Neuvo Classicos

From the, 'From the, 'Ess v Norf - Dress Like a Mexican #WhateverItTacos,' thread in The Hangar a post that would make Enrico Morricone proud' thread in the Hangar. 



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Dear Andrew, Sorry I haven‘t been in touch lately. You‘ve been busy, I‘ve been busy, you know how it is. I felt compelled to write now, though, because someone has to step in and bring some sense to this supplements saga. It‘s time for some serious negotiation. Where‘s Hawkey when you need him?

I‘ve been following the story pretty closely – funny, but there seems to be an awful lot of ‘‘secret‘‘ testimony out there – and I reckon you‘re about to reach a point of no return. You need an exit strategy real quick, or this thing is going to drag you and the game down to a level none of us wants to contemplate. My lawyer friends reckon there are more gaps in this ASADA-AFL investigation than the GWS defence.

And no matter how much pressure you try to pile on Essendon through your media mates and your own outlet – that was smart, getting that up and running – the club knows it is in a strong legal position.



Essendon Coach James Hird. Photo: Justin McManus

The major problem is that you don‘t seem to have turned up anything illegal. The Bomber lawyers, and the coach‘s, will have a field day with the report and its circumstantial evidence, not to mention the privacy issues that may or may not have been breached by it being shared around. So you will have to go the governance route, and I gather the Ziggy Switkowski report will form the basis of your charges against Hirdy, Bomber, Danny Corcoran and Bruce Reid, that they somehow brought the game into disrepute.

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There are problems there too, I reckon. Ziggy might be a well-respected businessman with particular skills in running a telco, but I‘m not sure he has any expertise as an investigator. A court might not be too impressed with that document either.

I could go on about the ridiculously short time you‘ve given the four men to prepare their defence and the fact that you‘ve set yourself up as investigator, judge and jury, but I would prefer to cut to the chase – you have to strike a deal, ideally by August26, when the four accused are supposed to front the commission. If you don‘t, this thing will roll on through the finals, the summer and into next season. If you want to avoid that, here‘s what you need to do.


First of all, take a deep breath and reflect on what‘s happened over the last year or so. Essendon has self-reported to ASADA, commissioned Ziggy‘s investigation, bid farewell, one way or another, to their president, CEO, high-performance manager, football manager and bio-chemist Stephen Dank, put in place new protocols to ensure that whatever happened will not happen again, all the while enduring the sort of character assassination usually reserved for politicians. And still they‘ve made the finals. What a year. Imagine if none of those departures had already occurred and you came out and demanded them – it would be the biggest football story ever. There would not be a footy fan who thought you had acted in anything other than an appropriate fashion.

But because the departures have happened one by one, the club is somehow perceived to have gotten off lightly. If the goal of the investigation was to force Essendon and all other teams to improve processes and protocols, it has surely served its purpose.


Then you have to stop listening to the media cheer squad who want more and more scalps. It‘s time for a cool, clear-headed approach: If you must press on with your charges against the four men – personally, I‘d let the club deal with Bomber, Corcoran and Reidy, but that‘s up to you – you‘re going to have to accept they‘ll never plead guilty to anything that casts them as drug cheats.


Poor managers, maybe, but not drug cheats. Persist with that and the whole thing will be stuck in the courts for years. Better to accept that their sins were ones of omission, not commission.

By all means punish them, but make sure you take into account the ‘‘time‘‘ they‘ve already served because, let‘s face it, they‘ve been on remand for the past seven months.


Hirdy‘s done it particularly hard. How would you like to have media camped outside your Toorak house every day, Andrew? (By the way, do you ever see each other in the neighbourhood? Maybe you should drop in for a cuppa.) The damage to his reputation has been immense. If you have to go for Hirdy, suspend him for the finals, not the team. Otherwise you‘re penalising the players, who have done nothing wrong, and the fans, who haven‘t either. It‘s not as if Essendon is going to win the flag – your investigation and interim report have already guaranteed that.


Of course, there will be those who will say you went soft, but who listens to Jeff Kennett and Mick Malthouse anyway? Victorians stopped listening to Jeff in 1999 and, by the look of the ladder, Blues‘ players have stopped listening to Mick too. I remain yours, etc. Bruce

Bruce Guthrie is an Essendon member and a former editor of The Age, The Sunday Age and the Herald Sun.

From the, 'ASADA ETC.' thread in the Hangar. 'Nuff said.  


Does any one know how to get prints of this book?


Want to frame the last page






More from the ASADA thread, that thread that just keeps on giving. 

