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Thursday, June 08, 2006

Footballer Bashes Rival Fan

Well, it was bound to happen. Finally, an out-of-control Aussie Rules footballer has combined their prized on-field aggression with contempt for the paying public and unleashed a storm of fury that has seen at least one teenager with a busted up face. Port Adelaide's star Dean Brogan (known as The Ogre due to his enormous two metre frame and inability to control his fists) copped some mild heckling at Adelaide Airport on Saturday, 3rd of June. Specifically, he was told by 19 year-old Dale Mortimer "You're playing for the wrong team, you dickhead!". Hardly the worst or most provocative abuse for someone paid hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to put up with such slights.

Dean "The Ogre" Brogan challenged and confronted the frightened teenager:

"I thought he would be able to take it, but unfortunately I was the one who took it this time."

Dale said 2m-tall Brogan, a former professional basketball player, yelled for him to "Come back and say that to my face".

"I just kept walking but he followed me," Dale said. "I turned around and said, 'What do you want?'

"He said, 'What did you call me?' I said, 'You want me to call you a d---head to your face?' and he flicked my hat off with one hand and punched me."

Witnesses said Brogan turned around and walked to the plane, leaving Dale bleeding profusely from the nose. He also sustained a head injury when his hat was knocked off. (, 4/6/2006)

Dale claims he was was thrown back 3m by the force of the unexpected punch, which broke his nose.

Teenager Dale Mortimer nurses his broken nose after being king-hit by Dean "The Ogre" Brogan.

Naturally, the police are investigating the king-hit, but Dale is unhappy with the progress. I can hardly blame him; if the Victorian police are anything to go by, the South Australian police will be too star-struck - or worried about stuffing up their tips for the weekend by benching a star player - to properly investigate. Sadly, there is no justice in this world for people attacked by AFL footballers. In the eyes of the media, courts and public opinion, they are Gods among insects - Nietzchean ├╝bermensch if you will - and have carte blanche to bash, rape and snort as they see fit.

Still, if we had any shred of public decency, here's what should happen. (While I don't think any of this will eventuate, it's still worth noting so that, at some future time, a civilisation may rise from the ashes of this one and know that some of us still new right from wrong.)

1) Criminal law. The police should collect witness statements, physical evidence and charge Dean Brogan with a series of offenses, not least of all assault. He should appear before a magistrate, plead guilty, be convicted and sentenced. This sentence should depend on his prior convictions but probably not involve jail time.

2) Civil law. Dean Brogan should publicly apologise to Dale Mortimer and pay a large settlement - equivalent to say three months of The Ogre's income - as compensation and punitive damages.

3) Club response. Port Adelaide should sanction Dean Brogan through fines and suspensions. They must make it clear that he has shamed their club and they are not willing to have him represent them on-field owing to the disgrace. He should also agree to some sort of good work involving promoting anger management in the wider community.

4) Public response. Failure to realise any of the above should see a ground swell of public outrage - led by the tabloid media - demanding the sacking of police, censure of magistrates or non-payment of club memberships dues (as required). Further lack of action should see the boycotting of footy matches and the threatened toppling of the State Government unless it cleans up the way these complaints are handled (ha ha).

Of course, I doubt any of these things will happen. Already, the club is spinning it hard ...

[ABC journalist Peter Walsh reports that] " ... they have people, they have counsellors there at the footy club who would talk to Dean about this sort of behaviour, about it not being acceptable.


" ... it may then mean that Dean faces some sort of punishment away from the realms of the Port Adelaide Football Club, but we'll have to wait and see what happens. (ABC, 5/6/2006)

Yeah, right. No doubt some dodgy backroom deal will see the criminal, civil and club sanctions get traded-off - a bit of cash here, a po-faced press conference there, and the whole thing will get swept under the carpet. Public interest will focus on someone-or-other's groin. Nothing - and I mean nothing - is allowed to interfere with an AFL club fielding its best (ie most violent) players.

As long as the players abstain from bashing or raping the immediate relatives of police, magistrates, politicians and journalists, they can continue to unleash a wave of self-indulgent and unrestrained violence on the rest of us. It disgraces our entire society that we are all complicit in this.

*** UPDATE ***

Port Adelaide has decided to fine Dean Brogan $5000 (about a week's pay) and abjectly refused to suspend him:

Brogan will also be required to do 20 hours of community service and will undertake counselling, while the matter is still to be examined by the police.

[AFL Football Operations Manager Adrian] Anderson said it was important for clubs to handle in-house matters and that ultimately the case would be handled by police.

"We prefer the clubs as the direct employers to deal with these instances where possible and not to come over the top as the paternalistic AFL," he said.

"I think in this case Port Adelaide has dealt with this responsibly and the matter is still to be played out in terms of what (other) action may be taken."

