The Roar
The Roar

Gordon P Smith

Roar Guru

Joined February 2017







I'm a Yank who stays up Friday and Saturday nights from February through September to get my fix o'footy.



In the interest of full disclosure, the “fan consensus” comes from the two tipping contests I use that display how many folks have picked each team – and – and just average the two of them. In the closest example above, Geelong was favored by 67% in one contest, and by 47% in the other (Brisbane was favored by the other 53%); hence, they were listed here as 57%.

AFLW Round 2 at a glance

It also points towards the difficulty of defining the team’s defenders by opposition scoring and the team’s forwards by their own scoring. As others have pointed out, there’s much more that goes into those evaluations, even before getting into the idiosyncracies of the age of a list, injuries, a team’s structure on off/def, and so forth.

Champion Data have released their 2020 list rankings and we have many, many questions

I’m going to “defend” Champion Data a wee bit. Just for contrast… . . . Their week-to-week stuff has always seemed to be relatively accurate, at least in ranking players on their relative performances in each round. (If anyone can make something useful out of “metres gained”, though, I’d love to hear it.) But the fact that all that’s released here are these vague over-arching categories of the three regions in relative rankings only, combined in an undescribed manner, tells me they knew they had nothing concrete to share and simply released this for a conversation starter. . . . . I went back and compared last year’s “predictive rankings” with reality and your collective memories were spot on – they were no more accurate than XI’s randomized forecasts are: Melbourne 1st, Adelaide 2nd; Brisbane 10th, West Coast 11th. So ignore the results this year, too, but don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. This use of their data is worth the value of Donald Trump’s makeup, but the in-season data they produce does occasionally have its uses.

Champion Data have released their 2020 list rankings and we have many, many questions

The issue nobody seems to have brought up is the motivation for the league office to cram so many new clubs in as quickly as they have: the pressure from the individual clubs to each get their own AFLW team, for a host of reasons. It may not be directly profitable yet, but indirectly their demonstration of gender equality and all the great press they’ve seen happening with the “original eight” teams has reinforced their original desires to host a women’s club in the AFLW (I believe at least all fourteen of these teams applied for clubs in the original creation of the league)…. . . . So the league was in a position of trying to keep its constituent clubs happy, and in the end Gil et al rule at the pleasure of the eighteen AFL footy clubs… . . . Was it the best decision for the health of the game on the field? Probably not – the US has a long history of failed leagues whose death was brought about by too rapid, too rabid expansion. (Look up the early 1990’s CFL “American Invasion” for an amazing tale of expansion, collapse, and resurrection.) But the AFLW will survive it, and by definition it can’t expand too much more as currently constructed! We’ll have some more of these routs this season, probably tapering into the next, but like the GWS men’s team’s ascension into the title game, these new clubs will eventually improve to viability. (North and Geelong’s histories say it’ll be sooner rather than later, too.). – – – – *Here’s praying that this Gold Coast club follows those examples, rather than their male counterparts on the Q coast… and maybe even gives their men’s team their own example to emulate.

Expansion sides winless in AFLW round one

Let me see if I can bring the conversation back around to footy… . . .

Glad the article opened the debate on close, not-particularly-well-played-but-very-even games without delving too far into the land of “women can’t play as well as men”. Obviously that wasn’t the point. I’d much rather watch two evenly matched teams who’ll most likely end up at the bottom of the division ladder than watch Adelaide or the Kangaroos absolutely destroy either one of them. When the only highlight anyone remembers from the GF of the AFLW’s best-played season yet is Erin Phillip’s injury, that’s not a very interesting game. But while there weren’t many highlights of great play in this game either, there was tension that didn’t exist in that Crows/Blues decimation…. . . .

If we couldn’t tolerate poor play under any circumstances, why would anyone watch footy at ANY level lower than finals-bound AFL clubs? (I know, that’s basically true with the U10s and such. Those are training games more than they’re entertainment.) Anyway, thanks for thinking about the subject (to those of you who thought about it rather than knee-jerk a reaction, a group blessedly small in number on The Roar).

The best worst game ever

To all y’all comparing home schedules: if everyone’s playing essentially the home schedule they played last season (and several before that). don’t adjust your predictions from last year’s results to account for any supposed home field advantages. Just a thought.

My predictions for the 2020 AFL season

Selfishly, I’m ecstatic that we’ve kept this magical event in the afternoon, riather than later in the day, because living in the Mountain Time Zone in the United States, sixteen hours behind Melbourne, the first bounce will take place at 10:30 pm Friday night. Staying awake to watch the entire game is very doable, even for me. Listening to the 7:30 pm kickoff games is more difficult when I have to stay up ’til 3:30 am just for the opening bounce. (Or I wake up at three and miss everything ahead of the game.) So thanks, AFL, whether we were any consideration out here in the Western Hemisphere or not!