Typical lack of research/knowledge.


It should have been 'Finish your investigation and fark off!'


Am I the only one concerned for James Hirds beautiful hair?

I'm sure there's a Peptide called Pantene Plus to help with that. Its administered as a foam that smells like apple and roses. It has been put together by compounding chemists in China and is freely available over the counter in Australia and Mexico. The ACC report states that Pantene Plus is not a banned substance under WADA S2, despite reports from Caroline Wilson that only Schwartkopft has been approved for human use and that inferior products present a folical risk to players and coaches alike. Dyson Heppel's mum has been briefed about her son's use of Pantene.


A little giggle from the ASADA thread, where else. We could do with a little light humour on this topic right now, and this fits the bill. 

Another tough day at the office for all of us. Can't even begin to imagine how everyone at the club is coping. At times its a roller coaster we all want to get off but we must unite.
The AFL agenda in releasing the charges was a strategic move to divide the football community so its us against them.
It was a desperate move as public opinion had began to shift against them. By including snippets of evidence, the charges created a narrative that most people read as a "report" rather than view them as "allegations".
Vlad also changed tack by using the "moral" argument to feed further negative emotion to the football community.
And it worked as the vast majority of the football public now want us punished and heavily.
Bringing together the club Presidents was stage 2 to build mounting pressure on our club to back down. Another chance to for the media to drive hard at us again.
The AFLPA have also played their part in condemning our club. Their commentary has added further damage.
Whilst we've tried to fire back, much of it slips through quickly so its almost impossible to get any real traction to counter any sensational media headline.
Ultimately the media drive the agenda and segments of the media are supported by the AFL.
We are rapidly losing the PR war and its denting everyone's confidence that we will get a fair & reasonable outcome.
The AFL is using the divide & conquer strategy - it's worked with the general public & judging by recent posts its starting to infiltrate amongst us with some happy to accept appalling penalties.
The media play their part by conditioning us to accept a penalty. Despite zero positive tests, zero infraction notices, they've told us for 6+ months that we are guilty and deserve to be punished. Some here are beginning to fall into their trap and believe them.
The media are disgraceful. They quote Dank when it suits and when it doesn't, attack his credibility. This is an example of how they continually twist & manipulate material to drive their agenda.
The general public have become sheep, we don't need to follow.
We need to stay united & fight against any proposed sanctions. I'm not saying there shouldn't be any as there are failings but any punishment must fit the crime.
Some here are happy to accept draft sanctions, loss of points, even suspensions to Hird.
I understand the pressure is on everyone and we want this finished but remember the players have been charged with nothing and any penalty you are willing to accept is done without even hearing the EFC side of things.
In effect, it means you have succumbed to the AFL bullying & the media conditioning without even wanting to hear our side of the story.
Doesn't that defy what we've all been fighting for over the last 6+ months?
Now is not the time to go into our shells. Call the club, tell them how you feel. Email as some have done with fantastic messages. Get in social media & protect the players & club.
This is the darkest time in our clubs history so don't give up so easily. Depending on the severity, some of the rumoured penalties have the potential to tear the club apart and to its knees.
And be clear, no matter what outcome, the media will continue drive this wherever they can for years to come so don't expect it to magically go away by hastily accepting punishment.
Its the story that "keeps on giving" and we will be hearing it for years either way.
Remember, the AFL told us come forth and it will look better....we all know how that turned out. Co-operate and it will be in our favour....we all know how that turned out.
Integrity is everything, without it you have nothing so its time to stand tall, stay strong and remain united so we can keep fighting until the very end.
Ill see you at the G tonight!

In a nutshell, the saga summed up beautifully, form the 'ASADA take 147 thread in The Hangar. 

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Another fine post or two now ...



