Round 17: Heath Shaw Memorial Blog

Well, well, well. What can you say!

Interesting that they allow Mr Shaw back for finals. Not quite all-guns-blazing from the AFL? Or overkill?

And what of the Captain’s position?

So, while the headlines roar, we begin the football in Adelaide, previous burial ground of Bomber hopes (can we still call them Bombers without clarification?).

Tomorrow, in case you hadn’t heard, Collingwood play Carlton (pending no further revelations?).

If Richmond can’t win in Cairns, they may want to consider catching a bus to Darwin this time. At least its warm.

The Saints may have a Custer’s Last Stand attitude against the rampant Eagles.

Melbourne can’t afford to lose against Port.

Sydney v Freo is vital for both clubs.

Geelong will be looking for a pleasant end to their northern break.

And finally, the Bulldogs will be keen to continue their resurgence while North need to restore honour.

What do we think of the gambling situation in light of this afternoon’s developments?

Fire away!


  1. John Butler says

    I think the course of action is obvious.

    Carlton must claim the forfeit. :)

  2. Peter Flynn says

    There’s no such thing as a Shaw thing.

  3. Jared Newton says

    I love the Carlton claiming the forfeit idea. Can I add Nick Maxwell be banned from media commitments. I do not want to see his Friday night ‘insights’ with Tom harley ever again.

    On the Shaw suspension. I reckon he’s extremely lucky to get 8 weeks, very lucky, because if the AFL made it 12 and ensured he didn’t get back for a Grand Final that would be considered fair as well.

  4. Should’ve suspended him for the rest of the year.

    If it was anyone else apart from Collingwood players, they would be beginning their pre-season training now.

  5. John Sandy says

    Hi Flynny,

    is this football’s version of naive and stupid?

  6. Dave Nadel says

    Yes of course Carlton should claim a forfeit. One player gambling illegally (without the knowledge of his club) is a much more serious offense than a Salary Cap rorting system which went for several years and involved club officials from the president down. How many games did Carlton forfeit?

    Of course Shaw should be punished, and he has been, appropriately. But it should be noted that “first goal bets,” do not involve tampering with results, throwing games etc. Shaw is a brilliant, courageous player…and a goose, but we knew that already.

  7. @Josh

    “If it was anyone else apart from Collingwood players”.

    I reckon the exception to the rule would be C Judd. The AFL would have asked him what odds he got and then reprimanded him if they were not long enough.

    Juddy certainly seems to be the exception to every other rule.

  8. Peter Flynn says

    JK Sandy,

    Champion call.


  9. John Butler says


    Given the penalties Carlton copped, we effectively forfeited plenty of games.

    As we should have.

    Not that it’s really pertinent to this issue.

    And by the way, when it comes to the VFL/AFL and cheating, no club is pure (except possibly University). They’ve all had a crack at some stage in their history in various ways.

    So none of this Collingwood purity nonsense please.

  10. As Whitlam said, “only the impotent are pure”

    All that aside, the reason I’m a little late to the debate is because I’ve spent the last three hours dancing in my office.

  11. forwardpocket says

    2 out of 3 year years this idiot’s behaviour has derailed his club’s premiership tilt. Makes it worse that on the field you couldn’t find a more exemplary team man but his stupidity off it continues to put at risk everything his teammates have worked for and his fans have dreamed of. This is a kick in the guts.

  12. C’mon you blokes. 8 weeks for a $10 bet is plenty, and youse know it!

    Now if he’d had a multi, well that’s a whole different story.

    Distinctly Annoyed, from Thornbury.

  13. forwardpocket says

    if only he’d done this to his mate at the TAB instead.

    Ironic that the TAB is giving a punter the chance to sit in the Collingwood box during tomorrow’s match. Hope he or she doesn’t lay any bets!

  14. Phil Dimitriadis says

    I’m so fortunate that I have the AFL to guide me in morality. Damn, where would the game be without the sponsorship of various betting agencies?

    Heath Shaw’s error was infantile, but DON’T feed me rhetoric about integrity when a bloke gets only 4 weeks for being a racist pig and when you plaster your billboards with logos from Betfair!

    It appears integrity is very selective in AFL circles. Despise the hypocrisy :(

  15. Richard Naco says

    I guess Sydney’s going to score another Magpie with a reputation in ruins next season. But you’d have thought that the mug should have learnt something from his previous stuff up.

