Discussing the slam of the summer: The Sam Powell-Pepper FAQ

Ken Sakata Columnist

By , Ken Sakata is a Roar Expert

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    Sam Powell-Pepper is 19 years old. He is 187cm and 97kg.

    Sam thinks about physically hurting other people. He frequently does, too. He super 100 percent does.

    During the pre-season hitout between Port Adelaide and Hawthorn, Sam Powell-Pepper (draftee, zero AFL games), came up against Shaun Burgoyne, (four-time premiership player, 319 games).

    Shaun Burgoyne is survived by four young children.

    I’ve never met Sam Powell-Pepper. But one choke-slam later, Sam is my new favourite person in the world.

    Q: Who is Sam-Powell Pepper in a footballing sense?
    These are his highlights through the pre-season, which you’ll take with a pinch of salt.

    We’re talking another big-bodied midfielder that bashes through the middle. Every club has one at this point, with varying levels of ability.

    The question with all big midfielders is disposal efficiency. So far, Powell-Pepper has shown flashes of control with his entries inside 50.

    The ceiling is a poor man’s Oliver Wines. The floor is an English-speaking Mitch Robinson.

    Q: How does Sam Powell-Pepper slot into the game’s tough-nut enforcers?
    Sam is new. He’ll need to break into a cigar-chomping, kamikaze death-squad of Rory Sloane, Luke Hodge, Steven May and Shane Mumford.

    One choke-slam may make a summer on Twitter, but Sam will need to prepare his CV to get into the club.

    Q: Does the thin moustache detract from the toughness?
    Sam has a thin moustache. On anyone, including him, that’s ridiculous.

    At the same time, if I was to throw down with someone 97kg, I’d rather they didn’t have a pencil-thin moustache.

    Q: Why?
    Men like that don’t care about societal norms. They don’t know that the thin moustache is uncool because they don’t take part in society.

    Well, extrapolate that. Do you think this guy cares about ‘cool’ or ‘trendy’? No. You care about that stuff.

    You think this guy cares about your human constructs of ‘morality’? Of ‘fair fights’? You think this guy cares about mercy?

    Nah. You are going to get [redacted] in the most complete way possible. A thin moustache is a very bad sign.

    Q: How much do you love Sam?
    A lot right now. Buying a lot of SPP stock. Been looking at this a lot lately:

    Q: You are attending a gathering of your favourite people. Suddenly, there is a horrible explosion. Who do you save?
    I’m reasonably sure it would come down to Sam Powell-Pepper and my brother at the end. But I’d save my brother, probably.

    There are all kinds of reasons for this. Emotional, obviously. Practical, societal, altruistic reasons too.

    My brother, Dr Shin Sakata, is finishing his training to be a cancer surgeon. Saving him, I save a lot of people indirectly. That’s a no-brainer, right?

    Q: But what if you don’t?
    What if I don’t? I mean, I save Sam, he goes on to an AFL career. Imagine the matchups. Sam versus Rory Sloane. Sam versus Mitch Robinson. Sam tagged by Rhys Mathieson.

    Imagine Sam fending off Dustin Martin with a ‘don’t argue’. Imagine the GIFs. It’d be pretty amazing.

    If I saved Sam, that is. But I’m not. I’m saving my brother.

    Q: Right.
    But later, shivering at the back of an ambulance, do I regret my decision?

    Covered in those foil blankets, do I realise I’m preventing the ultimate AFL clip? The GIF that will break the internet?

    Picture it. Saturday night. You’re out. You get a notification on Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Then you get two hundred more little vibrations. Everyone’s posting it, re-posting it etc.

    Q: What is it?
    It’s Sam Powell-Pepper choke-slamming Aaron Sandilands.

    How fantastic would that be, right?

    No, that’s madness. I save my brother.

    Ken Sakata
    Ken Sakata

    Ken Sakata is a sportswriter based in Melbourne, covering where sport and pop-culture collide with a keen interest in AFL. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @sakatarama

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