Round and Round Again

After the notorious Indigenous Round, and in the leadup to Women’s Round, Lachie Gaylard sends a dispatch from the AFL’s themed rounds of 2014.


Social media awareness round: altered rules allow for phones to be used on-field, as well as the coaches box. Kosi’s first three tweets involve the unknowing switching of hashtags to the @ symbol, “having a great day at @Etihad, what an atmosphere hey #nickdalsanto?” while the fourth – “jaiudsbfuyiufgy dhaerw dhad haieyru8weq32421” is widely thought to have been caused by his tripping over an surprisingly positioned tuft of grass, knocking out Lenny Hayes. Kevin Sheedy’s Twitter account remains untouched. For now.


ACL round: Takes place late in season to build team numbers for two specially-commissioned sides. Matches conducted from players’ beds in the form of AFL ’98 computer game. Winner is guaranteed a piece in The Age’s summer sport section updating the player’s progress, as well as club-doctor-assured “test” status from rounds 1-5 in the teams lists of 2015, and upon comeback, possible “feel-good story of the year” standing.


Phonetics awareness round: Ambassadors Ayce Cordy, Clancee Pearce and Kamdyn McIntosh. Tadgh Kenelly out of the Sydney game with general soreness. David Wojcinski commissioned to write a piece in the Geelong Advertiser protesting the theme’s insensitivity.


Build your own goal review system giveaway week!: Upon arrival to each match, each spectator is issued with low-resolution, low frame-rate camera to place at any vantage point in their stadium of choice. AFL reserves the right to use footage from cameras in all stadiums to adjudicate goal reviews in interstate stadiums. Subiaco camera captures inconclusive footage of a possible goal at the ‘Gabba. After a one-and-a-half hour decision process that includes a Skype call and Fango vote, the decision is reversed. Jeff Gieschen judges the goal umpires to have made the correct call.


Earth Hour round: in hopes of fulfilling the theme, all Melbourne games are relocated to Waverley Park at night. Chilly evening prompts Prime Minister Abbott to denounce Climate Change lies; this has by now become a common occurrence, even during a run of “unseasonable” 28-degrees-plus days in the depths of August. Proposes to AFL that one game be held in Etihad Stadium (with both air conditioning and heating running simultaneously and to an equal extent, resulting in a temperate mini-climate) as a “balance” to the resultant blackout in the games over in Mulgrave.

As a further countermeasure, trains also will not run – on this point Metro passengers claim they will not be able to discern any difference – and attendees are encouraged to drive: simply park on Punt Road when it comes to its standstill.

Andrew Bolt medal for least renewable club: Melbourne.

Tim Flannery medal for most renewable club: Geelong Cats.


Docklands commemoration round: relocated due to surface concerns – all those brutalist grey concrete facades and windswept footpaths are resulting in too many eye injuries.


Rivalry Round: proceeds as normal, but fans are encouraged to wear their Ford or Holden jackets. Melbourne Inner-Northern types – should they attend something so mainstream – are asked to bring their favourite edition of iPhone (or out-of-date “vintage” telecommunications device), or even iPod (bonus kudos for those first ones with the four buttons at the top). In keeping with the theme, the NRL decides to put on a match in each of the cities hosting an AFL game that weekend.


Parent-teacher interview round: Mssrs Ablett, Watson, Cloke are the main participants: “So, how do you think you’re going, Gary?”. Suggestions that talks with Cloke’s management team begin late 2013 in order to book in for a 15-minute timeslot with Bucks in round 20.


Women’s Round: teams from the WVFL are invited to play at the MCG. The games are well-promoted, publicity is saturated, and Channel 7 even bumps the reinstated Better Homes and Gardens for the occasion. Shock, horror – with all this effort, the game is a success! The men are relegated to suburban grounds even the VFL won’t use for the weekend, and players are forced to work during the week leading up to the round, with only 84 lottery winners allowed to attend any given match. Upon telling their workmates about it on Monday morning, these few attendees are required to recite the sentence “actually, they were pretty good!” in a patronising manner at least once.


Tattoo safety awareness round: Dane Swan, Dayne Beams and Dustin Martin show up with Glad Wrap around their “thINK Before You Act” tattoos. Have no idea they are ambassadors, but were “running out of ideas for that bit just under the knee”.


Bring your father to work round:  Tim Lane gets shown around Channel 7 studios by Samantha. Mick Malthouse participates only incidentally.


Guy Fawkes Day celebration round: all games in the AFL are replaced by National Soccer League teams from yesteryear. Marconi triumphs over an undermanned Brunswick Juventus in a shortened game marred by at least three flares and a general sense of disdain about Andrew Demetriou and the perceived persecution of the true form of “football”. Craig Foster praises the game and declares it yet more proof positive of soccer’s inevitable domination of Australia.


Heritage Week: all players undertake the Paleo Diet on the Monday before the round begins. Bark huts and fires are erected in the Botanic Gardens of Melbourne by all teams playing there on the weekend. Taronga Zoo tigers have their two front teeth cosmetically lengthened for the occasion, with the two Sydney teams participating in a night-long hunt. Away players must kill and skin their own clash guernsey using ochre and other natural dyes. In keeping with the theme, there is no interchange cap this round. Actually, no interchange at all.

Ill-advisedly, Carlton resurrects “can you smell what the Blues are cooking”? campaign for one week only.

Piltdown Medal: joint winners Nick Malceski, Kade Simpson and Ben Hudson induct Bruce Doull into the Hall of Fame.


Queens Birthday Holiday round: Melbourne bye.


SUPERLATIVE ROUND!!!!!!!!!!: WOWEEE…Brian Taylor and Rex Hunt host the most comprehensive, wonderfully entertaining, unbelievably fantastic themed round.


Drugs awareness round: Essendon bye.


The right honourable Andrew Demetriou memorial tribute commemorative round: an all-out celebratory extravaganza of well-planned, limited, fun; most matches take place in Rooty Hill. Any impromptu activities must be pre-approved for approval; please submit three certified copies of your Proposals Of Improvisation (at least three drafts, if you please – and we’ll know) to AFL House, no later than yesterday. The Man Himself will not be in attendance, and will instead be on a study tour of France’s high-volumed intrusions into fans’ enjoyment of the spaces between play in their respective sports.

Andrew Demetriou Medal for Performance Best Representing the Views, Values and Ethos of Andrew Demetriou: Andrew Demetriou.



About Lachie Gaylard

Lachie is a Melbourne teacher, musician, writer, surfer and Collingwood supporter who is eternally grateful to his parents for putting him on the MCC membership list at birth. He keeps some travel writing here: and some European writings here: and a little photography here:


  1. Steve Fahey says

    A great read Lachie

    If any other are required, perhaps a Centimetre Perfect round to pay homage to the great Cometti

  2. Cometti certainly deserves a round – maybe a pre-season three-way match so he can try out new material for the coming premiership season?

  3. Shane Nash says

    Loved the Phonetics Awareness Round… I could imagine the commentators asking how many ways you can make the “or” sound… Maybe social media could pitch in too? But only posts with full grammar and appropriate spelling would be published on the screen during telecasts…

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