Extreme Gardening with Rex Hunt.

Former AFL player Rex Hunt orchestrated a masterful publicity stunt to announce his return to the big screen as host of Extreme Gardening.

Hunt was recently caught on camera appearing to wield a garden fork during a road rage incident in Victoria, and has earned himself a nomination for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame as well as valuable publicity for the new series.

The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while NRL star Jarryd Hayne is the most recent recipient.

The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.

Hunt was reportedly involved in a minor road accident in suburban Melbourne which forced both drivers out of their cars. Reports indicate that the other male driver threw a punch. Hunt then channeled his experience as an AFL commentator and host of Rex Hunt’s Fishing Adventure to earn valuable publicity for Extreme Gardening. The former full-forward walked back to his car and retrieved a garden fork, with which witnesses alleged he lunged at the other driver. He was then heard yelling:

“You wanna die? You wanna die? Do you want to die?”

But that’s not all.

Hunt appeared to walk several laps of the block to cool down, but was actually employing his TV smarts to provoke the other driver into chasing him on foot and drawing out the conflict, the same way a TV writer will draw out a successful series for as many episodes as possible.

The other man obliged, and is said to have “run after Rex in an aggressive manner” and then was seen “throwing punches at trees”, according to a Channel Nine reporter. It’s not clear whether Hunt anticipated or orchestrated the shadow boxing, but it certainly made for great vision for the mainstream media which lapped up the story and gave Hunt the publicity he so desperately craves.

Hunt’s wife eventually succeeded in calling him back to his car and no official police report was made as it later became clear that the incident was a carefully-planned publicity stunt.

“It’s gonna be massive folks,” declared Hunt at the official launch of Extreme Gardening held just after the road rage incident.

“This is Extreme Gardening. Not your namby-pamby, woke, pinko, bolshie, luvy-duvvy organic gardening shows with wogs and permacultural pretty boys. This is real gardening for real men. And don’t expect to see any women on the show, they should never be allowed as far as the garden, let alone in an AFL commentary booth.”

Extreme Gardening will be full of action and men being men, just like the good old days. You thought today was crazy, wait till the show comes to 7Mate later this year.”

Hunt was then asked to confirm whether he actually said:

“You wanna die? You wanna die? Do you want to die?”

He replied:

“You bloody bet I did mate. That’s what I used to say to the little fishies before I cast my line on my fishing show, and I’ll say it a lot on Extreme Gardening, wait and see.”

As well as priceless publicity, the stunt earned Hunt a nomination for The Fronwnlow Medal after years of trying.

The former St Kilda, Geelong and Richmond player made his first attempt in 2004. He was forced to remove his pants and shoes after setting off a metal detector at an airport, so he stole ten metal forks from the Qantas club and took them onto a Qantas flight to highlight flaws in airport security. He was detained upon arrival in Melbourne for questioning and released without charges.

His second attempt involved good ol’ casual racism, a Frownlow staple. While commentating in 2005, he called Indigenous AFL player Leon Davis ‘as black as a dog’ and was later forced to apologise. After a racist slur, he resorted to another Fronwlow staple, a drunken fight. He and his son were involved in a drunken scuffle with teenagers in Byron Bay in 2005.

Hunt’s third attempt involved infidelity and hypocrisy. In 2006 he finally confessed to cheating on his wife with different women, who he apparently paid during the fifteen year period. The cheating apparently cost him up to $1000 a week with one woman, and forced him to admit he had been hypocritical after attacking other famous people for infidelity.

Speaking about the cheating on radio, he said:

“That’s what a fool does. I’m invincible, I’m paying money…uh…The girl’s happy, she’s got no money, I got my rocks off. How good is this?”

Finally, Hunt sought more attention in 2022 when claiming that women should not be AFL commentators.

Fans of reality TV can expect more of these harmless high jinks when Extreme Gardening premieres on 7Mate later this year.

Image: http://www.radiotoday.com.au