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Millionaires with a Year Ten Education

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hard Work Pays Off at Brownlow

This week we saw the culmination of years of hard work and sacrifice at the Brownlow Medal count. So, congratulations to the hundreds of young ladies who made it to the AFL's night of nights.

The Brownlow Medal Count, as a televisual spectacle, is perhaps akin to the Eurovision Song Competition - but without the singing and dancing. That is, an auditorium is booked and several hours ensues of grey men reading out votes. To add a little colour, the footballers' wives (and girlfriend and dates) frock up.

This famous image of alpha-female Tania Buckley baring her flesh and g-string shows the origins of the Medal's name (ie fake tan and low-cut):

Who could have imagined a diamante encrusted g-string would lend a touch of glamour and class to the occasion? When you say it, it just sounds stupid. But when you see it ... Naturally, given the shit she copped, Mrs Buckley toned things down for subsequent appearances. Happily, while the artiste moved into the use of oils, she stayed within the confines of the theme ("brown" and "low"):

In any case, reams of Brownlow photos have been published in the press. I don't intend to add to the commentary on the ladies' frocks, having neither the expertise nor inclination.

What I will say is that the efforts of the footy groupies are often unappreciated. In the same way that the AFL players have their established hierarchy, their women have their own too. Clearly, marrying a famous, fit, millionaire is the end-game (as for Mrs. Buckley) - but how do they get there?

I don't know, but it must be a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, early in your career you have to get to know the players. Perhaps only briefly, in the rear toilets of the Cricketers Arms Hotel. On the other hand, too much, err, "familiarity" at this point could nobble any chances of later marriage: no self-respecting footballing great would marry a woman who's been with half the AFL. You have to walk the tight-rope between getting known, and getting a reputation. It must be tough out there.

Next, there's the leap frog, that is transitioning from an entry (or exit) level player to a one with better prospects. The say you shouldn't swap horse mid-stream for a good reason: it's dangerous. Yet, these are precisely the skills that will see Brownlow chicks get ahead. They know who's on the way up, who's on the way down and who's just going in circles. It would be a bad idea to enter a footy tipping competition with these women, with their formidable knowledge of player performance and prospects. (And, in a game where player's groin can take up hundreds of column inches, you should not bet against a group of people who have spent so much time face-to-face with this crucial region.)

So, while a young Brownlow chick might not have the best footballer this year, she can always position herself to have a better showing next year with a quickie in the loos. Be warned though: if you're too blatant (like Kelli Stevens during the Carey/Stevens Affair) it can back-fire.

Don't Laugh.
Mutual co-incidence of wants?
No, really, it's their personalities that drew them together.

Many people deride these women with bleached hair, fake tans and desperation as "died, fried and put aside". Well, that may be true, but I say: Good on them! For one thing, they're performing a vital public service. By putting their bodies on the line and taking the big hits, they're absorbing a hell of a lot of sexual aggression that would otherwise flow out into the general public, where it's unwanted.

They also allow the buffoons on The Footy Show to make sly references to "predatory women" whenever a rape (or just a particularly sordid romp) goes public. Being able to spin the AFL players as victims provides valuable PR cover during such times, propping up the interests of the corporate-types at AFL HQ and the media.

Also, their rare and considerable capacity for personal debasement should not go unacknowledged. How many people would have the stomach to let a professional footballer urinate on them? Or put their own nascent sexual needs second (or third, or fourth ...) to satisfy the porno fantasies of a 19 year-old with some five-girls-in-a-spa action? Or get text messaged at 3am and told to come over to a stranger's house and "bring a girlfriend"? Or be shared around from player to player as part of club initiation and bonding rituals? Not many people would have the drive or ambition to put up with treatment like that, so these women are clearly exceptional.

And let's not forget the other hardships: how many meals were thrown-up in the months leading up to the big night? How many hours on the stairmaster or doing crunches at the gym? And the grooming - manicure, pedicure, waxing, plucking, tanning, hair, make-up etc - all come at vast expense to time, money and fragile egos.

So, three cheers for the young women of the Brownlow, who help make the game what it is today!

Word Count: 875

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  • If you're interested in the off-field scrumming that happens amongst the footy chicks, check out this SMH article about our northern sisters and the desperate lengths they go to to score a footballer.

    Hell hath no fury like a groupie scorned

    *Shudder* Nothing as ugly as naked ambition. These "ladies" sound more like pole-dancers than pole-climbers - though I'm sure it's well and truly greasy after they've finished swinging on it.

    Still, it's the other 99% of woman-hood who don't behave like this that I worry about. They have to deal with out-of-control footballers who assume that all women are like this.

    Shame on you all.

    By Blogger Greg, at 5:50 pm, June 28, 2006  

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  • Hi Greg,

    I stumbled across your website tonight and must say it's very interesting. However you seem really angry and bitter. It's quite strange really that someone would be so worked up about footballers, of all people. Surely there are worse people out there? I agree with you about a lot of things, that footballers in this country are spoilt and get away with way too much. I especially like your little mission statement, " to balance the undue adulation of AFL football players...." however I am not sure you are going the right way about it.

