Lock Ins Are Ludicrous

Ian Collins in his infinite wisdom has decided to ban pass outs from the Telstra Dome. He has hidden behind the thinly veiled excuse of public liability issues and patron safety and made it forbidden for anyone to leave the ground and re-enter without paying twice. Heaven forbid you should leave your jacket in the car or want to go and kick the footy with your kids or mates on the concourse for that is now simply not an option.

Once again the almighty dollar has lead to common sense being thrown out the window. I have no doubt what so ever that the real reason for the ban is to allow the caterers at the Dome to strip even more money from the pockets of football followers whilst they populate the seats of the stadium. The food at the footy has always been hugely overpriced (On Saturday I bought a hotdog, two ice creams and bottle of water and shelled out $17.60 for the privilege. I would have got better value for money at one of the fine adult establishments on King St and that’s saying something).

The normal excuse for the inflated prices has been the cost of penalty rates for staff on weekends and the fact that they always have to over cater because they never know the exact demand. Well on both fronts it’s rubbish. My one purchase on the day would have covered an hour’s wages for the staff member that served me and given I waited behind about fifteen others in the queue I’m sure they had no troubles turning a ridiculous profit. Also since the day I was served a mouldy pie at Waverley I have never believed that they don’t keep and re-heat food at the footy.

The reason people eat at Nando’s, Subway and all the other food outlets around Telsta Dome is because they don’t like the price and quality of what’s on offer inside the stadium. So Collo, do us a favour and cut the crap. Tell us that the caterers are the real reason you are changing the rules and not allowing us back out or better still, regulate the food prices and we might just stay inside. As for the days of bringing your footy to the footy to have a kick, forget about it. You can’t kick on the ground after the game, you can’t kick inside the stadium and you can’t kick on the concourse outside. Perhaps lane work on the train is the answer for our next generation of budding footy fans?

Tiggy Touchwood is Taking Over

We all new the new push in the back rule or the re-emphasis of it was going to be a disaster. Why it’s legal to make contact with a fist, forearm, head or knee but not a hand in someone’s back is just plain silly. Can’t we please just go back to the common sense approach to things that meant that if you gained an unfair advantage by making contact with someone’s back it was a free kick.

I have taken talkback callers whom suggest that in the old days (pre early 80’s as that is about the limit of my totalling memory) the game was always played that way and to me this sounds about right. There is no doubt that in recent years players have used their hands excessively but why the crazy over reaction by the rules committee. I am sure KB, Ando and there co-horts had consumed a glass of red too many over dinner when they came up with this decision.

It really isn’t that hard. If a player is feeling for his opposition that is backing into him while his eyes are on the ball in the air it should not be a free, otherwise you are encouraging a player to take his eyes off the ball and look at his man which is exactly what football in not about. Also some of the great marks of my time would simply not have been paid under the current rules and Warwick Capper would simply never have been an AFL player and that is something that would be a real shame. (As bad as the whole trio of Geoffrey Edelstone, The Wizz and Joanne was it’s great to look back on)

This is one situation in which the players, Demetriou or for that matter the coaches need to show some stones and stand up to the rules committee and say we don’t want – and will not accept – this situation. They must get it right or the game will suffer.

March Champions

It’s only early but there were a few players that impressed me in the first weekend of footy. Buddy Franklin was great. He showed glimpses last year and if the consistency comes in 2007, sixty or more goals is a very realistic target.

Ryan Griffen was classy against the Swans and he may well be head and shoulders above Brett Deledio at season’s end especially if he sees more time in the midfield. Remember that the Doggies said all along that they would have taken him at number one if they had that pick.

In the game I watched live three players stood out for the Blues. Waite and O’hAlpin were outstanding in the key defensive posts and Eddie Betts looked great as he roamed inside Carlton’s forward half. For the Bombers Andrew Lovett was electrifying at times (he finally dispelled my thoughts that he only looked quick because the rest of the team was just so slow) and Monfries also looked impressive and finished well which was my biggest criticism of him last season.

All in all it’s still too early to tell but it’s always good to try and unearth a few new favourites at this time of year. I can’t wait to watch Melbourne (unfortunately not until round one now) as I still believe Brock McLean is set to announce himself as top ten player in the league this season.

Article written by Luke Mather from oneweekatatime.com.au