An opinion piece from JC, who asks the difficuilt question many fans are aiming at the Melbourne Demons in 2014.
See that picture of the MCG?
That’s what a p***s looks like.
Round 12, 2014
The p***s is partially banned in Junior Basketball in Victoria.
Rugby League is basically one big p***s. Their paltry crowds are the result.
Do I need to continue?
It’s on the tip of your tongue… PPPPrrrress.
You’ve got it, the PRESS, the plastic bag that has suffocated individual brilliance and flair from our great game for too long.
As soon as AFL coaches started “study tours” of other sporting codes around the world, and sipped at the tactical Kool Aid, it was the beginning of the end for “Up There Cazaly.”
Watch that video carefully and you will see some nearly extinct species.
If we don’t do something to curb this tactic, never again may we see the wonderful spectacle of Peter McKenna being swamped on the ground after kicking 100 goals
The press tactic is so powerful it can turn kid’s sport into a non-event. It forced the Victorian Junior Basketball body to partially ban the press.
This excerpt from HoopSkills.com, an American Basketball blog spells out the dilemma:
“ Before now I have always been a big believer in instilling a competitive mindset in athletes as soon as possible. However, after watching this tournament part of me feels sorry for these kids. Coaches and parents seemingly would rather have their kids win than to thoroughly learn and understand the game. In the short term that's great but is it really best in the long term?”
Well I’ve got news for you, not only does it cripple kids level sport, it’s crippling senior level sport too.
Don’t get me wrong it wins games alright, but at what cost? And to who? Us the Fans!
Paul Roos at the Melbourne FC knew the moment he walked in the door at Demonland the first thing he had to do to build a team capable of winning AFL games was fix up the defence.
He wanted the team to forget about their score and focus on limiting the oppostion’s scoring potential, with the aim being to introduce the attacking elements of the game down the track, but only once the defensive side was mastered.
End goal a balance of two way footy, defense first, with just enough attack to score a little bit more that your opposition, like his premiership winning Sydney side.
In fairness to Paul Roos he is doing his job and well, because success for him is defined by winning premierships, and he needs to build a game plan for his list that can give them a shot at doing that. He’s playing the odds because to such a strategy leaves you in the lap of the recruiting and draft gods.
Will Roos get the hand of God come down and be blessed with Bartel, Corey, Enright, Stevie J, Selwood, Ablett, Scarlett, Kelly, Ottens & Taylor all coming into their prime at the same time?
“Please just give me Red 24 and spin the wheel!”
Roos is doing the smart thing, employing a game plan for a lower common denominator, accepting defeat in the talent battle but using tactics to defeat individual brilliance. Aiming win more often, based on reality.
But so where does that leave us, the fans?
In my view, on the couch rather than in the stands.
We go to the footy for the surge of sound from the crowd, the rush pulsing through a collective as a goal is kicked, or when the ball finds space, a break in the game. A collective roar after a bounce, a sidestep, and an unleashed outside 50. The electricity of a crowd going nuts.
The problem is that’s it!
120 minutes, a pie, a couple of beers and one hair raising high and it’s a wrap.
Our game is like one big tease. It gives you glimpses of brilliance keeping you wanting more. I just wonder when the penny will drop and more of us fans will not get enough of a buzz in repayment for our hard earned cash.
The AFL is trying a couple of things to break open the game to allow more free flowing attacking, TV friendly (read $$ ratings) footy:
• Reduction in the interchange to allow players to get tired so the game breaks open.
• Kicking out before the flag is finished waving to allow faster breaks out of defense.
But why not take things a step further? Why not try to keep the excitement in footy?
Radical solutions for 2024:
• The half ground zone, if you’re playing in the Forward or Back Half you have to stay in your end of the ground except for designated mid fielders or your offside and a free is awarded in the middle of the field. GPS in jumpers is linked to ground position and computer signals automatically an out number in one half. It stops all of these new 5 and 6 roles and defensive wing set ups at stoppages in the back half crushing our game.
• 16 Players and no wings. (I did say radical…)
• You have to kick it 30 metres for it to be deemed a mark.
• You have to move the ball forward or it is a free kick against. So the defensive structures won’t have the time to get back as their team mates kick it backwards, maintaining possession in tempo mode.
Right now, the game needs someone to grab this one by the scruff of the neck and fix it for the fans as my favourite motivational speech of all time shows:
My memo to Gillon McLachlan: