We do love a bandwagon to jump on these days and, thanks to social media, we have so many more options to let everyone know we’re on board and ready to be outraged, excited, alarmed, concerned, devastated or exhilarated by whatever the issue de jour is. Some of these issues actually last longer than the attention span of a gnat, but most don’t.
Last week it was women’s football and the bandwagon was overloaded with people pumping up the new competition, the skills of the players and the ramifications this will have on the game’s future. I watched the exhibition game on Channel 7 and enjoyed most of what I saw. It was a game of football and, like the EJ Whitten Legends game the night before, the result was irrelevant.
Neither was it a ‘lay your body on the line, take one for the team’ encounter. The women’s game was certainly more physically competitive than the Legends game, as you’d expect.
The women’s game was an all-stars line-up with the best players in Australia on show. They played accordingly. I found the commentary at times to be gushing and almost demeaning.
These girls have worked very hard to become the elite of their sport, so it’s no surprise they are good. They should be skilled and athletic and read the game.
The players are the best asset the game has and we can only hope the spin doctors and PR peddlers stay out of it and let the game speak for itself. Let the competition grow at a natural pace, not hurtled into people’s faces. Let the loyalty and passion for the clubs, players and the competition run its own race, not be set by those with vested financial interests.
It doesn’t need gimmicks or back-stories like a reality show; they just come and go. Our interest will build and evolve, and we will want to know about the players, where they come from and their individual stories.
Let’s just let the games begin and the rest will follow. The star here is, and will always be, the game of Australian Rules Football.