What a fitting finale to the season.  The buildup was wonderful, the parade was delightful, the pre-game entertainment was on point and the match itself was absolutely riveting.  Of course, all of this is now lost.  The AFL used to be great.  A team would win the big match and that success could be reveled in for months.  Here we are, merely two days after what was described as the greatest grand final in recent memory and the AFL top stories have already moved on to trade news.  Reading articles today, I’m wondering if the 2023 season even happened at all?  I often wonder what the point of it all is if the success can’t be enjoyed with a bit of clear space for at least a week.  It’s a bit like sitting through the visual delight of a Kiss concert and not seeing the trademark guitar smash…! The match was a pulsating display and certainly worthy of a great season.  With 10 lead changes during the game, the largest margin being 13 points and the result not a certainty until the final 1

Finals Week 4 AFL Preview - Grand Final

2023 AFL GRAND FINAL   Last week I forgot that the Brownlow medal count was on.   Normally I would have done some kind of preview for that but given the outcome everything I would have said would have been wrong along with everyone else.   Bookies must have been laughing all the way to the bank as I doubt many would have money on Neale.   The controversy has raged in the days since about unexpected votes and big games with no votes.   Did Lachie really deserve the medal this year? Probably not.   Is he a great champion of the game and one we like to see go out there and do well and deserves accolades?   You bet.   But even Neale himself felt a bit sheepish about the whole thing, coming out on the radio the next day and all but apologising to Bont and Daics.   The controversy was rife though and it took its toll with Dan Andrews resigning the next day.   I believe even the Qantas Chief was grilled about it at the Senate inquiry. The fact we all have to deal with is that umpires make

Finals Week 3 AFL Preview - Preliminary Finals

 2023 AFL FINALS WEEK 3 And then there were four.  The statistical Leviathan was 100% correct in the first week of finals and 100% wrong in the second week.  I will need to add a tweak to discount for momentum in the future.  Melbourne’s season is over and in such a disappointing fashion.  You can make a lot of excuses for them (Brayshaw, Van Rooyen) but in the end, as I watched it, I saw a team with zero creativity and a lack of poise in tight moments.  It was an error-riddled match from both teams and not from direct pressure either so I would expect Melbourne to do a lot of work in the off-season about creating and utilising the options ahead of them.  Their predictability was as costly as their missed shots on goal. Port Adelaide bow out in straight sets too.  Was this a clever ploy by Hinkley to get the contract and then sabotage the season?  What clauses in the contract might Kochie be able to execute to give him the chop now?  Their young midfield group, so good throughout the r

Finals Week 2 AFL Preview - Semi-Finals

2023 AFL FINALS WEEK 2   And then there were six.  The first week of finals has been done and Saint Kilda and Sydney had their seasons ended.  Every game went as the statistical leviathan predicted (even if I didn’t follow it).  You may remember from last week the stats model said that Saint Kilda and Sydney didn’t even belong in the eight.  Perhaps I should turn its attention to something good and worthwhile, like solving climate change? There were many discussion points to come out of the week and the MRP and Tribunal has a busy time ahead.  The biggest one was the Maynard/Brayshaw incident.  Before I dive into it, the one thing we don’t want to see in football is good players missing games.  Brayshaw will be out for a minimum of one week and nobody, not even Maynard, wanted that to happen.  I’m writing this before the tribunal hearing so I don’t know how this will pan out but for sure the path that has been taken is the right one.  Each of these statements is true:  Maynard was atte

Finals Week 1 AFL Preview - Qualifying & Elimination Finals

  2023 AFL FINALS WEEK 1   Here we are at the pointy end of the season.   Not quite the tip of the spear, but the long handle and grip of the spear is behind us now and we are at the bit where the spear widens into a blade like structure before compressing to a tip, and this is exactly the part of the spear that leaves us wondering why we chose spears as an analogy for the season in the first place.   Perhaps if we consider the Phalanx, which hold the spears…nope.   That’s no good either.   The season is a lot like a Trireme as we row towards the Port of Cyrene … In any event, the season is over and just as spears have been replaced by more exciting weaponry, the regular season has been replaced by a more exciting and cut-throat version we call finals. The All-Australian team was announced in the week off and was met with the usual joy and derision that accompanies it every year.   It’s a great idea in principle.   Name a team of players that will never play a game and let

The State of the Game

Last Week 5/9      Season Total 142/207 STATE OF THE GAME In the end the score was 142 from 207 matches.   This is a success rate of about 68.6%.   I was aiming for at least 70%, close, but I think I took a few risks in the last few rounds that didn’t pay off.   And, while that score was reasonable high, it wasn’t enough for me to win any of the competitions I was in.   How did you fair?   Were my tips helpful anyway?   Probably not. The race has been run for 10 teams now and those supporters are now just wishing the finals would hurry up and be over.   But I ask you to spare a thought for your mates that still have teams live in the finals and give them the recognition and kudos that their team has earned for the year.   Best practice is to politely say, “Get Stuffed, <insert derogatory name here>.”   This usually conveys the appropriate level of warmth and friendship that such a feat calls for. Next week I’ll cover the finals preview but this week I can talk about the s

Round 24 AFL Preview

Last Week 5/9     Season Total 137/198 And so, here we are at the back end of the season.  Seven teams are confirmed for the top eight and two teams will be fighting it out for that last coveted position.  The Matilda’s unfortunately fell short but united the nation against England like so many teams before them have before.  I really feel like things – in general - are coming to a close.  The Ashes gave way to the Netball World Cup which then gave way to the Soccer World Cup.  What will fill any voids that I have in my life now?  Family?  Work?  Self-Improvement?  All great things I’m sure but there must be something else out there…?  Thank goodness for the Basketball World Cup which starts this week!  Is this the year of World Cups?  After The Basketball is the Rugby World Cup which overlaps with Golf’s versions of a World Cup and then the ODI Cricket World Cup is on!  That is a serious amount of crockery on offer this year. And alas there is a bye next week.  What do we do with