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Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Young Talent In the Ranks

This carry-over story from last year just won't go away. Three young apprentice footballers caused a night of mayhem and public violence in December, 2001 at Melbourne's Federation Square. The main media interest was the involvement of Kade Carey - nephew of Wayne Carey, the Slogger from Wagga (an appellation relating to his weakness for slogging it to his teammates' wives).

From The Age story last year:

[T]hey were approached by up to five security guards patrolling the precinct, and a fight broke out.

Two of the guards went to hospital with serious injuries including eye socket, nose and wrist fractures.

Police used capsicum spray to overpower and arrest the trio, during which Carey allegedly assaulted one of the officers.

Yeah, nice.

Here's the posse leaving court today:

It seems that Dane Swan, left, Kade Carey and Aaron Ramsay weren't content with a traditional serve of football drink'n'biff. No, what makes this crew stand out is the manner in which the altercation started.

Lauren Marriner, the driver of the vehicle, told police that she saw three men standing on the side of Flinders Street. Then one of them ran at her car.

"As I got closer to the males, I slowed down so I wouldn't hit them. As I was still moving slowly, the larger guy ran at my car, ran onto the bonnet and jumped on my windscreen 'body slam' style," Ms Marriner told police.

Carey, 21, is charged with intentionally destroying property, that being Ms Marriner's windscreen. He also faces 16 other charges relating to an alleged brawl with security staff in the square.

Swan, 20, faces 13 charges that include intentionally causing injury and assault by kicking. Ramsay, 22, is charged with recklessly causing serious injury and intentionally causing serious injury. (The Age)

What the hell is going on? This guy apparently just charged the windscreen of a passing girl's car!

Was this some sort of ploy to get the ladies' attention?

Or a case of misidentification of a taxi followed by an entirely reasonable effort at hailing it in the notorious Fed Square rank?

Please submit your own ideas as to why an adult man would hurl himself at a slowly-moving vehicle ... other than to say "Yep - he's a professional AFL footballer, alright".

*** UPDATE ***

Must be sobering to face charges in court for hospitalising other people. Not for these three tools; it's time for more intimidation and smirking:

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg asked Kade Carey to move seats in court 17 at Melbourne Magistrates Court and stop intimidating Vanessa Denami as she sat in the witness box.

"I'd like you not to eyeball the witness when she is giving evidence . . . it's not right," Mr Rozencwajg said.

Mr Rozencwajg also told Carey, 21, and his two co-accused, Aaron Ramsay, 22, and Collingwood defender Dane Swan, 20, to stop smirking during the hearing. Swan spent much of the afternoon session swigging on a water bottle. (The Age)

These thugs should find it easy to get sponsors for charcoal suits, hair gel and sunnies because we're going to be seeing a lot more of them dressed like that than in football guernseys.

Citations: The Age; The Age

Word Count: 550

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Monday, January 17, 2005

Would You Rent to a Footballer?

Is January too early to begin a blog of footballers' shortcomings? Not on your Nelson. Speccy poster-child Karl Norman has shown the way with this year's first "bad tenant" story. Here is the reportage from Melbourne's trashy Murdoch paper, known locally as The Hun:

TROUBLED AFL footballer Karl Norman has been accused of trashing a home, refusing to pay rent and leaving his landlord thousands of dollars out of pocket.

Norman, who is on $80,000 a year at Carlton, was kicked out of his Maribyrnong home for failing to pay more than $700 rent.

The house was left with smashed windows, damaged plaster, discarded condoms and cigarette burns in its carpet and on window sills.

Landlord Lisa Quinsee said she also found 20 bags of rubbish in her back yard and a club bag full of alcohol when she arrived to clean up her property after Norman and a housemate were evicted.

Yep, not content with earning more money than a high school principal, this 21 year-old burgeoning millionaire owes $700 on back rent and appears to be unable to meet the most basic requirements of holding a lease.

"I took him on as a Carlton footballer. I took him on as a professional footballer," Ms Quinsee said. She said she was shocked at the state of the house, claiming cigarettes had been butted out on the carpet and window sills and the toilet was clogged with newspapers. There were three broken windows, plaster damage in two rooms and abandoned bags of garbage contained decaying food including putrid prawn heads. (Herald Sun, 15/1/05)

While clearly this kind of disrespect is not how civilised people behave, one must suspect the landlady here: why did she take him on in knowing that this prospective tenant was a professional footballer! That should send alarm bells ringing in any owner's head.

When wealth has been handed to you on a plate and the only thing that matters is your team, it's not surprising that there is no respect for other people or their property.

Still, I expect Karl Norman will be first in line for one of (former AFL player) Fraser Brown's flats in Mitcham - if he ever gets them up.

Citations: Herald Sun, 15/1/05

Word Count: 383

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Wrap Up of Season 2004

Many would ask "Isn't it just vindictive compiling a list of the bad behaviour of Aussie Rules footballers?", to which I reply: Yes, it is. But I believe it's in the public interest to go some way to balancing the the misconception that because a person is a good kick of the footy, that they should be hailed and feted like superstars.

Wiser heads than mine have argued that, as I'm "actuated by malice", I am exposing myself to defamation action. Fortunately, it's a long-held legal principle that you can't defame a group and the local Anti-Vilification legislation does not yet protect footballers.

So, back to matters at hand, The Age (Melbourne's leading newspaper) has a nice wrap up of last year's season:

The controversy started in March when St Kilda players Stephen Milne and Leigh Montagna were accused of rape by two women and interviewed by police.

Both players were eventually cleared - and were not charged - but a flood of allegations from women against other AFL players followed.

It was revealed Port's Peter Burgoyne and ex-player Adam Heuskes had been charged with rape over an alleged incident, but later had the charges dropped.

It was also revealed the pair, along with Swan Michael O'Loughlin, paid the woman hush money to keep quiet.

In another allegation, a group of Hawthorn players were accused of gang-rape on a 1999 end-of-season trip in Hawaii.

For a code heavily reliant on family support, the bad news kept coming.

Hawks Lance Picioane and Danny Jacobs were caught drink-driving, while Carlton players Laurence Angwin and Karl Norman were sacked and sanctioned respectively by their club for arriving at training when they were believed to be under the influence of recreational drugs.

Collingwood players were involved in a mid-season drinking binge in Queensland that even had Magpies president Eddie McGuire criticised for not reporting the news as host of The Footy Show. (The Age, 18/12/2004)

Ahh, Eddie. Football club president and high-profile media commentator. "Conflict of interest" is just an old-fashioned term for "synergy" for you, right?

Citations: The Age, 18/12/2004

Word Count: 357

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