"We have worked closely with Port and the matter is still in the hands of the police.

"The incident was unacceptable and the police are investigating that and he is probably subject to the laws of the land like everyone else." (AFL Press Release, 11/6/2006)

So, Dean Brogan will be signing footballs for school kids somewhere - or pulling beers in the club room - for his sins. What a joke. The AFL is plumbing new depths with the claim that it would be "paternalistic" to signal that it actually matters that footballers don't behave like childish thugs. It was magnanimous of this AFL apparatchik to declare that Dean Brogan is "probably subject to the law of the land". I certainly hope the SA police pull finger and remove any lingering doubt. I wonder if these people even read their own press releases?

*** UPDATE ***

The horrible Dean Brogan story just go worse. In addition to breaking a teenager's nose and getting off without serious sanction from his club or the league, new info has come to light about past infractions from the uncontrollable Ogre:

The Sunday Mail has learned the ruckman was reported for assault occasioning actual bodily harm in connection with an incident last October in which he allegedly repeatedly punched a doctor.


Brogan was reported for the serious offence in March following an intensive investigation by Sturt CIB detectives. The investigation file was reviewed by a senior commissioned officer before the decision to report him was made.

Sturt commander Superintendent Paul Dickson yesterday confirmed Brogan was facing action over the October incident.

"He has been reported in relation to that matter," he said. "The matter is pending adjudication in the Adelaide Criminal Justice section. Where it is in the process, I can't say at present."

The incident happened last October when Brogan, 28, was walking his dog in the grounds of the Goodwood Orphanage. His dog was involved in a fight with two dogs belonging to Hyde Park surgeon Dr Zahi Khouri. As a result, Dr Khouri, 41, made a complaint to police which alleged Brogan assaulted him. Brogan was initially reluctant to co-operate, but was later interviewed by the detectives. (Adelaide's Sunday Mail, 11/6/2006)

Unbelievable. How did this slip under the radar for so long? Does the AFL Players Association now have a "You have to get caught bashing three times before we can name the player" rule? I hope this silences those who claim that footballers are subject to complete scrutiny by their friends and buddies in the media.

It seems that Dean Brogan has a habit of bashing people to deal with conflict or strife. Lashing out like that from a petulant child is a worry. Coming from a huge, physically-imposing, two metre thug is a public danger. At a bare minimum, Port Adelaide should be require to ensure that Brogan can only appear in public with a muzzle, cuffs and two marksmen with tranquiliser darts on stand-by. They can let him out of the cuffs and muzzle in the club rooms before the match and to train, and not a minute sooner.

On the plus side, the underwhelming response from his club and the league at these outrages has goaded some footy insiders into a frank reassessment of the way players are feted and protected. Most notably The Age's Carolin Wilson penned a stirring call to arms against the disgusting pandering and lapses in judgement by the players' handlers. Good on her for highlighting the warped values and sickening culture of cover-ups.

Citations:, 4/6/2006; ABC, 5/6/2006; AFL Press Release, 11/6/2006

Word Count: 1618

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  • Its fair to say that Dean was definitely in the wrong! Having said that, three things:
    1) The kid (who got hit) is an idoit and hopefully will learn his lesson and show a little more respect for everyone he meets
    2) I wonder if the hit from Dean would be anything on the treatment that the Port fans might give him if they see him at a bar or pub.
    3) You forgot to mention (from what I saw of your article (yes, I am guilty of skimming it) that there where other witnesses that have stories that don't quite match the victims:
    "Other witnesses said Brogan was provoked. Michael, a passenger on the flight, said Brogan was tormented by an Adelaide Crows supporter before boarding.

    "He was chastising Brogan quite a lot," he said.

    "He was giving him a hard time and may have manhandled him.""
    (Sunday HeraldSun, 4 June, 2006:,8033,19357684%255E19770,00.html)


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:43 pm, June 09, 2006  

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  • C'mon, Molly. No fence-sitting. Was it wrong to king-hit the teenager, or not?

    You can't have a bob each way with "It's wrong BUT he was provoked" or "It's wrong BUT he got taught a lesson".

    Why not just say "It was wrong" and leave it at that? Why the moral squirming and hedging and caveats?

    I think you - and many others - secretly reckon that what Brogan did was okay, and that the kid had it coming since footballers can do what they like because they're so good at footy. I know you don't want to appear to say so publicly, so maybe just a quiet email to me? I promise it won't go any further. Who knows, maybe you'll feel better getting your filthy secret off your chest?

    Go on, just admit it!

    By Blogger Greg, at 2:03 pm, June 09, 2006  

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  • Hi Greg,
    No, I agree that Dean was in the wrong and I don't care if he is a footy player or not, he shouldn't have hit the kid.

