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Hasler must clean up Dogs' mess


Danny Weidler

The best man to clean up the Mad Monday mess ... Des Hasler

The best man to clean up the Mad Monday mess ... Des Hasler Photo: Brendan Esposito

THE madness at the Bulldogs has a new twist - they prepared their comprehensive report into their players' Mad Monday behaviour without watching the footage Channel Nine used to air its story. As the Bulldogs work out how badly they've stuffed up, they should ask themselves the question: why were slabs of Coronas being shipped to the drunken playing group shortly after the foul comments directed at Jayne Azzopardi? This was happening in full view of team management and the media. Surely the club has to tell the players at some point that enough is enough. That is just plain irresponsible and club management needs to really examine what the hell it was doing allowing players who were clearly drunk beyond all comprehension to keep drinking. What wasn't aired for obvious reasons was footage of players urinating in full view of the media and another player running around naked. You would hope the club wouldn't dare dismiss this as a media beat-up and try to sweep this under the carpet. When those with clout stick their heads in the sand, it's little wonder the players run into trouble. Jaycar boss Gary Johnston is a good bloke by all accounts but he has goosed himself in a big way. His comments about ogling women are the stuff of dinosaurs. Johnston said: ''I do know that microphone was a considerable distance from the window and they would have used electronic augmentation to even pick that up.'' Really? Having watched and listened to the entire episode, it was clear as a bell - and it was picked up on a top mike. There was no boosting of sound. Johnston even questioned if the comments were being directed at the media. Who is advising this bloke? The situation was straightforward - Channel Nine and Channel Seven sent cameras to get some shots of the Dogs. The idea was to get shots of the players in their dress-up gear, just as reporters have done time and again at clubs across the NRL. If the Dogs had played ball and invited the media in for five minutes to get shots, the media would have left the scene happy with the shots - they didn't want to be there and that would have provided the vision they needed for the nightly news. When the abuse started to flow, it became a news story. The way the media was shut out of the Dogs' dressing-room after the grand final didn't endear the club to the media. Yes, losing dressing-rooms are difficult environments, but surely the club's supporters deserve to feel the emotion and see exactly what the loss meant to their heroes. Trying to fudge media guidelines is just childish and boring. The man who can change all of that is the same man who has turned them on the field - Des Hasler, a savvy media operator. He needs to take charge from this point and correct the errors of this season, and more particularly the Mad Monday mess.

Ink seals the deal for Tamou

JAMES TAMOU has shown plenty of courage in recent times to choose Australia and NSW over the Kiwis - he's added a couple of new tattoos to reflect his past year. ''Yeah, it's become a bit of a motto - seize the day,'' he said. ''It's been an eye opener this year. I've learnt a lot about myself and people in my life. I remember before my debut I was walking on egg shells - then Sam Thaiday came up to me and said all the boys support me. I'll never forget he said, 'I've got your back'. It just made me feel like part of the team and helped me really settle down.''

Making an impression ... James Tamou.

Making an impression ... James Tamou.

Barking mad

CANTERBURY got most things right all season but the Mad Monday episode must have really rattled their officials. How else can you explain the decision to plead not guilty to James Graham's biting charge? Billy Slater would not make that up and Graham had a clear chomp in the vision. Open-and-shut case. Arrogance is the only explanation to plead not guilty. It cost the club dearly and Graham four extra weeks on the sidelines.

Sea Eagle at heart

BULLDOG-in-waiting Tony Williams says he wasn't cheering for his new team at the grand final. ''To be honest I watched the game with friends and I wasn't really going for anyone,'' he said. ''My heart is still with Manly - I was getting over all of that, I'm still shattered for the boys that we didn't go all the way. I guess I will become a Bulldog and be a part of that club when I start training with them.''

Shane who?

SHANE MATTISKE has done a solid job since being asked to fill in for David Gallop as ARL Commission chief executive but it appears his profile needs lifting. Mattiske turned up at the Storm dressing room to congratulate the players but the doorman was not going to let him in. ''Who are you mate?'' he demanded. He explained himself but that didn't carry any weight with the hired help. I then backed up his ''story'' and explained he was the man running the game. The doorman eventually allowed him to enter.

Ribot joins party

PERHAPS the most interesting figure in the Storm dressing room was the man who oversaw their introduction to the NRL - former Super League boss John Ribot. He maintains the Storm should never have been stripped of their titles. ''This is probably not the time to discuss that,'' Ribot said. ''But my view has a growing support.''

