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Tony Jones scolds Today show host Sarah Abo for using US expression to describe AFL grand final

Petulant Today show identity Tony Jones has called out fellow Channel 9 reporter Sarah Abo for using a popular American term ahead of Saturday’s AFL Grand Final at the MCG.

Jones was in a pedantic mood on Friday and reacted immediately when Abo referred to the long-awaited decider between Geelong and Sydney as ‘the big dance’.

‘TJ, Geelong will come in as favourites. They’ve won 15 games in a row, that’s quite something. Do you think they will hold it up on Saturday for the big dance?,’ Abo asked.

This prompted Jones to declare that he ‘hated that term’ and that he was keen to ‘veto it’, before lamenting how ‘Americanism creeps in’.

Back in 2017, Jones wrote an opinion piece that ran on Today’s website ahead of the AFL Grand Final between Richmond and Adelaide.

He outlined his frustration with the use of the term ‘big dance’, comparing it to ‘zip’ and ‘dee-fence’.

Show Identity Today Tony Jones has called out Channel 9 reporter Sarah Abo for using a popular American term ahead of Saturday's AFL Grand Final at the MCG
Show Identity Today Tony Jones has called out Channel 9 reporter Sarah Abo for using a popular American term ahead of Saturday's AFL Grand Final at the MCG

Show Identity Today Tony Jones has called out Channel 9 reporter Sarah Abo for using a popular American term ahead of Saturday’s AFL Grand Final at the MCG

As Jones would be aware, the term is often coined by journalists when referring to a sporting grand final.

While some sports fans might agree with Jones that the cliché is creepy, it was condescending and unnecessary to single out fellow Abo on live TV.

Especially when you consider that Jones himself has been the subject of numerous and infamous TV gaffes even in recent years.

He went viral for all the wrong reasons in 2016 when he tried to plant a kiss on Bec Judd’s cheek during a news feature in Melbourne – only for the wife of AFL great Chris Judd to turn away in awkward scenes.

Three years later, Jones was widely criticized after an interview with Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka at the Australian Open.

Osaka had just beaten Petra Kvitova in the women’s singles final and appeared overwhelmed during the pair’s interview.

Jones asked Osaka to smile after her Grand Slam title before suggesting she should spend some of her $4.1 million prize money in Melbourne.

TV veteran Jones was in a pedantic mood and reacted immediately when Ms Abo referred to the long-awaited decider between Geelong and Sydney as 'the big dance' (pictured, Swans fans)
TV veteran Jones was in a pedantic mood and reacted immediately when Ms Abo referred to the long-awaited decider between Geelong and Sydney as 'the big dance' (pictured, Swans fans)

TV veteran Jones was in a pedantic mood and reacted immediately when Ms Abo referred to the long-awaited decider between Geelong and Sydney as ‘the big dance’ (pictured, Swans fans)

‘It’s a very, very big trophy. I’m not sure how you carried it all this way…there’s the smile,” Jones said on Channel 9 in front of a live audience outside the Margaret Court Arena.

‘How will you reward yourself? You pick up a nice check at the Australian Open (for) $4.1 million.

‘We would love for you to pump it back into the economy.’

Osaka did not know how to react – and the ‘creepy’ Jones was not yet finished commenting on her nationality and family.

“Your grandparents back in Japan and you left Japan at three and you still consider yourself Japanese,” he said.

‘It took a while for your grandparents to get you and your sisters to play tennis and then they finally got on board.’

Jones himself has been involved in infamous TV tiffs with colleague Bec Judd and tennis star Naomi Osaka
Jones himself has been involved in infamous TV tiffs with colleague Bec Judd and tennis star Naomi Osaka

Jones himself has been involved in infamous TV tiffs with colleague Bec Judd and tennis star Naomi Osaka

Jones was widely panned on social media following his bizarre comments, with one tennis fan tweeting that his behavior was “beyond embarrassing – rude, condescending, boring and awkward.”

Earlier this month, Jones was at it again, blasting the AFL after failing to receive an invite to the AFL’s night of nights, the Brownlow Medal.

Speaking on the Footy Show, the ‘King of Cringe’ told viewers he had been to the last 30 Brownlow nights, but after being brushed off this year, he threw his toys on live TV and told the AFL to ‘get stuffed’ .

“If the AFL is watching you can be stuffed, it’s a crappy night,” Jones said.

Asked if he could have done anything to warrant the ban, Jones replied: ‘Just promoting the game in a good light.

‘I didn’t realize it until I heard Damo (Damian Barrett) talking to the wardrobe department. I’ve gone through all my emails, archives, junk….anyway, so I’m officially rejected.’

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