Eagle Elliot Yeo can still smile after his landing
WHILE he inadvertently became a poster boy for the use of mouthguards, Elliot Yeo also showed after his sickening onfield collision late last month that footballers and social media could still mix.
The young West Coast Eagle ran head-first into Collingwood's 208cm man-mountain, Jarrod Witts, a fortnight ago, sending his two front teeth flying across the MCG surface.
The 20-year-old later saw the funny side and used Twitter to interact with family, friends and the fans that make up his 3000 followers, posting a photo of himself with the line, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth".
"I couldn't think of anything to say. At the time I just tried to make light of the situation, basically have a bit of fun," he told APN this week.
It was only a week later, however, that fellow 2011 West Australian draftee Josh Bootsma sent out the wrong message - in more ways than one - when he forwarded an explicit photo of himself to a teenage girl via Snapchat.
Yeo said players were annually involved in various seminars during the pre-season and these included focusing on the respect of women and the use of social media.
"I think everyone is well educated," he said, but added it only took the slightest misuse by a player for it to "go from one extreme to the other". "I think it would be pretty disappointing if the AFL cut it out, but I don't think they will."
Yeo, who has a mature head on his shoulders, said he also now had a duty to promote the use of mouthguards after his onfield brain fade against the Magpies when he removed his for a brief moment.
No mouthguard companies had contacted him yet, he said, but he would "be surprised if a couple didn't give me a call soon".
Yeo said his teeth were "fine".
"I was actually pretty lucky the roots were still in," he said.
"The dentist could keep the teeth and I had a root canal on the Monday after the game, and they basically put some rods in ... I've got temporary teeth in now while I'm waiting for my porcelain teeth to come.
"It's the price you've got to pay for taking your mouthguard out for 30 seconds while you're trying to get a breather."
Yeo, who requested a trade from the Brisbane Lions back to Perth at the end of last season, was happy to be home - even if it meant mum Wendy was within reach to give him the proverbial clip around the ears.
"She came down to the rooms after the game to have a look (at his teeth). She was crying," he said.
"But I told her it would be all right, we'd get them capped. Then she started laughing and paying me out."
After two seasons with the Lions, the immensely promising Yeo has settled into the West Coast line-up, across halfback and the wing.
"During the whole trade period it was very stressful," he recalled.
"I didn't think it was going to get done. It didn't get done until the second last day I think."
Yeo just hopes the wins start coming again for his new side, which sits 11th after losing six of its past seven games and faces second-placed Hawthorn today.
Former Hawk Xavier Ellis and coach Adam Simpson, an assistant at Hawthorn last year, will both come up against their old side.
"They've been good in giving us some insights into Hawthorn's game plan and certain players," Yeo said.
HAWKS V EAGLES
Aurora Stadium, Launceston, 1.40pm
Also: Power v Saints, 4.40pm; Bulldogs v Lions, 7.40pm; Giants v Bombers, 7.40pm