Rebecca Maddern vs. The AFL Community.

Is there a direct correlation between being ignorant and dismissive of social change and world events and… having a love of AFL?

Rebecca Maddern is taking over hosting duties on the AFL Footy Show. While most people would react to this news with a shrug of their shoulders and move on with their lives this news has caused a great many people to lose their minds. Upon hearing the news that Gary Lyon would be replaced, by a woman no less, many people took to the usual social media outlets to vent their rage.

One of these things is not like the other. And it’s not Rebecca Maddern.

And this simple, necessary change provoked a RIDICULOUS amount of rage.

Against my better judgement I decided to look at the comments on the numerous online reports covering this story and was not disappointed. Or was I? I mean, I expected there to be some blowback from the traditionally traditional AFL community but the level of hatred and vitriol was I found was beyond what I expected. Here’s a small sample:

Greg Campbell: well there goes that show

Apathetic fatalism at its finest.

Leah Wehl: Why do we have a female host, and yes I’m female, we don’t have to be in every bloody thing. Would have made more sense to have another football legend

Fuck your diversity yo!

Ely Beau: Luke Darcy talking Netball was a disgrace… Women talking footy is annoying !!! Most men watch footy to get away from the missus annoying voice!! Women who commentate footy always look to the men for the OK on what they’re saying!!! She will be a joke like the chick from NRL!!!

Being annoying is better than being a disgrace I guess…

Jack Cafarella: Surely could of gone for someone who’s actually played the game (yes it can be a woman who’s played ya sooks) instead of another journo who are notoriously poorly received on the Footy Show (hutchy, purple, etc)

This guy probably thinks he’s being supportive. Sigh.

Wes Davis: What a dumb move she is useless she knows about as much about footy as a Wombat does obviously trying to get more female viewers and that has worked really well for Footy Classified….Not.

It’s all downhill from here people.

Christopher Wilson: You cant keep putting people on a footy show that know nothing about the game leave it to the men of the game its fuked the show will never be the same

Have you noticed the level of spelling and grammar in these comments?

Jacinta Langworthy: Oh lordy… I’m not impressed with that decision channel 9. What are you thinking??? Another female commentator to get annoyed with.. Add her to the list with Sam Lane and Caroline Wilson.

Female solidarity right there.

Sarah Castle: Please tell me this is an early Aprils Fool Day joke?!?!!? I can not believe this!!! Leave Billy in and do NOT add this chick to the panel. I have been watching for many years through the ups and downs but this is maybe the last straw. Do not think this is going to work… you have ruined the show.

Some nice pre-criticism without reason.

Luke Taylor: female co host on the footy show? cant women stay out of bloody anything?


Tanya Hughes:whyyyyyyyyyy I dont even want to watch it now it wont be the same no place for a woman lol

Yeah. I have no idea. *shrugs shoulders*

It just got worse from there. People, male and female, alluding to Ms. Maddern getting her job via blowjobs and all manner of sexual favours, all the way down to actual threats of physical violence.

Passionate AFL supporters everyone!

I checked out a number of these commentators, those with lax security settings, facebook pages and found an interesting correlation. It seems that a significant number of those speaking out about this “outrage,” that a woman dare talk about AFL on a TV show, also share a disdain towards Muslims/gays/refugees.

Who’d have thought!?!

Perhaps it’s merely happenstance that the same people that post overly aggressive anti-Woman, anti-Muslim, anti-gay, anti-refugee, anti-compassion bullshit on facebook are the same people that make fuck-tonnes of football related posts.

Hell, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m just being an overreacting SJW, contrarian, loudmouth that wants to shit on the national pastime. I’m sure that’s definitely part of it.

But let us not forget that since the Romans pitted gladiator against gladiator sport has historically been, and continues to be, a distraction used by The Powers That Be to misdirect the masses with smoke and mirrors to draw attention away from the real issues.

“So what if Rome’s burning! What is the halftime score!?!”

Because it works!

I admit, in this country AFL is such a wholly encompassing cult it’s hard not to get caught up in it. And I completely understand why someone would rather put their time and energy into living vicariously through an AFL team as opposed to looking at all of the tragic and miserable things going on in the wider world. I get why people enjoy the safe, inert tribalism of AFL.

It’s a much smaller and understandable world than the one we actually live in. It’s safe. It has defined rules. It’s a common ground for all “real Aussies” to come together and create a national dialogue without actually talking about anything important.

I’m sorry, but Collingwood being full of drug users and the AFL handling it poorly shouldn’t be THE topic of national conversation for countless days. Or at least until a female hosts a TV football show.

Which brings me to… this.

I don’t think the shift of hosting duties on a weekly sports show warrants a front page spread on the most read newspaper in the country. So, when I saw I was wrong and that it *did* warrant a front page spread on the most read newspaper in the country it got me thinking.

The Herald-Sun is a fear mongering, tabloid, hate-filled propaganda machine and, as horrible as it is in terms of delivering unbiased, factual reports on important current events; they know who their market is.

I wish this was a photoshopped fake.

Women are the devil, Muslims are the devil, refugees are the devil, gay people are the devil, and we should hand over more of our rights as citizens to the government so they can protect us from gay, female, Muslim refugees that will take our jerbs.

They really didn’t.

All are hallmarks of a typical edition of the Herald-Sun on any given day and idiots eat that shit up. Not at all realising that their opinions have not only been influenced by the very thing that they are agreeing with, but created by it. It’s a vicious cycle of ignorance. But I digress.

The Herald-Sun devotes just as much of its precious pages to AFL, and other sports, as it does to commentating (oh yeah- it’s not news people, it’s an editorial commentary) on local and world events. Usually in an exploitative, provocative way that simply preys on people’s fears and creates more hatred. As per design. I mean, does Andrew Bolt still have a daily two page spiel?

Now, I’m most likely drawing a pretty long bow here but still…

Is the Herald-Sun responsible for creating a class of overly aggressive, easily lead, AFL supporters that hate women, Muslims, gay folk and refugees?

In this humble commentators view, yes. Yes it is.

Author: Travis Nevers

Just another random blogger trying to make his way in this crazy world we all share. Sometimes insightful, sometimes not... Read along at home!


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