Hawks captain pulls down Sam Newman’s pants

Posted on: 8/15 at 7:58am ET

Shane Crawford apologises for the Footy Show prank

Just when you thought things have settled down on Channel Nine’s Footy Show since Sam Newman slammed a cream pie onto the face of Melbourne forward David Schwarz less than a month ago, it all happened again on Thursday night. But this time Newman was a victim himself, with his pants down and his private parts revealed on live television, sparking hundreds of complaints to the station. It is the first time that full frontal male nudity has been broadcast live on Australian television.
It all started when Newman was dressed as a Fremantle player to lampoon its first win of the season against Hawthorn, when Hawks captain Shane Crawford pulled down Newman’s shorts and then his underwear, exposing Newman in front of the shocked live audience before the director of the show quickly cut away to another shot.
As an embarrassed Newman stood fully exposed before the audience, host Eddie McGuire attempted to cover up his dumb-founded sidekick with a football.
After composing himself, Newman said: “Why didn’t I realise when the first lot went off, probably the second lot would go, Ed?” He then asked: “Are we still on air?” Newman then turned to Crawford, asking: “Shane can I ask, do you really want to have a look? Seriously, just say the word mate.” And still wondering, Newman then asked: “Did anyone see my snag, Eddie?”
Crawford apologised after the incident. “I seriously didn’t expect the TV to get your thing,” he said. “I am a role model and I shouldn’t have done it.”
Newman joked that Crawford had “dragged the integrity and decency of this show down to gutter level”. “I’m personally disgusted and sympathise with people who had to watch,” he said.
Crawford was reprimanded by both Newman and McGuire on air during the last segment of the program. The station’s switchboard received almost 400 complaints during the night, 197 complaints in the hour after the incident.
Crawford again apologised on Friday, saying he regretted offending a few people, and he would not have done the prank if he realised it was going to cause controversy.
Nine Melbourne managing director Graeme Yarwood also apologised to anyone upset by the incident, but he ruled out disciplinary action, saying the flashing was all part of the show’s “spontaneous edge”.
The Australian Broadcasting Authority has requested a copy of the program as a matter of public interest, and is understood to be reviewing footage of the program which also outraged audiences in Sydney, where the show was replayed after midnight.
Should the ABA decide full-frontal nudity breaches the Footy Show’s M (for mature audiences) rating, it cannot punish the station: the Code of Practice (for commercial television) is voluntary. It can, however, make the code a condition of Nine’s licence, a rarely taken course of action. (Note: since its debut in 1994, the Footy Show was rated PG. It changed its rating to M earlier this year, apparently due to Sam Newman’s activities in the program.)
The incident came on the same day Newman was in court in Sydney in relation to a negligent driving charge against a truck driver who collided with Newman’s Lamborghini last December. The charge against the truck driver was dismissed.

AFL umpires may boycott VFL matches after an assault
AFL umpires may boycott future VFL matches after one of their colleague was assaulted while officiating at the weekend.
AFL umpire Kieran Nichols was officiating at the Sandringham-Box Hill match at the Trevor Barker Oval on Sunday, when near half time a man simply crossed the fence, walked behind him and hit him on the head with a left fist. The man continued abusing at Nichols before he was apprehended and removed from the ground. Police has confirmed that a 50-year-old man from the bayside Melbourne suburb of Sandringham has been charged on summons of an unlawful assault.
The man had since resigned his membership of the Sandringham Football Club and also apologized for the assault.
AFL Umpires Association chief executive Rob Anderson said that AFL umpires would not umpire at VFL grounds until the assault on Nichols was thoroughly investigated and they were given assurances about their safety.

