The league lacks characters nowadays

Remove this Banner Ad

MadMundy

Premiership Player
Mar 29, 2019
3,327
5,955
AFL Club
Fremantle
Other Teams
Arsenal, Glory, Bulls
It lacks guys with personality, it lacks guys who have their own little trademarks that make you go "Yep that's (insert name) for ya". Sure character isn't exactly important at all towards on field performance, but it makes it more entertaining. It's why I like guys like Tom Lynch, sure on field he's a dick, who cares? The league needs more villain type guys, he's played that role great this season. So many players could easily be more entertaining but way too many are scared to tow the line.
 

Murraj1966

Brownlow Medallist
Jun 13, 2009
11,575
9,619
Melbourne
AFL Club
St Kilda
Only player I could never get mad about giving away a double 50m was Fraser Gehrig

Legend
 

Log in to remove this ad.

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
22,827
24,380
AFL Club
Geelong
It lacks guys with personality, it lacks guys who have their own little trademarks that make you go "Yep that's (insert name) for ya". Sure character isn't exactly important at all towards on field performance, but it makes it more entertaining. It's why I like guys like Tom Lynch, sure on field he's a dick, who cares? The league needs more villain type guys, he's played that role great this season. So many players could easily be more entertaining but way too many are scared to tow the line.

That's because anyone with a hint of personality gets 90 per cent of the fan populace calling them a flog or whatever. Don't blame the players. Blame the people who watch the game.

Our best player has a basically spotless MRP record, has never had an off-field controversy, is a respected president of the AFLPA so the players clearly like him, has never ever given a self-aggrandizing interview, but because he actually has a personality and doesn't fall into a pile of fecal matter at the sight of a microphone he's apparently the worst thing since the Holocaust. Why would anyone dare to have any sort of personality when that's the sort of thing that follows? Gary Ablett can be similarly spotless but he dares to have a personal faith so he cops it. There are dozens of examples from other teams as well.


Meanwhile someone like Steve Johnson - who I actually like for what its worth so I'm in the same boat - has been a thug, had a blue with a teammate, had numerous off-field incidents on the drink, has said some mildly arrogant things at times, and he goes and stands near an opposition team huddle (which again, I did think was hilarious) and he's lauded as some sort of good guy rabscallion genius.
 

_Mike_

Super Moderator
Aug 10, 2009
26,478
22,062
Victoria
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Tottenham, Montreal Canadiens
It lacks guys with personality, it lacks guys who have their own little trademarks that make you go "Yep that's (insert name) for ya". Sure character isn't exactly important at all towards on field performance, but it makes it more entertaining. It's why I like guys like Tom Lynch, sure on field he's a dick, who cares? The league needs more villain type guys, he's played that role great this season. So many players could easily be more entertaining but way too many are scared to tow the line.
It's not hard to understand that the AFL wants to maintain a clean game which attracts more juniors at grass roots level as opposed to the pre-2000's when the game was riddled with cheap shots and behind the play king hits by the "villains".

I'd be certain to say that the AFL doesnt want to go back down this path, so define what you think a "villain" is in today's game. These are the serial divers, duckers, throwers etc & there's enough of them IMO.
 

Kwality

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 14, 2011
28,114
10,502
Trafalgar
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Renault F1
It's not hard to understand that the AFL wants to maintain a clean game which attracts more juniors at grass roots level as opposed to the pre-2000's when the game was riddled with cheap shots and behind the play king hits by the "villains".

I'd be certain to say that the AFL doesnt want to go back down this path, so define what you think a "villain" is in today's game. These are the serial divers, duckers, throwers etc & there's enough of them IMO.
As beige as Gil.
 

Altum Volantes

92 - 94 - 06 - 18
Aug 4, 2003
18,089
13,249
WA
AFL Club
West Coast
People been saying this for literally decades...blokes from the 80s thought blokes from the 90s were boring - I can remember David Rhys Jones saying he knew his time was up when someone suggested he didn’t hit the beers straight after training - that was about 30 years ago.

