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Cameron Palmer

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Joined July 2014

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A man of many aliases, MrTripleC the blogist of 'The 225 Days', Cam the podcast co-host of 'The Mike to Cam Show', Vick Six the hated owner of an NFL fantasy team and for The Roar, simply Cameron Palmer. Passionate for AFL football, I have coached, umpired and written about footy for over 10 years. Co-host the "Mike to Cam Show" a five day a week podcast looking at the world of AFL.

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I was not planning on responding to my piece posted last night, but the overwhelming response today means I am compelled to address some of the key talking points that have come from the day.

Firstly, whether you agree or disagree with my story, I do thank all for taking the time to read and respond. It is what makes The Roar a great place to write. (I may be done with footy, but will try my hand at baseball, basketball and a couple of other sports that personally I have not seen the same fan backlash as I have seen in AFL. I love to write and I love sport. Those two passions remain)

To Patrick, thanks for the support and for keeping “the crowd” in check. I appreciate the support that you and your team provide.

BUT in reality, all those comments that Patrick has spoken to and has likely edited out, are the very quotes that reiterate my point of view. AFL fans have a problem and do not recognise that they have one. I am calling out for AFL crowds and fans to be better and have been bombarded by the same vitriol that I have personally witnessed over and over at AFL games. To all those who have targeted me personally or with venom; thanks for proving my point.

Taking out the vitriol though, some great points have been raised and I have had some compelling challenges placed on my views, to address some of the key challenges:

Some criticism has been levelled at me for generalising and targeting all fans the same. I appreciate that point of view. This was done by design though. I want all fans that attend a game to see themselves as one, because they are one crowd. If real change is to occur fans need to own the fact that they are a part of something that is broken and needs fixing. To look inward and that inward look includes looking at just what behaviour fans that attend games accept as the norm.

Some criticism has been levelled at me for focusing on the negative of the game and fan behaviour. Some have highlighted positive experiences involving the Riewoldts, the Walshs and the Danihers as proof that AFL fans are great fans. To that, I say that these days have had to be manufactured to be celebrated. Rather then just getting respect and embracing the good, the AFL’s PR machine has manufactured these events. The fact is that these handful of games are the outliar. I would love for these games to be the accepted norm. But in 2015, they are not. A world where every game is celebrated for the good and admired for the positive is an AFL world I want to be a part of.

Some criticism has been levelled at me for not considering the history of fan violence and unsociable behaviour. Again, the points raised are correct. Fan behaviour has always been bad. As I did say, that is the problem, we have had generations of fans that accept negative behaviour as an accepted norm. We should be challenging ourselves not to be better, but to be the best. Just as umpires, administrators, players and coaches try to improve every week to be the best. Fans too should commit to wanting to be the best. To be a group that celebrate, encourage and support. Even if we don’t do this for ourselves, we should be doing it for future generations. Like the fight against alcohol abuse, it is going to take the courage of one generation to stand for something better and stop the cycle of poor fan behaviour.

Some criticism has been levelled at me by saying that all sports have this same atmosphere and these same issues. That may be correct. But it does not excuse unacceptable language or behaviour. I only know AFL crowds. I have only been driven away from AFL games by AFL fans. Maybe I am in for a lesson over the coming months that this issue is not just with AFL but is with sports in general. I hope not, but we will see. Bringing it back to the AFL though, the aim should not be to be considered the best of a bad bunch. It should be about breeding a next generation of fans that are simply the best. A generation that focus on the game, that admire the good of the game, that admire the spirit of the contest, that celebrate the stars of the game and that create a match day environment of positivity. That is what I hope for my kids and I hope that I can find a sport where they can cheer, admire and celebrate as opposed to abuse and accuse.

The point that keeps resonating with me the most today though is the people that have questioned whether me walking away achieves anything. I keep coming back to comments where people question and implore to act from within. I am torn. At first this piece was almost like a parting shot to the AFL to make them realise what was happening to fans of the game. In honesty, I did not expect to generate the discussion that this has. I thought I was only one man and who would really care about one man’s thoughts. Incredibly today I was contacted and I was offered tickets to an upcoming West Coast match.

Should I go? Should I go and challenge the accepted? Should I go and fight for what I believe is right?

Maybe the real question is whether AFL fans want to be challenged? Whether AFL fans want someone to fight for what they believe?

Adam Goodes got those answers the hard way.

Those answers were no. I expect my questions would be answered as no too.

Why I have given up on AFL

Don, appreciate your feedback and as another Freo man, your insight is as close to the mark as can be. I think if you look at the best teams now, they are setting up around the contest and behind the ball based off a Sandi ruck win, and that to me is where the predicability comes. Yes, Freo use Fyfe too much just like they previously used Mundy too much as a go to, BUT regardless of who it goes too, I think teams are well structured now to overcome Sandi’s dominance. Look you may be right and this team is good enough, but to me past history has shown you need to do something unpredictable on GF day and I think Sandi forward for a month now is the way to see if that is the one thing that can win a GF on the biggest day of the year.