Grant Thomas not certain to be the next St Kilda coach
St Kilda said it would revert to its original plan of establishing a subcommittee to contniue its search for a coaching replacement for Malcolm Blight, and has appointed corporate headhunter and industrial psychologist John Kent, managing director of Consortium Management Planning, to head a selection panel. Kent was used by the Saints last year in their search for a replacement for Tim Watson.
Kent’s appointment as head of the coach selection panel came as the club sought to distance itself from reports that caretaker coach Grant Thomas would soon be offered a contract for at least two, possibly three, years.
It was originally reported that St Kilda have virtually abandoned their move to establish a subcommittee, but fearing a membership backlash over what could be another management backflip over the coaching selection process, the Saints returned to its plan.
The move to sign Thomas, now acting as caretaker-coach, follows an approach to former club captain Danny Frawley, who is contracted to Richmond until the end of 2002 and has already been offered a new deal by the Tigers. Frawley is believed to have rejected the approach and is expected to re-sign with the Tigers.
It is believed the club decided against pursuing Western Bulldogs coach Terry Wallace, whom they energetically chased for the top job last year, fearing repercussions from the Bulldogs. Wallace is contracted until the end of 2003.
The panel would start interviewing prospective coaches at the end of the home-and-away season.

Roos, Dees fined for breaching rules
North Melbourne said they would appeal to the AFL after being fined $A20,000 for breaching the league’s player rules last season. The Roos were slapped the fine by AFL investigator Michael Easy for what is believed to have been a late lodgement of documents last December.
It is believed that the Kangaroos’ total player payments details for 2001, due before the pre-season draft last December, arrived late at the AFL. Roos chief executive Greg Miller would not elaborate on the infringements, but said his club would write to the AFL asking it to reconsider the hefty fine.
Melbourne is also angry after it was fined $A5000 by the AFL for being late in submitting an auditor’s certificate verifying its total player payments. Demons chief executive John Anderson said the document was due on January 31 this year, but was not received by the league until February 12.
Anderson said Melbourne strongly objected to their penalty but would take the matter no further. The club’s main concern was that the technical breach might trigger a suspended sentence of $A250,000 fine and loss of a first round draft pick, imposed after the Demons’ previous breaches of the salary cap. The AFL has assured Melbourne the suspended penalty will not come into force.

Schwab appointed Dockers’ CEO
As widely expected, former Richmond and Melbourne administrator Cameron Schwab has been appointed by Fremantle as its chief executive, replacing David Hatt who resigned earlier this year.
Fremantle chairman Ross McLean said Schwab would start work immediately on finding the club’s next coach and assess all aspects of Fremantle’s operations.
McLean said that although Schwab was a strong leader whose appointment was a great boost to Fremantle, it should not be viewed as a new start for the embattled club.
Schwab admitted the Dockers might have to consider recruiting assistant coaches instead of experienced senior coaches. He said the search would be exhaustive, with an appointment not expected until late next month or early October, due to several applicants being involved in finals campaigns. Current assistants likely to be considered include Carlton’s John Worsfold (former West Coast captain), Hawthorn’s Chris Connolly, Brisbane’s Gary O’Donnell, Essendon’s Mark Harvey and Richmond’s Greg Hutchison.
Schwab returns to club administration after a couple of years running the AFL’s website and has previous experience with the Dockers, having acted as a consultant to the club in 1994.

AFL denies WA football is in crisis
AFL officials have admitted that Fremantle is in financial trouble but denied that the state of West Australian football has reached crisis point, after meeting WA officials earlier this week.
AFL chief executive Wayne Jackson and football operations manager Andrew Demetriou flew to Perth on for meetings with officials from West Coast, Fremantle and the Western Australian Football Commission officials on Monday and Tuesday, claiming the visit was designed to educate the state’s football chiefs on what intellectual resources the AFL could provide.
Jackson said although Fremantle, and to a lesser extent West Coast, were under pressure both financially and on-field, both clubs were basically in good shape.
Fremantle in particular is struggling financially under the weight of its commitment to the WAFC’s $A38 million debt for the redevelopment of Subiaco Oval.
But Jackson said the WAFC, which holds the licence to the Eagles and the Dockers, was an independent body and the AFL would not interfere. He also refuted claims Fremantle had called on the AFL for more cash.
Jackson said he and Demetriou had helped the club with background information on some lesser known coaches who might be interested in applying for the vacant Fremantle post, but stressed it was up to the Dockers’ board to decide.
The league also offered the assistant of AFL investigations manager Michael Easy to help Fremantle extract more value from its contracts with players.
Fremantle chairman Ross McLean believes the Dockers successfully allayed AFL concerns regarding the club during the club’s meeting, saying league officials had shown a sympathetic understanding of the club’s predicament. He said the AFL understood that the Dockers have good facilities, strong revenue base and strong sponsorship.

