The league lacks characters nowadays

Remove this Banner Ad

Hot Diggity

All Australian
Jun 19, 2020
884
1,463
AFL Club
Hawthorn
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
As a junior my favourite player was Derm, closely followed by Ayres and Dipper. Hardly the "cleanest" players to have played the game.
 

Atomboy

Premiership Player
Jan 22, 2007
3,060
2,610
Yes
AFL Club
St Kilda
Only player I could never get mad about giving away a double 50m was Fraser Gehrig

Legend
Yeah he was the last great onfield character I reckon.

Great player who could also do some hilariously stupid things, and when he got mad, whooo boy !!.
 

Log in to remove this ad.

Dr Awkward

Norm Smith Medallist
Mar 23, 2009
5,285
4,868
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
San Antonio Spurs
I thought the Port Richmond game was fun because there was the villain Lynch and then Hartlett and Dursma getting all chirpy. Added to the game.

Social media hasn't helped, harder to have a personality when everyone is so negative and all these keyboard warriors out and about.
 

Schauermann

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 27, 2011
5,666
3,051
Hamburg
AFL Club
Fremantle
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.
Among my favourite opposing players.

In soccer they just pretend to be hurt
I think I wrote thos already somewhere on here: I still remember physical education classes at school. Those guys who played soccer with some club always went to ground when you got near them. Game had to be stopped, teacher rushed towards the scene, they were helped to the sidelines. And nothing had happened in the end. They probably learn this before even touching their first ball...
 

terrybull

Team Captain
Feb 1, 2004
420
362
Sweden
Other Teams
Helsingborg Australian FC
Characters are disappearing not just in footy but everywhere.
Comedy will disappear in around 50 years or so, as making fun of anyone, anywhere or anything will be classified as bullying. Even laughing at yourself will be classified as social suicide.

Guess the only bright place will be jail!
 

Boomerfan99

Premiership Player
Jun 22, 2015
4,652
5,710
AFL Club
North Melbourne
Other Teams
Nuggets
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.
Fun police.
 

FrustratedTiger

Team Captain
Apr 13, 2009
371
777
AFL Club
Richmond
I like Sicily and Papley
I like Toby Greene
 

_Mike_

Super Moderator
Aug 10, 2009
26,477
22,051
Victoria
AFL Club
Western Bulldogs
Other Teams
Tottenham, Montreal Canadiens
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'.
Fair call, there has to be a differentiation between characters and thugs because we certainly dont want to see footy revert to the old style of having players knocked out through dirty play.

As far as the data is concerned some statistics are available from the Australian Sports Commission and AusPlay, showing for the year 2019 seeing approximately 400,000 children participating in out of school (AFL) football programs vs 695,000 for soccer in comparison.

Other survey data also indicates that from a gender basis of soccer & AFL has a participation rate of 21.9% (soccer) vs 14.6% (AFL) for boys.
 

(Log in to remove this ad.)

telsor

Hall of Famer
Aug 29, 2004
32,531
30,909
Here
AFL Club
Richmond
Other Teams
Habs
The thing is though, when a player shows any personality, they get hammered from pillar to post from the media and the general public.

People say they want characters, until they get one and they don’t like it.
I want players from my team to have character and the should be universally admired and respected for being so.

Any player from another team who says boo is a complete flog and a disgrace to the game who should be run out of the sport.
 

Johnny Bananas

Norm Smith Medallist
Sep 10, 2010
6,136
7,449
A sugar refinery
AFL Club
Brisbane Lions
You can be a character without being a flog. I'd point to Mitch Robinson as someone who transitioned from being an outright flog to simply being an outspoken character who gets into an argy-bargy now and then.
 

The Gong

Norm Smith Medallist
Oct 24, 2012
5,951
11,787
AFL Club
Sydney
Other Teams
Northern Districts Tigers
Some posters seem to think being a thug means being a character.

I'd rather see someone like a Nathan Grima with some funny banter than some sniper.
 

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
Characters are disappearing not just in footy but everywhere.
Comedy will disappear in around 50 years or so, as making fun of anyone, anywhere or anything will be classified as bullying. Even laughing at yourself will be classified as social suicide.

Guess the only bright place will be jail!
Are there any consistently funny comedians or comedy TV shows that don't involve cutting others down, making them look stupid, or making others feel "less than"? Not too much comes to mind right away.
 

Duskfire

Norm Smith Medallist
Jun 30, 2007
6,870
5,664
Perth
AFL Club
Geelong
Look at the discussion something simple like Dhursmas bow and arrow caused. That’s the problem. Here is a young talented player who creates a trademark of sorts and half the league is quick to criticise him for it.
 

Sprout

Brownlow Medallist
Aug 6, 2010
12,687
18,322
AFL Club
Melbourne
Other Teams
MCFC, The Exers
Look at the discussion something simple like Dhursmas bow and arrow caused. That’s the problem. Here is a young talented player who creates a trademark of sorts and half the league is quick to criticise him for it.
But really, so what?

Sure, he will cop some flack for it. It goes against the grain for some people who have an aversion to show ponies. Especially in this country. By the same token there are just as many who love it. Certainly the commentators lose their sh*t whenever Charlie Cameron revs his motorbike.

If a player is discouraged from showing their personality because they will cop some amount of criticism for it then frankly they need to harden up. The career of an AFL player is not one free from public scrutiny. Never has been and never will be. Fortunately it doesn’t seem to have stopped Dursma and good luck to him.

I used to think the lack of personality in the league was due to it being drowned out. I now tend to think there just aren’t as many personalities coming through the ranks. The Matt Rowells of the world are becoming the rule, not the exception.
 

Handsuper47

Club Legend
Aug 5, 2012
2,788
4,349
AFL Club
Richmond
Given the way social media and how Australian Media works, especially with how "passionate" some supporters are.. why would you want to be a character? It's just a wave of abuse on and off the field, even for things they don't even do - like umpiring and MRP decisions. It's better just to not bother.
 

B4Bear

Norm Smith Medallist
Jul 6, 2011
6,071
11,156
Melbourne
AFL Club
North Melbourne
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
But mums do.

NRL had a big problem with their juniors getting less players because the game was on the nose with so many mothers.

They do the driving to practice and games, so yeah it does matter in the big picture.
 

StonesThrow

Norm Smith Medallist
Aug 21, 2008
8,954
8,996
Adelaide
AFL Club
Adelaide
The thing is though, when a player shows any personality, they get hammered from pillar to post from the media and the general public.

People say they want characters, until they get one and they don’t like it.
Exactly.

A player can't even dye their hair now without people getting stuck into them especially if they haven't won a premiership.
 

Remove this Banner Ad