    Having said that, you have to admitt that the kid was in the wrong to and that he shouldn't feel like he can hasstle the guy just because hes a footy player! If you say these guys shouldn't get special treatment becauses he plays Footy (which is right) you have to also admitt that they shouldn't have to put up with extra crap that fans believe that he they should for the same reason.

    What I will also admitt is that I think that the kid is a smart ass. I read some where (can't remember where) that the kid in future would call him Mr Brogan and not Dickhead like he did on this occastion!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 pm, June 09, 2006  

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  • Well Molly, I'm pleased that you can declare unconditionally that it was wrong for The Ogre to punch out Dale.

    Sure, Dale was impolite - even rude. But it's not a crime to call someone a dickhead.

    Let's not lose sight of the distinction between name-calling and nose-breaking.

    The only reason Dean Bogan punched that kid was because he was a footballer - thousands of people get called dickhead without king-hitting. The underlying issue is the culture surrounding footballers that says they have special licence or entitlement to punch out people that they don't like. How else can you explain this very unusual response to a fairly common scenario?

    No-one likes being called a dickhead, but footballers are compensated for it - which is more than can be said for most. No, the proper thing for mega-star footballers to do is suck it up and rejoice in sex groupies, public adoration and hundreds of grand a year of sweet, sweet cash.

    Of course, if anyone is such a delicate flower that they physically can't handle being called a dickhead, then they shouldn't be in professional sport - or blog publishing, for that matter!

    By Blogger Greg, at 4:11 pm, June 09, 2006  

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  • So you discount the eye witnesses that say that there was more then just him calling Brogan a dickhead?

    I also think that there is a difference between calling someone a dickhead and calling someone a dickhead, then being asked to say it to his face, and then calling him a dickhead again.

    So, lets wait and hear what actually happened as theres normally 3 versions of every story. In this case there is the Idiot kid story, theres Bogan's story and then there is the truth. Lets wait till we hear the truth.

    PS. I have a post to write for that blog you invited me too, I just need to get time to write it! It probably isn't exactly what you want, but then again, you invited me!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:33 pm, June 09, 2006  

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  • Well, I admire your optimism in getting at "the truth" - but I doubt that the police, media or even the public affairs unit of the AFL are in a position to give us the truth.

    Sadly, our rampant desire to hero-worship footballers has corrupted these civic institutions. There's just no chance of seeing truth or justice or any other lofty ideal when set against the huge popularity and buckets of cash tied up in the modern game.

    But, yes, let's wait to see how "the system" deals with it. I'll be posting updates on this blog.

    Oh, and please do post on Speccy Sux - as my most persistent (if not vitriolic) naysayer, I invited you to join specifically to present an opposing view.

    Everything is up for grabs: from the colour scheme and literary style to grammatical errors and lapses of judgement, even my own personal failings (criminality, immorality, hypocricy and stupidity). It's all good. Except my spelling. I'll really need to find someone other than your good self to critique my spelling. :-)

    By Blogger Greg, at 6:05 pm, June 11, 2006  

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  • Hi greg,

    You are an umpire aren't you?

    No seriously, hear me out. You seem to have just a teeny-weeny complex over too-big-for-their-booties football players on their million dollar contracts.

    Common, admit it, its fine really, we all understand, footballers make you feel small. Now I know writing news is a noble proffession, but what do these guys do, eh? kick a ball around for money. period. How does that contribute to society?!!

    So its ok that you feel small. Because I think you are small too. Small minded and petty. Get off your pedestal little man.

    Dean Brogan was harrassed and antagonised by someone. Dean Brogan hit that someone. Dean was wrong for hitting him. THe kid was wrong for acting like a goose. Both have reaped the consequences.

    I agree our preoccupation with celebrity and status in western society's is rather pathetic. But mate, seriously, build a bridge and get over it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:45 pm, July 04, 2006  

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  • Oh and another thing, I just love the intro for your article,

    Well, it was bound to happen. Finally, an out-of-control Aussie Rules footballer.....

    "FINALLY" like you've been waiting for a justification for your small-man-chip-on-my-shoulder agenda against AFL stars.

    Were you one of those kids who never made it? You could have been a contender right? You were good, but jimmy, who was just a know-it-all, show-off who picked on you in the locker rooms after training, was just that little bit better and he went on to have a AFL career while you drifted from job to job until you ended up in your uber unglamorous deskjob, banging away at a computer all day only to trudge home and put your fugly 2.5 kids to bed, bang away at your fuglier wife and then wake at 5 the next morn just to do it all over again. Darn those afl players. They just remind me of everything im not. Darn them!

    Bit like the guys who dont make it at the polic academy becoming overzealous security guards.

    Or maybe you were the skinny/fat kid everyone picked on in school. And now you see all your childhood enemies grown up, big strong strapping football players with plenty of dash, more than enough cash and girls so hot the closest you would ever get is their picture pasted onto the paper bag slipped over your fugly wifes head come bedtime.

