Sunday, May 24, 2009

The AFL Hall of Fame: My Last Word

When I did my previous post on the Hall of Fame I actually had no idea that that very night the latest group were being inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Now I read a fair few sports websites - I pretty much live on And yet I had no idea. And so it was a bit of a surprise to read Tim Lane's column today where he writes:

AS A MEMBER of the Australian Football Hall of Fame selection committee, which copped some bad press during the last week on the Lou Richards legend debate, I'm inclined to the Oscar Wilde view — the one thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about. The controversy shone a light on the Hall of Fame and its processes, and thus heightened the football community's awareness of the significance of this important institution. That end could be said to justify the means.

Bizarre to say the least. Shone a light on the process? Maybe, but it certainly didn't shine any light on the actual event. And he thinks highlighting the flaws in the Hall of Fame improves its significance? Odd. I would think it would highlight how much the system needs changing...

How about this statement:

For its own sake, the Hall of Fame needs to be relevant to the football public. It should generate public interest and debate. The AFL and its Hall of Fame selection panel must accept that and do so with a heightened recognition of its duty to hold its nerve, regardless of whatever campaigning might occur.

What an extraordinary statement about one's own self importance. Lane seems to be saying, "I am on the selection panel so I need to accept the awesome responsibility that goes with it". And to suggest that the best way for the Hall of Fame to be relevant to the football public is to continue having only 12 people selecting the entrants takes a fair few jumps in logic to be intelligible.

My last point: one Saturday Malcolm Blight was talking about the Hall of Fame dinner. He had no idea how one got invited - were there corporate tables, did you need to be invited? He then stated he hadn't been for a few years. And this remember is someone who is actually in the Hall of Fame!

And you have to agree with Blight. Was the night telecast? If so, their marketing was woeful because I had no idea it was on.

What they should do is announce the latest inductees at the start of the year, and designate a certain week each year as the Hall of Fame week. There's no need to keep the names secret until the night - this ain't the freaking Logies. Let us know in advance who is going to be inducted, publicise the night, make it special and here's an idea, make it open to the public.

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