Flashback Friday time Hawkheads, and today we are in 1986 and a battle between the Hawks and the Coburg Giants. It was hot day in September 1986, and the both teams were locked in a battle for 4th spot.
The Giants lived up to their name sporting a team which included big Willie Simmons and Jim Foster, even guards like Wayne Carroll and David Graham seemed bigger than your average player.
The Hawks featuring the Killer B’s, Gordie McLeod, Alphonse Hammond and Graham Kubank were determined to get a win and keep the home crowd buzzing. While the Giants seemed to be a little out of sorts as even in warm ups they delayed the game claiming the ring was not the correct height.
The home side came out firing and hit the lead early in the 1st quarter racing to a quarter time lead of 30-19. Sharpshooting from Hammond, and Kubank noticeable at the start.
They didn’t rest in the second and continued to set the pace going into the main break up 56-37
Coming into the game averaging over 32 points per game, Giants import Foster was obviously flustered in the second half and had a mini brain explosion after being called for an offensive foul. He lost his cool towards the referees and then continued after the infamous Dummy was thrown onto the court.
It probably didn’t help his side were not even in the contest with the Hawks keeping the Giants at bay and going on to win the game 128-109 with both teams scoring 72 in the second half. The Hawks were lead by Hammond (33 points, 8 rebounds), Bateman (22 points, 8 rebounds) and Borner (17 points, 11 rebounds) while Carroll (23 points) and Simmons (22 points 10 rebounds) were the best for the visitors.
It was during a recent State League game at the Snakepit that we caught up with the mystery man who was responsible for the dummy throwing incident and had a chat. It would be to no ones surprise that during that game the dummy made an appearance on the Snakepit floor once more.
For the sake of his anonymity we will refer to him as “Mr. Brown”
So Mr Brown, can you tell us how the dummy throwing began?
- I think it was after a particularly lengthy remonstration from an opposing coach that Geoff Phillips, the court side announcer at the Snakepit made reference to the Coach spitting the dummy…
Do you remember the first game you threw the dummy?
- Not entirely sure the 80’s were a long time ago…
Surely over the years you would have had an arsenal of dummies. How many dummies have you gone through?
- 3 dummies. One was completely destroyed by West Sydney. The pink one was donated to a child and I still have a blue one!
Did you have favourite targets who would spit the dummy?
- Coach Bruce Palmer always seemed to not enjoy it so he was good!
What was your favourite reaction from an opponent to the dummy appearing ?
- In the last Snakepit Home game against Townsville Grant Kruger was going off and complaining to the Ref Roger Shields. I threw the dummy. It landed at his feet. He kicked it off the court and Roger tech fouled him! In the after match function on the back courts I was having a drink and he came over to me. I thought I might be in a bit of trouble…he just said “(expletive) that was funny!” A top bloke even before he played for the Hawks.
Did it ever backfire?
- Tried it at the “last game” at the Sandpit. It was sailing beautifully onto the court after a tech foul call and I think Dave Gruber or Adam Ballinger caught it on the full before it landed and the moment was lost…
Were you ever caught?
- Never! I have had a number of helpers cover for me over the years. A certain Hawks strapper comes to mind…and a few referees who enjoyed the theatre also returned them.
While they had the “Phantom Siren” in the NRL who was often imitated, fortunately there was only ever one Mr Brown and his infamous Dummy Throw.