EVERY picture tells a story, but the story behind this remarkable moment in the Oval Office of the President of the United States has more depth than a mere photo opportunity.
Let's consider some of the key outtakes:
1. Our PM, Julia Gillard, is declaring her love of the AFL game beyond all others. She, a passionate Bulldogs fan, and No.1 supporter, is no Paul Keating or Gough Whitlam, who were happy to be decked out - for political purposes - in a Collingwood guernsey. The NSW-born pair had as much knowledge of the AFL game as does Barack Obama.
2. Gillard is also a canny politician. Handballing a Sherrin in the most powerful suite in the world, AND having the ball almost KO a bust of Obama’s inspiration, Abraham Lincoln, was always going to be lengths ahead of providing the Pres with a jar of home-made raspberry jam.
3. The Australian embassy in Washington must be well-equipped with the necessary pump, and jigger, to ensure the Sherrin was at optimum pumped-up shape and size for the photo op.
4. The PR experts will be wearing out calculators as to the value of this pic, video, and the accompanying Obama-Gillard banter. Sports and Governments of all sorts are forever dumping big numbers on us as to the economic value of events. We'll go out on a limb this time, and claim it as priceless.
5. We're not entirely sure about the techniques on offer, not being experts in bio-mechanics, but we reckon the post-handball pose put up by Mr Obama suggests this is not the first time he's had a football of irregular shape in his grasp: note the follow through of the hitting left hand, and the flick away of the right hand, the platform that starts all handballs. Not bad for a first shot. Ms Gillard is clearly a sport as well: her hands are firm, and capable of withstanding any last thrust by a defender. Her stance is strong, using her powerful lower body to ensure she has a firm foundation to flick the ball back to the Pres. As Bruce Andrew might have noted, we'll give each of them 9/10.
6. And finally, we're tipping this news cycle is not the last time you'll be seeing this pic, and the video accompanying. Not to be too superior, but our guess is that having the most powerful man in the world playing with a Sherrin on his home turf is of slightly more value than having the voice of Mr B. Jovi mouthing a B side ditty as noise above some rugby league "highlights".
The comments employed in this story are not necessarily those of the AFL or the AFL clubs.