    Well....thats my theory anyhow. Feel free to refute it but we both know its true.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:02 pm, July 04, 2006  

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  • Hi "Hugo Farraway",

    Dean was wrong for hitting him. THe kid was wrong for acting like a goose. Both have reaped the consequences.

    Sure. But a broken-nose and some bad press does not constitute "even stevens". More needs to be done, such as criminal charges, civil compensation etc as outlined above. It sounds like Brogan has a history of public violence that was known to the club, in which case allowing him to roam without a leash and handlers may expose them to liability under the Dangerous Pests Act.

    Well....thats my theory anyhow. Feel free to refute it but we both know its true.

    "Hugo", you're way off your with psychoanalysis. But you've obviously got a lot to get off your chest and the time and patience to do it. So you're welcome to fire away on the Speccy's counter-blog, SpeccySux. If you'd like an account there, just send me an email address. There, you can post away about me and my (supposed) shortcomings to your heart's content.

    By Blogger Greg, at 12:58 pm, July 05, 2006  

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  • Hi Greg,

    Terrific rebuttal!

    a broken-nose and some bad press does not constitute "even stevens".

    Yet I never equated what occured to be some eye-for-an-eye incident.

    The idea that football clubs should keep players 'on a leash' is perverse and speaks volumes about your desire to control people you deem undeservably higher than you in the social/economic stratus.

    Why is it that the 'victim' you champion didnt wish to press charges? Was it because he was ashamed of his actions? Could it be that he felt responsible for being belted?

    In a day and age where such verbal abuse constitues assault in the eyes of the law and therefor comes under the jurisdiction of the courts it seems odd that you would say one crime is ok but the other is bad? Arent they both bad and should both be punishable? Or is your practice of moral relativism just a case of selective veiwing?

    In a country where our national sports are a haven for healthy competition and violence is seldom seen comparative to other sports *cough*soccer*cough* it is rather perplexing that you would seek to steer this topic away from the real issues.

    Is abuse and violence from fans seeping into AFL?

    The culture of soccer hooliganism is insidious and an extreme problem overseas and the public would expect people of influence, such as yourself-haha, to protect our code from such influences. Championing violent and abusive fans is not in the interestes of Austrlian Sport.

    You should follow soccer greg. It suits you.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:46 pm, July 11, 2006  

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  • how do you like them apples, beeatch?!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:48 pm, July 11, 2006  

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  • Well, Hugh, I'm sure there's an argument in there somewhere. Let's delve in ...

    Why is it that the 'victim' you champion didnt wish to press charges? Was it because he was ashamed of his actions? Could it be that he felt responsible for being belted?

    You're clearly not a total idiot and so I don't believe you can seriously advance those as the most likely explanations for his choice. Out of court settlements and social pressure are far more likely, as you well know. You are engaging in pure sophistry.

    In a day and age where such verbal abuse constitues assault in the eyes of the law and therefor comes under the jurisdiction of the courts ...

    You are ignorant of the law. It is not any form of assault to suggest that someone is playing for the wrong team, even if you add the epithet "dickhead". You will not find a legal opinion that says that Brogan was assaulted (ie in fear of his physical safety) as a result of the encounter. What Dale did was rude. Not a crime. Not a tort. Not even unwise.

    Is abuse and violence from fans seeping into AFL?

    We've seen two cases already this year of AFL footballers (allegedly) threatening to kill non-players (Colin Sylvia and Simon Goodwin). Have you got any evidence of public-on-player threats or violence? Sure, some Richmond player got spat on a couple of years ago ... anything else?

    As for soccer, while it's low-scoring and dull, at least the players act like grown-ups and comparatively reasonable role-models.

    What else have you got to say in defence of a two metre thug king-hitting a teenager?

    By Blogger Greg, at 5:19 pm, July 11, 2006  

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  • The shorter Hugo Farraway:

    Greg - We are training our kids to emulate guys who are a violent disgrace.

    Hugo - Well you're just jealous because you're not a violent disgrace.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:30 am, July 18, 2006  

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  • And then there's this gem:

    how do you like them apples, beeatch?!!

    Bet that made you feel like a real big man eh, "Hugo"? Guess we can safely assume who your role models are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:47 am, July 18, 2006  

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  • I admit to having high hopes for Hugo - someone to test my mettle and challenge my claims. A worthy adversary if you will. Then I saw that last comment, and, well, it speaks volumes.

    How very disappointing.

    By Blogger Greg, at 1:01 pm, July 19, 2006  

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  • Lol

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:47 am, October 03, 2013  

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  • Get the services for all the best services.Teenage Counselling

    By Blogger elieasa marriea, at 6:47 pm, June 10, 2015  

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