Demons board to provide membership list to a rival campaign
Melbourne chief executive John Anderson said the club would provide a rival campaign, which supports multi-millionaire former president Joseph Gutnick, with the membership list, not only to comply with corporation law, but also to try to keep tension between the board, now led by Gabriel Szondy, and the rival Gutnick camp to a minimum.
The Melbourne First Campaign, which supports Gutnick but is not related to the mining magnate, has requested the names and addresses of the Demons’ 21,000 members in order to launch a postal fund-raiser for Gutnick’s re-election bid.
Melbourne president Gabriel Szondy accused Gutnick’s supporters of breaking the unofficial truce agreed to after the mid-season board-room battle that resulted in Gutnick being forced to stand down. The parties had agreed to postpone the election until the end of the year.
The letter, which is to be circulated to Demons members over the next week, describes the Melbourne First campaign as a members campaign supporting the re-election of Gutnick. It has requested cheques and money orders be sent to a post office box in Hawthorn.
The Melbourne First correspondence includes a membership survey and a four-part charter that includes a commitment to winning premierships; a pledge that all MFC and MCC members and corporate sponsors are treated as equals with an equal say in running the club; that the club is ethical both on and off the field and that the club secures a future in its own right.

Lance Whitnall re-signs with Carlton
Star Carlton forward Lance Whitnall has agreed to terms for a new two-year contract with the club, meaning he will stay at Optus Oval until the end of 2003. Announcing the re-signing, Blues chief executive Don Hanly described Whitnall as an outstanding player and a future leader of the club.
Whitnall was recruited to Carlton from the Northern Under 18s, under the father-son rule in the 1996 National Draft. His father Graeme played 66 games for Carlton between 1974 and 1978.
Earlier this season Whitnall became the youngest ever Carlton player to play 100 games, the eighth youngest in AFL history. He was runner up in the 1998 Carlton Best and Fairest Award, has been the Blues’ leading goalkicker for the last three seasons and last year was selected in the All Australian Team.
*Carlton has also promoted rookie Adam Pickering to their senior list, replacing Murray Vance, who has been placed on the long term injury list. Vance will have arthroscopic surgery on his injured knee tomorrow. Pickering joined the Blues via the 1999 rookie draft after playing with Craigieburn and the Calder Cannons in the Under 18 competition.

Pies re-signs Anthony Rocca
Collingwood chief executive Greg Swann said the club had reached an in-principal agreement with the management of key forward Anthony Rocca for a new two-year contract.
Rocca, who turns 24 next week, is one of only eight Magpies to have played more than 100 games. He played 22 games with Sydney in 1995-96 before being recruited to Victoria Park whether he has played a further 92 games.
Collingwood is also close to finalising a new two-year deal for Leon Davis.
*One of Collingwood’s main sponsors, Primus Telecom, is reviewing its four year, $A500,000 a season association with the club, and is yet to commit to an extension of the sponsorship, as the Magpies seek to renew their other major sponsorship with Emirates Airlines.

AFL to investigate alleged trespassing by Ronnie Burns’ manager
As reported here previously, the AFL has launched an investigation into why player manager Michael Quinlan was on the ground, sitting with Ronnie Burns on the interchange bench, during quarter time of last Saturday’s clash against Melbourne at the MCG.
Quinlan, who manages Burns, went on to the ground at quarter-time after Burns injured his right hamstring in the first term.
AFL media manager Patrick Keane said a person is not allowed on the ground unless he is on the club team sheet. The AFL does not have the jurisdiction to fine or deregister him, but an AFL spokesman said Quinlan could face censure from either the AFL Players Association, which registers player agents, or the MCC for trespassing. However, Quinlan appears unlikely to face any action.
Geelong chief executive Brian Cook said player managers shouldn’t be on the bench. Cook said Quinlan got a bit emotional about it all when he saw Ronnie come off and sitting on the bench on his own. Quinlan was politely asked to go and he left.
Quinlan said as a former Essendon football manager he knew he shouldn’t have been on the ground.

