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Watch it, or don't, but why be mad about AFLX?


Here are the sporting choices tomorrow night on TV.

The women’s ODI against New Zealand from Perth will be over by the time you get to the couch.

As will the Super Rugby match between the Highlanders and Reds from Dunedin.

The A-League has the bottom of the table clash with Central Coast hosting Brisbane – that’s 9th versus 10th.

And internationally there’s Day 2 of the Test match between South Africa and Sri Lanka.

That’s it – starvation rations.

The worst A-League is all there is locally.

Otherwise it’s Gardening Australia, Grand Designs and the Bolt Report.

Thank god for AFLX! That’s what I’ll be watching.

This is a choice that strangely invites derision.

It’s highly fashionable to grouch and grump about it. It’s already been concluded a failure before it’s even staged.

The concept collapsed apparently when Isaac Smith and Luke Breust withdrew. Lovely players, but I wasn’t aware they were the pinnacle of AFL box office.

I reckon they sit behind those who are showing up: Fyfe, Bontempelli, Pendlebury, Rance, Kennedy, Riewoldt, Cripps, Sloane, Shiel, Dangerfield, Hodge, Hawkins, Sidebottom, Gaff, Betts, Burgoyne and Kelly.

Like T20 in its first incarnation it’ll be all about the show rather than the game.

Nicknames on jumpers, players in the mic, tricked up rules. Paper, scissors, rock is as silly as the bat flip.

Like the NBA All Star game this week it will showcase offence to a degree that might offend, but the upside is a player is far more likely to get injured in an intraclub or scratch match than this.

So indulge in AFLX, or not. But why be mad about it?

There’s a hopeless sporting void tomorrow night that AFLX fills.

If there was no AFLX there wouldn’t be a team in Tasmania.

Nor has AFLW been deprived of desperately needed funds.

Nor would the home and away season have started if AFLX wasn’t being played.

It’ll be stuff and nonsense. Lord knows there’ll be enough of the serious stuff to obsess over soon enough.

Watch. Don’t watch.

But why be mad?

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