Sam Newman and Shane Crawford have opened up about an infamous incident on The Footy Show that the former believes could have cost him his life.
The pair were part of a memorable sketch in which Crawford was challenged to survive a round in the boxing ring with American fighter Antonio Tarver, who was soon to fight Australian boxer Danny Green back in 2011.
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After Crawford ended his round against Tarver with a bloodied lip, Newman crashed the ring wearinng boxing gloves, attempting to land a few blows on his co-host, before Crawford tried to chase him out of the ring.
As Newman attempted to squeeze through the ropes with Crawford harassing him, he tumbled to the floor, smacking his head on a metal staircase and laying motionless for several moments as co-hosts James Brayshaw and Garry Lyon awkwardly attempted to laugh off the situation.
Newman, who has since cut ties with Channel Nine after several controversial statements earlier in 2020, discussed the incident with Crawford on his podcast.
“I hit my head on the steel steps and I spent until 5am (in hospital) with an MRI and a cranial inspection by David Marsh, the Richmond (Tigers) doctor who sent the image to Germany,” Newman said.
“They thought I was mentally impaired.”
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Both Crawford and Newman said they were told to keep quiet about Newman’s injuries for fear of a health and safety investigation.
Newman said the show risked being cancelled after Crawford ‘almost’ killed him, while Crawford said it was a close call.
“We weren’t allowed to tell anyone,” Crawford said.
“So close, so close but yet so far — but I didn’t mean to kill you like that.”
Newman, even with the benefit of a few years to think about it, was under no illusions as to how serious it could have been.
“We could have been cancelled. He almost killed me, almost.”
At the time it was reported that scans of Newman’s head did not reveal any damage, prompting suggestions reporters had been misled about the incident.