I'm always suspicious when I hear of deals like this being publicised on the likes of twitter, and here. Lets assume it's legitimate though.
These are hard times, and there's little to feel good about. The one thing we could cling to was the very determined insistence of the club that these charges were spurious. We could believe, and hope, that our club is innocent.
A deal turns that on its head, whether true or not. We are damned if we accept such a deal as being rumoured on offer. That might be fair - we may be guilty and deserving of it. Or we might not be. Regardless, as a supporter I want to know. I deserve to know. I don't want the AFL riding roughshod over us to get this out of the way.
A deal like this by its nature is antithetical to that. For a start we get the sentence without the trial. We get the presumption of guilt without our day in court.
This is what I find very troubling - this presumption, even acceptance, of guilt.
Now if all the charges are true I believe we deserve a fair whack. In fact, I would be disgusted as a supporter to think my club could be so careless and negligent. I don't think that's the case though - though that could be
because I am a supporter.
I believe we were negligent, but I doubt any drugs were improperly administered. I would like to know, and
want us to be judged on the truth or otherwise of that. The penalty should be commensurate with the crime,
and not pander to public and media expectation. The leaked penalties seem too much to me.
Finally it sits very poorly with me that the reprehensible actions of the AFL and their media cronies should go
unpunished. We lose, not necessarily because we are in the wrong - let that be properly adjudicated on - but
because we lack the resources of the AFL, and because the PR war is against us.
My preference is to hold out. Give us our day in court, whether it be in the high court or before an
independent tribunal. If our cause is just then stick fat. And as a supporter I'll feel very dissatisfied if a deal is done and all the rest of it is swept under the carpet.

There are have been so many well written posts in the various Asada threads over the past 7 months but
IMO Caliban's post truly captures why it so important that the Club and it's individuals continue to stand up for what it believes to be the truth and not bend to the external pressures being brought to bear by the AFL
and the media.
The Club has consistently stated the view that the mistakes that have been made relate to poor governance and process only. Whilst not understating the potential exposure this caused to players steps have proactively been implemented to address these issues. Importantly no banned substances have been found to have been administered.
From an individual perspective, Hird has consistently claimed that the truth is on his side and when all is revealed it will portray both he and the Club in a positive light. Thompson has stated that 90% of the charges as presented in the interim Asada report are not valid as they relate to him.
There are no doubt enormous benefits to the AFL if a deal can be made quickly and there is certainly pressure on the club (and some potential benefits) to support such a process. However it removes the presumption of natural justice to which the Club has always held firm.
Fighting for what you believe in is not always easy and the Club wont be popular with many if it chooses this option.
On occasion it might seem like a lost cause but sometimes it is these types of causes and the integrity that are attached to them, that are the ones that you fight for the hardest.


Another fine post form the ASADA take 147 thread in The Hangar. Looks like the panic merchants have had their say and the cold light of reason has returned. 

But wait, there's more ...



I think the government, ASADA, AFL and the media—both through their actions and inactions—have CAUSED the general public to believe our club is guilty of drug cheating and James Hird is to blame.


I think the AFL, despite having no proof of actual drug cheating, are actively seeking a ‘deal‘ that includes a punishment of such magnitude, that, for all intents and purposes, will ‘prove‘ we really did cheat and that James Hird really was to blame.


I think if we take ANY deal that includes a loss of points, then that‘s ‘proof‘ that we believe our players had an unfair advantage—that the matches they won, they won through cheating.


I think if we take ANY deal that includes our coach having to ‘step down‘, then that‘s ‘proof‘ that we believe he was DIRECTLY responsible for intentionally and systematically administering a performance-enhancing drug program.


Consequently, I don‘t support a deal that includes loss of points or our coach ‘stepping down‘. 


Also, If we DO accept that kind of deal, I think it will haunt the club for generations. And, contrary to the belief that it will give us a ‘fresh start‘ in 2014, I think it will lead to a ‘stale‘ DECADE ahead. 


Another fine post from you know where. The voice of reason, long may it be heard.


