Footy is…. pumped full of supplements
Essendon had a full Dank of supplements. Melbourne dabbled with the Dank. Both are tainted but Essendon should rightly be in a world of trouble if recent reports are correct and 6 players took injections of WADA banned substances last year. It stinks and there is no way to avoid it. Remember, drugs are bad.
Traditional ANZAC day football (well tradition since 1995) and the first game of AFL for premiership points outside Australia in Wellington, New Zealand were my week’s highlights but it’s good to keep things in perspective as shown in Shaun Micallef’s “Mad as Hell” opening scene this week:
In the Fremantle –Richmond game the goal umpire somehow managed to have himself straddling the white line backed up against the goal post with nowhere to go and the football hit him. This would never have happened if the goal umpire had been standing a metre or two behind the goal line like in local footy. Sure he would have had to guess if it had been touched before or after the line but he wouldn’t have got in the way, he would have signalled from wherever he stood and any old how (preferably arms as up high and as wide apart as possible) and he would been wearing a white coat. Ah remember when AFL goal umpires wore white coats and hats – those were the days -bring ‘em back!
Oh and if there is a stuff up perhaps the goal review could be used – just a thought. In fact another thought in case a goal umpire does accidentally get in the way in future, the AFL should invest in ball tracking technology like Hawk-eye used in cricket and tennis. Yes invest a small fortune to protect us from a couple of mess ups a year or the goal umpire could just stand back from the line – your call AFL.
Two Geelong players, Billy Smedts and Josh Caddy, decided it would be a funny prank to buy balaclavas and break into a team mate’s house. A good plan perhaps but poorly executed when they got the wrong house, the cops were called and the players had 5 service revolvers pointing at them.
Geelong players please note: Follow the lead of Sam Jacobs and get yourself a sensible hobby like remote control cars not breaking and entering.
An official AFL teamsheet passed across my desk during the week – only those people listed on the sheet are allowed onto the ground. First it was on paper which surprised me given the digital age we live in. Second there were more officials/support staff than players. Yep 26 support staff. It started with the predictable: 4 coaches , 2 runners, 6 trainers, 2 medical officers( I guess they are doctors when not at the AFL), 2 physios, a team manager and an interchange steward.
Then the job titles morphed from the believable: Fitness/Warm Up, Bench Coach, to the less believable: Player Rotations, Player Monitoring, Player Comms, Player Massage (is that an unqualified trainer or physio?) Head of Football/Wellness and last but not least Player Readiness. What does the Player Readiness person do? Check the player is wearing the correct shorts (white for away games remember)? Make sure he goes to the toilet before the first bounce? Check that he’s got his mouthguard and his boots are tied in double knots?
Two weeks ago Frankston beat last season’s grand finalist Port Melbourne by 6 points. It was Frankston’s first win against any team except their bunnies Coburg since 2009! They then backed it up with a win over Collingwood at Victoria Park giving Frankston their first back to back wins since 2008. Tomorrow they take on reigning premiers Geelong at Frankston.
On the other hand Bendigo Gold are having a tough time of it in their first season without being aligned to Essendon. There four games to date have resulted in losses by 103, 164, 85 and 116 points. Ouch.
“The Brain Lake Wrestling Show” was coming to a suburban football venue near you soon. Round 1 it was a wrestle off with Port Melbourne’s Dean Galea at Box Hill City Oval, Round 2 the only photo I saw of the Box Hill v Essendon clash at Windy Hill was of Brian Lake wrestling with Joe Daniher (nice one picking on a 19 year old but anyway) and last week I’m sure he would have had a dust up with a Geelong forward for the ABC TV cameras and got Phil Cleary’s pulse racing yearning for the glory days of the 80’s. Alas the glorious suburban wrestling circuit can’t go on as Lake has got a senior call up and will debut for the AFL Hawks this week.
What they should do
Make the AFL fixture fairer by each team playing each other 5 times over 4 years with a slight variation to appease the games commercial interests.
First play each other team once across the first 17 games. I don’t buy the current fixture set up where some teams play each other twice within eight weeks before they have even played other teams at all. The AFL fixture is not that complicated, so each team plays each other once in the first 17 rounds.
Round 18 would be a nod to money driving football and an absolute blockbuster of a round just 4 weeks out from the finals. Rather than the themed rounds that existed a few years ago like Rivalry Round or Heritage Round, a month out from the finals, Round 18 would reflect the financial aspects of the game and be called Commercial Reality Round/Revenue Raising Round/ Maximising Profit Round/Cash Grab Round. Whatever it was called it would be an absolute ball tearer with all the non-Victorian rivals playing – the Showdown/Derby/Q Clash/Battle of the Bridge would all be on the same weekend plus whatever Melbourne based rivalries will bring in the most money at the time. At the moment it would be: Essendon v Carlton, Collingwood v Richmond, Hawthorn v Geelong, St Kilda v North Melbourne, Western Bulldogs v Melbourne.
It could be a Festival of the Boot weekend in Melbourne if the games were appropriately timed so people could attend all five games. Special “Weekend Pass” type memberships could even be sold encouraging Melbournians to get to as many games as possible over the weekend – really putting the Cash Grab into the Maximising Profits Round. An App could even be created for the weekend encouraged fans to show their dedication by competing for prizes n competitions like most overpriced merchandise purchased, most player badges bought, most pies consumed at the footy, most money paid for slightly better seats. Now that’s Maximising Profits Round.
After the excitement of Revenue Raising Round the home and away season’s final four rounds would consist of teams playing four teams for the second time. These four teams would change each year until all 16 teams (not including your ‘rival’ from Commercial Reality Round) had been cycled though in a four year period.
For example the fixture for Adelaide would be to play each of the 17 teams once followed by Port Adelaide in Round 18/Maximising Profit Round then cycle through 4 of the remaining clubs each year as per below:
Teams to play twice
Greater Western Sydney
Year 5 – back to Year 1:
The beauty of the plan is its simplicity and that’s the main reason why it would never be adopted.
“We were just in the $2 shop and saw them (balaclavas) and thought it would be a bit of fun to scare young Thurlow at his new house he’d just moved into”
Josh Caddy on how he and Billie Smedts got into breaking and entering. I blame the $2 shop – vice dens.