Essendon = Entitlement | PUNT ROAD END | Richmond Tigers Forum
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Essendon = Entitlement

tigersnake

Tear 'em apart
Sep 10, 2003
21,485
7,149
We go on about Hird..
However how's Channel 7's nerve putting up jobe Watson in the plum special comments position in the finals.:rolleyes:
Not only is Jobe a convicted drug cheat who lost his Brownlow because of it but he's also a TERRIBLE commentator who can barely put a sentence together & doesn't have an original thought in his head.
It's an absolute insult to football fans that jobe gets that prime opportunity purely due to nepotism. Ridiculous.
100%.
 
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tigersnake

Tear 'em apart
Sep 10, 2003
21,485
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Listening to him last night was unbearable. Splutters out one obvious statement after another eg with the first 4 goals of the game “The Swans are getting on top here early.”
Me and my brother collect humorous commentator quotes, forget which game, but jobe provided one of our favourites for the season, "Richmond are forcing Essendon into a lot of unforced errors".

(an all-time-favourite, from NRL, "this game is turning into a battle of nutrition".
 
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seven

Super Tiger
Apr 20, 2004
25,573
10,722
We go on about Hird..
However how's Channel 7's nerve putting up jobe Watson in the plum special comments position in the finals.:rolleyes:
Not only is Jobe a convicted drug cheat who lost his Brownlow because of it but he's also a TERRIBLE commentator who can barely put a sentence together & doesn't have an original thought in his head.
It's an absolute insult to football fans that jobe gets that prime opportunity purely due to nepotism. Ridiculous.
Yeah. Bit like putting a drug using woman basher like Wayne Carey on the mic.
Ch7 have form.
 
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mainlandy

Tiger Champion
Apr 27, 2004
3,681
638
Mont Albert
We go on about Hird..
However how's Channel 7's nerve putting up jobe Watson in the plum special comments position in the finals.:rolleyes:
Not only is Jobe a convicted drug cheat who lost his Brownlow because of it but he's also a TERRIBLE commentator who can barely put a sentence together & doesn't have an original thought in his head.
It's an absolute insult to football fans that jobe gets that prime opportunity purely due to nepotism. Ridiculous.
Any time he speaks his dribble during a game, I now mute. Thing is timing the unmute, he’s still usually rambling on about nothing when I unmute! He’s unbearable. I wouldn’t mind if he had something constructive to say but he can’t even do that. Let’s hope like hell he’s banished for 2023
 
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CarnTheTiges

This is a REAL tiger
Mar 8, 2004
23,317
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Victoria
Any time he speaks his dribble during a game, I now mute. Thing is timing the unmute, he’s still usually rambling on about nothing when I unmute! He’s unbearable. I wouldn’t mind if he had something constructive to say but he can’t even do that. Let’s hope like hell he’s banished for 2023
The whole team needs an overhaul. Get rid of BT.
 
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The Big Richo

Tiger Superstar
Aug 19, 2010
1,336
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The home of Dusty
I think RichoMan has made some excellent points in this thread but to argue Dank was well-meaning and just ignorant is absurd given all the evidence.

My take on Dank is that he was part con-man and part liniment sniffer. He was so desperate to be involved in professional sport that he conned his way in and was very good at working people over so they would buy what he was selling.

In Essendon he found the perfect environment for his con to flourish, his manager was lacking in any sort of intellect and therefore unable to challenge him in any way, and the senior management of the club were asleep at the wheel.

Based on what I have heard and read, I am absolutely of the belief that he had good intentions, in terms of wanting to help the players perform better and I think it is without a shadow of doubt he didn't intend to do anything that would put them on the wrong side of the codes.

He was a layman armed with google and dodgy contacts. He was not dissimilar to the ivermectin COVID crowd. Convince yourself that you are a genius, find some weird arse substance through google and decide you have found the magic elixir that no-one else can see. The fact that it is some experimental drug not cleared for humans, or meant for animals, or has no merit as a beneficial substance for athletes is irrelevant because that's just the main stream being too slow to see it. Who needs scientists when you have someone as smart as me sort of stuff.

