An Open Letter To: AFL Club Match Committees

Every Monday night DT Talk’s regular GWS guru @RLGriffin85 steps up to the plate to articulate the thoughts of AFL Dream Team coaches everywhere. Be it pointing the finger of blame at Senior AFL Coaches, setting a fire below underperforming players or just throw away comments about how bad Zac ‘Lurch’ Dawson really is; there’s no topic he isn’t willing to write about! Who’s in his sights this week?

Dear AFL Club Match Committees,

I understand that it must be stressful selecting a team each week. As a coach you get the blame when the team doesn’t go well and no credit when they do. As an ex-player come assistant coach you knew how to play but you’re not positive how others will play. As a sports scientist you know the strategies that need executing but have to select the right players for the job. And as Mark Neeld you have to throw darts at a spinning wheel and just hope you don’t hit Lynden Dunn.

What I don’t understand is why you feel the need to lie about how things are going within your playing group. Maybe it was the sacking of Mark Harvey last year that scared you all into the Ryan Crowley foetal position, just begging for mercy and no longer do you want to admit to having injured or tired players. The last thing you want to do is admit to a legitimate reason to fail come finals time like Harvey did. I mean, the man had to call up players from the Pilbara AusKick division in round 24 just to field a team, only for the club to then use that as a valid excuse to drop him quicker than being on the wrong end of a Barry Hall right cross.

But the truth is: you’re not the only ones under stress. We the fans and members, you know, the ones who fork out all the money to keep all clubs afloat (exc. Port) by buying overpriced dry pies at matches, team scarves that malt quicker than Chris Judd’s hair and memberships that mean less to the CEO than television rights, we are coping it tough this season.

Firstly, we have to sit through twenty two minutes of cross promotional tabloid melodramatic garbage, commonly referred to as ‘Seven News’, just to find out who will be playing for our club each week. This insult is then followed up with Seven only showing us the teams for the games that they will be broadcasting, and condenses the team sheets into a ten second graphic. The whole thing lasts about as long as Relton Roberts’ AFL career and is just as useful.

After being left as unsatisfied as a Scott Cummings being served a side-salad for dinner, we then have to go onto the internet to find the team sheets; that golden list of the players who are most likely guaranteed to play this round. Finally we get to feel that great joy in seeing which of our favourite superstars, developing talents and budding rookies will be running out to the club song on the weekend. We love it! We love reading through the ins and outs, discussing how the hell Cale Morton got named again and from an AFL Dream Team perspective, love settling on our weekly line-up. Or at least we used to.

Here’s where we start to feel a little narky. After putting up with the late release of information, the poor execution of it, and the lack of affection shown to the fans (no I’m not describing the career of Paul Medhurst), 90 minutes from game time, long after we’ve brought tickets to go and watch the superstars of our sport live in action, you change teams on us faster than Ricky Nixon changes his statement!

Last week Fremantle decided to name Fyfe even though his shoulder was only being attached with a piece of chewing gum and a shoe lace. Sydney withdrew Mumford despite not seeing an infection in his back, when his vertebrae are at least foot apart. Even GWS and Hawthorn decided to name Coniglio and Brichall even though they were in different cities!? You can’t play football via satellite video conference calls! If you could then Dane Swan would be calling in from KFC every week, Greg Broughton could up-link from the bench and save himself the 90 second return trip to the back pocket and Sam Gilbert… actually, don’t let that boy anywhere near image capturing equipment. Ever!

The point is as an AFL Club you know these players aren’t going to play. You think that the deception is worthwhile to throw off your opponents match-ups. Well the fans are bloody sick of it. This week you had Hargrave, Rischitelli, Birchall, Cornes and Porplyzia all named to play, and again they were all late changes that were never going to play. Well if this keeps going I’d like to make a suggestion: Clubs might as well do the fans the dignity of just naming members of One Direction or winners of Australia’s Got Talent on the field. At least that way fans won’t be disappointed if they’re late withdrawals and don’t show up.

Either as a group you genuinely have no idea what your travel department are booking, club doctors are prescribing or players are betting on doing on Thursday afternoons, or, simply you falsify team sheets. If it’s the latter then I believe parliament needs a new Speaker of the House and I’m pretty sure that’s a prerequisite. Go find another job. We want answers. Stop the lies. Stop the changes. Stop the boats. Wait… I’m off track.

