It pitched for laughs. A lot.
But on a day when the biggest breaking news in football was Tayla Harris, the issue only registered a few minutes discussion on Nine’s new-look AFL Footy Show.
If it wanted to demonstrate it means business, the show really should have had Harris on set (radio managed it yesterday morning). It would have drawn a line in the sand between two eras.
Instead this was more Before the Game than the traditional AFL Footy Show with Anthony ‘Lehmo’ Lehmann, Neroli Meadows, Brendan Fevola and Dylan “I’m a tennis player on a footy show” Alcott (his words).
While Lehmo kept things moving, and the studio audience was on side, team sheets had been discarded for gags and comedy. There were AFL coaches talking Married at First Sight, Shane Crawford in pre-recorded segments with players, plus guests Mason Cox, Shaun Burgoyne, Matthew Lloyd, Nathan Brown and Billy Slater. ‘Supergroup’ Arc closed the show, running 10 minutes overtime despite being pre-recorded.
Ironically Sam Newman had caused offence on Twitter on the very same day, taking aim not at the show, but at the accent of NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. I guess we were lucky he wasn’t around to discuss Tayla Harris after all….
On social media the weight of the comments was far more negative than positive, targeting everything from casting to expertise to Neroli Meadows’ laugh.
But it will be OzTAM ratings where it counts most.