Player Watch #50: Ben Brown - finished 2018 with 61 goals - second in Coleman Medal

kangaspurs

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Posts
8,976
Likes
17,049
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Tottenham, Melbourne City FC
He's a ripping guy, lovely bloke to deal with. But he and his wife do appear to view the club as something of an ideological plaything. Fortunately for them they're dealing with plenty of like-minded folk.

Not sure how far this would fly in a cutthroat clinical environment like Hawthorn.
Unlike the person you quoted, I've never seen Ben or Hesther say that the footy club must be one thing or another. Instead, they realise, again unlike Snake, the footy club is a community that doesn't just belong to one person and includes people from all walks of life.

To me, it comes across as though Ben knows that he is incredibly privileged to be in the position he is in and is making use of that position to promote things about which he is passionate, but I've never seen him compromise the football club or treat it as a "plaything" to do so. In fact, I think he's never done anything other than treat the footy club with the utmost respect for all that it's done for him.

Then again, I'm coming from a different place on this as I believe that footy clubs, and sport more generally, in fact have a responsibility to promote inclusion and equality. Football and sport is for everyone, regardless of background, and clubs should reflect that.
 
Last edited:

(Log in to remove this ad.)

big_e

Premiership Player
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Posts
4,365
Likes
10,796
Location
Your Wi-Fi
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Wycombe Wanderers, 76ers
Unlike the person you quoted, I've never seen Ben or Hesther say that the footy club must be one thing or another. Instead, they realise, again unlike Snake, the footy club is a community that doesn't just belong to one person and includes people from all walks of life.

To me, it comes across as though Ben knows that he is incredibly privileged to be in the position he is in and is making use of that position to promote things about which he is passionate, but I've never seen him compromise the football club or treat it as a "plaything" to do so. In fact, I think he's never done anything than treat the footy club with the utmost respect for all that it's done for him.

Then again, I'm coming from a different place on this as I believe that footy clubs, and sport more generally, in fact has a responsibility to promote inclusion and equality. Football and sport is for everyone, regardless of background, and clubs should reflect that.
Yeah, I'm one of those strange people who wants my football heroes to be role models. My kids growing up as North fans, I can point to them with pride and say "that's Ben Brown, good footballer but even better human being, and it's the second bit that's much more important."

It still sticks in my craw that our greatest ever player was a shit bloke for much of his time at the top. Twenty years on I still don't have the same level of pride and enjoyment as I do when watching other players.
 

kangaspurs

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Posts
8,976
Likes
17,049
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Tottenham, Melbourne City FC
Yeah, I'm one of those strange people who wants my football heroes to be role models. My kids growing up as North fans, I can point to them with pride and say "that's Ben Brown, good footballer but even better human being, and it's the second bit that's much more important."

It still sticks in my craw that our greatest ever player was a shit bloke for much of his time at the top. Twenty years on I still don't have the same level of pride and enjoyment as I do when watching other players.
Yeah, I'm the same mate.

Duck is pretty much the reason why I'm North, and then my favourite player after him was Shannon Grant. It's fair to say that I don't hold either of them in the same esteem that I used to. In fact, it's almost the complete opposite, although I do respect the efforts that Carey has gone to in recent times to turn things around. When reading for the first time about the recent Grant stuff it made me sick to my stomach.

From all reports from people here and what you see in general, Brown is the single most idlolized footballer at out club amongst our youthful supporters, and tbf kids from supporter base seem to love him and want to imitate his run up. Personally, I think it's fantastic that we've not only got a player who is such a popular role model from a footballing perspective, but that he's worthy of that title through being a genuinely wonderful human being.
 

Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Posts
39,226
Likes
69,644
Location
inside your head
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Milf Smashers
1. Gender equality is a basic human rights issue, not a political agenda
Get the Human Rights Commission to deal with it. We're a football club.

