let his father do the talking.
    Goodbye.

  14. Big Brother has its own radio program now? I’ve lived too long. i stopped buying the record decades ago. I think the last one I bought cost a shilling.

    Like what you’re saying Pat. So you’re saying this whole thing has been Lever camp propaganda? Nothing to do with the Adelaide water?

    But what confuses me is that he’s 21 and has been playing for three years. Have I got that right? I’m with Adelaide on this one. Never mind keeping schtum; I’d pour it all over the ungrateful little sod.

    And where’s the AFL in all this? If it was one of their project clubs they’d be all over it. Or all under it.

  15. I like Steve L’s observation regarding the murky, tacky waters of AFL Media / Trade Radio and their carry on speculating over people’s livelihoods. Much like the AFL meddling in clubs’ business, telling them who to hire & fire. It’s just not how a professional sporting league should operate.

  16. I cant categorically state what is factual and what is crap. I dont believe the media know whats factual but they like to put forward their opinions and ideas. Personally If the Crows have been slandered I would love to see the club take the so called “media” through the courts and this included taking the AFL through the courts then so be it.

    Let the courts sort it out because the grubby media wont do it.

  17. Paul Young says:

    Well said Dave.

    I’m not a Crows fan, but I find it pathetic that so many footy journos have jumped on the Jake Lever bandwagon. The attack on Tex by Mark Robinson in today’s Herald Sun is one of the worst & most lop sided footy articles I’ve read for a long time. Tex articulately explained what he said to Lever and there was nothing wrong with calling out this bullshit about “going home” – of course the money is the primary factor.

    As much as I’m no Rita Panahi fan, her defence of Tex Walker in the same paper on the same day as Robinson’s is far more balanced and a sensible take on the issue. In fact you could assume that based on this, Panahi was the Herald Sun’s chief footy writer and not the other buffoon.

    Pat is spot on – Lever should publicly thank the Crows and show his respect for everything the club did for him, including pay him a lot of money for the time he was there. He was well looked after and he should acknowledge that. BUT it says a lot more about Lever that he has allowed the narrative to run that the Crows are the bullies.

    As for Kane Cones – what a dill he has become post footy. Someone should have told him about the boy who cried wolf. He has started & spread so many rumours and so much fake news in his 12 months in footy media, that it seems most of SA now takes what he says with a grain of salt. He has lost all credibility. Basically if you heard it from Kane Cones you can take it as false or a beat up.

    From what I’ve seen not too many Australian professional sports clubs are run as well as the Adelaide Crows.

  18. Looks like Dimma was spot on about K. Cornes, eh?

  19. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I’m far from Tex’s biggest fan as a captain, but I’m even less of a fan of the Lever camp with their ridiculous assertions that this is all about family rather than money.

    However, Adelaide gains nothing from pushing that line – leave that to keyboard warriors like myself to peddle it instead.

    As for K Cornes, since he came under the umbrella of Crocmedia, he’s been playing a role, a mutant hybrid of Campbell Brown, Sam Newman and Stephen Dank, and loving the short term attention it affords.

  20. You cld throw in Andrew Bolt & Steve Price if you like Swish.

  21. Matt Quartermaine says:

    How much of your sympathy went West Coast’s way 2015 Dave? Winners write the history books. Welcome to Pre season.

  22. Its really becoming ludicrous. In Last night’s Victorian channel 7 news sports report a dot point presentation appeared titled ‘Dummy Spit – Crows in Crisis’. It listed 5 reasons why the Crows were in crisis with 2 of the dot points being ‘terse’ calls with Lever and Cameron and the dates of said calls.
    Dot point 2 was ’30 September 2017 Walker missing in grand final’. ??

  23. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    You Crows are novices when it comes to losing GF’s. Collingwood has experienced similar inquisitions on 11 occasions since 1958. Yes 2-2-11. Harden up !!

  24. Dave Brown says:

    Thanks for the read and comments, all. Yeah, Swish, the Crows have a trouble retaining players line is ludicrous. Over the last four seasons (2013-2016) only four players have voluntarily left. Granted one of them won a Brownlow. Apparently some level of critical analysis gets in the way of timelines.

    Yep, Ben, particularly when they’ve had a reasonable idea from a fair way out that Lever was going.

