Ten things we learnt (or were reminded of) in the 2015 AFL finals series

1. Hawthorn are still Hawthorn – they are a great team, with claims to be the greatest of all time. They are certainly the best kicking team I have ever seen.

2. Freo are still Freo – ten goals in each of their finals is not enough to win a flag when there are quality attacking teams about.

3. Richmond are still Richmond –they appear to have improved a lot but still haven’t managed a win when it really counts.

4. The AFL still loves paying overpriced overseas entertainers past their prime – no offence to Chris Isaak or Bryan Adams, who were certainly better than Meatloaf, but have the AFL heard of Courtney Barnett?

5. Nat Fyfe is not only the best player in the competition, he can play very well with one leg –his performance in the preliminary final was absolutely remarkable.

6. Paddy Dangerfield is a superstar – his performance in both finals was magnificent, lifting when it mattered against the Dogs, and putting on a one-man show in the first half against the Hawks, which included one of the all-time great goals.

7. Boomer Harvey is the best 37 year old to have ever played the game – Tuck and Fletcher were both still very solid at this age, but this bloke was dynamic in September.

8. The Bulldogs are coming – the Dogs versus Crows game was a fantastic spectacle, and while they lost, at least partly due to their inaccuracy, the young Dogs look set to be major players over the next few seasons.

9. North are a good team in September – halfway through the year talkback radio was full of North supporters calling for Brad Scott’s head but four wins and two preliminary finals in the past two seasons is a very good return. (Are they close enough to make the next step? I reckon not).

10. People can forget that they are people when they watch sport sometimes – Evolutionists claim that humans and apes share 98% genetic similarity. Sometimes we humans forget to use the 2% that is different. The crowd behaviour by a small minority in the Freo vs. Hawthorn game was absolutely disgraceful and again by a small minority in the Weagles vs. Sydney and Sydney vs. North games extremely disappointing, if not surprising.

Comments

  1. Peter Fuller says:

    Excellent summary Steve. Without endorsing every line, I think essentially you’ve nailed it. It’s remarkable how sound is our judgment when it’s not clouded by the intense level of emotional investment we experience when we have a team in. Alas that is now becoming a memory test for me.

  2. Tony Robb says:

    Good one Steve
    The one thing that you have left out is, according to those who can afford to attend the game, is that the GF is now the worst day on the football calendar. No car park BBQs, just corporate wankery, deafening ground announcements and shameless sponsorship plugs combined appalling pre-game entertainment. Those at home do not fair much better with the picture and sound quality provided by seven. At least it didn’t cost $4K to experience typically one sided affairs
    Cheers
    TR

  3. Boomer got found out at Subi against Eagles. Big ground or 3rd final? Champs in contending teams understandably hope and hang on too long – Goodes, Pav, McPharlin. Sydney didn’t play Weagles. I think you are talking Freo ferals again. Agree on your other points. Regards.

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    10 out of 10 in my book spot on,Steve ( Tony surely there were still car park BBQ ? and Boomer did have a bloody good September a incredible effort to be still a key player at 37)

  5. John Ramsdale says:

    Who is Courtney Barnett?

  6. The entertainment on grand final day is always a disappointment…it does not translate well to an open air stadium.
    Why not have more athletic events between the clubs,eg 800 metres and 1500 metre events.
    Would be infinitely more interesting for me.

  7. Steve – I reckon Gary Ablett (senior) was the best 37 year old to play the game – when he was 37 years old.

    One other thing we learned this year – “the process” is killing the game.

  8. Steve Fahey says:

    Thanks all for your contributions.

    Peter B, of course you are absolutely right, re my Freo/Weagles error. I’m not sure whether I agree with you re Boomer, 26 possessions including an equal game high 6 Inside 50s and named as his club’s third best player was at least solid if not better. Granted his disposal efficiency was lower than usual in a very tight contest.

    Tony, I agree that the permit required for a MCG/Yarra Park BBQ is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. For others who don’t believe this is for real, see http://www.mcg.org.au/things-to-do/yarra-park. Apparently it has been in place since 2013.

    Dips, I had to read your comment a few times to get the intended message, which I think I eventually did. At first I was saying “didn’t he retire at 35 ?” and then the penny dropped. Very well done !

    Re the entertainment, yes, some more footy-related activities would be great. I reckon people enjoy the long-kicking contest at 1/4 time, even with the associated shameless corporate promotion, and the sprint. Agree completely with Robert that the music does not work well in a large open air stadium, especially with the stage pretty much in the middle.

  9. Mulcaster says:

    I didn’t get to see the pre GF entertainment this year….but I can recommend Tony Moon for the Job. My bet is that he would get the Seekers to reform and perform “Morningtown Ride”.

  10. Nice summary. I reckon once Angus starts riffing the opening bars of any song Acca Dacca would make the MCG seem small. Not one song but at least three or four to get the crowd warmed up. Perhaps finish with ‘ For Those About To Rock’ and the cannons blasting around the ‘G’. They are home grown international stars. Thanks all on here for the entertaining reads all year.

  11. Steve Fahey says:

    ummmm………………..an update on number 8……… they have arrived !!!!!

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