Steve Butler, thewest.com.au's man in Melbourne, provides the AFL scuttlebutt being kicked around the national competition.Catch Freo boss Steve Rosich on Butler's Bouncedown, Today Tonight, 6.30pm
KING OF THE KIDS
A wander down to North Melbourne’s famous Arden Street Oval, known now as Aegis Park, on Wednesday revealed a swarm of little blue-and-white disciples taking part in the kids program known as "Harvey’s Heroes".
Named in honour of veteran champ Brent Harvey, the oval was filled with about 800 happy kickers and hand-ballers, autograph hunters and a steady line of tearful lost children, who had been swept from their parents amid the madness.
Even Harvey’s son Cooper donned his dad’s famous No.29 and joined in the fun.
But the veteran’s Kangaroos teammates were far from impressed at his deft ability to mingle among the kids and barely be seen while they shouldered the bulk of the work. He later admitted to the ploy.
"They sort of lose track of me because they (the kids) are all about the same height as me," Harvey laughed.
Harvey said he was not sure whether the clinic would keep his name after he retired. But if it remained, he promised to have his son wheel him out onto the oval to sign a few autographs.
Looking around at the clinic and who was there made one reality a bit tough to swallow for North Melbourne’s captain.
At just 25 years of age, Andrew Swallow got a clear sense of his own mortality as he watched the children of former teammates enjoying the day.
"You sort of realise now when you walk among the group," Swallow said.
"Even at our family day this week, Shannon Grant, Adam Simpson and Troy Makepeace were all out there with their kids. These are guys who I played with and now their kids are coming down to our clinics.
"That’s when you think, 'Geez, I’m old’."
Swallow’s 120th senior game tomorrow will put him equal in matches played for the Kangaroos as club greats Denis Pagan, Stephen Icke and Byron Pickett.
It remains unclear to WTBH just when Roos coach Brad Scott intends to tie the knot after becoming engaged recently. But who knows what will happen to his team when he does.
Since Scott popped the big question, North have won three consecutive games after dropping five of their previous seven. It was a point not lost on a certain member of his soon-to-be family.
"My future mother-in-law reminded me of that on the weekend and suggested I should have done it two-and-a-half years ago," Scott said on Melbourne radio station, SEN.
Talk around the Melbourne footy traps recently suggests that former Adelaide recruiting guru Matt Rendell, who lost his position over reported comments in relation to recruiting indigenous players, will soon reincarnate at Collingwood.
WTBH thought it interesting that Rendell was seen at Etihad Stadium on Wednesday night chatting privately with Magpies chief executive Gary Pert while WA played their final under-18s championships game against Vic Metro.
It is, however, fair to mention that the pair were long-time teammates at the now expired Fitzroy.
BITE, NOT BARK
New Western Bulldogs coach Brendan McCartney will lead his team for the first time at Patersons Stadium when they meet Fremantle on Sunday.
But coaching rather than chattering is clearly what he prefers to do. When the former Geelong and Essendon assistant put his head up for a rare mid-week press conference at Whitten Oval on Tuesday, the first thing he was asked by an afl.com.au reporter - strangely - was how he was going.
“I’m coaching like I have been for 13 weeks,” came his blunt reply.
“I think I get on pretty well with most people in football, I don’t avoid people. But I prefer to spend most of my time coaching and helping our players.”
Fremantle’s Michael Barlow gave himself a rough self-assessment on Sunday when he appeared on Channel 7 with a blackened eye to complement his self-confessed sizeable nose.
"I’m looking pretty sharp today, aren’t I," he lamented.
But the whacks kept coming this week. Friday’s edition of Melbourne’s Herald Sun had him in a lookalike section with Australian swimming’s bad boy Nick D’Arcy.
Not sure it was meant to be complimentary, but the article did have a point.
Brisbane revelation Dayne Zorko has already attracted a number of nicknames since heading to the Lions, but few have stuck as yet.
“A couple of them have tried, but it hasn’t really stuck on,” he said this week.There have been magician references such as 'Zohan' and 'Zorko The Great' for the former bricklayer.
But Zorko’s family nickname, for reasons unknown, is Tinka. He told WTBH this week that it was a "long story" as to why.
But Maguire, who drives an outstanding powder blue F100, has nailed a spin-off and the former Broadbeach star is now known among his teammates as "Tonka".
"My nickname is actually Tinka and Goose just added Tonka on the end of it," he said.