    If we move to the Grand Final, The Wrap, has it been established the Crows’ lineup is primarily intended to put off the opponent or is that just assumed. That is a strength yoga position. As for Tex’s speech, what did you want him to say given he’s not the biggest talker at the best of times? Say what needs to be said and get off – let the winners enjoy their winning. As for Alberton, yep a fair amount of my enemy’s enemy sentiment about.

    Reckon you’re right there, James. Trade Radio is a pox on all our houses.

    Yeah, Smokie, or not buy into the narrative at all. They’ve kind of stuffed it up in both directions.

    Agree entirely, Steve L

    I don’t reckon there’s anything to be gained from further escalating, Jack, but plenty to be lost.

    Not looking for GF sympathy, Matt (I had plenty for WCE btw – farcical that our national league’s GF is always played at certain teams’ home ground), just decently presented analysis from people who are paid very well to provide it.

    True Phil, we have some distance to make up. Would be happy for certain media just to have the intestinal fortitude to say ‘sucked in’, however

    Cheers all

  25. Ross Brennan says:

    I am a Crows supporter and was really disappointed when I heard confirmation of Lever’s impending departure. He did play a lot of good footy for us and always gave it his all. I don’t think the Crows general attitude and the way it handled the situation was good for the club, though. Of course people are getting annoyed at the continual loss of high quality players to the bigger cities, but some lateral thinking is required. In order to negate the “go home factor”, how about allowing Crows players from another city to self manage their recovery and have a day or two in their home town with family and friends? Don’t bag the guy, makes us look bad and the club not an inviting place to be.

  26. Sorry Dave, I hadn’t realized tex was the shy type. And true, he would have been suffering. But so were the fans. The Crows may have underestimated the ferocity of the Tigers as well. That wouldn’t have helped their after match reaction, eh?

  27. Bryan Haines says:

    Well said, young man!

  28. All fake news hey?
    The Crows live in a media friendly bubble, they win a few and the local press hand them the flag in July. They lost the GF and the pendulum swings the other way and the fans are revolting. Team for all “South Australians”; they sound like a government department, they need to be a “club for their members”. Been a fun two weeks tho with no discernible benefits noted from the extensive media training provided to all at Crows Central, where-ever that may be.

  29. Very well written,Dave it has been incredible the media assault it disgusts me the lack of accountability they can just make bullshit up and lie yet no action occurs another reason to switch off from Afl footy

  30. On fake news, I just wish The Addy would get a few things right. Dusty Martin doesn’t even have a gun license. And the last time Jack had an injection the syringe was loaded with anti-polio vaccine.

  31. Goods to see you back from intensive care too Rulebook. We’ve all been worried about you. Really, we have.

  32. Paul Young says:

    RE: Kane Cornes.
    I had the radio on 5AA yesterday on my way to training, listening to Bickley & co.

    When I got back in the car an hour later, I turned the radio on and Kane Cornes was on. :(

    I listened for about 5 minutes before switching channels. He crapped on about how his’ gut’ telling him that Port will sign Steve Motlop and Jack Watts. No factual evidence – just his gut’s advice. I reckon I must have some ESP attachment to his gut, cos he gives me the shits.

  33. Wrap – polio vaccine is taken from a spoon, not via and injection. So what was Jack injecting? Have we stumbled across another Bomber-like drug cheating case?

  34. G’day Dave,

    Your writing here presents the facts how media report on the Adelaide footy club and the Lever deal (now he is officially a Demon as the AFL media reports).

    Reasonable writing and impressive.

    Sadly these days I think Twitter triggers media reports and jeoparises the facts. And journalists just chase social media and interview involving people less and less.

    Sadly we audience should know most instant news are inaccurate and many journalists lost the importance of reasonable reporting. They just want to get paid attention.

    It’s unusual Rohan Connolly trusts these inaccurate news and accuses of the club on bullying players.

    Cheers

    Yoshi

  35. John Butler says:

    I have to say, this whole discussion has been entertaining (and revealing) on many levels.

    Much more so than the drone-a-thon that is trade week coverage.

    PS: The Bogan Lord is actually playing with statistics. Collingwood have actually lost 26 GF’s. Just in case anyone had forgotten.

