Journo's tale of wild NYC dust-up with former AFL coach

Chris Young
Sports Reporter
AFL reporter Damian Barrett and then-North Melbourne coach Brad Scott got involved in a mild New York wrestling match after a tense 2016 season, in which Barrett was highly critical of Scott's list-building choices. Pictures: Getty Images

Veteran AFL reporter Craig Hutchison has used the enforced break in football proceedings to stir up an old feud involving long-time colleague Damian Barrett.

Barrett has been no stranger to feuding with AFL coaches over the years, and Hutchison used his regular Sounding Board podcast to remind him of a run-in the pair had with former North Melbourne coach Brad Scott.

BIG GUNS: AFL boss weighs in after Eddie McGuire-Tony Jones clash

‘NASTIEST BOYS CLUB’: Caroline Wilson blasts AFL ‘bullies’

The pair had a running battle throughout the 2016 season after Barrett was a vocal critic of Scott’s decision to axe several veteran players from the Kangaroos list that season - most notably AFL games record holder Brent Harvey.

Fan favourites Michael Firrito, Nick Dal Santo and Drew Petrie were all shown the door as the Roos looked to revitalise their list, but Barrett was among the fiercest critics of the team’s choice to let such a stockpile of experience walk out the door.

The pair had a tense back and forth for much of the year, but it wasn’t until a trip to New York City with Hutchison led to a chance encounter with Scott and his brother Chris - coach of Geelong.

“We go to New York City, its been a tough year, I’d understand it’s your week to get away from the year that’s been and Brad Scott had been part of the year that’s been,” Hutchison said.

“And I’d said to you at the start of the trip, the Scott brothers are great guys, and Chris and Brad are rippers, and Chris and I had been in touch during that time saying we should catch up for a beer and I told you and you said no.”

Damian Barrett and Chris Scott in NYC dust-up

Barrett knew what was coming next, accusing Hutchison of putting ‘some mayonnaise’ to the story he was about to tell before his colleague continued.

Hutchison went on to say Barrett was very much against the idea of catching up with the Scott brothers - and that when they did eventually catch up, Barrett couldn’t help but stir the pot.

“You poke the bear, you poked the bear, and I’m like ‘Damo it’s October don’t worry about it mate we’ve all moved on’, and you’re like ‘No, no, no Brad you said and then I said and then you said’.

“Then I looked around, it’s Halloween by the way, it’s actually a week out from Halloween but all the Halloween paraphernalia was up, and I looked around and how do I best describe this?

“The two of you are wrestling, wrestling in the bar, not a muck-around wrestle, a fracas had broken out between you and Brad Scott and you’re tangled up in the Halloween cobwebs against the wall!”

A slightly sheepish Barrett did nothing to dispute the tale, instead asking a fairly cheeky follow-up question.

“Do you reckon I was holding my own Hutch?” Barrett asked.

Suffice it to say, Hutch did not think Damo held his own.