Simply, Aussie Rules is a game for the fans. The Clubs represent who were are and we are invested in them emotionally and financially. The AFL has sold our right to interact directly with Clubs on Thursday afternoons, killing the hype and excitement there used to be and you Match Committee’s are selling our faith that we can still trust you. Unlike an evaluation about the Collingwood handover plan with Mr McGuire, we can handle the truth. Please; no more false team sheets, no more late changes, just give it to us straight. If a player is injured – let us know. At least then we can send him flowers and a get well card.

Sincerely,

The Fans

PS. Apologies to Jack Anthony, Zac Dawson and Andrejs Everitt; I should have found somewhere in this letter to express how shocking it is that you’re getting named each week. Maybe next week… If you’re named.

94 Comments

  • First

  • What a cracker! I love reading these articles. You are a genius Griff!

    • And bigdawg you are a tool!

      • I concur

      • Somebody is jealous! Hahah bad luck mate, maybe try getting on a bit earlier next time

        • I bet the ladies love it when you come first…

        • Comment removed – admin

          • Just a question to the dt boys, this site is not age restricted and kids are allowed and encouraged to play at some schools. My kids play and have visited this site for advise. Should I block them from coming on here or are you going to show some class and start removing obscene comments like this that have increased markedly and ban the dirty mongrels writing it or you simply don’t mind?
            You are school teachers aren’t you? Maybe think about that…Also don’t bother with the excuse we don’t have time to monitor and control the site,that’s a cop out, just close the site then…..
            Yours sincerely
            A Parent.

          • Totally understand.

            While you might see it as a cop out, we have certain words blocked (well, replaced) for comments… it is near impossible to monitor comments. Like you said, we are school teachers which isn’t just a 9-5 job and doesn’t allow us a lot of time to monitor the site (hello a quick toasted sandwich now before my lunch duty).

            If you are concerned, you should probably block your kids, while we endevour to get rid of idiots that wreck this place for people who want quality DT discussion.

            bigdawg – you are on notice.

          • Here here. Well done Warnie and Ravelle27. The less users like bigdawg, the better the site.

          • Get over it. It’s comments made in jest. It’s funy. It keeps it interesting as well. Ravelle if you are concerned – block your kids. They’re going to be talking like this at one stage anyway. Whether you like it or not. It’s not admins responsibility to moniter what people say. It’s a democratic society of free speech.

            Live and learn.

          • Thanks Warney,
            understand the issues you face monitoring the site and appreciate the effort you do put in. I addressed my post to you guys but if my anger caused it to sound a little rude and ungrateful I do certainly apologise for that. It is unfortunate that a great site will have to be blocked from my kids but that’s where the net is at these days.

            Blair
            Thanks for understanding my point mate.

            Cleko or whatever your name is…..
            you mate need to live and learn, that’s only freedom of speech at the gutter level. Now you may happily occupy that space, my young children do not and will not for as long as I can protect them from it,that’s a parents duty. Let’s just hope judging from your reply to me that you don’t have kids as you have no clue obviously. Grow up buddy.

  • Give it to them RL G

    I can see next weeks letter

    Dear MRP

    You have been charged with reckless conduct for once again giving Joel Selwood the sympathy vote and letting him off for striking a player………..its has been deemed low contact (for unfairness)…………..and low impact (because you are lightweights)………………

  • Incredible article, amazing writing skills Griff!

    Get him a job at a newspaper or magazine, someone!

  • In a long list of great comparisons, Scotty Cummings beats Relton Roberts by a lettuce leaf!

    Great work Griff… a quality read, and then some.

  • love it.

  • Great article.

    Just a suggestion: Match Review Panel consistency as the topic next week?

    I’m fed up about how Goodes, Walker and Thomas could all be reported for the same type of incident but get different results. Same goes with Raines, Selwood, Scarlett and Lake for their striking incidents.

    • Seriously though, Selwoods was though he was trying to shoo a fly off of Raines throat……..love tap at most. (just watched it again on MRP video).

  • Gee what a cracker!
    “About as useful as Relton Roberts career” and “Throw a dart and hope you don’t hit Lynden Dunn.” My two favorite comparisons among plenty of others. Great read and look forwards to next weeks!!

  • I still haven’t seen Selwoods incident but as an owner and respecter I still can’t beleive he got off.

    Calvins captains will simply be who is against Raines the next 3 weeks. Suck it Raines.

    • This is the footage of the incident http://youtu.be/dsgoCjzo2l8
      I don’t get how Selwood struck first (both of them were aiming for the jaw) yet Selwood gets nothing and Raines gets 3 (1 with early plea but still….)