This year has been outrageous.    First we were systematically,  deliberately setting out to give the team performance enhancing drugs in a drug dungeon.  Then it wasn't PEDs, but it was banned substances.   Then it was banned substances,  but maybe the club was given the wrong information by ASADA.  But that didn't matter, because it was what WADA said, not what ASADA said that mattered.  Even though WADA said "Ask ASADA".   Then it was governance.   Then comms between hird and dank/robinson were leaked (and published!) that were twisted to try to hang James Hird,  even though in every single communication on the matter, James Hird was asserting that his position was that all substances must be legal,  they must carry no long term health concerns for the players,  and the players must agree.  Now Fairfax are all the way down to "They may not have broken the rules,  but they failed morally" and so they must cop $5m fine, lose draft picks for two years,  lose all their premiership points for this season,  and Hird, Corcoran, Thomson and Reid must be suspended.
For imagined moral failings.  So far every single accusation has fallen (eventually!) under the weight of evidence that has been given to the journos.   This one would in time as well.  But despite the level of seriousness in the charges breaking away in the face of facts, the cries of "stone them!" just get louder and louder.
And it was halfway through before people started chanting "Points, points, points" and that was only because of an off the cuff question in a nothing interview given by a Vlad underling. The day after taht interview it was front page news, and then the suggestion's been part of every presser and discussion of finals ever since. Now, despite assurances to the contrary in March, they're at the forefront of the negotiations. This is proof that where we're at now is 100% because of the conditioning the media's done to the AFL community.
The only accusation still standing is governance.  For people that don't understand,  fundamentally that means paperwork.    Because as an elite football club, what we're really good at is paperwork.   
Benfti's amazingly well written post with regards to the loss of points sums up most of how I feel about this penalty.  The only things I have to add is that the 18 clubs of the competition better watch out in future.  If you can lose permiership points because the AFL doesn't like your paperwork,  lord help everyone.
I feel very similarly about any loss of draft picks.  The only draft pick I would accept would be the first draft pick of this year's draft,  and that's only if we ended up being forced to lose all our points, and therefore get the first pick of each round after teh first..  Which is a rediculous thing to contemplate.
A fine,  sadly,  isn't something that I could argue agaisnt.  It's completely appropriate for the sort of failings that happened at the club last year.  The magnitude is a talking point, however.   Based on the info that's publically available,  I'd think an appropriate fine might be something in the vicinity of $300,000 to $500,000.  Because we are Essendon,  and we are rich,  it seems like there's a big push to make it mroe because that level of fine 'wouldn't hurt'.  Like most,  I don't care too much about this.
The charging of the four individuals seems just as outrageous as anything in the saga.  Hird clearly stated that things needed to be legal and healthy at all times.  Thomson clearly said that the program needed to stop.  Corcoran spent most of this time not even at the club.  And Reid was kept as far from the program as the people directly involved felt they could get away with.  The only one of the three that has any link to it is James Hird,  and it's damned thin.   
But there's a much bigger picture here.   The club's said it will do what's best for the club.  I just wonder if they're about to sell out the code.  Any loss of premiership points is totally unacceptable, not just for us but for the future of the game.  Same for any loss of draft picks.
I've been a proud bomber supporter all my life.  I will be proud if they stand up for themselves here.   So far they've leaned out of their chair a few times to say "We did nothing wrong.  When we're allowed,  we will tell our side of the story" and settled back into their seat.  They have yet to take to their feet.  I am hoping that we get to hear the EFC clear it's throat and let forth the full story. Preferably before any sanctions are agreed to.
And the club better be fully understanding that after all the strong talk,  if we accept sanctions that seem appropriate for drug cheating rather than for governance,  they will have let the club down.  And all the supporters who've been so loud and supportive this season.

Great post nemir, I feel the same way.


From the, 'ASADA Drama - The Thread' somewhere in The Hangar. Nemir shows his class, not for the first time either. 


YOU CANNOT IN YOUR RIGHT MIND BELIEVE THE PUBLIC WILL BUY THAT THE CHARGES WERE ABOUT THE WELFARE OF THE PLAYERS THEN HAND OUT A PUNISHMENT THAT WILL OF ALL PEOPLE INVOLVED HURT THE PLAYERS THE MOST WHAT THE fark IS WRONG WITH THE AFL?Every little kid dreams of playing finals and winning a flag, they're going to take that opportunity away from the essendon players, after saying this was all about protecting them. If this happens we cannot accept this. I don't know what we should do but we should do something. For every little kid playing the game now, and every kid who'll play the game in the future, you cannot let the AFL tarnish the history (and future) of this game by taking away THE HARD EARNED finals opportunity that our boys have put in. Never before has a team been removed from the finals in the history of the game. That is essentially a 12 month ban of players, worse, because it makes every bit of heart our boys have put on the field this year for nil. Despite the media, despite everything they put it all out there week in week out for a superhuman effort, and the afl is going to make that all for nothing. They talk so much about this game being about heart, if they rip the finals from our lads it says heart is worth nothing. The amazing resilience, courage and strength our players have shown in the last season is the only truth we've seen in this whole saga, you cannot argue against football, and the football of our players under the circumstances has been the sort of footy every coach from under 10's to the afl tries to instil, and the afl is going to punish them for that. NOT ON OUR WATCH. How ******* dare they.

The F**ked thing a bout this is that everyone will say 'well its Essendon's fault that this is happening to the players'. The comment I get at work a lot is 'if you do the crime, you do the time'. To everyone else it's not the AFL's fault. I try to defend us but I'm labelled 'delusional'. I don't like that label and I don't believe I am delusional. This is why I personally want it all out in the public, in court so we know for certain we are only guilty of governance issues.