It's a bit like if you plucked a fan out to coach a side. They would mean well and be doing their best but giving speeches about getting fired up pregame and telling them to man up and kick long and the side would lose by 40 goals each week.

c'mon TBR. There's a thing called 'Research' and that's what people like Dank do, and get paid to do...
he was well versed on performance enhancing and the like, he wasn't experimenting ..

I think you are vastly overestimating Dank's capability. People who are experts in these fields spends years obtaining qualifications. It is a complex, complex business. When you look at some of the businesses Dank was involved in, they were not the product of a sophisticated scientific mind, they were the stuff you find on commercials at 3am about how to reduce your wrinkles.

Dank is not a qualified Doctor. He is not a qualified pharmacist. He is not a qualified sports scientist.

As is his way, he has made claims about having degrees but has never produced any evidence to support it. It is the view of the AFL, who would have dug pretty deeply into him with some pretty strong resources, that he has never completed any formal qualification.
 
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Fighting Fury

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Jul 17, 2003
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Why would he question off-site injections if an expert told him they were required? Hird isn't medically trained, why would he argue if Dank says to ensure hygiene standards are met it needs to be done in a clinic? It's not like going off-site for a medical procedure is uncommon practice.

I'd still love to hear what the suggestion is that Hird should have done to intervene? Was he supposed to investigate Dank and check his qualifications? Or was he supposed to find out which substances were being used and investigate them to determine if they are appropriate? And clear them all with ASADA and WADA? Is the expectation that the senior coach needs to check the work of every employee who deals with his players?
Richo, hird set the whole thing up. "But we've got the edge, right?" is what he texted in response to danks saying coll and haw both had peptide* programs.
He knifed Knights, and had Thompson on board almost immediately. Thompson brought danks. hird already had history with charters and flying close to the wind.

hird was present at the meeting when the players were briefed after being asked to sign confidentiality forms and not tell anyone what was happening. Players were quoted as saying they were uneasy with "not telling the Doc" but because hird was there at the briefing, they thought it must be ok and sanctioned by the Coach. This included senior guys like fletcher and watson, not just a bunch of 18 year olds...

and wasn't danks warned off/kicked out of the nrl for the same *smile* prior to geel?

*peptides...just on this term. Your argument a few pages back about "peptides are everywhere even in whey protein" is correct but very obtuse. No one is injecting whey protein.
I am in this field, 30 years working as a biochemist.
Amino acids link together to make peptides. Peptides can be stand alone or small fragments of proteins. EPO is a peptide for example. When ASADA and WADA are referring to 'peptides' they are generally talking about injected active components that usually bind to a cell receptor to generate a result leading to beneficial physiological outcomes. These active peptides are tiny and extremely potent but cannot be ingested (wont survive stomach acid and poorly absorbed). Instead they have to be injected sub cutaneously or intramuscularly, just like EPO.

Your comments about dank being a dh are probably accurate but it was hird (and thompson) who had him on speed dial, welcomed him in and legitimised dank in front of the playing group. hird knew exactly what was happening.
1. cut the Doc out, so blocking any proper medical advice
2. injections off site away from prying eyes and cameras
3. dont tell anyone

three blazing hot red flags.
 
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The Big Richo

Tiger Superstar
Aug 19, 2010
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hird was present at the meeting when the players were briefed after being asked to sign confidentiality forms and not tell anyone what was happening. Players were quoted as saying they were uneasy with "not telling the Doc" but because hird was there at the briefing, they thought it must be ok and sanctioned by the Coach. This included senior guys like fletcher and watson, not just a bunch of 18 year olds...

So your position is Hird goes into that meeting knowing they are going to use illegal substances on the players and the forms are their way of trying to not get caught?
 

IanG

Tiger Legend
Sep 27, 2004
17,560
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Melbourne
It’s laughable how bad a commentator he is and doesn’t get asked to move on. Guys commentating the vfl so much better.

Channel 7 team selection is completely based on nepotism and has been sionce they got the rights back from 10. The coverage on 10 back then was better 7's coverage even now.
 