2. Ben Brown is the only person who gets to tell Ben Brown what he chooses to stand up for. Not you, not me, not the North Melbourne Football Club. Anyone with any degree of fame or notoriety carries a spotlight on them. How they choose to behave in that spotlight is up to them. I'm incredibly proud of the way Ben conducts himself as a member of the football club I love. And I'm incredibly proud that our footy club is a pioneering force in the football world for equal rights for all human beings. This is not manipulation or conspiracy to facilitate political agendas. This is society's moral progress.
I am also a member of a club, but that doesn't give me the right to utilise that club as my personal political billboard.

3. You are of course entitled to your opinion. It's your right, as is everyone. But you are not entitled to make false assumptions about Ben Brown's character or integrity. You don't have to be proud of him like I am. But you do need to remove your own needs from his life decisions. The North Melbourne Football Club belongs to all of us. Not just you.
No false assumptions.

I accurately described what he is doing.

Bad luck if you don't like it.
 
Last edited:

Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Posts
39,226
Likes
69,644
Location
inside your head
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Milf Smashers
Unlike the person you quoted, I've never seen Ben or Hesther say that the footy club must be one thing or another. Instead, they realise, again unlike Snake, the footy club is a community that doesn't just belong to one person and includes people from all walks of life.
Really? So you would not have issue with a religious moralist utilising the club as their political billboard?

I say they should ALL piss off, because they are prostituting a sporting club for their own particular politics.
 

Heaps of fun

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Posts
16,404
Likes
33,557
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Yep. He can park his ******* post football career in neutral. It appears he's starting to breath in his own farts deeply.

I am sick to death of this sporting club being prostituted for political agendas.

Ben, I don't give two ****s about how many good bloke awards you obtain, in fact, the incessant virtue signalling makes me cringe.

Stop it!
Should stick to piss ups, like Luke McDonald.
 

Orange Peanut

Premiership Player
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Posts
4,439
Likes
16,637
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Sopwiths North is a Canadian NMFC fan and regular contributor to the forum since she joined several months ago.

Anyone willing to watch us at strange times of day from the other side of the world is a welcome addition to the forum AFAIC.

I’m disappointed that someone would get so personal over what’s essentially an exchange of opinions.
 

tazaa

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Apr 11, 2007
Posts
20,080
Likes
23,127
Location
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Liverpool
This always comes up whenever a non football piece like this is released by the club in the media.

It started when Brad took over and was spruiking the high performance, greater culture line with regard to how our players should conduct themselves.
I’m all for it.

Then it moved on to ensuring our players got the most out of their careers including the famous, if you don’t have a house to your name by the time you leave here, then I have failed you.

And now its moved on to today’s political issues that the club is vocal on supporting. Ben is a large advocate - which is fine and depicts him as an outstanding citizen.

Again all good and well. You take into account the good work of the huddle and we’re kicking goals off field on these matters.

But what about on?
19 years it’s been since we were relevant.
19 years since our last top 2 finish.
19 years since our last prelim win.
19 years since our last flag.

Since then we’ve had Carey rip the soul out of the club, Pagan leave, Laidley send us further and further behind the rest of the comp in the modern era when we should have been more bold.
The near death and resurrection of the club under Jb, Euge and Brad and then 10 years on - a reset of sorts of which we are about to find out will reap us a fifth flag or not.

We are a mid table, meandering and treading water football club and have been for two decades.
Not quite here or there and practically everywhere. But ultimately middle ground.

This needs to end and I feel supporters are fed up with just being the good guys.
The honest ones.
The courageous lot.

It means **** all now.
I have seen too many fluff pieces and too many hopefullys this decade that I too am becoming impatient.
And patient we’ve been.

We’re realists down at North. Reality checks and wake up calls are part and parcel of being a North person.

But I want conviction on the field and I want an all in siege mentality.
If we keep harping on about our history and what goals were kicking off field, then sadly we’ll continue to stay irrlevant on field - where it counts.
My view is as important as it is stay inclusive and accepting of the issues we are all facing today, the bottom line is I want a fifth flag and everything else comes second.
Feed me a flag and then everything else takes precedence. For too long it’s been the other way around.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Tectonic

All Australian
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Posts
734
Likes
2,861
AFL Club
North Melbourne
This always comes up whenever a non football piece like this is released by the club in the media.

