TLR: Articulate, engaging and thought provoking, three words you wouldn’t describe the person I’m about to speak with. Chief Footy Writer of The Herald Sun Mark Robinson welcome.

Robbo: Thanks for having me, I wrote something today I’m not sure if you read it, but..

TLR: If we could just stick with the questions I have here for you Robbo, you’ve been in the footy media for a long time. When the TV show NYPD Blue was at its peak, did looking like Detective Andy Sipowicz help with the ladies?

Robbo: (Looks around confused) is this a fair dinkum interview?

TLR: Yeah sure, but like you, I like to talk about other issues away from the game. It helps give the reader a better understanding of what makes you tick. Now, broad question, how do you view the game as a whole?

Robbo: Oh I love the game, the gun players; Little Garry, Buddy, Fyfe and Danger…did you see Danger on the weekend? Wow, how good was he? He was massive, I know I say this a bit but the game is about effort and Dangerfield’s effort in the contest was tremendous. You could see him saying to his teammates, “come on boys follow me, I’ll get us home here.” You know I interviewed him and his family down at Moggs Creek during the off season?

TLR: Yep, I read the article, felt like it was written by an eight year old on their first day back at school.

Robbo: Exactly, it did feel like he had made me part of his family and wanted me to be his mate and share a beer on a regular basis.

TLR: Not really what I said or the vibe I got but anyway, you’re obviously passionate about the game, sometimes you seem stuck between the present where players need to be disciplined in regards to on field violence and the “good old days” of the 1980’s where nearly anything went.

Robbo: (Points pen at me) Listen, I know I say this a bit, but the game is about mental strength. It’s an individual being able to stand up to physical and verbal pressure. The games tough mate, if people whinge about players going down, don’t watch it, it’s a man’s game. But it’s got to be safe, mums don’t want to see little Johnny have his jaw smashed and his cheek bone caved in. It’s not good enough we need to make sure that doesn’t happen.

TLR: …..Ok….not sure what your stance is there but we’ll move on. Last week you broke a story on Collingwood players failing hair tests for illicit drugs in the off season. Then on AFL360 you copped a dressing down from Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley and Geelong coach Chris Scott. How does it feel to be told off on national television with seemingly no real comeback?

Robbo: (Staring at me, hands up around his chest holding his pen like a Tyrannosaurus Rex)

TLR: Yep, just like that. Let’s lighten the mood a little, what’s the deal with the bum fluff below your bottom lip? Shannon Noll called he wants it back.

Robbo: (Still staring)

TLR: What did you think of the Open Mike interview this week when it was revealed that Caroline Wilson was approached to take over from Mike Sheehan as the Herald Sun Chief footy writer?

Robbo: She didn’t get it, I did.

TLR: Well she knocked it…


TLR: Ok, Ok besides Grand Final day, what’s your favourite day on the AFL calendar?

Robbo: Without a doubt the AFL hall of fame night, it is THE best night for a footy lover like myself. I will tell you a story, every year I go, I gorge myself with free food, smoke like a chimney and park myself next to Dipper and Terry Daniher. Well, the stories I tell them about footy, they love it.

TLR: I bet they do, speaking of your eating habits, that’s an interesting scent that surrounds you.

Robbo: It’s Lynx Africa

TLR: No, it’s like a combination between vomit, urine and if they found Oscar the grouch in his trash can that had been sealed and left out on the sun for three weeks.

Robbo: I think I’m done here.

TLR: No wait Robbo, if we could finish up with a few quick fire questions, get some one word answers? First thing that pops in your head.

Robbo: Ok

TLR: This year’s Premier?

Robbo: Eagles

TLR: Brownlow Medallist?

Robbo: Stringer

TLR: Do you think Devon Smith’s parents called him Devon because it was their favourite processed meat?

Robbo: What?

TLR: Do you think that Rebel Wilson is this generations John Candy?

Robbo: (silence)

TLR: Were you like me and disappointed to find the movie “Chappie” was not really reflective of Paul Chapman’s career? And that Hugh Jackman wasn’t the right actor to play the Geelong champ?

Robbo: Is this a joke?

TLR: True or false; In high school I formed a death metal band called Agapanthus, I was asked to leave the band when the group voted that my recorder playing wasn't up to scratch?

Robbo: True?

TLR: Ah false, I was asked to leave because at our first gig I ripped the head off a cabbage patch doll to symbolise the fight against capitalism and the Styrofoam balls inside Tiffany May's torso caught alight when they landed on a strobe light and burnt the church hall to the ground. 

Robbo: Your an idiot, this is over.