Post-siren: the players v the lens

With seconds to go the camera zooms in on Dusty as he heads to the ball area. On cue the siren goes and suddenly he turns 90º and sprints towards Riewoldt and Grigg to celebrate. The look on his face is utter ecstasy, unlike any we saw even with his Brownlow win … and since that time we saw him smile a lot! His momentum pulls down both Riewoldt and Grigg and they continue their premiership embrace rolling on the ground. Their faces are ingrained in our memories as those of pure ecstasy, pure satisfaction. There is nothing else in the world that can alter this euphoric feeling these three are sharing and showing.

You could keep on showing that vision I’m sure to Tiger supporters over and over as it is real. Yet fast forward the vision to any of the moments between any players in the next 45min’s. Is that the same simple and pure euphoric vision we saw initially?

Of course the players are still ecstatic but as each second ticks by, the once sacrosanct field of play is invaded. The 44 players are now smothered by coaches, families, officials, vehicles and a seemingly endless amount of photographers, commentators and camera men. The latter are like those sticky buzzing flies that are in your face and just won’t be brushed away. Key players like Martin and Cotchin are never alone – to hug someone or by a minimum of 3 cameras each. At one point I counted nine photographers jostling for that one ‘intimate’ picture of Martin. All that was missing in that collective was a don’t argue.

Given all this media intrusion, it must (and I feel) does have an effect on the players. They now know that what ever they do will be filmed or photographed. Do they slightly shun away from such exposure as many do during the year? Do they reveal their extroverted side and do something they normally would not? Or do they remain just who they are? Either way, can they express themselves purely and without reservation? One sure factor is that the players now have to work around the media scrums. I wonder how many went out of their way to avoid the multiple boundary rider interviewers that would deprive them of this joyous moment? With the intrusion, that pure moment with their teammates has altered.

The last time I checked, these whiz bang cameras (still and moving) had zoom lenses. Some photographers sit on the boundary with lenses looking like a fallen lighthouse. Media-shy Martin would be justified in asking the half a dozen or so photographers less than a metre away from him to ‘back off.’ And why couldn’t they? We see glorious still pictures from game time showing every movement and emotion portrayed. All taken from behind the fence.

Let’s blow the siren again. Martin changes direction and heads to hug his team mates. The cameras from the stands capture this beautiful moment. Now what we are seeing is just players. Our TV screen moves to see where the ball finished, then flashes to the backline players, those on the wing, the eruption from the boundary line … and this continues for the next 15min’s until the presentations are ready to begin. All around the ground the same (Martin, Riewoldt, Grigg) moment is captured of every player because there are a dozens of these cameras situated all around the ground!

The difference is that the AFL have not allowed any media on to the ground until the presentations have started. They have stipulated to the clubs that family, non-participating players or club officials must wait. Only the direct ground ‘crew’ of club officials – water, first aid, runner and direct coaches, can step on the hallowed turf.

The boys get their medals, the confetti cannons go off and they begin their lap of honour. Bring on the photographers and roving mikes then. But up until then we see, pure unadulterated ecstasy and emotion in spades!









  1. Shane John Backx says

    Couldnt agree more Dave

  2. Shane John Backx says

    Dont forget intruding into the once sacrosanct privacy of the rooms either.

  3. steve todorovic says

    I’m with you on this one, Dave. Insightful commentary. Let’s hope Gillon ia an Almanac reader.

  4. Absolutely agree 110%, if that is not a tautology. Has been turned onto a media circus, probably due to the ever increasing TV rights money. Could go on and remove the cameraman from the circle in the rooms to “sing the song” after every game.

    And while we’re at it, NO baseball caps on players’ heads. EVER.

  5. murray walding says

    I totally agree with your sentiments and I think the same goes for the pre match. I’d like to see the arena completely clear of everyone except the players (and the cheer-squads holding the banners) when they break through the banners. It’s their moment and they’re the ones we’ve come to see. There’s no need for the suits and attendants and trainers to be out there at all…use the zoom lenses, be creative, expand the moment- not dilute it!

  6. Citrus Bob says

    Whilst thousands of people would agree I am sorry to say that is how it is today. I counted over 100 people on the ground at one of the semi’s before the players appeared. And lets not start on the cricket at the unofficial “drinks break”.
    Also the game is between 2 teams why don’t we see their emotions as well?
    As for the rooms – the shambolic singing (is that the right word?) for the club song – give me a break. Should be barred forever.

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