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Fighting Fury

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Jul 17, 2003
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So your position is Hird goes into that meeting knowing they are going to use illegal substances on the players and the forms are their way of trying to not get caught?
yep.
he knew that danks was as shady as anything, and had been shown the door by the NRL.

Richo... come on, mate...routinely scheduled injectables that were off the medico's radar...I've got a nice waterfront property in Lismore I can sell you if you are really that gullible (I dont think you are, I think you are just into presenting alternative POVs and creating energy on this site)
 
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AngryAnt

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Nov 25, 2004
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My take on Dank is that he was part con-man and part liniment sniffer. He was so desperate to be involved in professional sport that he conned his way in and was very good at working people over so they would buy what he was selling.

In Essendon he found the perfect environment for his con to flourish, his manager was lacking in any sort of intellect and therefore unable to challenge him in any way, and the senior management of the club were asleep at the wheel.

Based on what I have heard and read, I am absolutely of the belief that he had good intentions, in terms of wanting to help the players perform better and I think it is without a shadow of doubt he didn't intend to do anything that would put them on the wrong side of the codes.

He was a layman armed with google and dodgy contacts. He was not dissimilar to the ivermectin COVID crowd. Convince yourself that you are a genius, find some weird arse substance through google and decide you have found the magic elixir that no-one else can see. The fact that it is some experimental drug not cleared for humans, or meant for animals, or has no merit as a beneficial substance for athletes is irrelevant because that's just the main stream being too slow to see it. Who needs scientists when you have someone as smart as me sort of stuff.

It's a bit like if you plucked a fan out to coach a side. They would mean well and be doing their best but giving speeches about getting fired up pregame and telling them to man up and kick long and the side would lose by 40 goals each week.



I think you are vastly overestimating Dank's capability. People who are experts in these fields spends years obtaining qualifications. It is a complex, complex business. When you look at some of the businesses Dank was involved in, they were not the product of a sophisticated scientific mind, they were the stuff you find on commercials at 3am about how to reduce your wrinkles.

Dank is not a qualified Doctor. He is not a qualified pharmacist. He is not a qualified sports scientist.

As is his way, he has made claims about having degrees but has never produced any evidence to support it. It is the view of the AFL, who would have dug pretty deeply into him with some pretty strong resources, that he has never completed any formal qualification.

I suppose when fraudulently claiming he had degrees he never had he was "well-meaning" and "just ignorant" as well.

The guy is a fraud, a liar, a criminal, who knowingly put players at risk.

In no universe is that excusable.
 
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The Big Richo

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Aug 19, 2010
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yep.
he knew that danks was as shady as anything, and had been shown the door by the NRL.

Richo... come on, mate...routinely scheduled injectables that were off the medico's radar...I've got a nice waterfront property in Lismore I can sell you if you are really that gullible (I dont think you are, I think you are just into presenting alternative POVs and creating energy on this site)

I say what I think, not for the sake of discussion.

Personally, I think the idea James Hird suddenly turned into Walter White is preposterous. By all reports Robinson and Thompson brought Dank in and I'm not sure they would have know about his NRL connection. Manly fudged the truth for a long time and it was a long time later they admitted he was sacked for his methods. When the Essendon stuff broke they were standing by him.

What would be interesting is if the people who should have been responsible, Robinson and Hamilton, did their due diligence in terms of speaking with former employers before hiring him. My guess is they didn't.

I've spoken about the use of injections but the Bruce Reid stuff is worth exploring.

I think a few things happened there. One Hird had a con man in his ear telling him Reid was old school and didn't understand the science and that was a very winnable position because it was likely correct given the weird stuff they were using. No-one would understand it. You're talking cow's blood, experimental anti-obesity drugs and stuff like extracts from pig's brains. It's not you over-the counter stuff. Even the Switkovski report said something like the fitness team felt Bruce was out of touch with modern sports science and had no idea about pharmaceuticals.
More importantly when Reid saw through Dank and raised the alarm through a letter to Hird and Hamilton, only one person acted. Hird responded by suggesting measures that needed to be taken, including all injections being approved by Reid and reiterated that everything they did must be in keeping with the codes. Hamilton on the other hand did nothing, didn't even show the letter to his manager, Robson or the board. It is highly doubtful Hamilton ensured Hird's suggestions were implemented as the manager of Robinson or Dank either.

