Bye Bye to Bye

AFL CEO Gil McLachlan says he is determined to bring back a second bye for players. Or is it really for more money to the AFL by way of an extended season and squeezing every last drop out of a manipulated fixture?

The propaganda machine at City Hall makes a mockery of war time activities. Whilst they are not dropping pamphlets from planes the end result is the same. It’s called the mushroom effect; keep us in the dark and feed us crap. Welcome fellow mushies!!

There is ample evidence to show players are bored out of their brains with poorly managed itineraries and timetables. Let’s face facts they have plenty of time on their hands every week and would have more time if coaches came to their senses and structured a more appropriate curriculum. 

I can only assume the first bye was requested by the representative body, the AFLPA (fully funded by AFL of course). Probably to release the boredom!

The AFL’s request for a second bye under the guise of player benefit can only amount to 2 scenarios. 

Firstly the players must be significantly more bored than they first realised and need more time to get away from the terribly mundane, inappropriate agenda adopted by coaches, OR….

Secondly and more likely is; the AFL are acting like they care about player welfare – their nose is growing on that one though (read Pinocchio) – or they are on the scent of more money by way of an extended “FIX”ture and a “snow-job” on the broadcasters. 

Either way it is a very dangerous ploy. 

The game is under massive scrutiny from a product perspective along with enjoyability and watchability. It is struggling to keep attention and they have recognised that. In fact the AFL has said it can no longer wait around for the game to sort itself out and they are taking active steps to fix it. Now that’s real scary!! 

The competition for eyes and wallets was no more emphatically shown than last nights head to head battle with the world game. There was just on 100,000 people packed to the rafters at the home of sport (MCG) to witness Real Madrid score as many goals as Carlton against Manchester City, whilst there were many more vacant seats than occupied ones at Etihad Stadium in the traditional Friday night blockbuster. It was an embarrassing outcome compounded by the meek effort by Carlton.

The product needs help. 

Now is not the time to dilute and stretch out rounds. It’s time to consolidate. 

Players do not need it. If they do then it’s the clubs responsibility to rest them or manage them accordingly. They have more coaches, support staff, sports science gurus and trainers than players so they can surely manage the 55 player list to satisfactory requirements. In other words if Luke Hodge, Nick Riewoldt or a first year player are rested in a round or two during the season who cares – the team still plays and the show still goes on. After all other sports have been doing it for decades. 

It’s the worst time of a deteriorating season. Teams form coming into byes and coming out of byes are also all over the shop. 

It’s time to consolidate, relaunch the product and say bye bye to the bye. 

2 thoughts on “Bye Bye to Bye

  1. Thomo,

    I’d go a step further than saying the players ‘have plenty of time on their hands’. I’d say they have far too much time on their hands.

    I don’t know of another industry where ‘professionals’ only work for a little over two hours per week for the type of obscene ‘wages’ AFL players receive.

    And then whinge that a six day break isn’t enough.

    Working physically for a living is, and always has been, the best remote preparation for playing Aussie Rules football once per week for two hours.

    It’s time the AFL implemented a players’ work program instead of some of the bullshit programs they do implement. “Sorry, can’t sit in a bullshit review meeting, I’m at work. Sorry, cant listen to the crap the club’s dozen sports psychologists want to tell me, I’m at work.” & etc …

  2. Agree. I don’t quite know how we can unravel the current dilemma back to what we had? Players worked full time and played. There needs to be a transition from full time footy work to part time “real” work and part time footy work. It achieves a few things:
    1. Keeps players connected to the community
    2. Provides a more realistic experience to impressionable young players coming out of school, being drafted and joining an elite sporting system. A touch of reality.
    3. Maintains development of skills outside football
    4. Accelerates maturity, bursts the bubble, helps with humility
    5. Assists with life after footy

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