As a passionate Adelaide Crows supporter and lover of AFL, it is disheartening to have tanking splattered across the news again. Thankfully the debate has taken place at the same time as the Olympics and thus hasn’t received as much coverage as usual.
I admire Brock McLean for standing up for what he believes in and coming out and telling the world more about what Melbourne did to secure draft picks.
There are two key things that have frustrated me about the AFL and the public’s reaction to this.
Firstly, hearing people say that they can’t believe that coaches would tell players to go out and not try their hardest really annoys me.
People need to realise that AFL footballers always give their best. Coaches don’t tell their players not to try, but they tell them to do things differently.
They might order a player to try different techniques in contests or they might put a player in a position that is blatantly wrong.
Secondly the naive attitude of the AFL towards tanking is what has brought the game to the situation it is in now.
Implementing a system that rewards the team that comes last on the ladder with the top draft pick was always going to cause trouble.
The former priority pick rule, which saw Melbourne pick up both Tom Scully and Jack Trengove was a farce. If it wasn’t bad enough to reward the team that came dead last, to give them an extra top pick if they only won a certain number of games was a joke.
If Adrian Anderson, Gillon McLachlan and Andrew Demetriou have even half a brain between them, they will change the draft system and punish Melbourne and Carlton for what they did.