Bombers may sign son of Max Crow
Essendon is considering whether to recruit an 18-year-old ruckman from Oakleigh Chargers named Justin Crow, son of former Bomber Max Crow. The issue for Essendon is whether to use the father-son rule to pick Crow, thus sacrificing a second-round pick in the national draft.
If the club does decide to recruit Crow, its coach Kevin Sheedy will have coached both father and son, as most recently David Parkin did with Graeme (Carlton, 1981) and Lance Whitnall.
Justin Crow recently represented Victoria Metro in the Australian under-18 national championships.
Max Crow played 136 games for Essendon in 1974 and 1976 to 1982 (the last two years under Sheedy), before transferring to St Kilda in 1983, for a B&F in his first season as a Saint and 40 matches in total, and finally to Footscray for 12 games in 1986.

St Kilda says Spider Everitt is staying
St Kilda president Rod Butterss has brushed aside ruckman Peter Everitt’s controversial comments regarding the club’s future, however the club has not yet decided whether to commit to Everitt next season.
Everitt said on The Sunday Footy Show on Channel Nine last week that he would assess his playing career once the Saints finalised their off-field team for the 2002 season.
It is believed that after conducting the pre-recorded interview, Everitt rang St Kilda football operations manager Brian Waldron, expressing his concern.
Butterss said Everitt, under contract to the end of 2003, was not only a required player, but a leader at Moorabbin. But Butterss said he was unsure why Everitt made the comments.

Several stars yet to re-sign
A star-studded list of big name players, including Western Bulldog captain Chris Grant, Hawthorn’s Nick Holland and Essendon’s Joe Misiti, are all out of contract at the end of the season.
As of last month, just under half of all the league’s players were coming out of contract at the end of the season.
Battling Western Australian clubs Fremantle and West Coast, along with St Kilda, are all set to get priority selections as a reward for their shocking on-field performances.
The Saints on and off-field efforts will scare away potential recruits, while the Dockers and Eagles also face big tasks to lure a big-name uncontracted player.
Hawthorn is in the final stages of negotiating new deals for stand-in ruckman Nathan Thompson, the improved Angelo Lekkas and has offered Joel Smith a long-term contract.

Round 18 attendance the second best ever
Four weekend matches involving long-standing rivals helped send the AFL’s round-18 crowd aggregate to near-record levels. A total of 334,237 people watched the eight games last weekend, the second best for a single round in AFL history. It was also only the 14th time that more than 300,000 had attended a round of football.
The numbers were boosted by four much-anticipated games - Richmond versus Collingwood, Carlton v Essendon, Geelong v Melbourne and the South Australian derby between Adelaide and Port Adelaide, with seven of those eight teams vying for a spot in the finals.
The best single-round attendance figures are:
367,974 - round 22, 1998
334,437 - round 18, 2001
332,211 - round 11, 1998
329,369 - round 1, 1997
327,861 - round 21, 1998

First Aussie Rules game immortalized in statue
A sculpture commemorating what is regarded as the first game of Australian football has been unveiled at the Melbourne Cricket Ground last Friday. The sculpture, created by Louis Lauman, recalls the match played over three days in 1858 between Melbourne Grammar and Scotch College on the slopes above the present-day stadium.
The boys were not allowed on the cricket ground which was then newly sown although they had access to the small clubhouse through the secretary of the Melbourne Football Club, Tom Wills.
Wills had grown up playing with the children of the Tjapwurrung people at Moyston, outside Ararat in western Victoria, before being sent to Rugby school in England at the age of 15. Now regarded as the founder of Australian football, Wills captained Grammar in the first match. With Scotch master John Macadam, later to give his name to the macadamia nut, Wills also acted as an umpire.
According to press reports, the first day of the match was vigorously contested, play abating only with the fall of night. Teams were 40-a-side and, after three days, the match was declared a draw, both sides having managed a solitary goal. A large part of Wills’ motive in initiating football was to get Victoria’s cricketers fit for the inter-colonial match with New South Wales.
After the unveiling of the statue, the annual match between the two schools was played on the MCG proper to acknowledge Scotch College’s 150th anniversary. Scotch won a one-sided game, 21.19 (145) to 1.2 (8).

