Other examples of bringing the game into disrepute, sadly overlooked and ignored by the AFL

The AFL has, to no one’s surprise but James Hird, charged key Essendon people with bringing the game into disrepute.

It is a similar charge to that imposed upon Melbourne, where the events of tanking couldn’t be proved but the actions of being involved in them or considering them were seen as unsavoury.

However, I feel the AFL needs to go deeper into the entire concept of bringing the game into disrepute. Whilst clearly a highly subjective charge, there are numerous recent examples, shamefully ignored by the league.

In my humble opinion, these are incidents and events that have bought the game of AFL into disrepute, to have sullied the fine name of the game by their actions, and like Essendon, need to have their past actions reviewed, explained and, potentially, punished. If the AFL is at all serious about protecting their brand, encouraging people to stay interested in their product and ensure that the reputation of the sport is untarnished, then they owe it to supporters, stakeholders and sponsors to take a serious look at these cases of football notoriety, so far sadly and regretfully overlooked to the shame of the AFL.

If the AFL has any spine, courage and desire to protect the integrity of the sport they are charged with running, then a stand must be taken!

My brief list of those events that now need, Cold Case Style, to be investigated, for their impact on the game and its character, and for potentially bringing the game into disrepute, include:

Steven Kernaghan singing ‘Stand by your Man’ outside the pub in Parkville after the Blues GF win

Graeme Teasdale’s velvet suit from his Brownlow win

Hawthorn’s Kokoda jumper

Angry Anderson at the GF pre-game in the Batmobile

Richard Lounder and Richard Tambling’s draft selections by Richmond

Brian Wilson’s Brownlow

Danny Southern’s rat tail

All red carpet fashion specials before the Brownlow

The Etihad surface

Brian Taylor

About Sean Curtain

"He was born with a gift of laughter, and a sense that the world was mad". First line of 'Scaramouche' by Sabatini, always liked that.


  1. Meatloaf

  2. Dips

    That’s the sort of thinking we need!
    Embarassed I forgot that one, although probably blanked the image from my mind.


  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Pandora’s Box here Sean!

    September Shuffle by North Melbourne in 1985, featuring Andrew Demetriou.
    Jacko’s ‘I’m an Individual’ and Warwick Capper’s ‘I only take what’s mine’


    “I keep an open mind coz I’m thinkin’ all the time. Iam not an animal!”

  4. cowshedend says

    The Footy Show

  5. I love tradition in footy, and one thing I count on is howlingly bad pre-match entertainment on GF day. This is an established tradition, and I cannot stand idly by and see it threatened. While I regret the money spent on Meatloaf his performance was very poor and the production risible in every detail. Bang on. Likewise Angry Anderson, who possibly got the ball rolling in this regard. Bad GF entertainment is a pillar of the AFL and beyond the scope of judicial review.

  6. Luke Darcy

  7. Chris Weaver says

    Hawthorn’s Argyle sweater from the mid 90s

    Wayne Jackson’s reading of the Brownlow Medal votes

    Pete Lazer

  8. cowshedend says

    Courage Draught at Arden st
    The Urinal at the scoreboard end of Princes Park
    The Sepia screen at Waverley

  9. +1 Pete Lazer. Curse the MCC and their banning of air rifles.

  10. Curse you, Litza. You’ve already hijacked my thread with your conspiracy theories and lynch mob mentality.
    Leave Luke Darcy alone. He’s a top bloke.

  11. Outlawing the flick pass
    Not playing games in black and white anymore
    Full time football “analysts”
    Wagon Wheels used to be bigger

  12. I am a Mexican myostatin supplement* away from getting all Oliver Stone on this thing – http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.supplementsplanet.com.mx%2Fmhp-myo-x-300-grs-vainilla-oferta.html&h=OAQGAxiRK

    * used in the treatment of muscular-dystrophy

    From Baker & McKenzie article today – “Essendon club officials have been unable to tell ASADA or their players what drugs some of them were given when they were injected with a substance bought in Mexico by a Melbourne man suffering from muscular dystrophy.”

  13. mickey randall says

    The pre-season competition in all its forms, the growing use of terminology from other football codes such as striker and quarterback, and modern day players with beards, both ironic and otherwise.

  14. Geeze, you’re going back a bit Cowshedend – Courage draft at Arden Street!

    Mines the scene outside the men’s lavatories in the old Southern Stand during the Finals or big H&A matches in the days before $10 pots of mid-strength? When you could lug your car fridge to the ground. (Two to a car fridge – one each side of the handle carried sideways. And we used to drive home after it too. Or to the pub to analyse the game) Caught short and with the siren sounding the flow was ankle deep at the peak tide.