  36. John Butler says:

    PPS: Wrap, you’re having far too much fun. :)

  37. Dave Brown says:

    Thanks for the read and further comments, folks. Ross, my point is it’s not clear from the media reporting how Adelaide did handle it, other than now having done very well out of the trade (depending on how good Melbourne’s 2018 turns out to be). Also, as Swish points out the continual loss of high quality players narrative relies on referencing players who left the club a best part of a decade ago.

    Mike, the only local press that handed them the flag was Rucci saying ‘it would be embarrassing if they didn’t win it’. It’s certainly a media bubble, not sure I’d describe it as benign.

    I wonder about Croc Media’s model, Paul, and whether it is the problem or just the outcome. Clearly they go to media orgs with a comparatively low cost way of filling air time. The actual quality doesn’t seem to matter given it appears to be Kane’s job description to stir up as much controversy as possible. It also probably reflects a reality that we, by and large, are not willing to pay for quality journalism anymore.

    Thanks Yoshi, yep, I think you’re right. To be somewhat fair to Connolly he was using it to illustrate a broader point about unhealthy workplace cultures in clubs which seems valid. It was accepting the Crows narrative without question that was frustrating on top of the existing deluge of negative press.

  38. It would have been his 5-in-1 baby immunisation shots Dips.

    I re-read the Caroline Wilson article on the matter Yoshi. It all seems level-headed reporting, including a comment from an ex-Crows player Scott Thompson and a veiled reference to the robust austerity of Westlakes from Paddy Dangerfield. I must chase up the Rohan Connolly piece.

    And JB, I’m having 37 years of fun, and it’ll last till next March. Maybe even longer; till 2019. But I’ll tell you one thing; the humility’s killing me.

  39. Having said all that ^^^^ the Crows have done extraordinary well from the Lever trade:
    Melbourne’s first round pick (#10) and next year’s first round pick also! Win for the Crows.

  40. Elisa Hilliard says:

    Thank you for a well written article.

    The attitudes in the media have been atrocious regarding the Crows since the Grand Final. The media are like a dog with a bone, keep picking it up and having another chew!!!

    Don’t think anyone truly knows what went on behind the scenes with the Lever Saga, it is very sad that possible untruths are believed and spread to plague proportions, and that it just keeps going even today with Rucci having another go in today’s Advertiser. Disgusting behavior.

  41. “second rate gossip writers, namely Kane Cornes” – couldn’t agree more? Would love to see his journalism qualifications.

  42. I absolutely agree that Trade Week/Month/Aeon is never anything other than either a total bore or the unedifying shambles it is so far in 2017. I call it the ‘draft pick bingo’ season. Whoever upthread highlighted the 5 minute wonder rumour that Rory Sloane wanted to be a Magpie had no cause to be surprised – this has always been the time of the year when every player in the AFL is leaving their club and going to Collingwood. (Yes, smart-alec, that DOES include the blokes that are already there….).

    I couldn’t stand the Crows when they first came into the AFL – the upstart players and fans, the recruiting via the Addy, the 93 finals, then of course the flags which were the crowning insult. Then they settled into just another team, not the thorough pain in the arse they were but not often a serious premiership threat either. The Walsh situation, and the absolutely admirable way the club has rebounded from it, changed all that perception, and if they had played the Giants (the 90s Crows of 2017?) last Saturday week this Melbourne-based AFL fan would have been 100% behind Adelaide. (As it was, they played Richmond and I was maybe 70% Tiger but I would have begrudged neither.)

    However, clubs bagging blokes who want to leave is never a good look, it’s tiresome, unprofessional, very bad leadership, and best left to the SBM cicada swarm, of whom nobody expects better. Adelaide have made a right pigs ear of this from the PR viewpoint, but the deal they successfully held out for while all the bulldust was flying around was good, and unless they grievously waste those two pics (which they generally don’t) the players they pick up with them will be round for a decade after this zero-impact handbag-swinging farce is forgotten.

