More Essendon Penalties the AFL Should Consider
Opinions vary on the harshness of the penalties the AFL has meted out to Essendon over its supplements program.
We’re never short of ill-informed opinions here at The Flack, so here are some further penalties the AFL should have considered.
Pinning Back Hirdy’s Ears
Arguably, this could have been the silver lining from this whole sorry saga – righting a wrong that has been staring us in the face for more than two decades.
We have a real concern at The Flack, that if those ears are left unattended, by 2018 James Hird will actually physically morph into being the AFL Premiership Cup itself.
To add the punishment aspect, this pinning back should be done without anaesthetic.
Finishing Ninth for a Decade
So Essendon will finish ninth in 2013. Tigers supporters stare on in disbelief.
Richmond finished ninth (or worse) with monotonous regularity for almost two decades, without ever being busted for a dodgy supplements program.
Ninth is a sort of living purgatory for a football club, its players and its fans. Too crap to make the finals, too good to get early draft picks. It is a mediocrity loop with all the staying power of vomit in car upholstery.
Supporters from other clubs have been quick to point out that in the year Richmond didn’t finish ninth, ninth became the new eighth. This irony has not been lost on Tigerland.
Michael Voss as Stand-In Coach
Vossy’s first act will be to trade out Hurley, Watson and Zaharakis for Jonathon Brown and Brendon Fevola, as well as luring Luke Power out of retirement.
Just a month of Vossy will have a far greater impact on Essendon’s playing list than banning them from the opening rounds of two successive drafts.
Alternatively – and just as devastatingly – the AFL could force Windy Hill to employ Terry Wallace as list manager.
In other codes, clubs claimed by scandal are dumped to lower leagues and made to fight their back to the big time over a series of years.
Division two of the Essendon District Football League seems an obvious place to start the rebuild. Look out, Jacana Jaguars.
If sports administrators are of a mind to add a degree of difficulty, send the Bombers down and to a different sport.
Hockey Victoria’s Metro 3 Outer League is a tough competition. Only the cream rises to the top in this hard-fought league. A great place to build a resilient culture. Beware the mighty La Trobe University Gunners.
Caroline Wilson Motivational Speaker
Whoever takes the reins at Windy Hill for the next couple of years, will be forced to hand over control of the team before the game and at the half-time break to Caroline Wilson.
At these key junctures, Caro will be charged with delivering a stirring speech to gee up the boys.
Caro is to football what Leonard Cohen is to music. The Bombers will be lucky to not be in tears by the start of play.
Tasmania has been lobbying for its own AFL club for years.
It’s our original penal settlement, so you know this makes sense.
The Essendon Football Club can be exiled, like Napoleon to Saint Helena. And when it has spent enough time in the naughty corner, it can start again as the Burnie Bombers. Brilliant.
Bring Back the Red Shorts
Bright red shorts make a real statement. Essendon proudly sported these through the 1980s. Then again, this was a pretty horrific era for fashion: think louvre sunglasses and acid wash.
Bringing them back now would add a splash of jaunty colour sure to make the Bombers a laughing stock on a regular basis.
Recovering from unrelenting sledging will test the club’s culture.
Torture – Fraser Brown Style
It’s the 1999 Preliminary Final. Carlton is desperately hanging on to a one-point lead over Essendon.
Inexplicably, the ball is in Dean Wallis’s hands. He’s streaming through the middle of the MCG and decides to baulk Fraser Brown.
Fraser hangs on like a Jack Russell having its way with a Husky (yes, I’ve seen this and that Jack Russell would not quit). The Blues win by a point.
Essendon must build an Audio Visual Immersion Room at the club, where this passage of football is played on a continuos loop. Players, coaches and club officials each must spend five minutes in the room every day for the rest of their lives.