Greig Johnston: Cut Judd some slack

Sportal July 19, 2012, 10:18 am

While the rest of the football world has been universal in their condemnation of Chris Judd, I think we should cut the Carlton champ some slack.

Never before has the tall-poppy syndrome been more evident than in the vitriol levelled at Judd this week - with people labelling his crude attempt to wrench the arm of North Melbourne's Leigh Adams 'weak', a 'dog act' and all sorts of other footy-isms that get trotted out when someone has outraged the collective known as the 'football public'.

Seeing the incident in real time, I couldn't work out what the hell had gone on - only really noticing the furore after the North players had remonstrated with Judd afterwards.

On replay, it looks bad - no question.

But to my mind it's a brain fade borne out of frustration, not indicative of any deep-seated character flaws like so many have been keen to pin on the dual Brownlow Medallist with this week.

Let's not forget, Chris Judd is a ball player - a clean player, who makes the ball his sole objective week after week.

Yet, probably from his second game at West Coast, he's had some mongrel hanging off him week after week trying to prevent him from doing what he does best - someone with no intention other than to destroy his game.

Last year, Joel Selwood was given a four-match ban for cracking Hawthorn's Brent Guerra, perforating his ear-drum.

The Geelong champ followed that up this season with a retaliatory strike on Brisbane's Andrew Raines that was lucky to go unpunished.

Yet no one seems as keen to hit Selwood with the kind of commentary Judd has had to deal with this week.

Is Judd more deserving of criticism because he is sneaky about it (his eye gouge on Campbell Brown, his elbow on Matthew Pavlich) rather than take the Selwood approach and just come straight out and belt blokes?

One colleague of mine has gone on record as declaring Judd's indiscretions lessen his status as a champion of our game, and another believes he let his coach Brett Ratten down at a crucial stage of the season by his undisciplined act.

Both viewpoints are valid - but let's not forget: Leigh Matthews was voted as our game's greatest player ever, and he was responsible for more concussions than George Foreman.

And, if not for Judd, I doubt very much whether Ratten would still be coaching Carlton anyway.

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  1. David04:41pm Thursday 19th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Good on you Channel 7 for sticking up for Judd,and for Bruce McAvaney (for not saying a word on the Judd so called tackle )and Dennis Cometti too making light on of the tackle,you have to stick up for your Team Mates Channel 7,We all know Cometti & Judd own Racehorse's in partnership together,and I suppose you Channel 7 have to look after Judd because you have a investment in Judd after Football,you make me sick,you called the Judd Tackle a brain fade,well i grew up Wacthing another Great Footballer who had won 3 Brownlow Medals,getting his face & body smash up every week,and i can not recall Robert John Skilton,ever doing what Chris Judd did,thats it for me i will never listen or wacth Channel 7 again pretty poor performance,but then again Channel 7 you have to stick up for your team mates,anyway i have made my point.David McMahon

  2. Alan03:46pm Thursday 19th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Judd has proved himself to be a dirty sneak in some of his games, notably, elbow, to chin,gouging, attempted kicking opponent when on ground,deliberate push of opponent into fence, pressure point etc, some of you so called experts calling the once proud game should take a good look at the games judd has played, and of course don't forget the latest "chicken wing incident". Personally i would rather see a good old fashioned bump up front than a sneaky attempt to try and injure a player.

  3. Jeremy12:37pm Thursday 19th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Other footballers are ball players too - having to put up with the exact same situation that Judd has to. It's a legitimate tactic in the game for a tagger to negate an on-baller. Good footballers win the ball in spite of such tactics, that's why we revere and admire them. It is NOT acceptable to wrench the arm of an opponent behind his back while he is being held securely face down on the ground. It is NOT acceptable to eye gouge Campbell Brown. It is not acceptable to stick your fingers into pressure points of opponents on the ground. Defend him all you like, Greig, but that's 3 low acts he's committed in a short space of time. We'll make up our own mind, thanks.

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