What a silly old dummy is Richo

Wednesday, July 10

I SAT there with my mouth open when Matthew Richardson just stopped on Friday night. For a moment there, I thought it must have been a free kick downfield. It was as if time stood still.

None of the players had ever seen anything like that before. Neither had I.

But if you look back on his career he's been prone to do something like that. Is it a dummy spit? You bet.

Mind you, Richardson isn't the first to orally project the rubber comforter.

Remember Brad Hardie when he was with Footscray playing out at Waverley when Mick Malthouse dragged him? Hardie's reaction was to take the jumper off and wave it at Malthouse, suggesting he might like to put it on and have a go himself, only the words were harsher than that.

A classic was Collingwood reserves player John Bourke.

He completely lost it. He kicked the umpire, had a swing at a few spectators, then jumped the fence and went home. Talk about chucking a wobbly. We didn't see him again of course. The tribunal rubbed him out for 10 years.

Still at Collingwood, captain Terry Waters had a big spit himself one day when coach Bob Rose benched him. Waters walked straight up the race, picked up his bag and drove home still in his gear.

Robbie Muir springs to mind, he lost his lolly on many occasions. Probably the most serious, or the funniest depending on which way you look at it, was against Carlton.

When a free kick was paid against him, he chested the umpire, took a few swings at some Carlton blokes in the vicinity, threw his mouthguard and just lost it in general. One of the Carlton blokes, Rod Ashman, said it was one of the scariest moments of his life as he watched Muir's eyes rolling around.

Matthew Richardson was, to my mind, showing contempt for his fellow players.

When he abused David Rodan I was pretty disgusted. That's a low act. A more senior player would have been used to Richo's antics but it must have been pretty humiliating for the young kid. We all make mistakes.

The dummy spit will always be with us.

I remember hitting Gary Ablett lace-up once and he fluffed it. To my surprise at three-quarter time, he thanked me for the pass but asked if he could have the ball an inch lower next time.

I'd had three blokes hanging off me, a split second to get it to him and it wasn't good enough. It wasn't a spit as such. But it was close.