AFL grand final full day schedule, entertainment guide 2019: Richmond Tigers vs GWS Giants

A completely different topic than the admittedly-wide ranging article, although I thought about touching on that, too. (Geelong was completely shafted this season. I was furious about that QF!) The idea that the GF absolutely HAS to be played at the ‘G every single year is would be palatable if it weren’t the home stadium of one or more teams. (Still not good, though.) In my home state of Idaho, we have a population imbalance that matches the footy-loving population of Australia – over half the AFL teams are based in or around Melbourne, with four teams to the east and four more to the west. Here. the capital city of Boise fills the Melbourne role. … For many of the sports or conferences or rotating festivals in our state, Idaho organizations invariably do this – YEAR ONE: Boise. YEAR TWO: Northwards. YEAR THREE: Boise area again. YEAR FOUR: Eastwards (Idaho is shaped like an L). YEAR FIVE: repeat. It seems like a rotation where in every ODD year (i.e.. 2019, for ex), the MCG could be the host site (or include Marvel in the rotation if you’d like). In EVEN years, we can rotate Adelaide/Perth on one even year, and Queensland/Sydney/Canberra/Tasmania on the “other” even year. Yeah, there are stadium size issues, hotel issues, all that sort of things. It’s a thought. And when the issue becomes important enough to do something about it, we can start this conversation in earnest.

No sixth seed has ever won the grand final. Can GWS buck the trend?

Absolutely – Mason Cox is my spirit animal and the reason I went from disliking the Pies to becoming a Collingwood fan! (And if you doubt that his sense of humor matches mine, read his Twitter feed sometime!) He’s also the ONLY proof that us Yankees can conceivably play REAL football at a professional level. Meanwhile, will the last kicker out the Australian door headed to the US to punt in the American version of the game (college or pro) please close the door on your way out… It’s a fascinating imbalance.

No sixth seed has ever won the grand final. Can GWS buck the trend?

“Seed” isn’t the exact right word, I know – I just get tired of using the same terms over and over! And frankly, I think it’s because they’ve stopped trying to BE a Ferrari and started working on being more of a workman’s vehicle that got them here. But you’re right that there are significant differences between how this team’s assembled and how it functions, compared to the Bulldogs circumstances.

No sixth seed has ever won the grand final. Can GWS buck the trend?

It’s been the apparent cause of rust in several cases, AA. It’s cured the issue it was put in for – R23 “Dockering” – and given the AFL the chance to party for a week in between, but the second week off for QF winners has done them no favors over the last four seasons. I don’t know which is worse. At least coaches can plan for this and make some accommodations, though I’m sure Buckley tried. All I know is that I’ve tipped against the Giants thrice and been wrong thrice, just like I was with the Dogs three years ago. Not sure if I’m taking the 11-game-winner season favorites or the fairy tale that keeps writing itself in toughness next Saturday.

Giant result: GWS into grand final after beating Collingwood in a preliminary final thriller

The whole article has tongue slightly in cheek, so I’m not overly concerned about matching up the rest of the schedule – of course we’re not really going to flip a home game arbitrarily.

But on that topic, does everybody who shares a stadium get more than eleven home games anyway? Richmond had games against Carlton, Collingwood, and Melbourne in the MCG – did they have 14 home games? Or were some of their actual home games really “neutral site” because their opponents were also MCG tenants? It’s always going to be slightly imbalanced and odd in an arrangement when there’s more than one and fewer than 18 stadiums in use.

The AFL's alternative scheduling in 2019 is a success

Absolutely agree. There isn’t a sport short of the round football that doesn’t just keep playing something vaguely resembling the sport itself – and a super over isn’t so taxing or drawn out that you couldn’t play a second one – or even a third or fourth – if necessary. (And the idea that you match run totals over fifty is wild enough, but the chances of another tied super over in our lifetimes at a CWC is next to nil, anyway.) Counting boundaries, wickets, singles, dot balls, any of those only reward teams who play a style of cricket that’s relevant to that particular stat. PLAY THE GAME. And keep playing until there’s a winner. [Having said all that – holy catfish, that was the most fun I’ve ever had watching cricket. Ever.]

