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'Other' Judd ruining legacy of a great player

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Martin Blake

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Judgement day for Judd

Sports reporter Jon Pierik looks at the key factors working against Carlton champion Chris Judd ahead of his tribunal hearing.

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Chicken riddle: Judgment day

COMMENT

WHATEVER the result of the tribunal case tonight, it is becoming increasingly apparent that there are not one but two Chris Judds.

Chris Judd comes to grips with Michael Rischitelli.

Chris Judd comes to grips with Michael Rischitelli. Photo: Channel Ten

Chris Judd (I) is a scrupulous ball player, one of the best players of all time, a player who suffers the close attention and sometimes illegal tactics of opponents set for the task of containing him with good grace. One who sucks in some deep breath at the stoppages, keeps following the Sherrin and winning.

Chris Judd (II) is seen less frequently. At least five times in his career, this second Judd has lashed out at opponents who may or may not have annoyed him. In at least three of these cases, he appears to have a streak that is mystifying to those who know the other Chris Judd. This Judd has malicious intent, and desire to hurt.

It started with an elbow to the noggin of St Kilda's Steven Baker in 2005. Judd was playing for West Coast back then, and Baker had him in a straitjacket all game, daring the umpires to free kick him. Judd grew tired of it, and he smashed Baker, copping a week's suspension and having just seven disposals for the match, a famine by his standards.

This was the Greg Williams approach. In Williams' day, taggers were dealt with, kept in their place. Tony Shaw used to play on Williams every time for Collingwood, and when he was coaching the Pies, Leigh Matthews was once asked if his team had any injuries. ''Tony's got a broken nose. It's funny how he always breaks his nose when we play Carlton.''

Nobody needed to ask him for any elaboration.

Shaw long ago forgave Williams, but he did not like what he saw of Judd from the commentary box last Friday night. ''In a long career, just about every player has one or two incidents where you look back and say 'you idiot, you've lost the plot there','' said Shaw. ''I've been there and done that. You have no idea why it happened. It's a brain blockage. But Juddy's gone and done it again.''

Of course the Diesel Williams option is not available any more. No player would last playing like that.

Chris Judd has to find other ways to deal with his frustration. For instance, Chris Judd (I) is good with words. When he crossed to Carlton, he was famously challenged on a sore shoulder in a game against his former club. ''That's from carrying you blokes,'' was the foundation of his reply.

But words only go so far, which is where Chris Judd (II) comes to the fore, for he has no compunction about a wee bit of violence. The right forearm he threw back and struck Matthew Pavlich with against Fremantle two years ago split Pavlich's cheek. It was born of pure frustration, and the fact Ryan Crowley had been wrestling him all day. Pavlich did nothing to upset Judd; he merely laid a fair tackle, and Judd mistook his identity.

The match review panel did Judd no favours by its farcical finding that there was ''insufficient contact'' to lay a charge; half of the public angst with Chris Judd (II) comes from him getting off scot-free on that occasion, as well as escaping an eye-gouging charge in 2007 when Campbell Brown lied for him at the tribunal. Judd's flippant press conference after he eye-gouged Michael Rischitelli in 2009 did not help his cause either.

This case tonight is a little different, though connected. In this instance, Leigh ''Patch'' Adams was lying under a pack, face down, with an arm sticking in the air. He was defenceless. Hence, this is not about frustration with a tagger.

Judd grabbed his right arm, ostensibly as a way to stop the North player from handballing. But it's the twisting of the arm that causes offence. Garry Lyon, not prone to hyperbole, called it ''a real, real ugly incident''. Mostly, the reaction has been one of revulsion. ''He's got to go,'' said Shaw. ''It's an unprotected player, and there are two actions [by Judd]. It has to be stamped out.''

Carlton's captain will cop his penalty tonight, surely several weeks of suspension. Moreover, Chris Judd (I) needs to come out again and explain himself, for the image of a great player and ambassador is being tarnished by his alter ego and damaging his legacy.

