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Opinion

What would happen if the AFL collided with the Olympics?

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Roar Rookie
14th July, 2021
8

It’s time we got serious about promoting the amazing skills of Aussie rules.

With the coming of the Olympics it’s the perfect opportunity to think about those skills in a purely athletic context.

I am sure any skill no matter how subtle or seemingly endemic (poor choice of words) could be isolated out from the game context and given some kind of Olympic treatment.

We see many skills incorporated in training drills and it’s a cool thing to watch when you connect the drill to the game and its ability to turn a passage of play.

The shimmy is one that is largely unsung as a stat but can open up congestion in a split second. It’s often the role of fleet-footed defenders whose reputation is built more on the dour acts of smother and tackle.

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If you could put a camera under the field looking up at the footwork on display and slow down the speed we could appreciate the fleetness of feet.

Of course the brilliance of the shimmy is its surprise factor. How do you factor in mystery to a known event? Come to think of it the shimmy needs help if it is ever to become an Olympic event.

The hundred-metre bounce sprint has no such issue. This blue-ribbon event would give the boring normal hundred metres race the kick up the bum it could do with from time to time.

It’s so easy to bolt to the finish line unhampered but give that man an Aussie rules ball to bounce and all of a sudden we have a brave new dimension to venture into.

Enter Lance Franklin and his colossal cantering with high bounces thrilling the very notion of physics and angle control under serious momentum. Well you know what I mean.

Franklin and Papley

(Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Could the race be decided by a single bounce near the finish line? How many bounces is the right amount per meterage and is 100 metres the right distance to define the skill?

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Maybe 20 bounces would be too much but maybe not? Who knows? This is getting crazy.

Now we’re hitting the heights. The crossbar high mark competition is an idea glorious in conception but the delivery of the ball for the actual marking is fraught with contradictions.

You need the run-up for the aesthetics and if the ball is delivered by a teammate it ceases to become an individual activity.

How can the solo athlete and his awkward social skills toil away for eternity honing his crossbar high marking technique when he needs a teammate? Of course, why didn’t I think of it before?

The own throw is tantamount. The further and higher the throw goes the more speed and height possible for the jolly jumper.

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Could some freaky footy athlete challenge high jumping’s own incredible statistics? All our high flying leapers would be queuing up for this one but given the prestige and accolades, a betting man would have to look no further than any of the Brisbane forwards… or there is the Bulldogs ‘Astro Boy’ Aaron Naughton.

Basing an event on an individual AFL star with an athletics background is never going to work but as a mental exercise Mark Blicavs has to have his own event.

Other events are the bounce hurdles, steeple chase down tackle, ruck ‘n’ wrestle, lead in high dive, puddle swim, sharp shooting, torp-athlon, boundary punch boxing, interchange weightlifting and of course the off-bike cycling when a player loses their temper or gets off his bike as they say.

Hang on, maybe we could have Olympic events for emotional control… don’t tell Hollywood or the Oscars might be in big trouble.

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