AFL 2023: Harry Lyon at the Footy Show, football media changes, Nick Riewoldt

Harry Lyon was one of those people.

He never thought this would happen, but he can’t hide his excitement when it comes to his new love.

The famous Melbourne and media star is now a lawn mower.

Thanks to social media, there is a whole world of people obsessed with their lawns who upload photos of their masterpieces and compare their notes with other like-minded people around the world.

Lyon is not on social media, but if he was, he would undoubtedly be one of those people.

He says the best thing he ever did was buy himself a farm on the Mornington Peninsula. This is his safe place, his refuge away from the bright lights of the TV and the craziness of the morning radio.

He left last week SEN shortly after the show at breakfast with Tim Watson and was sitting on his tractor by 11 o’clock in the morning.

“I don’t know what I’m doing on a tractor, but I get on it and drive,” Lyon says.

“I’m a walker and I also have a lawnmower, so I’ll just put on a headset and listen to a few podcasts.

“It takes me six hours to mow all the area I have and I love it. It’s the best thing I do, it’s like therapy. When I finish, I go out and feel so good.

“I just love it and I will seriously pray that the branch will fall so I can get on the tractor and pick it up.”

Lyon has 50 acres and contains “a very healthy 300 to 400 head of kangaroos” given how rampant they roam the area, although it also has a few of its neighbor’s sheep that roam the area.

The new house is the latest “passion project” on the farm, which caused him to move to another house on nearby Red Hill during construction.

“The best thing I’ve ever done in my life was buying land,” Lyon says.

“I used to love the city, but now I don’t, I love the farm.”

He switched to the bush after the worst period of his life when he hid from the spotlight after his affair with Nicky Brownless, the wife of his good friend Billy, came to light.

The farm was instrumental in his healing, and in his first extensive interview since then, Lyon reveals why he still enjoys being behind the mic almost three decades later.

His media career began while working for the AFL and hosting the children’s show AFL Squadron in the early 1990s. His first radio appearance was at 3AW alongside such notables as Steve Price, Rex Hunt and Sam Newman.

“Steve Price was doing something with Sam Newman and Rex Hunt at 5:45 pm on a Friday and it was cult radio,” Lyon explains.

“Then they went on vacation, so he (Price) asked me to come back. I was going to Inverloch for the holidays, but at lunchtime on a Friday I got stuck in a traffic jam, and Pricey is always late, so I had about six minutes and then I went back to Inverloch.

Big things have grown out of this small segment.

Lyon has been the top man in the special commentary chair for 3AW, Triple M and SEN. His profile exploded on Channel 9 when he went from panelist on The Footy Show to host. He also featured in Nine’s Footy Classified.

While Eddie McGuire was known as Eddie Everywhere, he became Gary Everywhere before his sabbatical.

In 2017, he returned to SEN to partner with Watson on the morning show and joined Fox Footy where he became the ship’s leader, hosting Friday night soccer, one game special commentary every weekend, and hosting the popular show. . Program “On the couch”.

During the football season, he will have one day off – usually on Sunday, although he still needs to follow the games at home, and this year the radio show has been reduced to three days a week (from Tuesday to Thursday) to try to lighten the load. .

Playing golf with Newman and the other members of The Footy Show this past weekend gave Lyon some insight into just how much the industry has changed.

“We were having so much fun and laughing and I was sitting there thinking that we can’t do a hell of a lot of the things that we used to do,” says Lyon.

“I don’t have a problem with it, but from this point of view it’s not, I don’t want to say fun, but we were a little freer. Everyone was a little more relaxed and probably not as knowledgeable about everything.

“I still love him, but you have to be careful.”

Making special comments on games is still his favorite part of the job.

“I work with some wonderful people, but they are all different,” he says. “There are some who, for whatever reason, don’t want to do too much research, and that’s okay, while there are others who absolutely understand everything that’s going on.

“Personally, I sit somewhere in the middle. I think the craft in the comments for us is to watch the game and for 10 or 15 minutes you have to bring up a topic, that’s an ability and sometimes you can support your argument with a lot of different things.

“I feel like I’ve done a good job when I walk out of the game and say, ‘Yeah, I’m really glad I figured it out, I foresaw it.’

“Young guys come (comment), it’s their job to find their own style. You don’t have to be like (Jonathan) Brownie, you don’t have to be like (David) Kingi, you don’t have to be like any of them, you just have to be yourself.”

He was reminded of his passion for commentary last year when he played with Anthony Hudson and Nick Ryvoldt from the Fox Footy bunker.

“It was during the hub and it was when Jordan Dawson scored after the siren to make Adelaide beat Port,” Lyon recalls. “It was so good, we were so into it that when it happened we jumped up and hugged.

“The three of us hugged in a studio in South Melbourne over a game that none of us invested in our teams. I thought it was pretty cool, you can still go and see something that can move you so emotionally.”

He will be without his assistant Ryvoldt this season after the St Kilda champions became champions. shocking decision to move family to the United States.

“I will miss Nick, I miss him very much,” Lyon says. “Again, everyone is a bit different, but he was a talent/producer, that’s where he was going. There are talents who do their job and do it well, but they need direction.

“He was a talent/producer, he was like, ‘Why aren’t we doing this? Can we do it? How about this? Can we do better?”

“For me, this is who I am, and since I’ve been doing this for a long time, it was really great to have a guy who sits next to you like this, so you don’t feel this pressure.

“He would stop in a commercial break and say, ‘Man, we have to do this, or we didn’t do it.’ I will miss him, I hope he comes back, he was a really talented cinematographer.”

Rivoldt is replaced by former Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley as the third extra in On the Couch, and Lyon enjoys discussing the modern game with him.

“When he came out (from the game) last year on the radio, he got the attention of his coaches. I think that’s great, I’m going to challenge it because coaches by their very nature think they know everything they should, so I like to tease him.

“There is nothing like when you and someone are doing it, and it’s serious, but not for too long. You need to freshen up, pack up and have a laugh.

“I’m 55, I never thought about it, but 55! That’s why hanging out and working with these guys is so good, it makes you feel young.”

Lyon, who has played 226 games and captained the Demons, was in Perth for Melbourne’s historic Premier League victory in 2021 and still can’t believe how moved he was by the experience.

“The circumstances turned out in such a way that I think it made it even more emotional for me because you are basically alone there (due to Covid restrictions), I didn’t have any of my companions, none of my old teammates, apart from a couple of Western Australians.

“I was surprised how touched I was and saw how much it meant to my boys too. I thought I would never see him, they thought they would never see him, and I’m never going to share what I saw with them.

“So in the end it was so cool.”

He only watched the grand final replay once, a couple of months later at his farm with sons Josh, Ben, Thomas and brother Rick.

“I’m not a big wine drinker, but over the years I’ve accumulated some Grange, and when the boys were little, they’d be like, ‘What’s that, daddy?'” Lyon says.

“I would say if you ever touch this, I will rip your ears out. I explained to them what it was and said that if we ever won the flag, we would drink it.

“The minute we won the flag, we thought, ‘Get the Grange, get the Grange.’ So we had Grange, big steaks, big screen in the barn, and it was one of the great days.”

And Lyon predicts there could be another day at the farm later this year: “I think Melbourne can win again, I really believe.”

Originally published as Harry Lyon talks about his best move and how football media has changed

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