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Jolly’s cheap shots are poor form

Andrew Sutherland Roar Guru

By Andrew Sutherland, Andrew Sutherland is a Roar Guru

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    Bravery, pain and victory - there's plenty of cross-over between war and footy. But don't confuse words with a situation. (Photo: Michael Willson/AFL Photos)

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    I was reading Darren Jolly’s Age column on sledging this week when I came across a reference to his former Collingwood teammate Josh Fraser: “I’m sure if he’d had a better attitude, we could have had a good ruck combination and he would have continued at the Pies for a bit longer.”

    Jolly was referring to what he thought was Fraser’s “acrimonious” response to his arrival at the club from Sydney towards the end of 2009, possibly inspired by a serious bout of sledging Jolly had engaged in when they last played each other.

    It smacked of arrogance: he was the greater ruckman, so Fraser had to go. It also suggests he may have been partly responsible (Jolly was made a member of the Fraser-less leadership group almost immediately on his arrival from Sydney) for Fraser’s departure at the end of 2010.

    But the worst was to come, as Jolly compared Fraser to current new teammate Ben Hudson: “When I found out he [Hudson] was going to be my teammate, like with Josh, I wondered how it was going to be.

    “But from the moment Huddo walked through the Collingwood doors, he has been nothing but a great bloke. He’s the perfect example of a prick on field and great bloke off field.”

    So the not so subtle insinuation is that Fraser is a prick both on and off the field.

    Alienating and demeaning Fraser by complimenting Hudson continued unabated: “I enjoy working alongside Huddo because he’s someone who enjoys a laugh with the boys and loves hearing what the boys thought of him when they played against him and can have a laugh at himself.”

    The thought of “Huddo” and “Jolls” having a laugh with the “boys” at the expense of poor Fraser, who apparently wasn’t one of the boys, was making me feel nauseous.

    It must have spawned an anger in Fraser that his tweets only hinted at: “I could not care less, I have bigger priorities than to engage in a slanging match.”

    And then the final nail in the coffin of Fraser, who I assumed was a Magpie favourite – among the fans, at least – came with:

    “He [Hudson] has a great attitude and that’s one of the reasons Collingwood wanted him”.

    So Collingwood didn’t want Fraser because he had a poor attitude, and not because he had ruined his body over a 200-game career which had begun too early on account of Collingwood’s poor ruck stocks in 2000.

    The topic of sledging is an interesting one and some examples given by Jolly (eg Dane Swan’s ‘Stop playing mate, you’re no good’, ‘What’s your name spud?’ and ‘What time does training finish?’) are great but the arrogant and vindictive treatment of Fraser soured the whole article.

    Jolly makes no attempt to understand why he thought Fraser responded to him the way he did. Dale Thomas said he could understand why Fraser would have been angry over Jolly’s recruitment but didn’t notice any poor behaviour from Fraser at the time.

    Interestingly, when asked if he supported Fraser, Thomas denied it but brought up the possibility of Jolly writing an article about him: “Jolls is a current teammate of mine so there is no point in me potting him and him writing articles about me, no one wants that.”

    Choosing to sledge a former teammate (ironically in an article on sledging) was a poor decision by Jolly. It is bad for the morale of a club that is struggling and on the verge of dropping out of the eight.

    More importantly, it reflects poorly on Jolly himself. If the online comments are anything to go by, many people, including some Pie fans, suspect he may be a bit of a prick off the field himself.

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    The Crowd Says (11)

    • May 13th 2013 @ 2:50pm
      Terry said | May 13th 2013 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

      Andrew you’re dead right that Josh Fraser “ruined his body over a 200-game career which had begun too early on account of Collingwood’s poor ruck stocks in 2000”. While Adam Goodes was switched from ruck duties to preserve his body, Fraser at the same time was getting belted physically every week because Collingwood had no other decent big men. Fraser as a skinny but highly mobile tall, could have been a forward or ruck rover like Goodes or Pavlich but instead Collingwood fed him to the wolves.

      It’s understandable that players currently with Collingwood can’t jump to Fraser’s defence but past players should be lining up to support him. Without Fraser, the Pies would never had made those Grand Finalis in 2002-2003.

      If Fraser’s career had started just 2 years ago, in an era where dual-position ruckmen are invaluable, he’d probably be more valuable than Jolly, who can only play one position.

      Ps. I used to teach Josh at Mansfield Primary School. He was a good kid. And judging by his measured response to this attack, he’s probably a good bloke too.

      • Roar Guru

        May 13th 2013 @ 4:47pm
        Andrew Sutherland said | May 13th 2013 @ 4:47pm | ! Report

        Yes Terry, if Fraser had been given more ruck support he would have made a dangerous forward. As it was he kicked over 150 goals.

    • May 14th 2013 @ 12:02pm
      Blind Bomber said | May 14th 2013 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

      Why is sledging (by Dane Swan) “great” as you say?

      All we hear is the printable stuff from Jolly. At a guess, if he’s sledging that purile childish rubbish then there’s plenty more he says you won’t print.

      Sledges like Swan’s are the signs of a small man, in many ways. Not even funny, so I wonder why you would suggest it is ok.

      I’m not against sledging, where it is actually funny and not pathetically vindictive. Merv Hughes’ sledging for example is a totally different ball game.

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