  43. There are 2 things which intrigue me about this article and others. Firstly, how is it that Mrs. Fagan is trotted out to explain things? Is she on the payroll or her husband?
    Secondly, it is beyond comprehension why anybody takes the slightest notice of Kane Cornes. He seems to simply make stuff up. He obviously suffers from his father’s severe case of Relevance Deprivation Syndrome. I have been a life long Port Adelaide supporter, watched most of his games and he was mostly just a numbers & stats player, summed up in his “retirement” on exactly 300. Still waiting for him to repay the cost of his Fire Brigade training too.
    But finally (&thirdly), the old Rulebook has been flushed out! Not cremated & ashes spread over The Parade.

  44. steve todorovic says:

    Trite and contrived as Cornes might seem, I’m tipping his qualifications and credentials to comment are still a Dusty Martin torpedo punt ahead of Alana Fagan’s. Since when did the wife of a club CEO, masquerading as a brekky radio newsbreaker, have the moral right to tell us all “….so to clear things up, it was Jake’s decision” ( to not attend the B and F). No vested interest there, we can assume. Just a hint of that very healthy Crow arrogance and superciliousness.

    And that David, is the answer to your original question. The reason why so many people hate the Crows all of a sudden, is that their organisation is pompous, overconfident, hypocritical and lacks any sense of humility. Their captain and it seems, their chief spokesperson, has set the standard in the last few weeks. His pathetic loser’s response at the GF ( you can’t call an eight second grab a speech) was cringe worthy not because of anything he didn’t say about the victors but because it failed to address all the hard work and effort from the hundreds of Adelaide FC staff which had helped to get them to the last Saturday in September. Not to mention his 21 teammates, some of whom, busted their guts in an effort to win. And if Crows fans are happy to live with “…and Crows fans, thank you very much for travelling” as a fitting tribute to their support and passion throughout 6 months, they’re way too easy to please and just maybe, they got what they deserved.

    Let’s not even mention his lack of humility and graciousness to the team that beat them by eight goals on the day when it really counted. To say his comments were underwhelming would be too kind. You’d hope that the Crows admin make Gavin Cooper’s response on losing the NRL grand final mandatory viewing for the Big Texan, on a regular basis between now and next season.

    Then there’s the astonishing hypocrisy of his attack on Jake Lever. Or is it simply that the man is incapable of mounting a logical argument. Walker eagerly accepts all those who have chosen the Adelaide Football Club when looking for a new team — Tom Lynch, Josh Jenkins, Eddie Betts, Sam Jacobs, Troy Menzel, Curtly Hampton (Greater Western Sydney while under contract) and Paul Seedsman. Stranger yet, Big Tex seems very happy to endorse Adelaide raiding AFL rivals in the past — even for contracted players, as is well remembered last year with Bryce Gibbs when he still had three seasons to honour in a five-year commitment with Carlton. Walker is happy for the Crows to have it both ways. That’s just plain and simple hypocrisy or else the man is plain and simply a fool.

    If that hasn’t been enough to paint the Big Texan as the Darth Vader of the AFL, here’s the piece de resistance – his pompous and totally ridiculous comment this week, again on Jake Lever. “ I think it’s pretty much him choosing money over success.” Jimmy Bartel is a man who has experienced a bit of footy success – both team and personal. Jim summed it up perfectly… “You haven’t had success either. You’ve made a grand final — that’s it.” Oh…hang on, Jim forgot. The Crows did have success after all! They won the McClelland trophy! Bet they can’t wait for the 10 year reunion celebrations of that momentous milestone. The T shirts must be being printed as I write.

    Walker seems to surreptitiously pass over the fact that his team was flogged in the Grand Final. They were outscored 14 goals to 4 after quarter time. Embarrassingly bad.

    But Walker isn’t alone in his lack of humility. His coach wasn’t all that gracious either. Did Don Pyke really have such an inflated opinion of his game style and his players that he thought they merely had to turn up and flick the switch? There was his occasional reference in the post- match presser to Richmond being the better team on the day with their pressure and hunt on the footy, but mostly it was all about his boys having a bad day. All of them bar a few not showing sufficient effort. All on the same day. Such a funny coincidence? Such arrogance to not have a plan B if the opposition, god forbid, stopped you playing the way you like to play.

    If an eight goal defeat in the one game that counts above all others, is Walker’s definition of success, then it seems to me that Lever has made the right decision in leaving the Crows. Given that the Dees also smacked the Crows by seven goals when they played them in Adelaide, Lever probably gets the chance at ultimate success, a team that appreciates him and a great wage……smart move by him.

