Wednesday Weekly Wrap

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

Get in touch @liamthompson1 on Twitter or shoot me an email at liamthom92@gmail.com.

Thumbs Down!

1. Jake Lever’s manager has pulled Lever from his fortnightly radio spot on FiveAA in Adelaide. Some are saying that this is all the evidence they need and that Lever is gone come the end of the season. This may be true, but regardless, it is a gutless decision by Lever and his management. Lever committed to doing the year on radio and should see it out. Poor decision for mine. Fans are paying big bucks to attend the footy and to be a member of a club. The least the players could do is give a bit in return.

2. The AFL said they got it wrong, which is a big admission given they do not say it very often. However this was a disgraceful decision that regardless of Adelaide’s poor goal kicking, changed the momentum of this contest on Friday night. Week after week, poor umpiring is impacting far too heavily on games. Enough is enough and something has to be done in the off-season. There is simply far too much grey area, far too many umpires and not enough accountability.

And how about this, the AFL admitted that Buddy Franklin ‘probably’ ran too far in his goal of the year contender in that game, but ‘stand by’ the call’. Huh?!

3. If there is one change that has to occur when it comes to the AFL’s Match Review Panel in 2018, it is the issue around challenging a ban or fine. There should be no disincentive to go to the tribunal and fight a charge. It is just ludicrous. The MRP have got it wrong week after week this year and the fact very few have challenged charges is partly to blame.

Thumbs Up!
1. An exciting end to the 2017 SANFL season is upon us. There are still eight of ten teams in the hunt for a finals spot and two teams can still lock in second place. The AFL season has gone down to the wire, but keep your eyes on the SANFL as any of these eight teams could very easily win the competition this year.

2. Cricket is back! It kicks off on Sunday afternoon, with the tour of Bangladesh officially getting underway. It will be exciting to see what Ashton Agar can do again at Test level, while all those skills Australia learnt prior to the Indian tour earlier this year will again be put to the test. Is it time to park Matthew Wade and give Peter Handscomb the gloves? Can David Warner work out how to play on grounds away from home? A perfect Ashes build up against a plucky Bangladesh side awaits.

3. Still on cricket and there will be three Sheffield Shield games before the opening Ashes Test match in Brisbane. This is a good number to be able to select the best team possible and get players into form at the right time of the season. Hopefully more emphasis is continued to be put on the scheduling of the Sheffield Shield. As we learnt last year, it is a vital part of the Australian Test summer and in turn the Test team. In other scheduling news, Hobart gets the finals of the JLT One-Day Cup competition, which is great for cricket in Tasmania.

The Thought
Could we be in for an AFL Final Series that only features three games in Melbourne? If results go the right way, the MCG will only feature on Semi-Final and Grand Final weekend in 2017. Watch the stink that will follow in Victoria if this were to occur.

The question
How do teams who play AFL finals, but have their reserves equivalent not playing finals keep their squad match fit?

Wednesday Whinge –
There has to be more liability placed upon AFL clubs to be honest with their members and fans. The rubbish that is released by internal media departments in regards to injuries and the comings and goings at AFL clubs is getting worse. The public deserve better than that.

If you are paying for a product and paying a significant amount mind you, it is not the responsibly of those providing the product to be honest and forthright with information? How often have we seen an injury list released mid-week by a team that fails to mention an injury to a key player? Come the Thursday night selection that injured player is not in the selected twenty-two. Why should fans have to wait until Thursday night to find out about an injury that has occurred earlier in the week?

Membership numbers are the other one in which clubs try to pull the wool over fans eyes. Why are the AFL having to audit club membership numbers and bring the number down year after year? Why is the figure provided in club marketing material so different to the number the AFL release? Should they not be the same? It is mind-boggling.

The lies have filtered down to players within AFL clubs now as well. Contract talks are the other one that frustrates fans. Take the Jake Lever example. A reporter claims that Lever met with Melbourne. Lever denies it. Reporter refuses to back down. Why can’t Jake Lever say publicly that he met with Melbourne? Of if he did not, tell us exactly what went down then. Are we all so naive that we think this sort of stuff does not happen?

We live in an era now where information gets out to the public one way or another. As such, when an organisation blatantly lies and tells half-truths, the actual truth always gets out there somehow anyway. It leaves a lot of egg on face and makes you wonder why stories are made up in the first place.

A bit more honesty to members and fans is the way forward. There are plenty of ways in which to do it in this day age and every AFL side is in the same boat. There are no advanatges to withholding the truth.

Picture – afl.com.au

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