Aug 08, 2020

AFL

AFL Mad Scramble: Day Eleven

20 Comments

A column every day for twenty days, as we get more football than we even asked for.

Occasionally, this column will even mention football but rarely sensibly.

Last Night

Essendon (55) v Greater Western Sydney (59)

Just when we all though Tom Papley had the Best Actor Oscar sown up, along comes Callan Ward, with a performance so over the top it makes Al Pacino’s later work look positively restrained.

After a light glance, Ward went down so hard that if he was being shot by a sniper in a movie, the director would tell him to tone it down a bit.

The resulting free kick, which sealed the comeback win for the Giants, will feed into the Bombers’ fans belief that the deep state is running a conspiracy to keep them down.

To be honest, the only problem with that theory is Essendon isn’t good enough to require a conspiracy to keep them down, they’ve proven capable of that on their own.

After all, Essendon managed to blow a 29-point lead in this, and while the Ward decision would rightly anger them, their own team’s ability to stuff it

up was once again on display.

As for staging, it’s a simple thing to eradicate. It’s too hard for the umpires to always get right, after all, it’s designed to fool them, so sometimes it will.

It needs to be dealt with after the game, but currently the consequences are so weak, they wouldn’t stamp out anything.

The Papley case is a clear example of this, it was a clear-cut example of diving, and he got a $750 fine, brought down to $500 for pleading guilty.

Players would pay $500 to get the four points. I can’t see Ward being too upset about a $500 fine after this win.

Players need to miss games if they’re going to change their behaviour. If Papley now missed a game, or Ward, watch how quickly all players would stop diving.

The fact this is so obvious is why I have little faith in the AFL doing it.

Today

Port Adelaide v Richmond (AO) 4:35pm Foxtel

If Richmond win this, it will be the most watched singing of the team song ever.

Jayden Short and Nick Vlaustin’s ‘antics’ came to light this week and it adds to the very long list of things that happen in footy that in any other industry would result in people being sacked.

It’s all part of ‘blokey culture’, that seems to always involve a few guys just being jerks. They usually fill this role because they are lacking other attributes that would make people like them.

Personally, I’ve never seen the humour in someone who repeatedly tries to flick you in the groin. Perhaps the subtlety of the joke is lost on me.

Now, this could of course, all be just good fun, blokes being blokes and all that rubbish, and context is important, consent is key here. For all I know, Chol is a huge fan of this sort of stuff and does it himself, although it didn’t look that way.

The problem is more for the employer. Let stuff like this go, and the danger is it happens to someone who doesn’t like it. It leaves you wide open for future problems.

This sort of thing has long been a problem for sport, which has emerged out of an amateur background to now ruthless professionalism. Clubs have not always kept pace with this shift.

The reality now is these clubs are workplaces, and you can get through the workday without flicking someone else in the groin repeatedly. Even if you’re working from home.

Richmond’s response of throwing up the shutters, and the reaction of some fans that there is nothing in it, is a reflection of this lag in realising the changes that have occurred in and around the game.

That doesn’t mean you have to like those changes, but they’ve happened.

The amount of people railing in anger against the fact societal norms have shifted over time, reminds me of Principal Skinners comment to Mrs. Krabappel, “I've always admired your tart honesty and ability to be personally offended by broad social trends.”

I guess for some people, the right to grope another bloke at work is a hill they’re willing to die on.

Port to win.

Brisbane v Western Bulldogs (G) 7:40pm Seven

The Lions rather odd performance against Richmond is unlikely to repeat itself here, you couldn’t kick that inaccurately again if you tried. At least, Brisbane fans would hope that’s the case.

As a Lions fan, you’d hope that last week was just an off night, things had been going so well, but 2020 doesn’t like things going well. 

2020 is like a tagger on happiness, it niggles, pinches, holds and scratches. It’s like having Ryan Crowley following you around.

The Bulldogs season is going along in a wonderfully average manner.

They are not terrible but they’re hardly striking fear into anyone.

A big reason for that is their forward line lacks, well, people that can kick goals. 

Aaron Naughton returns which will be nice for the Dogs, it at least gives them someone to kick to, but it’s hard to see them stay with a Lions team who will be wanting to do everything to extinguish memories of their last game.

I should also add as a word of warning, don’t play the drinking game where you have a sip every time someone in the AFL media calls Queensland the ‘epicentre of the AFL’. I couldn’t walk for two days.

At the moment I’m barely able to work, so you can help support me in producing this ridiculous nonsense I churn out on a regular basis. It’s greatly appreciated. Find out more here: https://titusoreily.com/support-titus

COMMENTS

BLOKE FROM THE OUTER

Aug 08, 2020

The medicos were pretty sure that Peter Crimmins died as a result of being flicked in the nuts as part of change room 'hi jinks'.

the g train

Aug 08, 2020

I actually thought Tom Papley's dive was a remarkable athletic achievement. Look at the side-on slow mo.... simply outstanding. Ward's acting was a bit more difficult to rationalise--he's possibly the hardest nut going around. A great, tough and (usually) fair player. But as Mahatma Gandhi said: It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.

