Ornaments to the game

It’s surprising to pick up the Age and find out, twice in a week, that talented AFL players are, in fact, wall ornaments. But, that’s what Matthew Lloyd would have us believe about Brett Deledio, and Matt Murnane about Jeff Garlett: they’re barometers.

I’m sure they mean well. Something like, “when Deledio’s playing well, the Tigers are too”, or “when the Blues win, Garlett usually kicks a bag”.

Well, which is it? Do the teams influence the players, or vice-versa? Murnane has a go at answering this:

‘It is an interesting thought for Blues supporters to ponder – do Garlett and Betts play well because Carlton are winning, or do the Blues win because Garlett and Betts are playing well? A group of former Carlton greats posed that question this week said the answer probably was somewhere in the middle. It’s the “chicken and the egg”, so to speak.’

So I guess that’s vice-versa-versa-vice. Well done to the group of Carlton greats for working it out for us. What they may be saying is that there is a feedback loop between the teams and players… which, possibly, makes Lloyd’s and Murnane’s articles redundant (potential headline: Players excels in team, team wins… Player even excels more! Team wins by even more! … continue until you run out of exclamation marks). Continue reading