Howdy ho and welcome back! This week, we check in on Round 2 of AFL Women’s, help the undecided to pick a team to support, and take advantage of the lessons Blax taught us on how to create gifs. All this and more on
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
Last week, I highly encouraged all the DFOers to pick a team to support as you would not only enjoy the sport more, but you’d save money on the WatchAFL package. In the comments, some of you said you may need a little help.
Fear not, my friends, for, as the girl that the girl you’re having sex with picked for the threesome, I’m here to assist. So, to help you pick which AFL team you should support, I’ve developed this handy dandy flowchart below. The green line means you answered YES and the red line means you answered NO:
If, for some reason, you don’t want jokes to guide your decisions and would rather have some actual analysis of last season’s performance by all teams, here is a little graph that I put together that charts last season’s performance for each team by Round:
A few interesting things pop out:
1- The Eight were pretty much set after Round 6. Everything after that was just jockeying for position.
2- Gold Coast had the biggest freefall after starting out the season well. This was due to a combination of an easy early schedule and mounting injuries.
3- Richmond teased fans with a first round win, but at least the Tigers put their fans out of their misery early.
4- Port Adelaide and Melbourne were the hover-hand teams of 2016.
5- St. Kilda went from the bottom to just barely out of the Eight. Can they get over that last hump to get to the promised land?
I’ll start tackling the prospects for each team next week with previews of the Bottom Five.
AFL Women’s Round 2 Recaps
As we headed into Round 2, I was eagerly anticipating the games to see if any significant patterns emerged. The Round started off with a battle of teams that won by large margins in Round 1: Western Bulldogs hosting the Adelaide Crows. Well, we can throw out the home-field advantage pattern as Adelaide made it two road team wins in a row after a 48-23 victory at Whitten Oval. In contrast to most of last week’s games, this game was close well into the third quarter before the Crows pulled away.
Here is Adelaide’s Jenna McCormick snagging the footy before it goes out and kicking a sweet turnaround goal:
Here is the comprehensive highlights video:
On Australian Saturday (North American Friday night), Ikon Park hosted an AFL Women’s doubleheader. First up, the Carlton Blues took on the GWS Giants. I watched the whole thing and it was really good. The game was close and the Giants played extremely well. They even took a two goal lead deep into the second half, but the Blues came back with four unanswered goals and ended up 47-34 winners.
I think the Giants might be my favorite AFL Women’s team right now. They play hard and fight until the end. Here is GWS’ Jacinda Barclay scoring a sweet running goal despite being tackled:
You may have heard of Jacinda before. She was the quarterback for the 2016 Lingerie Football League Champion Chicago Bliss.
She was also part of the National Australian baseball team that competed at the World Cup. She is an amazing athlete. Not only that, she is a genuine role model. Here are some quotes from an interview where she talks about women’s sports and the AFL in particular:
“Women’s sport doesn’t need to show off their bodies to be successful,” Barclay told The Saturday Telegraph.
“What we need is support, nurturing and facilities, which is everything the AFL is offering. It’s the help female athletes need to bring their professional careers to fruition.
“The AFL are more directed at ability. That’s what they are showcasing. It doesn’t need to be sex sells. It feels like a natural kind of promotion and it feels like a genuine assistance based on athleticism.”
Reason #230 why the AFL is run better than the NFL.
Have I mentioned that the AFL Women hit harder than the New York Jets?
This sweet hit led to a GWS goal:
Here is the full highlights video:
The second game of the doubleheader had Collingwood “hosting” Melbourne. Collingwood again scored the first goal of the game. The Pies actually started off VERY well and built up a three-goal lead at halftime. Unfortunately, much like the men’s team last year, they proceeded to ruin the good start, did not score a single point in the second half, and ended up losing the game 44-25.
Here is the goal that capped the Demons comeback and tied the game:
Full highlights package here:
The last game of the Round was held in Fremantle Oval as the Dockers hosted the Brisbane Lions. If this was the NFL, Peter King would be bitching about the cross-country flight while mainlining a 2000 calorie crapaccino. This is the AFL, however, and the Brisbane Lions Jay Cutler-ed their way to an impressive 13 point road win.
Here are the highlights:
Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?
It’s still a bit early to make any kind of definitive statement on who is good, who is bad, and who has the best chance to win the Premiership. I do like that the games were closer and that the road teams won again and played well. A great wrinkle this week was that there were comebacks, something which was missing on Round 1. To me, that talks to the improvement in the game as the women gain experience playing in the league and the jitters wear off. I am again eagerly anticipating Round 3 to see what happens next.
Speaking of, here is next week’s AFL Women’s schedule (All times Pacific):
Friday, February 17, 2017
GWS Giants v Fremantle Dockers 5:05 PM
Brisbane Lions v Collingwood Magpies 9:35 PM
Saturday, February 18, 2017
Western Bulldogs v Melbourne Demons 12:40 AM
Adelaide Crows v Carlton Blues 5:05 PM
The match that stands out is the battle of the undefeated Crows and Blues. The winners will give themselves a really good chance at playing in the Grand Final. The Western-Melbourne game should be a great fight between the two one-loss teams to stay close to the leaders.
In a bit of scheduling serendipity, the games start at reasonable North American times. As I mentioned before, the games are free on the AFL website and can be Chromecast onto a big TV. That’s how I’ve seen the games so far and it’s been awesome!
As we saw in last week’s chart,
the men’s pre-season starts this week. Those games are available for free on the WatchAFL app using the code PRESEASON17.
Next time, we will recap AFL Women’s Round 3, start our season previews, and recap the first few pre-season games of the AFL.
I leave you with this week’s Pacific Heat dialogue:
Chief: Tell me, are all these tests necessary?
Doc: If your team is going to be jumping from 35,000 feet, then we need to test their cognitive abilities at altitude.
Chief: Of course.
Doc: How are you feeling?
Kwong: Blood pressure and heart rate is steady.
Doc: Cognitive baseline: What’s five times five?
Chief: What altitude is he at now?
Doc: Ground level.
Todd: I think that helmet might be a little tight. Try another one!
Doc: What year is it?
Zac: This year.
Todd: Try warmer or colder. He’s good at that!
Doc: What is the capital of France?
Doc: I think we’re done.
Todd: Here we go!
See you next week!
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