Billy Brownless, the rising TV star from Geelong, angered his old team when he questioned a young player who was banned from playing on the field during the Cats’ Family Day celebration last week.
Brownless was filming a segment for Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show last Sunday when he buttoned the fledgling gun Max Holmes on live television — and the team’s media department wasn’t too happy with the result, according to the Herald Sun.
Holmes, 20, was devastated when an injury sustained in Geelong’s preliminary overall win over Brisbane knocked him out of the biggest game of the year, which he was forced to watch from the sidelines.
Brownless got the Cats sidelined when he buttoned up Max Holmes on live TV the day after the grand final – which the 20-year-old had to miss through injury
The Geelong legend (pictured with Joel Selwood the day after winning the premiership) admitted he made the youngster uncomfortable when questioning him about missing the biggest game of the year
The dreaded news that his hamstring had ruled him out came through on the day of the grand final, leaving him shattered.
Brownless caught hold of Holmes over the team’s breakfast the day after their premiership victory and made it light that he missed the game.
“Come on, Maxy, played all year, loved the way you handled it, probably had a haircut. How did you feel, mate?’ he asked.
When Holmes replied that he was happy with the win, Brownless went on, “And you’re just sitting there watching, mate?”
Holmes replied, “No, that’s a bad question.”
The Footy Show star kept going, asking how Holmes was feeling, saying: ‘No, you weren’t happy with Gryan [Miers, a Geelong teammate] if he got a medal, he got a medal and you didn’t.’
When Holmes said he was glad Miers got a premiership winner’s medal, Brownless replied, “No, you’re grumpy and trying him out.”
Brownless later admitted that he may have scared the youngster off with his questioning.
“At the time, I just wanted to recognize him because he’s a great boy and a great player,” he said.
“He probably felt uncomfortable with my question, but that wasn’t my intention. I just wanted to recognize that he is part of everything.”
The Cats proved there were no cruel feelings about the awkward TV moment during the celebrated Mad Monday at the Brownless-owned Wharf Shed pub in Geelong.
Holmes was in good spirits on Mad Monday – the day after the interview – when he arrived with flippers at Brownless’ Wharf Shed pub in Geelong
The midfielder injured his hamstring in the preliminary final against Brisbane (pictured) and found himself banned from the grand final on the day of the match
Holmes was seen wearing a pair of webbed feet at the celebrations, which featured many stars in fancy dress – with some arriving on a retirement home bus dressed as older men, as a hilarious way to criticize critics who consider them too old and too slow. found to win the flag.
However, the players were accused of ‘belittling the elderly’ after the party, when Melbourne radio station 3AW was handling calls from offended listeners.
A woman named Diana was outraged by the fancy dress party, saying: ‘I retired last year and I seem to have been the butt of a lot of jokes lately.
“I get demoralized by people saying you’re old and there are old jokes on the radio. And jokes on TV and belittling the elderly. I don’t agree at all.
“We should be better than that in this day and age.”
Patrick Dangerfield helps Issac Smith after falling off his walker on Mad Monday. The Cats dressed up as older men in hilarious comeback for critics who said they were too old and slow to win the flag
Others took to Twitter to condemn the Mad Monday celebration.
“Outraged by this stunt. Those who find themselves in this situation every day due to circumstances beyond their control do not need to be fooled by these people. This brought my wife to tears. Living this way is not a matter of choice. Those who do would be happy to kick a ball for $,” one user noted.
However, other fans made it clear that the players were actually taking a stance against ageism.
“I can’t believe Geelong players are criticized for ripping off old people. They have rightly been told that they cannot achieve anything because they are at least 5 years too old. I don’t even like the @GeelongCats but this is ridiculous. Fair play for them,” said one Twitter user.