Samo Petrevski-Seton could have handballed with his left. I know this because I’ve seen the replay two dozen times.
Instead, surrounded by three closing defenders, he delivered a spinning banana-handball with his right. It floated over to an open Patrick Cripps, who kicked the goal.
I hadn’t seen anything like it. So I looked it up.
The term ‘banana handball’ gets 73 results on Google. Most are in relation to a Japanese woman on Instagram who has decided to include the hashtags #banana and #handball into a photo of her having drinks with friends.
I am Japanese myself. This is still curious to me.
There’s only one result relating to Australian rules football. It’s Samo Petrevski-Seton.
It triggered memories of the last Carlton player to do ridiculous, incredible things. He still does ridiculous things, of course, but for another. He seems happier too.
I am not happier. Carlton’s list is half quality and half bus manifest of a Contiki tour. It still hurts to see him in passing.
Magic and The Magician
Artist: Eddie Betts
Medium: Contested mark + Dribble kick on Adelaide Oval grass
Please do not leave your seats. A brief Q and A to follow.
Q: What is happening in this piece?
A: There are two acts.
Firstly, Eddie Betts competes for a mark with Port Adelaide’s Tom Jonas.
Q: Who is Tom Jonas?
A: Let me tell you about Tom Jonas. Tom Jonas is 189cm and 89kg. He’s big.
Last year, Jonas got six weeks for knocking out a smaller player in the forward pocket. West Coast’s Andrew Gaff was unconscious for two minutes.
A: Andrew Gaff is the exact same weight as Eddie Betts. Which is 11kg lighter than Jonas.
Tom Jonas is running towards Eddie Betts. This is not a good situation.
Q: What happens?
A: It’s better if I show you.
Q: What is Tom Jonas doing on the floor?
A: Women’s Health magazine describes it as one-half of sexual position ‘The Spider’.
Q: Tell me about the second act.
A: For his next trick, Eddie kicks for goal. He’s being forced into his non-preferred side by human spider, Tom Jonas.
He can (A) risk running back into Jonas to get to his preferred foot. (B) Snap with his left or (C) Kick a drop punt on the run. The angle isn’t horrible.
Adelaide are down by three goals. They need this one to count. Most guys kick the drop punt.
Q: Does Betts kick a drop punt?
A: The answer is (D). Eddie Betts kicks a right-footed dribble kick from the left pocket. The ball dances to the middle.
Q: He’s outbodying bigger opponents and kicking ridiculous goals.
A: I know, Eddie Betts is a magician.
Q: A ‘magician’? Is that like ‘freak’, or ‘excitement machine’?
A: Jesus. I didn’t say that. Don’t trap me in racist semiotics.
You go to a magic show. For a brief time, you believe that the magician is otherworldly, supernatural. But you know he’s not. Because magic isn’t real.
Then you enjoy it because you realise magic is a combination of several very specialised abilities. It requires motor skills like sleight of hand to misdirect an audience. It also requires abstract thinking to plan three, four moves ahead.
Q: So you’re saying Betts is not a wizard, he’s a magician.
A: How do you kick a right-footed dribble from the left pocket under pressure? He wasn’t bitten by a radioactive Jonas. It’s technical ability and practice.
To call Eddie ‘magic’ or a ‘freak’, is underselling what he’s doing here.
Q: Is this a successful piece?
If you see magic, it’s prosaic. It’s Eddie Betts doing Eddie Betts things. Whatever, right?
If you see a magician, an experienced and skilled performer, a man who has mastered kicking goals anywhere within 40m, it is very very impressive.
I love Eddie Betts.