It started when Brad took over and was spruiking the high performance, greater culture line with regard to how our players should conduct themselves.
I’m all for it.

Then it moved on to ensuring our players got the most out of their careers including the famous, if you don’t have a house to your name by the time you leave here, then I have failed you.

And now its moved on to today’s political issues that the club is vocal on supporting. Ben is a large advocate - which is fine and depicts him as an outstanding citizen.

Again all good and well. You take into account the good work of the huddle and we’re kicking goals off field on these matters.

But what about on?
19 years it’s been since we were relevant.
19 years since our last top 2 finish.
19 years since our last prelim win.
19 years since our last flag.

Since then we’ve had Carey rip the soul out of the club, Pagan leave, Laidley send us further and further behind the rest of the comp in the modern era when we should have been more bold.
The near death and resurrection of the club under Jb, Euge and Brad and then 10 years on - a reset of sorts of which we are about to find out will reap us a fifth flag or not.

We are a mid table, meandering and treading water football club and have been for two decades.
Not quite here or there and practically everywhere. But ultimately middle ground.

This needs to end and I feel supporters are fed up with just being the good guys.
The honest ones.
The courageous lot.

It means **** all now.
I have seen too many fluff pieces and too many hopefullys this decade that I too am becoming impatient.
And patient we’ve been.

We’re realists down at North. Reality checks and wake up calls are part and parcel of being a North person.

But I want conviction on the field and I want an all in siege mentality.
If we keep harping on about our history and what goals were kicking off field, then sadly we’ll continue to stay irrlevant on field - where it counts.
My view is as important as it is stay inclusive and accepting of the issues we are all facing today, the bottom line is I want a fifth flag and everything else comes second.
Feed me a flag and then everything else takes precedence. For too long it’s been the other way around.
The press release was from the event.

By a sponsor

In the offeseason


Success and social responsibility aren't mutually exclusive
 

Tectonic

All Australian
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Posts
734
Likes
2,861
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Matter of fact North Melbourne are only mentioned once in the speech, and it's a salient point;

"Hester and I got quite used to hearing this comment over the duration of the pregnancy and, as such, we developed our methods of responding to it. Some of you may know that, in 2019, North Melbourne will debut its own AFL Women’s team. Thus, technically, our child will have the potential to be drafted to the AFL regardless of its sex at birth. Our standard response became to point this fact out to fans in a light-hearted manner - “well, we’ve got our own AFLW team now too! So either way, we might have a Roos player in the future!”

This is why we didn’t think much of it at the time when Hester was asked on the Brownlow Medal red carpet at the end of the year, on Channel 7’s coverage, whether the baby could be a future ‘Father-Son’ for North Melbourne - and she responded just as we had many times before, reminding the host that we had an AFL Women’s team too."

https://www.ourwatch.org.au/News-media/Latest-news/Ben-Brown-Why-we-need-more

The full speech is actually quite a good read.
 
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Posts
483
Likes
2,310
Location
under the stars
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Sopwiths North is a Canadian NMFC fan and regular contributor to the forum since she joined several months ago.

Anyone willing to watch us at strange times of day from the other side of the world is a welcome addition to the forum AFAIC.

I’m disappointed that someone would get so personal over what’s essentially an exchange of opinions.
Thanks OP, you're a good egg for noticing. And yep, North matches very often are experienced as little 3 am beacons of light in the dark tundra nights for me. It's pretty great.

And for the record, as to the other accusation Snake made about me (which I see has now been deleted), I am a fully paid up member. And am very happy and proud to be one.
 

