The Sydney Convicts have reported a fivefold increase in web traffic since appearing on last week’s Footy Show.
Convicts president Charlie Winn said the experience had earned the world champion rugby team praise from around the country.
There has been some fantastic feedback from places you wouldn’t even expect, Winn told Sydney Star Observer.
Everyone has been really positive and knows that we got the message that we needed to get out, out. Really, 95 percent of the feedback has been good.
The Convicts appeared on the show as a way of fighting homophobia in sport following the airing of a controversial skit about the Johns brothers. The request was welcomed by The Footy Show’s executive producer Gary Burns, who said the Convicts appearance would make a fun and informative segment.
Burns denied the Convicts’ appearance was about buying favour in the lead-up to a court action taken by community ’78er Gary Burns.
It is definitely about raising awareness about gays in football and sport and putting a face to the gay male -” that it’s not just men partying during Mardi Gras, but it is also to demonstrate that we have no phobias. We have no case to answer so we have no fear of anything legally, Burns said.
Winn said he felt the Convicts managed to convey the message they were hoping to on the show. I was personally very happy with the message that got across, he said.
We managed to get across our point on what The Footy Show had done in their skits and we achieved it, although it appeared like The Footy Show didn’t want to be talking about the skits.
The show’s ratings were up almost 16 percent on the back of the appearance.
We’ve had three or four enquiries from people wanting to play or be involved with the Convicts, so I suppose we would have liked a bit more, Winn said.
But our website hits went from about 35 a day to 190 or so in the first two days after the show and they’re still above what we’d usually get.
Winn appeared on the show with team vice-captain Matt Vagulans.
info: View the segment at