    And the captain’s position is obvious: resign the captaincy or sacrifice what remains of your club’s credibility.

    The whole tawdry affair is proof that you can be the best team in the league and still not be champions, no matter what pieces of gilded tin you acquire.

  16. Pamela Sherpa says

    Why was Maxwell started forward anyway? Seems rather odd.

  17. Steve Fahey says

    Can I just note the irony that the Pies and Blues tomorrow battle for the Richard Pratt Cup ?

    “Billionaire Richard Pratt and his Visy group of companies have been fined a record $36 million for colluding in a price fixing deal with their arch rival in Australia’s cardboard industry.” (see

    I’ll leave others to pontificate about the relativity of offences.

    I will note however that I expect the AFL to provide full details of its investigation into ALL first goal bets, as I’ll be stunned if there aren’t another 20 plus cases of players telling others where they are playing or, especially, that so and so will be the sub or start on interchange. Might be a few others twitching I reckon, if the AFL are thorough in their investigations.

    Pamela, Maxwell started forward because (1) it was his first game for several weeks after injury and (2) Leigh Brown was out injured for that game.

  18. “The whole tawdry affair”?

    A bit of insider trading and $10 on a failed wager. And the skipper telling his family what position he was playing. Stupid? Yep. Tawdry? Maybe you need to get out more.

    Time for a punt.

  19. Dave Nadel says

    I take your point JB. My point is that Shaw’s misbehaviour was his individual act, not the club’s.

    Shaw’s punishment is fair because gambling by insiders threatens the integrity of the game. Maxwell’s “crime” was to disclose a team change to his family… his fine is unfair and Richard Naco’s comments on Maxwell’s position are unbelievably stupid.

    However the AFL’s position is untenable. If Shaw’s behaviour is unacceptable (and I agree that it was) then the AFL’s reliance on gambling money is equally unacceptable.

  20. John Butler says

    Steve F,

    You may well be right about other players spilling information.

    Which highlights the dilemma. How can you tell ‘innocent’ information from something with a more sinister intent? It becomes an exercise in who’s word you believe. Unless, like Shaw, you get yourself filmed in the act (duh!)

    And Phil D is right. But it isn’t just the AFL who display selective morality. Take a look at parliaments and churches for a start. And the aforementioned corporates. We are imperfect beasts.

    What the AFL does in these circumstances is cover their arse like everyone else.

  21. David Downer says

    Still breathing sigh of relief St Kilda player not embroiled in this. It had been a couple of months, we were almost due again.

    To steal a line from a Racetrack Ralphy tweet ..does this now make Heath eligible to win TAB Sportsbet’s “a day in the box with Mick Malthouse” comp?

  22. Clearsighted says

    A $10 or 10 cent bet – the amount is irrelevant. Insider information, conflict of interest – the thin edge of the wedge in the world of footy betting.

  23. John Sandy says

    To Phil,
    how true you are!

    the AFL are very hyprocritical in that they get so much money out of the whole betting industry and they are more than happy to openly promote betting through if your face advertising all over the scoreboard and on tv networks.

  24. John Butler says

    Just to change the subject…

    How far in front do the Crows have to be to put a game away?

  25. johnharms says

    I’ll leave the morality of the situation, and concentrate on the practicality. In horse-racing there are those who are unable, by the rules, to have a bet. If they do, they risk heavy suspension. That doesn’t preclude punters from having a bet. It’s what it’s all about, and has been since they threw a saddle on a horse. Same in footy. Why would Heath Shaw do it? Why risk his livelihood? Why risk the club’s success?

    What I don’t like is that gambling on footy is having an impact. Why should it be that gambling dictates that players can’t come home and say, “Five of our blokes have got the flu” for fear of reprisal.

    I would say that they should be able to talk about those things, just not bet on footy. I reckon the betting agencies would agree. They certainly would like to be in the know – and I suspect they often are. They would be getting thier info from club sources – as has been the case for years. How often do you see a side drift in the betting, only to hear a day later that Joe Blogs won’t play because of an injury.

    And is it a a crime to keep inside info to yourself, or is it a crime to not keep it to yourself?

    I have always thought in punting it’s caveat emptor anyway

    I must say, though, I don’t mind the idea that there is an army of non-Collingwood TAB operators waiting to pounce.