Hey Ross, it's time to get unpredictable

Seriously, 0-4 and it is chance that hurts Lyon? What sane man would leave the biggest game of the year to chance? This article is not about predictability as a negative, it is asking the question of whether predictability can only take you so far. Ross Lyon’s teams have been the most predictable of the past decade and have so far not taken out the grandest prize in the sport. And again, I am not trying to say that Sandi is not a bad ruckman, he is a great ruckman. All I am saying is that his greatness really allows for a team to be able to plan for his tap and Fyfe getting the ball at ground level. I think people would be amazed at how much better Fyfe would become if teams were not anticipating him to get the ball at the clearance. Look at his work at clearances and he is amazing, but teams put all energy into stopping him. Imagine a world where a team was going into a ruck contest with a mindset of winning the tap, Fyfe either one, can shark it, or two potentially will receive with more space to move. Fyfe is great, he could be greater with a bit of unpredictability around stoppages.

We don’t live in a world where Lyon is a premiership coach. You can put hypothetical worlds up all you want. But Lyon is not a premiership coach and my personal belief is that he won’t be unless he adds a sense of unpredictability to his team. I think Sandi is that unpredictability and again this is what the article was meant to be.

Hey Ross, it's time to get unpredictable

Overrated that Lyon teams score 90 points across his career but 62 points on GF day? That is damming to me. In terms of unpredictability, it works on GF day. Watch that Brisbane-Collingwood GF and Brisbane were always trying to get goal side. It was that coaches intuition and Aka doing what was unpredictable for that game of being front and square that iced the game. Yes, while Hawthorn were clinical last year, Sydney did not predict or expect that complete fierceness that Hawthorn brought at the contest. Sydney were shell shocked as despite a week of planning, they did not see that physical domination coming. That was what made it unpredictable. Most Grand Final moments of the past 25 years have an element where unpredictable beat predictable.

This suggestion is not made off one game, it is made for one game. This is not about what happened against Richmond, it is about what may happen on Grand Final day. It is adding another element to the Fremantle game other than that predictable experience of ruck contest, Sandilands wins, Fyfe-Mundy-Neale win the ball.

Hey Ross, it's time to get unpredictable

Reuster I tend to agree about the defensive mindset on Grand Final day. As you say the second half of the 2010 draw is the best a Ross Lyon team side has played in a Grand Final and that was because they were unpredictable and played very different to their trendsetting best.

Hey Ross, it's time to get unpredictable

Balt, you clearly are more across Fremantle than what I am, but from my perspective here is how I see it. I think the reason Sandi does not dominate forward is because he is still cast as a ruckman resting forward so his mind, his coaches mind and the umpires mind are is he is a ruck. If though for a month he does not go in the ruck at all and trains and plays as a key forward I think that he both gets different treatment from the umpires and his positioning and forward play improves.

You are right on the ball movement but I would say that Freo in the first quarter of the season is different to the second quarter mainly because of injury. Again look at the way they have played the last six weeks and it should be scary for Freo fans that they are falling into the same old defensive habits of past failed seasons. You can only go with the personnel you have, but

As for Mundy and Hill; to me Mundy is a dominate clearance player but has battled at points of his career when he is not in the middle winning the ball. To me his best role is winning the ball and any change in his game would likely reduce his impact. As for Hill, his first quarter of the season was outstanding having more of that forward impact. Getting him more involved ahead of the contest is imperative to higher Fremantle scores.

Hey Ross, it's time to get unpredictable

Like that second last comment you make; and that to me is what this piece is all about. Not how good they are and how much they win in the premiership season, we all know that. But what they need to do to win a premiership. Something needs to change I believe and what I have highlighted here is what I think can work. If Fremantle do continue this same path, I do believe they miss a premiership that is very much in their grasp. Appreciate the response and feedback Jax.

Hey Ross, it's time to get unpredictable

Agree Steve J, the result in itself means nothing. BUT what does matter is that types of games like this West Coast lost last year. It is getting better in specific examples that can be the telling part of a pre-season as opposed to the result.

AFL ladder pool prediction (part III)

Thanks for the reply Milo.

Outside of the two month trough early last year, this is one of the best performed teams. A young core that is still improving. Think they are a lock top eight, and should be top six side. This is a different Richmond side. The past is the past.

AFL ladder pool prediction (part III)

Thanks for the reply mastermind,

Also consider that West Coast were competitive with the top teams. It may have only been pre-season but the ability to come from behind last week was an important sign in the clubs development. They were poor in the 50-50 games last year and if they can even become average in these games then top six is well within reach.

AFL ladder pool prediction (part III)

Thanks for the reply Andy,

Could not agree more. Model club. Everyone is striving to achieve what Hawthorn have. Amazing how quickly some ‘experts’ will right them off after one pre-season game hey.

AFL ladder pool prediction (part III)

Thanks for the reply Franko,

Agree to disagree. West Coast do not need much improvement to get to top six, and I think too much is made of players coming in making a massive improvement. West Coast’s improvement comes from being in the second year under Adam Simpson and having players that are more comfortable playing his style. Consider the relatively easy draw as well and for me West Coast are top six potential.

