The Roar
The Roar


The battle for the Marngrook Footy Show

Roar Rookie
3rd December, 2012
1209 Reads

When I read the ABC had decided to axe the Marngrook Footy Show, I had to read it again and then search the internet for confirmation. This completely amazed me.

The show has been axed due to the increase in cost and low ratings. Hang on a second, aren’t we talking about the ABC? Don’t our tax dollars go to putting this station on the air? Is this the station that remains committed to denying advertising in any form?

There are two reasons why I’m not happy with this decision. The first is the most obvious.

The Marngrook Footy Show is the only football show that spends the majority of its time actually talking about footy. ‘Before the Game’, on Ten, is also a great show, but more in the sense of a comedy and entertainment football show.

The Footy show on Channel Nine is just garbage. The time spent talking football can be measured in minutes, even though the actual show seems to go on forever. It needs to be renamed the Sam Newman show.

Not only does the Marngrook Show talk about footy, it’s also giving a number of indigenous Australians the opportunity to show the rest of the country how well they can run a footy show.

The hosts, Grant Hansen and Gilbert McAdam, do the show proud and have grown with each year. The most recent panel members, Ronnie Burns and Chris Johnson, always have something entertaining to add. Regular presenters Leila Gurruwiwi and Shelley Ware always have entertaining and informative reports from players or around the grounds.

I watch this show because it’s entertaining and covers more about AFL than any other show. I actually need this extra fix each week because I follow the Sydney Swans. Take out the Mangrook Footy Show and Swans will never get mentioned in the media.

The second reason that I’m unhappy this show has been axed is due to its importance.


Recently I sat in the audience to listen to the great Robert De Castella talk about “The Indigenous Marathon Project”. What Robert has achieved in his life is amazing. No doubt he is a champion Aussie and an amazing athlete. The first half of his speech consisted of him explaining what he had achieved on a personal level and the races that he had won.

Although I was impressed by Robert, I really could not see him filling his allotted 40 minutes by talking about all of his wins. And I wasn’t let down. Roberts’s speech then turned to what he is doing now.

Robert has made it his goal to help the indigenous people of Australia get into Marathon running. This story is truly amazing and the documentary, “Running to America” is definitely worth your time to watch.

The men who are actually running these marathons are doing it largely due to the hopeless situations back home. They are young men who are standing up for their people and showing them what a leader looks like and what they can achieve should they be given an opportunity.

Kieren De Santis is a runner from the Tiwi islands making a difference back home. While many young people on the island are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, this project has allowed the likes of Kieran to become leaders in their communities and be a real hero.

I don’t consider myself a person who could write an article on what De Castella is doing and the story that Kieran has to tell, and give it the justice it deserves. That I’ll leave to the experts. My aim here is to simply say I have heard their story and it has blown me away.

It has made me aware of the situation in our remote communities and the importance of what Robert is doing and shows like the Marngrook show. The Marngrook show is leading the way for indigenous people to shine and show these very communities just what is possible.

I believe these two reasons are the best possible reasons to get the ABC to put the Marngrook Footy Show back on air. However, should the bean counters at the ABC deny them the opportunity of another season, maybe SBS or Seven could pick the show up.


Hell, they could even replace any number of the rubbish shows that GEM, Go or 7mate force upon us with a quality show like the Marngrook Footy Show and possible save some cash.

If you make a comment in support of the Marngrook Show, it would be interesting to see just how much support such a wonderful show really had and if the power of footy lovers could get this fantastic show back on air.