AFL - Good Ideas, Terrible Ideas, Too Many Ideas, No Idea


There is. Stop going/watching.


Nah - The under 18’s already play too much footy and another meaningless trial game is hardly the answer - Because you don’t like one thing, doesn’t mean you should punish others.


a summary of the fixture shows Essendon had the third toughest draw.

AFL fixture analysis: In retrospect, a tough slog for the Saints

Scott Spits2 September 2018 — 11:00am



Difficulty score: 101
Pre-season score: 83
Who they played twice: Richmond, GWS, Melb, Hawthorn, North Melbourne

Difficulty score: 98
Pre-season score: 79
Who they played twice: Geelong, GWS, West Coast, Hawthorn, North Melbourne


Difficulty score: 96
Pre-season score: 84
Who they played twice: Richmond, Port Adelaide, Hawthorn, Collingwood, Fremantle


Difficulty score: 87
Pre-season score: 78
Who they played twice: Richmond, Sydney, Melbourne, Hawthorn, Gold Coast


Difficulty score: 86
Pre-season score: 91
Who they played twice: Richmond, GWS, Port Adelaide, Melbourne, Carlton


Difficulty score: 86
Pre-season score: 68
Who they played twice: GWS, Hawthorn, Collingwood, Nth Melb, Gold Coast


Difficulty score: 82
Pre-season score: 77
Who they played twice: West Coast, Port Adelaide, Essendon, Collingwood, Carlton


Difficulty score: 78
Pre-season score: 93
Who they played twice: GWS, Sydney, Port Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, Fremantle


Difficulty score: 76
Pre-season score: 61
Who they played twice: West Coast, Port Adelaide, Melbourne, North Melb, Carlton


Difficulty score: 75
Pre-season score: 83
Who they played twice: Adelaide, West Coast, Essendon, Western Bulldogs, Fremantle


Difficulty score: 73
Pre-season score: 88
Who they played twice: Adelaide, Geelong, Essendon, St Kilda, Collingwood


Difficulty score: 73
Pre-season score: 80
Who they played twice: Adelaide, Sydney, West Coast, St Kilda, Brisbane


Difficulty score: 70
Pre-season score: 78
Who they played twice: Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, Collingwood, Fremantle, Gold Coast


Difficulty score: 68
Pre-season score: 71
Who they played twice: Richmond, Essendon, Fremantle, Carlton, Brisbane Lions


Difficulty score: 66
Pre-season score: 59
Who they played twice: Geelong, Melbourne, North Melbourne, Carlton, Brisbane Lions


Difficulty score: 64
Pre-season score: 77
Who they played twice: Geelong, Sydney, Essendon, St Kilda, Brisbane Lions


Difficulty score: 58
Pre-season score: 78
Who they played twice: Adelaide, Geelong, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast

Difficulty score: 57
Pre-season score: 66
Who they played twice: Sydney, St Kilda, Western Bulldogs, Gold Coast, Brisbane

The 2018 season was something of an annus horribilis for St Kilda, and long-suffering Saints devotees probably won’t take any solace from the argument that the red, white and black brigade ended up with the toughest draw of the lot.

Yes, when you’re ensconced on the lower rungs of the table, any combination of opponents can look daunting – even in retrospect – but the reality that four of St Kilda’s five ‘double up’ opponents finished in the top seven slots could be a tough pill to swallow.

On top of that, one of those opponents – outright premiership favourite Richmond – have been a footy outfit hell-bent on proving that last year’s drought-breaking premiership was hardly a one-off, as well as the memory of last year’s stunning 67-point loss to the Saints. It’s a result that continues to baffle – and perhaps one that gave the Tigers an element of motivation in 2018.

How, then, can one make the case that St Kilda were on the wrong end of the stick from those at the AFL who undertake the task of creating the league’s very own version of Jenga – the 23-round multi-faceted fixture?

Under a formula that takes into account who your club plays twice, the number of six-day breaks, consecutive six-day breaks, the relative difficulty of road trips – from heading to the new Optus Stadium in Perth to the quirky Shanghai assignment – the value of home-ground advantage against teams on the road, the Saints have ‘won’ the ‘toughest draw category’ under some fresh, ‘seasonally adjusted’ if you like, crunching of the data.

Last October, when the fixture list was first released, it was already looking bleak for the Saints, ranked behind only West Coast, Adelaide and Richmond for the toughest draw.

After the home-and-away period, however, St Kilda have edged out Sydney and Essendon for top billing.

While the Saints have moved markedly, the most eye-catching swings happened for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne – at opposite ends of the spectrum for the Lions and Demons.

In retrospect, Brisbane had a tougher run than first thought, given two of their five ‘double up’ opponents were top four bolters Collingwood and Hawthorn. (And, yes, it’s a perverse statistic that two of Brisbane’s five wins came against the brown and gold).

Melbourne had the biggest ‘swing’, a pre-season score of 59 (determined from the projected ladder spots of the multiple opponents) dropping to just 39. That’s unsurprising when you’re reminded that the Demons enjoyed a second bite against bottom seven teams Adelaide, Western Bulldogs, St Kilda and Gold Coast. And the team that completed Melbourne’s quota, Geelong, scraped into eighth spot, thanks in part to two narrow and thrilling victories over the red and blue.

Under this formula, with its own special dose of herbs and spices, Melbourne have finished only just behind North Melbourne, for the easiest run of the lot, after initially being ranked mid-table.

Interestingly, the Demons needed only two victories against fellow top eight teams – managed in the final two home-and-away rounds - to solidify their drought-breaking finals appearance.

Onto the warriors of the AFL, the Sydney Swans, who were pipped by the Saints for ‘toughest run’ honours.

The Swans were hit with double-up meetings against four top eight teams, as well as one-time top eight aspirants North Melbourne.