  26. Danielle says

    This is so stupid. Heath should have got a fine and 3 weeks max as punishment. I think this is fair bc the afl system is bodged. A player who openly acts racist gets 4 weeks, players found taking illegal drugs have that 3 strikes rule, yet a player who wrongly and technically physically, puts a $10 bet on a game which involves his team gets the longest punishment!!!!???????? Absolute bullsh*t!!!

  27. Danielle says

    That should say * technically not physically* as he wasnt the one to play and purchase the ticket.

  28. Danielle says

    Oh and i know what would make heath secure as a goodboy for future. The difference b/w heath and didak since the car incident- didak has settled down thanks to his partner jacinta who keeps him out of trouble, and its known fact that heath shaw is single- and in saying so i volunteer myself to the services of the collingwood football club…. Im taking one for the team!

  29. smokie88 says

    Gambling on football is for mugs.

    And, anyway, a person earning that much money would have
    to be a fool to put a measly $10 on a good thing like that……….

  30. Peter Flynn says

    Heath Shaw has asked to rehab in Nevada rather than in Arizona.

  31. Richard Naco says

    Peter: you did mean to say that he’d rehab in Utah, didn’t you?

  32. Richard Naco says

    And my “unbelievably stupid” comments are derived from a personal belief that a couple of $10 bets wouldn’t be described as a “betting plunge”.

    Not even by the Murdoch media.

    I think we’re seeing the duck floating on the surface of the water, while the real kicking and action is occuring under it, far away from our sight. I would not be surprised if there is far more to this than has been presented to the public.

  33. johnharms says

    I have spent my punting life wishing I were in the know.

    Remember in the old ABC days when Smooth Booth deemed to have access to the bookies in Vanuatu. He’d know team changes before the sheets appeared at the door at half past one. All of those sports bookies had their moles in clubs. They needed them, and to pay them, else they’d have been offering over the odds, and would have gone broke.

  34. Peter Flynn says

    There are 2 camps:

    Those with the smart money and then there is the rest of us.

  35. johnharms says

    I spent 6 months writing abuot it – in Memoirs of a Mug Punter. (copies available – to help get me back to about even).

    I reckon I have been in the know about three times in my life.

    One in a small country Qld distance maiden – 2100m. When at the 1000metres we were 10 lenghts clear and bolting, and the jockey was doing his utmost to win by a respectable margin (less then 25 leangths I suspect) I knew I had invested PJF’s smart money.

    Once, with one of ours, we aited and waited until all was ready. Scratched him a fe times. Got him cherry ripe. This was a leagl and legitimate in the know. We just had the best horse in the race. One that could run the last 600 in 34 if need be. So he is finally set to make his debut at Swan Hill (or was it Mildura). D I Dodson is conservative as a trainer. He doesn’t declare. And he wouldn’t declare this one. However he did say, “If you can get even money it will be over the odds”. We got 8/1.

    In recent punting news “Here comes Y E Yang”.

  36. P.Flynn

    The Nevada rehab is a stroke of brilliance…

  37. Peter Flynn says

    G’day C Little,

    The Nevada plan is a moral.


    YE Yang’s shot on 18 using a micron of backswing was sublime. Gives an indication of wrist strength.

    Jimenez also gave an insight into wrist strength with his pre-round exercises.

  38. Joseph Walker says

    I don’t know if you’ve heard, but Collingwood defender Simon Buckley has been suspended for three weeks for scraping a key down his ex-girlfriends car.
    He will undergo counselling and have to pay $5000 in damage cost.

    Gee, the Magpies can sure pull some stupid acts.

