Off Season?? Game On!!

Damn the torpedos and hoist the mainsail, I’ve got an idea.  I know we should be gearing up for season proper, honing our Richmond jokes, Arelditing one eye shut and devising an app to decode Razor Ray Chamberlin, but think on this.

I have enjoyed the off-season more than any self respecting football purist has a right to.  Usually, around now, my family installs me inside a maximum-security raincoat to head off the possibility of drowning in my own dribble at the anticipation of round one.  Not this year.

The off-season / pre season/ completely crazy ape bonkers silly season has been one out of the box.  There has been so much japery that I propose it continue.

Consider this.  If we extend the non-footballing months from October to August, imagine how much free entertainment we’ll get out of all that sex, all those drugs and all that rock and roll.  Forget the magnificent sordid glory that is the Lifestyle You channel on pay TV and just stroll down your street.  If you don’t see a footy player, his manager or Bruce McAvaney doing something wildly improper down your local shopping plaza, I’ll pay the $7645 it’ll cost to furnish you in pies, rounds 1 to 22 inclusive.

I know it sounds a little out there, but think about it.  The regular premiership season would run for a month.  That’s 17 teams, playing 24 matches, with finals running continuously overnight on the last weekend of September and the Bombers winning the flag.  Pound for pound, time and motion-wise, a Jimmy Hird fairytale ending , it’s the perfect season.

There is less chance of injury, less chance of being sent doolally by clash costume conundrums and less chance of seeing a Fremantle/Port Adelaide game than ever before.  As the great 21st century philosopher and madman Charlie Sheen, once said, ‘Winning!!’

When we’ve got over the delirium of the whirlwind otherwise known as season 2011, we can go back to the real stuff – the off-season.

You can’t doubt the stats.  On a purely mathematical basis there is a greater than 70% chance that a small bald man from the Gold Coast Suns will get so bored with metre maids and Anna Bligh in his off time that he’ll agree to a ‘Yeah Yeah’ contract and start sporting long orange dreadlocks around the cafes of Main Beach.

Recent studies by the esteemed industry think-tank, The Ponds Football Institute show that if the off-season is prolonged by a third, 86% of all AFL footballers will use Twitter to announce that they’ve started seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at the bottom of their Gatorade, then uploading the moment they went completely nutso onto Faceache. If that’s not real sport, I’d like to know what is.

Of course there’s always the chance that someone will spoil it for the rest of us by going on an end of season trip to Vegas and not assault a toilet, vandalise a cop or overdose on jelly donuts outside the Nevada chapter of the Viper Room.  Killjoys.

There is the sad possibility too that off-season 2010/11, bestowed with so pungent an aroma the NRL has been talking demarcation disputes, cannot be topped.  No matter how many drunks, dolts, dickheads and dumbarses footy might throw up from this point on; this year has been one for the record books.

So as we look towards the start of the season, in all its coach-speak, one-day-at-a- time, he-hasn’t-got-a-broken-leg, its-just-a-little-niggle tedium remember you only have to make it to October, because after that the fun really starts.

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