    So David, it took a while, but there’s my case for why so many people hate the Crows currently.

  45. Yep Steve, except straining the goat entrails of whatever a coach or captain straight after a GF is always a pretty futile exercise if you want to gauge their state of mind (as distinct from picking nits), but Tex chest-banging 48 hours later has no such out – there was no shortage of TwitFace Einsteins praising him for ‘telling it like it is’, ‘saying what the fans think’ etc etc ad nauseum. along with the obligatory praise for ‘hardening up’, but for crying out loud Tex, that aint what they stick the C in brackets after your name on the team-sheet to do – you’re a club LEADER.

    Anybody who thinks otherwise just need to look at Richmond over the last 12 months – they told the mob to take their pitchforks and go home, and that self same mob is now thanking the ghost of Jack Dyer for that.

  46. Rick & Steve, c’mon lads, don’t hold back. And as much as i agree with everything you’ve expressed above, i still can’t bring myself to hate them. How can you hate a team you’ve just flogged by eight goals in a Grand Final. Everyone here at Tigerland loves them, and would love to see them do well in 2018.

    My other query is — and this comes from someone who might only watch a few Crows’ matches a year — how come a kid of 21, who’s been at the club for three years, and made his reputation playing alongside players like Liard & Talia, and behind a gun midfield that included Sloane, Jacobs and the Crouch Bros can cause such a stir by leaving? From what I’m reading he’s had a bionic makeover by the medical department club and the coaching department taught his how to kick; I mean really how good can he be?

  47. A big long blog of bla bla bla here Steve. Interpreting things as you see them is not necessarily interpreting them correctly. You seem to have decided that it doesn’t matter what has happened or been said or done behind closed doors that the press or public haven’t been invited to step through, that you know all the facts of what has gone on, and worse still have twisted the words of Tex and Don Pyke to suit your long winded drivel.. Didn’t your mother ever tell you that if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?

  48. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    It seems to have eluded many here and J Bartel that Walker was clearly referring to Lever trading [future] money for [future] success – time will tell of course.

  49. Ben Footner says:

    Bloody hell Steve, that is some deep seated hatred you harbor there for a football team. I think some therapy might be in order.

    By and large the criticism of Adelaide has come from:

    a) Media personalities who have a vested interest in manufacturing some kind of scandal to keep their own news cycle going;

    b) Fans of other clubs who are cherry picking the sound bites and opinion pieces that will feed and confirm their already healthy and deep seated hatred of the AFC (Port fans predominantly, but there seems to be many others all too happy to stick the boot in at the moment);

    c) Tiger fans for whom their first premiership in 37 years doesn’t seem enough to satisfy their hunger, and they seem hell bent on making sure their grand final opponents are humiliated into oblivion (I mean what the hell did you want Walker to do, declare Richmond as the undisputed champions of the universe and then kiss the feet of every Tigers player as he approached to dais for his medal?). A lack of humility hey? Yes, well humility does seem to be in desperately short supply at the moment across the board.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – as a member of the Adelaide Football Club I am more than happy with the way the Club is administered, captained, and coached. There has always been a cloud of external white noise around the club – but that really is predominantly all it ever is, noise.

  50. Paul Young says:

    Hear Hear Ben & Wendy………

    I’m annoyed that I read Steve’s contribution.
    To criticise a woman who offers an insiders view of the Lever/B&F by saying she’s masquerading as a radio host?
    What the?
    SHE IS a bloody radio host, she aint masquerading as one. And given she’s the CEO’s wife and would have an insight into the issue, she has every right to offer that view on her radio show. Gee whizz, every MALE radio host that has a similar situation, ie: involved in a footy club, does exactly the same thing, they give opinions – Kevin Bartlett, Eddie McGuire, etc.

    By the way, maybe it’s time the AFL stopped this ridiculous notion of having a losing grand final captain have to say something ‘gracious’ on the dais. It’s only a recent innovation and no-one cares except for the ‘Steves’ of the world who want to nit pick.

    If it was me, I’d make sure it (losing captain’s speech) never happened again. I’d go up and say:
    “I’m only here because they told me I had to; We got beat and we feel f***en shit house – so you can all go and get f***ed.”