Some passion now from the ASADA Drama thread in The Hangar. A post that very aptly sums up how many of us are feeling right now. Maintain the rage. 


Cerberus â€@tretestecane

"Sorry, we will not sack him."

Clearly this was AFL's answer to Little's demand.


Okay then, what about the other one? The latest from you know where.

A long post from the latest version of the long running drama, this week known as the 'ASADA Drama: We're 9th, Jim's on Holidays,' thread in The Hangar. A post that encapsulates how many of us here feel. lt covers my own mood on many points, but l am unable to walk away from this club and the travails it faces. When a club faces the sort of opposition we have been subjected to over the course of this year, then solidarity is the only way out.   


I need to take a break from footy for a while..our decision to walk away from the fight has deflated me to the point I have questioned the clubs credibility for the first time in my 34 years of being a die hard supporter.  I have the deepest seated hatred toward the snakes at the AFL for playing a major role in the downfall of our great club and am still strongly considering walking away and following another sport after 20 years a member and the club meaning absolutely everything to me. I am extremely disappointed with the club to the point that I feel the clubs proud status has been  tainted beyond repair, it's something that is not about to wash away for a long long time and I am shattered.


For the last 7 or so months I have defended them to the hilt while family and friends took pot shots, I stood firm and attempted valiantly to explain the truth and that their minds were being controlled and what they were really doing was barracking for our demise, refusing to entertain the facts I was presenting them with while proudly proclaiming how stupid all the detractors would look when James Hird and the club were victorious in a court of law... even while ramping up my defence of the club through social media etc


I have stuck my neck out for the club and Hirdy, it cuts deep and it was personal all the insults I had to withstand, not to mention the CW propaganda pieces, yes I swore I wouldnt read another one but then someone would post it on this site and the hatred just exacerbated. I unable to arrive at any other outcome other than the club is guilty, otherwise we would be proceeding with our threats in the supreme court.. I do not buy Little and Hirdy's reasoning that they have taken their punishment to protect the players and the game in that it has gone on too long, the fight was absolutely important regardless of the lasting damage in my opinion, IF we are innocent and it does not matter how protracted the court case was to run, so long as we are innocent and have our name cleared of this permanant stain, but not now.. that black mark will be forever next to our name and opposition scum will be letting us know forever and a day... all us supporters have been given at the end of the day in terms of an explanation is a s&*% sandwich.


I have major grievences towards the club right now and cannot simply forgive and forget immediately.. I have many many questions that demands truthful answers about what happened, I mean, Why did they prolong the agony for all of us and conversely why did the AFL prolong the investigation? Was it to prevent most of our games during year ending up dead rubbers? 1 dead rubber is better than 10+.. hence why I desperately wanted to see this end up in a court  so we could all find out what really occured. Was the clubs threats of litigation just a failed bluff in a poker hand knowing full well they were holding a busted straight? I guess this is what I am starting to rationalize and I am sure many of you are in the same mindset.. I cannot just forgive and forget without the truth, I am annoyed, I feel cheated as a die hard supporter and feel we have been treated with contempt and to a degree and thrown us to the wolves in terms of looking like deadset fools in front of friends and family with our outspoken and defiant stance of proclaiiming our club as being the scapegoats (which I am sure we still were to a large degree) I just want the club to come completely clean before I can move on, it's critical to the healing process.


I am not ready to attend the game this week, it still hurts way too much. I feel for the players, I really do and appreciate they need our support but right now there is too much resentment and there is a healing process and I think the pain is telling me that football needs to take a back seat in my life. I also made it very clear to everybody last week that in the event the AFL sticks it up then I walk away from supporting the game on a permanant basis, I think adhering to that promise I made to myself is probably not a bad idea.


thanks for reading, just needed to vent.


The OP from the '

<span style="font-size:14px;"><sup>The Resurrection of Essendon and Saint James' thread in the Hangar, is not so much a post, opinion or an article as an essay. As such it makes for fine reading. Classic posts are few and far between these days, but l am sure things will improve in this area, cheers all.&nbsp;</sup></span>


Essendon, and the push to bring down the gods of our secular religion




The club and its coach James Hird received heavy p




THIS year has seen further demonstration of the strange phenomenon of sport as religion. In question is the location of encounters with the sacred in the modern secular world.

When is it that most Australians are drawn out of their profane lives to become engaged in something more inspiring than the humdrum everyday; when the tepid blood suddenly begins to surge; when the passion barometer rises, moved by scintillating greatness, or dark iniquity; and even when there is some absurd sense that higher forces are at work, guiding events?