It pretty much follows a continuing trend throughout the generations.

Basically boils down to the simple fact that the boys running around in 1910 were the maddest campaigners ever and it’s been a gradual sanitation of the game from that point on.
 

Aramis

Premiership Player
Jul 31, 2016
4,213
8,824
AFL Club
Hawthorn
It's not hard to understand that the AFL wants to maintain a clean game which attracts more juniors at grass roots level as opposed to the pre-2000's when the game was riddled with cheap shots and behind the play king hits by the "villains".

I'd be certain to say that the AFL doesnt want to go back down this path, so define what you think a "villain" is in today's game. These are the serial divers, duckers, throwers etc & there's enough of them IMO.
Does a "clean game" objectively attract more juniors though? or is it just something that gets bandied around?

As a junior I couldn't have given a rats arse
 

mcfly7

Debutant
Apr 14, 2016
99
191
AFL Club
Richmond
That's because anyone with a hint of personality gets 90 per cent of the fan populace calling them a flog or whatever. Don't blame the players. Blame the people who watch the game.
Pretty much this. Nick Kyrgios is one of the biggest characters in tennis history yet the majority of Aussies probably can't stand him. People only want 'characters' they can agree with...
 

PhatBoy

Brownlow Medallist
May 5, 2016
22,827
24,380
AFL Club
Geelong
Pretty much this. Nick Kyrgios is one of the biggest characters in tennis history yet the majority of Aussies probably can't stand him. People only want 'characters' they can agree with...
Kyrgios has some personality and some upside, but also don't confuse being a tit with just having a personality either. You can have personality without being disrespectful and a complete git. I think he has the potential to be a really engaging guy and much more likeable than he currently is. I actually interviewed him once when he was a teenager. He was likeable enough but you could also clearly see some of the elements that made him a little less easy for some people to stomach.

Someone like Agassi would be the player for Kyrgios to aspire to. He always did things a bit differently, had a temper on him in the early years, but ultimately became a really respected, liked player because he retained the good parts of that extrovertedness and lost the distasteful ones
 

_Mike_

Super Moderator
Aug 10, 2009
26,478
22,062
Victoria
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Tottenham, Montreal Canadiens
Does a "clean game" objectively attract more juniors though? or is it just something that gets bandied around?

As a junior I couldn't have given a rats arse
more so with parents of juniors not wanting to see them getting hurt on the field. That’s an indicator as to why soccer has picked up at junior levels.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

Aramis

Premiership Player
Jul 31, 2016
4,213
8,824
AFL Club
Hawthorn
more so with parents of juniors not wanting to see them getting hurt on the field. That’s an indicator as to why soccer has picked up at junior levels.
Is there some data or evidence backing that notion up? I am not challenging you, I am genuinely interested if the data actually backs up that widely held assertion.

It's a reasonable inference to draw on a taste test but I feel it may be overblown when confronted with actual analysis.

Also, there's a big thick line between king hit's and cheap shots as opposed to 'character'.
 

Coaster2012

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 10, 2012
7,451
9,127
AFL Club
West Coast
Other Teams
Manchester City, Lakers
Its because every man and his dog has the ability to express an opinion now, so most of the time its not even worth it to express some truth because you will just get raked over the coals for it no matter what it is. You know we are craving for personality in our game when Liam Ryan sold a bit of candy in the elimination final and the comomentary went crazy over it.
 

t_94

Premiership Player
May 6, 2014
3,073
5,253
AFL Club
St Kilda
It’s professional now. You can’t watch Plugger kick 12 at Moorabbin and then get on the piss with the players at the Saints Disco anymore. That’s just the way it is. The game is poorer for it.

As a result a shitload of people depend on the game for income. They don’t want anything jeopardising that.

The coverage of the game is also WAY oversaturated. There simply isn’t that much to say about a game of football , so players are forced to give vanilla answers in unnecessary interviews.
 

