Home Sports Despite the nagging, the AFL remains exciting to watch

Despite the nagging, the AFL remains exciting to watch

There has been a lot of buzz about the AFL lately.

Some argue that there are too many teams weakening the depth of the playlists, so Tasmania should not get the 19th license.

Others argue that the corporatism and greed of the AFL has ruined the game compared to the simpler version that was the Victorian Football League.

More lament the poor decisions and excessive refereeing that have prompted fans to attend matches this season in alarmingly small numbers.

But each era of football will have its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s worth discussing some of the issues related to the AFL and its predecessor (the VFL) over the years.

However, as someone who now rarely goes to football and prefers to watch AFL games on television, as I live in Albury-Wodonga, this article contains insights from an AFL supporter named Susie, who regularly attends the games rather than comments from a distance.

Susie has been going to football since 1977 as a diehard Richmond supporter, first as a daughter with her mother and later as an adult and mother of two sons. She has been a member since 1991.

The two of us offer both shared and mixed views.

First of all, we both love the AFL today, although I’m less willing to part with my money outside of my Kayo subscription.

As of 2022, Susie will pay approximately $440 for 17 home and away games Richmond plays in Melbourne.

While the crowds have abated recently, neither of us believe that the decline is caused by the current dissatisfaction with the actual AFL game.

Rather, we believe that people are using the reality of lower 2022 crowds to support their individual criticisms of the AFL.

As of 2019, the average home and away crowd of 35,000 people was equal to its all-time high, apart from its peak of 37,000 from 2007 to 2010, but the same issues fans are whining about today were apparent back then too.

One need only recall the concern in 2017 about umpires supposedly favoring the Western Bulldogs with a demand for rule changes.

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Some fans may have become more comfortable watching games at home because of the COVID experience, which sometimes cut out crowds completely or limited numbers.

Once you have the television option, you have two great choices when it comes to watching the great AFL game.

When I last went to a Richmond-Essendon game in the MCG, long before COVID, my buddy and I both concluded that we both preferred watching games now from the comfort of our lounges. Maybe our older age has something to do with it.

My friend from Richmond, on the other hand, points to a number of other factors that could affect the number of visitors, including older people who don’t have access to new technology with the new ticketing system and high food prices.

In these tougher economic times, with the cost of living rising rapidly, the AFL crowds may not recover to 2019 levels for a while yet and the AFL will have to put in a lot more effort to reach their fans. listen instead of assuming that sales can always increase in all facets of the game.

There are some aspects that we miss from the past.

The best football days were when I was young going to football with my friends, often kicking the ball between us, all the way to and from the ground.

In addition, as a child, listen and watch Competition teams on Thursday evening and World of sports on Sundays were among my favorite shows, making me laugh as much as most other shows.

Today’s media coverage seems much more serious, with an extensive focus on highlighting the bad behavior of players in this selfie era, where many aspects of personal behavior are captured on video.

(Photo by Dylan Burns/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

Susie also misses the community functions that took place not long ago before the Richmond games, including a barbecue on Punt Road, although she still enjoys watching the seconds when they play there before the main game in the MCG.

We both notice how attitudes towards racism in football have improved. While Susie attributes that to fans being more careful about what they say, which I partially agree with, I’d say Australians in general are much more accepting of cultural differences these days after generations of living together.

However, Susie believes the crowd issues are greater today because many matches are held at night or late afternoon, giving fans more time to fuel their potential anger through alcohol. With faster play these days perhaps leading to greater inconsistency in umpires’ decisions, Susie notes how controversial decisions often lead to clashes between drunken supporters during the matches she attends.

Police noted that Richmond’s pubs are always packed before a match with quite a few fans drinking heavily, and also emphasized drinking before the May 2022 Dreamtime match between Richmond and Essendon, which resulted in several brawls, 50 evictions and two officers who were allegedly attacked.

We’re both pleased that player violence on the pitch has been largely eliminated, although Susie is referring to the excitement still generated by large-scale skirmishes, as was the case last Thursday’s three-quarter time no-battle brawl between Richmond and Carlton. .

However, I have memories of both player and public violence in the 1970s, so perhaps only the scale of the violence has changed, with players and officials today much less likely to participate in this professional era of clubs being expect them to act appropriately at all times.