The Essendon Football Club drugs scandal has been the lead case, and it provides illuminating clues to the nature of secular religion in Australia today. Its status as the archetypal story of the year is evidenced in its monopolising front and back pages of newspapers over seven months, even in Sydney during its climax in August; and in its dominance of the seven weekly television football chat shows in Melbourne, and likewise for talkback radio.

Why this story, and over such a long period of time? It is odd given the fact no evidence of the taking of illicit drugs was produced; nor were any players charged. The club and its coach James Hird received heavy penalties for the vague and intangible offence of bringing the game into disrepute. Indeed a highly charged spirit of irrationality surrounded the entire episode.

From the point of view of the Essendon fans, of which there are hundreds of thousands, and I am one, it was like the miasma which manifested in classical Greek tragedy. The miasma was a kind of vast and pestilential vapour that settled over events in bad times, a supernatural malignity that blanketed out the light and choked the breath of the unfortunate actors who happened to be caught by it. Humans could merely wait passively and suffer, until the vapour cleared.

The Dons' fans fought back for months, buying club memberships in record numbers, attending a St Kilda game in April brandishing 10,000 placards reading "Stand by Hird", and flooding talkback radio with protests. The players did the same, winning most of their games before August, with the team near the top of the ladder for half the season, and players from the captain down asserting their devotion to the coach. But, after six months of relentless, intimidating public pressure, including the resignations of club CEO and chairman, the miasmic shadows took their toll. Players lost focus and fans became morosely subdued.

The sports media displayed its own irrationality. From the outset senior journalists, led by Caroline Wilson at The Age, launched a moral crusade against club and coach. In column after column, Wilson called for a purge of all the evil pollution oozing from the club.

By August, phalanxes of sports journalists, with a few remarkable exceptions, like Chip Le Grand at The Australian, had joined in the witch-hunt. Salem had come to Melbourne, minus the explicit supernatural trappings of demonic possession, hellfire and damnation, but with similar energies discharging at full throttle.

Even normally sober and detached commentators became possessed by lynch-mob fervour, as if the devil had indeed come to possess the principal actors at the Essendon Football Club, and the game could only be saved by exorcising them. In particular, the media had turned its stalking fanaticism on to Hird.

Then there was the AFL itself, led by chief Andrew Demetriou. As administrator of the game, director and custodian, the AFL is meant to be dispassionate and fair. Yet, in this affair it acted with puzzling vindictiveness. Its long prosecution sheet against the EFC read as if prepared by a zealot. It included numerous hypothetical charges; it is possible that it charged Hird himself with injecting supplements, a charge of no legal relevancy. Maybe Hird's behaviour was unseemly, but as such belonged in gossip magazines -- to include it a serious legal document indicated malign intent.

And the AFL acted not only as prosecutor, but also judge. The fact it has now dropped all charges against Essendon's doctor, Bruce Reid, rather than test them in the Supreme Court, underlines the injudiciousness of its own conduct.

From the outset there was systematic leaking of confidential materials relating to the case from the AFL. The leaks fed the media, and kept the story hot through seven months, doing untold damage to innocent parties, and principally to the Essendon players. If anything served to bring the game into disrepute, it was the sustained megaphoning of "Scandal, scandal, scandal!" The climate of leaking promoted a mood of speculation, in which it became normal to see one day's rumour or innuendo turn up as next day's front-page fact.

The AFL's motivation is hard to read. Maybe it had decided that Draconian prosecution and punishment were necessary, in order to send the message to all clubs that drugs and injected supplements would not be tolerated. But months of public shaming had achieved that end. And at the centre of the scandal were supplements that are not performance-enhancing; and ones that are of dubious value for speeding up recovery from injury. There is no equivalent here, in terms of gravity, to cheating the salary cap, which is of huge potential advantage for clubs.

I suspect there was rancour at work. Maybe the Essendon tradition as a clean, straight, well-run club was an irritant to some members of the football fraternity. Above all, there was resentment against Hird. Charismatic, good-looking, brilliant and courageous as a player, highly intelligent and well-spoken, and a devoted family man, he made an obvious target for envy. As a player, he occasionally attracted the epithet 'Saint James'. This affair was mainly about him.

Hird's decision to drop the attempt to clear his name by means of legal action against the AFL, in the interests of the club, has been read by a colleague of mine (a Blues fan) as an act of martyrdom.

Following the same script, his 12-month suspension from coaching becomes the interregnum before resurrection.