  39. A couple of thoughts about the Heath Shaw/gambling imbroglio. The penalty is not about what Shaw/Maxwell were ‘proven’ to have done which was insignificant. It was about the ‘slippery slope’ and the opportunity for gambling to corrupt a game we love in far more significant ways. Here’s a few scenarios. A player has been having a bad run on the races, or his ex is in to him for the divorce settlement. He is the team’s major marking forward, and they are playing a bottom side. The line betting is at +/- 40 points. He kicks 0.7 and his team wins by 34 points. His bikie mate had $50K on the opposition at the line margin. Everybody’s happy. The ex, the player, the bikies who took 20% for staking the $50K for a day, and the coach who got 4 points and said “we have to work on our disposal during the week – bad kicking is bad footy – and we won’t get away with it against the top sides.” The losers – the booky who took the $50K bet (but he balanced his book anyway with the %’s he deducted in the odds on offer); the bloke who had the rent on his team as ‘good things to murder them’ and the player who can go back to the punt and the new girlfriend in the sure knowledge that he has found a new ‘get out of jail free’ card.
    Another scenario would be late season games where teams are either assured of their place in the finals (hello Magpies) or between teams where neither can make the finals. Players who decide to have a ‘quiet day’ can do so in the moral comfort that there will be no ‘innocent victims’. I am sure that bookies reduce their odds and preparedness to take big bets on these sort of games, because they know they are susceptible to this sort of manipulation.
    We can ‘caveat emptor’ about predictable risks like injuries or teams with something to gain from higher draft picks. But not for unpredictable risks like a player ‘running dead’ for the day. Hello Jack Broadstock – my Dad always blamed him for West Torrens losing a final in the early 50’s for this reason. A highly skilled player kicking out of bounds repeatedly from easy shots.
    My conclusion is that the Shaw penalty was appropriately severe (as a Collingwood hater I would have loved to give him the season, but I am trying to be objective about a serious issue) as a warning shot to players to keep the ‘slippery slope at arms length’. But I would have given Maxwell a similar penalty. You can prove that a family member had a bet, but how do you know when a bet came from a commission agent with a kickback to the player? Food for thought.

  40. Dave Nadel says

    Richard. If you have evidence that there was more involved in Maxwell’s misdemeaner than telling his family that he would be playing on the forward line and their taking advantage of the information without telling him then please come forward. Otherwise it was a minor offense of negligence not corruption and to say that he should resign the captaincy is incredibly stupid!!

    I’m off to the footy.

  41. Clearsighted says

    Richard Naco and Peter B: you have both hit the nail on the head.
    Add to this, Eddie has gone into super salesman overdrive, to convince the populace (along with ex-rockstar promoter, Adrian Anderson) that respectively, “… the AFL have been fantastic…”, “…Collingwood have been fantastic…”.
    Well, isn’t it fantastic that two players who had inside information on the position selection of their team, informed their families of this and then had their families place bets based on this knowledge?
    The possible machinations resulting from this scenario are clearly pronounced in both Richard Narco’s “…the duck floating on the surface of the water, while the real kicking and action is happening under it…”, and Peter B’s insight into betting and the subversive paths it could take in the depths below the surface.
    This issue is not about the right to place a bet, but about the right of those who do, to do so in a level playing field.
    If you believe Eddie’s and Adrian’s spin, then you are indeed mug punters.

  42. Shaw things rolled. Eagles beat themselves. Hrumph. Almanac piece shelved. Natanui/Cox 9. Team effort 8. Clearances 3. Skills 2. Reality bites. Have played above ourselves for 8 weeks. Below ourselves tonight. 2 elite midfielders off being top side. Shuey in 12 months + ???
    Think PK called it ‘the recession we had to have’. But bloody Saints – why them. If they played like 1st quarter all the time I could respect them, but they give ‘winning ugly’ a bad name. Lindsay Thomas could give Riewoldt confidence lessons. Goddard is such a beautiful footballer, but Saints style assigns him to cleaning latrines with his tongue. Such a waste. If you had one bullet in the chamber and Milne and Tony Abbott in front of you???
    Bad mood. Cheer up – Natanui’s improvement rate astonishing. Learned round ground marking in a week. Rare occasion when I wish I had Foxtel for Sandwich teases, triumphs and tortures. AE may go to bed soon so the labrador and I can barrack for Cadel.
    Normal service resumed shortly

  43. Dave Nadel says

    Clearsighted, AFL fans and Collingwood haters love a conspiracy but you have no evidence of one here. Maxwell says he had no idea that his family were going to place bets or that they had in fact placed the bets until informed by the AFL. Unlike Heath Shaw or certain St Kilda players Maxwell has never been caught lying and everything he has ever done that is publically known suggests that he is a man of good character. If he says that he knew nothing of the bet then I believe him and unless you have evidence to the contrary, you should also.

    Maxwell should not have received the same penalty as Shaw!

  44. Dave – the point is deterrence. Treasurer’s sister in law/mother/brother short sells BHP shares the week before he announces the Resource Rent Tax?? Apparently he talks in his sleep and his wife was telling her sister how worried she was. Innocent mistake??? There’d be a bloody riot.
    An ‘associate’/friend/relative buys your company’s shares the week before the Chinese make a takeover bid for your company?? Apparently he ‘accidentally’ left some papers on the kitchen table and his wife told her sister whose brother….?? ASIC would be very interested.
    Sport and gambling – “Man who dines with the devil should use a very long spoon.”
    Maxwell’s sin may be naivety, but without meaningful sanctions we invite something far worse down the track.
    Signed, Saint Suffering Sledger with bad case of Magpie Midfield Envy

  45. I’ve been in S.A for a week so Victorian football has completely disappeared off my radar. I’d forgotten how pathetic South Australian news is. I can however tell you all about Chad Cornes’ latest haircut.

    Anyway, Shaw should have got a year, not 8 weeks (which mysteriously brings him back for the first week of the finals). He bet on a game in which he had a direct influence – absolute no no. Can’t beleive he did it. And his excuse was bordering on contempt. What a moron. Don’t care if the bet was $10 or $10 million, rub him out. Otherwise we’ll have Pakistan cricket type punting going on every week with deals being done in shady Motel rooms where the little soap parcels are wrpped in paper and the cornflakes packets look like they’ve been put through the washing machine using hot water instead of cold.

    Maybe its time to invest in inner city seedy Motels??

  46. John Mosig says

    In the words of the Immortal Yabby Jeans when faced with the Bruns-Matthews incident on World of Sport – “Let’s not be too self righteous about this”.

    Look, this wasn’t match fixing and, although in the eyes of some zealots it was a crime, it was hardly organized. Hasn’t the AFL gone over the top on this one? A spur of the moment $10 bet for krist sakes – out of the entertainment budget of a $400K a year footballer. He’s hardly doing it for gain. Four weeks would have been plenty. Make the punishment fit the crime. Nick Maxwell’s did.

    And who’s to say that rubbing Shaw out of the Collingwood backline isn’t tampering with the Premiership Favourites anyway? Angry Adrian should spend some time in front of the mirror.

  47. Wrapster – there’s a thing called the thin edge of the wedge. Allow these “little” misdemeanors to slide at your peril. Nip it in the bud otherwise it blossoms into corruption. Refer to cricket, baseball, horse racing, gridiron, soccer – all full of coruption issues. How would you feel if the Tigers lost the 2013 flag (this is just a fantasy) because a Richmond player decided to win a bet rather than kick a goal? He gets paid whatever happens.

  48. Wonderfully balanced, unbiased contribution, Dips.

    Presume your calculation of a year is based on scientific analysis – and that you are happy measuring that against the recent penalties to Sherman and, perhaps more significantly, Ottens. Perhaps Shaw should have taken an early plea and cut his suspension by two thirds. When do you think he should have been “mysteriously” returned?

    Still grumpy (but less so after another win over the arch enemy), from Thornbury.

  49. Dave Nadel says

    PeterB, I get it about deterrence, I really do. That is why I am not quibbling about Heath Shaw’s penalty. But at the risk of repeating myself, Maxwell said that he had no knowledge of his family’s bet and I believe him. To refer to your examples, there is frankly more evidence available about Maxwell’s good character than there is for the last three long serving treasurers (Keating, Costello, Swan).

    You are right that the electors and the ASIC would be concerned about the examples you have given but actually the Treasurer and the company director in your examples would not have been convicted in a court of law because you have to prove intent. And that is also why a fine for Maxwell’s naivety might be appropriate but a similar penalty to Shaw is not. There was intent in Shaw’s foolishness, you cannot prove intent in Maxwell’s caes and he denies it.

  50. Mocca – not sure what other penalties about racial abuse et al have to do with this. This was betting on a game; a game he had direct influence over. There is no escaping that. Shaw should have mysteriously returned next year – about round 16. Its not as if he was unaware of the rule. And his paper thin excuse (I won’t call it an explanation) was contemptuous of the rule. He deserved an extra few weeks for being a smart arse.

    Lets take the coloured glassesoff here. How ordinary did the whole cricket betting scandal look? Footy is on the same slippery slope if these things aren’t canned quickly.