Gyfox

Aug 08, 2020

How I wish I could be at Adelaide Oval this afternoon to hear the Port supporters' advice & encouragement to Short & Vlaustin. I think they could even outdo you, Titus, in eloquent & subtle vocabulary ;-)

Kafka´s Ghost

Aug 08, 2020

I remember the much-lauded Michael Voss executing a Papleyesque dive, with even less pressure applied. It was definitely worth at least a silver at the Olympics. The commentators were nonplussed, but it was a work of art really.
Callan Ward´s effort was more gymnastic, but lacked the aerial grace of Papley.

Fullpoints

Aug 08, 2020

Apparently $500 for punching an injured player when the game is not even in motion is the equivalent of taking a dive.

Listen to any commentator delight in someone getting away with a sly throw and yet be horrified with a flop to try and win a free kick. It's all deceit so why the distinction.

Fullpoints

Aug 08, 2020

Can't wait to hear Mrs Hardwick's hilarious take on the Tiger antics.

andrew hodder

Aug 08, 2020

It was a solid win by GWS. Not even Bruce and the commentary team could get Essendon up. They maintained a positive attitude and kept fighting right to the end. If only Essendon had shown that kind of spirit..

Peter B

Aug 08, 2020

No you have all got it wrong, the AFL have outlawed diving so he couldn't have - wasn't it rule change no 6,599 or some figure approaching that milestone.

Pjhawk

Aug 08, 2020

Fullpoints,

Said injured player took the field with a broken hand, clearly visible due to the glove.

I contend that it would be an indictment on any opposing team NOT to attempt to cause further damage. After all, THEY didn't a) select a clearly unfit player b) choose to play with a broken hand.

As Titus noted in an earlier column, this game is now fully professional and the players are employees. What other employer would allow (and probably encourage), an employee to willingly put themselves in danger with such an obvious injury, which with even incidental contact might be further damaged. Imagine the outcry if a mining company forced an employee down the tunnel with a badly broken hand!!

I admire Rampe's courage, but deplore the Swans officials who allowed him to play.

In no way do I blame the Saints or Carlisle. They were simply trying to get an advantage from their opponents stupidity.

BTW, I'm not a Saints fan and don't hold any strong views of Carlisle, just stating the bleeding obvious. Clubs that select injured players surely expect the opposition to run an unofficial "fitness test"?

Michael

Aug 08, 2020

How appropriate that the apology for the inappropriate appendage tonk came from none other than a Mr Hardwicke. I think this isolation is playing with my head. Am I watching the AFL season or a remake of Debbie Does Dallas?

Ken Olah

Aug 08, 2020

Shocked by your outrageous attack on Paps, Titus. The man was catapulted forward as if he’d stepped on an IUD by the biggest push in the back since the last person to volunteer to clean the toilets at a scout camp. Besides, the only way to get a free from those umpires was to behave like Scarlet O’Hara.

STRENGTH THROUGH IGNORANCE

Aug 08, 2020

This manufactured umbrage about Papley and Ward diving is breathtaking; Alex Rance and Matthew Lloyd used to pull 3-4 free kicks most games and be lauded for their...abilities....aaah, what great players.
One can only suspect that PJHawk's leanings are toward dirty nappies and unsociable football, like pinching a defender's arms week after week because you got away with it and didn't get pinged. And the umpires? OK against a young kid from out of town; absolute anathema for one of God's chosen from Windy Hill.
With regard to the attack on Rampe's hand, read what Titus wrote about Short and Vlaustin's 'antics' and wake up to yourself.
Both going the squirrell grip and attacking a player's injured body part are not OK. Both represent ungentlemanly conduct; if you get caught doing (or endorsing) either, you should go down big time.
Professional fouls in the World Game have been punishable with a red card for a decade and more. The AFL and some of the 'traditional' fan base need to move with the times.

Bruce Knackers

Aug 08, 2020

STI - you forgot to mention Sam Mitchell kneeing unsuspecting players from behind before the ball has bounced. Now that we're talking about diving for frees and violence behind play we could get onto Adam Goodes. Oh no, that's right. We can't.

Dr Shorthair

Aug 09, 2020

@PJHAWK I'm with you. You can't select a player carrying an injury, and then declare the injured member to be out of bounds. Imagine where that could end up! Select a team of players with broken arms and ribs and stop people from tackling them!?

Its a totally weird inversion of responsibility to enjoin the opposition to care for said player under such circumstances.

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