    Just like the “Peter Moore” moment which stopped the losing GF medals. It would guarantee they’d be no more losing captain speeches.

  51. I think you’ll find that there are many people who think Tex did say that PY. I know it’s tough out there on the rough end of the pineapple, but leadership includes both ends of the sugary fruit. And whether a few words from the losing Captain is a good idea or not is up to the AFL and the 18 club representatives to decide. The Herald-Sun prints off two Premiership Posters. It sells the winner’s and trashed the loser’s. That’s life. The Captain is the Football Club’s on-field representative. I’ll let you work it out from their, but the phrase grace under duress may help you see from whence some of us are coming.

    This thread is not so much about besmirching The Pride of South Australia, as a post mortem of how a team that finished Minor Premiers and started the match warm favourites, against a team that finish 13th the year before, can go on and lose by eight goals. So while you’re waiting for the de-breifing out at Westlakes to get underway, you could do worse than look up some synonyms for Pride on your phone.

    BTW, we met a lovely couple on the tram going in for the GF Parade who had followed the team to Melbourne all year. They’d been gouged by the travel & hospitality sectors on GF weekend, and it would have cost them over $4,000, so they drove across. And that $4K was before they paid for their GF tix. Their daughter was flying over on the Saturday morning — $420 one way. I wonder how they felt when Tex spent all of 2 seconds thanking them for their troubles and, since he’s so big on it — their loyalty. I’d feel let down; wouldn’t you?

    And while I’ve got you there, Eddie’s been in trouble more than a few times for outlandish and hurtful utterances on his program. Not that it stops him being outlandish & hurtful.

  52. Elisa Hilliard says:

    “, Big Tex seems very happy to endorse Adelaide raiding AFL rivals in the past — even for contracted players, as is well remembered last year with Bryce Gibbs when he still had three seasons to honour in a five-year commitment with Carlton.”

    Ummmm no, Bryce Gibbs approached the Crows and asked to join, the Crows helped with his request. The Crows did not initiate anything or chase Bryce, as it turned out Carlton refused…end of story. Another unwarranted bad press media frenzy…..

  53. Paul Young says:

    The Wrap
    As a North man, I didn’t miss hearing from my captain in 1974, 1976, 1978 & 1997. So I don’t give a fat rat’s clacker what Tex said. The shorter the better.

    By the way, in 1985 I won a certain race in a town about 240km north of Melbourne. I had planned, plotted and bided my time for five years to win it and etch my name into history. Given I’d put all my eggs in one basket and everything (as far as I was concerned) hinged on this result, had it gone ‘awry’ and I’d been required to give a ‘runner’s up speech’ I reckon I would have made Tex Walker look like Martin Luther King.

  54. Ben Footner says:

    I find it incredibly difficult to comprehend why Tigers fans seem so obsessed with what the opposition captain happen to mumble after their team had just romped to a crushing Premiership win, their first in nearly 4 decades.

    Before the GF there was many a Victorian footy fan stating that they’d rather see Adelaide win than Richmond. I was quite surprised by that. Richmond haven’t won in forever, wouldn’t it be good to see them finally get the monkey off the back and have something to celebrate?

    Now I understand, I truly do.

  55. Point taken PY. Better say nothing if you’ve got nothing to say In fact if they’d asked the losing coach to speak — from the despair/anguish/whatever written across his dial we might have got an even briefer glimpse into the heart of darkness that was The Pride of South Australia at 17.00 hours on the Last Saturday in September 2017. Or even something closer to your suggestion.

    Dropping ‘the word from the loosing side’ might be the way to go. It smacks of ‘Now Johnny, we know you’re disappointed, but you still get to say something up hear on the stage along with Tommy, who has just flogged you in a game we all know you had your heart set on winning’.

  56. Not Tiger Fans Ben, Football Fans. We’re trying to understand what happened to Adelaide. Tiger Fans were as surprized an anyone by the way things unfolded. The post mortem is just looking for answers.

  57. Unless Tex was going to launch into the Indianapolis, Redfern or Ezekiel 25:17 speech post-hooter, I couldn’t be less interested.

  58. Ben Footner says:

    Well I’m sorry but what is happening right now is far less considered post mortem, and far more predators around a dead carcass. People aren’t looking for answers, just their pound of flesh.

