Football was better 20 Years ago, it just was. That could be all I have to say about this topic and leave it at that. That’s how strongly i feel about it, I don’t need to explain and go into detail but I will.
From a game point of view it was clearly a better game to watch. Players played there positions and they stayed on the ground for the whole game. A full back played on a Full Forward. A wingman played on a wingman and Centre Half Forward played on a Centre Half Back. I could go on. In the 90’s if you kicked 80 goals in a season you finished 3rd, 4th or 5th in the Coleman medal. Now if you kick 60 or 70 goals you win the Coleman Medal an you are known as a Superstar and All Australian.
Yes the game has changed in its style of play and that is why the game was better 20 years ago. I can recall more enjoyable game from 20 years ago than the modern times and if a game was low scoring it was because of the elements or ground conditions. Now its because of teams approach and game styles. Teams overuse the football and play not to lose. Chipping it around and waiting for the lose man and then kicking to a contest can make more sense but it’s great to see all these uncontested marks and possessions which makes an ordinary player look good. The overexposure of the stats in today’s football is just off putting. A player can have 8 clearances by just getting the ball and booting it forward or hand balling out of a pack to no one or straight to the opposition and he is then applauded for having 8 clearances. A player can rack up the possessions and have 25 disposals and 20 were uncontested.
There are so many assistant coaches and lap tops in the coaches box , so many stats being fed to them. Does it really help or is it to justify how much money these clubs have to spend and so if it works in America or if another club does it then it must be the way to go. Unfortunately for Carlton supporters you could have triple the Coaches, lap tops, support staff in the box but it wont make any difference.
To watch a game on tv is not the same experience. The media is to blame but i guess they have to pump up there audience and tv ratings. So much exposure on tv and newspapers and with Fox Footy who completely over analyse the game, it is just off putting to watch. It seems that the game itself gets in the way of all these ex players agendas, predictions, analysis and crappy weekly or nightly shows. If they could they would talk about there opinions that the actual game itself. If Fox Footy are televising a game they stay in the studio with Sandy Roberts and then cross to the game just as it begins, as if its more important to hear what Sandy or Alastair Lynch have to say. Channel seven have two play by play commentators, 2 boundary riders and three special comments ,three, why so many? Before it was just 2 commentators, 1 boundary rider and 1 special comments. These things may seem very minor and irrelevant but it just adds to the bad viewing experience and total over analysis of the game, which make the game less enjoyable to watch. A true supporter just wants to watch there team play on Tv or live at the game.
The times at which games are scheduled are ridiculous. I don’t care about watching every game and having them on at different times. People have lives to live and 20 years ago games were played at the same time at reasonable times. The rules were simple and easier to understand. Too high, holding or dropping the ball, holding the man, in the back, out on the full, tripping and maybe the deliberate. Now those rules apply but they apply all over the ground which gives the umpires more control over the game which means more free kicks and more grey decisions.There have been more rules added and some for the better like protecting the head, but others like chopping the arms and the sliding rule have just continued to confuse and frustrate the players and the fans. it’s like if something bad happens out on the ground and seems unfair, then a new rule has to be introduced. The sub rule, what the hell was that about, and the interchange rule. How hard is it to get one player off and another player on.
From my personal experience of going to the football, all I can say is, I would rather drive out to Waverley Park and watch a game of football in the elements of rain, hail, sunshine or wind because that’s what football has always been a game off, a winter sport played outdoors than have to go to Etihad Stadium. A toy ground which is too small and to watch a game indoors does just not feel right and was not what I was brought up on. Where are the elements. Its either MCG or Etihad. I enjoy going to the MCG because that is the only thing that still remains the the same and feels like a football ground. There are no more curtain raisers or reserves played before the game and so the AFL and each club try to copy the NFL,NBA or EPL and incorporate something new for the fans to enjoy there experience. All this is done to entice the new fan and to keep them coming back while everything that has changed has disillusioned the old and loyal fan such as myself which is why i will not becoming a member next year. Home Ground Advantage. Who has it, only interstate clubs. Geelong has but every other Victorian club plays at two grounds and some interstate sides play Etihad or MCG just as much as a Vctorian side would. So the competition is compromised, it always has been and always will be which takes the enjoyment away each year.
Teams play Etihad better than the MCG and vice versa. where’s the point in playing well on a small ground and then when finals come around your playing on a larger surface. It doesn’t make sense. 20 years ago a Grand Final ticket was free for an AFL Full member, now it cost $185 on top of the close to $600 a year fee. The Afl sees an opening to make money and the fans will pay because they love there clubs not the AfL. If you had the option to watch Carey, Dunstall, Lockett or Franklin, Cloke, Kennedy. I know who id rather watch.20 Years ago the game was better to watch and made more sense. Ask any Carlton Supporter…..or even a Fitzroy Supporter because at least they had a team to support.