    Going for the jugular, I’d plug for the inner city elite concept of Docklands. With Glen Iris the geographic centre of Melbourne, Waverley could have been developed in the centre of the South East. Imagine the pulling power in that territory with the Hawks and the Saints relocated there!

    And the surface at The Dome.

  15. Ray

    Couldn’t agree more on the Wagon Wheels

    And why can’t I get any Tang!!!

    I’m calling NASA


  16. +1 for terminology
    “ball carrier”
    “into space”
    “zone defence”
    “prior opportunity”
    “second effort”
    anything Luke Darcy says – he might be a nice guy but he thinks he’s watching chess. This is 36 guys running about chasing a footy.

    Attempting to inject any strategy over and above get it and kick it that way and do it quickly and stop the other guy getting it is to flood yourself in self importance.

  17. Ray,
    As someone who remembers the flick pass from the 60’s I reckon you are right on the money. It would quickly and accurately move the ball on – escaping the floods and mauls that are the curse of modern football.
    It would be far better than the current umpiring that ignores all the blatant throws and shovels by players trying to move it on lest they be pinged for holding the ball.
    Lindsay Head in SA was a great exponent of the flick pass.
    I am with you on an Almanac inspired campaign to bring back the flick pass (seriously).

  18. What are you talking about! Danny Southern’s rat tail took footy to the red carpet steps of Carnegie Hall!

  19. Peter Flynn says

    Ian Collins.

    Where do you start?

  20. Further on Danny’s rat tail Sean, it did more good for the reputation of footy than anything in living memory. I mean only the AFL can lay claim to have had a player whose haircut could be used to summon a butler. Mate, that’s gotta be a new height in sophistication.

  21. Andrew Starkie says

    Irene Cara; Australian Idol; no Up There Cazaly; the ground announcers; loud advertisements

    ‘Going Forward’
    ‘Shot on goal’
    ‘Number 1 in the comp in implied pressure’
    ‘We’ll sit down over a coffee at the end of a season…’

    Polo shirt wearing assistant coaches


    I could be here all day

  22. Andrew Starkie says

    Tom Harley

  23. Andrew Starkie says

    Corruption; cheating; tanking

  24. Andrew Starkie says

    All foreign acts, especially Buble.

  25. John Butler says

    Geez Starkers, if you take all the corruption and cheating out of football history it’ll start to look like Joe Stalin’s archives – i.e. a completely rewritten fabrication.

    And much duller.

  26. cowshedend says

    Use of phrase ‘Anzac spirit’ when referring to x-box playing footballers chasing the leather around.
    ‘Game On’
    ‘they’ve come to play’

  27. Andrew Starkie says

    typical Carlton supporter. typical. bloody typical.!!!!!!!

    cows, spot on about Anzac spirit. Did Malthouse say his players had let the diggers down one year?

  28. I apologise to Luke Darcy, I was actually referring to Tom Harley.

    I have no real opinion on Luke Darcy but I am willing to accept he belongs to the club of annoying ex players who all refer to each other as “boys”.

    I yearn for Jim Cleary and Doug Bigelow.

  29. Andrew Fithall says

    Sunday twilight games involving my team. Other teams are fine because I don’t mind watching them on the TV. But they are not allowed to involve my team.

  30. John Butler says

    Thought you’d like that Starkers. :)

    I’m with Litza on this. The whole Jabbers saga is going to end up better than Breaking Bad. I wonder what Hirdy looks like in his underpants?

  31. John Butler says

    PS: Ray, Luke should be apologising to us.

  32. Swisse multi vitamins.
    The clash guernsey
    miked up umpires
    miked up coaches
    miked up anyone!
    The serial killer’s daughter.

  33. Goal review system
    Disallowing patrons onto the ground after the game
    Mid strength beer … in plastic cups
    Improved drainage systems and playing surfaces (I want muddy centre squares and goal squares)

  34. mickey randall says

    Brian Taylor
    Tim Lane not calling on TV
    Brian Taylor

  35. Nice one Rick. Homogenised playing surfaces have a lot to answer for in churning out the current crop of same-as players.

