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View Poll Results: How do you view the current game?

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  • Better than ever

    1 7.69%
  • About the same

    3 23.08%
  • Not enjoying it as much as you previously have

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Thread: The State of The Current Game

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    Super Moderator dylan123's Avatar
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    The State of The Current Game

    I thought it would be worth getting a thread going to hear what everyone thinks of the game this season and where it's heading.

    Are you enjoying it more than ever? About the same? Or has your interest dropped off? If you're in the later group, what has hurt it for you? And if you were put in charge, what would you try to do to fix it.

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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    For me, my enjoyment of the game is probably the lowest it's been since I really started to get into AFL and there are a few factors for this:

    Style of the game -
    It's an ugly game to watch when all 36 players on the field are chasing after the ball like we did in the Auskick days. It's very scrappy and makes the skills look very poor meaning the majority of neutral games can be quite a bore to watch. You can see why teams do it though, zones often cover up deficiencies and can make them much harder to score on, thus, beat.

    Just watch Melbourne to see exactly what it can do, they've gone from a side that was getting belted each week to one that's far more competitive and winning a number of games now against teams fighting for a spot in the 8. For your weaker teams, it makes sense for them to play this way as it stops any major blow out and keeps them more competitive in the majority of the games they play.

    The issue is, a lot of the top teams play a similar style and there aren't many teams with the footskill to break these zones - Hawthorn being one of those sides that can beat a zone with precise kicking. As someone who would like to see the zone style of footy drop off (at least go away from the extreme state it's currently at) I hope Hawthorn can remain as a top side for a couple more years yet in hope that other coaches come to the conclusion that if they want to win a grand final, they're going to have to do it with top skill/1v1 contests. Rules could be brought in like that which Worsfold suggested, but that would just be the AFL trying to change the game to be played how they'd like with another rule being brought in which I'm against. The concept of there being a loose ball and your player not being able to go at it because he has to stay inside his forward/defensive 50 or giving a free against for doing so would just be facepalm worthy.

    So for me, I think it's something we've just got to ride through and wait for it to cycle out of the system as I'm sure it has many times before.



    Rules/Umpiring -
    HOLDING THE BALL - Probably the thing that annoys me the most out of anything in our current game. When did the rule change from it being no prior opportunity to not making a genuine attempt? And how is there not more outrage for this stupid way of determining whether they pin a player for holding the ball? I couldn't care less if a player just went limp when they were tackled if they don't have the opportunity to get rid of it. If they catch it and are covered up then how can anyone expect them to get rid of it? And why should they be wasting energy flopping around to please an umpire? If they have the chance to get rid of it and don't, then they get called for with prior opportunity. Why do we need this genuine attempt?

    Protecting the head - I understand that the AFL have to look after their players and want to avoid head contact for the safety of them but implementing rules that encourage players to go in with their head isn't the way. Well they're not encouraging players but the players are abusing the rules as to be expected. I'd rather they scrap/overlook the head high contact for the most part when players lead with their head over their body. Remove the potential factor of players getting a free for if they are taken high and we might just see them going for it just as hard, but smarter as they protect themselves. Who knows, with the risk of getting concussion and not being allowed to return, it might make even more sense to them to look after themselves for the good of their team. Now I obviously don't want players sniping others when they do put their head over the ball and are taken out, I'd expect the umpire to use common sense and look after them in that instance. But when two players are both going just as hard for the ball and one puts his head first instead of his body, well that's the risk he's taking by doing so and he shouldn't be awarded a free for doing that. Again, there could be instances where this leads to a serious injury, but at the same time, I think it could possibly avoid one as players seem to go into the contest head first which is quite dangerous in the first place.

    Sub rule - Often vent about this one but now with the cap on interchanges, why do we need it? Not only is this green/red vest a bane to us fantasy players, it really hurts rookies and mid tier players (can't think of the right term here) ability to put a stamp on the game and actually earn their spot in the side. How can a player be expected to go from playing a second standard game of footy to being subbed on with 20 minutes to go in a game and perform? It usually takes some getting used to adjusting to the speed difference and by the time they have, the games over and they've finished with 5-10 odd touches without really impressing anyone and are sent back to the 2nds again.

    Incorrect disposal - ?? What happened to this one? Very rarely seems to get called these days and is quite frustrating when you see a good tackle laid which isn't rewarded with a free kick when the player drops the ball. All I can say about this one is I'd like to see it called more often.

    I'm sure there are a few others that I'm forgetting at the moment which you guys will pick up on!



    MRP -

    I'd like to see less players getting suspended, to me it seems like lots are getting suspended these days for incidents where they don't intend to injure a player. A lot of it is accidental and it's something I don't think should be penalised with a suspension (within reason of course). The Fyfe clash earlier this year being a prime example of that, he didn't intend to clash heads and he was going for the ball and yet he was penalised for 2 weeks (I think). Leave the suspensions to the players that deserve to be suspended for purposefully injuring players/not abiding by the rules.

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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    I'd say I'm enjoying it less than ever, which given my side is actually a chance at winning it all and playing some of the best footy really sums it up.

