Tim Watson

No Essendon Saga in 2017? Guess Again!
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Just when everyone thought the Essendon supplements saga was done and dusted, it has reared its dubious head once again. Ironically, it has been just about exactly four years since the Bombers came out and "self-reported" with a request that the AFL investigate the 2012 supplements program. Now, Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper has obtained audio recordings of a crisis meeting which was held in August of 2013. Present at that meeting were chairman Paul Little (chairman), Jame Hird (coach), Mark Thompson (asst coach) and Danny Corcoran (football manager). The meeting was held to discuss the charges laid against the 34 players. The quartet are furious, believing the AFL had betrayed them and gone back on their word that the players would not be charged. In expletive-riddled conversations, all four express their anger at the league.

Footy World Reacts To Essendon Verdict
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 by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE REACTIONS

Needless to say, almost everyone was shocked at the decision by the Court for Arbitration of Sport (CAS)- not so much the verdict itself but rather the severity. The 34 past and present players, their families, friends and supporters are devastated. The AFL, AFLPA and Essendon have all excepted the verdict and are and will be the ramifications.

What Next For Bombed Out Bombers?
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Bombers coach James Hird celebrates with the fans after the Round 14, 2013 game played at Patersons Stadium. Photo by David Woodley for AFANA.There are three types of coaches - those who quit, those who have been sacked and those who will be sacked, with very few exceptions to the rule. In the earliest days of Australian Football there were no senior coaches. Team captains gave instructions on the field and acted as de facto coaches at training sessions. The first official senior coach was Jack Worrall who was appointed Carlton coach in 1902. Of course being the first senior coach appointed, he was also the first who was fired. He went on to be reinstated after the bookkeeping kerfuffle which saw him axed was sorted out and he was absolved of blame (he was also club secretary at the time). And so it has been ever since. If a team

Tribunal Announces Essendon Decision
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

THE VERDICT IS IN - NOT GUILTY
The saga that has lasted over two years is finally over with the Anti-Doping Tribunal clearing all 34 players involved in the supplements program.The verdict was unanimous and in a statement Tribunal Chairman David Jones spelled out the reasons:

  • The Tribunal was comfortably satisfied that the substance Thymosin Beta-4 was at the relevant time a prohibited substance under the Code.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player was administered Thymosin Beta-4.
  • The Tribunal was not comfortably satisfied that any player violated clause 11.2 of the Anti-Doping Code.

The statement also said that a decision regarding "a former Essendon support person" (read: Stephen Dank) would be made at a later date. Whether or not the full 133-page decision document or part of it will be made public is left up to the players, the club and their lawyers. Leaked copies have apparently reached some in the media. In summary, the panel conceded there was insufficient evidence against the players to establish that they had taken TB-4 and it could not be established that the substance they were injected with was in fact, TB-4. The credibility of the key individuals involved was so low and the chain of custody and record keeping so suspect, exactly what was injected could not be proven.

Grand Final Day Events and Timeline 2014
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The following is the time line for the the Grand Final day events including key times for match and TV related activities. All times are listed first in Australian AEST and then in US EDT. This is based on information from the AFL, AFANA, press reports and past history. This story will be periodically updated with late information. (Revised 9/25/14)

Start Time AEST Start Time US EDT End Time AEST End Time US EDT Event US / Can Network Coverage
7:00 AM 5:00 PM 11:00 AM 9:00 PM AFL Game Day from the MCG (Ch. Seven Australia) Not available in US or Canada. None
10:00 AM 8:00 PM 3AW radio pregame begins. NAB Academy All-Stars match (Australia Under 17s v Allies Under 18s) at the MCG (streamed online).
At half-time of curtain raiser, TAC Cup presentation.
None

Round 11 Milestones
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by Lisa Albergo reporting from Chicago

Jobe Watson played his 143rd game in Round 11, putting him and his father Tim in eighth place on the league list of father-son combinations. Tim Watson played 307 games for the Bombers and is currently the co-host of Morning Glory on SEN Radio. The father-son combination leaders are Fletcher, 621 games (Ken, 264 and Dustin, 357 through Round 11) and Tuck, 577 games (Michael, 426 and Shane, 151 through Round 11).

Post-Concussion Studies Priority
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

With the recent death of NFL player Junior Seau, the focus on sports players and the long-term effects of repeated concussions has come to the fore more than ever before. Seau is not the first NFL player to die prematurely as a result of multiple concussions and several former AFL players have also publicly stated they have had issues as the result of concussions during their playing days.

MCG Milestone
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by Lisa Albergo reporting for AFANA from Chicago

Round 4 saw the MCG host its 2500th game when Carlton and Essendon faced off. In a way, it was fitting that two of the League's foundation clubs played this historical game. Indeed the milestone could well have been reached some years ago except for the fact that the powers that were way back in 1896 refused to allow the new game of Aussie Rules to be played on the ground for fear it would ruin the surface for summer cricket. The first game of footy was played at the hallowed ground in 1879.

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