The Jekyll and Hyde Element: The Career of Geelong Football Club Champion and Media Celebrity John ‘Sam’ Newman

ROSS_Julian-thesis.pdf - Submitted Version (1MB) | Preview

Ross, Julian (2017) The Jekyll and Hyde Element: The Career of Geelong Football Club Champion and Media Celebrity John ‘Sam’ Newman. PhD thesis, Victoria University.


Life histories of many famous Australian Rules football figures have been published. Yet despite John ‘Sam’ Newman having a significant influence as both a player and a media persona, neither aspects of his career have been the focus of systematic academic study. This thesis aims to redress the deficiency by deploying biographical methods to examine both Newman’s football and media careers. The first half of the thesis explores how a privileged secondary education shaped Newman’s attitude to life and football, before turning to his football career with the Geelong Football Club. The second half of the thesis traces Newman’s increasingly controversial media career in print, radio, and television – most notably on Channel Nine’s The Footy Show. A key aim of the thesis is to explore how and why the warm and generous John Newman developed the outlandish, sexist, patronising, opinionated, and narcissistic, persona of ‘Sam’ Newman that has both attracted and appalled television audiences for decades. Accordingly, the thesis concludes that Newman is a complex person, exhibiting two different personalities that sometimes coalesce, thus filling an intriguing gap in the corpus of studies of the playing and media careers of influential Australian Rules footballers.

Item type Thesis (PhD thesis)
Subjects Historical > FOR Classification > 2103 Historical Studies
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords John Newman; Sam Newman; Australian Rules footballer; AFL player; media persona; biography; Graham Farmer; Geelong
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login