6 Things You May Have Missed From The AFL Grand Final

The AFL season is over but here are 6 things you may have missed from the 2014 grand final.

6. Tom Jones and Ron Weasley pack light.

Yes the grand final entertainers pack so light in fact they only had one set of clothes with them. Here they are on Friday before the grand final being presented with Weasely being presented with a factory second Sherrin with a misprint and Jones receiving the concept jumper from the infamous Hawthorn-Sydney merger that was mooted in the 1990’s…. Jones has his name on the jumper yet I thought Gil said that there wouldn’t be names on jumpers in his lifetime?

 

Jones and Weasley were paid in trinkets
Jones and Weasley were ecstatic at being paid in trinkets

And here they are the next day in the same clothes; well Ron did change his T-shirt. Check out the scribble on his arm, Weasely could be the next international rookie drafted by Collingwood.

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Delilah!

 

Ink time
Ink time

There was also some concern that Jones sang “Delilah” a song about domestic violence and Weasely a song about a homeless, drug addicted prostitute, but most people were said not to have cared because they didn’t listen to the pre-match entertainment. I can only imagine the outcry if Jones had brought his Cardigan and sung “Burning down the House” –  a song which promotes arson and revenge/retribution, eye for an eye stuff  with it’s lyrics of  “fighting fire with fire, burning down the house” – two wrongs don’t make a right, Tom. Don’t even get me started with “Sex Bomb”

One thing we can thank Jones for is interview with Campbell Brown. Brown presented Jones with a pair of jocks and Jones signed of the interview, according to some people, by saying “take care” but after I carefully listed to the audio at least twice Jones clearly says “dickhead” in his Welsh accent. Never has anyone summed up the average footy fans view of Campbell Brown so quickly and so succinctly. All is forgiven Tom for referring to the players as “rugby players” in the same interview.

 

Campbell Brown: a dickhead in a long jacket
Campbell Brown: a dickhead in an oversized jacket

Most people seemed pretty pleased with the entertainment but the nagging question remains: How about some Australian music? (and I don’t mean Mike Brady ‘reworking’ Up There Cazaly again). Of course the obvious solution is to give the Triple J Unearthed winner the gig every year. I can’t stand the music that’s played on Triple J but that’s besides the point, it’s Australian music, it’s emerging talent so there should be no complaints about giving them exposure on a national stage – it would be un-Australian not to.

 

5. Curtain raiser not in HD

I kid you not, prior to Weasely and Jones “entertaining” the crowd, there was a game of football played on the MCG. Yes a curtain raiser game of football was played on the MCG prior to the AFL Grand Final, the biggest game of the year but there are very few to no curtain raisers before any other games during the year. I know what your thinking, what the hell was this game and why wasn’t it on TV when I was watching another politician speak at the North Melbourne Grand Final breakfast (does anyone watch this snoozefest?) or Stephen Motlop do an acoustic version of “Up There Cazaly” (it was crap in case you were wondering) Well the game was between the traditional rivals: the All-Australian Under 17 team and the Allies – an U18 team of players from NSW, ACT, Queensland, Tasmania, NT. You can now probably understand now why it wasn’t on TV, however the game was streamed online but not in high definition. Outrage.

The Allies in there traditional strip. There is no such thing as taking sponsorship too far.
The Allies in their traditional strip. There is no such thing as taking sponsorship too far.
The NAB employees celebrated a famous victory on Grand Final day
The NAB employees celebrated a famous victory on Grand Final day

The game that followed, the small matter of the AFL Grand Final, was also not broadcast in high definition but instead in standard definition despite this being 2014 and Channel 7 having a HD channel, 7mate, at their disposal. This may have gone under the radar so I just thought I’d point it out. And whilst were on Grand Final broadcasts, it’s time the AFL got the TAC Cup Grand Final (which was an online stream only this year) and all state league grand finals (VFL, SANFL, WAFL, NEAFL, TSL, NTFL) broadcast live nationwide on TV.

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If you squint the Standard Definition looks fine.

 

4. Bad Crowd Behaviour

Media reports suggested sections of the crowd were booing Adam Goodes and social media had fans reporting racial abuse directed at the Sydeny star. But social media really lit up when some corporate types decided it would be appropriate to pay for a stripper to come into their box for the day and lo and behold what did she do but strip off at the final siren. Who would have predicted that? The pictures are out there, Google them if you like.

The average AFL fan would probably give up a lot of things to go to a grand final. Their clothes is probably not one of them.

The stripper was arrested but not after hitting and biting police. All class from the stripper and those in the corporate box who hired her. There is also a complete lack of respect for Grand Final tradition, streaking is meant to occur on the field of play.

 

Big day comes to an end in the lockup.
Big day comes to an end in the lockup.

Also Usain Bolt was in the crowd. Why? As was Terrell Owens. Who?

