It’s that time of year again and as always the season provided a rich selection of terrible ideas.
The AFL community just can’t refrain from coming up with them. I guess that’s what happens when you get a bunch of people with below average IQs together and give them a platform to talk a lot.
Here are the worst of the worst in no particular order although the first one is probably the worst.
Carlton get seven Friday Night games
Technically it was six Friday night games and the Thursday night season opener but that only makes this idea worse.
The thing about this idea is that it was bad before it even happened. No need for the benefit of hindsight with this one.
Carlton hadn’t been super entertaining or even successful in 2014 so this level of exposure was just bizarre even before the games were actually played.
In fact, with the benefit of hindsight, you wouldn’t have given them a single Friday night game and you would have taken out a court order to stop them playing at all.
I’m not even sure what was my favourite Carlton Friday night game.
Was it their 69-point loss to the Eagles? Or the 75-point smashing by the Pies? Perhaps it was the 77-point annihilation at the hands of the Cats?
The loss to the Swans by 60-points actually doesn’t look that bad and the 30-point defeat at the hands of the Tigers bordered on almost competitive.
I guess you have to go with the Round 17 nuclear destruction that was the 138-point loss to the Hawks.
At least I got to bed early for a change.
The Blues should not get another Friday night game for ten years.
Scrapping the sub rule
Don’t get me wrong, I hated the sub rule but getting rid of it means everyone will now need to find something else to whinge about.
At least with the sub rule we all had something we could agree upon. It was the go to whinge at the pub when you wanted to change the conversation away from how horrible your team played.
You could argue perhaps we just shouldn’t whinge all the time but we’re footy fans, it’s kind of our thing.
This made the list last year but that didn’t stop people bringing it up even more this season.
One of the best things about AFL is the 360-degree element of it, the pure freedom of how it can be played.
Yet one of the other key elements of the AFL is the constant and seemingly unstoppable desire to tinker with the rules.
Zones is apparently an attempted to deal with the scourge of ‘congestion’, which like slide tackles or flooding before it, threatens to ‘destroy our game’.
Funny how a competition that keeps going from strength to strength is always about to end.
The people suggesting ‘zones’ seem to have forgotten the law of unintended consequences.
You can guarantee that if zones come in we will be reading about them ‘ruining our game’ in about five minutes.
Not to mention they’re sure to lead to a host of problems we haven’t even thought of yet that will require new rules to fix them.
Still, zones keep coming up to solve a problem actually created by a major strategic blunder by the AFL, the over expansion of the game.
When two top teams play there is no congestion, the players skills are just too good. The tactic of bottling things up just doesn’t work.
The real problem is we just have far too many terrible players running around, which results in coaches being able to pressure them if they’re an opponent or to only be able to use many of their own players as basically taggers.
How zones would fix this I’ve got no idea. Just a bunch of blokes in different ‘zones’ not being able to hit a target. Like a bad game of kick-to-kick at the park. Sounds great.
Hawthorn’s away Jumper
So wrong on so many levels.
It was such an obvious marketing ploy to get attention and sell to kids. It was the pinnacle of the AFL’s money grabbing attempt to create merchandise by having ‘clash strips’ even when the originals clash less.
This was proven true the minute there was a danger this monstrosity could have been worn in the Grand Final and suddenly the clash jumper policy was jettisoned so quickly it made your head spin.
Travis Cloke hires a sports psychologist
It’s become an annual tradition, Travis Cloke vowing to improve his goal kicking only for it to not happen. Only Melbourne under Cameron Schwab had such a high over promise/under deliver ratio.
This time he broke the news that a sport psychologist was helping him with his goal kicking. Despite a fairly obvious flaw in this approach, it was reported on like it was a sensible idea and not laughed at as a ‘throwing good money after bad’ idea.
The Footy Show bans sexist comments
You need a ban? Really?
What about hiring some people who don’t want to make sexist jokes? That would surely be an easier approach and send a message to fifty per cent of footy fans that they are equal owners of our great game.
I can just imagine the ban being explained.
“OK, we’re banning sexist jokes guys.”
“So we’re not doing jokes anymore?”
“Well you can do jokes that aren’t sexist.”
“That doesn’t make any sense.”
Jobe Watson wears Double Denim to a media conference
Brendon Goddard’s movie
Earlier this year, Brendon Goddard said:
“As I keep saying to the boys, when we come out of this and we win a Grand Final, they will make a movie and write books about us.”
The idea of a triumphant movie shows so little understanding of this whole saga that it’s still the best insight to the bunker mentality that operates at Essendon.
Forget the fact Essendon aren’t winning a premiership during Goddard’s remaining few years.
Goddard wasn’t even there for the Dank era, which proves again, late converts are always way more fanatical than those brought up in the faith.
Match Day Experience
Wow this was a bunch of stupid nonsense.
Suddenly, the AFL had realised that treating the fans like dim-witted nuisances wasn’t really working and they overcorrected with flashing signs, a blow up lion and a hovercraft that literally sunk in the Yarra.
Hawthorn’s Andrew Newbold even promised to ‘Hawthornise’ Hawks’ home games; something that sounds like you should get a cream for.
Really, the only match day experience I want is winning.
Channel Nine’s cricket commentary
Yes, I know this is a footy column but this just deserves to be here anyway.
Lumumba seeks ruling on potential exposure to cannabis.
It’s was revealed during the year that Heritier Lumumba had sought a special ruling from the AFL relating to his potential exposure to cannabis.
Turns out hanging around with Rastafarians can expose you to ‘passive ingestion’. I seem to remember a similar excuse at high school.
Turns out the artist formerly known as Harry O’Brien thought this might show up in tests and wanted the AFL’s position on it.
It’s believed Ben Cousins sought a similar ruling in regard to ice, cocaine and speed when he played at the Eagles.
Mid-season trade period
West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett called for a mid-season trading period during the year mainly due to every single person who had ever played in defence for the Eagles being injured.
Obviously, it’s not enough to wait until the off-season to see the top teams sign all the top players.
So let’s have the top teams pick the bones off the weaker teams during the actual season and take away any reason to go watch your team.
Seriously, am I talking crazy pills? Why do people keep bringing up these things?
Letting Geoffrey Edelsten sit in the coaches box
Hovering over the Carlton Football Club like some almost-living spectre one Friday night was Geoffrey Edelsten, sitting in the coaches box.
It was a bad look to say the least, made worse by the fact it was Malthouse’s 715th game.
You have to question why you would want someone like Geoffrey around the club at all, let alone in the coaches box.
I guess Edelsten and the players at least date women in the same age range so they have something in common.