The salacious story of Garry Lyon's affair with Nicky Brownless and subsequent emotional breakdown is multi-layered and punctuated with seemingly endless ramifications. A thicket of disappointment where the personal and professional seem inseparable.
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Football great Sam Newman speaks about the bitter feud between his two friends, Billy Brownless and Garry Lyon, and remains hopeful the rift between the two can be repaired.
But it is not a story about a group of macho blokes partying and playing hard, bullying competitors and pushing their social lives to the limit. That Garry has so seriously damaged, among a list of things, his relationship with his close friend Billy Brownless seems to have led to the conclusion that life in the AFL media bubble has precipitated the scandal.
Certainly it has turned the torch to the lifestyles among that bubble.
The Australian Rules football landscape is full of boys' clubs and certainly The Footy Show and Triple M Footy gangs do it as well and as cavalierly as any of them, but the only relevance that has to the Lyon-Brownless scandal is the subsequent fall-out affecting the programs involved.
Extra-marital affairs happen across society and affairs with best friends' spouses and former spouses are not exclusive to high profile sporting celebrities. It is true that the VFL/AFL communities are familial by culture so they have certainly had their fair share. But they happen all too often everywhere and cannot be put down to cavalier blokey behaviour.
To quote Tolstoy: "All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
There are so many theories sweeping the industry regarding why Garry did what he did and I wouldn't insult him or Nicky by adding to that, but selfishly I do wish he hadn't. Of course he has behaved badly and selfishly.
Garry was as proud as anyone at Channel Nine that Footy Classified, a program I believed could prove a small, cultish, late-night success for a few years, would celebrate a decade this year. It seems unthinkable that he won't be back to be a part of that.
Channel Nine is adamant that both Classified and Garry's big ticket program The Footy Show will push on, as he would say, without him – but he will leave a gaping hole. Speaking from personal experience, he is a brilliant host and if he hasn't shown great leadership in all of this, he has been a solid and occasionally inspiring leader at our program.
No doubt the barrage of scrutiny and criticism that has come his way would be excruciating for him if he is listening to any of it, but I have no doubt knowing him it will be the self-loathing that is crippling him the most when he revisits on a regular basis his actions and their consequences.
Garry has always been a fascinating character and going back to his playing days there often seemed to be several of him. The ferocious competitor, the funny and generous work colleague, the occasionally moody work colleague who once in a while would snap when pushed on topics I would never have picked as sensitive.
This is not a deliberate attempt to eulogise him nor to analyse Garry's professional life in the past tense. Clearly he is far from perfect but I first worked with him on a semi-regular basis in 1994 and knowing his resilience, although clearly at an all-time low right now, I cannot imagine any scenario that would see this be the finish of his media career.
I refuse to believe the host who stopped the football community with his Footy Show eulogy to Jim Stynes - and looking back on that eulogy is quite telling in this current context - will not return.
It is a twist of circumstance that his Melbourne Football Club, well before the scandal broke, nominated Garry for the first time as their priority for the Australian Football Hall Of Fame when considerations for the 2016 inductees begin.
Certainly it has been said several times that it will be tough for him to come back from such a scandal. And I am sure he is pondering just how he can return to programs which place such harsh scrutiny on the actions of others and which question the leadership of players, coaches and administrators.
Not to mention returning to TV and radio shows where an atmosphere thick with vaudeville and blokey humour overlays that analysis. As Garry said to me in an emotional meeting - by way of explaining how a situation got out of hand that followed The Footy Show mannequin incident back in 2008: "Caro, that is what we do. We put s--- on each other."
In purely commercial terms his actions now seem disastrous for Channel Nine and Triple M and also affect The Age where Garry is an award-winning Saturday columnist. There are no bigger media brands in the game and his is all the more notable when you consider he has no role with an AFL broadcaster.
But Brownless, who will return to The Footy Show, I'm told from episode one, has not ruled out ever working with Garry again. And Australia, like its national game, is a forgiving country by nature. He has done the wrong thing and he is clearly struggling now but his poor behaviour, while perhaps immoral, was not criminal.
Looking back over the past season or so of Footy Classified it was clear that elements of Garry's life away from his thicket of commitments had changed again. That he and the beautiful Melissa were no longer together.
It is only with hindsight that I can pinpoint signs that something deeper was amiss. When we came together mid-summer break to produce a program after the WADA verdict on the 34 past and present Essendon players was handed down.
Clearly Garry had not only not been away on a summer holiday but he had barely left home. He commented light-heartedly then that he would be happy to continue with the show through January and February.
I am sure Channel Nine bosses Ian Paterson and Tim Cleary - very close to both Garry and Bill - struggled with the mutual decision for Garry to stand down given how important routine and structure must have become to his existence and there is nothing like a footy season chock full of daily media commitments to provide that.
Despite his "lone wolf" moniker and anti-social reputation he is a far funnier and more engaging colleague than some of the recent public assessments. And to that end maybe he was only half joking when, as the season progressed, he envisaged life in late middle age living alone in some rural idyll.
As difficult as it is to write about someone I genuinely like and admire amid an intensely private and yet public scandal I'm glad I've had the opportunity to reflect on how many laughs we've had.
A good friend to and with his co-host Craig Hutchison and a passionate mentor to Matthew Lloyd; the post-show stories will seem a little thinner without Garry, the more rare but quite extraordinary pre-show coaching routines will sadly disappear for at least a while along with him.
Garry challenged all of us every week during pre-show meetings - that is, apart from the program that followed his annual post Logies hit out - and he challenged everyone involved at the network to treat Classified with the respect he believed it deserved.
Poised as we are now on the eve of another season I understand that Garry is feeling very low, but I hope that his reticence to open up to others has been diluted by this disaster. And this might sound glib, but on a professional level, when the first ball is bounced I cannot believe his passion for the game he so loves will not return.