 

3. Who had 35 touches in the Grand Final?

Easy. Lewis Jetta (4) + Gary Rohan (7) + Craig Bird (8) + Sam Reid (8) + Dean Rampe (8)

Luke Hodge also had 35 possessions and won the Norm Smith medal, Jordan Lewis had 37 touches and  14 of the bottom 17 disposal winners on the ground were Swans…

 

MCG staff were still looking for Lewis Jetta and Gary Rohan on Monday.
MCG staff were still looking for Lewis Jetta and Gary Rohan on Monday. The MCC confirmed that the resurfacing was necessary after playing a curtain raiser on Grand Final day had subjected the playing surface to ‘an unprecedented heavy load’

What else can Luke Hodge do? Well he can make every kids dreams come true by getting a photo with the Auskick kids while his team mates pose with the premiership cup.

 

Luke Hodge and the Auskick kids
Luke Hodge and the Auskick kids

 

2. Hawthorn fashion statement

Hawthron celebrated it’s premiership in style taking to the post match presentation stage in a combination ensemble of dress shoes, suit pants, white shirt, footy jumper and premiership medal. It is a look that is sure to take the Spring Carnival by storm this year.

 

Shaun Burgoyne was awarded best dressed for wearing his footy gear and a watch. Punctuality is key to all premiership celebrations.
Shaun Burgoyne was awarded best dressed for wearing his footy gear and a watch. Punctuality is key to all premiership celebrations.

 

Josh Gibson with his girlfriend Renee Bragh on the right and on the left Delta Goodrem
Josh Gibson with his girlfriend Renee Bragh on the right and on the left Delta Goodrem of course

 

 Gibson was still going third man up in the contest late into the night.
Gibson was still going third man up in the contest late into the night.

By the way, Hawthorn won. In a throwback to the 1980’s the Hawks have been in multiple consecutive grand finals, won back to back premierships and dominated the game, killing it as a contest mid way through the second quarter in a style reminiscent of three decades ago. Talk of a possible Hawthorn dynasty is too late, it’s already here.

 

1. Buddy Franklin and Alan Kohler

Yes Buddy Franklin plays for Sydney now but he use to play for Hawthorn, I bet you didn’t know that! It’s not like the commentators mentioned it at least a dozen times a quarter and every second minute during the pre-match. Franklin also played against some of his former teammates who still play at Hawthorn in the grand final, bet you hadn’t picked up on that one. Sydeny’s Josh Kennedy and Ben McGlynn also use to play for Hawthorn but you may have missed that in all the talk about Franklin.

Lance Franklin has moved on from Hawthorn.
Lance Franklin has moved on from Hawthorn.

There’s been a lot of talk this year about how handy Alan Kohler has been for Sydney; he helped get Kurt Tippet and Lance Franklin to the club, he’s said to have become Buddy’s best mate over the course of the season, in fact he’s been so good that some have said he’s provided the Swans with an unfair advantage. Unfortunately Kohler couldn’t get Sydney over the line in the grand final and I hear, despite all his hard work over many years, he’s not going to be at the Swans next year, I’m not sure why. Well, I think that’s right – there sure has been a lot of talk about Kohler.

 

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Alan Kohler has done wonders for Sydney over many years. He will be missed

 

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When The AFL Clash Jumper “Policy” Goes Bad

When is a policy not a policy?

When it’s the AFL Clash jumper Policy!

For years it has been difficult, nay virtually impossible, to fathom the ‘logic’ behind the decisions from AFL HQ with regard to uniforms.

First their was umpires.

Umpires in white weren’t being seen or something so the AFL put them in all colours of the rainbow in 2003 only to send the umpires out in yellow to officiate a game between Hawthorn and Sydney. Sigh.

 

I've counted to five now come over here Hawthorn.
I’ve counted to five now come over here Hawthorn.

Then the AFL got their hands on the teams. The AFL directed all clubs to have an alternate or clash guernsey, preferably white now that the umpires had vacated that colour, so that one team would be ‘dark’ and the other ‘light’, to provide a contrast if the two teams colours were similar or if they deemed that the two teams colours weren’t significantly different once they had run the two jumpers through the AFL’s “colour computer” or something.

Unless of course if you were one of the big Melbourne clubs in which case you could put your head in the sand for a while and make up something about your club constitution and then produce possibly the silliest jumper ever seen – Essendon’s wide red sash. Or if you were Collingwood you could bleat about black and white stripes and tradition and then invert your colours and hey presto here’s the jumper we wore for 100 years before we changed it for no reason.

 

Really each time Carlton play Collingwood, the Pies should be in their alternate white with black stripes jumper and white shorts and Carlton should be in navy blue with blue shorts to provide contrast. But this doesn’t happen as the seemingly the big Melbourne clubs are immune to jumper clash rules. The light v dark theory simply doesn’t apply when Carlton play Richmond  – two dark playing strips.

 

Contrast?
Contrast?
Or contrast?
Or contrast?

The problem with the AFL system of jumpers is exactly that, there is no system. Some clubs have home jumpers and away jumpers, some have home jumpers and clash jumpers and some have home jumpers, away jumpers, and clash jumpers, and some have home jumpers and clash jumpers that don’t really fix the problem of the clash. There needs to be a system – either each club has a home jumper and an away jumper (that doesn’t clash with any other teams home jumper) or each team has a standard jumper and an alternate jumper that is used to avoid clashes with the opposition. Sounds so simple doesn’t it, could it work? Probably not if it was administered by the AFL.