Pre-season, the Swans’ fixture was considered only middle-of-the-range. Sydney’s high ranking was also thanks in part to a league-high eight six-day breaks. None of those breaks were consecutive, but the Swans did it the hard way in continuing their remarkable pattern of making the finals almost every time since 2000.

Furthermore, Essendon have picked up a new grading with return appearances against three top four teams - Richmond, Hawthorn and Collingwood. Ouch.

The original formula, which this time 10 months ago left Gold Coast with the most favourable draw, took the approach to weight teams according to a probable ladder for 2018.

Reigning premiers Richmond were expected to finish high on the table again but, based on bookie predictions, were considered only the fourth favourite for the flag and thus only the fourth most difficult opponent. On the same measurement, Adelaide were deemed premiership favourites and ranked the toughest opponent of all. Indeed, the Crows endured the biggest move of all clubs, eventually finishing an ignominious 12th.

But Sydney, GWS, Richmond, Geelong and Melbourne were all given top eight billing by the bookies, so those projections weren’t far off.

One club that did buck expectations was North Melbourne who, after finishing 15th in 2017, were considered favourites for the spoon and an opponent to relish. Full credit to the Kangas.

The AFL fixture list is a tough beast and for some years, league data-crunchers have been grouping clubs in brackets of six, with limitations on matches against teams in and out of their bracket, in an attempt to create a fairer fixture list.

It’s worth remembering that in late 2016 Richmond, having just finished 13th, were thus in the bottom third on the fixture ladder. Consequently, they ended up with “double-up” matches against Carlton, Brisbane and Fremantle – three clubs that ended up in the bottom six last year and had three of the bottom four percentage returns.

Now Melbourne, despite only narrowly missing the finals last year on percentage, perhaps – only just perhaps - might reap the rewards from a draw that has worked in their favour.

The occasional blemish aside - read a narrow loss to St Kilda in round 15 – they’ve been able to bank most of the points on offer against the lowly Bulldogs, Gold Coast, St Kilda and Adelaide. It left them in fifth position and a finals series that could be their oyster.


I totally read that the wrong way the first time.


The article confirms what many on here said throughout the season. We should get an easier draw next season.


A good start would be for Essendon to request that they do NOT play Carlton in 2019


Hindsight is 20/20 y’all. Who the fk thought Collingwood and Hawks would both be top 4 eight months ago?


I didn’t think the AFL had anything to do with the legends match? Wasnt it something 9 cooked up when they didn’t have tv rights?


Now on c7, has become genuinely embarrassing to watch, so much cringe


It used to be great when they had proper “legends” acting up and not blokes who retired last year still playing good footy. Jarman was the only good thing about this years game.

If they want public interest they need to get in celebs. Everyone remembers Strauchnie, Russ Gilbert, Karl Stefanovic and Hutchy. No one remembers… well, others.

Check out the teams for Soccer Aid from earlier this year -
They got 70k to the game and raised 5m


simmo41’s plan to immediately improve the Legends Game

Keep the following players, turf the rest
Allstars: Jarman, Motlop, Modra, White, McLeod, Bickley, Cornes, Lake
Vics: B Johnson, Giansiracusa, Petrie, Bolton, Fletcher, Cloke, Libba, Kouta

Get a couple more actual legends that are 7-8+ years retired and sit them up forward/back to do fk al except get some cheap kicks. Eg: Brereton, Crawford, Judd, Voss, Hird, J Brown

Pull in a couple of celebs from the following areas: TV (I don’t care if they are Ch7 C-listers, broaden the appeal - Home & Away actors, House Rules judges, whatever), music (Vance Joy, 5SOS, again don’t care if they’re trash, just get the kids watching), comedy (The Suburban Footballer would be great for some Russ Gilbert-esque mid-game sketches), couple of cricketers (Ch7 has the cricket this summer!).

Put the commentators in the game - BT, Brayshaw, Richo, Ling. Keep Bruce in the box with Adam Cooney, Sam Pang and Julia Zemiro, with Shane Jacobson on the boundary.

Get a couple of zany radio duos (a la Hamish & Andy) to be dual goal umps in the old white butchers coats. Mic them up for more riffing/sketch stuff & broad appeal.

Top up teams with AFLW players and draft prospects/state-league players to play the actual footy in the midfield.

Scroll donors names and social media stuff across the screen telethon-style. Live voting on who comes off the bench, who goes forward, etc.


I want to see the admins behind Freo Dokers, Carlton Draft and Nuffies on AFL Pages getting some time in the forward line.


I could have told you that.


Disagree. We will roast them alive and slowly next season. Play them twice.


Our test will be to play them on a grey rainy afternoon at the G and beat them.


Lloyd and Richo need to play, as does Fev.

David Rodan would be fun, Wanganeen is still in AFL shape, Boomer Harvey too

Cyril is available, he’d bring a bunch of viewers

Definitely get some of the AFLW players in it

Get some roving Brian on the boundary, although I thought Dippa was humorous.

Bring back Dennis and Rex Hunt for commentary.

Get rid of all the hangers-on Luff, Champion etc

Convince some retired rugby players to have a go

Give Gill a game and get Monkhurst to sit on him


Best thing to do is kill it off.
It’s shitt


Well yeah that’s also an option


Isn’t the foundation basically a sham anyway?


I don’t mind it, it’s a bit of fun for a good cause.

I would like to see more of the older guys play from the older era’s. Would love to see a guy like Long, Hird,Lloyd out there.

The whole celeb thing just makes it more of a joke.

Use the players who have a bit of character be involved and stop having dud players like Armfield be a part.

Wouldn’t mind seeing a few journo’s who are happy to dish it out and hide behind their columns be out there and see how they go.