Sam Kekovich

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Sam Kekovich
Personal information
Full name Sam Kekovich
Nickname(s) Slammin' Sam
Date of birth (1950-03-11) 11 March 1950 (age 64)
Place of birth Western Australia
Original team Myrtleford (O&MFL)
Height/Weight 187cm / 95kg
Position(s) Midfielder / Forward
Playing career1
Years Club Games (Goals)
1968–1976
1977
Total
North Melbourne
Collingwood
124 (228)
004 00(4)
128 (232)
Representative team honours
Years Team Games (Goals)
1969 Victoria
1 Playing statistics correct to end of 1977 season.
Career highlights

Sam Kekovich (born 11 March 1950) is an Australian media personality, sports commentator and former Australian rules football player.

He is well known for his controversial behaviour, both on and off the field, and most recently for his series of satirical advertisements as the spokesman for Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA) to promote the lamb industry.[1]

The Kekovich brothers[edit]

His older brother is the former VFL full-forward Brian Kekovich, who played two seasons of senior VFL football with Carlton, including kicking four goals in Carlton's 1968 Grand Final victory.

Brian's career ended immediately after the Grand Final, due to a serious back injury he had sustained earlier in the 1968 season .

His younger brother, Michael, recruited from Trinity Grammar, who was showing great promise at North Melbourne at the age of 16,[2][3][4] played for the North Melbourne First XVIII on Thursday, 10 September 1970 against Footscray, in the first round of the 1970 VFL night premiership.[5] North Melbourne lost 6.7 (43) to 14.13 (97).

Michael also played in the North Melbourne Second XVIII team that lost the 1970 preliminary final to Melbourne,[6] and he kicked one goal in a losing team.

Michael was killed, aged 17, when he was hit by a motor-car whilst on a training run in High Street Doncaster (near Curnola Avenue) on Saturday evening 26 June 1971.[7]

Football career[edit]

Kekovich started his senior football career with Victorian Football League (VFL) club North Melbourne (Kangaroos) in 1968. The following year he won the club's best and fairest award and was the top goalkicker with 56 goals. He played a key role in the club's first premiership win in 1975 by assisting ruckman Mick Nolan by contesting boundary throw-ins, in which he won most of the hit outs against Hawthorn's top ruckman Don Scott.[1]

After playing 124 VFL games for the Kangaroos, between 1968 and 1976, he moved to Collingwood in 1977, but only played four games, retiring from the VFL that season. His football career did not end, as he switched to play in the Victorian Football Association for the Prahran Football Club and played in the 1978 VFA Premiership side against Preston at the Junction Oval.[1]

In 1987, Kekovich coached VFA club Camberwell, which had just been relegated to Division 2 following a winless 1986 season.[8]

He was included in the North Melbourne Team of the Century, on the interchange bench.

Media career[edit]

He has carried on his flamboyant style into the media sector, being most notable for his 'rants' on the ABC show The Fat, a breakfast show on Melbourne radio station 3AK, as a radio presenter on Melbourne Sports Radio Station SEN 1116, in pre-match AFL coverage on Triple M, and on PTI Australia on ESPN.

Kekovich's direct-to-camera TV monologues are done deadpan and use wide-ranging cultural references. Created by the writers of the Fat the monologues were first piloted with AFL player John Platten and boxer Spike Cheney before the ABC asked Kekovich to perform. The 'rants' normally place in contrast many disparate or incongruous verbal images and ideas, ending with the trademark, "You know it makes sense. I'm Sam Kekovich." The ABC released a spoken word album 'You Know it Makes Sense' which was nominated in the 'Best Comedy' category of the ARIA Music Awards of 2002.[9]

Sam Kekovich in stills from the lamb ad campaign for Australia Day 2006

Kekovich has performed these rants on commercials for North Melbourne Football Club membership drives, Dan Murphy's bottle shops, and encouraging people to act less 'unAustralian' on Australia Day by eating lamb.

Kekovich is an Executive Producer on the Australian film Blinder released in 2013. Shot around Torquay, Victoria, the film is about a legendary former local footballer, Tom Dunn of the Torquay Tigers.

Controversy[edit]

In the lead-up to Australia Day 2005, Kekovich headed an advertising campaign encouraging people to eat more Australian lamb. In this particular ad campaign, he labeled vegetarians as being "un-Australian", provoking outrage from animal rights activists and groups such as the Australian Vegetarian Society.[10] The Australian Advertising Standards Bureau allowed the ads to remain on the air, as they were considered satirical, despite viewers' complaints.[11]

Kekovich did a similar ad in 2006, and although he did not target vegetarians, he did claim that many of the tragedies befalling Australians in 2005, such as the 2005 Cronulla riots and a scandal at the 2005 Ashes series, may have panned out differently if Australians had more lamb. The 2008 series of the ads includes a 90 second address to the nation, and calls for the replacement of Australia Day with an "Australia Week"; after claiming that New Zealand former Prime Minister Helen Clark does "a passable impression of a man"[12] he also suggests that "tree-huggers" head to the "refugee processing centre" Nauru.

In 2009 there was a complaint lodged with the Australian Advertising Standards Bureau about Kekovich using offensive language. The complaint was dismissed.[13] In 2011 another complaint was lodged about Kekovich referring to people as Cretins. He was shown in front of various European backdrops and for each backdrop he talks about how the eating of lamb is declining in these places, which is un-Australian. The complaint was dismissed.[14]

In 2013 Kekovich's Facebook page appeared to have been hijacked to promote a tofu burger. The post read "Accidentally picked up a tofu burger instead of a Lamb one and you know what? It didn't taste too bad at all. In fact I reckon I could go another".[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sam Kekovich - Player Profiles". North Melbourne Football Club. Retrieved 2009-08-12. 
  2. ^ Kekovich . . . The Third, The Age, (Friday, 21 August 1971, p.25.
  3. ^ VFL Reserves: North Melbourne, The Age, (Friday, 21 August 1971, p.25.
  4. ^ Assumption's good win, The Age, (Monday, 21 June 1971), p.20.
  5. ^ Robb, J., “Youngest Kekovich eligible — League”, (Thursday, 10 September 1970), p.26.
  6. ^ Reserve Grade, ‘’The Age’’, (Friday, 18 September 1970), p.28.
  7. ^ VFL Hope Killed as He Trains, The Age, (Monday, 28 June 1971), p.1.
  8. ^ Paul Cunningham (25 July 1987). "Wild Sam eyes change of luck". The Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne, VIC). p. 84. 
  9. ^ 2002 ARIA Music Awards
  10. ^ Vegetarians out of flavour with the Aussie palate
  11. ^ Lee, Julian (20 January 2006). "Lamb roast gives some a bitter aftertaste". 
  12. ^ NZ issue a lamb challenge, ABC Rural. Accessed 10 March 2008.
  13. ^ "Case Report 27/09". Advertising Standards Board. Retrieved 21 January 2009. 
  14. ^ "Case Report 0024/11". Advertising Standards Board. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  15. ^ Jones, Grant (9 January 2013). "Tofu lovers hijack 'Lambassador' Sam Kekovich's Facebook page". Adelaide Now. 

External links[edit]