Dane Swan is singing the Tigers’ song

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SWANNIE swings in, Tweets Tigers, champions cheese balls, cans coaching. SCOT PALMER pounds out his PUNCHLINES:

ONE EXTRA VIP supporter has flown back to Melbourne to back the Tigers in their finals campaign. His heart still lies firmly with the Magpies, but former Bownlow Medallist Dane Swan has flown in from New York to support his tattooed mate Dusty Martin.

The Magpie dynamo has been on a lengthy world trip, highlighted by a stay in New York, but he wanted to be back in time to see Dusty claim the Brownlow and, hopefully, the premiership cup. Even in New York he was keeping a watch on Richmond’s progress in the Qualifying final against Geelong.  “You wouldn’t believe we decided not to sleep last night so we could watch DM do his thing,” he told his Twitter followers.

Tatts mates Dane Swan and Dustin Martin
Tatts mates Dane Swan and Dustin Martin

Swannie is confident that Dusty will nab the medal. “Worst thing is Duz won’t be able to celebrate the Brownlow,” he Tweeted. “Don’t worry I’ll do it for you!” He also had advice for the other AFL players as they went about consoling themselves on Mad Mondays: “Big good luck to all the players, but don’t get caught!”

Magpie champ Swan had a lengthy tour around Europe and related how he went to a museum to try to make himself smarter and learn heaps of clever and intellectual things to talk about at dinner. “Sadly, it did not work and all I succeeded in doing was melt my brain.”  He went to a castle and walked a lot. “The castle was similar to Darryl Kerrigan’s.”

In New York he loved “trawling the supermarket aisles” and made one discovery that he absolutely loved: giant jars of Herr’s Cheese Balls. It would not surprise if his suitcase had been weighed down with a few of those when he lobbed at Tullamarine. It was also in the Big Apple that he experienced his first heated toilet seat: “I have been here for an hour and have no plans of getting off.”

Dane Swan’s New York discovery
Dane Swan’s New York discovery

One thing Swannie has made very clear. He will NOT be seeking any AFL coaching jobs for next season despite what he calls “rumours and scuttlebutt” and his name being bandied about. “My life is hard enough,” he explained.

Swan’s fans have been able to follow his travels on his hilarious Tweet site. I hope he can keep us just as entertained now he’s back home.


ONE of AFL football’s showpiece features back in the 90’s was the brilliantly produced Men for All Seasons calendar that displayed our players in top physical six-pack condition. And we might say they put the best male models to shame. Sadly, the yearly parade of eye candy was cut in 2004 because of the AFL’s, “What are we getting out of it?” attitude and the stubbornness of some player managers. The young man who produced and photographed the players was footy fan Tony Ryan who today conducts classes for photographic students and hopes one day somebody might see the light and restore the calendars, which many of the players appreciated.

Some of the players who were rated heart-throbbers in those days were Anthony Koutoufides, Shane Crawford, Gavin Wanganeen, Matthew Lloyd, Trent Croad, Paul Licuria and Brodie Holland. It was strange that as the calendar grew in popularity the opposition from League HQ — and a few managers who obviously weren’t involved in the deal — grew stronger. I’m sure that some blokes like current Swans’ coach John Longmire, Campbell Brown and Brad Ottens would like to remember the days when they were oiled up and snapped in black and white.


Australia now has a fine community of high class comics but the young bush boy who started cracking up audiences back in 1997 when he sent a competition tape into The Footy Show has reached an elevated stage position. Andrew Startin is international class with his humour, expressions, mannerisms and impersonations. We heard him in full flight this week at a footy grand final luncheon and were amazed with his brilliant memory and instant recall. Andrew started on TV with his version of Sam Newman in full flight but his repertoire now extends to Bruce McAvaney, Dennis Cometti, Gary Ayres, Leigh Matthews and one of our journo mates, Mike Sheahan. Oh, we almost forgot Richie Benaud and Molly Meldrum.

Man of many faces Andrew Startin
Man of many faces Andrew Startin

He has also embraced horse racing with incredible statistical knowledge. Raised in Benalla, Andrew now lives in Essendon and has become one of the busiest performers on the sports and corporate scene. He is edgy and that is what makes him more unique. At the function we attended he had his audience on the edge of their chairs waiting for one punchline after another. He told me he finds it hard to understand why people who are provocative performers themselves sometimes get agitated with his work. Channel Nine’s firebrand Newman remains his star and over the years he even has the former Geelong star’s walk down pat. McAvaney and Sheahan have also become his bread and butter. If you get a chance don’t miss him.


Author: Scot Palmer

VERY few personalities are as well known in the world of sport as SCOT PALMER. He was a fine sportswriter on The Sun News-Pictorial and a news-breaking Sports Editor on the Sunday Press, Sunday Sun and Sunday Herald Sun. But he was best known for his famous column, Palmer’s Punchlines, which ran for a record 25 years or more (he’s lost count!).



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