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Sunday, September 30, 2007

One Day In Septopia

After months of nervous anticipation, the last Saturday in September (re-badged by AFL publicists as "Septopia", a contraction of "septic" and "myopia") finally saw a resolution of the big question: who was going to win the much-coveted Douglas Wilkie Medal in 2007?

The Medal is named after the long-serving journalist, foreign correspondent and columnist and is awarded by the Anti-Football League to "those who do the least for Australian rules football, in the best and fairest manner".

The Anti-Football League was formed by journalist Keith Dunstan in 1967 and revived by his grandson Jack Dunstan in 2007. From their website:

The Anti-Football League (AFL) is an Australian organisation of individuals who are indifferent to the excessive fervour that afflicts supporters of the Australian code of football known as Australian Rules Football (”Aussie Rules”).

The AFL stands apart from the Football mania that is ever increasingly saturating our workplaces, media outlets and public spaces, and which at certain times of the year reaches excessive and epidemic proportions. (AFL Website, 30/9/2007)

This year, the Medal was awarded to Dr Barry Jones, Renaissance Man and public intellectual, for admitting to reading books while attending footy matches. The runners-up this year were political football David Hicks, chemical enthusiast Ben Cousins, film critic David Stratton, Canberra journo Emma Macdonald and me (for this blog).

Congratulations to Dr Jones for joining the illustrious ranks of recipients, including Peter Russell-Clarke, Terry Lane, Wendy Harmer and Barry Humphries.

I would also like to thank the Anti-Football League for the honourable mention and wish a hearty well done to my fellow runners-up.

Lastly, my special thanks to Geelong's David Johnson, whose drunken antics on Thursday over-shadowed the Cats' Grand Final win on Saturday. (While he's not presently on the seniors list, he represented Geelong at the VFL Grand Final the weekend before and has played 12 AFL games earlier in the season.)

Police say they had to use capsicum spray to subdue 25-year-old David Johnson after he attempted to run away from police in Moorabool Street just after 4:00am.

Johnson has been taken to the Geelong police station for questioning over the assault of two men and a woman outside a nightclub.

Earlier in the night he was thrown out of a nightclub and given a lift home by police. (ABC, 28/9/2007)

Cat In Sore Need of Trip to Vet
Source: Geelong Advertiser.

After getting his special police taxi service - a role the police have happily undertaken in the past for AFL players - he was warned not to return to the nightclub district. Generous? Lenient? Inviting trouble? Geelong's police have a reputation for using kid gloves on their favoured sons when they engage in this kind of thing.

Underscoring why a blog such as this is necessary, the AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou downplayed the severity of the alleged criminality by dismissing it as "silly". He's facing allegations of multiple drunken assaults - including against a woman - and charges like resisting arrest (requiring the use of capsicum spray and batons) and we're told it's just "silly"? Yep, that's the AFL for you.

Citations: AFL Website, 30/9/2007; ABC, 28/9/2007

Word Count: 541

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  • A big congrats for being nominated for this prestigious award.

    Well done.

    By Blogger Dikkii, at 2:27 am, October 01, 2007  

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  • Incidentally, I'm looking forward to your take on Mainwaring's death. Should be interesting.

    By Blogger Dikkii, at 1:12 pm, October 02, 2007  

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  • Yes, I'm biding my time on Chris Mainwaring's death. Let's wait to see what further details emerge from this sad situation.

    (It's worth noting that thousands - possibly tens of thousands - of people took ecstasy and cannabis last weekend without dying.)

    By Blogger Greg, at 6:19 pm, October 02, 2007  

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  • Congrats on the nomination. Wonder who dobed you in? ;-)

    Just wondering if you are going to report on the Bulldogs players that risked their lives to save someone while over sees? Surely you could put a negative spin on it! Either they must of been on drugs to do it or that the person they saved (I believe) was trying to commit suicide and they should have left her.

    Congrats again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:13 am, October 07, 2007  

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