Wednesday Weekly Wrap

Welcome to a weekly wrap of all things sport. Every Wednesday, we will have a look at the big issues kicking around in the world of sport and try to make some sense of them.

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Thumbs Down!

1. Max Verstappen does not strike me as the sort of bloke who gives a hoot if he takes out someone while he is racing, teammate or not. After ending Daniel Ricciardo’s race on the opening lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix, young Max has a bit of explaining to do. Sure, his aggressive nature is great for the sport, but you cannot be taking out your teammates. As is turns out Red Bull had great pace and would have given the race a shake had both been able to compete without compromise.

2. Patrick Dangerfield gets a two game suspension reduced to the one week for his tackle that left Matthew Kreuzer with concussion in the Cats win over the Blues over the weekend. It had to happen based on other incidents analysed earlier in the year. The media only care, because it is Dangerfield and there has been far too many in the media trying to defend the call. Rules are rules and he broke them. Out you go Paddy.

3. I don’t care which team you support, but unless you are having a heart attack and are getting wheeled out in a wheelchair, you stay until the end of a game of footy, no matter the circumstances. Those Port Adelaide fans who left early on Saturday evening sure got their just desserts when the Power came back from 10 points down with just over a minute to go and won. It ain’t over until it’s over.

While on the subject of crowds, what has happened to Collingwood fans? Only 33,000 at the MCG on Sunday, with about six or seven thousand of them Adelaide fans. Collingwood boast one of the highest memberships in the AFL, yet when it comes to bums on seats, they really are in a spot of bother.

Thumbs Up!

1. Great to see the SANFL taking the sport out to a regional area on Sunday with Adelaide taking on Glenelg at Bordertown. The timing is odd though, given it clashed with an AFL game involving Adelaide, but the concept has legs and should be further explored in future seasons with every club having to play one game per year in the regions.

2. The Supercars season is producing some fine motor racing at the present time. There is dominance, but it is coming from a few, rather than just a couple. Scott McLaughlin, Jamie Whincup, Shane van Gisbergen, Fabian Coulthard and Chaz Mostert are all potential chances to take out the title this year. The Supercars brand goes from strength to strength with the continued tweaking of the calendar from year to year, the possibility of a night race in the next few years and the introduction of a female driver on the grid. All of it has been done without too much fuss and as a result the sport probably does not get the kudos it deserves.

3.Michael Wilson is one of the best sports photographers going around and he produced another gem this week –

The Thought
They call those on the same Formula One team teammates, but there is nothing mate or team about them.

Well Played

From the odd files
Listening to the radio or watching a television broadcast of games played at the MCG has become strangely annoying thanks to the introduction of those bird noises aimed at reducing the numbers of seagulls flocking onto the ground. Now it clearly is not working, because I was at the MCG on Sunday and there was a bunch of them just making their presence felt, without a care in the world about those awful noises. Enough please!

Wednesday Whinge
It is time the AFL banned tagging from the game or at the very least very quickly tighten up on it. Tagging went out the window for several years, but has returned with a vengeance this year. It is no coincidence then that the standard of the game has become atrocious in 2017 after a few seasons of actually being quite reasonable. Tagging is bogging down games, causing more congestion around the ball and ultimately just a terrible look all round. Rule changes should be kept to a minimum, but something has to give when it comes to the practice of a run with role, because the tag is creating several issues for the game at the present time.

The first and most important reason to outlaw the tag is that we want the best players in the AFL to be actually playing the game and being allowed to use the skills they possess without being dragged away from a contest and constantly niggled and scragged by an opponent at every opportunity. As an AFL player you can play right on the edge with toughness at every contest, no problem with that, but it is the off the ball stuff that just is not a great look for the game.

Some will say that the good players can play with a tag, but perhaps those players would be even better without having someone hanging off them illegally at any opportunity.

Tagging is making blokes who have very little skill look good, while making the players who do have something to offer the game a tad sub par. For goodness sake, some players are being picked solely for a run with role, because that is all they can do. That is not AFL as it should be.

Granted, some players do deal with tags better than others, but really if you are having someone hold you for the entire game, that is going to wear you down no matter how good you are or what intent you display towards the ball. We are at the point now where if I were Adelaide coach Don Pyke, I would make a late change and remove Rory Sloane from the line up to cause headaches for whatever opponent had spent the entire week thinking that they were going to tag him. The game cannot have that.

The game is incredibly hard to umpire as it is with the constant tampering with rules and interpretations that are given to them week after week. Umpires simply cannot have eyes everywhere, but really any time a player is held onto off the ball, a free kick should be paid. Instead what is happening currently is that the tagged player is getting so frustrated that they end up doing something silly and then they are the ones penalised. Dustin Martin is a prime example of this, whacking and copping a fine for a hit on Brisbane’s Nick Robertson a few weeks ago.

How to police illegal tags or a embark on a tightening up of the tag of course is the million dollar question and one not easily answered. The umpires are struggling to keep up with the rules as it is, but somehow they are going to have to get themselves into better positions. Any holding or hanging on has to be penalised immediately. It might take a few weeks and be frustrating for fans initially, but coaches will soon cotton on if their players are constantly giving away free kicks.

It is time to tag the tag.

Picture – The Advertiser


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