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An open letter to… Ross Lyon

In a new series of posts for DT TALK, RLGriffin will write an open letter to a member of the AFL community each week with an AFL Dream Team related matter. This week it’s the new DT Anti-Christ, Ross Lyon. Griff addresses everything from Greg Broughton to Nat Fyfe… and even looks at Rossco’s own DT ability.

Dear Mr Lyon,

I write to you on behalf of AFL Dream Team coaches everywhere. We, as a collective group are concerned with the way that you (possibly unintentionally but more than likely deliberately) mess with our minds each and every week. Specifically, I would like to bring your attention to a Mr Greg Broughton.

During the entire preseason (which we understand means nothing to you), Greg played in the midfield for your new team, the Fremantle Dockers. His time there drew tremendous results. He won clearances, was influential on games, and he raked up disposals. It was encouraging to see that he also trained with the midfield group during the entire preseason competition.

Now in case you are not aware (you bloody well are), there is a game that over a quarter of a million Australian’s (more people than those watching Excess Baggage) play each and every week, called AFL Dream Team. We, the general public (and a couple of drunk guys from Tasmania), select players based on their form and ball winning ability (or just bad hunches – See ‘WarneDawgs’) in a team of players we feel could have an impact on the competition. These players score points for marks, kicks, tackles and the like during their games, all of which contribute to an overall team score. Points however are not scored by players for standing in the back pocket poking an opposition player in the ribs for 120 minutes to distract them from getting the ball. This brings me to my point.

You have gone so far as to name Mr Broughton on several occasions as playing on the ball. This is very encouraging to us coaches, many of whom live and breathe Dream Team. Then, come game day, you decide that Mr Broughton is no longer a match winning clearance player, but a blade-of-grass counting defender. This frustrates us. So much so that many coaches took only two weeks of your continuous last minute change of heart (misguided bullsh*t more like it) to trade Mr Broughton out of their teams. We were hurt, but copped it on the chin as we knew Mr Broughton had a tendency to be a great surface inspector, particularly in the defensive fifty.

Clearly you were also frustrated by Mr Broughton’s lack of possessions that you then proceeded to name Mr Broughton on the bench. This not only vindicated our concerns with him, but in fact encouraged us to part ways with him. However; you then proceed to again have a change of mind (you lying son-of-a…) and thrust Mr Broughton into the midfield five minutes into a match, where he proceeds to roam without an opponent for the next two hours. In fact, you did this two weeks in a row! You are clearly not a nice man.

I will concede that your coaching style effective (as well as really bloody boring to watch), and it is effective; netting you wins in 65% of your games as coach for St Kilda (you know, the team Zac Dawson used to play for). Sadly, this is where the joy ends for us Dream Team coaches (especially as you gave Dawson a new home). Broughton may not have the biggest tank in the midfield (but hey, you selected John ‘Red Vest’ Anthony for a run), or the most accurate disposal (then again, you used to play Raph Clarke out of defence), but for all of the Dream Team coaches out there, would you stop with the bloody lies.

I mean, Nat Fyfe popped his shoulder out; the bone in his arm left the socket connecting it to his body. He couldn’t move his arm at training, was being flown around the country to see when he would require surgery and yet you persistently said all week that he would play less than a week after him hurting it. Then you decide to let everyone know sixty minutes before (which granted is more notice than you gave the Saints that you were leaving) lock-out that he wouldn’t be playing. How bloody hard is it to tell the truth? Yes, phonetically lying is in your name, but phonetically Phouc Yeu (Chinese Philosopher who proclaimed that lying is bad)!

I’ve had it. Lachie Neal makes his debut, someone you’re high up on (means a lot, see: Dawson), starts in the green vest, he plays barely five minutes in the last quarter, and yet you had John ‘The Red Vest’ Anthony on the field running around like a child at a playground who had taken a blow to the head. I mean, Neale got 17 bloody points in his debut! What sort of price rise will that give us? Sam Gilbert got a bigger rise out of Nick Reiwoldt! For the love of all things holy (see: Garry Ablett Junior), stop making our life difficult, football boring and suggesting that Zac ‘Lurch’ Dawson is talented. Oh, and just play Broughton in the midfield.

Sincerely,

The AFL Dream Team Community

Ps. Your personal best Dream Team season was in 1994 when you scored 68.3 points. That’s bad. Tambling over Franklin bad!

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