There's no action on the field (yet) ... but there's still plenty to debate as we wait for the AFL to announce its return. Our AFL experts answer some of the burning questions.
Should Sydney still target Joe Daniher at the end of the year?
Niall Seewang: First of all, the game is much worse off with Daniher on the sidelines but truth be told, the Swans may be breathing a sigh of relief that last year's trade -- reportedly involving at least one first-round pick -- didn't eventuate. That being said, the Swans are in a great position now. They can monitor Daniher and sign him as a restricted free agent if he returns to fitness, or hold fire if not.
Jake Michaels: The Swans will be mighty relieved they didn't give up the farm to get Daniher last year. He had only managed 11 games in the past two seasons and now Essendon coach John Worsfold has no idea if we will see him at all in 2020. At this stage, any trade for Daniher is taking a massive punt and the Swans should start looking elsewhere.
Matt Walsh: It's a shame Daniher hasn't yet been able to get his body right, but boy did Dodoro and co. miss an opportunity to extract maximum value from him last trade period. It may be a slightly 'business-minded' way to look at it, but that's the way footy is these days, even if your last name is Daniher and you play in red and black. As for the Swans, they may be able to get a steal at the FA table.
Would this year's flag really be one of 'the greatest ever', as per Damien Hardwick?
NS: I think it just about would be - in recent history anyway. The shutdown, the training restrictions, the diminished resources at club land, the hubs, the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic ... the challenges feel endless compared to seasons past. I think it would have to be considered one of the great premiership wins - especially if one of the 'hub clubs' eventually prevailed.
JM: There's never going to be a truly even playing field, but 2020 probably comes as close as it ever will be. So for that, I would mostly agree with Hardwick. But ask yourself why he's making this claim. If the Tigers, who are the premiership favourite, go on to win this magical flag and make it three premierships in four years, they instantly enter the conversation for greatest football team of all time. Dimma's just laying the foundation.
MW: Not sure what 'Dimma' is on about here. The only way I can see the 2020 flag being spoken of in the same regard as any other flag in the modern era is if the AFL maintains the changes it made when the coronavirus was set to affect the season.
Is Kochie being precious over wanting Port to stay in a different hotel than the Crows?
NS: I assume David Koch was trying to stoke the fires of Port's long-held rivalry with the Crows -- quite successfully I might add -- but it's pretty immature coming from the Power chairman. I actually loved Adelaide coach Matthew Nicks' response when he said his club had "no issue" sharing a hotel with their Port counterparts which, to borrow a phrase from Ross Lyon, shows the Crows are an "anywhere, anytime" team.
JM: Relax! He took a cheeky swipe at his club's cross-town rival and it was all a bit of fun. There was certainly no malice involved and if you can't see the humour in it, you really need to lighten up. The truth is, I don't think Koch could care less if the Power and Crows share a hotel, he just wants people talking about his club. Not every Koch comment should be scrutinised.
MW: Yes. I mean come on, it's 2020. With due respect to fans everywhere, rivalries aren't what they used to be. Players don't hate each other, real fights are few and far between, and you're more likely to see Travis Boak and Tex Walker catch up for a beer than catch up to trade blows. It's all bravado from Kochie, who hasn't covered himself in glory these past two weeks...
Should broadcasters use artificial crowd noises this year?
NS: This is a tough one. Nothing will replace the intensity of roaring crowd, but I feel 'canned cheering' if you like -- which is being considered as an option by broadcasters when footy returns -- is the lesser of two evils. Round 1 just felt completely flat, despite some novelty of clearly hearing the players communicating with each other on the field. Maybe the TV stations should trial it for a few weeks before re-assessing?
With the likelihood of no crowds in 2020, here is a side-by-side of games with and without artificial crowd noise.— 7AFL (@7AFL) May 18, 2020
What do you think, crowd noise or no crowd noise?
➡️ https://t.co/LU9rtJRapt pic.twitter.com/lExrzgpS6v
JM: Absolutely not. This would be a stratosphere away from any 'real' stadium atmosphere and it's only going to leave the league open to criticism when it broadcasts through our TVs. When Formula One switched to the V6 turbo era, and lost the iconic ear-piercing engine sound, there were discussions about creating fake noise to simulate what people were used to. They didn't do it and we all got used to it very quickly. We will do the same here, and hey, this is only temporary.
MW: Give it a whirl, but be prepared to shelve it pretty quickly if the feedback isn't positive. We know that broadcasters, politicians -- just about everyone in any position of power -- can be stubborn sometimes, but if it's tacky as I suspect it might be, I'd rather just watch the action as we did in Round 1.