The Roar
The Roar

christy olsen

Roar Rookie

Joined October 2017







They have created the ultimate sport, the perfect mix of skill, athleticism, fitness, action, and beauty. It is called footy.



Well, I was originally going to say “boots”, but I wanted to distinguish between simply raising one’s feet vs. pointing the actual bottom of the boots toward an opponent. So I went with “cleats”.
But yes, I am indeed an American, and if you read my other article and comments, you’ll see I am not trying to hide it.
For what it’s worth, I don’t think it invalidates my opinion on footy; been a devoted fan for over a decade.
I even had a footy blog for a short time (gave it up due to zero readers 😛)!

Integrity starts with the clubs

My article is somewhat idealist dreaming, I know. You’re absolutely right, the cost of sitting a big-money, A-grade player is too high for most clubs to handle. But I guess I just wish the first time a young player started with the shenanigans, his club would kibosh that rubbish right away. In my fantasy world, that would fix things. Alas, it seems unlikely.

Integrity starts with the clubs

Maybe the problem is too many clubs let it go too long, and once a player is a problem, it is too difficult to deal with it. So if they set them straight right away, it might make a difference. Hard to say, though.

Integrity starts with the clubs

Why do you ask?

Integrity starts with the clubs

Thanks for the high praise to American sports, but I have to disagree.
Between TV timeouts, video review, free agency, public salaries, outrageous ticket prices, taxpayer-financed venues, the list goes on… we have nearly ruined all our professional sports.
Everything here feels empty and shallow… with none of the deeply rooted tradition and history of Aussie Rules. (sigh)

Sorry, at the moment, I don’t have anything to say on the actual topic of your article.

Time for a 'best of three' grand final series


The broken AFL fixture - and the solution

One of the weirdest articles I’ve ever read on this site.
Yet, intriguing because I’ve had some of the same thoughts.
Nice job.

Delisted: A case for the unwanted

The Saints needed to do the deal with little to no upfront cost, which they did.
It’s possible Hannebery negotiated a slightly lower salary in return for the extra two years.
After all, he did say that was a big part of his motivation to move.
If StK are paying him at his glory-days level, and he in fact gets seriously hurt and isn’t even able to serve out his contract, it will indeed end up a huge loss for them.
But he doesn’t have to be a superstar again for it to be a good move for the Saints.

Think of the situation at Moorabin. They have almost no senior leadership.
2018 was a demonstration of what happens when a midfield is full of decent, but not great, talent with no true leader.
Thinking back to 2017, it’s clear that Riewoldt and Montagne were most important for their experience and leadership. Neither was lighting up the stat sheet, but the team was far better with them around.
So, thought of as a replacement for Montagne, Hannebery needs only to be noticeably good to have a positive impact at his new club.
If he gives them 4+ years of strong (even if not elite) play, and becomes a leader in the clubhouse, then this trade will be a great deal for all involved.

Why the Dan Hannebery deal was good business

Sure, you can switch clubs.
How much have you invested in your club? What will you do with all those shirts and keyrings?
Ask yourself what it means to support a club. Are you only happy with them if they win?
If that’s what it’s about, then you’ll almost always be disappointed.
Someone does win every year.
You could just make them your favourite team… until they lose.

My son and I were watching a hockey game once, and our team was losing.
My son, who was about age five, said, “I wish we were cheering for that other team.”
How interesting.
No one has to support a particular club. We choose one.
And since we choose a team to support before the contest, our chosen club might not win.
But isn’t that sort of the essence of being a fan?
Now, granted, I think my son was really trying to say that he wished our team was winning.
But sometimes the words of a little kid can lead to some deep pondering.
And I have concluded that the satisfying passion of fandom comes from having a lifelong, favourite team.

Is supporter loyalty a lost commodity today?

The Saints would be fools to let go of pick 3 this year.
The quality at the top of the draft is just too good.
Granted, potential doesn’t always pan out, but bringing in talent through the draft is a crucial part of rebuilding at the cash-strapped, less-glamorous clubs like StK.
And Hannebury will never get back to his glory days.
He’ll be fine, but not the superstar he once was.
So he’s not worth losing the chance to draft a future Brownlow or Coleman winner.