      • Great article Griff cheers mate.

      • If u watch it, Raines actually give Selwood a bit of a shove to upper body 1st, Selwood response with a soft slap and Raines gives him a whack.
        The difference is the strength of the impact. 1st time i have had a good look at it tonight and don’t really think it’s as bad as people have made out.
        And do we really want players getting rubbed out for minor incidents…….I don’t.
        To be honest i was more surprised by Montagna getting 2 weeks for what seems like a scuffle and them both falling to the ground………surely he will challenge it.

      • The impact to Selwood was him throwing his head back into the ground so bloody hard, he knocks himself out. He will do anything to get a free, ducking and shrugging tackles up high but this surely has gone to far.

  • Well done mate! Very funny!

  • Hey guys,

    A mate of mine is doing an essay on Footy Records and what determines whether football goers purchase them or not and why. He has got official info about how much they sell etc. but thought it would be a good idea to get first hand information from the fans of the game as well. I suggested he post it here where arguably the most passionate fans congregate. The (short and multi-choiced) survey is below for those that are willing to answer it. Cheers

    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9RZVKLR

    PS. Great article RLGriffin, enjoyed last weeks one as well and looking forward to your work!

  • Great stuff, really well written!

    N.b Your comment on DT-STATS re: Jack Anthony may as well use his sub vest for when he’s collecting trolleys for Coles was a classic!!! It does look bad for him….even Wallsy agrees. (-;

  • ” the ones who fork out all the money to keep all clubs afloat (exc. Port)”

    36,627 – the current number of Port members
    Does every club have 36k+ members?

    If you double our attendance figures (like vic clubs vs vic teams get to do) our 40-50k a game is fine.

    Sick of the Port bashing!
    Couldn’t read past that.

    • Apologies if you took offence. Although from a financial view point, port do actual need outside funding at the moment, it was a toss up between port, north and melbourne. Apologies also to dunn, cummings, roberts, seven news, anthony, crowley, hall, judd’s hair, morton, nixon, medhurst, gilbert, mcguire and everitt. Not to dawson.

      • surely you need to remove the apology to anthony.. he is a world class spud

      • Hahaha, touched a nerve i think………surprised you got such a quick response from a Port supporter though!!! Must have had someone there to read him the article. ;-)

      • cheers

        We only need “support” because of the woeful stadium deal.

        Its like renting a house and having the landlord have your pay directly banked into his account and then he gives you pocketmoney. Not enough pocketmoney to keep up with the cool kids, just enough to survive.

        I wish the AFL had the balls to give Port full control of its AFL license, then you would see the real Port.

        The SANFL (and WAFL) should receive subsidies from the AFL directly, not the lions share of Port’s (and the Crows) earnings.

        Anyway, fuck it, keep throwing shit at us, one day it will bite you in the ass.

    • how many seated season members tho?.. members on paper only dont exactly bring in the bacon (or pie) like seated season members do

    • Don’t be such a sook RedVest, it’s called a joke.

    • I think the comment was directed at the fact that the AFL had to contribute millions towards supporting the club as opposed to the number of members. There are numerous factors such as merchandising, investments, etc that contribute to a club’s bottom line and these days number of members is not the main factor.

  • Loved it. And as a Freo supporter, how the F&%K does jack anthony and zac dawson get a game? Anthonys always been a no hoper. And for some unknown reason Lyon likes Dawson, every kick that gangly asshole does is a clanger. Your killing me Lyon.

    • i feel your pain.. i cant understand why dawson gets a game over Silvagni…. hell even grover does the same defensive efforts with LESS clangers?

      and as for Anthony.. surely kepler is better? He can be just as spuddy at times but at least he is mobile and can get the ball on the wings

      • Exactly all those guys have more to give, but you know he will stick with Zac because he brought him over, frustrating. And gruff griffo, i heard bruce say that too, classic. I wonder if Zac got a score assist for that epic clanger? haha

    • ha – Zac Dawson on Friday night game from Bruce ” that couldn’t have been a pass from Dawson, he doesn’t use the ball well ” was spot on…. makes Richo shooting for goal 10m out look good.

  • Awesome work! Laughed out loud on multiple occasions.

    As a Richmond supporter I think it is time for Matt White to be in the same category as Dawson and Jack. Please feel free to include in future articles :-)

    • Haha too true. He’s like a headless chook when he gets the ball. Also shane edwards had to be one of the worst users of the ball in the afl. He’s a turnover merchant!

