Par (in AFL Footy)

When editing pieces for the Almanac book each year, I always find some classic ideas, thoughts, expressions, turns of phrase. We can be pretty creative just as we can fall into the understandings of the day.


I have known West Coast Dave Bruce for over 20 years now – and in so far as the square is concerned, he likes to think outside it.


He has written about Round 1. He described Sydney travelling to West Coast to open the season as a good test because Sydney were ‘about par’. It concerns me a little that I knew exactly what he was talking about.


Any other clubs strike you as ‘about par’ at the moment.


About John Harms

JTH is a writer, publisher, speaker, historian. He is publisher and contributing editor of The Footy Almanac and He has written columns and features for numerous publications. His books include Confessions of a Thirteenth Man, Memoirs of a Mug Punter, Loose Men Everywhere, Play On, The Pearl: Steve Renouf's Story and Life As I Know It (with Michelle Payne). He appears (appeared?) on ABCTV's Offsiders. He can be contacted [email protected] He is married to The Handicapper and has three school-age kids - Theo, Anna, Evie. He might not be the worst putter in the world but he's in the worst four. His ambition was to lunch for Australia but it clashed with his other ambition - to shoot his age.


  1. Jan courtin says

    Hi John
    Just out of interest it was the Swans who travelled to Perth for the first game this year, not the other way round

  2. Good get Jan. It was that subconscious thing, Buddy kicks 8 so it was the SCG (or York Park).

  3. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    The Pies were on the 18th Green and putting for a birdie to get over the Eagles. They bogied…
    Geez, I hate golf.

  4. In addition: Your West Coast friend’s words “Sydney were ‘about par’” are a little surprising, given we beat them convincingly in that first round, and then again at the SCG later in the year. From memory, we were the only team to defeat the Eagles twice this year. What’s he on about?

  5. Far be it from me to explain the mind of West Coast Dave. But, bugger it, I will. I reckon he meant that if West Coast beat Sydney they’d make the eight and if they lost they’d struggle to make the eight. Hence par.

  6. Also, I reckon there is one side that is an even better measure: Geelong.

  7. I like that.
    You should be beating par to be a contender.

    But as Jan sort of alludes to, the idea of par is tricky given the uneven draw.
    Geelong is a good one.
    I think Collingwood failed to defeat either Sydney or Geelong in 2018.
    Each club plays a different course.

  8. OK, thanks, I sort of get it!

  9. Geelong? Drive for show; putt for dough. Rory McIlroy.
    Sydney. Scramble well. Short off the tee. Webb Simpson.
    Collingwood. Greg Norman.
    West Coast Eagles. Cool in a crisis. Jack of all trades. Francesco Molinari.

  10. Who’s Tiger Woods then?

  11. Hawthorn

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