The AFL Footy Show kicked off its 10th year last night. It was a pretty
flat opening effort, with Sam Newman as painful and sexist as ever and
his jokes falling flat as usual. How can someone so unfunny remains to
popular? It’s called being controversial and pushing the envelope.

Eddie McGuire really can’t have it both ways. Earlier this week he put
up his new female Collingwood director, Sally Capp, for a page one
picture story in The Age.

The Age has clearly become obsessed with this sex, blokes and sport
issue as all four opinion pieces in today’s paper were devoted to it.

You have then had the Western Bulldogs cancelling their annual “revue”
at Crown Casino because it would be in poor taste for the boys to
parody women given the Canterbury Bulldogs scandal.

But none of this has got through to Sam Newman who was there staring at
breasts, cuddling up in bed with buxom bombshells and telling jokes
about Bill Clinton not being good to play golf with because “he
wouldn’t know what hole he was on”. Eddie laughs along showing that
he’s more interested in ratings than good taste or respect for women,
even in the current environment.

Eddie and “the boys” were last week claiming to have seen off
challenges from 135 programs during their 10 year run and there’s
nothing to suggest that dominance won’t continue.

Coverage in the Herald Sun’s Eye column of last week’s celebrations
included a comment from Eddie that he couldn’t understand why some
clubs don’t like their players appearing on the show. Eddie said, “You
look at the big clubs that have used The Footy Show well, Essendon,
Collingwood, Adelaide, there’s no fluke that they’re the ones with kids
running around with different numbers on their back.”

But nothing has changed – weren’t they already the biggest clubs a
decade ago? Surely Eddie isn’t trying to take credit for their
popularity.

Smaller clubs like the Western Bulldogs and Melbourne have also had
regular Footy Show panelists over the years. Yet they continue to
struggle to stay afloat – obviously they are aren’t using the show
“well” enough.

Maybe some clubs don’t want to be associated with the blokey smut that is served up on The Footy Show.

The Rugby League Footy Show was also quite pathetic last night as the
boys announced at the beginning of the program that the biggest story
in football was too hot for them and wouldn’t be mentioned. How
pathetic.

Eddie in Paradise with sponsors everywhere
Sealed section March 19

The AFL Footy Show demonstrated more gumption than its quisling Sydney
cousin last night when Eddie McGuire hosted a live forum with players
and administrators to tackle the issue of rape in football.

Eddie managed to squeeze some sensible answers from the likes of mad
pants man Dermot Brereton, senior St Kilda player and great Warnie mate
Aaron Hamill and Melbourne director Bev O’Connor. But we only got
drivel from thrice married sexual predator Sam Newman – who accused
women of being sexual predators themselves, ganging up on the poor
players.

Eddie, himself a former party animal on the pick-up circuit in his
single days, firmly sat himself on the barbed wire fence, asking
whether the problem was one for footy clubs – or whether “society” was
to blame. He cited celebrity magazines, internet porn, and reality TV
shows as changing the social environment.

Channel Nine helpfully bolstered Eddie’s argument during the next ad
break, screening a commercial for one of its newest quality programs:
“It’s steamier! It’s nastier!” cooed the husky voice-over, above images
of couples cavorting in the swimming pool. “Get dripped in desire on
Paradise Hotel!”

More outrageous Eddie Everywhere conflicts
Sealed section March 19

An Adelaide subscriber writes:

Surely it is time that something was done about Eddie Everywhere’s
abuse of his position as host of The Footy Show and his conflict of
interest in that position as president of the Collingwood Football
Club. Last night the show opened with an orchestrated free plug for
Collingwood’s new sponsor Sony.

It went for about three minutes! Next, he ensures that his new
Collingwood board member Sally Capp is included on a panel to discuss
sex scandals in football. She contributed little (how could she, she
has been involved in the AFL for five minutes) but it gave Eddie an
opportunity to blow his Collingwood bags about their first female board
member in the club’s history – such appointments are old hat at other
clubs.

Capp’s contribution to the entire discussion was some totally
irrelevant comment about how her appointment had been welcomed by her
banking colleagues!