Sydney are set to turn Dan Hannebery's departure into a big win

It’s not quite true that the AFL is, should, or could try to give every club an “equal chance” to win a flag. That’s neither desirable or possible.
But it is true that if they don’t find a way to bring some measure of competitive balance to the competition, fans will leave.
Clubs used to have a lot more control over players during the first stretch of their careers.
I think a player couldn’t leave their first club for something like eight years (someone correct me, if that’s wrong).
So young stars had to put in a good long time at their first club before they could go seeking the big money and premierships at a better club.
As it is, the weak clubs get the high draft picks, but those players either don’t develop into stars, or they do turn out to be great, and then they just leave.
Ergo, the struggling clubs just continue to struggle.
That gets boring.

AFL free agency is totally unfair

Great article, Josh.
For the most part, StK need to be patient at this point.

What are their biggest hurdles…
1. They have no players to trade.
They have only a few good players who would really be valuable to other clubs. They wouldn’t gain anything by trading them, which is true for most bottom-six clubs.
2. They have no money.
Paying huge salaries to keep/attract good players with money they did not have is reportedly what got them into the mess they’re in. They could not afford to keep paying Dal Santo, McEvoy, or Goddard so they had to let them go. Being still greatly in debt, they cannot offer enough to get a first-rate player.
3. No good players want to go there.
Seems like a few clubs can get good players without even trying. Star players don’t even wait for an offer from Hawthorn, Geelong, and Sydney. (Honestly, if Lynch goes to Hawthorn, I might not watch next year.) But I’ve never heard a household-name sort of player say he wants to get to StK.

So what now?
They need to do better in the draft.
History proves this.

From ’98 to ’05, they brought in these players through the draft:
Hayes, Baker, Blake, Milne, Riewoldt, Kosi, Ball, Dal Santo, Montagna, Goddard, and Fisher.

Just think of the quality in that group – that’s pretty incredible.
Everyone of those guys played in the ’09 GF.
That’s how you build a great list at a club like St. Kilda.

They have not done so well at the draft this decade.
But if they start making better choices, and develop them a little better, they can get back to where they were.

Scattergun signings and 'safe bet' drafting will get St Kilda nowhere

Yeah, he and Huddo are great.

Ranking the best AFL commentators

Yeah, I know Peter; that’s because you’re a Pies fan.
You’d be a disappointment to the black and white to say otherwise. 😉

Is winning a premiership really what matters?

Huddo is the best.
He adds five levels of excitement to every game he commentates.

Ranking the best AFL commentators

There is absolutely more to sport than just winning.

It is far more satisfying to lose a very evenly-matched, well-played Grand Final by one point, than to, say, win a Premiership because an umpire makes a terrible call in the dying seconds of the match.
Likewise, I’m always a little disappointed when great players miss a match due to injury, even if that allows my preferred side to win.

Losing is usually a result of poor play, and that is really what stings.
When a side plays poorly, they have fallen short, even if they win.

Winning needs substance and a sense of accomplishment.
When a side plays well, they have accomplished something, even if they lose.

Is winning a premiership really what matters?

Yeah, it was just way too late.
Can’t have that.
Brownie seems a decent fellow, but that was a poor decision.

Brown to go for late bump

I suppose you’re right if the idea is to make the draft a bigger deal to existing fans.

It’s true that ESPN, sports radio, and sports publications are consumed with NFL coverage surrounding the draft.
So it is a huge deal to the sports industry.
But I think that is mostly because the NFL is the most popular league in the US.

I guess I thought the idea was to use the draft as a vehicle to increase the popularity of a sport.
I’ve never heard anyone say something like, “I don’t watch much football, but I always watch the draft.”
The Super Bowl and the World Series, are examples of that.
Huge numbers of casual fans and otherwise uninterested people tune in to those events.
So the NFL and MLB need to consider how to use them to increase overall popularity.

But I can see that the AFL would want more footy fans to follow the draft more closely.

Live trading offers AFL clubs a nifty new loophole to exploit

Sorry to let you down, but the NFL draft is not that big of a deal.
Only serious fans follow it, which is true for every sport.
Maybe you’re imagining everyone in the whole country tuning in with anxious jitters to see just who will be drafted.
But that’s not the case.
Most people just read about it later or pay no attention at all until the next season starts.

