Jump Ball Sports
Ashes First Test - Takeaways
Red and Blake Reunion
The Blake Caracella appointment is sneaky good business by Essendon.
After the Guy McKenna and Mark Neeld missteps, the club has quietly poached a proven assistant coaching commodity with a Midas touch (Caracella was part of the coaching panels which delivered the Cats’ 2011 and Richmond 2017 flags).
The appointment serves four key purposes as I see it:
The Katandra Kid
David Teague is the Blues’ anti-hero.
His Blues best (house in worst street) and fairest aside, Teague is not a former champion or football luminary, nor (like predecessor Brendon Bolton) picked by a select committee made up of them.
But Teague is exactly the sort of organic coaching phenomenon this club has been screaming out for.
While a far steadier ship these days, Carlton’s administration has endured a rocky 21st century punctuated by senior coaching swings and misses.
So what better gift than a likeable, humble yet determined country kid who looks set to take the decision out of the brains trust’s ‘training wheels-wary’ hands courtesy of a Carlton player and fan driven groundswell.
Avoid any blowouts and win one of the next three, and the Blues faithful will be banging on the gates. Beat the Tigers or Cats in the process, and Carlton’s decision makers will have a gun to their heads.
Win-win. If it works, it’s a wonderful story based on a nod to long suffering Blues players and fans. If it doesn’t, there will be no one to blame at a club long defined by finger pointing.
Death to AFLX
Very few fans will be concerned with the death of football’s gimmick AFLX, particularly if it provides AFLW with greater bandwidth.
But any major U-turn by an uber-reformist AFL administration is an eyebrow raiser.
You come at the game’s fundamental rules, you best not miss.
On the weekend I posted a blog along the lines of Ben Simmons being an enigma both here and in the US.
In Australia’s case, I wrote that we just don’t really know him. He left for the US in early 2013, and has never meaningfully represented the senior Boomers team nor featured prominently in the Australian mainstream media.
Well it’s fair to say that after the Crown Casino entry storm - complete with a deleted Simmons Instagram video, a Crown denial and then news of Simmons’ Visit Victoria promotion deal - the Simmons mystery has deepened a tad.
Cam Smith appeared on the eminently listenable The Matty Johns Podcast and confirmed something I had often wondered about.
I am paraphrasing, but Smith considers NRL premierships as the top of the tree in terms of rugby league-related achievements when compared with Origin and Kangaroos honours.
If you take Smith’s view as commonly held amongst players and bearing in mind the AFL experience, it’s a wonder the NRL has been able to maintain players’ willingness to risk limb for a (albeit wildly popular) mid-season sideshow that plays second fiddle to premiership Sunday.