Linda Lovelace

Club Legend
Apr 24, 2013
1,817
5,085
AFL Club
Collingwood
Ah, another repeat of a classic 'old man yells at cloud' episode. Get out your member berries for a time when indigenous players were subjected to open racial villification from large segments of the crowd and football clubs encouraged a culture where women were treated as nothing more than sex dolls.

You might like watching footballers act like bogan flogs for whatever reason, and if you want to continue to do that, you can always watch this neat new sport called 'Rugby League'.

But here's the thing - a large segment of the AFL viewing audience don't like watching bogan flogs. And the AFL knows this. So it does not care what you think and never will.

And they do in fact still encourage 'characters' - the boys club is alive and well and all the lads are there to sniff each other's jocks. How else do you think Patrick Dangerfield has gotten the impression that he is somehow actually funny? It's not that these people have personalities that are being artificially suppressed, they just have the personalities of baked potatoes.

Yes, there used to be more 'personalities' in the game - because full-blown alcoholics could still thrive in an amateur sport. Now, we've gone professional so we've had to get the players on the disco treats instead to keep those skin folds down. You ever been around someone coming down off a 3-day drug binge trying to pass a drug test? Not nearly as fun as your mate Davo from down the pub after 6 schooners. But Davo can't play elite football any more like he could in the 70s.

The discipline required to be a professional footballer also lends to certain personality types having advantages over the Davos of the world - like people who go home and spoon Jesus every night. You ever been to Sunday school? Not many laughs to be had there, apart from the silly stories they tell you.
 

sandeano

Premiership Player
Oct 7, 2001
3,049
1,377
Melbourne
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Space
It’s professional now. You can’t watch Plugger kick 12 at Moorabbin and then get on the piss with the players at the Saints Disco anymore. That’s just the way it is. The game is poorer for it.

As a result a shitload of people depend on the game for income. They don’t want anything jeopardising that.

The coverage of the game is also WAY oversaturated. There simply isn’t that much to say about a game of football , so players are forced to give vanilla answers in unnecessary interviews.
Ah I remember the days when World of Sport was one of the very few opportunities to see players from your club interviewed. So many times blokes so hungover they could barely stand going through the motions on the handball competition in order to win a block of cheese, some salami and a bottle of orange juice.
 

Damon_3388

Premium Platinum
Jun 23, 2008
33,485
27,147
Headed for Kirribilli House
AFL Club
Collingwood
Other Teams
Norwood, Everton, Detroit Red Wings
Ah, another repeat of a classic 'old man yells at cloud' episode. Get out your member berries for a time when indigenous players were subjected to open racial villification from large segments of the crowd and football clubs encouraged a culture where women were treated as nothing more than sex dolls.

You might like watching footballers act like bogan flogs for whatever reason, and if you want to continue to do that, you can always watch this neat new sport called 'Rugby League'.

But here's the thing - a large segment of the AFL viewing audience don't like watching bogan flogs. And the AFL knows this. So it does not care what you think and never will.

And they do in fact still encourage 'characters' - the boys club is alive and well and all the lads are there to sniff each other's jocks. How else do you think Patrick Dangerfield has gotten the impression that he is somehow actually funny? It's not that these people have personalities that are being artificially suppressed, they just have the personalities of baked potatoes.

Yes, there used to be more 'personalities' in the game - because full-blown alcoholics could still thrive in an amateur sport. Now, we've gone professional so we've had to get the players on the disco treats instead to keep those skin folds down. You ever been around someone coming down off a 3-day drug binge trying to pass a drug test? Not nearly as fun as your mate Davo from down the pub after 6 schooners. But Davo can't play elite football any more like he could in the 70s.

The discipline required to be a professional footballer also lends to certain personality types having advantages over the Davos of the world - like people who go home and spoon Jesus every night. You ever been to Sunday school? Not many laughs to be had there, apart from the silly stories they tell you.
I think memories of and perceptions of the old time footy club environment and characters and "accepted" functional alcoholism you describe are just as off-putting for parents as any chance of their kid getting hurt on field.
 

Remove this Banner Ad