Not sold on Gold Coast or Brisbane, Brisbane do not have the right mix to be a finals contender and I think Gold Coast will need a year under Eade before making the next leap. Like West Coast last year in the mix, just on the outside under a new coach.

Richmond showed last year late that they have improved in the mental side of the game.

AFL ladder pool prediction (part III)

Thanks for the reply Balthazar,

You do make a valid point. The last month has not been as kind with Darling and Selwood falling behind schedule. However I think that for the most part West Coast are in better shape then other contending top eight, top six sides.

AFL ladder pool prediction (part III)

Even with the horror start to 2014 they have won 27 games in the past two years, that is an average of 13.5 wins. If they can get even get to 13 this year they will be a top six team. I think we are still captivated by the Richmond of seasons past, but as last year showed, this Tiger team is made of a stronger mental toughness then some previous Tiger sides of the last 30 years. I am happy to be all in on them this year.

AFL ladder pool prediction (part III)

To be honest Tom, this was the hardest one to do and why I left it to last. There is so much uncertainty with Essendon as has been the case for two years and that is sucky. As you say there are lots of potential stories but I really did not want to talk too much about players as it is so dependent on what sanctions may come from it.

Do appreciate that not the best seven stories, anyway on ward and upward with a new topic for this week.

Seven untold stories from Essendon in 2015

Hi Radelaide,
Thanks for taking the time to read and to comment.

Agree on the talk about Karl Amon, some very impressive signs there. Not sure about Jake Neade. My podcast co host Mike is very high on Neade, I am more on the other side, so will be watching his performance closely next year.

Really find the Ryder signing interesting. Given that Lobbe has been elevated to the leadership group they clearly think he is the number one. Therefore Ryder as a forward-ruck is something worth watching for Port if and when he gets on the field.

Seven untold stories from Port Adelaide in 2015

Hi TomC,

As always appreciate your response and feedback.

Again not sure what to make of Maric’s numbers because as you say 25 is not really dominant in the modern game. BUT, I am still a believer that when the numbers say something, they have to mean something. The winning record is too good to ignore.

Seven untold stories from Richmond in 2015

Hi Milo,

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond.

I am usually pretty good with the stats, but great pick up by you, Richmond did win the second semi final… replay. Did not realise until just then when doing extra research that the second semi was a draw before Richmond did win convincingly in the replay. Thanks for the pick up mate.

Like the point you make around ladder range 5-14. Such a hard season to predict, no confidence at all in making a ladder prediction even though I feel like I have read and researched more than any other year. Tough tough year and Richmond are going to be right in that mix.

And yep, it is a real shame that modern perceptions are so ancient in their theories. By god Richmond now stick to five year plans.

Seven untold stories from Richmond in 2015

Hi Don,

Thanks for taking the time to read and to reply, appreciate it.

Fair point you raise on the opposition runs. I went back and had a look at some of their second half games in closer detail and you are right that it wasn’t always a quick opposition run that did cost the Dockers victory. The bigger point was probably that the defence had lost a bit of that unscoreable aura about it. It seemed teams late in the year scored ‘easier’ goals then in 2013 when every score by the opposition seemed to be an effort. Injury no doubt played a part, but I am excited to see Lyon go about really refocusing that defence on what made them the league’s best.

I didn’t like grouping Morabito with Sylvia and tried to highlight the differences. Morabito was just very unlucky while Sylvia was all down to attitude. Either way as a Freo fan, I would be way more excited by the prospect of Weller and Blakely then Morabito going into this year and again that is the larger point. But again you cannot help but feel for Morabito and wish him the best if he can get back.

Seven untold stories from Fremantle in 2015

The playoff demise of the NFC is complete.

Dallas ‘screw’ Detroit
Green Bay ‘screw’ Dallas
Seattle ‘screw’ Green Bay
Seattle ‘screw’ Seattle

[VIDEO] 2015 Super Bowl highlights: New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks scores, blog

It is funny Andrew, because as they were lining up, I think they put Baldwin or Kearse in motion and had Lynch set up on the left side of Wilson which seemed an unusual start spot for him when they were at the 1. In that split second before they snapped, I thought, holy f, they are going to throw the ball here. My head almost exploded when they passed and it did explode when it got picked. If I can see that, then I reckon Bellicheck did know the pass was coming. Incredible game.

[VIDEO] 2015 Super Bowl highlights: New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks scores, blog

Couldn’t agree more.

Great call Andrew, and great blog! Doing a terrific job.

[VIDEO] 2015 Super Bowl highlights: New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks scores, blog

Haha, could be my Colt-bias wanted it to be over. The Championship D has been by the Pats in the last 10 mins. Great game.

[VIDEO] 2015 Super Bowl highlights: New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks scores, blog

Championship D coming at Championship moments.

[VIDEO] 2015 Super Bowl highlights: New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks scores, blog

I will call it. Seattle. One dynasty is overtaken by another.

15 minutes to decide an MVP.

Wilson? Lynch? Matthews? Wagner?

I love Wagner’s game personally.

[VIDEO] 2015 Super Bowl highlights: New England Patriots vs Seattle Seahawks scores, blog