The analogy should not be pressed too far. Hird was not without fault, and nor was the EFC. There are two issues, the principal one being a serious failure of governance at the club. The club self-reported the 2012 supplements program, commissioned its own report, and was in the process of making its own administrative reforms.

There is, second, an issue of duty of care to the players. The club doctor expressed concern on this front. The turn to injected supplements was naive, misguided, and perhaps reckless. But let us put "duty of care" in perspective. Elite footballers are subjected to extreme regimes of weight and track training to improve their strength and fitness. This may make them more vulnerable to soft-tissue injuries and increase the likelihood of body malfunctions later in life. The speed of the game takes its own long-term toll on footballers' bodies. So where does duty of care -- another intangible -- begin and end?

Greek tragedy was set in a pagan religious context that has affinities today. Uncannily, Demetriou last week, in an extraordinary attack on Le Grand, mocked his Christian name: Homer.

More seriously, the heroes of Greek drama such as Oedipus acted and reacted in the practical human world, striving to assess how to respond to events, how to measure individual culpability, and how to inflict their own retributions. Shakespeare's King Lear moved in a similar metaphysical universe, "more sinned against than sinning"-- a judgment with which Hird might identify.

But all the while human affairs would race out of the control of the individual actors, and become subject to cataclysmic forces from beyond. The miasmic fog descended; in the gloom, the fates worked their implacable will, served by unwitting human agents.

John Carroll is Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University.

- See more at:


Been a while since l found something truly worth posting in here. A classic post now from the Media Clowns are at it again, thread in The Hangar. l suspect we could all do with a little comic relief from the present sage, regardless of musical tastes. 



"leaked email chain"

To: Ray Gunston
From: Andrew Dillon
Subject: Hird‘s Pay 
Hi Ray
Andrew was just in here asking if you guys are still paying Hird. Don‘t worry, I assured him you weren‘t and he stopped yelling after a while.
Just wanted to give you the heads up he‘s going to correct the media on this story.
Hope all‘s well.
To: Andrew Dillon
From: Ray Gunston
Subject: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
This is a bit of an awkward one. We are still paying James. It‘s our understanding that was the deal. I‘ll talk to James‘ lawyers.
P.s. Thanks for getting me into the new Keith Urban album. Amazing!
To: Ray Gunston
From: Andrew Dillon
Subject: RE: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
Ray, you can‘t be serious! Andrew is going to flip. It will be like Meatloaf all over again.
He‘s just told the media he knows you‘re not. It‘s iron clad in the agreement. I‘m going to go get the exact wording.
P.s Love‘s Poster Child. Best Keith Urban song by a ‘country‘ mile.
To: Ray Gunston
From: Andrew Dillon
CC: Andrew Demetriou
Subject: RE: RE: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
Ok. So I haven‘t found the actual wording. There‘s no doubt though that this was the vibe of the agreement.
I‘ve cc‘d Andrew in as we may need to thrash this out pretty quickly.
To: Andrew Dillon Andrew Demetriou
From: Ray Gunston
CC: Paul Little
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
Andrew and Andrew
What in god‘s name is this? The [email protected]#king Castle?
James has about 2000 lawyers working for him. Even his wife‘s a lawyer. There not going to cop this.
To: Andrew Dillon, Andrew Demetriou
From: Paul Little
CC: Ray Gunston
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
Guy‘s, just getting off the private jet and looking back at the email train.
To say I‘m angry is an understatement.
Love‘s Poster Child, is not Keith Urban‘s best song ‘by a country mile‘. It‘s not even the best song on Fuse. The best song is ‘Even the Stars Fall 4 U.‘ His best song is ‘Making Memories of Us.‘
P.s This pay thing is all over the shop. Sort it out before Tania finds out. She‘s the only person who scares me.
To: Ray Gunston Paul Little
From: Andrew Demetriou
CC: Andrew Dillon
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
This is ridiculous. Keith Urban is awful. If you were scoring the worst movie that could possibly be made, he would provide the soundtrack.
Every time he starts singing, music is set back centuries.
Paul, Ray, I believe it was well understood James wouldn‘t be paid. Why would you want to pay someone who‘s suspended?
I agree with Paul. If Tania finds out about this we are all in trouble. Andrew and Ray, get in a room and fix it.
To: Andrew Demetriou
From: Paul Little
CC: Andrew Dillon Ray Gunston
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
I don‘t think we can take seriously a Meatloaf fan. Contray to popular belief, his performance at the Grand Final was his BEST performance.
Also Tania has spoken to the Herald Sun. Things are rapidly spinning out of control.
To: Paul Little
From: Andrew Demetriou
CC: Andrew Dillon Ray Gunston
Subject: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: RE: Hird‘s Pay 
MEATLOAF! I told you never to mention that Paul!
Consider your discretionary payments suspended until further notice. I‘m in good mind to salt your fields and punish you for four generations.
P.s. Not very happy with Tania‘s comments either.
all these posts don't have to be serious, do they?

