AFLW Round 7 – Fremantle v Carlton: Unplug the DJ

[click to enlarge] All photos by Les Everett

You could say it was a low-stakes AFLW game at Fremantle Oval on Saturday afternoon – the winner would avoid the wooden spoon. But it was serious, tense, high scoring and highlighted by some acts of real sporting courage.

 

I couldn’t stand it and left at half time.

 

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Something horrible has forced its way into our game and judging by Saturday’s evidence someone is bloody serious about it. It’s noise. And the effort being made to bring it to us. I first noticed the DJ at Perth Stadium in round two – in a prime spot operating thousands of dollars worth of equipment to provide something totally unnecessary. There’s also a ground announcer who has the job of telling us that our team is coming out onto the ground, what the score is at breaks and to remind us to make some noise.

 

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Obviously someone had identified an issue in the lead up to this game. Not enough noise. And, despite the efforts of the ground announcer, we couldn’t rely on the purple army. So extra speakers had been secured around the boundary fence. The music blasted from well before bouncedown right up to the bounce. Someone’s thought it through.

 

The captains walk to the centre for the toss…

 

“Meet me in the middle…”

 

The players head to their positions…

 

“Let’s get loud…”

 

The umpire prepares for the first bounce and it’s back to…

 

“Meet me in the middle…”

 

The Dockers score their first goal…

 

“I wanna go out dancin’…” What? Someone put thought into that?

 

Oh the relief when the game started and the relative peace. The real sounds of footy – crowds noise, players’ voices, the whistle and bodies clashing. And didn’t they clash. Fremantle’s Gaby O’Sullivan and Carlton’s Shae Audley went off dazed and didn’t return. Docker Hayley Miller took the full force of Tayla Harris and somehow lived to tell the tale… Tayla Bresland wandered away as collateral damage from that third quarter collision.

 

The game was good but the noise went on. Quarter time siren. Ground announcer tells us the score and then noise. “We’re not gonna live in silence…” screeches Mr Farnham. How perfect. No let up for the whole quarter time break. Not chance to chat. No chance to think.

 

My allegiance was being tested. Carlton goals did not warrant music. They received applause and encouragement from the surprisingly vocal Blues fans. Fremantle fans were cut off. Drowned out by the DJ. Not trusted. Not loud enough.

 

The speakers were in prime viewing spots on the fence. My ears were ringing. It’s early Monday morning and they’re still ringing.

 

It was too much for me. I scurried home and caught the second half on TV. Ashley Sharp holding her nerve and running from outside 50 to kick a crucial goal into the wind. Dana Hooker continuing to take the hits and display clean skills. Amy Lavell riding into retirement with a neat two-goal game. Carlton captain Sarah Hosking doing her best to keep the game alive.

 

Great game between two not-so-great teams.

 

Something needs to change. We must snatch our game back from those who don’t have faith in it. Those who think the game is not entertaining enough.

 

Maybe at the next marketing meeting someone… it might even be a CEO… will be brave enough to say, “Do we need this?” And. “How much is it costing?”

 

Give peace a chance.

 

FREMANTLE     2.2     3.2     6.4      9.5      (59)
CARLTON           2.0     3.5     5.7     6.12     (48)                                     

 

GOALS
Fremantle: Lavell 2, Donnellan, Miller, Webb, Gibson, Sharp, Antonio, Hooker
Carlton: Harris 2, Downie 2, Vescio, Loynes

 

BEST
Fremantle: Hooker, Antonio, Miller, Sharp, Lavell, Webb.
Carlton: S.Hosking, Harris, Moody,  Loynes, Downie, Gay.

 

Umpires: Rawlings, Simmonds, McPhee

 

Official crowd: About 1,000. Nobody was counting at the entrance.

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About Les Everett

A Footy Almanac veteran, Les Everett is the author of Gravel Rash: 100 Years of Goldfields Football and Fremantle Dockers: An Illustrated History. He is the footyalmanac.com WAFL correspondent and uses the money he makes from that role to pay for his expensive websites australianrules.com.au and talkingfrankie.com and fund the extravagant Vin Maskell at scoreboardpressure.com

Comments

  1. DanielleSpicer says:

    Hi Les. Great piece. I agree that they seem to be forgetting we are already entertained by the football itself. At the round one game at Casey Fields we were surprised to find fireworks going off after each Melbourne goal, despite it being broad daylight. Not only could we not see the fireworks, but it flooded the oval with smoke.

  2. Yvette Wroby says:

    I hate the noise and the fake atmosphere. So unnecessary. At least u can mute it at home

  3. John Butler says:

    Absolutely with you on the noise issue, Les.

    I always think the AFL reveals a certain contempt for its fans by insisting on all this crap. They clearly think we’re too dumb to know how we should react.

  4. bring back the torp says:

    Agree 100% with the infuriating music/ground announcements on the PA/various exhortations to cheer etc…complete garbage.

    Just allow the game to entertain us!

    I find the increasing no. of stoppages (In both the AFL & AFLW), flooding, and scrappy play -caused by the introduction of interchange/4 man bench- has reduced the game (& our enjoyment) as a spectacle.
    We have now, cf. the 1980’s, in the AFL about double the number of average tackles per game -which is also linked to more injuries.

    Imagine bringing a new observer of AF to a game today -try & explain how stoppages/rolling mauls & tackleball are such wonderful features of the game! We all know long kicking & contested high marking (both in decline) are what enthused spectators most

    The music/announcements and other aural “distractions” are no substitute for more continuous play/more goals etc.

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