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TomC

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Joined July 2011

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This one’s a coinflip for me. I think the Demons are playing great footy but haven’t been effective all the time even as they won their first two finals. The Eagles probably haven’t looked as good but still managed to beat Collingwood.

I think there’s a chance Melbourne blow it open and hold the Eagles off. But if it’s close I’d probably back West Coast at home with the extra rest, and a bit more finals experience.

But at this stage I don’t know which of those scenarios I think is more likely.

Melbourne will beat West Coast, and this is why

That’s not true, but even if it was true, it would still be beside the point.

There’s only one comment that makes any comparison at all between the two sports.

This article is based on nothing.

The smaller NRL crowds confirm the AFL is the superior code? Rubbish!

“Fans wanted more pre-game entertainment, more in-game entertainment and more at halftime.”

This is the line from O’Rourke’s interview that I’m most curious about, apparently paraphrasing the A-league’s end of season review.

None of the fans I know want this, but then we’re not representative of A-league fans generally. It’d be great to know more specifically who is saying this, and what they mean by additional entertainment.

O’Rourke has interpreted this rather directly to mean the additional entertainment options at the Big Bash. Possibly the fans he’s referring to meant something else.

Music during play at A-League games is the FFA's worst idea yet

Clarkson has done a good job this year getting the best out of young role players. Normally I’d be sceptical about whether that could translate into long term success, but the most long term successful clubs going around right now all seem to be doing the same thing – Geelong and Sydney have had similar results for years and Richmond arguably owe their current success to their depth of contributors.

Of course, it might just be that the compromised drafts have weakened the talent pool so it’s harder to assemble the sort of dominant teams that were standard from 2000 to 2015. Then again, it might be that the introduction of two new teams and free agency have permanently changed the nature of successful teams.

It’ll be interesting in five years time to look back at Hawthorn, Geelong and Sydney and evaluate their strategy in hindsight.

The Hawks and Giants will be better in 2019 for their 2018 performances

No one in that Fox Sports link states that the crowd disparity proves the afl is a better code.

The smaller NRL crowds confirm the AFL is the superior code? Rubbish!

That’s a good point about out on the full. It’s already slightly easier to clear from a behind than OOF, but this pushes it even further.

This might also require a tougher crackdown on deliberate rushed behinds, which still have different standards to out of bounds. Rule changes beget more rule changes.

AFL rule changes are coming: The good, the bad, the indifferent

If a behind is more of a penalty than it currently is, we’d want to incentivise goals less relative to behinds, not more.

AFL rule changes are coming: The good, the bad, the indifferent

Yeah, I’m not entirely serious about that. As you say, six points for a goal gets a certain relevance through its continual use. All rules in all sports are ultimately arbitrary, if you get down to it.

I do worry a bit though about how all the rule changes seem designed to encourage open, free flowing play which can often come at the expense of spectacular, game breaking play.

AFL rule changes are coming: The good, the bad, the indifferent

One thing about the 18m goalsquare is that it changes the relative values of goals and behinds. If it’s harder for the attacking team to hold the ball in the forwardline after a behind, presumably they’ll be more likely to try and set up a teammate in a better position than attempt low percentage shots.

It would be a subtle effect, but it’s worth thinking about. You’d hate to create a situation where Dustin Martin felt he had to try and square the ball instead of attempting that spectacular shot from the boundary last weekend.

So here’s my crazy idea: by all means extend the goalsquare, but at the same time actually change the relative value of goals and behinds; five points for a goal, one for a behind. Let’s encourage a shoot-on-sight mentality.

After all, six points for a goal was always an arbitrary number. Pretty much the only rule left that hasn’t been amended in some way.

AFL rule changes are coming: The good, the bad, the indifferent

I’d just be guessing, but that could happen if Hanneberry’s contract was back loaded.

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

The one piece of relevant analysis is the ‘perfectly balanced ledger’ on FA movements.

I’m going to call this out as a blatant falsehood. You tell me which FA moved to a lower ranked club that ‘perfectly balances’ Lynch’s move to Richmond.

Is the Lynch saga the fault of free agency?

You know very well my argument isn’t ‘free agency is a factor because free agency exists’. It’s that Richmond would have to make real sacrifices to get Lynch without FA, and with FA they don’t.

You’re not misrepresenting me. You’re just inventing stuff.

The bulk of your reply seems to be trying to distinguish the commentary around FA with FA itself. But your contention is that FA isn’t at fault for this particular player movement. If you feel your analysis is based on the commentary, then it’s simply that your analysis doesn’t support your contention.

At the very least, FA exacerbates inequalities, whatever the commentary says. You disagree, explain why. But you have so far been focused entirely on irrelevancies and logical fallacies.

Is the Lynch saga the fault of free agency?

I think your argument boils down to free agency not causing Lynch’s move to Richmond, because Richmond’s culture of success is causing the move.

So I would certainly agree that we have different processes of thinking. I believe that effects can have multiple causes, for example, something you appear not to believe.

The basis for my post was that free agency and trading are fundamentally different and require different things of the destination club, so it is rather hard to understand how you felt I was using those two things interchangeably.

‘Agree to disagree’ is a comfortable cliché trotted out by people having difficulty supporting their argument. I do not agree to disagree. If you’re confident in your argument, spell it out instead of misreading the responses.

Is the Lynch saga the fault of free agency?

Yes, the fact that players are willing to receive below market value to play at a successful club undermines the salary cap. To some extent we can all accept that the salary cap is not a perfect instrument for this and other reasons.

