AFLX: The Horror Hybrid That Has Fans Asking AFL-WHY?
AFLX happens tonight at Marvel Stadium -- a comic book version of Australia's favourite winter sport played at a venue named after a comic book movie franchise.
Why tinker with our beautiful home-grown game? Why fix something that's not broken?
If you're not across AFLX -- it's a modified monstrosity which is just like regular footy but without the field, the physicality, the marking, the match-ups, the endurance, the excitement, the tradition, the tribal rivalries, the rules, the relevance, the characters or the care-factor.
Oh yeah, and the fans. Not many of them either. In fact there have been so few tickets sold that they're giving them away to kids and AFL members.
So we ask again -- why? Why did the AFL invent this thing?
The popular theory is that if you made a modified version of footy to be played on rectangular fields, the AFL might one day colonise distant lands where there are no AFL ovals, and where they've barely heard of the game -- places like China, South Africa and Western Sydney.
But the reality is no one wants it.
No one overseas wants it. Not even anyone in the Melbourne -- where they live for footy like they live for latte in laneways -- wants it
So why have it? And while we're at it, what exactly does the X stand for?
Is it X-factor -- as in precisely what the modified game lacks?
X-treme -- as in X-tremely pointless?
X-rated -- as in, the AFL is totally screwing us around?
There was even a suggestion this week that AFLX could evolve into an Olympic sport because SPORTS WHICH ARE NOT EVEN SPORTS IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY SHOULD DEFINITELY BE ONE OF JUST 30 SPORTS AT THE WORLD’S PREMIER MULTI-SPORT EVENT. THAT MAKES SENSE.
Mind you, the Olympics do have synchronised swimming, so maybe there's a case for it after all.
If you've tuned out this week -- and lucky you if you have -- this year's AFLX will be different from its inaugural outing last year.
For starters, they'll be playing scissors paper rock instead of a coin toss -- quite possibly because the AFL has blown so much money trying to make people like this thing, it actually has no coins left.
It's also now a condensed one-night event. Gone are the three days of action involving all 18 AFL teams we saw last season. Friday night's one-off fixture will have just four teams made up of players from a variety of AFL clubs.
The teams now look like sports drink bottles and have the ridiculous names "Bolts", "Rampage", "Deadly" and "Flyers".
That's right, there is a team called a Rampage. There is actually an AFLX team named after the behaviour of crazed rhinos and NRL teams on Mad Monday.
As for the "Deadly", this is just grammatically wrong. You can't have an adjective as a team name. Adjectives describe things. They are not actual things.
An AFL football team cannot be the "Deadly". Especially if it has Carlton players in it.
A full rundown of AFLX innovations, special rules and other info is here. WARNING: A small part of you will die. And possibly a large part.