    It's funny but I've actually quite enjoyed watching Melbourne, they play a very physical style which is what I enjoy most, love the big tackles and smothers that helped them steal the game yesterday, in the 2nd half they were just the harder team.

    My vents are all the same...

    HTB/Incorrect Disposal - Done the vent before but it just continues to baffle me, the AFL seems to want the rolling mauls because that is all the current interpretations cause, surely stoppages are better than the current "auskick slop".

    For me it's an easy fix as well. If a player has prior opportunity and does not dispose of the ball legally it is holding the ball or incorrect disposal. Treat it more like NFL or NRL where it is your job to keep the ball secure when tackled. If you do not have prior it is a ball up. If you duck or dive on the ball, that is prior opportunity. That's it, rule done. Umpires have 1 decision to make only... did the player have prior opportunity, if yes, pay free kick, if no, stoppage. There will still be mistakes I'm sure but that is unavoidable.

    Subs - Never liked it, never will. I don't like the interchange cap either for that matter. This is the ugliest brand of football I can remember... I can think of one major change this year that might have contributed to that. What the cap has done is just tighten up the zones to a smaller area, ie. more players in less space. Ugly congested slop fests.

    MRP - I've said it as long as I can remember but suspensions are bad for the fans. How is the AFL better to watch because a guy like Ballantyne is not playing every few weeks for nothing incidents? I'd love if they would go to the path similar to the NFL here again, suspensions are for serious repeat offenders or serious actions completely outside the game. Fine the players as the punishment for minor offenses or even the minor repeat offenders (Ballantyne the perfect example).

    Ruck Contests - This obsession with punishing people for being stronger is absurd. They should be the same as marking contests, if the ball is within 5m you can do what you want from a pushing/wrestling type of perspective. Still no holding, high or back contact but if you push in the side or front, it's play on. The amount of free kicks for nothing incidents is just infuriating.

    There are plenty of other minor things I'd love changed but those are the main ones that seem to continually take away from my enjoyment.
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Agree with everything said above, I'll add some more points:

    Expansion - is having a detrimental affect at present, further diluting the talent pool and we are seeing more blow outs as a result (see St Kilda, Brisbane, GWS etc.)

    I used to watch 3-4 games a week, now I'm watching 1-2 at best. Partly due to shithouse fixuring (blockbuster games belong on Friday/Saturday not Sunday nights), but also because I'm sick of watching boring games of football, which are increasingly common these days.

    Bringing back State of Origin once every 4 years would be a massive step in the right direction IMO. Just through watching the World Cup and NRL SOO you can see representative football is the purest form of football. Players playing for their state rather than money, and you don't have to worry about your favourite players jumping ship and moving elsehwhere like Buddy.
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Maybe contrary to popular opinion here but I don't really have problem with the change in game style. I don't think tactical innovation should be forced, directed or prevented through new rules, and throughout history there have always been changing tides of tactics. I like how Melbourne's defensive game plan has made them competitive all of a sudden, ask Devo whether he'd prefer to watch free-flowing games giving up 20 goals or being competitive in close, low-scoring games. As a Freo supporter, I enjoy having confidence in our back line after previously experiencing all manner of easy goals scored against us. Someone will come up with an innovation that will defeat the rolling maul / forward press and then what will be the next big thing.

    What I do agree with is the umpiring/laws of the game changes, it's ultimately made it confusing for the umpire and hence infuriating for the supporter. I believe an overhaul of the rules committee will probably revert back to an older style of rules, leading for clearer interpretations. Same with the MRP, not sure they're doing anything wrong given the rules they're given to work with, the points system however overlooks probably the most important factor, being intent. I hate seeing unintentional shit getting punished.

    What I hate is the amount of injuries occurring, not sure what really can be done about it but after the result, the first thing I check from a freo game is the injuries because it seems weekly we seem to be losing a quality player. I think the GF will be fought out between the two teams from the top 5 or so that have the best run with injuries

    As someone who has less time to watch football than I have previously, I only ever really get to see one game a week and highlights from the afl site, and my enjoyment of the game is still the same as ever
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Yeah I don't think defensive is bad. I have found that watching Ross Lyon choke a team out when he was coach of St Kilda or Fremantle was very watchable in the past.

    However for whatever reason I think this is the most horrible season of football that I've ever seen.

    I actually thought football was getting more watchable until this year as well. This pack of 30 odd players that seem to congregate around the ball is a result of mediocre sides who don't have the midfield talent to win it via their quality so they pack the area with quantity to try and force the ball forward that way.

    Also the holding the ball rule is an absolute joke and the AFL ought to be ashamed of the way they've ruined it.
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    This weekend was pretty enjoyable.

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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Yeah this weekend was probably the best round of the year by a fair way with 4 games decided by under a goal. 2 of those were mostly excellent games to watch (Syd vs Port & Ess vs Melb).
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Sledge #32 View Post
    Yeah I don't think defensive is bad. I have found that watching Ross Lyon choke a team out when he was coach of St Kilda or Fremantle was very watchable in the past.
    The best game of football I've ever seen (2010 GF) involved a Ross Lyon coached team.