Joey lights up night

THIS column was strong about Andrew Johns last week and I won't back away from the line of thought that off-field behaviour should have played a part in the Immortals judging criteria. That aside, the highlight of the NRL grand final pre-match entertainment was seeing Johns being paraded in front of fans - the joy in his kids' faces and Johns's affection for them showed a side that makes him such a popular figure. Hopefully the dark days are behind Johns forever - he has two beautiful kids and a supportive wife.

Top pick

STEVE GEORGALLIS has strong support among the Wests Tigers players - it seems he is a real players' coach. At the Panthers, the players wanted him to stay after his caretaker stint but he was never a hope - Penrith boss Phil Gould explained to Georgallis that he had a handshake deal in place with Ivan Cleary. Georgallis played for the Magpies and Wests Tigers so he is aware of the culture at the club. Those who have talked to Matt Parish, the man widely tipped to get the gig, say he has not talked to the Tigers.

Farah speaks up

ROBBIE FARAH has opened up about his relationship with Tim Sheens following suggestions he had fallen out with the man who coached him all of his career. What is not known is how supportive Sheens was of Farah. Sheens was at Farah's home when the Wests Tigers skipper's mum died in June - he spent hours sitting on the family couch offering support for the family. ''He was great for me on a personal level with everything that happened with my family,'' Farah said. ''He was there when I needed him to be and I'm grateful for that and I have thanked him for that. He went further than a coach would. I've talked to Tim before everything happened and again after it and there is no drama between us and there won't be in the future.'' Farah says he has no view on the next coach. ''It's not my job to pick a coach - but I hope that they will run it by me and other senior players.''

Blair isolated

ADAM BLAIR's initial omission from the New Zealand side barely rated a mention. He also has some ground to make up with his teammates at Wests Tigers. Blair didn't achieve what he wanted on the field this year and off the field he didn't blend in with the other players. He has a young family, which separates him from a lot of the players and that may have prevented him from being one of the boys.

Inglis feels the love

NOT enough credit has been given to Souths and Allan Gainey for Greg Inglis cracking $1 million a year. Souths have created an ideal environment for Inglis. You'll remember he joined the club in controversial circumstances - and most people were tipping he'd hate the Sydney lifestyle. The opposite has been the case and Inglis is emerging as a leader both at Souths and for indigenous footballers. The four-year extension in his deal climbs by about $50,000 a season and averages out at $1 million a year. Inglis has also signed a lucrative new three-season deal with Asics and will design a boot that pays homage to his background.

Hair-raising spirit

FORD'S Will Davison is in the frame to win Bathurst today - and the secret to his success may be what's resting just under his helmet. He's engaged Advanced Hair Studio to stop going bald. Like in his sport, he's leaving nothing to chance.

Danny Weidler is a Channel Nine reporter


12 comments so far

  • Danny, et al,

    We are bored with your commentary. The bulldogs made a mistake, and hopefully someone is held accountable i thought Todd's response was appropriate, Gary's response completely inappropriate. Drawing two completely separate incidents together (biting and discriminatory slurs) completely loses you credibility. The media has had an axe to grind with Canterbury all week. That much is clear. In all of this I saw one sensible article in smh which said we should not hold these guys up as role models.

    Let the nrl and bulldogs sort out the issue, graham do his time, and move on. We had a fantastic season, the first that actually made me want to watch again since super league. Minimal off field issues and great footy. Let's celebrate and look forward to next year!

    Dee why
    Date and time
    October 07, 2012, 11:07AM
    • Danny perhaps your coverage of the bulldogs saga may have been different if SBW was still there as all we here every week in this column is you spruiking his virtues as a man and a footballer. The facts of the matter are, as a bulldogs supporter, yes it was dissapointing that the club didnt make the players available to media after the grand final and the mad monday comments were unnecessary, untimely and in poor taste, and the head sponsors comments were ridicoulous for someone of that standing within the club.

      However the club attempted to do the right thing and have a private closed mad monday for the players and the media stayed around looking for a story. As a young man myself and not a dinosaur like yourself i have been on my share of mad mondays and no how these days work, if the media stayed long enough at any mad monday of any professional team in any code eventually you would find a story. The assertion of foul behaviour due to players urinating on the field rates a 1 out of 10, they are at there own club and were locked in for a private function, this is not reprehensible behaviour when cameras are getting put through fences to see this.

