To reflect there was enjoyment to be had out of the Richmond Sydney clash was like saying you watch “Embarrassing Bodies” for the medical insights. A low scoring battle, the match a continual scrag of bodies moving randomly under it’s the weight of its own organism. The rugby invoked metaphor cacophony of condemnation building in the commentary box and social media. Despite the enthralling contest I found myself involuntary surfing the remote to catch updates on how “Joe” from Sussex was dealing with that rare purple growth on the end of his snout.
Sensing the abdication of their Lion Brown King to come, Brisbane surrender to the defensive Fremantle marauders managing only 1 point to half time. By Monday, after a weeks speculation, legend Johnathan Brown has retired citing medical opinion that 3 journeys into concussion is ample evidence of the folly of playing on despite still having tank full of his hi octane courage. Fears that the planned endless beers that await those new idle nights potentially more damaging than the risk of match conditions concussion dismissed as wowerism by the medical community after a few drinks post surgery.
The VFL began in 1897 formed by breakaway clubs from the VFA. By 1990 it morphed into the AFL. In a proposal reminiscent of the Soviet rewriting of history, the AFL Chief Commissioner and ex Carlton Captain Mike Fitzpatrick suggested that the pre 1897 flag results should be included in Clubs premiership tally. Initial fears of zombie reunions across inner Melbourne spawned by resurrected party premiership players were dispelled when Pie Head Pilot Eddie McGuire smells a rat as ol nemesis Carlton would take the lead in the historical premiership ladder.
“Here’s my prediction: the AFL is about to hit a Tipping Point from which it wont recover and the next generation of kids will be playing soccer. There are multiple reasons for this but lets start with this. The AFL have spent the last five years expanding the competition into regions that dont give a damn about AFL at the expense of maintaining the Victorian heartland teams (and I include Brisbane in this group). The AFL talks about the equalisation fund, but where will that cash come from? You got it: the Victorian heartland clubs but on current attendances and memberships they’ll be lucky to break even, let alone subsidise the weak clubs. Throw in the Essendon supplement scandal which has already been catastrophic to the game at the grass roots level and I suspect that the AFL is very worried. The broadcast deal only has value when the stadiums are full and people watch it on TV. Statistically 65% of all players in the AFL come from Victoria. Drive around on a Sat/Sunday and see what sport kids are playing.”
Equalisation is not easily explained however the opening verse to a long defunct TV show provides far more insight than I can provide:
Robin Hood, Robin Hood
Riding through the glen.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood
With his band of men.
Feared by the bad, loved by the good.
Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.
Once AFL has evaporated are we cursed to view tractor pulling for entertainment? Hurling? Rickshaw championships?? Is this our future? The “tipping point” leads the game from present economic buoyancy to depression, even recession triggered by an ever declining share of the overall dollar pie flowing from the larger clubs under the weight of unfriendly game times, slowing game revenue and membership. A bit like how the loss making “quality” newspaper The Australian is propped up by Murdoch with Herald-Sun and Sydney Telegraph. Pop will eat itself. This weekend, fans at GWS do their bit to reduce the trip angle by assembling just 9000 to their clash against the Blues.
Field umpires wearing lavelier microphones, Goal umpires wearing GoPros, HD cameras gaffered to the goal posts, a couple of jokers upstairs with 4 widescreen television sets and a gravel voiced MC whom the jokers try to keep off the no name supermarket goon long enough to proclaim at the end of the process “Score review complete – Umpires call”.
Gold Coast win their first game over Geelong. You Beauty!!!! However, as Jeff Kennett starts to create a new curse inside the Victorian Liberal party with today’s bake of ousted premier Ted Baillieu around a leaked recording of him putting the boots into party colleagues lands on our doorstep. Remember when the Blues pinched that final against the Dons back in 1999? Yep that was Jeff’s last day as premier. Could he zip it? Maybe? Please…..eventually? You’d be a fool to write off the Cats despite your emotional commitment to do so. Ablett looking at being triple Brownlow medalist.