One other pertinent thing here is James Hird loved Bruce Reid and vice versa. They were like father and son. It was a relationship that transcended football and remained strong until the end of Reid's life and I find it difficult to reconcile that with a suggestion Hird somehow turned on him.
 
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The Big Richo

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Aug 19, 2010
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I suppose when fraudulently claiming he had degrees he never had he was "well-meaning" and "just ignorant" as well.

The guy is a fraud, a liar, a criminal, who knowingly put players at risk.

In no universe is that excusable.

Agreed, when I say well-meaning I mean in the context that he never meant to put players at risk, either in terms of their health or their status as sportsman.

He was delusional enough to think he was helping them.
 

artball

labels are for canned food
Jul 30, 2013
6,005
4,647
My take on Dank is that he was part con-man and part liniment sniffer. He was so desperate to be involved in professional sport that he conned his way in and was very good at working people over so they would buy what he was selling.

In Essendon he found the perfect environment for his con to flourish, his manager was lacking in any sort of intellect and therefore unable to challenge him in any way, and the senior management of the club were asleep at the wheel.

Based on what I have heard and read, I am absolutely of the belief that he had good intentions, in terms of wanting to help the players perform better and I think it is without a shadow of doubt he didn't intend to do anything that would put them on the wrong side of the codes.

He was a layman armed with google and dodgy contacts. He was not dissimilar to the ivermectin COVID crowd. Convince yourself that you are a genius, find some weird arse substance through google and decide you have found the magic elixir that no-one else can see. The fact that it is some experimental drug not cleared for humans, or meant for animals, or has no merit as a beneficial substance for athletes is irrelevant because that's just the main stream being too slow to see it. Who needs scientists when you have someone as smart as me sort of stuff.

It's a bit like if you plucked a fan out to coach a side. They would mean well and be doing their best but giving speeches about getting fired up pregame and telling them to man up and kick long and the side would lose by 40 goals each week.



I think you are vastly overestimating Dank's capability. People who are experts in these fields spends years obtaining qualifications. It is a complex, complex business. When you look at some of the businesses Dank was involved in, they were not the product of a sophisticated scientific mind, they were the stuff you find on commercials at 3am about how to reduce your wrinkles.

Dank is not a qualified Doctor. He is not a qualified pharmacist. He is not a qualified sports scientist.

As is his way, he has made claims about having degrees but has never produced any evidence to support it. It is the view of the AFL, who would have dug pretty deeply into him with some pretty strong resources, that he has never completed any formal qualification.
thanks TBR - it then makes Essendon, and the AFL to a degree, look even more ridiculous .. ..
 
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jimbob

Tiger Superstar
Jul 20, 2008
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I say what I think, not for the sake of discussion.

Personally, I think the idea James Hird suddenly turned into Walter White is preposterous. By all reports Robinson and Thompson brought Dank in and I'm not sure they would have know about his NRL connection. Manly fudged the truth for a long time and it was a long time later they admitted he was sacked for his methods. When the Essendon stuff broke they were standing by him.

What would be interesting is if the people who should have been responsible, Robinson and Hamilton, did their due diligence in terms of speaking with former employers before hiring him. My guess is they didn't.

I've spoken about the use of injections but the Bruce Reid stuff is worth exploring.

I think a few things happened there. One Hird had a con man in his ear telling him Reid was old school and didn't understand the science and that was a very winnable position because it was likely correct. Even the Switkovski report said something like Bruce was out of touch with modern sports science and had no idea about pharmaceuticals.
More importantly when Reid saw through Dank and raised the alarm through a letter to Hird and Hamilton, only one person acted. Hird responded by suggesting measures that needed to be taken, including all injections being approved by Reid and reiterated that everything they did must be in keeping with the codes. Hamilton on the other hand did nothing, didn't even show the letter to his manager, Robson or the board. It is highly doubtful Hamilton ensured Hird's suggestions were implemented as the manager of Robinson or Dank either.