 

However the biggest problem with the AFL’c calsh jumper policy, if you could call a random set of adjudications based on some vague notions of light versus dark and no recall of precedent a policy, is as follows:

 

If you can’t define a problem, you can’t fix it.

 

The AFL seemingly can’t use their eyes to definitively work out which jumpers clash, with certain matchings of jumpers going from being clashes to not being clashes over the years  – North Melbourne v Collingwood being a good example. How can you fix a problem if your not sure what the problem is?

 

Problem?
Problem?
Not a problem?
Not a problem?

Of course some of the designs that clubs have come up with for away jumpers and clash jumpers should definitely be vetoed by the AFL on the basis of common sense but seemingly that quality is in short supply at headquarters. If you’re not sure what I mean, check out some of the abominations here. Adelaide’s “Murder of Crows” guernsey is one that springs to mind, Western Bulldogs in red anyone?

 

Shit
Shit
Also shit
Also shit

 

White shorts.

The time for “white shorts for the away team” has passed. It belonged to a different era,  it is now dead. White shorts should be used for either home or away team when needed to help distinguish between the two uniforms. It’s not as if the rule is applied consistently anyway. Every away team playing at Metricon Stadium has worn their coloured shorts this year.

 

Home shorts at an away game? Treason!
Home shorts at an away game? Treason!

Just last year the AFL produced a classic piece of uniform nonsense, dictating that Fremantle had to wear white shorts in the grand final despite the Dockers shorts colour – purple – not clashing with Hawthorn’s brown and gold. The Dockers then decided to wear their white jumper with their white shorts as they had done all season. Why couldn’t the Dockers wear purple shorts? Nobody knows.

Thannk goodness Freo didn't wear purple!
Thank goodness Freo didn’t wear purple!

 

The nadir of AFL uniform stuff ups probably came late last year when Port Adelaidae wore it’s traditional prison bar jumper in a home game against Carlton who wore their away jumper. Good luck telling these two teams apart.

Clash
Clash

 

So far this season the AFL has delivered a mixed bag on the uniform front.

There have been a couple of common sense decisions: North Melbourne wearing white shorts in a home game against Adelaide and the Crows wearing their home jumper and dark shorts (anything to save us from the Murder of Crows jumper) and Geelong wearing dark shorts and a jumper with the colours inverted in an away game against North Melbourne who wore white shorts.

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Common sense prevails. A rarity

 

At the opposite end of the spectrum there was West Coast forced to wear their white clash strip in a home game against Richmond.

 

West Coast have home, away and clash  jumpers. Yet the AFL forced them to wear there clash jumper at home.
West Coast have home, away and clash jumpers. Yet the AFL forced them to wear their clash jumper at home against Richmond.

That was rock bottom for the clash jumper policy until this week and the Port Adelaide v Richmond debacle.

Port were told, in a home final, they would not be able to wear their black home strip instead they would have to wear their white away jumper so as not to clash with Richmond’s black and yellow jumper. Port kicked up a stink and the AFL backflipped saying Port could wear their traditional Prison Bars jumper of black with white stripes plus white shorts and that would be OK becasue it wouldn’t clash with Richmonds black with a yellow sash. What planet are the AFL on? What a nonsense solution. First we couldn’t have two teams in black jumpers and now we can! Flash backs to Port Adelaide v Carlton in 2013.

 

Strangely there hadn’t been concerns raised about Richmond’s away jumper which it has worn at away games against Port Adelaide since 2010. Regardless Richmond are the away team, they need to be wearing the alternative jumper, and Richmond have plenty of jumpers they could have worn to avoid a clash.

 

Firstly their VFL clash jumper.

 

VFL clash jumper - colours inverted
VFL clash jumper – colours inverted

 

As quoted on the Richmond website when this jumper was unveiled:

“A VFL clash guernsey has also been developed, in accordance with competition rules, which features a reverse design – yellow with a black sash. 

The VFL home guernsey maintains the same look and feel of the Tigers’ AFL clash guernsey, however it has been modified to maintain the mystique and tradition of the Club’s famous AFL strip.”

 

Wow the VFL have straight forward clash jumper rules!

Ah the mistique of a yellow sash on black and of course the tradition. Yes, the tradition. Such as this second jumper the traditional heritage jumper worn in 2008 to celebrate Richmond’s 100 years in the VFL/AFL. Hmmm seems you need to put a time limit on tradition, otherwise you could end up with a jumper design from before your current ‘tradition’. Why not wear this on the weekend for the sake of  tradition?

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Tradition
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Not Hawthorn

 

Thirdly any number of pre-season abominations

 

Yellow!
Yellow!
Richmond recruit Mark Graham in silver. Well played Terry Wallace
Richmond recruit Mark Graham in silver. Well played Terry Wallace

 

And lastly, hands up if you want to wear your training jumper against Port Adelaide?

 

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Me, I do and me too!