Seven signs up as an Essendon sponsor
Channel Seven’s internet arm i7 has signed a sponsorship deal with reigning premiers Essendon, signalling the network is not going to pull out of the AFL when it loses TV rights to the new Nine-Ten-Foxtel consortium next year.
Essendon chief executive Peter Jackson said the club had not considered joining the proposed $A30 million internet deal between the AFL and Telstra, as it would clash with its own major sponsor Orange, a telco firm owned by Hong Kong-based conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa. He said it was also important for the Bombers to retain control of their own internet rights.
With Essendon signing up with i7 and five other clubs with Sportsview, Telstra would be the internet provider to 10 clubs plus the AFL. However Telstra will still build rival sites to the other six clubs, splitting the revenue and traffic potential for the clubs.
The AFL has assured Essendon it does not see any major problems with the new sponsorship
Although the presence of the i7 logo on the Essendon team uniform would have raised the concern of ambush marketing against Channels Nine and Ten, Jackson confirmed the deal related exclusively to the club’s internet interests and that branding would be limited to its official site and advertising hoardings at the grounds.
Under the deal, i7 will secure signage and branding opportunities, and the i7 navigation bar will form part of Essendon’s official website, allowing visitors to access i7’s consumer services, including email, search, e-commerce, online radio channels and ticketing, as well as i7’s core content offerings.
Essendon will create unique content for i7’s sports portal, i7sport.com.au, through Essendon’s exclusive access to its coaches and players prior to, and following, each match, as well as breaking news. Essendon will retain all developmental rights to its own website, essendonfc.com, and all revenue generated by that site, and will continue to provide content for essendonfc.com.
Jackson said that it is of paramount importance to Essendon that it retain and build the direct relationship with its membership and supporter bases and not on-sell or outsource this critical activity for a football club.

Essendon champion forward Matthew Lloyd was suspended for two matches after pleading guilty to striking Carlton’s Simon Fletcher in last Sunday’s match at the MCG. Lloyd told the tribunal his only objective was to stop Fletcher from receiving a second handball after the Carlton player had handballed, but he pleaded guilty because he realized he had struck Fletcher high. Reporting umpire Steve McBurney said Lloyd’s left forearm struck the left side of Fletcher’s face forcefully. Tribunal chairman Brian Collis agreed that Lloyd’s action was forceful contact and imposed a two-match ban, despite pleas from Lloyd’s lawyer that his client be given a one-week suspension. It was Lloyd’s second suspension this year, after he was given a one match ban for unduly rough play against Michael Mansfield the last time the Bombers lost to the Blues back in round three.
Former Adelaide captain Mark Bickley was cleared of charging Port Adelaide’s Josh Carr. Bickley successfully argued he was worrying about self-preservation when he collided with Carr during a marking contest in last Sunday’s showdown at Football Park. Bickley’s case was enhanced when video evidence showed him being hit heavily by Carr’s teammate Chad Cornes, just after he had made contact with Carr.
Fremantle’s Heath Black was suspended for one week by the tribunal on Monday night, after he was found guilty of striking Hawthorn’s Richard Vandenberg but not guilty of wrestling him. Black denied he struck Vandenberg to the head, but emergency field umpire John Harvey said he saw Black strike Vandenberg with a backhander that provoked remonstration.
Black was also charged of a charge of striking Hawk Tim Clarke in the match. Black told the tribunal that he was closing at full speed when Clarke handballed and he was committed to contact. Black said he used a hook tackle on Clarke and their shoulders contacted. Clarke told the hearing he didn’t feel any contact to the head as alleged by field umpire Brett Rosebury. Tribunal chairman Brian Collis said the striking charge had been dismissed because the initial contact had been to the shoulder.
Vandenberg was fined $A1200 for wrestling with Black.
Melbourne’s Adem Yze has been found not guilty of charging Geelong’s David Clarke. The tribunal has found the contact was neither unreasonable nor unnecessary.