The Other Dean

Whirling Dervish
Joined
May 29, 2006
Posts
17,711
Likes
21,637
Location
Eyre, Qatar
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Rebecca Romney Book Club
1. Gender equality is a basic human rights issue, not a political agenda

2. Ben Brown is the only person who gets to tell Ben Brown what he chooses to stand up for. Not you, not me, not the North Melbourne Football Club. Anyone with any degree of fame or notoriety carries a spotlight on them. How they choose to behave in that spotlight is up to them. I'm incredibly proud of the way Ben conducts himself as a member of the football club I love. And I'm incredibly proud that our footy club is a pioneering force in the football world for equal rights for all human beings. This is not manipulation or conspiracy to facilitate political agendas. This is society's moral progress.

3. You are of course entitled to your opinion. It's your right, as is everyone. But you are not entitled to make false assumptions about Ben Brown's character or integrity. You don't have to be proud of him like I am. But you do need to remove your own needs from his life decisions. The North Melbourne Football Club belongs to all of us. Not just you.
Fantastic post, watches-North-by-nighter.

(Kimbo and kangaspurs, likewise. Well said.)

Sopwiths North is a Canadian NMFC fan and regular contributor to the forum since she joined several months ago.
Not to mention a fully paid-up member of the club.

(Edit: Snap)

I’m disappointed that someone would get so personal over what’s essentially an exchange of opinions.
Yep.
 
Last edited:

DunderHead

Club Legend
Joined
Apr 12, 2007
Posts
2,041
Likes
1,201
Location
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
You lot should just start issuing "good bloke" awards to each other.

Just make sure you do it via a press conference whilst wearing a North jumper.
Dude. What in the world are you on about? Get back to talking footy. Do yourself a favour and hit the ignore button if you dont like hearing about this other stuff.
 

Tectonic

All Australian
Joined
Jul 11, 2017
Posts
734
Likes
2,861
AFL Club
North Melbourne
You lot should just start issuing "good bloke" awards to each other.

Just make sure you do it via a press conference whilst wearing a North jumper.
It must be horrible having the spectre of bleeding heart liberals assaulting your sensibilities at every turn.

I'd be much more sympathetic to your reasoning if Ben was using time on the footy shows, match day interviews and so on to plug his beliefs but I'm yet to see that occur, and this particular occasion is such a non issue, I'm surprised you bothered with it.

A panel discussing domestic violence issues and awareness invites a well known athlete to share his perspective.

Oh the horror.
 
Joined
Jun 9, 2001
Posts
20,843
Likes
50,030
Location
Windy Hill Safe Injecting Room
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
St Johnstone
Moderator #3,620
You lot should just start issuing "good bloke" awards to each other.

Just make sure you do it via a press conference whilst wearing a North jumper.
Amazing strawmanning in the last page, that's for sure.

Questioning whether Ben and Hester initiating their own policies at the club might mean them getting a little too much say in the club, or whether these policies were the best use of club resources and focus (last time I checked the club will shortly commence an extra trot south of the Bass Strait every year for the coin) apparently translates to opposing everything that Ben and Hester stand for in their personal views.

Heck even a basic level of querying the topic will probably equate to the opinion being interpreted as opposing women gaining meaningful employment within football clubs at all or even a disadain for human rights.

Cue strawman retort: well if you don't like a beautiful human being like Ben Brown maybe we can get Shannon Grant back to the club to teach us how to be a real man
 

blackshadow

Premium Gold
Joined
Sep 24, 2007
Posts
22,965
Likes
28,180
Location
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Team WADA
I don't accept the framing of gender inequality and domestic violence as 'political' and 'ideological' issues. Nor do I think, ironically, it's Ben who is using a football forum as a political billboard.

Personally, I think it's great to see a young man using a platform society has given him to express and develop his leadership. It'll support him in his future endeavours in life, in which I expect he'll contribute a hell of a lot more of worth than a Buckenara, Healy, King or anti-BBB, Wayne Carey, will ever manage. (Or would we rather Ben glassed women?) I'm not sure when simple, life-affirming, respectful attitudes to others or supporting charities became 'ideological'. We are poorer as a society for the politicisation of such things in my humble opinion.