    I listened to Taylor Walker’s full interview/discussion on MMM here in Adelaide the other morning and it was nothing, I repeat, nothing like what it became in the media.

    He was honest about the nature of his discussion with Lever, he answered all the questions about allegations of fighting at half time of the GF, he gave Lever a ton of credit for still giving his all despite probably making the decision to leave a good month ago.

    He spoke like the captain I want him to be as a member.

    Any yet he was roundly criticised (again) for it.

    I just can’t understand it personally. Cannot get my head around it at all.

  59. E.regnans says:

    It’s all pretty staggering, D Brown.
    A game of footy was played out.
    Someone loses.
    It happens.

    No doubt those on the payroll are poring over the data.

    But I’m with Phil Dimitriadis here (and J Butler – thanks).

    As for the speeches/ reactions-to-speeches/ radio-talk-show/ he-said-she-said drivel…
    What would Plato say?
    I imagine Plato might suggest that anyone grappling with those is barking up the wrong tree in their quest to find a state of Eudaimonia.
    As Ben implies – there are many ways in which a club can be successful.
    (What a marvellous year of good times you Crows enjoyed.)
    (What a happy finish to the year you Tigers enjoyed.)
    (What a great set of laughter and despair us Magpies enjoyed.)

    I reckon – whatever your stripes, dial up your own personal YouTube highlights reel & enjoy what these guys put on for us each week.
    Roll up, roll up.

  60. I agree completely with Mickey and Paul about the losing captain’s speech – but isn’t it all like the pre-match and half time ‘entertainment’ in that only the stinkers are remembered at all ten minutes later? Besides the Loafmeister and Angry and his Batmobile, who can name any other performer at a Grand Final without guessing or Googling? Can anybody remember a word the losing captain said after last year’s GF? Or any other? (I vaguely recall James Hird being a bit of a surly git in some eyes after 2001, but nobody else seemed to – even latterly when he was the SBM’s Villain of the Year three years running and no negative anecdote was too trivial or too old for re-hashing).

    I’m cdertainly no apologist for The Media’s ethics or motives, and Kane Cornes is turning into a complete clown, the Roland Roccacielli of the AFL, but at least he and it are predictable – far too predictable for anybody with five minutes’ experience in its glare and half a brain to have much cred any more when they claim to have been stitched up. Tex knew. or should have known, that if he had delivered an improved-edited version of MLK’s I Have a Dream and slid in half a sentence that may possibly be interpreted as critical of Jake Lever, there was Kane’s headline. To quote Jim Morrison, ‘into THIS world we’re thrown’. Nobody claims it’s fair. If you hate country music that much, stay out of Tamworth.

  61. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    I’m impressed with this reponse from Andrew Fagan, Crows CEO in a letter to the members.

    “While there are no longer games and results to dissect, the thirst for AFL news and content has never been greater and this has been evident over the past two weeks. There has been plenty of discussion and debate, especially on social media platforms. Having been involved in elite sport for more than two decades, I can assure you that unless you are inside the four walls of a football club then you cannot say with conviction or total accuracy what is happening.

    With more people providing comment across more platforms, we are all confronted daily with more opinions than ever before and in many cases they are based on a series of assumptions. Some of these are wrong and this is where it gets tricky. We are always focused on keeping our loyal members and supporters informed of the inner workings and true positioning of the Club as much as possible, however, it is simply not possible nor appropriate to respond to each one of the rumours and other innuendo, much of which is portrayed as fact as opposed to opinion. Sometimes we must refrain from commenting because we deem the subject matter to be confidential or providing competitive advantage.

    In the last week or so, there has been plenty spoken about which is simply incorrect, relating to conversations that did not take place, contract offers at various values that were or were not made, event invitations that were or were not provided and trade positions that had not been reached.

    I want to make something very clear so it cannot be misinterpreted. Traditional media plays a very important role in our game. Together with AFL and club platforms, the commentary and opinion provides valued coverage, analysis and engages fans in the game that we all love. They also have an incredibly tough job trying to decipher fact from fiction and interpret the logic behind club decisions without access to the wealth of information that remains confidential.