    There are a lot of things in your blog that piss me off, one of them being the way you crucified Ashley Sampi. Even when people that actually know him well and knew the situation well stood up for him, you still couldn't admit that perhaps you got it wrong. In your effort to point out that footballers are not perfect, you fail to acknowledge that a) none of us are, and b) they're not ALL "bogans" and losers/millionaires with a Yr 10 education. There are many who are functioning members of society who choose to stay out of the spotlight, who happen to be very very good at football, and get paid loads of money for it.

    However this Brownlow article REALLY annoyed me. Okay, so some of the girls wear trashy clothes. I will be the first to admit that. But again, it is not all. Being married to a football player, I was really offended by this article. I am educated, a size 12-14 (ie I don't throw up to make myself skinny etc), I wear vintage clothes, or clothes I have made myself, BRUNETTE, don't do fake nails or fake tans, cook my own food, clean my own house, etc, etc, I'm sure you get my drift. And I have been to the Brownlow. Most of the other girls I know with footballers are very nice girls, albeit a lot more glamorous and perhaps high maintenance than me, but I'd say thats a Melbourne thing rather than a footy wife thing. (I'm not from Melb).

    I met my now-husband before he was an AFL player. I was with him before anyone gave a shit who he was, including you. I have never slept with another football player. Oh and there ARE a lot of predatory women out there, and that is NOT to say I support rape.

    I am very thankful that my husband has the opportunity to live his dream (and the dream of so many young men in our country). I am also thankful we are now in a financial position where I am able stay home with our children, and to be able to buy a house. The rest is pretty unglamorous.

    I don't know if there is a heirarchy among the "WAGs" (another term I hate). All I know is I hate being put in a box and I hate being introduced to people as "so-and-so's wife". I choose not to buy into the footy wife garbage and am particularly offended when people like you put all of us in there.

    Anyway what I'm trying to say is, I struggle with the way my husband is adored by people who don't even know him, I often feel like I am a good person and never get any recognition for it, while all he does is kick a ball around and gets told he's fantastic every week by complete strangers. When he's done the wrong thing (nothing dramatic enough to make your blog) I've WISHED he would be criticised so he could realise he is not more special than others. Little things like him getting parking tickets infuriate me because I wonder if he thinks he can just park anywhere because of who he is! Then my friends tell me their (non footballer) husbands do the same so I guess its a male thing! But he is a good person who doesn't deserve to be assumed guilty of being a "bogan" etc, (and really, how snobby are you saying things about how much money people do or don't have and how computer literate/illiterate people are) and I think you need to stop and think about why you feel this way. Tell us about yourself, what brought all this on? Why do you have such hatred towards men that are good at football and the beautiful women who stand by them? And its not just the players who have stuffed up, and the trashy wives, you have bagged everyone!

    So please, put up a photo, tell us about yourself, footballers don't have the pleasure of anonymity, so why should you?

    Unfortunately I will be signing off as anonymous, for my husband's sake. You sound like a computer nerd who knows about tracking IP addresses or whatever (sorry if that doesn't make sense, I don't know much about computers, I prefer to concentrate on actual people), I would be grateful if you would allow me to remain anonymous.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:42 pm, April 02, 2009  

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  • Thanks for you lengthy essay, Anon. I will respect your request for anonymity and not use my hard-core mad geek skillz to track your IP address. I add that I've made no effort to hide my identity at all, posting under my real name with my real Blogger ID, linked to other real blogs that I really write.

    I've re-read the article and it's clear that the target was "Brownlow chicks" - not every female at the awards night, just those that engage in the discussed behaviour to achieve that goal.

    Have you seen Footy Chicks? This documents all the things I listed. Things like throwing up, sleeping with half the team, extreme body makeovers, letting footballers urinate on you etc.

    It sounds like you're offended because you thought my remarks were directed at all women at the Brownlow and you don't think that applies to you and some other women you know. (You do concede that it's fair comment for some.)

    I think it's quite plain that I'm talking about "footy groupies" etc. It sounds like you do not fit the bill, as you never targeted footballers in the ways described here or in The Footy Chicks doco.

    Like me, you also seem quite happy to generalise in a flippant, glib kind of way - about Melbourne women over-dressing or men parking where ever they want, or Bloggers being anti-social computer nerds.

    You make some guesses about my motivations. Let me assure you I have a beautiful wife and also earn a generous salary (larger than many footballers). It's not jealousy. I've never been attacked by a footballer or had any bad encounter in the past.

    Can't it be as simple as stating that it really shits me how our society mindlessly hero-worships footballers and excuses their atrocious behaviour? Just like you?

    Maybe at a deeper level, I'm unsettled by how quickly the sanctimonious public ("burn the arsonist!", "kill the pedo!") will overlook some pretty major shortcomings if it means an extra three goals for their team on Saturday. Perhaps that hypocrisy says something about the darkness that lurks in all our hearts.

    As for your request for a photo ... why is that? Would it make you feel better for the (wrongly) perceived slights if I turned out to be a fat ugly 14 year-old with braces, glasses and no friends?

    There's no need for parity on this. Footballers thrust themselves into the public spotlight. It's the sole reason they earn their six figure salaries and occupy 20% of our newspapers.

    To get a better sense of what I'm about, read some of the other comments on this site, particular from rape victims. I also urge you to read my interview with Kade Carey.

    By Blogger Greg, at 10:15 pm, April 02, 2009  

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