The Roar
The Roar


Crackling and Spanks' Tuesday wrap: Not a good look

Andrew Gaff of the Eagles looks on during the 2018 AFL round 20 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Fremantle Dockers. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Media/Getty Images)
6th August, 2018

Hall Of Famer Barry ‘Crackling’ Pork and multi-medallist Wayne ‘Spanks’ Spankle sit down at the bar for a no-holds-barred chinwag about the week in sport.

Spanks: Well, Barry, what did you think about Andrew Gaff’s king-hit on Andrew Brayshaw?

Crackling: Spanks, I’ll say this: it wasn’t a good look.

No. It didn’t look good.

Looking at it, I thought, “Not good-looking”.

I don’t reckon it was a good look.

Can’t disagree with you there.

I’ll tell you, Gaff’ll get weeks.

He’ll be lucky not to get months. If old Jim Comans was in charge, he’d be out for three years. I still remember when Kerry Hemsley went the squirrel grip on Trevor Cogger and missed the entire Eighties.


Mind you, it’s a different game today, isn’t it?

Well yeah: that was rugby league.

No, I mean, all the games. All the games are a different game today, aren’t they? AFL, NRL, soccer – different game these days.

Are you all right, Spanks?

What I mean is, back in our day nobody minded a bit of the biff.

Oh that’s true. A bit of the biff never hurt anybody.

Except for the bloke who got biffed.

Oh yeah, but apart from him, it never hurt anybody. When you’re in a high-pressure situation, it’s only natural to occasionally let off steam with a bit of biff. I know back when I was playing, I used to belt the odd fella when the opportunity arose, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I mean it’s not a good look.


It’s not a good look.

Andrew Gaff

Andrew Gaff of the Eagles (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

No, it’s not a good look. But you don’t want to lose the character of the game. So Andy Brayshaw gets a broken jaw. In the Seventies, you weren’t even allowed your own locker in the change rooms until you’d broken your jaw at least three times.

That’s right. Everyone remembers Johnny Sattler playing the 1970 grand final with a broken jaw. What people don’t remember is that he played the entire 1971 season with the same broken jaw. Every time it started to heal up, someone else would give him a whack. He just got on with it.

They used to say to Johnny, “Why don’t you take a week off to let your jaw heal?” And every time, Johnny would reply, “Ffmmmfmmfmmfhhnllllfsss.” That was just the way we were back then. Look at Garry Jack – he got to the point where he’d punch his own teeth out before every game because running without teeth in his sock felt weird.

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I reckon Rex Hunt was right when he said footy was ruined the day assault and battery became illegal.

The game is in a position now when we barely get one serious bashing per week. Where is the next Biffs, Bumps and Brawlers compilation going to come from?


At this rate, Crackers, it’ll be 15 years before we have enough footage for another one. I’m just waiting to see what sort of suspension Gaff gets. If breaking a bloke’s jaw leads to a lengthy suspension, the message that will send is that players shouldn’t break blokes’ jaws. So is that the message the AFL wants to send?

Imagine Leigh Matthews playing today.

I think he’d struggle to keep up at his age, frankly.

Me too. His knees would go.

But he’d throw a few haymakers, for sure.

Definitely. He’d get suspended every week. I don’t know how, but he would.

Nobody these days has the guts for weekly suspensions.

Is there a crisis of courage in modern sport?


Well let me put it this way Cracksy: 20 years ago, the Hockeyroos weren’t losing to Spain at the World Cup. I looked it up.

You think if there were a bit more biff in hockey, the Hockeyroos would be feasting on bronze tonight?

I’m not saying the girls should’ve caved in a few skulls with their sticks. I mean that wouldn’t be a good look.

Not a good look.

But Australian teams in years gone by didn’t back down from a fight.

Just like Andrew Gaff doesn’t back down from a fight. Even when the fight hasn’t started yet, he doesn’t back down from it. He knows how to get the job done. Assuming the job is forcing a teenager to eat through a straw.

And in this day and age, with all we know about threats to our precious marine environment, is it really responsible for young Brayshaw to be using a straw?

He should’ve been more responsible, Spanks. Kids these days don’t think about the consequences of their actions. Shame, Brayshaw. It’s just not a good look.


It’s a not a good look, Crackling.