It began on Friday night when two premiership hopes West Coast and Hawthorn lost their key ruckmen. Nic Naitanui and Jonathan Ceglar will play no further part in season 2016. A bitter blow for both clubs on the eve of the finals. Nobody likes seeing injuries, but especially heading into finals.
Then it continued on Saturday night at what can only be described as the weirdest Showdown of the lot. The treatment of Brodie Smith as he was carried off a stretcher was appalling by some members of the crowd. That didn’t go down particularly well with me.
What happened to going to the footy and just having good old conversation about the tactics or some friendly banter. Some of the things said from both parties was brutal on Saturday night. Intimidating opposition supporters ends poorly for everyone involved. Particularly when they admit that this is the only reason they go to the footy… Give me a spell. Spend your money elsewhere.
It was no surprise to me then that the banana incident with Eddie Betts occurred. Some of the social media dribble that lead from that afterwards too was almost just as bad.The act was not defensible. Period. I cannot fathom the argument any other way. The fact that the story then became about how the girl was feeling annoys me. Why is it all of a sudden about how she has copped it?
Yes – some people did cross the line and you’ll always get people like that on social media. They’re thugs. But the bottom line is she did wrong and has to face that fact.
But what puzzled me the most was the AFL and Port Adelaide’s handling of the matter. I still don’t know where Port Adelaide stand.
Port Adelaide came out and said that after an investigation, it was concluded that the action of throwing a banana was racially motivated.
On Monday the AFL echoed those sediments and stated that this girls actions were ‘unambiguously racist.’
“What happened on the weekend was unambiguously racist.” – CEO Gillon McLachlan now speaking to media. pic.twitter.com/BNikfMjaPr
— AFL (@AFL) August 22, 2016
Then Monday evening, Eddie Betts released a video, which was he was entitled to do, but I thought his silence over the initial 48 or so hours spoke volumes too. He handled it brilliantly.
This was followed by a statement from Port Adelaide on behalf of the girl who stated that –
“I did not attend the game with the predetermined attitude of bringing the game into disrepute or to offend anyone”
To me this her way of claiming that her actions were not racist despite an investigation and a statement from the same club saying otherwise.
The confusion was even more, well confusing with Rory Sloane’s two match reduced to one ban for a ‘medium impact’ hit on Brad Ebert. The same Brad Ebert who was on Adelaide radio last week claiming that he bleeds more than anyone and that it doesn’t take much for the bleeding from his head to occur.
Yet the Match Review panel in their wisdom (they don’t actually have wisdom but I can’t think of a better word) and lack of knowledge of South Australian football decided a two match ban for a clear football collision was appropriate.
However Jordan Lewis’ blatant punch on a West Coast Eagles player was perfectly fine and met with a nothing to see here. Seems just doesn’t it?
Ebert was either concussed or he wasn’t. Port tried to get him back on the ground, but given they made him do a concussion test, probably because they were still shy from being fined for the Hamish Hartlett incident earlier in the year, he had to wait twenty minutes.
But he eventually returned and played on meaning he did not have concussion.
The AFL have had a dreadful year. Umpiring, rule interpretations, bye rounds. The list goes on. This is just the cherry on a very disgusting tasting cake the AFL have baked for themselves this year.
It gets to the point where you wonder why you bother paying hundreds of dollars for a membership when some of the ludicrous, inconsistent decisions are made by people who clearly have no feel for the game.
— Thomo (@liamthompson1) August 22, 2016
And to top it all off, are you a Crows fans wanting to catch a train to the footy on Friday night? Yep. You most probably cannot do that with planned strike action by train staff set to go ahead putting most trains off track for the last and possibly biggest game of 2016 yet.
Come on. If you want the public to be on your side with this dispute, this most definitely won’t help your cause. Farcical.
It’s been an odd week. Bring on the finals…