    When did a ball up become a “bounce down”?
    When did a batsman become a “batter”?
    When did a throw in become a “Stoppage”
    When did everyone in the centre square become a “midfielder”
    What happened to a winger? A ruck rover? A utility?’
    Since when did someone kick a ball a long way because they made “good contact”
    What the hell is the “outside of the boot?”
    Why the hell do coaches need whiteboards? There’s only 18 players.
    STOP PUTTING THE CAMERA IN THE COACHES BOX! We know they are happy to get a goal and unhappy when the opposition does.
    What does “undisciplined” mean?
    When does a player have “good vision”?
    When did kicks and handballs become possessions and disposals?
    What is a “hard ball get”? Is the ball ever flat?
    Why are goal umpires suddenly so young and ripped? The goal posts are the same distance apart they have always been.

  36. Ripsnorter says

    National Anthems
    Gaelic / AFL Games
    Vlad’s KPI’s
    Gerard’s Narrative
    Commentators who are Presidents or Players managers
    Nic Nat being an All Australian
    Adam Heuskes’ haircuts

  37. Harry Beitzel’s hair transplant
    Lynden Dunn’s mo
    Leigh Colbert’s non mark in ’97 – worst umpiring decision ever
    Freezing, permanently wet bench seats on the members side at Waverley Park
    Rotten little insects (non-human variety) that inhabited said seats
    The fat side
    Foo’ball Park

  38. The Saturday night football commentary team, featuring Brian Taylor, Luke Darcy, and Matthew Richardson.
    This group of navel-gazing, back-slapping, in-joke swapping imbeciles has brought more shame and disrepute on the game of Australian Rules Football than any other person, place, animal or thing.
    May a pestilence descend upon them.

  39. Smokie, I would rather a pestilence ascend up into them.

    If I hear one more gelled up bogan ex-athlete with a microphone preface a sentence with the word “boys..” I’m sending in Doug Heywood.

  40. Steve Fahey says

    Great thread !! I would add :

    oversized inflated paul kelly and wayne carey dolls in 1996 GF pre-match (would have looked more at home outside of Godfrey’s)

    Peter Carey marking the ball

    the Bluebirds and Swanettes (way too NRL even then)

    Your team playing Carlton when Wallsy and Tim Lane were part of the same commentary line-up when Channel 10 had the rights

  41. I had forgotten about Robert Walls.

    If I say something slowly with enough emphasis it will appear profound.

    “If-Richmond-want-to-win-this-game they-will-have-to-outscore-the-opposition.”

    “He-needs-to-kick-this-long-and-straight if-he-wants-to-score-a-goal.”

  42. This is actually a version of Godwin’s Law.

    In any online discussion about what’s wrong with football , someone will inevitably bring up Robert Walls.

  43. Changing Goal Umpire uniform from pseudo science lab guy with hat that doesn’t quite suit lab coat look to “it’s colour telly so, you know, put everyone in colourful uniforms, that’ll work” uniform.

  44. daniel flesch says

    You “boys” are spot – on and really funny. One unfunny instance though is Sean’s citing of Hawthorn’s Kokoda jumper. It’s an insult to the young men who fought and died there. Apart from the fact camouflage gear is a fairly recent invention , the Australian 53rd. Batallion was sent in wearing light khaki uniforms which stood out in the jungle terrain making them easy targets. The mistake was realised and a darker green uniform provided – too late for a lot of them. The whole Kokoda association with football is pretty bad taste , though Hawthorn does provide $$$ for schools in the area , while patting themselves on the back for so doing. .As for bringing football into disrepute – no mention yet of Eddie Maguire ?!

  45. Commentators saying “unselfish play”. Why would you play selfishly?

  46. Iced Vo Vos are also a lot smaller

  47. David Zampatti says

    Steven McBurney

    I refuse to spell his name correctly. Either of them.

  48. Gareth Andrews says

    Sean losing hundreds of Australian man hours just at the time the economy is going south anyway. We cant afford to take our eyes off our economic balls–or something like that. Get back to work all of you

  49. Sean Gorman says

    Capper’s dress sense. Easy GA all work and no play…….

  50. Sean Gorman says

    The Selwood cartel

  51. BOTH McLachlans.

    And it’s neck and neck.

  52. Agree about the Kokoda and clash jumpers. Add in Brisbane’s current jumper, too. Why is Barry Gibb on the front of it.

    In fact ANY guernsey that can’t be drawn by your average 7-year-old deserves to be on this list.

  53. Grant Thomas, Mark Kellett, Micky Conlan and Trevor Barker for this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0swpBx65bxg

  54. Fixturing and the long forgotten notion of an even draw for all.

    Inequitable Salary-cap “living allowances.”