One other pertinent thing here is James Hird loved Bruce Reid and vice versa. They were like father and son. It was a relationship that transcended football and remained strong until the end of Reid's life and I find it difficult to reconcile that with a suggestion Hird somehow turned on him.
Still can’t agree with you TBR. Hird, despite his self professed love for the good doc, Hird was only too happy to go behind his back and take him out of the loop. I also can’t come at the comment that Reid had no idea about pharmaceuticals. How did Doc Reid get his qualification to be a doctor? Out of a cornflakes packet? Every doctor I have ever met understands pharmaceuticals. If not, they don’t become a doctor and can’t prescribe medications.

Hird, was guilty as sin. He was mates with Charters from years ago, who supplied him with supplements as a player. Despite his protestations of taking responsibility, he fought tooth and nail through the courts to avoid them. Wiped his best friend in the whole world in David Evans, who had a nervous breakdown over the whole thing and had brought Hird into the well paid corporate world during his period between footballer and coach. No, says Jim, he is a dirty dog for self reporting. Supposedly to this day they have not spoken since.

Your earlier comment that Dank meant well. Seriously……who, if you aren’t qualified goes around tinkering with this *smile*? Injecting substances into people, experimenting with combinations to see what results you can get. Wouldn’t you want a builder to build your house? Not some odd jobs man.

But we will bring him in to the Club, after he was booted out of Manly, with no qualifications, let him go berserk, then make sure the Club doctor is removed from the process and then Hird can say…’oh, it had nothing to do with me”…….”i was just a babe in the woods”. “it’s just not fair”……..

Spare me.
 
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Fighting Fury

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Jul 17, 2003
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It would be a major part of Reid's job to understand pharma and what is and isn't a PED, and what feels like it might be in the grey zone.
Ludicrous to suggest otherwise.

Didn't the players deny taking anything, injected or otherwise under ASADA questioning? I think we can add bare-faced lying to the list. It was only when watson came clean that the whole shitfest exploded in hird's face.
 
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123cups

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May 1, 2016
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Fair enough, I'll tell you what I think for your interest and everyone else can just ignore it. ;) Apologies for the long post but there's a lot of ground.

For what it's worth here my take on it all is two things happened, one, Essendon were made a scapegoat for competition wide issues and two, the wrong people were punished for the sake of appearances.

On the first point, there is no doubt there were issues at most of the clubs in the competition in terms of potentially operating outside the drug codes and the AFL knew it. My personal view is there were three other clubs who were on the 'Essendon' tier, and then 10-12 others who had at least some degree of question around their conduct in this area, either on a club wide or individual player basis.
So by my take, there were up to 15 of the 18 clubs who were dirty, and four that were filthy. The former part of that is on public record, the latter is my educated guess based on things that I now know. (Full disclaimer the club I worked at was in the second group).
My view is that the AFL knew there was an issue and wanted to put a stop to it and rather than blow up the competition selected Essendon as the fall guy.

Why Essendon? Like most questions in this saga the answer is Stephen Dank. He was the differential between Essendon and the other clubs on the same level, because he was an unqualified moron who was running wild. There were also unquestionably links to organised crime there which made Essendon a good choice for the AFL/federal government relationship.

Had the codes been applied to the letter I believe the 2014 season would have been destroyed, 4 clubs unable to play at all and a large percentage of players across the entire competition suspended. It would have taken a very long time to recover. Hence the scapegoat.

On Essendon itself, what happened was absolutely diabolical. When you are in a position to understand the trust that young men and their families put in clubs to protect them and be responsible for their welfare, it makes you sick in the guts to think about what was allowed to happen to them. Disgrace doesn't even begin to cover it.
Having said that I absolutely believe that there was never anything but the right intentions from anyone at Essendon, including Dank.
In terms of actions (As opposed to process, procedures and governance) , Dank was the entire issue at Essendon.

The problem was he had no training or qualifications for the position, nor the knowledge or expertise to perform it, as well as being incapable of performing the critical tasks of the role. In short he was a buffoon playing at being a sports scientist who never should have been there. The fact that he was there is a combination of Essendon's poor process and him being a skilled con man.