      Get some perspective Danny and stop with the rubbishing campaign, yes things could have been handled better but the media have played a big part in this as well.

      Date and time
      October 07, 2012, 12:13PM
      • Regarding the Bulldogs not contesting the charge, if Graham said to them, "I didn't do it, I was wearing a mouthguard anyway and couldn't bite someone" shouldn't the club management back him up? Showing support to their players is crucial for the team success on the field and while it the footage does show Graham moving in with open mouth, it doesn't show the actual biting itself. If the club had turned it's back on Graham and thrown him to the wolves, it would have had a negative effect on the team's trust in their management. They probably knew he would be susspended, and for a long time, but they are thinking about next season, and even though they lose Graham for a long time, they keep his loyalty and the players trust which is more important for on field success.

        Date and time
        October 07, 2012, 2:03PM
        • Good call. And I think they have been gracious enough to accept the outcome and move on. Time for the media to do the same. If they can.

          Dee why
          Date and time
          October 07, 2012, 3:01PM
      • Bored, i am with you. I am not a bulldogs supporter however it would appear that a witch hunt is underway. The Australian media has moved into a cheque book environment becuase you have lost any resemblance of credibility hence why young men with limited education,but a serious skill in the sport of rugby league are sheltered from you.

        Regardless of what you think(media) the players are the game, and you keep your job because of it... if you didnt report on it someone else would and you know that.

        so stop the witch hunt, learn some journalistic integirty rather then writing garbage constantly and you might just get better access to the clubs and the players. (quite frankly it appears to be a competition within the media ranks to see who can write the biggest piece of garbage, well keep writing as to be honest, no one is listening only other media.)..
        Oh and as for the comments about Gary Johnston, all i can allege is you are a hypocrite, i have seen both men and women make exactly the same comments at pubs that the Jaycar ceo was making oh and yes this occurred in the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney...
        get off the moral and matriachial high ground because it certainly is not the journalistic Australian way to show the moral high ground after the past 12 months of pure cheque book media coverage.

        Pathetic media
        Date and time
        October 07, 2012, 2:20PM
        • cant believe the last three comments.the trouble with boofhead footballers is they are indoctrinated into the sub culure of rugby league by those boofheads before them. hijinxs

          Date and time
          October 07, 2012, 7:02PM
          • Maybe a few of the Bulldogs players will become "immortals"

            Scooter Out West
            Date and time
            October 07, 2012, 8:00PM
            • Im just sad to see the bromance has cooled, how did John's private life (fact or fiction) not rate a mention.
              Come on you can do better, give us what you need....some John goss, or at least a cousin or close friend

              Date and time
              October 07, 2012, 11:23PM
              • I cant believe the media has nothing better to report on, they have milked this story for all its worth and reported on it for a week now. Yes, the comments were idiotic and should not have been said. The comments were distastefull and there is no place for this in our game.
                On the flip side, if the media showed up at any other mad monday celebration I dont think the result would have been much different! However the media has an agenda and loves putting the boot in to the dogs as it sells papers.
                Danny, the man that has his finger on the pulse and is in the league circles....what a joke. If you did, you would know that boxes of beers and overly intoxicated men would have been the norm for the other 15 clubs as well. But no reporters showed up with cameras and helicopters. You should read collegues column, Melinda has written the best article on this non event titled ;Not all in a league of their own'. Take some pointers mate.

                Date and time
                October 08, 2012, 10:53PM
                • How come the Herald (website at least) doesn't say that Danny Weidler is a Channel 9 employee? It should pointed out Mr Weidler' is not an unbiased party in this dispute about what was said and who it was said it.

                  What is clear is that Channel 9 got one of the initial quotes wrong, and that rather being directed at anyone outside it was directed at one of their own players.

                  If one of the three quotes that was allegedly said to Jayne Azzopardi was instead said to James Graham, then I think any reasonable person would accept that there has to be a chance that the other two comments were also aimed at other players.

                  Surely the Bulldogs players are entitled to the presumption of innocence. Although Mr Weidler hardly gave them that benefit in 2004 with his coverage of the Coffs Harbour incident.

                  Date and time
                  October 10, 2012, 6:44AM

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