AFL not suited to best of three final – Bartel
GEELONG great Jimmy Bartel says the push for a threematch AFL grand final series is a “dumb” idea.
Sydney is reportedly pushing for the grand final to be played over three matches at different venues to make the contest more even for interstate clubs.
The grand final will be played at the MCG until at least 2057, but the door has reportedly been left open for changes.
But the Brownlow medallist says he is “baffled” by the idea.
“How does it fit into the football calendar?” Bartel said on Macquarie Sports Radio.
“The attrition rate of players — if you’re a supporter, you’re going, ‘am I going to see the best play here in game two or three?’ Everyone gets a turn. It’s one of the more ridiculous ideas I’ve heard.
“Our game is not suited for a best of three. We play a twohour game that’s a physical contact game, we have players struggling to get up each week during a footy season but you want to get them up for three grand finals?
“Do we have . . . three grand final parades?”
The three-time premiership player said he understood the argument for fairness, but it was simply not a reality.
“I’m all for fairness and evenness but it never exists in our game and as soon as we actually understand that everything in our game is not fair, you can move on, you can deal with it,” he said.
“It’s just the nature of the competition, it’s not a fair competition, the draw says that, location says that, differentsized grounds say that, supporter bases say that.”
Bartel pointed to the bloodbath between Hawthorn and Geelong in 1989 and the drawn grand final between St Kilda and Collingwood as examples of how hard it would be for players to get up for a threegame series.
“Imagine the 1989 grand final, we had ‘Dipper’ (Hawk Robert DiPierdomenico) with collapsed lungs, we had (Hawthorn’s) Dermott (Brereton) with broken ribs, we had players who were just out on their feet,” he said.
“You saw how hard it was in the grand final draw in 2010 — they could barely get up a lot of those players.
“I’m baffled at the idea.”