MR ROLLINS is not entirely inaccurate: The problem with footy

A lot of the AFL is driven by money these days and that can be quite deflating.  Good ideas can wither on the vine simply because the AFL won’t make a quid out of it.

The players too, do adhere to strict diets, fitness programs etc.  We can but hope there is a trickle down impact of that.  Watching the Auskick at Kardinia Park the other day, I couldn’t help but notice how many of the pre-pubescents were carrying a bit more around the tummy than they needed.

When it comes to their public utterances, the players try as best they can to say nothing to offend the clubs, the game or whatever.

The blame for that is not entirely with them though. When a broken toe-nail demands a full blown media conference because its owner is an AFL player, you need to be cautious about anything you say when 20 microphones suddenly appear under your nose.

Unless it has ever happened to you, you may not know just how disconcerting it can be.

One of the greatest times of my working life

I worked inside a footy club for three years and regard it as one of the greatest times of my working life.

The people were invariably good people.  Those who had achieved the sort of fame being a football star can bring you, especially in Victoria, were generous with lending it to any number of community and charity operations.

Sadly, the No Doze gets the headlines over going to the children’s cancer ward or sitting in on a telethon on Good Friday when, on a rare day off in winter, you might want to be with your friends and family.

I am sure in the good old days to which Mr Rollins was alluding, players did the same as well.

But if you think for one minute that back then they wouldn’t take advantage of whatever was available to get the edge over an opponent, well you’re in la la land.

King-hit behind play

It might have been only vaguely chemical ... sports science is a growing modern phenomena.  Or it might have been a king-hit behind play, unseen by the one umpire or the very few cameras.

The game has moved into a new dimension.  Not all of it is pretty, but not all of it was pretty when they played in mud up to their ankles, or we sat on glorified splinters out in the elements.

I don’t like a lot of what Telstra Dome stands for, but I do like sitting in the stands there watching footy.

And even if they charge me $5.50 for the smallest, plastic container of chardonnay, it’s a creature comfort I have come to enjoy.

Mr Rollins, nostalgia is one of the most powerful drugs in the universe, stronger even than Sudafed or No Doze.  But be careful, it can also be an hallucinogenic one.

Warwick Hadfield puts together the best few minutes of sports reporting in Australia: Radio National around 7.30am!