Ben says he is commenting as a human being, and as a man, husband and soon-to-be father, regardless of the opportunity arising as a football player. I imagine a good many husbands and fathers of daughters share his views, regardless of where they fit on a nominal political spectrum. I'm assuming he's still on his time off too? Even if you do disagree with his views, he's not representing NMFC per se. He's allowed to have views on life, even supposed 'political' issues and to voice them. Last time I looked we don't live in a police state (yet.)

He speaks of his personal values and expresses his own view that gender equality and stopping domestic violence are things he's personally concerned about. This doesn't need to be seen as an attack on men, nor as a drain on, or dilution of, the club as a football club. If anything, a club sponsor was clearly happy to have him speak. I'd imagine keeping a sponsor of the football club happy is a good thing, though I don't think that's necessarily why he agreed to speak.
Spot on Kimbo
 

Snake_Baker

L'enfant terrible
Joined
Apr 24, 2013
Posts
39,226
Likes
69,644
Location
inside your head
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Milf Smashers
Amazing strawmanning in the last page, that's for sure.

Questioning whether Ben and Hester initiating their own policies at the club might mean them getting a little too much say in the club, or whether these policies were the best use of club resources and focus (last time I checked the club will shortly commence an extra trot south of the Bass Strait every year for the coin) apparently translates to opposing everything that Ben and Hester stand for in their personal views.

Heck even a basic level of querying the topic will probably equate to the opinion being interpreted as opposing women gaining meaningful employment within football clubs at all or even a disadain for human rights.

Cue strawman retort: well if you don't like a beautiful human being like Ben Brown maybe we can get Shannon Grant back to the club to teach us how to be a real man

You don't need to have a media release to do a good deed, and that's what he should start doing if he's absolutely dedicated to a cause. Go work in a shelter, don't tell anyone, and don't wear your footy jumper when you're doing it. True charity is done in silence, otherwise it just amounts to virtue signalling.

It's not that I disagree with what Ben's stating, I mean, it's common ******* sense, not any great statement of enlightenment. It's just that I am sick of the club being utilised for these purposes.



I
 

shintemaster

Premium Gold
Joined
Aug 24, 2002
Posts
13,915
Likes
21,128
Location
Ponderama
AFL Club
North Melbourne
You don't need to have a media release to do a good deed, and that's what he should start doing if he's absolutely dedicated to a cause. Go work in a shelter, don't tell anyone, and don't wear your footy jumper when you're doing it. True charity is done in silence, otherwise it just amounts to virtue signalling.
Come on Snake, you're not that naive. It's not about Ben doing the deed and that's that, it's about him talking about it and hopefully it pushes that one or two extra people to contribute to a good cause or throw an extra $20 in when there's something worth contributing to.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2018
Posts
1,151
Likes
1,688
AFL Club
North Melbourne
'Gender equality is not a political issue'.

No, these buzz-mantras just coin and spread themselves.

As for Ben Brown, I hope he recovers quickly from the surgery and gets back to being one of the league's dominant forwards.

Not just because he plays for North, but because I like the type of forward he is. Not enough of them in the modern game.

As for his PC 'say what the media wants to hear' stuff, I don't like it, but then again, I'm not one of the people this stuff is aimed at.

As Orwell explained, it is about targeting the youth and building up a collectivist, pro-state attitude among the proles.

That's not Ben's fault. He is simply doing what is in his career interests. Maybe he even believes what he saying, too.
 

kelman

Club Legend
Joined
Apr 18, 2002
Posts
2,710
Likes
1,366
Location
Arden Street
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Kangaroos
One of the more bizarre couple of pages I have read on bigfooty.

I just can believe someone like Ben Brown is being criticised for using his position and talking about a relevant, ongoing issue in society. And then the assertion that we are focusing too much on our player’s well being/the community at the detriment of football success.

FFS.

Thankfully, I am pretty confident the 3-4 people in here don’t represent the broader member/supporter base.
 
Top Bottom