2017 will be remembered as a year that saw the unequivocal mark of being a bloody, fantastic season for the first time in a long time! Round 12 of the AFL season saw the shaking up of everyone’s ability to accurately predict who will win, and how great is that!
For far too long the AFL season has been marked by a discrepancy in the top clubs and those who are not. There was nothing really in-between, unless you count Richmond who continually finished 9th…again. The seasons were dogged by the Essendon drug scandal and the state of the game was in disarray because of this. Not anymore.
Round 12 saw incredible outcomes in matches that most, nay, all commentators could never have predicted. With Sydney’s form, those in the know were sure the Bulldogs would outplay, outlast and out-gun their once Grand Final opponents. They were wrong. The Bulldogs looked depleted, tired and disinterested and Sydney were hungrier, grittier and more determined to send the Bulldogs back to their kennel.
We saw the see-saw that is St. Kilda where you never know which week they are going to win, or lose which is really strange because on paper that should be a more balanced team. The same is with Fremantle. I cannot believe that this team is in the position they are in and what is going on in that club? I’m not going to go into the match between Hawthorn and Geelong, because, well I think everyone who is not a Hawks supporter is glad that Hawthorn are now the butt of all footy jokes.
Then there was the amazing slaughter of Port Adelaide by Essendon who have put their past well and truly behind them. Love them or hate them (and as a Carlton supporter, I am not too much in love with them), they have some great players standing up, one being a player who I absolutely love, Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti! Watching him move around the ground with speed and dare I say it, elegance is such a joy to see. This player has far to go my friends.
Then on the Queen’s Birthday we saw an incredible game of footy with Melbourne literally plunging Collingwood into that freezing ice water that was used to raise money for the MND headed by the inspirational Neale Danniher, head first. Not even the screamer by Jeremy Howell could thwart the determination and sheer brilliance of Christian Petracca.
Yet through all of this, one match has stood out for the footy world, the media and supporters as being one of the best matches so far, this season, the astounding win by Carlton over flag favourites GWS. I have watched this game twice now and believe me, if you haven’t watched it, watch it.
It was not the individuality of the players from Carlton that stood out, but it was the collective. What I mean is that every single player of that team played their hearts out, not for themselves, but for the club and mostly for each other. GWS on the other hand showed a weakness, the players on the whole, play for one thing only, themselves.
This round has shown the footy loving world how great footy is. The high-flyers, the close-encounters, the massive-slaughters, the unfathomable issue of who is going to actually win, makes this year, season 2017 one of the best for a long time. How bloody great is that!
P.S Not making mention of a standout for Carlton, but I do hope Liam Jones continues his incredible return to footy down back. If he does, then he will be an unbelievable force for the team.
P.P.S How great is that Carlton now have three, yep three Rising Star's. Congrats to David Cunningham, my buzz-word for this week, EPIC!