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Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
AFLX is BACK! Sort of.
Last year, the AFL introduced a modified form of the game played on a football/fútbol size field in an effort to try to grow the game in countries without a cricket history or suitably-sized fields.
It was met with mixed reviews in Australia.
While the effort was applauded, the game itself took a while to get used to and the format (three mini-tournaments held in three different cities) was also strange.
To remind you, this is last year’s promotional video explaining the rules:
This year, the AFL has decided to do ONE tournament on one day featuring four teams made up of players from every AFL team. Taking a page from the NFL Pro Bowl (?), four captains have been picked that will choose the teams. The captains and teams are:
- Patrick Dangerfield – Bolts
- Nat Fyfe – Flyers
- Jack Riewoldt – Rampage
- Eddie Betts – Deadlys
No, that is NOT a typo. They really are named after RTD.
The official word is that “each team has been named to match up with a standout attribute of its captain, with Dangerfield to lead the Bolts due to his explosive pace, Fyfe to captain the Flyers because of his marking strength and Riewoldt to steer the Rampage due to his capacity to break tackles and go hard in the air. Betts’ side will be called the Deadlys and be an all-indigenous line-up.”
Yeah, I don’t buy it either. My working theory is that RTD hooked up with an Australian long before meeting and marrying the lovely and talented Dr. Mrs. RTD, Esquire. The Australian never forgot him and went on to work for the AFL. Given a chance to name a team, she jumped on it.
Once the teams are chosen, I’ll provide a further update. The tourney is set for late February at Marvel Stadium in Melbourne. Yes, I’m guessing the team names and uniforms are meant to tie in to the comic book world of Marvel.
The new season is almost upon us! The ladies will ease us back into Australian Rules football starting on February 1, 2019!
This year, we have two new teams: the North Melbourne Kangaroos and the Geelong Cats! Let me make one thing perfectly clear:
THERE WILL BE NO CAT/PUSSY JOKES!
I feel the ladies deserve better than that. Besides, as I mentioned many times last year, the ladies tend to hit harder than many of the men and the Brisbane ladies routinely outpoint the men’s team despite playing a third of the games.
Once again, the AFL has decided to only have two preseason games, which is a good thing. Hopefully, the NFL is paying attention. The games will be held in early to mid-March. The Home and Away season will start in late March.
I’ve created a handy PDF calendar of all the games happening in the lead up to the start of the AFL season.
Please remember that all times are Pacific:
Also please remember that, if you renewed your team membership or Watch AFL package, you can view every single one of these games on the Watch AFL app. Given the exchange rate, it’s a steal for what you get.
For those of you that want to plan ahead or are maybe thinking of visiting Australia this year and taking in a game live, here is the full season schedule:
In the next few weeks, I’ll provide further updates that will include an AFLW preview, more news on the AFLX tournament, and any breaking news affecting the AFL.
I’ll also reissue my guide to becoming a fan and/or member of an AFL team and how to follow this wonderful sport online or on television here in North America.
See you next time!