Next, when interviewing Adelaide captain, Mark Riccuito, the entire
segment turned to farce with another of Collingwood’s sponsors, Crazy
John’s mascot carrying on with juvenile antics to the camera while
standing behind Riccuito, who became completely distracted. Also,
strategically placed behind Riccuito were two Emirates airline stewards
smiling to the camera. Emirates of course is another Collingwood
sponsor.

It is time the boofhead sycophants who run the AFL and the management
at Channel Nine did something about this blatant abuse of position by
McGuire – or else give ALL club sponsors equal air time.

McGuire bleats about the salary cap advantage given to the Sydney and
Brisbane clubs while prostituting a television show to give his
football club’s sponsors hundreds of thousands of dollars in exposure
not available to any club except Collingwood.

Paul Clancy, Adelaide

Eddie’s Footy Show mea culpa
Sealed section March 19

ABC Victoria’s Stateline on Friday night had an excellent wrap on the
footy sex scandal by Josephine Cafagna which is well worth a read here.

Apologies for Stateline’s mis-spelling of Eddie’s name but read this
slab of the transcript in full because it includes a rather stunning
mea culpa by Eddie about The Footy Show’s portrayal of women two weeks
ago. Eddie labelled it “stupid” and said backsides were kicked. Well
why wasn’t there any public acknowledgment of this for a full eight
days? The only way The Footy Show can get with the times is by sacking
Sam Newman but that ain’t going to happen any time soon so Eddie will
continue to be tarred his smutty sexist brush.

Stateline transcript:

CAROLINE WILSON: Every single club president, every single coach, every
single player you talk to off the record blames the women or at least
thinks the women are equally culpable.

EDDIE MAGUIRE: I’m saying there is as many predator women these days,
whereas once upon a time that may not have been the situation. There
are absolutely as many predator women, I mean, I’ve spoken to our guys
about it and they tell me.

JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA: What do you mean by predator women?

EDDIE MAGUIRE: That’s women target the footballers. They want to be
with them, they instigate situations, they approach the players, they
instigate all these types of things, not all the time, but these days,
it is far more predominant.

LYNNE KOSKY, VICTORIAN EDUCATION MINISTER: Well, I think the notion
that women are predators is a very outdated notion. It goes really back
to the time when women dressed in a particular way and therefore asked
for it. What does predatory mean? Does it mean because women want to
catch up with players that they contact players, that that somehow
equals consent? No, it doesn’t.

JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA: Central to the rise of celebrity players in AFL has been Eddie Maguire’s Footy Show.

SAM NEWMAN ON THE FOOTY SHOW: But as we say, welcome to Titty…Totty Goldsmith.

JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA: These are some of the images from last week’s show.
Mr Maguire rejects suggestions his show stereotypes women’s roles.

EDDIE MAGUIRE: Well, I don’t think so. I mean, I think The Footy Show
gets…I think we get stereotyped, I mean, we have been in the vanguard
of HIV in football.

JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA: But specifically about women and the way women are portrayed?

EDDIE MAGUIRE: Well, how are they portrayed? You tell me.

JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA: Well, two weeks ago with melons.

EDDIE MAGUIRE: Yeah exactly, that was a send up and I must admit I
took issue on that. I took absolute issue on it and there was a fair
bit of backside kicking in the production staff and that can be backed
up absolutely. I took issue on that. And I said it was stupid, I didn’t
think it was anything else. In a lot of ways though, that’s sending it
up.

JOSEPHINE CAFAGNA: In his more serious role as Collingwood Club
president, Mr Maguire addressed his players this week about their
responsibilities.

EDDIE MAGUIRE: And I told them, in no uncertain term, what the
definition of rape is. Because you get kids of 17 or 18 years of age.
They think a rapist is a person with a balaclava and a gun who pulls
some unsuspecting woman off the street or climbs in through the bedroom
window in the middle of the night. And I went into the intimate details
of it doesn’t matter what the situation is, when a girl says “no”, that
is it, it’s no.

Peter Fray

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