THE THURSDAY THROWBACK – Round 4, 2015
Welcome to the first in our weekly series of retro, old-school flashbacks where we look at the history of Fantasy Footy AFL and revisit some of those golden Dreamteam moments that’ll have you saying “I remember that”, or “I was there”, or “shit, I wasn’t even born”…
Welcome to the first in our weekly series of retro, old-school flashbacks where we look at the history of Fantasy Footy AFL and revisit some of those golden Dreamteam moments that’ll have you saying “I remember that”, or “I was there”, or “sh*t, I wasn’t even born”…
Firstly let’s go back to where this circus began here in Oz in the early to mid ’90s. Back when Keating was Prime Minister, a new novelty called ‘the internet’ was barely a chat room for geeks and a band called Nirvana and ‘grunge’ were the new releases at Brash’s.
With none of our modern current-day cushy technology to update our dodgy scores for instantly gratifying disappointment, the original Fantasy coach dinosaurs had to pretty much work it out themselves. As if maintaining a mullet wasn’t enough. With a strict early-season deadline for the one and only competition that was available, the entry method was via a newspaper clipping you cut out, mailed in and then hoped for the best. Later there was a tragically undermanned phone line for making player selections (plus resolving any inevitable stuff-ups or sheer confusion) and instead of today’s pedantic salary cap dollar values, the players were simply rated between 1 and 10.
Player lists, scores and rankings were first published in The Age and (when the silliness really gained momentum) this changed over to The Australian newspaper, whose sales went from ‘peanuts’ to ‘bananas’ once a week. With results only published in the 60-cent Wednesday rag this meant a minimum three day wait after each weekend, only to find all issues usually sold out before breakfast, with the only remaining copies sitting idle in offices or libraries. So, if by then we hadn’t already given up completely it was off to the nearest photocopier to attempt a takeaway copy of the bedsheet-sized pages in hopefully three scans or less. Feverous panic occurred if someone was already (very slowly) reading the last remaining newspaper, which was ridiculous – what kind of person actually reads The Australian?
Unless you were printed in the top 100 coaches list, the only way for the remaining 20,000 or more coaches to check their actual weekly standings was to call the aforementioned phone number, which not only cost time/money but invariably disconnected just as you reached the good bit where you’d find out how bad you scored.
So, my fellow Supercoaches, take nothing for granted in today’s modern Fantasy world. Even if your captain tweaks his hammie or your rookies are all subs, just be grateful we don’t have to use a pencil. Unless of course we’re poking our own eyes out in disgust, but that – like everything in Fantasy – is completely optional.
This week is the glorious Anzac Round, so here’s a quick look back at the original Anzac Day match between Essendon and Collingwood. Twenty years ago and I was that one person who was not part of the ten million or so at the game, instead begrudgingly working in an old CD warehouse while listening to a Walkman. The match ended in a draw between Sheedy’s Bombers and Lethal’s Magpies while the star of the show and Collingwood’s eventual saviour was Saverio Rocca. In an era where power forwards were called ‘spearheads’ and often legends of Fantasy Footy and nightclubs alike, big Sav tallied 9 goals and 2 behinds from his 12 kicks to score 125 DT points. It was the first of four tonnes for Rocca in 1995, including a career-high 158 from 10 goals vs Adelaide. By that stage, back in the old DT salary cap system, he would’ve almost been a ‘9’!
In next week’s Throwback: a rundown on the Showdown.
by Matt James http://twitter.com/muttleyjam