It’s a strange old year and even the ladder looks like it’s been drawn by Salvador Dali
With the Power, Saints and Suns all in the top eight, the Tigers and Eagles are battling for form. Further, we thought with the COVID-19 crisis everything was in hand but a second spike has developed in footy’s heartland throwing the fixture into a spin. With the footy world grappling with everything, what is certain is Yokayi Footy has found its mojo.
What a funny old season it is.
By any measure the season has thrown up all types of weirdness from strange haircuts to John Worsfold doing TikToks.
With the havoc that COVID-19 is creating, the latest fixture has been re-jigged and potentially will be several times before season’s end.
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Other unusual outcomes include the match between the Suns and Dockers, no points were scored in the first half. Big deal I hear you say. Scoring points is something that Freo have made an art form of drawing comparisons to Spanish surrealist, Salvador Dali, making a telephone out of a lobster.
et this, the scoring of no points to the main break, has never happened before in VFL/AFL history.
More strangeness saw four games determined by 1, 2, 3 and 4 points. Port and St Kilda are in the eight and the powerhouses of the competition in recent years, West Coast and Richmond, are looking like extras out of David Lynch’s film Eraserhead.
Eddie Betts got the longest 50 metre penalty in recent memory and from it, Liam Jones achieved a rare feat by winning the game by one point against the Bombers with a falcon.
Football, like the seasons, is changeable but at the moment getting a bead on anything is proving a bit of a challenge. It’s lucky Rex Hunt is no longer commentating or things would be really melting down.
In terms of consistency, Yokayi Footy brought back Andrew Krakouer who again provided an erudite and measured view of the round just gone and the one about to come. Darryl White got the sport jacket on and was beamed in from Brisbane proving a very welcome addition for the second week running.
For Krakouer, the only way for West Coast and his old side to come good is to get back to basics.
This week’s player guest was the mercurial Lion and Lardil man Charlie Cameron. Cameron is the quintessential small forward but with a distinct quirk. His post-goal celebrations have consisted of some impromptu mime consisting of bowl stirring, the motorbike and now the Baby Shark.
As a kid he was into NRL and Greg Inglis was his hero so perhaps Cameron is taking a leaf out of Inglis’s book when it comes to post-goal celebrations.
For Krakouer, both Cameron and the Swans’ Tom Papley are looking the goods to take out the Coleman Medal, another weird addendum in the early 2020 season.
Bianca Hunt interviewed Cameron and he explained what motivated him to take possibly the mark of the year.
In the third quarter Cameron missed an easy set-shot against the Crows, drawing some critical analysis from the opposition, who, let’s face it, probably needed a bit of a vent.
He also got a bake from coach Chris Fagan at the final break. To atone, Cameron in the fourth, off three steps, launched himself skyward. The hang is as good as it gets.
If ‘hub life’ is getting to some teams the community package would seem to indicate that it is not all furrowed brows and drudgery.
On the banks of the Tallebudgera Creek, local Yugambeh language group man Luther Cora, took the West Coast players spear fishing.
Young Eagle Anthony Treacy felt like he was connecting back home to his Broome mob and Liam Ryan who has had a few seasons of vile trolling looked like he was relaxed and happy.
Connecting to Country for these men is important as they use this activity not just for recreational purposes but get to learn about the connectivity of First Nations culture and the history of the country they are on.
This is why things like the All Stars Summit are so important on the AFL calendar because it helps foster that understanding.
Which brings us to the moment that we have all been waiting for (cue drumroll).
As announced in the monologue, this week’s episode revealed the Deadliest player.
A titanic clash between the two-time Norm Smith recipient and Crows champion Andrew ‘Bunji’ McLeod battling it out with Geelong innovator and AFL Legend Graham ‘Polly Farmer’. And the winner? By a hair, was McLeod.
or me, the big four in the Deadliest were Lance Franklin, Adam Goodes, Farmer and McLeod. Farmer knocked out O’Loughlin, Cable and Matera while McLeod beat Doug Nicholls, Maurice Rioli and Buddy Franklin.
In accepting the inaugural award that was determined by popular vote, McLeod admitted it was surreal.
For him to be mentioned in the same breath as Nicholls, Goodes and Farmer was humbling.
For us, as viewers, it seems like the right choice as for a small moment the Deadliest has helped distract us from our day-to-day lives and enabled us to celebrate the skill the Deadliest players, and others, have displayed time and again.
In this sense football, and all who watch it, was the winner. Another Yokai moment and another round squared away.