  55. Neil Belford says

    Gigs wins. I laughed out loud.

    And Darth Vader.

  56. Would love to hear all these examples used together in a giant set like in Pete Wylie’s ‘Imperfect List’
    Listen to his original here-
    to see what I mean
    Just needs a suitable vocal…

  57. Andrew Starkie says

    The Gibbs brothers are from Brisbane, aren’t they?


    4.40pm Sunday at the Dungeon.

    half-time player interviews.

  58. Eddie for starting that “first goal in footy” call.

    Last Friday Denis said someone had kicked his “first goal in footy” and later Bruce said someone had his ‘first kick in footy.” Getting all the way to the AFL without ever kicking a goal is one thing but imagine making your AFL debut without having had a kick.

  59. David Zampatti says

    Thanks Sean, I forgot the Selwoods.

    The Selwoods

  60. Laurie Holden says

    The bye
    Bruce McAvaney slowly turning into Julian Clary on match day
    Grand Final Day ticketing
    Leaving Ron Mckeon out of the 1990 Premiership team
    Cub reporters outside Hird family home

  61. commentators who use false emotion and don’t know what words mean

    eg yelling “THAT’S POETRY!” or “THAT’S A WORK OF ART!” after someone kicks a simple set shot from 25m out

    that’s another thing – stop yelling at us

  62. Dave Nadel says

    Wayne Harms not being called out of bounds when he was in 1979.

    George Harris and John Elliot

    “Away” Jumpers. All away jumpers even the ones that look good. Why would you want to play in anything other than the classic Collingwood, Essendon, Richmond and Geelong jumpers, all of which look good and all of which are steeped in tradition?

    The whole concept of Waverley brought the game into disrepute. A neutral ground is a fine idea, but not one built in the wettest part of Melbourne, on the edge of town that was virtually unserviced by public transport.

    Putting a car park underneath Docklands Stadium. Docklands is exactly the right place to put a major stadium but by putting a car park underneath the actual oval the designers assured that there would always be problems with the surface.

  63. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    Gigs! Where did you pull that out from? Here’s one you may remember. 1988: ‘We Love, We Live Football’. A cacophony of disrepute here:

  64. The mythical Shinboner Spirit……phewk.

  65. That NAB ad would be much better with all 3 Selwoods in the back seat. Troy can drive the taxi.

  66. You’ve hit a nerve here Sean, eh?

    And Geeze, it’s hard to get a word in.

    Bruce McEveney annoys the crap out of me, even more than Rex Hunt used to. How I miss Ron Casey & Clinton Grybas.

    Clash strips. The expansion club strips. No effort has been made to design a traditional Footy Jumper. Even Freo would look better with a solid V rather than those chevrons they run with. Ditto Port Adelaide.

    Ch7’s prematch, especially on Saturday night. Inane doesn’t do it justice. Smaltzy often does. Sometimes you wonder why they haven’t applied the Vaseline to the rim of the lens.

    Mick Malthouse- on Carlton – on The Game – on speed. Mick, you’ve got grandkids who need you more than we do. go in good grace. But go soon.

    Sunday twilight games. Doesn’t the AFL know tomorrow’s a school day?

    Blatantly poor umpiring, the video review, and above all those petty 50m penalties for holy zone infringements. It’s going to ciast someone a Grand Final one day.

    Greedy, arrogant, egotistical officialdom from Harrison House that does nothing for The Game or the Long Suffering Footy Fan & their families, and everything for the big end of town.

    Constant tinkering with the Rules of The Game for the sake of justifying the Rules Committee.

    BTW, loved the clips. Should be more of them Cookie.

  67. Thanks Wrapster, we appreciate you putting your hand up and waiting your turn in this back and forth and vibrant debate and discussion.

    Yes, nerve may have been hit, good stuff though.

    If I had to pick one thing, the 50 mt penalty for being in the ‘protected’zone is the worst. The bumping into the legs one is nearly as bad but I am prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt as it came in as player protection.

    I used to really like Bruce, but then again, I used to believe in Santa, but we all grow up and move on don’t we


  68. Neil Belford says

    Dave – traditional jumpers you know about you mean? The Fremantle Football Club won the 1885 flag in a white jumper like the current clash jumper but with red chevrons instead of purple ones.