In addition to the famous 1974 brawl between Richmond and Essendon players and officials, I witnessed another match between Richmond and Essendon in 1975 when many Essendon supporters tried to break into Richmond’s locker rooms after his leg fell from Des Tuddenham. broken.

Richmond and Carlton's players struggle during the three-quarter timeout.

(Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

I have also witnessed cut tires outside of Victoria Park and Windy Hill on a number of occasions.

We both agree that nowadays spectators have better facilities, all with access to a seat, whereas the previous suburban area was low capacity for most clubs, with only a few rows of seats around the border fence for those committed were enough for their early .

While Susie is fanatical about Richmond and I less so about Essendon, we both enjoy the AFL format, which allows us to watch a number of AFL games throughout the weekend.

However, Susie rightly points to the AFL’s folly over the past week, expecting fans to come to the MCG on a cold Thursday night but leave the MCG empty on Sunday, with the only AFL game that day being Gold Coast vs. Adelaide. , hardly a match of much interest to Melbourne’s main fans.

What we have some distaste for the modern game is how the game has changed as a spectacle since the days when the backline flooded became a feature.

The game used to be more open, physical and spectacular. There was more man-to-man play, and it had fewer boring bits, as current AFL game is often consumed by boring short kicks to get out of defense, as well as back kicks.

However, we both notice the exciting aspects of the modern game, which still features great goals and goals along with super fast breaks when a player and team explode towards goal from defense or midfield as opponents struggle to finish the game .

While we don’t blame the umpires for inconsistent decisions, we recognize that it is difficult to oversee such a complex game, but we are concerned about some of the rules.

For example, why are defenders regularly penalized for the slightest touch of attackers, while attackers seem to get away with fragrant meddling?

Susie notes that Tom Hawkins’ 700th goal for Geelong against West Coast last Saturday was the result of another push in the back of his direct opponent.

Finally, we celebrate the AFL expansion, made fairly fair by a concept system and salary cap, although the nine Melbourne teams compete in a market while all other AFL cities have a maximum of two teams.

While we both support the development of the AFL and the arrival of a Tasmanian team, we miss the simplicity of the VFL in the 1970s and early 1980s when the then 12 teams played each other twice and the luck with the draw of the year to year was not a factor.

As for critics who suggest that the AFL is favored by governments over other sports, I would suggest that the popularity of the AFL has contributed to many stadium upgrades, giving fans of other codes of football in cities outside NSW and Queensland greater opportunities. conditions for hosting important rugby and football matches.

However, I don’t believe Tasmania should be forced to guarantee an ultra-expensive new stadium when they already have a stadium that can hold a decent 20,000 spectators, while the AFL allows the Western Bulldogs to play in the fairly ordinary Mars Stadium for a number of limited capacity games.

Despite some minor grievances from both of us about the modern game, we both love watching the AFL as much as ever, and disagree with others who suggest fans have many reasons to turn away from the great Australian game.

RELATED ARTICLES

Can foreigners rent a car in Dubai?

Following are the benefits of renting a car in Dubai: Accessible transport: Dubai easily offers the best quality cars for rent. One Click Drive, a...

Campaign spreads awareness for ‘silent addiction that doesn’t discriminate’

This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary...

Colombia needs drug policy changes to end internal violence, truth commission says

Colombian leaders must recognize how the drug trade has permeated the country’s culture, economy and politics and how the global war on drugs is...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Can foreigners rent a car in Dubai?

Following are the benefits of renting a car in Dubai: Accessible transport: Dubai easily offers the best quality cars for rent. One Click Drive, a...

Campaign spreads awareness for ‘silent addiction that doesn’t discriminate’

This website uses cookies to improve your experience while you navigate through the website. Out of these, the cookies that are categorized as necessary...

Colombia needs drug policy changes to end internal violence, truth commission says

Colombian leaders must recognize how the drug trade has permeated the country’s culture, economy and politics and how the global war on drugs is...

Canberra COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations still high | The Canberra Times

Our coverage of the health and safety aspects of this COVID-19 outbreak in the ACT is free to everyone. However, we depend on...