  51. Clearsighted says

    Appearances would suggest that a deal was done between Collingwood and the AFL for the benefit of both parties. It smells bad. And yes, I could stand accused of being a conspiracy theorist, but the world is full of people who conspire to do the unethical thing (of course they never “mean to”).
    John Mosig, re. Yabby Jeans’ quote on the Bruns/Matthews incident, “Let’s not be too self righteous about this” – tell that to the bloke with the fractured jaw ( Matthews had a not particularly courageous pattern of hitting smaller blokes who were following the ball and who didn’t see him coming).
    Both cases, reflect the thin edge of the wedge. Would anyone accept either of these practices in the workplace?
    Again, as Peter B stated clearly, this issue is about deterrence. And that deterrence will always be required, given the abundant foibles of human nature.

  52. Is The Golden Greek an accessory after the fact. He is the one who has overseen the current addiction of the AFL on gambling in footy.

  53. Not nearly as bad as hooning around with a bogan doing drive by shootings. What’s all the fuss about?

    JB, there was an article relating to the ten most servere suspensions in a local Tassy paper yesterday. Yet Carlton had the top two and about five all together.

    The two big ones were 99 games for bribery.

  54. John Butler says

    You are correct Phantom.

    Wrote about it here.

    Around 100 years ago the VFL was acutely conscious about on-field violence.

    Carlton regularly fell foul of them during this period and seemed to do particularly badly at the tribunal.

    Gambling’s influence on the game was a massive issue back then also.

  55. Perhaps the new Nivea “Black and White” deodorant launched down at the Collingwood facility on Wednesday last week has taken a little bit of time to work.

    Everything will smell rosey under the arms in a week or two. Just wait and see.

    Of course now the next person will get life, unless it is a Pie repeat offender.

    Did Shaw have to appeal to get a reduced sentence or is that just standard pie privilege these days to save every one concerned the effort?

  56. Stainless says

    Given my recent post on this subject, my views will be well known to readers (and no, I didn’t have any insider knowledge that the story was about to break).

    I think the AFL has been incredibly fortunate to get this wake-up call that looks to have been an innocent (though boneheaded) transgression. It should have used the opportunity to set some clear and unambiguous penalties that will consistently apply to any such breaches that underline that it is serious about dealing with the issue.

    In minor cases like this, I suggest a year’s suspension for the individual with an automatice life suspension for any subsequent offence, no matter how trivial. For the club, the automatic loss of four premiership points for any game(s) on which the offences occurred, with the automatic loss of all premiership points for the entire season in the vent of any subsequent breaches in any of the next five years.

    By making the penalties as tough as this, the League might permeate the fog of stupidity on the part of individual players and their employers. By making them standard penalties, it would avoid the inevitable accusations of cosy deal making that occur when oh-so convenient sanctions are made up on the run.

  57. “It’s very important to note that nothing that any player has done here has been done with any intent to influence any outcome within the contest.” Adrian Anderson – P4 Saturday’s Herald Sun.

    We all have our “coloured glasses” and I’ll quite openly admit that mine are with black & white frames.

    The rules are very clear, so Maxy was naive and Heater was an absolute dill. Problem is, the penalty is chooklotto and the AFL at its most confusing best. “Scapegoat’ and “example” are the two words that spring to mind. Maybe if they had have smacked an 8 or 14 week ban on Goodwin, Ward, Hale, Jack, Primus, Appleton, Siekman, Wise, Hollington, Walsh and Quill, then the deterrent message may have gotten through earlier. So here they go with a 12th bite of the cherry with a massively different penalty.

    And, no I don’t think the penalty is intentional Collingwood bashing or conspiracy theory (unlike many of the media commentators, letters to ed writers and internet bloggers) – I just think the AFL don’t know how to handle this. It’s like the hands in the back rule on steriods – they don’t have the judgement or capability to make a decision based on its “impact/intention/outcome” so they take the (ironically) black and white way out – maybe with gambling thats what you gotta do, I don’t know but I’m sure as hell the AFL don’t either.

    What I do know is that one of the games current stars is missing for eight weeks for an act of unbelievable stupidity that was against the rules, but “had no intent to influence any outcome on the contest”. I don’t care whether it was Heath Shaw, James Bartel, Chris Judd or anyone else but I think the penalty is wrong.

