Geelong champion Steve Johnson has opened up on the drunken night in Wangaratta that almost cost him his career with the Cats.
Speaking on Fox Footy's Open Mike, Johnson detailed how he was arrested on Christmas Eve in 2006 for being drunk in a public place.
The mercurial goalkicker came unstuck when after a night out he went to meet up with a friend at their place - and after a taking a nap outside - soon realised he was at the wrong house when he was woken by police.
As a result, the Cats banned Johnson from training with the main group and suspended him for the first five games of the 2007 season - a year in which he went onto become an All Australian, premiership player and Norm Smith medallist.
"It was a fair turnaround. The leadership group made the right decision. They decided to take footy away from me because they knew how much I loved the game," Johnson told Mike Sheahan.
"That was a real shock to my system, but it was what I needed because I needed to give my body the best opportunity to play my best football and then I needed to earn the respect of my teammates.
"As soon as I came back in for that first game against Richmond where we had a huge win, I thought I'd do anything to earn back the respect of my teammates so I had a real mindset of how can I bring others into the game?
"I don't want to be branded a selfish player, I want to be a player that brings others into the game as much as possible, so I got just as much enjoyment out of the goal assists as I did kicking the goals myself."
In the half-hour program, Johnson opened up on how he was almost traded to Collingwood, only to fail a medical with the Magpies, and the humourous tale from three-quarter-time of the 2007 grand final when he told Cats assistant coach Ken Hinkley, "don't call me Stevie, call me Norm".
"Kenny used to say to his teammates down in the backline, 'mind my man, I'll be back in three Brownlow votes'," Johnson, who kicked four goals from 23 touches in the grand final, said.
"At three-quarter time the game was clearly won and I heard Kenny say come over here. He was our forwards coach and he was getting the forwards together.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"I thought I'd just pretend I can't hear him. I grabbed a drink of water and I heard him say, 'Stevie, come over here'. Again I pretended not to hear him.
"I saw him out of the corner of my eye walking over to tap me on the shoulder and when he tapped me on the shoulder I said, 'don't call me Stevie, call me Norm'."
The rest, as they say, is history.
Johnson, 36, is now an assistant coach at the Sydney Swans under another former Ovens and Murray export, Corowa-Rutherglen's John Longmire.
He played 293 AFL matches after finishing his career with two seasons at GWS.