In case you have somehow missed the news this morning. Buddy Franklin is going to Sydney. That’s no surprise, the surprise comes from the fact he is going to be wearing Red and White in 2014.
People are divided into two categories on this one. The Bitter Bus, which currently has a line as long as the list of zeros of Buddy’s paycheck, and the good for him, I can’t wait to see what he is going to do for them group. I am firmly in the second group, and if you’re not a Hawks fan (of which there are plenty after last weekend), or a Giants fan (literally, Giants FAN not FANS), then you should join me in celebrating an athlete doing what they do best.
Like it or lump it, sport is business. That means that they are doing a job, not playing for fun, and as a result they are going to go to an employer who can give them the best working conditions. I was having a conversation with S the other night when she asked me if I thought athletes were overpaid, to which I responded that they weren’t because of the market value for their industry.
The AFL is worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year, and as a result the league need to employ people who are going to keep that money coming in. Franklin has kicked 580 goals in 182 games, including a 102 goal season in 2008, so it is fair to argue that he is one of the biggest drawcards in the league.
So why, as one of the most crucial cogs in the AFL wagon, would he go to an employer, who will not be able to provide him with the opportunity to continue to deliver the high level of product he started delivering in 2005? This is why the Red and White make sense. For this generation they have been one of the most active teams in the league in all senses, and regardless of how they have done it, they have found a way to get things done, which have seen them stay at the top of the AFL tree.
This is why we should be excited to see why Buddy is going to do with the SCG as his new playground. He has access to resources as good as he had at Hawthorn, so it is natural for us to expect that he will perform at the same level, which if he does should be enough to bring the Swans their third premiership in a decade.
You could argue this is the second time in a year we have seen the Swans pull this off after Mr. Tippett signed in less than pleasing circumstances last year, but there is one major difference. Tippett proved himself to be a liar, something Franklin hasn’t done.
Tippett claimed he wanted to go home, and last time I checked, Sydney wasn’t in Queensland, which led to an understandable level of frustration from Lions, Suns and Crows supporters.
Let’s all stop for a minute and celebrate the fact that an athlete is going out and doing what’s best for them and their family.
Lastly, at the end of the day I doubt anyone (myself included) wouldn’t take more money and better working conditions to do the exact same job.
I tip my hat to you Mr. Franklin