THE 24 HOUR NEWS CYCLE
My Supercoach team had the bye, or tanked, this week, so I’m in the mood for yet another rant!
Am I the only person sick of the media creating issues for the sake of filling their quota of news articles? With the birth of online news reporting in the last decade or so, we have seen politicians favouring short-term gratification for the voting public rather than long term policy because they fear poor publicity in the never ending daily news cycle. Once upon a time people had to read about politics in the newspaper (the paper one, not online one) or had to watch parliament on television (who the hell did that?) so most of us weren’t immediately up with the political issues. And if we were up with the issues we could never give feedback without writing a letter which would probably never see the light of day. There was no ‘comments’ button in the paper!
Politicians could just focus on screwing us in the long term rather than the short term.
The same is now happening with the AFL. If there is a quiet day for news the sports media will beat up any little issue they can get their hands on. One week they will be slapping a struggling side like the Blues, Saints or Suns but the next week they are praising those same teams for a single win. One week they are saying a defender is the greatest defender ever, the next week they are calling him a diver even though players duck, dive and act every week in every team.
One month a team is marching for a certain premiership, the next month they are struggling to make the eight and the media doesn’t show the slightest hint of shame.
And the AFL, fearing negative publicity, are creating more and more panels and forums to discuss the state of the game to tweak a few rules. They come up with genius ideas like: How about we implement zoning? Perhaps we can wear bibs? And you can bet that when zoning is trialled, the media will be the first to criticize it for failing without any responsibility for the part they played in creating change in the game.
So to wrap up my rant, here’s my prediction for today’s newspapers: The Saints are getting massive kudos for their fortunate win against a struggling side while the Gold Coast are copping a flogging for their close loss. And if Gresham missed that tough snap? The exact opposite would be reported.
Journalism at its finest!
Or maybe I’m just cranky?
PORT ADELAIDE 20.12 (132) def WESTERN BULLDOGS 11.9 (75)
Ollie Wines (Por) 157 – Ollie’s contract has been a hot topic in the media and suddenly he goes all quadzilla on his opponents in consecutive weeks. Is this a hot patch because Port are in a winning streak or will he continue this form for the rest of the season? If he continues racking up over 30 possessions each week, taking contested marks, laying tackles and kicking goals on a regular basis, he’ll finally push his average over 100ppg as he has long promised but never consistently delivered.
Jackson Macrae AND Toby McLean (WB) 51/52 – I am not giving Macrae and McLean a whack here given they were both injured (McLean obviously played out the match), more just commiserating with those coaches who own both players. I wanted Macrae but missed the train like a rookie Supercoach so I only avoided both bullets due to sheer arse. Hopefully reports that Macrae is out for 4 weeks are incorrect.
Another example that Supercoach is 60% skill, 40% luck!
Robbie Gray (Por) 121 – After staying at home in the forward 50 for over 90% of the Hawks match (2 weeks ago), Robbie was up the ground more this week, gathering 28 possessions to go with his 3 goals. Every few weeks Gray’s role seems to change so it’s hard to know whether he will continue scoring this well.
SYDNEY 10.12 (72) def WEST COAST 7.15 (57)
Elliot Yeo (WC) 144 – Yeo was carrying a niggle into the bye but he looked to be moving freely on Friday night, winning contested ball, kicking 2 goals, giving another 2 away in a low scoring match and recording 8 tackles. After practically making his break-even, he is a must-have in my books on the run home.
Josh J Kennedy (WC) 48 – I briefly considered Kennedy as an F7 given Darling is out but he puts up too many poor scores for my liking. Given he took 3 contested marks and kicked 2 goals against the Swans and still only scored 48 points, he is going to have to kick bags of goals to score 90+. Look elsewhere, or even wait for Darling to return and drop in price!
Jake Lloyd (Syd) 122 – With McVeigh rested prior to his bye, Lloyd did his usual ‘everywhere man’ job, collecting 23 uncontested possessions at 92% DE and 8 marks. It is looking more and more likely that we need Lloyd and Yeo in our final 6 defenders.
