With the AFL season quickly nearing its conclusion we have begun to see the annual tradition of players from the eliminated teams gathering together for one last hurrah. Mad Monday, Wacky Wednesday or whatever you want to call it, the only thing surer than seeing footballers in dresses is having to hear some former player pooh-pooing it. This year, like last year, Kane Cornes was keen to have is opposition to the practise heard.
Speaking on SEN three weeks ago, he suggested his problem wasn’t with the players gathering together but with the costume aspect of the tradition. You see poor old Kane isn’t the fun police he’s just looking out for the supporters of the teams who’ve had to put up with poor seasons.
“I’ve got an issue for the Port Adelaide supporter who’s booked their finals tickets, they’re at work on a Monday, they’ve had a hard slog through the year and they turn on the news and see their players dressed up as Where’s Wally or Captain Cook or whoever, carrying on like idiots, he told the AFL Nation pre-game show. “They would know if they dress up, the cameras are waiting and that’s what they’re waiting for. I can’t get my head around why the player would plan their costume in the season to dress up on Mad Monday.”
While forthright in this opinion, he didn’t believe it applied to all teams. “I love it when Geelong does it, but they’re the only team that has rights to this stupid craze of dressing up. They’re successful. They won three flags doing it and good on them,” he said. “If I see Carlton or Brisbane dressing up on Monday, I’m embarrassed for the players that do it. Poor old Alan Richardson’s going to rock up on Monday, he’s going to start his review and wonder whether he’s got a job and he’s going to turn on the news and see Jack Steven dressed as Bert from Sesame Street, give me a spell.”
While he might have taken a weirdly specific position on the practise, we are left in no doubt about where he stands. Footballers shouldn’t participate in dress ups with their team mates, unless they play for Geelong, and under no circumstances should Jack Steven dress as Ernie from Sesame Street. Perhaps this is the reason the Saint star has been linked with a move to the Cats in 2019.
All of which made his comments this week about Geelong’s traditionally over the top antics all the more confusing. “Geelong get away with it because I reckon they’re better at doing it than anyone else. But I’ve got this feeling inside of me,” Cornes told SEN Breakfast. “You’ve won three out of your last 12 finals. Now, some of those outfits that they had … must have been planned last week. So are you thinking about a big final against Melbourne, where you were embarrassed, you were bullied, you were smashed? Or, are you thinking somewhere in the back of your mind about Wacky Wednesday? I guarantee you those outfits weren’t organised on Monday or Tuesday. They were organised a couple of weeks ago and I don’t think it’s a good look.”
So much lunacy, so little time, but lets try and break this down a little bit.
Yep, in just three short weeks, Kane Cornes has changed his opinion on whether Geelong have been successful enough to dress up for Wacky Wednesday because they lost one final comprehensively. If that wasn’t bad enough, and it is pretty ridiculous, is he seriously suggesting that the planning of outfits got in the way of Geelong’s preparing or focusing on their final with Melbourne?
How does he think that works? Chris Scott is giving the half time address and Joel Selwood isn’t paying attention because he is making sure that Quinton Narkle is ready to play Meghan to his Harry?? Look, The Pinch Hitters doesn’t know how long it takes to organise a costume hire in Adelaide, maybe it takes a lot longer than it does in Melbourne but I struggle to believe it is the kind of thing that occupies enough time as to disrupt the preparations of a professional sportsperson. Heaven forbid Cornes learns that Selwood got engaged during the pre-finals bye, his head might literally explode at how little attention the Cats skipper was paying to the task at hand.
We are as passionate about our football team as the next person but cannot understand this belief that players cannot celebrate a season unless they win the premiership. Much like the vilification of Bernie Vince for his post game laugh with former team mate Patrick Dangerfield, this has to stop. When you consider that people can share a laugh at post-funeral wakes, the idiocy of suggesting players aren’t committed or don’t care enough if they can have fun after losing or a having bad season is made clear. How about we save the outrage for things that deserve it and let our footballers enjoy a dress up if they feel like it without misplaced judgement about how they should or shouldn’t be feeling.