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Just who's on the grog?

Tuesday, 24th May, 2011

MEET THE PRESS: Taylor Walker at the BDT yesterday where he compiled his latest column MEET THE PRESS: Taylor Walker at the BDT yesterday where he compiled his latest column

By John Casey
Managing Editor

Taylor Walker enjoying a quiet "frothy" on his day off has the AFL's rabid media posse foaming at the mouth.

Yesterday the Adelaide Crow's forward (and part-time BDT columnist) called into our office to compile his next column for our readers and understandably was reluctant to weigh into the "storm in a beer cup" debate.

"I haven't spoken to the club as yet because I have been in Broken Hill for the past couple of days," Walker said.

"I'm back at training tomorrow (today) and I'll address the issue with the club then," he added.

While the national and South Australian media have had a field day with Taylor sipping one beer while watching the Broken Hill combined team play in

Adelaide on Saturday, most importantly his team-mates are right behind him and have said he won't be disciplined for an "innocent mistake".

"We're 100 per cent behind Taylor Walker," team-mate Michael Doughty, a member of the Crows' five-man leadership group said yesterday.

"He has done a lot of good things over the last two weeks, he has gone back to the SANFL with the right attitude and played some good footy.

"...he has made an innocent mistake on Saturday, having a beer, and we'll leave it at that.

"The playing group is 100 per cent behind him and I'm sure the coaching staff are too," Doughty added.

Even Adelaide coach Neil Craig - a strict disciplinarian - seemed bemused by the media circus.

"If he was probably at home having a barbecue with his mate and had a beer it wouldn't be an issue would it?" Craig said in his post-match press conference after Sunday's loss to Collingwood.

"...unless we expect all of our AFL players to be teetotallers, which I don't."

As for some of the hysteria being whipped up by an ill-informed media, it just goes to show that as journalists they make real good ex-footballers.

Noticeably it was current players who provided the most salient views on the subject with St Kilda's Leigh Montagna suggesting the day after you have fulfilled your playing commitments is "not the worst time to have a beer".

"You still need guys to relax and enjoy themselves," Geelong's Jimmy Bartel offered in a measured response.

However the bloated mess of former players masquerading as journalists clearly showed how ill-equipped they are to accurately assess the situation.

Take the comments of former North Melbourne and Swans player Wayne Schwass for example:

"The immediate thing I thought of was, has he committed to GWS (new AFL club Greater Western Sydney)? Because that tells me you either do not care, you're unbelievably foolish, or it's basically thumbing your nose at the establishment saying 'I know where I'm going next year and I don't really give a rats'".

I wonder if Nostradamus Schwass thinks two plus two equals five?

That is a ridiculously elongated bow to draw, but with so many ex-players sniffing around the media gravy train offered to former stars it pays to have an opinion - even an ill-informed guess - otherwise the media outlet may go and find someone who is prepared to shoot their mouth off.

Just like 99 per cent of those who have offered an opinion on this "storm in a beer cup" I wasn't at AAMI Stadium on Saturday.

But unlike 99 per cent of those commentators I have spoken to Taylor Walker and heard his version of events.

Let me tell you there's a big difference between the reality and the media perception. BDT/AAP

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