AFL News for the week ending July 9, 2023: A red card for the AFL, the Top 4 and Max King blow for Saints
Red card - does the AFL need a sin bin?
There has been a lot of chatter over the past few days (and beyond that) about whether the AFL needs to rethink the red-card/sin bin thing.
It's come up this time around in relation to Toby Nankervis taking Jake Lloyd out of the match when the Tigers met the Swans on Thursday night.
While there's no doubt the big Nank will spend some time on the sidelines over this incident, and should, it has reignited the conversation about there being a red card or sin bin in the AFL in the same way there is in football/soccer and rugby.
The pro camp think it is fair because it immediately penalises the side that made the indiscretion and levels the playing field on game day.
The no camp (such as The Herald Sun's Scotty Gullan and warrior for "old-school AFL" Dermy Brereton) are against it for a variety of reasons, from it being too hard to adjudicate to Dermy's age-old thing about not wanting the game to become too soft.
Maybe it's time to ask the fans?
Is the Top 4 locked in?
The AFL 2023 season has been a great surprise to many fans, which has meant a rollercoaster year if you're a fan of almost any side.
The two teams that played in the 2022 Grand Final - the Cats and the Swans - have had underwhelming campaigns in 2023, whereas teams like the Power, Crows and Bombers have risen far faster than most AFL pundits thought they would.
This has meant that the middle of the table is very fluid, with teams like the Giants, Dockers, Tigers and even the Suns still in a position to sneak into the last couple of places in the eight.
As for the Top 4, it's looking more and more locked in - particularly the top 2 for the Pies and Power - with really only 4th spot looking up for grabs as the Demons, Crows and Saints face the weekly proposition of one of them taking it at season's end.
Makes for an exciting final seven rounds - strap yourselves in!
Saints lose their big forward again
Within just a few minutes of Saturday night's game between the Saints and Dees kicking off, the Saints gun forward Max King went down with a shoulder - the same shoulder he had reconstruction surgery on and that kept him out of most of the early part of the 2023 season.
Sadly for Saints fans - and all fans of the game - it was confirmed post match that King will miss the rest of the season.
Not great news for a team that really needs a talent the likes of King up forward to help kick them into the finals.
But it's more King's health and welfare that is a concern. Sustaining an injury to an already injured and repaired shoulder is the worst kind of news for the big man, so all of our best wishes are with him.
Whoever you support, it's players like King that we all want to watch every week if we can.