So who is responsible for him being there in the first place? Ultimately the chain here goes the board, the CEO (Ian Robson), the Head of Football (Paul Hamilton), High Performance Manager (Dean 'Weapon' Robinson) and then Dank. So if Robinson brought Dank in to the club, then Hamilton and Robson had to sign off on his job. If the guy was not qualified and didn't have the skills to do the tasks he was charged with aren't they responsible for that? Remind me what sanctions they copped again?

Then you get to what actually happened at the club. You've got this unqualified buffoon running around the place, getting hold of all sorts of supplements, thinking they will do all sorts of things and saying he is doing things he isn't like keeping records, or paying attention to and understanding the codes. So how does that happen?

Firstly the guy who was his direct manager could be politely described as a meat head. When the underling is the smarter person, the manager finds it very hard to challenge them. Again who is supposed to be making sure Robinson is capable of, and actually is managing Dank. Hamilton and Robson. The only plausible explanation for Dank being able to run amok is that wasn't happening.

So where does Hird fit in all this? People outside clubs have a view that the AFL coach is the all-powerful being in the footy club, that nothing happens without their say so but that is just not the case. Hamilton is Hird's boss. Hird sits as an equivalent to Robinson in terms of organisational rank, he just has a more glamorous role.
Everything I have seen and heard reported or attributed to Hird in this is absolutely consistent with every other coach I have ever seen in sport in terms of their relationship with sports science or medical teams.
To a person they want their players faster, stronger, fitter and healthier than the opposition and they want you to use an legal means necessary to do so.

Hird's role in this is closer to the players. He trusts these guys implicitly to do their jobs at the highest level because these are the people his club has carefully selected to guide them. A football coach doesn't have the time, capacity or expertise to understand the drug codes, the sports science or the chemistry involved in these programs, legal or not and nor should they have to because it is not their place in the chain to have oversight.

Hird's role in the organisation is football. If his players are fit and healthy and performing well he is happy. When Dank texts him and says he is going to use Thymosin with Uniquinon he may as well tell him he is going to use blue tic tacs for all it means to Hird. Unless the word is panadol, Hird is out of his depth.
Hird doesn't care, his players are playing well and feeling good. This bloke wouldn't be giving them anything that wasn't right, or safe, or helpful or legal. He's the expert, right?

So whatever these guys do Hird has implicit trust. As he should be able to. As the players should be able to. But they have all been horribly let down by the chain of command I outlined earlier.

At this point people say what about them going off site? or having heaps of injections? Or using IVs? Or signing disclaimers? Or cutting out Doc Reid? Hird must have known that was dodgy.

My answer to the procedural things is why would he? Again he is trusting the 'experts' and if they say this is the way we need to do it why would he challenge that? It would be like Dank popping out to training and telling the team he had a new kick in strategy he wanted them to try. As for Reid, the simple answer I think is Hird was dealing with a con man and a moron managing him and they worked him over. Dr Reid is old school, this is cutting edge stuff and he doesn't understand it. We know what we are doing, this is best practice in the industry now. It's an easy story to sell.

Then people get to player welfare. Why didn't Hird care about his players and watch what was happening to them? Again why would he and how would he even manage that given his workload as an AFL coach. Do we expect coaches to head into the canteen and make sure the food handling is up to scratch? Or to pop into the property office and make sure the drink bottles are cleaned properly? Sit in on player's surgery and make sure the ACL is repaired correctly?

Once again they trust other people in the organisation to perform their roles and that their managers are having the correct oversight to make sure that occurs.

Hird is one thing but how they ever came to the decision to penalise Mark Thompson beggars belief. It's like when Stewart cleaned up Prestia they gave Joel Selwood two weeks just for being there.

No question in my mind the outcome should have been the Essendon board, Robson, Hamilton, Robinson and Dank all copping sanctions. Hird's culpability is tiny, Thomson's even less. I'm not sure where Danny Corcoran even fits in to be honest.

Understand most people will dismiss all that and be adamant Hird is the worst bloke around and got what he deserved and that's fine. That is my opinion, based on 30 years working in professional sport and with a reasonable understanding of what happened at Essendon. Other people think differently and that's fine with me.

This post changed the way I think about the Essendon situation. Great post.
 
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