According to the footy media, the outcome of each AFL match is no longer “the story”, as commentators and scribes increasingly focus on peripheral issues like player injuries and potential MRP discussion points. Gone are the days when “the story” was who won the actual game and how the result will impact on the futures of the two competing sides.

A journalist from a major newspaper broke ranks earlier this week when she spoke to The Watsonia Bugle to discuss the growing trend. According to the anonymous scribe, “People want to be outraged, so unless you’re a tortured Richmond supporter lamenting your side squandering yet another healthy lead, the best way to be outraged is a questionable MRP decision. Especially if you can stir up a few of the old heads by suggesting that the game has gone soft or, the ultimate headline, the bump is dead for the 78th time in the last decade. 

“And as for the obsession with injuries, that just mirrors the fear mongering in other categories of the media. Fear over the potential ramifications of a key player’s injury therefore becomes ‘the story’ rather than being a mere footnote in the outcome of the match.”