AFL 1 year ago

Clocks, history and the light

  • Clocks, history and the light

    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 27: The TV game show 'Wheel Of Fortune' celebrates its 25th anniversary at Radio City Music Hall on September 27, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

It was a high class game down at Simonds Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Billed as a clash between League heavyweights Geelong and West Coast, the game started evenly before the Cats opened up the game with a seven goal to one second quarter. Five goals in six minutes by the Eagles had Geelong supporters briefly concerned in the third quarter, but the Cats steadied and went on to win comfortably by 44 points. Geelong’s version of the Smash Brothers, Dangerfield and Selwood, were again prominent, while Stevie Motlop seems to have found a rich vein of form. It was also nice to see Shane Kersten again play well, repaying the faith that selectors have had in him.

However, the big talking point of the round was the shot-clock issue, with players waiting for the clock to run down before shooting for goal after a mark or free kick.

North Melbourne’s Mason Wood was the obvious one, icing the game with the aid of his allotted 30 seconds. But I also noticed Jack Redpath from the Western Bulldogs doing exactly the same thing with each of his shots at goal. He would walk back to the end of his mark, prepare for the kick and then glance at the shot clock and wait until the time had run down to its last. Only then would he commence his trot in for the shot at goal.

I do understand that different players will need differing amounts of time to set themselves ready for the shot, but this waiting for the clock to run down is just plain unnecessary. I do not put any blame on the players, as this is currently within the rules, but it does need to be looked at.

The good news is that I have the solution. How about we change the shot clock to a shot wheel? In the style of Wheel of Fortune or Plucka Duck, the screen could show a spinning contest wheel. Whatever number the wheel stops on would be the amount of time a player has before the umpire calls play-on. Anywhere from one to thirty seconds. Now that would hurry them up and provide some excitement at the same time. 

And now a history lesson.

It’s 1835. London. Great things are afoot in the Palace of Westminster. The British Government sits with matters of great import to attend to. The first item on the agenda being the establishment of a new colony in the state of South Australia: a free colony no less, and not based upon the premise of convict labour.

But first a site must be chosen, and who better than newly appointed Surveyor-General, Colonel William Light. Light had been decorated in war, had travelled extensively and was generally considered to be an all-round good guy. He immediately packed his mistress, his trusty theodolite and a tube of zinc cream and sailed off to the former New Holland, now known to all and sundry as Australia. Wellington was to be the name of this new metropolis until an aging King William IV made an impassioned plea for the name of Adelaide. Adelaide was his wife’s name, and the king saw this as the perfect opportunity to curry favour with her and get some happy bedroom time.

Upon arrival, Light was disappointed to find that the rumours of bikini-clad women and endless beach parties were not true, (Or at least grossly premature) so he set about the task of finding the perfect location for the settlement. He foraged about in his backpack for a moment and located the envelope that contained his instructions.

The requirements for the site were as follows:-

·      Arable land

·      Ready internal and external communications

·      Building materials

·      A wine region – ideally to the north-east

·      Room for not one, but two AFL teams

·      A sporting stadium fit to accommodate both teams

Light thrust a wetted finger into the air to gauge the prevailing winds and attacked his assignment with great vigor. He surveyed and assessed. He measured and evaluated. Weeks went by. There were moments of frustration but at last the site was chosen. Straddling the River Torrens and surrounded by parklands, the precise location of the city was pegged out. He once again checked his list.

- Arable land, check. Arabs could definitely live here.

- Ready internal and external communications, check. Nothing originally, but the erection of a couple of mobile phone towers sorted that out.

- Building materials, check. The Bunnings store discovered near West Beach was a real stroke of luck.

- A North-Eastern wine region, check. A grape-filled weekend away spent with the local indigenous folk ensured that was taken care of.

- Provision for two AFL teams, check. The well to do can have a team based in the middle of town and those of a lower socio-economic standing can have one near the Port.

- An appropriate sporting stadium, check. Initially, the site for the stadium was to be located next to the lakes situated to the West. But it was eventually deemed too yucky, so a spot next to the river in a more central location was decided upon.

Light was proclaimed a hero and the town of Adelaide thrived. Four monuments were erected in his honour surrounding the Adelaide Oval stadium, and even today, these ‘Light’ towers can be plainly seen when visiting. 

Geelong heads to the Adelaide Oval tonight (last night as it turns out) to take on the Adelaide Crows. The players and coaching panel would do well to acquaint themselves with the above information to get inside the minds of the Adelaide players. This will no doubt give them a huge advantage when plotting a strategy to beat them.

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