Ted Whitten was from my limited perception of the man, a ridgy didge good footballer, who played passionately for club and state. It is great that lots of money is being raised for charities from this annual match. The AFL upped the ante on the publicising of this football game by legislating a bye for all finalists a week before the finals. The intense focus of the media’s glare on this ‘bit of fun’ has turned a non-entity into something front of house. It has come up very short of the mark.
EJ Whitten Legends Football Match Travesty
There were two token newby female AFL players in the match, one, conveniently on each team. Abbie Holmes was listed to play well ahead of the match, but a certain Nobel lady for the Vics starred as well; and must have come in late. These very attractive, fit looking, women, who we are told, will be playing in the inaugural Women’s AFL National Competition next year. People, who like watching athletic looking women playing the Australian game are anticipating the start of this scheduled 2017 competition. Seeing predominantly overweight old blokes running around in a bit of hit and giggle is one thing. Having them hand off, repetitiously, chances for these two girls in front of goals, as if they were (apologies to the wonderful disabled Olympians) disabled, was demeaning to women athletes everywhere.
Imagine, if these ex-champion footballers were, in their hail fellow well-met spirit, giving off lollypop handballs to disabled AFL footballers in wheelchairs in front of goal, or exactly, just two of these token, unfortunates, for the benefit of the TV cameras. How would the enlightened world view the patronising behaviour of these broken down ex-gladiators of the game? Big Brian Taylor, so lacking in courage he stays safely behind the commentator’s microphone, has a big mouth when it comes to criticising those that play. He, to be fair to him, does not sound like a supporter of the concept itself, but what he does is carp at the efforts of those who give it their all.
Perhaps, it is hard for these old warriors to understand that their time in the sun is over and that the game has come to inspire new people. AFL is a mighty game; and it has been the provenance of white Anglo-Saxon males for many years. Now, it is time for the girls to play, time for new Australians to play, time for the long beleaguered Aboriginal players to take their place as the naturally talented champions of the game. Football is no longer the exclusive realm of alpha males, who made the team in decade’s past, it is now a game for all, men, women, gays, minorities and more.
Let’s also lose the bullshit, “I am not trying”, clowning around, supposed compulsory attitude toward playing in this entertaining game. If you pull on the jumper, man up, and play the game, stop denigrating those that can still play. The fans appreciate a game, not a monstrosity. There is nothing wrong with being a fat bastard, as long as you run your fat guts out trying to get the ball. Don’t belittle the women who are willing to give their all, just because your time is done. Don’t listen to the big mouths who want to make all other forms of football inept and permanently amateur. They are poor examples of some comedic Bob Hope idea gone obsolete. Brian Taylor you are less than a joke.
Attitudes of dumb footballers must be consigned to the dumpster; and the visionary leaders of this game must continue to take the greatest game of all beyond the confines of the merely physically talented.