  69. David King
    Doc Wheildon’s haircut
    Whoever brought in that rule about bringing the game into disrepute
    Brisbane Lions board

  70. Dave Nadel says

    Yeah OK, Neil, I agree that traditional jumpers makes more sense for the former VFL clubs (inc. Sydney and Brisbane) than it does for the clubs in the West, Is the current Fremantle team the rebirth of the 19th Century team, the offspring of South and East Fremantle or a new team, born in the 1990s whose first jumper (with four colours) is best forgotten? West Coast Eagles’ home jumper has improved considerably since the 1987 design. I wouldbe inclined to regard their current home jumper as their “traditional” jumper. Ditto, Fremantle and Port Adelaide.

  71. ONE of the supposed virtues of a site such as the Knackery is that it has brought citizens (of both genders) into a situation where they consider they’ve accumulated ‘all knowledge of how the media works’.
    From a ‘knowledge’ of the printed word and its subtleties it’s now transmogrified into a David Astle-type knowledge of how things play out in the electronic media.
    Perhaps some of the first-time, nay second-time, Knacker writers are now going to morph into accomplished commentators behind a microphone.
    In real time, mind you. Not with a half-a-day or even a full 24 hours to ponder on what could have/should have been said whilst on-air.
    So to you, Ray, and other nit-pickers may I say when I sally forth tomorrow to call my assigned Bendigo F.L. match I’m still going to use the ‘outside of the boot’ phrase when I spot a bloke having a shot for goal from an acute-ish angle.
    When I consider using, on radio: “He’s taking his kick using the boot leather situated just above his fourth and fifth toes thus implementing the finer grain of such leather to impart a bit of a 90 degree spin,” I think I’ll pass.
    I’m gonna go for “the outside of the boot” thanks Ray — and you can join me for next Saturday’s call !!
    Unless you’ve actually called a game it’s just (as I pointed out to Stainless Steele on this very website earlier in ’13) all very dilettantish — but exquisitely funny in print !!

  72. bob speechley says


    It determines who wants to be there and sniff around for a share of it either directly or indirectly. The current saga involving Essendon underscores this profoundly. A club that recently asked rank-and-file members to contribute to a new training facility is illustratI’ve of their priorities. The AFL is clearly bound in revenue issues in making decisions on the ASADA matter.

  73. Neil Belford says

    Actually on the topic of West Coast home jumpers.
    West Coast jumpers.
    How many do they have, they seem to play in an endless number of different combinations, mid blue with yellow wings, yellow with mid blue wings, white, Navy blue, a splash of orange, always managing to get white into that mix whenever they play Sydney, and no points for guessing which blue they are wearing whenever they play Carlton. I haven’t been paying attention this year but last year I counted 5 different jumpers.
    I think the Giants jumper rocks. Kew Colts play in it, it looks fantastic.

  74. Ray and others

    Re: Terminology and commentators.

    Forwards don’t get away from backmen, they get good separation (mentioned repeatedly in yesterday’s Sydney Saints game).

    If you kick the ball a long way, you got good purchase on it.

    Spare me


  75. To continue terminology that brings the game into disrepute may I add the following?

    When a commentator starts a point be saying, “I don’t care what anybody reckons” and then states the bleeding obvious or something that is already universally agreed to or understood.

  76. Hassa Allen says

    Perth not winning a WANFL/WAFL premiership since 1977 and losing the 1978 grand final by 2 points to the “filth” East Perth.

    East Perth.

    But my number 1. The extended and unlimited interchange bench. Has taken the unique character from Aussie Rules. Has caused focus on athletes not footballers and very lazy coaches who want to extend it further…

    injured backmen no longer hobbling around the goals and jagging a match winning goal in the final minutes.

    Australian Rules history being based around Victoria and the VFL.

    As Les Everett said years ago… people (especially youth) play Australian Rules football not AFL.

    AFL as guardians of the game.

    Cricket commentators during matches at the WACA calling the sea breeze the “freo doctor”.

    Parochial Sandgropers.

  77. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Tattoos ALL over Players
    Finals at Kardinia Park what happened to the most number of Bums on Seats Possible ?
    Andy D
    Rowan Sawyers Jeff Gieschen Umpiring
    Kevin Bartlett

  78. Inarticulate idiots ringing talkback to bleat about the umpiring or the coach or ‘they’re turning it into netball’ every week so you recognise the names

    ‘Unleash the Geish’ (at the time I thought it was the latest Year 9 slang term for masturbation and I still don’t think I was that far wrong)

    Paul Keating’s 15 minutes as a Collingwood supporter

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