Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The Real James Hird Story -- The Carlo Sands Version Of Essendon's Supplements Scandal


'How the fuck did it all go so wrong?'
It seems to fans of AFL club Essendon like myself, the ongoing devastatingly destructive drama engulfing the godforsaken club is never gonna end.

Now Essendon coach James Hird has resigned after a turbulent coaching career marred by the ongoing "supplements scandal" over the "pharmacologically experimental" program of injections of various substances overseen by "cowboy" biochemist Stephen Dank that Essendon players were put through in 2012.

With WADA still appealing a ruling that had cleared Essendon players of wrongdoing earlier this year, and Essendon's on-field results making Tony Abbott's poll results look positive, it was probably inevitable Hird -- who has spent at least as much time in court as in the coaching box -- would have to go.

Australia's finest news source The (un)Australian has given its wrap up of Hird's coaching career. But so much of the real story of what the hell went on at the club has remained a mystery - especially, from my point of view, how my name has been kept out of the media for so long?

I mean, what have all the investigative journalists been doing? How the hell did Caroline Wilson win that damn Walkley?

Well.. I can exclusively reveal (take that Caro) that my name may not remain out of the story for much longer. A friendly "source" has leaked me the following transcript of a secret hidden camera recording that has emerged as part of WADA's evidence against the club.

Dating from January 2012, it throws light on the moment Hird began to serious consider the supplements program Dank had to offer, and, sure enough, it is the first decisive evidence that one "Carlo Sands" had a hand in the affair.

Now, 2011-12 was around the time of one of my infamous pear cider binges. So while I always figured I must have had something to do with this debacle, my memory was pretty vague.

Pear cider, as I know too well, is the Devil's own drink, and the only thing I can say in my defence for what the below transcript reveals is that Stephen Dank seemed to make a lot of sense at the time. But then your perceptions are pretty fucked when you're "on the pear".

I publish the transcript below so that all Essendon fans and fans of the game can know what truly happened -- and also because I like to highlight my key role in important events.

***

Many have wondered who introduced a character as dodgy as Stephen Dank to Essendon.


TRANSCRIPT

 [January 2012. James Hird in his office at Windy Hill, Carlo Sands bursts through the door with a dodgy looking bloke in a trench coat in tow.]

CARLO: Jimmy! [slaps Hird on the shoulder] Howyagoing? I got a great plan you're gonna wanna hear!

HIRD: [weary, as if this is a common occurence] What is it, Carlo? I am a bit busy right now, we're about to really get stuck into preseason...

CARLO: That's just it! I know just how to whip the boys into shape! And christ they need it, have you seen them? It's like they've consumed nothing but pints of Guinness over the entire off season!

HIRD: That's coz you put them on a Guinness-only diet! I can't believe you talked me in to appointing you Chief Off-Season Fitness and Well-Being Advisor, I never should have gone out with you for "just a couple" of pear ciders.

CARLO: Alright, let's not get into a slanging match over who did or did not get the squad totally smashed every day for four straight months, the point is I know how to turn this around, and quick! This is my mate Steve [points to dodgy trench coat bloke] Say hi to Jim.

DANK: [cackles loudly]

CARLO: Stevie's got this great program sure to bulk the players up. You know he worked with Cronulla in the NRL? Have you seen those lads? Christ, imagine Jobe bursting through a pack with a neck the size of Paul Gallen's!

HIRD: [sniffs] Have you been drinking?

CARLO: What? Maybe a couple, that's not the point! This is the answer to our problems! Basically, he's got these magic needles and you just inject them repeatedly into the boys and wow hey presto they're totally bulked up and shit!

HIRD: I don't know... it sounds a bit dodgy. Is it actually legal?

CARLO: Of course it is! Steve, tell Jim here about the legal situation.

DANK: [cackles loudly]

HIRD: Yeah... look Carlo, I appreciate you're trying to help, but...

CARLO: [leans over] He's also got some magic needle stuff that'll sort out your tan.

HIRD: What?

CARLO: Totally sort your tan. And totally natural looking, too.

HIRD: [trying to appear uninterested] This really all sounds very questionable...

CARLO: Oh come on James! There's no point hiding it! You're obsessed with your tan!

HIRD: I am not!

CARLO: Everyone talks about it! "There goes James Hird," they say, "a true champion of the modern game with five club best and fairests, two premierships and a Norm Smith and Brownlow medal under his belt... if only he didn't look so fucking pasty!"

HIRD: You swear this will work?

CARLO: Tell him Dank.

DANK: [cackles loudly.]

HIRD: Well...

CARLO: Then it's settled! Steve, bring your semi-trailer with the supplements around...we're in business!

DANK: [cackles loudly]



***

Yeah it is all coming back to me now reading that. Not one of my brightest ideas, I will concede. Sorry about that. Here is a song about the dangers of going out and drinking too much pear cider (may not mention pear cider specifically but all "pear heads" will get it).




'Light flashes and my mind goes numb. My head beats like a drum ...' Swedish bluesey pop singer Miss Li nails the essence of a sustained pear cider binge.

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