World Cup final a game for the ages

Two? Some of us still think Al Gore rightfully won back in 2000 and will defend our right to say it to the death! 🙂

Final outrage valid, but also a veneer for the bitter

Daniel – great article. This American’s slowly coming around to a better understanding for and appreciation of cricket – forced into it by the delay in the footy season in ’15 with the World Cup in Australia. Have to admit that several of the games kept even me alert and amazed, the final most of all, of course. What are the chances of installing a better emergency tiebreak system (a second Super Over seems the most logical to me, but what do I know?) – knowing that the odds are it’ll never need to be used again?

The Roar's 2019 Cricket World Cup awards: Player of the tournament to biggest disappointment and everything in between

Surprised to see Carlton behind the Swans after defeating them handily.

2019 AFL power rankings: Round 17

Ironically, I would disagree with the “conservative, hysterical attitude towards gambling” as descriptive of America. What the US has is a hypocritical, bipolar attitude towards gambling – to delve deeper into it would take a full article that would best be classified under “black comedy”. The gambling industry is probably the second fastest growing industry in the States, behind pot dispensaries. (THERE’S a hypocritical topic – states can legalize pot, but it’ll still be illegal under federal law. How cocked up is that?) But the one thing that is consistent among all the different types of gambling – lotteries, casinos, machines in grocery stores, sports betting, whatever – is the idea that those running the game have the appearance of legitimacy. (Emphasis on “appearance”. Read the history of Las Vegas for details.) For anything that smacks of contamination of the “fairness” of the game, the punishment is going to be severe, at least in the sense of working within that business again. (And by the way, my personal aversion to gambling has nothing to do with my Christianity – the Bible is actually pro-gambling, especially in the OT – but rather with my background in mathematics and the subsequent knowledge that most gambling is simply a disguised tax on the mathematically uninformed. It’s why I enjoy sports wagering – it’s the one place to have a fair shot at winning over time.)

I'm astounded Jaidyn Stephenson will ever set foot on an AFL field again

OK, this is the only comment I need to address. The sentences “America is more open minded when it comes to Christians” (ignoring the insult) and “Australia has a more forgiving soul” are contradictory. You seem not to have any idea what actual Christian faith is, or you’d have realized that. Maybe your only exposure to what you think of as Christianity is televangelism. If you have an actual interest in finding out, let me know. If not, nothing I can do for you.

I'm astounded Jaidyn Stephenson will ever set foot on an AFL field again

(To clarify the last paragraph, I’d originally written that “as a Christian”, I’ve already forgiven him, but “even we Christians” chain up our dogs for safety. I know why the first phrase was edited out, but it made the second one seem out of place as written.)

I'm astounded Jaidyn Stephenson will ever set foot on an AFL field again

“It was yet another close contest between the Suns and the Saints, and once again the Suns were victorious.” — I’m curious whether this is a straight up typo (the SAINTS were victorious), or you mean the Suns SHOULD have won, or outplayed St Kilda or whatnot. It’s a strange partnership of teams, like the way Brisbane currently owns the Hawks. It’s hard to fathom how the Suns have lost any of those games, let alone ALL of them.

What happened? AFL Round 13, 2019

Agreed, Peter. When the famously Christian Gary Ablett spends part of every game chicken winging opponents, there’s something wrong with the culture of the game. We’ve been focusing so much on the behavior in the stands at games that it’s spilled onto the field – or perhaps it went the other way around in the first place…. I don’t like the idea of changing the game in such a fundamental way as sending players off the field for offenses, but you’re right: the quickest way to securing adherance to the appropriate code of behavior is a punishment that’s clear, consistent, and punitive to the player. Penalty boxes might be required.

Professional sports versus schoolyard games

PS – the more I look at the outs for Fremantle, the more I’m leaning towards Port winning this weekend. I’m not very confident about the Essendon pick, either.

18 facts for 18 teams: AFL by the numbers

Hard to take any AA team seriously that doesn’t include Patrick Cripps, no matter what the Carlton record is.

My All Australian side after Round 11

Since nobody else has called you on it – yes, you’re insane. Sydney can’t keep up with any of the top few teams this year for four quarters. No upset brewing there. (Having said that? Your usual excellent work, AD. Thanks.)

2019 AFL Power Rankings: Round 10

Is it too cliche to start my comment with “I am OUTRAGED at your article!”? (I’m not, I promise! You did your usual superb, erudite job!) Seriously, as an American who’s inundated with political outrage over the cheese-puff-in-chief we somehow allowed to assume the Oval office and the politics of outrage his people have embraced, it’s fascinating to read the very same issues affecting my friends on the opposite side of the globe. It either means that human beings are generally getting more “trigger-happy”, or the worldwide media connections are spreading the disease globally.

Outrage is ruining our game