  58. Of course the penalty is wrong.

    Some clubs have preferential treatment. People have been saying that adnauseum but it goes still on.

    Eventually the AFL will paint itself into a corner. Minnows will be held accountable, punished and whistle blow. I just hope I am about to enjoy the bun fight.

    I am just loving what is happening in jolly old England at the moment.

  59. Dips

    The most annoying this about this whole (tawdry, bawdy?) affair is having to be serious in these posts. But I’ll have one last go (because you are a thoughtful fan and only hate the Pies a little bit).

    My point is that your choice of a year as the penalty seemed arbitrary to me. Given this is the first case, you can only compare it to penalties for other offences. You also can’t ignore the elements of the case in question. Shaw wasn’t betting on the opposition, or to deliberately bowl no-balls. Although I accept that he put himself in a compromising position because he might have been in a position to kick the first goal himself, given the size of the bet, I don’t think it could be seriously suggested that he would have deliberately missed. And I think eight weeks on the sidelines is a more than sufficient deterrent for future cases.

    To the rest of you, I sincerely hope the players of your beloved sides remain as squeaky clean as they have managed to be to date. Not one bet by any other player (or friend or relative). Remarkable. What are the odds of that?

  60. This is great sport. Like poking sticks at lions.
    He’s eaten the whip; reduced the chair to splinters; and we’ve run out of ammo for the shotgun.
    Look out behind you – your tail is on fire!!!
    Simple pleasures in the leadup to an ominous September. Sigh.
    Was debating with the Avenging Eagle in the car today about sides that would match up without today’s Pies – I know they have to put the repeat flags on the board yet – but their depth, fitness and fanatical execution of an effective game plan is as good as I have seen. Sounds like a Crio question – but I came up with only 3 that could compete from my memory. The Lions of the early 00’s. The 92-94 Eagles. And the Hafey Tigers of the Hart/Bourke/Barrot/Sheedy era. They all had the great depth and the self-belief that the current Pies seem to have. Which was the best of the Hawks teams of the 70’s/80’s? They all merge in my enfeebled brain. Matthews is the common factor, but somewhere Brereton replaces Knights as the brilliant big man.
    Forget the suspensions – the Gestapo had the right idea in shared responsibility. Daily public floggings of Heath and Nick in Federation Square until the rest of them agree to confess to being on ‘elephant juice’ transfusions in Arizona.

  61. John Butler says


    From a parochial perspective I’d add the Carlton side of 1979-82 as well.

    3 out of 4 flags. Beat Collingwood twice (gotta be worth bonus points). And the clincher, reached the finals in 1980 despite Percy Jones as coach. How good must they have been?

  62. MOC.

    all good St Josephs boys down at the Cattery. No skullduggery there.

    Any extra money goes into the Church plate on Sundays.

  63. MOC I do think there is MERRETT in your comment about other clubs. G’wherea, I mean “where are” the AFL findings of the investigations on two other alleged betting plunges on exotic bets – I wonder how these betting plunges started?!?!? And now Mr “I’m President of an AFL Club and a Ch9 Commentator/Host but don’t have any conflict of interest but Eddie did” weighs in about Goldsack. Aye Karumba, stop the world I wanna get off. ‘Bout time the AFL banned these exotic bets instead of having their nose in the corruption trough and left the exotics to the Royal Hotel after the game. Still think 8 weeks is way over the top and Heater’s a bit like an infamous ex player manager – silly and stiff. Go Pies.

  64. My point in all this is that it is NOT a Collingwood issue. This is about AFL football’s integrity. Heath Shaw might be the sacrificial lamb, but he is a dill so probably deserves to be.

    I have read a few times that the size of the bet was somehow relevant. Nonsense. The fact that he bet on a game in which he participated makes this heaps worse. He should be rubbed out for a year. And I would say the same if any Cat player is found to be betting on a game in which he is competing.

    Collingwood fans are so bloody defensive!

  65. johnharms says

    That’s true Phantom. I saw C Ling and Pods take communion at Bobby Davis’s funeral. Good Catholic boys would never punt with reputable bookies and agencies. They’d ahve their own network down the back of the shelter sheds, and in the cobbled lane two doors up from the butcher.

  66. johnharms says

    For what it’s worth I think the penalty is on the severe end of things, which is more unfortunate than unrealistic. It’s realistic and understandable in my view, because there is a fair bit of PR driving it – and that is the AFL being seen to be tough on issues of integrity.

