Lance ‘Buddy’ Franklin’s car accident during the week is a major concern for the Swans. And not because it shows that he’s a reckless muppet completely indifferent to New South Wales road laws/traffic infringements in general.
AFL players are by nature more spatially aware than their rugby league counterparts. The game is played on a massive oval-shaped field and, thus, requires 360 degree awareness.
Players can come at you from all angles – and you need to be aware of where these dangers will come from. Like a new inmate at Miami County jail, you best keep your wits about you unless someone catches you ‘holding the ball’ in the shower – (a common jailhouse synonym for rape, where the ‘ball’ is a communal bar of soap, so I’ve heard).
So that’s why I’m concerned about Buddy’s car accident. Not because of the inevitable media attention this is attracting, or the possibility he was texting and driving. Or high on an illicit substance. Or getting a blowjob from a herpes-ridden hooker mid-ride (in which case I say well-played).
An AFL player must at all times be spatially aware. I wouldn’t bat an eyelid if Greg Bird got side swiped by an errant Mazda 6 on his way to training because as a league player he is only required to work in 180 degree angles. Players run into him; he runs into players. Direct contact. ARL 96. No surprises.
Forget the advanced driving courses and night curfews. Spatial awareness is the real core issue – and I can only hope that Coach Longmire recognises it as such.
This will all backfire on me if Buddy turns out to genuinely suffer from Irlen Syndrome.
By Dave Edwards