Stevie J: You need friends in the media at the tribunal

In a weekend that hase seen a marked upturn in onfield violence, where the serial sniper Steve Johnson gets two weeks for lining a bloke and ironing him out while he is defenceless, and three other blokes commit acts of culpable violence as in

  • Jake Spencer – three weeks for a calculated shirtfront on Ben McEvoy
  • Tom Simpkin – two weeks for belting Chris Dawes behind the play
  • Andrew Embley – The most laughable penalty of all – He gets a week for an outrageous act that could have broken ribs, but because Lee Matthews instructs the tribunal on TV to give him a week, he gets a week.

what story do the fanboys at The Age come up with – they run a story framed to get poor Stevie off, and weave a narrative about the evil Ryan Crowley who has been fined for pinching, into it. And only fined because the prince of pests, Brent Harvey runs to the match review panel. The guy who started the match by punching Crowley in the guts in full view of the umpire to not even get a free kick let alone a report, the guy who tears Crowley’s jumper off his back in the first quarter, the guy who whacks Crowley in the throat, and only gives away a 50 but is not cited, goes and has a sook about getting pinched. If a Fremantle player had done that, that act would be the story, and rightly so. But it is the uber violent ‘pinch’ that no-one saw that Clone Malone chooses to build his Get Stevie off story around.

Murnane doesn’t miss anything of course, the reason poor Stevie can’t get a discount is because he felt honour bound to belt Ballantyne (not forgetting that is a legitimate act at The Age) when he wasn’t looking and got a week and carry over points. I am so sick of Age stories defending gutless “heroes”.


  1. Good call Neil. The charge against Crowley will surely be dismissed today. How can someone be charged on the “balance of probabilities” that it occurred? Ridiculous. I think it was The Age that ran an outrageous and unattributed claim from someone inside the North rooms that Harvey was covered in welts too. Slanderous!

  2. Not sure which incident you are talking about Neil, but the collision I saw between StevieJ and Handley was not pre-meditated. Johnson got there a fraction too late and had two choices – open himself up to be hit in the ribs and abdomen or close up and brace for impact with his shoulder.

    One of those actions is natural, the other is not.

    Reminds me a bit of the Scott Thompson hit on StevieJ last year. In that game, Stevie was knocked out in the first 5 seconds, suffered concussion and was subbed out of the game after only 5 minutes. Thompson was cleared.

  3. Basso Divor says

    Johnson should consider himself lucky he’s not Jack Ziebel! Ziebel would have been sentenced to five years’ hard labour for that!

  4. Neil

    Putting the Crwoley matter to one side, I foudn the other decisions baffling in the extreme.

    For Simpkin to get 2 for an unprovoked, off the ball, clear punch to the face, when we in the AFL are castigating the NRL for the 1 week Gallen got in State of Origin is laughable. Hall got much longer for a similar punch (with more venom and consequences I accept) but the precendent was set. The Simpkin punch should have been a much longer suspension for a dog act.

    And Embley, give me a break. A defenceless player, lying on his back, chest exposed, off teh ball incident, deliberate, gets slammed WWE style, then contact to the face, and it’s just the one!

    Spare me. JOKE


  5. Michael Parker says

    The Simpkin one wasn’t a good look, but honestly wouldn’t have broken popcorn. Dawes should’ve been looked at for diving. I think 2 weeks is ok. The Embley decision was shocking no matter what you compare it against. Would’ve thought dropping a knee multiple times was worth more than 1 week! Unbelievable

  6. Pearce H went back on the ground. Not so fortunate Murphy: hospitalised with a broken cheekbone and will miss weeks of footy.
    Is the ghost of John Wren still around directing betting traffic from somewhere?

  7. Are you seriously calling Steve Johnson gutless?
    Go back a couple of seasons and watch him stand his ground and cop a shirt-front from man mountain Aaron Sandilands.
    You malign a champion and a brave one at that, while defending Ryan Crowley, known and despised throughout the AFL for his niggling off the ball harassment?
    Surely you jest!

  8. Neil, I’ll think you’ll find Embley was performing a new life-saving technique called knee CPR.

  9. How’s that Crowley? What a dirty little pincher. And the MRP, desperate for their expansion clubs to succeed, give him a fine so he can play this week. Shocking on all fronts.

  10. Stratton fell to the ground (fairly) in the contest. He was hanging onto Embley’s legs (in typical Clarkson coached scragging fashion) to stop Andrew running on to the next contest.
    Embley should have received a free for legging or holding the man, but now that umpires don’t pay frees any more, this sort of trash scragging is being encouraged.
    Embley said “son, I’ve been around too long to keep copping this rubbish. Here’s a quick reminder to play football and not the man.”
    Embley deserved his week. The umpiring coaches deserve a life ban.

  11. Dangerous precedent set by the MRP on Crowley last night. In the absence of any evidence – despite Boomer’s claim he was pinched about 300 times – they’ll simply take the word of the player who has notched up more games. Wow.

  12. Brandon Erceg says

    The tribunal and MRP are just ridicolous full stop. The fact you would even contemplate a penalty for ‘pinching’ is so disgraceful and silly that you have to laugh. At school, you may get told off for pinching, yet a grown man doing it on a football field gets fined $1200. That’s more than what you get fined for parking illegally at a lot of places. Just absolutely ridicolous. They’ve lost the plot, gets me too angry to articulate it properly into how I’m feeling

  13. Anton Clever says

    Amazing that Ryan Crowley should be found guilty only on the evidence of Boomer. I recall Aaron Sandilands missed about 6 weeks of footy a few years ago after his eye socket was fractured in an incident off the ball. The tribunal said there was no video evidence and dismissed the matter. Staker was the only player near Sandilands at the time. Not that anyone suggests he would have been the perpetrator because his Mum said he wouldn’t have hurt Sandilands. The point is, no video evidence, no charge!

  14. Anton Clever says

    Another thing, Crowley must have sat on the North Melbourne interchange bench with Boomer Harvey to pinch him 300 times in a 100 minute match – once every 20 seconds – as alleged.

  15. Basso Divor says

    $1200 for pinching an opponent? Retrospectively, former Magpie Craig Kelly would owe about a million!

  16. Neil Belford says

    Agreed, Johnson, S. is not gutless per se. He is guilty of gutless acts though, this one is the latest example and he copped his just deserts. The MRP and Tribunal got this one right despite pressure from his acolytes at The Age. Murnane & Co got their other buddy through though, I’m sure that will be good for an invite to a party or two where Matt can play with the big boys and look at the pretty girls.

    It is ironic that AFL media is now doing a far better job of unbiased football reporting than Fairfax. Even the Hun is less parochial, actually much less.

  17. daniel flesch says

    While admittedly a long-time Hawk supporter i thought Embley got off much too lightly. So far i haven’t seen anyone mention that as well as dropping his knees into Stratton’s guts , he then slammed his head into the turf. That last bit was left out of the vision shown along with Embley’s apology , which did look genuine , and his low act was out of character. But he still got off light. That inarticulate fool Mark Robinson on Fox footy garbled at length on how good it was of Embley to apologise , but not a word on the seriousnes of the offence . Having said that – a surprise Stratton himself said it was “just a bit of fun.” Maybe to him it was , but not to people who umpire junior footy with players who see that stuff on telly. I didn’t know The Age has such influence on the MRP , but whichever way you look at it , it seems a joke . Just not a good one.

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