Live trading offers AFL clubs a nifty new loophole to exploit

Yeah, soccer has become almost unwatchable because of all the diving and whining.

If the Gaff incident doesn’t change the AFL’s attitude, nothing will

Be careful, people.
It’s one thing to try to get rid of punches, which are not at all part of the game.
But if you start trying to force the game to be played a certain way through an ever-growing rule book, the game will be ruined.

Tagging is a completely legit tactic.
There’s nothing illegal or unsporting about it.
Yes, it makes it difficult for the one being tagged to get the ball.
And, yes, if the tagger is engaging in illegal actions (like obstruction and holding), he should be penalised.

But so often we’ve seen a completely legal tactic become popular, then be banned or regulated, mostly because it’s too effective.
That’s not a good reason to ban something.
If a particular tactic is both legal and effective, then just deal with it.
Overcome it.

It’s very rare to find a tactic in sports that is all reward with no risk.
In those rare cases, it is identified very early on and banned.
Parking a player in front of the goal in soccer is a good example.
There’s really no risk, and every team would do it, if allowed.
Thus, the off-sides rule has been in place for a long time.

Tagging has risk.
The tagger is rendered nearly useless as a ball-user, and generally gets run into the ground trying to stay with his man.
The reward is he might limit his opponent’s impact.
As long as there is a risk, let a player or team try to earn the reward.
Let their opponents find a way make them regret it.

If the Gaff incident doesn’t change the AFL’s attitude, nothing will

The problem with deliberate rushed behinds has always been trying to sort out a player’s intent (same as deliberate out-of-bounds).
So I say any time the ball goes through the goal or the behind space when last touched by a defender, then it’s worth two points.
That simple.
The only thing that would ever need to be debated is whether the ball was touched before going through, but that is already a part of the game.

The evolution of the AFL kicking game

Is wining a flag the only definition of success?

StK fielded very good sides for about 6 seasons in a row, mostly on the success of draft picks.
Hayes, Blake, Milne, Riewoldt, Kosi, Ball, Dal Santo, Montagna, Goddard, Fisher… that’s quite a list of really good players all taken in the draft.
That’s the sort of draft success that makes everyone so hopeful the draft will help turn everything around.
And if two of those were priority picks, that’s still twenty percent.
I’d say the priority pick system, and the draft in general, really worked for them.

However, the fact is very few first round picks actually end up becoming bone fide stars, and if so, usually not at the club that first drafted them.
It seems the draft actually has a pretty poor record of significantly improving a clubs fortunes.
Especially if already-developed talent has been traded away for picks.

Exclusive unpublished material: How priority picks made tanking, rebuilding and improving AFL lists a whole lot murkier

Probably the best argument for taking the mature-age rookies seriously is the failure rate of players taken in the national draft.

It’s true that most of the best players in the game were taken in the first round of the national draft.
That’s not surprising.
What is always surprising to me is to look back through the first round picks of the past decade.
Hardly any of the names are recognisable. Maybe ten percent.

What is supposed to be the spigot of talent for AFL clubs is really just a high-risk hedge fund.
So much value is given to high draft picks, yet very few of them end up giving much ROI.
The best older players of the state leagues would be a much safer bet.

In fact there’s a lot of the same talent in the AFL already, not just the state leagues.
I think AFL lists are flush with 23-yr-olds who are not stars, but are solid, consistent players who contribute every week.
Imagine if a club traded all it’s draft picks one year for that type of player?
Everyone would laugh because it seems folly to trade a, say, No.12 draft pick for a 50-100-gamer who is not a household name and was a second round pick when he was 18.
But if that player knows what he’s doing, has not been injured much, and has the potential for improvement, then it’s actually worth more than the draft pick.

I remember I was disappointed when StK gave up their No. 5 pick for Jake Carlisle.
After all, Carlisle was picked 24th in 2009.
But, in reality, it was a good idea. He is already a very high caliber player.
Whoever that lost draft pick might have been, he might never have developed or have left by now.

Why the AFL should focus more on mature-age recruits

According to the fan survey, there’s a lot of support for a team in Tassie.
Might the Suns be a candidate to fill that spot?
Let all of Queensland get behind the Lions and give the Suns a new start.

Can the Suns shine between a rock and a hard place?