That is hilarious! Funniest thing I have read today.


Captain, thanks for taking the time. 

A delicious little piece of history repeating itself, again and again, from the 'AFL cancels Christmas' thread in the Hangar. 





There is no doubt this list needs finals experience.
Another finals debacle might have set us back even further, so you could argue either way.
Would have all depended on who we played

Without doubt the best thing about being booted out of the finals was watching Richmond becoming the first team in history to be knocked out by the 9th placed team......ahhh the irony!



And therefore technically finishing  ...  drrrrrrum role please ...... 9TH AGAIN!   Tish!



Been so much fun pointing that out to Tiges fans.


From the 'Awesome Aussie Bands' thread in the Pool room, a thread that has now developed into a discussion about the overall state of modern music, a post that shows this expansion succinctly and encapsulates the feelings of some of us interested in the sate of play. 



I think the other issue with todays music (possibly moreso than ever before) is that it's about instant gratification.
Mainstream "Songs" you here on the radio these days are essentially catchy ideas that are meant to make you go "oh yeah, that's a cool little rhyme" or "woah that's a bit raunchy" or "that's a funky little sound effect". There's not much substance or nuance that you won't pick up until the 10th time you've listened to the song, it's all chorus, repetitive and mainlined into your skull, like advertising jingles.
Most people complaining about music today would probably agree that a lot of today's pop/R&B music won't really stand the test of time as there's no real emotion, and it's packaged with of what the 'artist' is wearing , what's happening in the film clip, what's the latest story in the tabloids etc.
Back in my golden era you had the record/tape/CD and that was about all you had to go on, other than a Rolling Stone article if you were lucky. The rest you had to use your imagination for while listening intently to the songs and pouring over the lyrics and album artwork.

What a brilliant post.
You have encapsulated my thoughts more thoroughly and eloquently than I could have.
I remember when we were kids (early 80's for me), every week we'd go down to the local music store and pick up the Top 50 (?) Chart.
From that, we would do our own Top 20.
From memory, we never had any trouble finding 20 current songs to place into our Top 20, and quite often we were regrettably leaving songs out that we still loved.
Could anyone realistically say that about today's music ?
Your comment about today's R&B/Pop not lasting the test of time was hit nail on head stuff.
Captain know what to do with Wannabes post.......


Sometimes this thread does requests. 

In the spirit of Christmas the AFL has just made a public apology to the EFC.
The AFL has conceded that it broke several protocols in co-authoring the ASADA investigation despite the need for the Government body to operate indepently. Headquarters has admitted that it determined the penalty handed to the Bombers very early in the investigation and then conditioned the public into supporting its position. The protection of revenue streams and ensuring minimal brand damage was clearly prioritised over establishing the 'truth' and discovering what really happened at the club in 2012. Both the AFL and ASADA recognise that given the advice at the time AOD9604 could not be considered a banned substance. CEO Andrew Demitriou stressed however that the Bombers were treated no differently to the 17 other AFL clubs; "we bully all the clubs equally" he suggested, "and if we think there is important imformation that strengthens our position we make no apology in hoping on the phone to Caroline or Patrick." In a startling revelation Demetriou also suggested that "we see events like the supplements saga at Essendon as opportunities to drive our equalisation agenda, how are the expansion clubs going to compete if we don't bring the stronger clubs down a peg or two?"
Despite the public apology the AFL said there would be compensation for the Bombers suggesting that James Hird needed 'to learn who was boss' before the club would be forgiven for its failures in governance.
In further developments the AFL suggested that the joint investigation into the Bombers would remain open until at least 2023.

Some Christmas cheer now, even though The AFL has cancelled it for some. 




ASADA staff xmas party 2013.


From the 'ASADA and so on and so forth etc etc' thread in The Hangar. Is that Ings and Fahey just behind Miss Piggy? 


From the 'Cricket Thread. Ashes 2103' in The Sports Bar, as neat an encapsulation of an Ashes campaign as you will ever see, a bone fide classic, worth preserving.