Radio Ratings
ABC Radio and Triple M have set up an intriguing radio ratings showdown in September. According to the latest radio survey results, ABC Radio in Melbourne (3LO) increased its Saturday match call from 13.4 to 16.2 to win the slot (2pm – 4.30pm) from 3AW and Triple M (both 15.7), but remains third in the overall Saturday afternoon timeslot (12pm – 6pm).
3LO also won on Friday nights and Saturday nights, but it was mainly due to its broadcast of the England-Australia “Ashes” cricket series, which the Aussies has a winning 3-0 lead with two Tests to go. During the cricket broadcast (which clashes with football between 8pm and 10pm AEST), football is bumped off to another ABC radio station, NewsRadio. Both Triple M and 3AW agreed that 3LO received great benefit from the cricket, although that could be selling the station short.
The ratings, with previous results in brackets, are:
Friday night: ABC 13.6 (8.8), 3AW 12.8 (13.4), Triple M 12.6 (10.5).
Saturday afternoon: 3AW 14.6 (15.7), ABC 13.7 (12.2), Triple M 12.6 (11.1).
Saturday night: ABC 10.1 (8.8), Triple M 8.2 (5.4), 3AW 7 (7.6).
Sunday afternoon: 3AW 13 (12.1), Triple M 12 (12.1), ABC 10.6 (9.8).

Media news
*Channel Seven commentator Anthony Hudson is yet to decide whether to join Channel Nine, Channel Ten or Foxtel for next season. Foxtel is keen to pursue him as a chief commentator for the network, although (as previously reported) signing with Ten will mean a full circle for the baby-faced Hudson, who started his media career ten years ago in Ten’s Melbourne newsroom. Also, there is speculation that former Carlton premiership player and Seven commentator Ian Robertson may join Ten.
*The AFL is having trouble scheduling two live games on Sundays for next season, especially for games telecast by Channel Nine, who would not move its 6pm news (except for cricket matches during summer). A 12pm start is also viewed as too early. The new broadcasting agreement says that three matches will be played on Sundays, two to be covered by Nine with the third on Foxtel.
*The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) must decide in the next few weeks on whether its radio football commentators, Tim Lane and Dwayne Russell, can work for the two bosses. Russell, who has a spot on the network’s Sunday Footy Show panel, is believed to have signed a five-year contract with Nine, with Lane to follow soon. Should Lane and Russell work with Nine only, it will be a big loss for the ABC, as the duo are being offered commentary roles on the upcoming cricket season in Australia (against New Zealand and South Africa), the Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games, and the Commonwealth Games in Manchester in the next 12 months, and the loss could mean only senior commentators left in Melbourne (Dan Lonergan and Michael Christian).

In Brief
*Former VFL president Dr Allen Aylett has been elected as chairman of North Melbourne Football Club, replacing Andrew Carter, who has held the position since the death of Ron Casey last year. Aylett, who as the Roos’ president during the 1970s helped his team win its first two premierships in 1975 and 1977, will play a crucial role in the search for a replacement to outgoing CEO Greg Miller, as well as in the Roos’ bid to erode a $A1 million debt.
*The AFL has announced that the starting time of round-20 clash between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG has been pushed back to 7.40pm to enable Collingwood to expand its pre-match entertainment package. You may remember that the AFL and the Magpies were angry two months ago that Channel Seven had decided to show the Australia-South Africa rugby union match live from Subiaco Oval in preference to the football, and the league had threatened to move the match back to Saturday afternoon, but ticket and catering arrangements prevented the move.
*Adelaide veteran Darren Jarman has scoffed at reports he will announce his AFL retirement before this year’s penultimate round, but the 34-year-old concedes he is pondering his playing future.
Channel Nine Adelaide reported Jarman will announce his retirement prior to the Crows’ round 21 clash against Hawthorn, his former club, on August 26. But the triple premiership player said the report was “not true at all”. Jarman told the club’s internet site that he had no firm decision in his mind, and was in no hurry to make an announcement.

General Silliness
*Fans watching football highlights from Adelaide’s Football Park may have noticed a fence signage behind the goal at the right of the screen during Port Adelaide games. A local church group had paid $A11,000 to for he sign: “Jesus wept”, which is all John 11.35 says, for half the season.
*A poll conducted on the AFL website after Carlton’s win over Essendon last Sunday has 68 per cent agreeing the Blues have a psychological edge over the Bombers. Over 3000 fans have voted.
*It is not unusual for AFL footballers to be wrongly accused by the public for being up to no good. It’s hard to beat claims made recently about a Lions player involved in a Brisbane pub. He had a good alibi: he was playing against North Melbourne at Colonial Stadium at the same time.

That’s all for today. I will be away for two weeks to complete assignments for my uni study. Hopefully when I return we will have next year’s Ansett Cup schedule. See you then.


Johnson Leung

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