Fulton v Brohman – my verdict.

I love the Continuous Call Team on Sydney’s 2GB. It’s a great mix of serious rugby league discussion and hilarious light hearted fun featuring Ray Hadley, Bob Fulton, Steve Roach and Darryl Brohman.

However, yesterday afternoon, things got very heated and just after 2pm, listeners were treated to a coarse verbal stoush between Fulton and Brohman, regarding an article that Brohman had written in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper. The story began with the revelation from former NSW prop Les Boyd, who infamously broke Brohman’s jaw in the 1983 State of Origin with a raised elbow, was told by selectors to “take out Maroons” in an attempt to decrease the number of Queensland players selected for the Australian Test team that year. Yesterday, Brohman in his article claimed that Boyd was a disgrace and an embarrassment to the game of rugby league and yesterday afternoon, as Boyd’s wife Judy pleaded in support of her husband, the “vice captain” and the “Big Marn” erupted in a war of words that was uncomfortable to hear. A transcript is recorded here.

Hadley on his morning show apologised to listeners for the events, and provided his balanced view of what he thought on the events. As the “captain” of the team, he sounded rather embarrassed by the awkwardness of the issue, and naturally felt, given a double page spread in the Daily Telegraph today, that a few minutes in the early stages of his program should be devoted to this situation. I applaud him for addressing this, since he was absent due to illness on Sunday and couldn’t be there to settle the 2 men down, and suggested that Brohman and Fulton address this publicly and privately in order to settle the difference.

As an avid fan who listened to the war of words and was rather perplexed by the whole thing, here is what I reckon should happen:

  • Fulton and Brohman should get over it immediately. It’s clear that they disagree on the whole issue, however I feel that branding Brohman as a coward was a harsh thing to do. I don’t know how long Brohman was out of the game, but he was injured by a deliberate attack by Boyd that ensured that he could not rely on his livelihood as a rugby league player to support his family. Apparently it’s not as rare an occurrence as Fulton would think that players seek legal action after an injury, with Steve Rogers, Garry Jack and Dale Shearer amongst a group who have done so. The thing is that such an exchange was just silly, and both guys should recognise it. That’s why I think that the best thing to do is simply forgive and forget
  • The whole resolution process be private, with the exception of some sort of confirmation that differences have been put aside. Frankly, whatever happens is not really the business of listeners and the media, and it’s a management issue that 2GB’s hierarchy should take to dealing with behind doors. I know that heads won’t roll, nor should they roll, because it was a heat of the moment thing that all of us as people are liable to have.
  • If someone leaves the show over this, then I, not only as a fan of the show but as a keen observer, would be greatly disappointed. Both men play a crucial part of the show’s successes, and the exchanges in the past between Fulton and Brohman have in the past been tremendously funny at times. Yesterday was a blight on the show, but the thing is that a simple disagreement over an issue should not be grounds for abandoning those you work. I don’t think that Fulton was saying anything too coarse or defamatory to Brohman – he was in the end stating his point of view, which he is entitled to whether or not the rest of us agree with him. It was poorly timed, but if we all had the same opinion, we’d be as dull as programmed robots.

Fulton’s on holidays next week, but I hope that the program goes to air at midday on Saturday with this incident relegated to where it belongs – in the backbenches of history. It’s an embarrassment to all associated with the show, but that shouldn’t be a reason for anyone to cry over spilt milk. I trust that things will get back to normal and when Ray returns on this coming weekend, he will be able to steer the ship back to what it’s renowned for – fun, humour and a little bit of rugby league on the side.

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