The AFL…. with an X.
Friday 22nd February, 7pm AEDT at The Battledome
Arriving this Friday, just in time to undermine what is turning into a promising AFLW season, it’s the answer to the question that no-one asked, AFLX!
Sadly, my favourite feature of last year’s inaugural tournament, the ZOOPER GOAL, has been discarded like a Zooper Dooper wrapper (The 10 point goal will still be there), and this year features ALL NEW elements, like the GATORADE GAME CHANGER, where a player comes on in the last 5 minutes and can score DOUBLE POINTS (Say, isn’t that like a SuperCoach captain?), PINK footies, and players can have their nicknames on the back of their jumpers.
But the biggest change is the four ‘all-star’ teams; The BOLTS, the RAMPAGE, the FLYERS and the DEADLY.
To be honest, when I first heard the names ‘Bolts’, ‘Rampage’, ‘Flyers’ and ‘Deadly’, and that they would be roaming around Melbourne this weekend, I assumed Peter Dutton was talking about the apparent threat of African gangs. Fortunately, this latest edition of Melbourne gang violence has been confined by the AFL to the BATTLE DOME! aka Marvel Stadium.
Of course the players have all taken to the revamped format, like Hawthorn duo Isaac Smith and Luke Breust… who decided to withdraw and play in a practice match against Carlton instead.
Here are this year’s AFLX
Given Patrick Dangerfield once recorded a Fox Footy commercial in which he surfed in a business suit, I’ll be backing him to nominate himself as the Gatorade Game Changer.
Luke Hodge is the Bolts’ vice captain, having never held a leadership role in his storied two year career at the Brisbane Lions, which makes his choice as the team’s VC very confusing to me.
Anyway, 3 of the 4 Cats players in this year’s tournament are in this team, and joining Dangerfield are Mark Blicavs, who gave up a career jumping fences to play in the AFL, making his selection understandable, and spearhead Tom Hawkins, who has somehow gained a spot in a team based on leg speed, despite having a slower turning circle than the Queen Mary 2.
Most importantly for Dangerfield and the Bolts, the drafting of reviled Eagle Andrew Gaff should give the Bolts the play needed to sucker punch the hopes and dreams of the other
Will need to score more points than the other teams to win.
I’m not sure that Jack Riewoldt strikes me as the type of person to lead the Rampage. After all, the last time a Tasmanian led a rampage was April 1996.
But I suppose Jack’s 10 goals against the Suns last year is probably on the definition list for ‘rampage’.
In all, the Coleman Medalist picked a pretty balanced squad aiming for power, with mini-Hulk Patrick Cripps as his vice-captain, Adelaide’s Rory Sloane and Brisbane B&F Dayne Zorko, giving Cripps the sort of midfield support Carlton will never bother to provide him.
Another interesting draft choice was All-Australian Giants player Lachie Whitfield to play in the backline, however other teams will no doubt be looking to employ ASADA drug testers, which should effectively deal with Whitfield.
In all, they should Rampage their way close to the 2019 AFLX Grand Final!
In the 1970s, the Philadelphia Flyers struck fear into the NHL for their brutal, physical style of play which led to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles and earned them the nickname the Broad Street Bullies.
In 2019, the Flyers will be aiming to win the AFLX Title with feared enforcers like Jeremy Cameron (Just ask Harris Andrews) protecting Fyfe’s , Scott Pendlebury (Who has apparently been found after going missing on Grand Final Day), Josh Kennedy of the Sydney variety, Stephen Coniglio and the team’s vice captain, ‘Das Bont’.
That sort of midfield would make any Supercoach player moist.
Also, don’t be surprised if some of the My Kitchen Rules contestants look at Nat Fyfe and think he’s “trans” at first.
It’s not often that an adjective works as a team nickname, but ‘Deadly’ just rolls of the tongue, and it fits perfectly into a sentence.
I hope the Deadly players slaughter the Bolts on Friday night.
See what I mean? It’s a thing of beauty.
Can you imagine the Bolts, Flyers and Rampage when they have to run out on to Docklands and face a team full of Deadly players, the likes of Betts, Burgoyne, Tipungwuti, Varcoe, Jetta and Rioli, while up in the commentary box Brian Taylor screams out “And Dangerfield is wrapped up in a Deadly tackle by McDonald-Tipungwuti!”, or “And the Deadly are killing the Flyers!” or “That’s a Deadly goal by Betts! Boy oh boy wowee, that could be fatal for the Bolts!”
What a sight it should be. Serious face on, their speed looks perfectly suited to an attacking format like AFLX.
But on the flip side, would it not have made more sense to make Eddie the captain of the Flyers, given he can pull this off?
TL:DR : In summing up, it’s the constitution, it’s Mabo, it’s justice, it’s law, it’s the vibe and… no that’s it, it’s the vibe.