Why the 2020 AFL season can’t be revived

Lynn Imbier

Adelaide Crows training at West Lakes Headquarters. Picture: Sarah ReedDavid Penberthy

Not counting faculty footy, which I coached right after a style and which took up about 5 hours a week, the rough estimate was that by attending 7 or eight SANFL games a calendar year and almost each Crows household video game, and viewing each Crows absent video game on Television set, as properly as most Port games and a couple of interstate matches, I was investing about 250-300 hours – or up to 12 times a calendar year – viewing skilled football.

There’s an awful great deal you can do with that type of time. My previous abroad holiday didn’t previous that extensive.

Which is not to say all that time is a complete waste, of program. Some of people hours are exhilarating, others morbidly depressing wherever shedding by less than a kick on the siren galvanises you in a type of convivial distress with your fellow fans, that means you at least get an emotional response from it all.

But most of what passes for skilled activity is eminently forgettable, and if you think about how considerably time it consumes, you can essentially resent it.

This sort of as a Friday night time “blockbuster” wherever Carlton are six goals at the rear of at quarter-time and continue to be there until the remaining siren. Or some meandering, wet-weather come across in between Brisbane and Freo in the dire 4pm timeslot on a Sunday, which you watch only since you cannot think of anything else to do.

All this provides up to everyday living only ebbing absent. The impact of the pandemic has been to reinsert people 300 hours in the diary to be filled in other ways.

There would be a lot of individuals looking at this for whom 300 hours is barely scratching the surface area of annual sporting intake.

As a substitute, for the past 3 months, we have observed ourselves participating in board games, looking at more books, viewing good documentaries and miniseries and revisiting outdated films. Individuals have gardened more, cooked more, played more records. In our situation, we have created 3 visits to the Belair Countrywide Park for bushwalks in the past thirty day period, a location we experienced only visited when right before with our two young children.

A great deal has been reported about the fast economical impact on the AFL and NRL as a result of membership refunds or suspensions, the reduction of goods, and the big strike from Television set rights and advertising earnings designed around games.

These are fast challenges, but my suspicion is there might be a for a longer time-expression just one for the attractiveness of activity. Never get me completely wrong, I would enjoy almost nothing more than to be between the crowd at a shut Showdown or standing in the outer at Unley listening to ratbag fans heckle the opposition on a drizzly Saturday arvo.

I have no question that when the fans can return to games they will do so in droves, as to begin with it will be a trigger for collective celebration, a mass event wherever individuals come jointly with the sole intention of having fun with themselves.

But, apart from the thrill of attendance, the extent to which we permit points these as footy frame our life for 7 months of the calendar year is something quite a few of us will question.

I have quite considerably zero interest or treatment in the resumption of the AFL this calendar year. The period feels entirely meaningless. Spherical just one was just one of the most depressing points I have ever witnessed.

Even with my team participating in incredibly great footy at the get started of that video game, only to drop narrowly on account of going to slumber for a though, there was almost nothing remotely thrilling about the match.

Spherical just one proved that footy is almost nothing with out the fans. And there is each probability that, when round two begins, apart from the novelty of having a Showdown, quite a few of us will tune in for a few minutes and go – oh yeah, which is proper, this is essentially crap.

Over and above the removing of fans from the equation, the risk for the AFL and NRL is that, now that family members have rekindled their enjoy of shared activities of a non-televisual type, we will all think twice about tuning in on a Friday night time to watch Carlton drop again, or hitting the couch at 4pm on a Sunday to watch the tedium of the Brisbane-Fremantle video game.

For all the job-wrecking horrors and health and fitness-relevant tragedies of this pandemic, I know a lot of individuals who have essentially reported that parts of the lockdown have been a real joy.

I’ve even heard individuals speak about the lockdown as if they are going to miss it.

A big part of that has been the removing of activity as an all-consuming ordering method for the remainder of our life, whereby the initially question that should be requested when planning the weekend is: Properly, what games are on?

On radio, we interviewed a priest the other working day about the fashion in which the discussion of football resuming and pubs opening has eaten so considerably protection of the emergence from lockdown.

For quite a few individuals, their principal question was when could they all congregate jointly as they typically do on a Sunday.

The priest, Dr Steven Ogden, from St Oswalds Anglican Church in Parkside, reported he considered that through the lockdown quite a few individuals experienced turn into more reflective and cerebral, and experienced observed themselves questioning what truly matters in everyday living.

He predicted there could be something of a put up-lockdown renaissance in his line of business.

As an formally lapsed Methodist, I’m even now not confident if I would go fairly that significantly. But there is something in what the reverend reported, since not mechanically sitting at the altar of Brisbane-Fremantle on a Sunday has been just one of the finest parts of becoming locked down by significantly.


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