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Opinion

The good, bad and ugly of AFL 2020

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Jimmy Woods new author
Roar Rookie
19th October, 2020
30

Nearing the end of a crazy, unpredictable and sad 2020 for the world, here are my reflections on a season of AFL like no other.

The good

The AFL
Often maligned, but Gil McLachlan and the team did a bang-up job keeping the season alive. They never got sucked into petty politics with the various state governments, just respected the rules and kept it going.

Queensland
Thank goodness for Annastacia Palaszczuk making it happen for the competition and hosting teams from around the country. I think Western Australia and South Australia missed out a bit on what could have been, but they put up the walls and, in WA’s case, left them up. The Gabba looks to be in good condition, so here’s hoping for a fast, dry track Saturday. And then the game comes home to the MCG, as God intended.

Hubs
I reckon that worked out pretty well, like when Geelong and Collingwood flew to Perth to play the Eagles and Dockers over two weeks. It’s not a bad concept, a little like Major League Baseball in the United States. A few games in Darwin during a bleak Melbourne winter sounds all right.

Brandan Parfitt of the Cats celebrates kicking a goal

(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Fixturing
Playing each side once just seems right. I never thought playing only five teams twice was right, so let’s keep it at 17 weeks. If we need more footy, then bring back State of Origin with a bye on either side like a mid-year winter break.

Brett Ratten
It’s just good to see him get another crack at it. I never really understood why the blue baggers flicked him when they did.

West Coast Eagles
Collingwood knocking them over in their elimination final was biblical. Build your wall and stay there, so no more sooking about travel. Not the Dockers – I like them; they can visit.

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Shorter quarters
This worked well. We should drop the restrictions on interchange and make it rapid fire. It also meant I could go to bed a bit earlier for the night games, which I appreciated.

Goal of the year

The grand final
Cats versus Tigers should be a ripper for two of the most battle-hardened teams in the competition. Apparently Patrick Dangerfield has never played in a grand final at any level, so let’s hope the big fella puts on a show and Gary Ablett takes last week’s form with him.

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The bad

COVID-19
For first time in living memory I didn’t get to a game all season. It’s a small price to pay, I know, but I still didn’t like it.

Holding the ball
Interpretations change a bit from game to game and week to week. Reward the guy making the play, but if the pack piles on top, that’s not holding the ball. If you drag it in, okay, and if you take on the tacklers with at least one step, then that’s that, but there needs to be a bit more common sense.

The score review
I hate it. Let the umpires make a call, and if they get too many wrong, send them back to the country leagues. Otherwise let them do their job without second-guessing them all the time. I hate it in cricket as well. Sport is meant to be instinctive, not technical.

Optus Stadium
What is it with those lights? Tacky, tacky, tacky.

A general view of play at Optus Stadium

(Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

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Mark of the year
Great courage by Sam Walsh and a fantastic young player, but mark of the year? Really?

Paul Roos and Ross Lyon
They’re often cited as the next coaches to fix up a club, but their boring and negative game plans take us backwards. Time to move on.

The ugly

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Robert Muir
That was a tough read, and again my club comes out poorly. I hope everyone backs up the kind words, looks after the bloke and lets his name stand for something positive.

North Melbourne Kangaroos
What is going on down there? It’s like the whole club has imploded. Getting rid of Ben Brown for what, again? Is anyone in charge? They used to be a leader in administration. They changed the rules to get their first two flags, they started Friday night footy. They were innovators. Now they’re just sad.

Essendon Bombers
They’re still racked with infighting, and if they’re not careful, they could end up like Carlton in the years after their salary cap breaches.

I’m new to the forum. I saw some comments about contributing, so I assume we’re all meant to give something to be picked apart by the faithful.