Dr Dangerlove or: how I learned to stop worrying and love Geelong

Scene: the AFL media war room. AFL salaried journalists sit at the round table at the summer strategy meeting. President Pinkney, head of the AFL’s news division sits at the most important seat flanked by the more senior journalists. Interstate and cadet journalists sit further away.

President Pinkney – Welcome and thank you all for coming today. You know why I’ve called you all here – we need a media strategy. With another two months before we get an actual product on the field we face threats from all sides. Cricket encroaches on us with its tragedy, enthralling test matches and its World Cup will be on our shores and in our very stadia. To make matters worse, they are using biological weapons – apparently greatness is contagious.

The A-league threatens to take Western Sydney with its cunning summer scheduling and by giving the locals a type of football that they actually want to watch. Soccer has become a scourge of summer, a skin cancer of the nation if you will. Hosting the Asian Cup is the mole changing colour. Thankfully we have headed off their desires for a stadium in Melbourne to host the A-league grand final. I mean, honestly, it’s a national competition – why would they assume the grand final would be held in Melbourne?

Thankfully, our contract with Kurtley Beale to keep him with the Wallabies has been a raging success and headed off the union threat. That and the Carney contract is much better value than what Hunt and Folau cost us. However, that still doesn’t fix our problem. These competitions have product in the marketplace and we have very little, despite the unmitigated success of the three week trade period.

(A man in a wheelchair rolls from out of the darkness) – I wouldn’t quite put it that way, Mr President.

Pinkney – My apologies, I have not introduced our special media strategy consultant. This is Dr Dangerlove. He comes from Germany by way of Moggs Creek.

Dr Dangerlove – My name was originally Gefahrliebe. Gentlemen…

Female cadet journalist – And ladies

Dangerlove – What is this, Ze Age? Gentlemen, I have a bold strategy we need to implement. We do have a product this summer. His name is Patrick Dangerfield.

Cadet – We’ve already been giving him a reasonable run haven’t we?

Dangerlove – That is just ze overture to ze opera. It is time to implement ze strategy of Melbourne Assured Dangerfield. For every story we have written about Dangerfield’s contract to date we must write two more. For every interview with a prominent player at a Melbourne club saying how he would like to play with Dangerfield we must write three more. I have been in contact with Foxtel and as of next week we will be launching ze Dangerfield channel – all Dangerfield speculation all ze time. Dangerfield news, Dangerfield sport, Dangerfield weather!

Pinkney – Incidentally we must decide who will present the weather.

Cadet – What about Tom Hawkins.

Pinkney – Can he read an autocue?

Cadet – No, I mean why don’t we do a few more stories on Tom Hawkins? He is out of contract at the end of the year. By all reports he is getting paid unders, too. Particularly if the Cats are making salary cap room for Dangerfield.

Dangerlove – But he is already at a Victorian club. Besides, he is from Geelong.

Cadet – No he isn’t, he’s from New South Wales. Surely the Giants are interested.

Dangerlove – I think you may be missing ze point of this exercise. Besides, who would want to leave Geelong? Not to worry, you’ll learn. Now where was I? That’s right Danger TV – did I mention ze 24 hour presence outside Dangerfield’s house?

Pinkney – Oh yes, Harry Thring, we need to talk about who will give you a break from that role on the weekends, so you can get to the Adelaide Oval.

Cadet – What about Macaffer?

Pinkney – He’ll be playing for Collingwood on the weekends, after the knee comes good.

Cadet – No, I mean he’s a free agent at the end of the season. Why don’t we run some stories on where he might go?

Pinkney – But he plays for Collingwood. Do you have any idea what Eddie would do to us if we start speculating about his players?

Dangerlove – Once again, I think, you miss ze point of this exercise. Patrick Dangerfield is our focus and ze focus he will remain.

Cadet – Wait a minute, are you telling me that we will pick out players from some clubs for speculation but not others according what influence the clubs have?

Dangerlove – Of course, how do you think we got Judd to Carlton.

Cadet – But we are journalists – shouldn’t our editorial policy require some level of competition-wide impartiality? Otherwise aren’t we just cheerleaders for the existing, big Victorian club power structures in the league?

Dangerlove – And, finally, you get ze point. Editorial policy just gets in the way of ze building of ze empire. Might is right.

Cadet – And what if Dangerfield stays with the Crows?

Dangerlove – He won’t. That is ze wunderbar thing about this – ze more we talk about it ze more likely it is to happen. We make and report ze news, a perfect circle. Failing that, Richard Douglas is from Melbourne…

(Wheelchair rolls back into the darkness)

About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Fantastic Dave the irony in sarcasm being spot on

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