    Defensive football might not be as exciting as attacking football, but I would argue it is more engrossing particularly in a finals type contest.

    Every goal has so much more weight on it, which as a supporter is great to watch when your team finally breaks through the deadlock (see 2005/6 grand finals).

    Edit: You can also add the 2005 Nick Davis final to that list.
    Last edited by Thumpy; 16th June 2014 at 06:53 PM.
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    My only issues are the htb rule as currently interpreted and the umpires' collective refusal to call for a ball-up. Otherwise I'm happy with the product.

    And I'm very happy with my team grinding out games if it means they don't get the shit beaten out of them every week.
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    My problems (other than pretty much everything mentioned already) are with the people in charge constantly trying to change the game with a goal to suit a certain audience with the problems being a) who the heck is the target audience supposed to be that would be pleased by the sort of changes they try to implement? and b) even if such a target audience did exist, the altercations they are trying to make aren't going the way they plan. Well at least I hope not because if this is what they are after I'd seriously believe they are out to destroy the game.

    You know what as I start to write this I'm thinking more and more about what is wrong with the game and it makes me angry that a few rich dudes have progressively taken something I've grown up loving and driven me almost to the point of hating it so before I get on a rant tangent I'll just answer the poll and say that I feel the game has progressively been in decline over the last decade or so from year to year with each minor change to the point that this is the worst year yet. A couple of years ago I was watching at least 4-5 games a week. Now I watch Collingwood weekly and at the very most 0.5-1 other neutral game a week.
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Bert1 View Post
    My problems (other than pretty much everything mentioned already) are with the people in charge constantly trying to change the game with a goal to suit a certain audience with the problems being a) who the heck is the target audience supposed to be that would be pleased by the sort of changes they try to implement? and b) even if such a target audience did exist, the altercations they are trying to make aren't going the way they plan. Well at least I hope not because if this is what they are after I'd seriously believe they are out to destroy the game.
    If you're talking about changes preventing head high contact they are doing it to save their own arses, basically. I'm not really sure what the legal consequences would be in the scenario that a player suffers a serious head injury, but either way it wouldn't be a good look for the AFL.

    Otherwise, maybe they are trying to soften the game up to entice parents to let their kids play footy. Not that junior participation numbers in the traditioanl football states are in bad shape or anything, but a lot more kids are playing soccer nowadays so it could be in reaction to that.
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpy View Post
    If you're talking about changes preventing head high contact they are doing it to save their own arses, basically. I'm not really sure what the legal consequences would be in the scenario that a player suffers a serious head injury, but either way it wouldn't be a good look for the AFL.

    Otherwise, maybe they are trying to soften the game up to entice parents to let their kids play footy. Not that junior participation numbers in the traditioanl football states are in bad shape or anything, but a lot more kids are playing soccer nowadays so it could be in reaction to that.
    Nah I understand the head high stuff. I'm more talking random changes like sub rule, interchange cap, holding the ball etc
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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    CARLTON coach Mick Malthouse says the game of Australian football has become unrecognisable.

    Malthouse, a 701-game coaching legend, is fed up with the aesthetics of the modern game and has called on the AFL to make some rule changes to get the game back on track.

    "If I wasn't coaching, I'd hate the game," Malthouse said at the MCG on Thursday morning.

    "We've moved so far away from what our Australian game was."

    .....


    The Blues coach is worried about on-field congestion, starting with the number of players teams are employing around the ball.

    At any one time, he said, teams were stationing up to 10 players around the ball each, and the look of the game was suffering as a result.

    Although he acknowledged the players' skills, strength and fitness had lifted a notch, Malthouse was adamant the League needs to step in and address some glaring issues.

    "We don't see the contests of yesteryear," he said.

    "I don't know if the public really enjoy that …

    "At the end of the day, we're supposed to be entertainers. Maybe down the track, and we do have some say in where the game is going, we've got to change it."

    AFL chief executive Gillon McLachlan believes the game will continue to evolve, with concerns about the ugly style of 'rolling mauls' being overstated.

    "Yes, there's bad games. But there's a lot of good games too," McLachlan told Fox Footy's On the Couch on Monday night.

    "We accept there are parts of it that are unattractive."
    http://www.afl.com.au/news/2014-06-2...game-malthouse

    Another voicing his opinions on the state of the game.

    Whilst I agree with McLachlan that the game will continue to evolve, it's at a pretty average stage at the moment and I wouldn't mind if they could speed up the evolution although I'm sure to do so would be with the result of a silly rule such as having to keep x amount of players in the forward/defensive 50.

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    Re: The State of The Current Game

    Fix the ball rule, fix the game.

    Why is there so much congestion? Simple, because you take so long to call for a ball up that everyone is drawn in and with the quick throw up no one has time to reset. If you ball it up like they used to then players don't have time to surround the contest and as such there is much more space.

    It just seems so easy as an observer to see that this is the source of the problems and the greatest frustration for fans.
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