Seven lines to sound like you know what AFL is
AFL, a definition: Not quite as thuggy as rugby league, but not quite as wanky as rugby union (don’t worry, we love both of those sports too).
The regular AFL season has just 2 rounds left, and if you want to impress footy-savvy Newtown hipsters without actually knowing anything about the sport, allow us to fill you in. Here are 7 lines to use to impress AFL fans in the lead-up to the finals. Also, make sure you refer to “refs” as “umpires”, “penalties” as “free kicks” and “the video ref” as “score review”. You’re welcome.
7. “It’s kind of hilarious that Fremantle won’t be in the finals this year lol”
After finishing 2015 as the minor premiers, with a stunning list of players and an experienced senior coach, Freo sits at 16th on the ladder with just 3 wins under their belt for the season. Many AFL experts picked Fremantle as one of the most likely teams to take out the premiership this year, but alas, it was not to be. Bonus points if you refer to Fremantle as “Freo”- with this reluctance to pronounce words with more than 2 syllables, you might even pass for a Western Australian fan.
Matthew Pavlich’s efforts to trade his nose to give Fremantle a spot in the finals series didn’t go well
6. “North Melbourne have really let themselves down in the back half of the season”
At the end of Round 12, The North Melbourne Kangaroos were sitting pretty on top of the AFL ladder. However, after being savaged by injuries, they’ve won just 2 of their past 9 matches, and are a real chance of missing out on the finals altogether, especially considering the difficult games they’ve got ahead of them.
5. “Adelaide are definitely the dark horse for the flag this year”
Having finished in the top 4 just once in the past 10 years, The Adelaide Crows are not a club accustomed to the business end of the finals series. But now, little over a year after the tragic death of their senior coach, The Crows are sitting equal second. If you use this line and you’re met with skepticism, remind those around you that, in a recent coach’s survey, Adelaide were tipped as the third most likely to take out the competition this year. Also, ensure you use the terminology “the flag” to refer to the premiership. AFL fans will love you.
2016 has been one of the most successful seasons in recent memory for Adelaide
4. “Surely the question on everyone’s lips is ‘will The Demons make the finals?’”
Serial battlers The Melbourne Demons sit at 9th after 21 rounds of football, with only North Melbourne standing between them and an unlikely finals berth. The Demons will have to beat both Carlton and Geelong, and have North Melbourne lose considerably to Sydney and GWS - all of which could happen, considering the form of these teams.
3. “I’d love to see an all-Sydney Grand Final”
This one is sure to make those Newtown hipsters put down their pale ale and nod in furious agreement. With GWS’ young squad maturing and Sydney maintaining their top 4 spot for another year, 2016 appears the most likely year yet for the AFL to witness an all-Sydney GF. But be careful, there’s nothing that irritates Victorian fans more than Sydney teams taking their finals spots, so maybe save this one for being north of the border.
2. “I’m not sure that Geelong are the real deal”
Never a truer word has been spoken. Although they currently sit at the respectable position of fourth on the table, Geelong have been guilty this season of struggling to put away teams that they are really just too good for. They’ve suffered decisive losses to both Carlton and Collingwood in 2016, both of whom would struggle to spell “top 8” judging by their recent form (I’m a Carlton fan so I’m allowed to say that). It took an erratic comeback for Geelong to beat the struggling Richmond Tigers last week, so there may be some nail-biting in store for Cats fans if they slip out of the top 4 before the finals.
This is one thing Richmond fans can smile about.
1. “I’m just amazed how close the ladder is this near to the end of the season”
The fact that seven teams are still a mathematical chance to come first on the ladder really says it all. Season 2016 has been a tight contest towards the top of the table, and as a result, there really hasn’t been one stand-out team. Even Hawthorn, who sit a game clear on top of the table, have this season lacked some of the firepower we’ve come to expect from them. Ironically, just 10 of the 18 teams are still able to qualify for the finals, with only North Melbourne a chance to slip out of the top 8.