      • Tom Swift. The worst user of the ball in the history of football. I’m prepared to be corrected on this, but I think last season fully a quarter of his disposals were clangers. Not just ineffective, but clangers! Unbelievable!

  • Great read Griff, nailed it. Keep up the good work!

  • Enough of the letters already…unimaginative and boring. Always a big fan of the site but some of these articles are crap

    • What would you prefer see on the site mate? More detailed analysis? There’s a lot of that already and everyone is making sure that we get new content up and keeping it fresh.

    • sorry to say I dont think many people agree with you me included

    • sorry to say I dont think many people will agree with you me included

    • Pull your head in Fully Bully.

      These guys put a lot of effort into these articles. If you don’t like them there is no need to be a wank and post.

      Show some respect!

    • You are an out and out tool Wratton, how about you piss off somewhere else then if you don’t like it.

    • Unimaginitve and boring…….I’ve heard it ALL now!
      Perhaps you are the boring one with a lack of imagination!
      KEEP EM COMING GRIFF…PLEASE!

    • Look A for effort Griffin old mate, just not my cup of tea. I’ve seen it done a thousand times, loses impact after a while.

      • Then why read it….

        That would be your choice so maybe bag yourself out for being a tool

      • Fair enough. There will still be plenty of analysis and opinions coming up from @warnie and the boys, strategies and trading advice. There are people out there who also seem to enjoy a lighter view on the weeks events so hopefully there will be lots on this sure to please everyone.

        • Mate if u don’t like it than fuck off ! Griff that is one of the funniest things I have ever read !! U are one quick witted funny bastard !!! Keep them coming !!!

          • +1 Outstanding & very amusing write up Griff! The channel 7 team rights + late withdrawls are driving me up the wall! Everyone grab your torches and pitchforks and head to AFL headquarters!

      • Are you for real???? If you couldn’t find 1 thing to at least smile about in that article then you need some serious meds…

    • “whilst Zorko was ‘absolutely stoked’ to register 32 possessions and 14 tackles.” i dont want him in too soon, his a perfect downgrade target in the bye rounds!

      • I on the other hand already have him in the side (*brain fart* – that may work out ok) so am pretty pumped to see him back in the mix!

  • Mark Ricciuto mentioned today on radio that he walked past Porps going into Sportsmed on Wakefield St in Adelaide to get scans on his shoulder. Mentioned a possible tear in the deltoid.

    • Heard on the news that he had a small muscle tear. Said he’s a chance to play this week, so nothing too much to worry about. He was always gonna have some injury issues.

  • Griff, ignore Wratton. You write for the people who appreciate what you write. It’s up to Wratton to find stuff he likes. This is a great product mate, power to you.

  • Love the way that you write Griff. A fair few journos out there who don’t come anywhere near this.

    Quality mate.

  • Bahaha very well written Griff!

  • That was funny as shit

  • Brilliant work Griff! My favourite line was “Greg Broughton could up-link from the bench and save himself the 90 second return trip to the back pocket”. Gold.

  • Funny shit Griff. I think it’s about time you actually send these letters. I would love to read there response hahah

  • This is just beyond hilarious…. Fkin brilliant! What a write up!

  • New Rule: Any player who is a late withdrawal becomes ineligible to play the following week.

    BANG…no more late changes.

    Unfortunately the AFL don’t give a stuff about fans, so this will never happen.

    • So many things make that a bad idea…..but a few that make it a good one too :)

      I can’t stand the team sheets being released at 6:15 or whenever it is. So frustrating.

  • Adding to the list of “NICE ONE” comments. This article is a great addition to the site.

    Now, to trade or not to trade. 1767 is not a pretty score :(

  • where can i find r6 break evens

  • So good…loved it !
    I hope it is shared around :-)

  • Great read Griff. Funny and very true.

  • CLAP CLAP CLAP!!!! well said griffo! Channel seven’s handling of weekly team’s is a JOKE! Why have exclusive rights to them and only show the in’s and out’s for THEIR f*****n games….total BS! Makes me so angry! And don’t even get me started on all these late withdrawls….f***** f****** m***** f***** BS!

    Very entertaining write up Griff, plenty of laughs throughout. :P

  • Great article Griff,
    I only hope you sent a copy of it to the AFL.
    With the AFL allowing betting on football and promoting DT as the best thing since sliced bread, it is time they started thinging about the mug public.
    Teams should be fined every time a player is named and then withdrawn. I am also sick of the AFL and clubs themselves treating their “so called” fans with contempt.