Is Gaff a thug?

in teamaustralia •  last year 

I'm not a West Coast Eagles supporter, and I don't really watch much football beyond Collingwood games these days, so I don't really have any strong emotional or preconceived reaction to the incident that happened over the weekend

For those that don't know what I'm talking about, here's the vision:
Screenshot_20180806-215932.png

https://twitter.com/AFLcomau/status/1026019974584983552?s=19

Now it is obvious that there will be a hefty suspension to come out of this.

But all the talk of 12 week suspensions, criminal charges, etc etc are absurd.

It was obviously an extreme incident, especially given the nature of the the injury that Andrew Bradshaw sustained.

But let's break it down for a minute - Did he mean it?

I don't think so.

He isn't a player with a reputation to play "on the edge" so to speak. He is one of the premier midfielders in the competition and was an outside chance for the Brownlow medal this year.

He obviously meant to punch to some degree, but the AFL has almost encouraged that kind of behavior by not punishing players for "jumper punches" to the chest. In this case I think he punched a little higher than intended, and Bradshaw's face was a little lower than it otherwise might have been, and the result was there for all to see.

This isn't a call for him to not be suspended. I think 6 weeks is about right, but no doubt he'll get 7 to ensure he doesn't return this season. The media circus that has surrounded this incident will ensure that. The AFL will want this issue put to bed for the rest of the year.

And it is likely that he's played his last game for West Coast as an uncontracted free agent that was supposedly already keen to come home to Victoria.

Overall this is a big blow to West Coast's season. With Naitanui out for the season, now Gaff, and Kennedy's injury struggles, it is hard to see anybody winning a flag without their best 3 players.

Collingwood is also down due to injuries, so there doesn't seem to be much threat to Richmond's premiership defence. They have been very lucky in that regard. I think GWS is most likely to threaten them.

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I don't know that I'd call him a thug, but it was a thug act.

Whether it was out of character, or a chest punch gone wrong or a blatant deliberate act I think there are 3 key things counting against Gaff.

1 - it was a long long way behind play
2 - the tribunal is very much reactionary in their application of penalties. Brayshaw's injuries are severe. He wont play again this year, and will be lucky to be on solid foods by the time finals come around.
3 - Jeremy Cameron v Harriss Andrews. This is pretty much the precedent that combines the first 2. Cameron got 5 weeks, for a crude spoil attempt that was in play. Given Gaff's strike was nowhere near the ball my gut feel is 6-8 weeks.

I also think he's done at West Coast too, I think it will be a very awkward place for him with Hamish Brayshaw playing for them.

  ·  last year (edited)

it was a long long way behind play

They were sort of scuffling though, if it was just a standard well executed jumper punches nobody would look twice.

the tribunal is very much reactionary in their application of penalties.

Definitely.

Jeremy Cameron v Harriss Andrews. This is pretty much the precedent that combines the first 2. Cameron got 5 weeks, for a crude spoil attempt that was in play. Given Gaff's strike was nowhere near the ball my gut feel is 6-8 weeks.

I called Cameron at 5 weeks. I think Gaff is worth 6 but I think he'll get either 7 or even 8.

I also think he's done at West Coast too, I think it will be a very awkward place for him with Hamish Brayshaw playing for them.

Regardless of whether he plays for West Coast or not, I think he's ok with the Bradshaw's. He played golf with Hamish and Andrew just a few days prior and apparently he texted Andrew to arrange to visit him in person.

On the surface things are OK between them, or at least that's the image that they want to portray to the football public.

Below the surface, I think their relationship will have been changed by the incident. It would be impossible for it not to.

I guess we'll never know for sure... AFL is a different world though - these guys that are mates outside of the game can get into fights and sledge eachother during the game and continue on being mates once the game is over - obviously in this case the resultant injury was quite extreme, and it really depends on whether the brayshaws accept it wasn't a deliberate action and how good they are at letting things pass..

To the question in your title, my Magic 8-Ball says:

Without a doubt

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