Aug 08, 2020
AFL Mad Scramble: Day Eleven
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.
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.
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.
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