AFL 2020: Marc Murphy speaks about his moment with Joe Biden
AFL 2020: Marc Murphy speaks about his moment with Joe Biden

Biden’s message to former Blues skipper Murphy

While not a passionate follower of US politics, Carlton's Marc Murphy admits to being privately chuffed this week to see Joe Biden headed to the Oval Office.

You see Murphy, 33, and Biden, 77, are "old mates", dating back to their July 17, 2016, meeting in the middle of the MCG when the then vice-president of Barack Obama's government was a spectator at Carlton versus West Coast.

 

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The injured Murphy was chosen to present Biden with a Carlton No.9 jumper (Patrick Cripps), meaning AFL was pride of place in the White House given Australia's then Minister foreign affairs in Julie Bishop had earlier given President Obama a West Coast top.

"It was a big deal and you should have seen the motorcade. They closed the lifts down and had secret service blokes everywhere," Murphy said yesterday.

"My memory suggests it was the AFL's respect to women round and I certainly remember Joe Biden saying to me, 'Any man who touches a woman is a dog'.

"We had a US rookie named Matt Korcheck on our list plus Mason Cox was at the game and for those blokes it was huge. Looking back it's a pretty cool picture to have."

 

Guthrie's pre-season heart surgery

CAMERON Guthrie's breakout season for Geelong, one which included the Carji Greeves medal and All Australian selection, was made all the more remarkable by heart surgery.

Guthrie, 28, underwent an ablation in the pre-season, an operation to correct Atrial Fibrillation which causes rapid beating of the atrial chambers around the heart. Clearly it had the desired effect.

 

Gaz reveals his toughest rivals

TWO weeks after the curtain has been drawn on a career of superlatives, Gary Ablett is preparing for the next stage of his life, fresh from two weeks in Hamilton Island with his family.

Jon Anderson: Can you explain where the Grand Final game was lost?

Gary Ablett: I felt our ball movement was at times too safe, especially in the third quarter but also the fourth. This could have been the result of some earlier turnovers that resulted in goals for Richmond.

JA: How much did the Richmond players' post-match gesture mean to you?

GA: It meant a lot to my family and I. It wasn't something that I expected, especially since they had just won the premiership. It would have been special to be able to carry Levi off the field but I wasn't physically able to unfortunately.

 

Gary Ablett with son Levi and wife Jordan after the Grand Final. Picture: Sarah Reed
Gary Ablett with son Levi and wife Jordan after the Grand Final. Picture: Sarah Reed

 

JA: You have played in two day GFS and one night. Which is your preference and why?

GA: Before this year I would have said day but having played a night one, I don't have a preference to be completely honest. However, my wife Jordan did say she thought the night GF was a pretty amazing atmosphere to experience.

JA: Who are some young players at Geelong that you think can become good senior players?

GA: I believe we have a lot of great young players, however, I will mention Gryan Myers who in my opinion is already a very good senior player and who I think is going to be a very good player for years to come.

Gary Ablett’s new book.
Gary Ablett’s new book.

JA: They are the age-old questions, but can you name the best midfielder you have played against and the hardest tagger?

GA The best midfielder I have ever played against would be Chris Judd, who played at a high level every game while also being heavily tagged. The hardest tagger without a doubt was Ryan Crowley. He was very focused and could run all day which made it more difficult for me to find space. But I enjoyed competing against because I knew that the lessons I learnt were going to make me a more complete player.

JA: Back to the Grand Final and Richmond players, you and Trent Cotchin have an involvement through wine.

GA: It was a real pleasure for Ablett Wines courtesy of the Austin family to work with both Joel Selwood and Trent in the lead up to the Grand Final. We wanted to design something that would be sentimental for both the winning captain and his club's supporters.

JA: And you are now an author, Gary.

GA: It was nice to reflect not just on the last 19 years as a player but also my childhood, my faith, parenthood and much more. The book is available both in store and online. I really do hope everyone enjoys it.

 

 

Vale Blair Campbell

VICTORIAN sport lost one of its most unique characters during the week with the death of Blair Campbell, 74.

Campbell was one of those rare sportsmen who was good enough to play both VFL football (Richmond and Melbourne) plus state cricket (Victoria and Tasmania) during his sporting days in the 1960s and 70s.

 

Blair Campbell in action playing cricket.
Blair Campbell in action playing cricket.

 

His football is remembered for miraculous goals from a forward pocket where he mastered the banana kick, something he copied from one of his early heroes in St Kilda's Bill Young.

In cricket he bowled chinamans (left-arm wrist spin) well enough to play an important role in Victoria's 1969/70 Shield win (14 wickets at 24.64) plus some vital runs in a couple of occasions.

Campbell was an original as Prahran spectators could attest, from the time he flicked English and Carlton paceman John Snow for two sixes into Orrong Road, or the day he decided to take a shower during play.

Positioning himself at third man, directly in front of the rooms, he watched the first couple of uneventful balls before dashing up the race and standing under the cold tap, only to dash back just in time to begin another over!

 

 

 

Daniel Rich.
Daniel Rich.

 

 

Separated at birth?

RUN machine Will Pucovski has let his locks flow over winter, clearly a decision that agrees with him judging by his recent form.

While not a surfer, Pucovski's "do" has drawn "separated at birth" comparison's with that well-known Brisbane beach-bum Daniel Rich, who is just as deadly on his stick as he is with his left foot.

 

Sheffield Shield depths tested

STATE cricket depths are set to be tested like never before with more than 30 players out of the country when the Sheffield Shield is in full swing by next February.

Around 16 players will be on a T20 tour of New Zealand from mid-February at the same time a Test squad of 16 will be touring South Africa, meaning a state like NSW will have over half of their best 11 unavailable.

While on the subject of Shield players, and with the spotlight naturally on a pair of prodigies in Cameron Green and Will Pucovski, don't be surprised to see Victoria's Nic Maddinson make some serious inroads this summer. The word out of the Vic camp suggests he is "smoking" with bat in hand.

Originally published as Biden's message to former Blues skipper Murphy

John Scarlett and Blair Campbell battle it out in 1968.
John Scarlett and Blair Campbell battle it out in 1968.

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