Free agency makes it much easier for players who value success much more highly than their salary to move to clubs who are successful, and shifts the cost-benefit balance for existing players at successful clubs towards sacrificing money to allow their club to get more free agents.

In that specific sense, free agency doesn’t create a new problem. It exacerbates an existing problem.

Is the Lynch saga the fault of free agency?

This reply doesn’t appear to address anything in my post, so it’s possible it was intended for another post. I’ll press on regardless.

Linking the duration of service before free agency to the average AFL career seems pretty arbitrary to me. No club drafts a player expecting that player will only last six years on their list, and certainly not when they invest an early pick like the Suns did with Lynch.

If we’re going to have free agency, then I guess we need some sort of arbitrary cut off. Fine. But creating an arbitrary cut off doesn’t give the sort of natural justification to the concept of free agency that you seem to think it does.

This is all somewhat beside the point anyway. I’ve explained why Lynch’s move to the Tigers would very much be the fault of free agency, and you don’t appear able to refute that.

The upshot is that it’s now harder for struggling teams to keep their list together, and easier for successful teams to stay near the top. Instead of pretending that’s not the case, we should be talking about how we can bolster equalisation instead of letting it erode.

Is the Lynch saga the fault of free agency?

There just isn’t a connection between the analysis in the article and the conclusion.

Without free agency, Richmond would be required to find something appropriate to trade the Suns, which would likely be something in the order of two top ten draft picks.

The only way they could acquire those would be by trading quality players currently on their list, which they would probably not be inclined to do. Therefore Lynch’s prospective move to the Tigers is clearly heavily influenced by free agency.

By all means, clubs like Richmond are entitled to benefit from the success of their practices and strategies. But equalisation is supposed to limit the extent to which that can be extended into long term dominance. Free agency undermines those limits.

Is the Lynch saga the fault of free agency?

It seems unlikely to me that after a full season of footy there would be many players who wouldn’t benefit from a week off.

If the AFL wants to keep the pre-finals bye, it has to make more of it

Maybe the mental aspect of missing a week affects different people differently, but everyone will always be physically more capable of performing better after a week’s rest. Less fatigued, more time to recover from injuries.

There might be factors working both ways, but like I said, the factors improving performance seem much more solid.

If the AFL wants to keep the pre-finals bye, it has to make more of it

It’s possible. When it’s your team involved it adds a certain emotional element.

But actually I tend to watch more hours of footy when my team is doing badly, strangely enough. I get more out of watching games as a neutral when I have lower expectations for my own team. If Brisbane get back to finals and the bye is still going, I doubt I’ll feel the need for more footy-related entertainment during the week off than I do now.

If the AFL wants to keep the pre-finals bye, it has to make more of it

I’m not sure if we can translate our own experiences at lower levels to the AFL, but to be fair there have been a few people closer to the elite making similar observations about losing touch. It’s unlikely anyone is losing fitness.

To be honest though it seems like a bit of a modern invention. I remember watching the Lions in 1999 grind their way through a bruising semi final against the Bulldogs before being beaten up in a one sided preliminary final by a fresh North Melbourne, having looked the equal of that team all season. It seems like the links between a week off and superior performance are much more direct and compelling than the reverse.

If the AFL wants to keep the pre-finals bye, it has to make more of it

I’m not sure if there’s supposed to be a real message underneath the sarcasm, but I think maybe it’s all a bit too subtle.

Homesick? Suck it up, be a man, and blame someone else instead

The missing part of the article is the impact the pre-finals bye has on the quality of the finals itself, and that’s almost as important as getting the right premiership result.

At the most basic level players get more time to recover from injury and be available for more games – particularly relevant for some finalists this year – and all players should be capable of running and tackling harder as a result of that little bit of extra rest.

At a personal level, I quite like the bye. I know the logic of keeping fans constantly engaged, but I work in the opposite way. Breaking out of something from time to time maintains my long term interest in it.

Honestly I find the last few weeks of the H&A season a bit of a slog, and I’m glad for the break. I’m looking forward to the finals more now that I was a week ago.

Everyone’s different, and obviously some find the pre-finals bye quite tedious. Still, no one gets any less football, and we all get slightly better football. Maybe the AFL needs to find something to fill the gap, but even if they don’t, I think we’re better off than we were.

If the AFL wants to keep the pre-finals bye, it has to make more of it

Super player.

Jaidyn Stephenson wins Collingwood's first ever Rising Star award

Yes.

Yes I have.

Lachie Neale, or a Lion King? Either way, Brisbane wins

I don’t know much about the draftees, but from descriptions the King twins sound fairly similar to Eric Hipwood. A key forward doesn’t seem as pressing an area of need as the midfield for the Lions, but Josh makes a good point that if Brisbane don’t get a highly rated full forward now they might be relying on those currently on their list. I’m actually fairly comfortable with that but it’s still a risk.

But getting Lachie Neale – if he really is available – is a far greater priority in my opinion. He would fundamentally change the composition of the midfield, reducing the reliance on Zorko and Beams, and allowing younger players like McCluggage, Berry and Rayner the chance to spend more time in other parts of the ground.

I’d happily offer the Dockers picks 5 and 22 for Neale, or whatever they are after FAs and priority picks. I’d be surprised if that got it done, in fact. I would prefer that over waiting a year for Neale to become a free agent; a lot can change in a year.

On Braydon Preuss, while I’d see him as an upgrade on McInerney, I don’t think he’d be enough of one to justify coughing up pick 22.

Lachie Neale, or a Lion King? Either way, Brisbane wins