What is most significant though about the AFLW is the outpouring of love for what has happened. Commentary through the major media outlets as well as on blogs and podcasts has been effusive, and full of love and admiration for what is happening, and the ongoing developments. The seeds have been sewn, roots have taken hold, and saplings are forming.
We have, in the space of a few months during the 'summer of footballing love', witnessed and lived through a defining moment in Australian Football.
For the Men's competition, the wheels of change grind on. The new season brings new players, coaches, tactics and fans, as well as those that have yet to leave.
And there is also something new this season, the Premiers.
What a ride they took us on last year, and it is no better presented than in the season launch film in this link.
So while the AFLW rounds out the summer of football love, you could make a case for that summer of love to have started in September as the Western Bulldogs began their finals tilt by dominating at Subiaco, against the expectations of every one.
They then rode a long long wave though September, building hope and love for footy and 'the story' of the Bulldogs. That wave engulfed the reigning Premiers, and was just enough to get over the Giants at their den, in what would be perhaps the best football game of the season.
By the first day of October, the tsunami-like wave of emotion, and commitment of the players, was stronger than the staunch and valiant Sydney.
It was an amazing ride. It was exciting, and fantastical. And it was followed by the evolution of football with the start of the AFL Women's League.
An extraordinary six months in the footballing landscape of our great game.
Expected Round 1 ResultsSo with all those developments over the summer behind us, autumn again beckons the Men's competition onto the fields of play.
It also brings the FMI tips and blog back to action for its 6th big season. Pioneers is a word not to be used, but there has been plenty of others joining in recently, and thats a good thing for footy and blogging - it drives innovation.
And the FMI system has again undergone a slight review and rework (all part of the competitve innovation process), so to start the season the following rankings are current.
Following on from that another slight off-season modification to the system, the first round tips are as per below.
|Collingwood||17||v||20||W Bulldogs/FFC||MCG||W Bulldogs/FFC||by||21||pts||35|
|St Kilda||20||v||16||Melbourne||Dock||St Kilda||by||1||pts||51|
|Gold Coast||10||v||-28||Brisbane Lions||Carr||Gold Coast||by||39||pts||78|
|North Melbourne||-20||v||16||West Coast||Dock||West Coast||by||2||pts||50|
Effective flip of the coin for the St Kilda / Melbourne game. Why this isn't in prime time I do not know. Instead we have Essendon vs Hawthorn instead... the comeback game.
The comeback of a player from a life-threatening cancer is an important moment. And it over-rides any notion of 'celebrating' the return of players found to have breached anti-doping rules.
By all means, these players should be able to return to play, but marking the event as significant is a step too far.
Also as a bonus surprise is the coin-flip North Melbourne / West Coast game.
This will be an interesting tip.
The form indicator highlighting GWS's better form over the Crows may be a harbinger for Adelaide, and the rest of the teams if the GWS get flying (as the media pundits think they will).
Otherwise, form is basically as per tip.
- The first few rounds are always the toughest to accurately tip as model tipping formats are based on past data, and changes year-on-year can be more rapid than models expect. An acceleration factor has been added to the model to try to counter that effect.
- Hey guess what? That new recruit you think is really good... yeah well this model (and other ELO models) don't see things like that. Principle is every team has a 36 player list. One player falls, another rises to take their place. And really, everyone thought Adelaide would suffer without 'Danger' and the finished as defeated semi finalists.
- Coach changes, rule changes... yep same. The model is not interested. Its all about the raw data.
So take that information in hand as you tip, and remember ...