    A good element of it will be that the betting-on-footy industry and the AFL’s policies will come under scrutiny.

    Good players in the gambling industry – those who think about issues of fairness and also think about their long-term prospects – will know that they need a scenario which is reasonable.

    I enjoy punting. I do it for fun. I do it to beat the bookies, for reasons I explain at length in my book. Sure, you can beat the bookies on paper. But there’s no real risk there, and my need to shake my fist at the gods is not satisfied.

  67. Mark Doyle says

    Another media beatup! Heath Shaw’s bet and Nick Maxwell’s advice to his family are both very minor breaches of the AFL rules and the AFL sanctions are an overreaction. It seems to me that these rules are inflexible. The AFL erroneously believe that these minor bets are likely to lead to corruption. Twenty odd years ago, Cricket Australia were similarly paranoid and overreacted when Shane Warne and Mark Waugh were paid by bookmakers for pitch and team information. I think there has only ever been one instance of corruption in the VFL/AFL and that involved either the Carlton club and/or Carlton players in the early part of the 20th century. The AFL has not had a Juventus type corruption or corrupt players such as the South African cricket captain Cronje to deal with. Players should be allowed minor fun bets, such as Shaw’s first goal bet. It is no different to Dennis Lillee’s and Rod Marsh’s fun bet on the pommies 30 years ago.

  68. We couldn’t have that Mark.

    Some entrepreneurial players might back them selves to lose grand finals.

    I’d like to see that; especially this year.

  69. Pamela Sherpa says

    Totally agree with your comments Dips – the integrity of the game is paramount. I can’t help but wonder if Shaw’s obvious blunder wasn’t /isn’t a cry for help.

  70. Phil Dimitriadis says

    You Collingwood haters can moralize and proselytize all you want.

    The TRUTH is that the Shaw/Maxwell ‘scandal’ is a conspiracy created by the AFL and betting agencies to make the season more interesting for fans and punters. The AFL and various puntstitutes want more money from non-Pie fans. Now it all makes sense to me!

    Don’t tell me that they couldn’t have made an ‘example’ of dozens of other ‘exotics’. Something about this reeks, but then again I’m biased right?

  71. I fully intend to proselytize all I want, Phil – just as soon as I find out what that means.

  72. John Butler says

    Gigs, isn’t it something you wear when you lose a limb?

    Phil, good to see Phantom doesn’t own exclusive rights to conspiracy theories. :)

  73. Ah,

    so it’s you hacking my phone JB.

    I contacted Scotland Yard but there was no one there with enough authority to make a decision.

  74. Phil – correct

  75. Rick Kane says

    Phil D, great turn of phrase – puntstitutes. Is that yours?

    The two phrases that keep coming to mind as I read this discussion are ‘slippery slope’ and ‘creeping’. But I don’t know what it all means. Slippery slope to where? The relationship between sport and gambling doesn’t seem to be a linear but that is how it seems to be tackled (and I’m not talking about in this discussion but to the larger community discussion taking place).

    In a previous article by Stainless on betting and sport PB posted the following: ” [Gideon Haigh on Offsiders a few weeks back made this comment] re the relationship between sport and legal gambling: ‘sports were taking a slow action poison’.” It as if we can sense that there is a potentially terrible problem looming but we can’t see it or feel it.

    Integrity may be everything but what is integrity?

    Cheers and appreciate my mixed up confusion

  76. Steve Healy says

    It was a rightful punishment. The last thing the AFL wants is a player potentially sabotaging the results and unpredictability of matches.

  77. Phil Dimitriadis says

    Thanks Rick, that is mine. It’s a mix of institution and prostitution with a lot of punt thrown in.

    Dips, are you really agreeing or are you just being your cheeky and diminutive self?

    JB, I’ve been a keen follower of the Bill Walker School of Conspiratorial Thought over the last couple of years. I like to learn from the best!

  78. Geez, Dips, I’m in trouble now. Aker’s on MY side.

    Phil – I think that Dips is agreeing – agreeing that you’re biased, that is.

  79. MOC – I always agree with Phil!! Well, mostly always……sometimes always……..usually sometimes.

    Sadly I think Aker is trying to turn himself into a sporting version of Derryn Hinch – with his own liver.

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