There is no lack of finals experience for either Geelong or Richmond with both sides contesting for the better part of the last decade. However, this will be only the third time to two will square off against each other in a Grand Final. The first time was 1931 when the Cats thrashed the Tigers. The Tigers turned the tables in 1967 with a narrow nine point victory.
Just days after Stratton, Puopolo and Simpson decided to bow out, so did Port forward Justin Westhoff. He will see out the season. Westhoff, 33 and the father of four, is in second spot for games played with the Power. After Round 18, his game tally is 281. He said of his retirement and career, “I’m not getting any younger ... and it just seems to be the right time ... Having a young family, I don’t want to miss much more of what my kids are doing, so it just felt like the right time.
The strangest season in AFL history is about to get real for the following 10 teams, but only eight of them will play finals football and in turn give themselves a chance to take home the Premiership Cup. AFANA runs the slide rule over where your club can finish after what should be another crazy round of footy. If your team isn’t mentioned below, it’s time to start thinking about next year…
A coroner's report has revealed that the late Danny Frawley suffered from severe CTE. Frawley was killed last September when his car hit a tree. However, a lawyer acting on behalf of his widow Anita Frawley had taken steps to conceal the information at the time. She recently spoke to Melbourne's Herald Sun saying that she wanted to save other families who are going through the same thing, especially the depression which can be caused in some cases of those suffering from CTE.
It was announced on July 20 that former Richmond player Shane Tuck passed away at the age of 38. The cause of death was not announced, but it has been reported that he struggled with depression for many years, including his playing career. A former Hawthorn great, who wished to remain anonymous, said those close to Shane as well as both Hawthorn and Richmond knew of his struggle with mental illness.
Tuck, son of former Hawthorn great Michael Tuck, and nephew of Gary Ablett Sr., was originally drafted by Hawthorn as a rookie in 2000,
A cool winter’s evening with virtually no breeze greeted the two teams that lead the way back for the competition onto the MCG after the long break due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There was no crowd allowed in the massive stadium save for a handful of officials and some artificial crowd cutouts behind the goals. The ground was slippery from a heavy dew. Pre-match saw both teams randomly spread around the center circle and ‘take a knee’ in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. It was almost 3 months ago that round 1 was completed and for players and fans of the game, the long wait was over.
Richmond won the toss and chose to kick to the city end. It was Collingwood who scored first when Taylor Adams roved a boundary throw-in and snapped on the run from 40m out. Tom Phillips followed up with a second for Collingwood with a set shot goal.
Australia's Channel Seven is looking at how it will cover the games once the season resumes. They have announced that commentators would do their work remotely from a studio rather than at the grounds. However, there could still be broadcast team members, such as boundary riders, at the grounds. One member of the that team, Brian Taylor would still conduct postgame interviews with players and do so remotely. According to Seven boss Lewis Martin, they are looking at "... COVID versions of 'Roaming Brian'.''
After the conclusion of the opening, so far only, round of the season a number of SEN listeners called in saying they missed the roar of the crowds and suggested artificial crowd noise. Seven has been trialing the use of artificial crowd noise but Martin said the network " ... would not innovate 'for innovation's sake' ... there's so many ideas. We're certainly looking at a number of innovations." The use of artificial crowd noise was tried for the GWS vs Geelong match. Martin did not think viewers would miss crowd noise if a game scores were tight.
More interesting stories about footy are appearing across the web. The Hugh Greenwood story made it to an American newspaper while the video of the Florida newsmen made it to Australia.
Ex College Basketball player Hugh Greenwood talks about his move to Gold Coast (from Adelaide) and his love of footy:
Ex-St Kilda player Arryn Siposs targets NFL draft success. His journey from St Kilda to USA college Auburn and his hope of being drafted by an NFL club and what he is doing to keep fit and practice his punting skills:
US news anchor learns AFL. A video of one Florida news anchor explaining footy to a colleague with video clips of the Carlton vs Richmond game:
Former NFL punter Pat McAfee, who is a recent and fanatical convert to AFL, interviewed American Magpie Mason Cox on his podcast. The interview runs about 37 minutes:
Sources: krqe.com, brisbanetimes,com.au, news.com.au, cowboysrideforfree.com
Before and during the opening round of the AFL, footy was getting attention internationally. This was due to the AFL continuing to play while so many other sports were on hold. Links to the various articles are below. While some make only brief references to footy, others are more in depth with stories about more American fans discovering footy with games played despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Articles often included brief outlines of the rules. Several journalists have already become fans and will continue to watch when the league recommences. Some of the articles have fan or Twitter comments, or video clips.
During the televised broadcast of the game between Melbourne and West Coast, commentator Gerard Healy asked if someone could explain for American viewers why it is only a point when the ball hits the goal post but no point when it hits the behind post. One of his colleagues said it was just the rules and that is how it had always been. (Click on "Read more >" to see the links.)
Richmond destroyed a hapless Greater Western Sydney Giants to win its 12th Premiership flag in style. The 89-point margin was a true reflection on the complete dominance the Tigers had over the Giants. A tight first quarter that promised a competitive match, but Richmond was having none of that. The fierce and determined Tigers took complete control after quarter time and strangled the Giants with the manic brand of football that has made Richmond the best team in the competition over the last three seasons.
The Giants had performed brilliantly to win two tight contests on the road, but when Richmond asked the question for the third time, Greater Western Sydney simply had nothing left to give. The Tigers were hungry for the contest, determined to avenge a 2018 season where they were the best team all season but fell short after going out in the Preliminary final.