True triple-team tragic

Here's a taste how much I know about AFL.

I'm a Carlton supporter, whose number-two team is Richmond and also an occasional follower of Collingwood. I am the type of footy loser who has three teams.

Such admission makes it apparent to most Tasmanians that I'm a mainlander of the worst kind: I was born in NSW.

I'm at once AFL passionate and AFL pig-ignorant.

In 1992, when former Carlton (great) David Rhys-Jones was recruited to play for North Launceston, fellow journalist, Carlton fan and draft pick (true), Nick Clarke helped me prepare to interview the legend.

LEGENDARY: Carlton's David Rhys-Jones was recruited to play with North Launceston but was unimpressed by someone unfamiliar with his reputation. Picture: Getty Images

LEGENDARY: Carlton's David Rhys-Jones was recruited to play with North Launceston but was unimpressed by someone unfamiliar with his reputation. Picture: Getty Images

Previously, I’d been sent to interview other legends whose names also didn't register, including (the great) Tommy Hafey, (the great) Peter Hudson and my forever favourite (the rising star) Matthew Richardson.

The look (the great) Peter Hudson gave me when I asked for a summary his footy history is still burned on my brain. The look was ‘poor woman’ and/or ‘please make her go away’.

On the day of the Rhys-Jones (the great) Nick Clarke gave me a clever question to add to my list:

“Do you think your white line fever will be a problem here in Tassie?”

If only there'd been Google and Wikipedia in 1992, or, if only I was a true Carlton supporter, I would have known that “Rhys-Jones was a superbly balanced footballer, equally adept as a goal-kicking option as he was at shutting down opponents.”

I'm at once AFL passionate and AFL pig-ignorant.

I would have also have known, “his career was not without controversy; he stood out with his blond locks and aggressive nature and, at the time of his retirement, held the record for the most tribunal appearances with 42. Rhys-Jones was charged 25 times and suspended for a total of 22 matches as well as appearing 17 times as the victim”.

Silence was his response. He didn't answer another question.

Richo, my all-time fave and reason for the Tigers place in my footy heart, gave me the same dopey look I gave him and quite miraculously a story appeared.

It was with such superb footy intelligence that last week I embarked on compiling my own dream team.

Of course, I had to first ascertain how many players make a team?

Apparently 22 are selected each week and 18 are allowed on the ground at any one time. Who'd have thought?

My team:

Mick Malthouse (to make him suffer the way we have suffered through his alleged coaching of our team); Spider Everett (to scare Mick); Matthew Richardson (to confuse Spider); Anthony Koutoufides (because he’s hot); Cameron Ling (because he's not); Tex Walker (great style); Brendan Fevola (no style); the short dude who captained Fremantle, Peter Bell (1.76m); Plugger or the now lean dude formerly known as Tony Lockett (because he's so strong, fast and elegant at the same time); Nick Riewoldt (because he's a physical miracle); Eddie Betts (because he's so brave and fast); Tommy Hafey (to provide inspiration); Mick Malloy (moral support for Richo); any Silvagni (they're so very Melbourne Italian); Peter Hudson (to see what all the fuss was about); Warwick Cappa (the only AFL player Sydneysiders remember); Tom Lynch (because he's awesome) and, finally, Joe Daniher (because he looks like he's having such a bloody good time).

Now you're possibly swearing at my ignorance or wishing I would write about subject that I truly understand, like cricket.

But that's a whole other education