FREMANTLE 15.13 (103) def CARLTON 6.10 (46)
Lachie Neale (Fre) 159 – With premium midfielders like Martin, Macrae and Dangerfield either injured or not actually producing premium numbers, unique options like Neale are worth considering. He is currently racking up huge disposal counts, this week helping himself to 33 disposals at 87% DE despite 14 of them being contested. He also kicked 3 goals but he won’t be playing Carlton every week!
David Mundy (Fre) 79 – There weren’t any horrible failures in this match – with the exception of Carlton in the first half – but you would think in a team that was 70 points up at half-time, that Mundy would get amongst the big scores! He had a respectable 20 touches and 1 goal so it’s hard to be too annoyed with him if you’re an owner.
Kade Simpson (Car) 123 – His owners (like me) were a little concerned with his 1 possession first quarter, but Simmo went nuts after half-time with 19 third quarter possessions (care of Fantasy Freako’s stats) and 32 total @90% DE for the match. Nice recovery! Now if only his teammates could show a little more desire to compete like Simmo!
ST KILDA 11.14 (80) def GOLD COAST 11.12 (78)
Seb Ross (StK) 136 – Ross was so tempting in the preseason. He can find the ball and he has a high ceiling so you think he is ready to break-out but he just never quite reaches the elite level. With the Saints having a win (just) this week he had the ball on a string with 33 possessions, 10 clearances and 10 marks but you just know a poor score is just around the corner.
Jimmy Webster (StK) 13 – In the bye rounds, a first quarter injury and poor score like this is a killer. Webster is a great SC defender but with a groin injury forcing him off the ground, it might be time to cut your losses and offload him.
Jack Billings (StK) 99 – After this match, I think we can all agree that the problem was not Billings at all! It was Richo playing him as a stay-athome forward. Playing further up the ground on Saturday, Billings was everywhere finding the ball on 27 occasions, taking 6 marks and adding 4 tackles. If he continues to play up the ground, perhaps we should add him back to our benches? He’s so cheap we can perhaps wait a week or three!
HAWTHORN 12.16 (88) def ADELAIDE 4.8 (32)
Tom Mitchell (Haw) 136 – Just a regulation 40 possessions and 9 clearances for Mitchell who really needs to pull his finger out and try harder! Seriously though, this was a low pressure match so Mitchell only placed 3 tackles for the match and it just didn’t matter! If only he could cut out a few of these clangers (5 this week) and he’d start posting regular 150s.
Richard Douglas (Ade) 9 – No, this is not SC relevant but seriously, 9 points? In 86% TOG, that is just plain horrible. With 13 possessions at just 30% DE and 10 clangers, he should find himself playing in the SANFL next week!
James Sicily (Haw) 115 – I was going to mention Jack Gunston who scored 123 points in a return to his defenders role, but Sicily had to get some kudos for being the leading goal kicker on the ground from half back! He kicked 3 goals in the third quarter and is one of the best kicks for goal from long range in the AFL.
RICHMOND 12.11 (83) def GEELONG 9.11 (65)
Rhys Stanley (Gee) 149 – The two big Cats, Stanley and Smith are waging a “Who’s less of a nufty” competition to win the #1 ruck mantle at Geelong. Barring injury, Stanley is currently showing a clean pair of heals to Smith, this week winning over 10 hit-outs to advantage and gathering 16 possessions (but just 1 clanger), 6 tackles and 1 goal.
Gary Ablett (Gee) 80 – I’m not criticizing Gazza for his 80 point effort, but more wondering what the hell happened after half-time. He was on about 62 SC points at half-time and finished on 80 for the match! I missed the second half so can somebody tell me what happened to the little Master? It is not often he records a 18 point half!
Alex Rance (Ric) 106 – Rance is answering those critics calling him a diver (or Hernandez) by playing great footy. This week he gathered 17 possessions, 9 marks, 7 rebound 50s and 8 one percenters as he helped hold the Cats to an insipid 65 points! With Rance letting his footy do the talking, perhaps Dimma Hardwick should stop whingeing about Rance’s critics!
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