HOURS before his own Hawthorn team was embarrassingly belted by Geelong last Friday night, Hawks president Jeff Kennett felt the need to offer trademark condescending advice to all other clubs.
In a letter to his Hawks members, Kennett said a failure of clubs to meet certain financial targets should result in them being kicked out of the AFL.
It was a comment that was unnecessary, poorly timed and typically without empathy for the many bosses of other football clubs who have spent the past three months tormented with stress about their organisations and themselves, as well as the dozens of people they have been forced to sack due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
'FOURTH-RATE' Clarko slams Hawk mids against Cats
Kennett has enough issues of his own at Hawthorn without feeling the need to tell other clubs what they should be doing. His club's relocation to a Dingley training base has been paused, and the Hawks' list is clearly lacking obvious young star talent and reasonably packed with older and questionable talent from other clubs.
He also needs to soon decide what he wants to do in his current club role. He is on record as saying he would stand down from his second stint as Hawthorn president at the end of the year. But as is often the case with Kennett, what he says publicly is different to what he is doing privately, just as it was when he overthrew the Hawks' board and administration three years ago to come back as president.
Behind the scenes, discussions have been held about Kennett continuing as Hawks boss beyond this year.
"I hope that in the not too distant future we can agree on a set of KPIs (key performance indicators) for all clubs, which in part will ensure an improvement for all clubs, and the AFL's financial position," Kennett wrote in a letter to Hawks members last Friday.
"The timeline for these KPIs should be three years with an evaluation taking place in the third year of performance. If clubs and their Boards do not meet the KPIs set, they should be relegated to the VFL.
"No longer can non-performance be supported. This is not directed at any club and is only prospective. Emotion alone is not sufficient a reason for non-performance.
"The AFL must take a more commercial view to the conduct of our code."
Kennett is right in calling for new financial benchmarks for the 18 clubs, but relegation as a penalty is a ridiculous, club-killing idea.
Kennett should worry more about the now – specifically Thursday night when the Hawks play Richmond – than the financial workings of his rivals.
Is Port the real deal?
The glass half-full view is: Port Adelaide is top-four material. The half-empty lens is: the Power have beaten two teams which were tipped to finish bottom four, Gold Coast and Adelaide.
But they're looking good, even better when they're wearing the prison bar guernsey.
The spark and talent provided by Connor Rozee, Xavier Duursma and Zak Butters is a powerful force, and Travis Boak is still as important as ever.
It is difficult to grade the Power's thrashing of the Crows, as that team is clearly enduring the worst days of its 30-season AFL life.
NINE THINGS WE LEARNED The Crows are a bottom-four team
New coach Matthew Nicks knew he was taking on a massive task, but it might actually be monumental. A starting point to a potential turnaround for the Crows might only come after a full-on internal and public admission that so many initiatives since late 2017 have been lamentable.
Urgent repairs needed at The Kennel
It's now official. There's a big problem at the Western Bulldogs.
The embarrassing mauling by GWS in last year's elimination final, followed by the equally lacklustre performance in round one against Collingwood was made even worse by Sunday night's mauling by St Kilda at Marvel Stadium.
The Saints bamboozled the Dogs in the final three quarters, made them look a bottom-six team. In those three matches, Dogs captain Marcus Bontempelli has been made to look an ordinary player. We know he's anything but, but unless he produces his best on Friday night against GWS – the team which rag-dolled him and his teammates last September – the Bulldogs will be staring at a very long season, even with it being shortened to 17 matches per club in total.
St Kilda threw away a win against the clearly better-than-expected North Melbourne in round one, but atoned with authority against Western Bulldogs.
Can't wait to see how they go against Collingwood, at the MCG next Saturday. Had a crowd been allowed to attend, reckon it would've got high 60,000s. There's something about this Saints resurgence.
Danger wasn't hurt? It shouldn't matter
The Match Review Panel needs an urgent overhaul of its policies.
It needs to remove the weight it places on injuries sustained in reportable incidents, and focus purely on the offending players' intent and actions.
That Paddy Dangerfield was not seriously concussed on Friday night when sling-tackled by Hawthorn's Shaun Burgoyne should not be deemed as favourable to Burgoyne.
It was a miracle Dangerfield wasn't knocked out, and yet because he wasn't, Burgoyne escaped with a fine and not a match suspension.
Win of the round, part one
There have been too many false dawns, promises and hopes for Gold Coast since they were added to the AFL in 2011.
But as of Saturday night at Metricon Stadium, when they not just defeated but, at times, embarrassed West Coast, the Suns' relevance has become "real".
It's "real" largely because of one young man – Matt Rowell, the No.1 pick in the 2019 NAB AFL Draft who, against the Eagles, in his second match, led his team to arguably its most famous victory.
Rowell doesn’t turn 19 until next month. He has the body of a 25-year-old and the leadership qualities of a 30-year-old.
Eventually, he will get to play in front of a crowd.
FANTASY FORM WATCH Big Roo turns back clock, Crow has to go
Win of the round, part two
The only thing Cam Zurhaar likes more than a goal is hurting an opponent.
In 30 matches for North Melbourne, he's kicked 33 goals, and seriously hurt opposition players at least three times that amount. Against GWS on Sunday at Giants Stadium, he led his team to its second consecutive win, following the come-from-behind performance against St Kilda in March.
Other North youngsters Curtis Taylor, Tarryn Thomas and Bailey Scott also played significant roles, as did the ever-reliable Shaun Higgins and Todd Goldstein.