    As fans, I know this can be frustrating at times. All I can suggest is that you always clarify whether what you are reading, watching or listening to is based on fact or opinion. If it is the latter, it will either be proven correct or incorrect given the fullness of time. Sometimes we will be able to respond immediately, other times we won’t. The timing of our response won’t always be based on the accuracy of the opinion, but rather more strategic matters, like successfully completing a trade, negotiation or welfare reasons.

    We won’t be dragged into responding to every incorrect report, nor will we necessarily confirm every correct report. I assure you that in the clear majority of cases, the moment something of note transpires we will be sure to let you know straight away. “

  62. Great response from Andrew Fagan, and I’m sure that most intelligent people would have known the truth of what he has said before it was even said, hence my response to Sam, whose extra long tirade, was full of assumptions that he seemed to have come to based on rumour, inuendo, and a desire to see the worst in the Crows.

  63. I have no doubt that the Crow’s will bounce back with a vengeance next season.
    They are a star studded line-up and will want to rectify the heartbreak of the 2017 grand final result.
    The burn and desire that would be in their guts after such disappointment will hold them in good stead.
    All this talk about Jake Lever leaving and getting snubbed for the club’s best and fairest night is all hear say but opposition supporters are going to feed off it.
    All Crow supporters should not listen to the innuendo and concentrate on this great team.
    I’m a very proud Hawks supporter and constantly receive a barrage of hate due to them not making finals this year and my reply is and always will be, (When did your team last 3 peat).
    So to all supporters of the Crow’s keep your heads held high as your glory isn’t that far away.
    Good luck for 2018 but Go Hawks…

  64. Dangerfield left after 8 years and a club champion medal.
    Lever left after 3 years and an okay season.
    I never liked lever.
    I would like to see him match up on McGovern next year

  65. Well put Aidan. You’re obviously a Student of The Game. I can’t see for the life of me what all the fuss is about Lever. He’s a 21 year old who’s played three seasons of Footy surrounded by champions. Of course he looks good. And you got something for him. Probably what he was worth. Even more, considering he didn’t want to be there.

  66. My word, if history is any guide, ’twill be fun times when Jakey boy plays at AO v The Crows next year! Probably a good thing he didn’t go to Geelong. Perhaps one could look at that much maligned other Adelaide team which has let Trengove and Impey go with little fuss and certainly none of the angst of Jakey. In the spirit of Shaun Burgoyne, I doubt they will be booed when they return to the mighty AO, but we shall see.

  67. Interesting point Bucko. I’m gathering all the Adelaide Intel I can at this point. If they’re good enough to make the GF this year, surely the loss of Jake Lever’s not going to prevent them from making it again in 2018. I gather from what you’re saying , they take themselves a bit too seriously out at Westlakes. That’s handy to know.

    But I hope you’re not implying that the much maligned other team from The City of Light doesn’t know how to deliver a bronx cheer. I was watching on television when Richmond ran out onto the ground against Port in the EF back in ’14. The booing was so intimidating I feared for my life. I guess all’s fair in Love & Football.

  68. Ah Wrap, you are indeed wise and discerning beyond your years. Taking themselves too seriously is one of the main KPI’s down that way. Along with own bath water consumption. They will certainly be up there again and should be with the resources available. Even moreso if that nice Mr. Gibbs “leaves his club” (breathless sigh) & joins them. Losing Jakey is a long way from a disaster.

    My apologies if you were scared witless by my fellow waterside workers in 2014, but that’s what you get when you make us wear the old prison bars, then turn up in your best roadworker fluoro gear. The booing then was directed at a whole team, my reference was directed at the treatment of Danger, Tippo et al as individuals by the knitting brigade. Mea culpa.

  69. Joe De Petro says:

    On the contrary,Bucko. I was at that Elimination Final as a Richmond supporter. We were in a world of pain. But, that is the thing, that is how it should be. In all of Richmond’s three finals this year, the atmosphere was electric. Non-Richmond fans were made to feel very unwelcome.

    If a team can’t motivate enough fans to cross a border for a final, then when can it motivate them?

    Any team that can’t provide somewhere near half the crowd (or doesn’t have that many fans in the first place) does not deserve to be there. Finals should be for the fans.

    I would so love to see all of Richmond,, Collingwood and Carlton in the two Prelims at the MCG in the near future. That will be something!

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