 

41 comments

  • Unfortunately Chris Judd is like the little fat boy on Willie Wonker& the Chocolate Factory - he is used to getting everythng his own way. And why wouldn't he. The soft results from the tribunal, the lack of AFL enquiry into his transfer from WC to Carlton, the unbelievable sanctioniong by the AFL of his VISY deal and the doubley unbelievable rumour that the deal will be extended by the AFL when other clubs (read Geelong & Ablett) were denied similar leeway to secure its player. Judd needs to go for the rest of the year. Not just because of the chicken wing, but to get the whole thing right. But I'm sure Fitzy & his men have diffferent ideas.

    Commenter
    Gaz
    Location
    Yarrawonga
    Date and time
    July 17, 2012, 8:19AM
    • "Judd needs to go for the rest of the year." FFS, anyone would think he's killed the guy! Yes, it was a dirty act and should get punished - I'm thinking 3 or 4 weeks - but was it really worse than the absolutely cowardly dog of an act by Wellingham the week before. Apparently coming from a way back, never once looking at the ball, and picking off a bloke running back with the flight, breaking his jaw in the process, doesn't deserve the condemnation of the football public. Is the hype around Judd's incident more because it is Judd, or such an unusual event in nature, or a bit of both. Tall poppy syndrome is alive and well in Oz. Oh, and I notice nobody is citing Cyril Rioli, one of the darlings of the AFL, for trying (albeit less successfully) to do the same thing against Robbie Warnock a couple of weeks prior?

      Commenter
      Darwin Heat
      Date and time
      July 17, 2012, 9:22AM
    • Spot on Gaz. Judd (II) is the guy that works for VISY and went to carlton for the money. He's also the one that is allowed the 'Juddball' (the throw that only Judd is allowed) and really if ever gets pinned for holding the ball because the minute he's grabbed he just lets the ball go, it spills free, umpire calls play-on. Anyone would think an Ex-carlton player is on the AFL Commission. It's a real shame becuase he was dynamic at West Coast, now he is just tainted with that carlton brusg.

      Commenter
      Fiscally Obese
      Date and time
      July 17, 2012, 10:36AM
    • Wellingham's was a split second decision. Big difference to Judd's calculated effort.

      Commenter
      Biff
      Date and time
      July 17, 2012, 10:38AM
    • Well said. He's become a protected species over time as the AFL wants to protect and promote the players with the greatest talent as rolemodels etc etc.

      I dont care who he is. One set of rules for all. What peeves me the most - he'll come out of this and defend his actions AGAIN - you watch. He's believing the all the BS he has been fed over time.

      Could have ended Adams's season, he saw the shoulder tape there - he has to get 5. Has to.

      Commenter
      Mark_
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 17, 2012, 11:03AM
  • I totally agree. Well written. Judd is one of these very talented and a very motivated guys who cheats (wings, eyes, pokies) when he thinks no-one's watching. I don't like it.

    Commenter
    wallaby
    Date and time
    July 17, 2012, 8:24AM
    • What I find disturbing is that you never see Judd going toe-to-toe with a bloke. His targets have not been in a position to fight back or defend themselves. It doesn't portray a flattering picture of the man's character.

      Commenter
      Dude fights like a lady
      Date and time
      July 17, 2012, 8:28AM
      • Well put. He's an excellent footballer but, unfortunately, has a taste for the really nasty stuff when the opponent is on the ground. Eye gouging, pressure points, chicken wing tackles...what's next, the squirrel grip? It would be refreshing to see him have the guts to go to toe to toe if he's itching to hurt someone.

        Commenter
        Steve
        Location
        McKinnon
        Date and time
        July 17, 2012, 10:59AM
    • Judd is a superstar, no doubt about it. A great player to watch at his best. But he does appear to have a healthy ego, as all great sportspeople do.

      But perhaps he has a smidge too much, and this manifests itself in these untoward actions. There are even things that he does off the field that sometimes make you wonder if he thinks he is just a little bit above it all.

      Regardless, the act in itself was stupid rather than malicious - 2 weeks will suffice.

      Commenter
      AG
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      July 17, 2012, 8:49AM
      • I think you need to refer to a dictionary, and look up the meaning of 'malicious'. Judd's action was certainly malicious. He was trying to cause harm. What other motivation could he have had? The fact that his act was also stupid doesn't mean it wasn't malicious.

        Commenter
        Jeff
        Date and time
        July 17, 2012, 9:45AM

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