Ben Jarman has not been selected in the 2016 AFL Draft in Sydney on Friday, despite clearly being a Jarman.
On a night when 77 players were selected by the 18 clubs in what was described as one of the most talent-rich draft pools in recent memory, and the most Jarman-rich draft pool since the 80's, Ben Jarman was left without a club. While some found Jarman's non-selection surprising, it's made even more unbelievable by the fact that of the 77 players selected, not one of them was a Jarman.
Ben Jarman, son of Darren Jarman, nephew of Andrew Jarman and great-nephew of Australian cricketer Barry Jarman, was one of 80 players invited to participate in the 2016 Draft Combine, where players are tested and ranked against one another in a variety of football-related categories. Of these tests, Jarman was the only player to rank in the top 10 for each of the handpass, kicking and goalkicking tests, coming top in the handpassing. He was also the only player to score at all in the 'Being a Jarman' test.
Ben Jarman's non-selection may have been influenced by his lower rankings in athletic tests such as vertical leap height and 20m sprints. When asked whether this was a contributing factor, a spokesperson for an AFL club said it was certainly taken into account.
"It's a big risk at the draft to pick the objectively most all-round skilled player. Football is not, and never has been, a game of skill. It's about running short distances as quick as possible, jumping from both feet and then running another 3km non-stop.
"Very seldom do you find a player who's not exceptionally athletic that can match it with the rest of them on skill and smarts alone. I mean, they're as rare as hen's teeth. Players like Sam Mitchell (who was overlooked in the 2000 draft), or Greg Williams, or even Darren Jarman. Shit, he's not related to Darren Jarman is he?"
Darren Jarman, while built taller than son Ben, was not renowned for tremendous athletic ability, rather for his accurate disposal and football awareness, and was once described by Jason Dunstall as the best kick he ever played with. Uncle Andrew also had a similar reputation with many remarking on his quick and reliable hands at collecting and distributing the ball in packs.
Between them, Andrew and Darren Jarman won 3 AFL premierships, 3 SANFL premierships, 2 Magarey medals, 5 All-Australian selections, 4 SANFL club best and fairests, 1 AFL club best and fairest, were both included in the Adelaide Crows Team of the Decade and North Adelaide's Team of the Century, have both been inducted into the SANFL Hall of Fame and Darren has also been inducted into the AFL Hall of Fame.
When Australian Sports Weakly reminded the spokesperson of the Jarman family record, he was slightly regretful.
"Why the f%$& didn't you tell me he was a Jarman?! Like, a Jarman Jarman? I mean, I knew his name was Jarman but I didn't know he was an ACTUAL Jarman. Sweet Jesus on a jetski!"
Ben Jarman is expected to be put on the Adelaide Crows rookie list for the 2017 season.
Melbourne Demons football Heritier Lumumba has blamed Melbourne's lack of adequate medical treatment and the death of Muhammad Ali for his poor form this year, which has inspired other out-of-sorts footballers to offer their own celebrity death excuses.
As Lumumba mourned the death of Ali while, coincidentally, sidelined with head trauma injuries, Essendon's Shaun McKernan blamed his mediocre year on the death of Kenny Baker in August.
"I just found it really hard to get motivated. It's difficult to get pumped up when something like the death of Kenny Baker puts it all in perspective. I mean, footy's just a game and you forget that some people have dedicated their lives to doing truly good work, like sitting in a pretend robot and saying 'beep boop' and that."
It wasn't just Victorian-based footballers. The entire Fremantle team blamed their fall from grace on the unexpected death of rapper Phife Dawg, one of the founding members of A Tribe Called Quest. Former Fremantle captain Matthew Pavlich suggests that the death of the "Five Foot Assassin" may have even contributed to his retirement.
"Look, Dawg died the week of Round 1. It hit us hard. Some of the boys probably preferred Q-Tip but Phife Dawg was still close to their hearts. I think I knew from the feeling in the dressing room after that first game that this season would be my last, and Phife Dawg contributed to that feeling," said Pavlich.
"Just when we think we're recovering from Phife Dawg's death, David Gest hits the news and it starts all over again. You've got rookies in their first year still trying to come to terms with the game and then they've got to deal with the death of Liza Minnelli's fourth husband? It's a tough ask."
Lumumba has sought legal representation in order to seek compensation or broker a deal from the Demons on his behalf as a response to their alleged inadequate medical treatment this year.
After a year in which many football pundits and media personalities have criticised Trent Cotchin's captaincy and output for his Richmond Tigers, their suspicions have been reaffirmed by having him announced as joint 2012 Brownlow Medal winner with former-Hawk Sam Mitchell.
Former Richmond assistant and Kangaroos player turned television pundit David King said as far back as April that Richmond should look at replacing Trent Cotchin as captain after his 38 disposal game against Collingwood. The awarding of the highest possible individual honour in the AFL to Cotchin has now left King with no doubts.
"Imagine if your club was languishing with a consistent ball-winner and Brownlow medallist in their midfield, influencing play and giving direction. You'd be absolutely livid. The Richmond faithful deserve better.
"This medal confirms to me that Cotchin is just going to be another of those midfield Brownlow captains that simply won't be remembered. Hird, Voss, Buckley, Paul Kelly, Chris Judd. Trent's heading down the same path as them and Richmond need to do something about it."
Richmond coach Damien Hardwick responded to the criticism mid-year by defending his captain.
“I am flabbergasted at the criticism he cops. We win a lot of football games because of this bloke, so people need to actually take a deep breath and start to look at some other targets," Hardwick said in April.
He is also now re-thinking his stance.
"Look, sometimes you're absolutely sure of something but some new information comes to light and you have to reassess. I always thought Trent was a wonderful player, a crucial ball-winner, could swing a game single-handedly and could lead this club for years to come but winning a Brownlow just throws that all into dispute."
Trent Cotchin's most recent vice-captain, Brett Deledio, is the front-runner to replace Cotchin as captain, despite being traded to Greater Western Sydney at his own request and laughing the whole plane journey to New South Wales.
Jobe Watson's 2012 Brownlow Medal is to undergo testing to determine if the materials that were used to forge it have resulted in a forgery.
Watson handed back his Brownlow Medal yesterday amidst an ongoing debate and discussion as to whether his suspensions for banned substance use during his medal-winning year should have an effect on the validity of his win. Immediately, the AFL have decided to test the authenticity of the medal to avoid future controversies.
"We have every faith that Jobe Watson has done the right thing and to the best of his knowledge returned a genuine Brownlow Medal to us. However, certain inconsistencies in the patterns and markings on this medal have forced us to launch an internal investigation and we should have the results of that investigation in 3 or 4 years time," said AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan.
Jobe Watson has said that he was unsure which medal he was giving back but wouldn't knowingly give back a false medal.
"I have returned a medal that I have confidence in being the genuine medal. I recently gave Sam Mitchell the medal because he wanted to see it and he held it behind his back and got me to guess which hand it was in, but I put my trust in Mitchell to do the right thing. I understand that ultimately it's my responsibility to assure that the medal he gave me was the correct medal, but I never had any reason to doubt it."
Swiss metallurgy organisation WAMA (Worldwide Association of Metallic Authenticators) are reported to be watching the results of the AFL's tests closely and are preparing their own team for an independent verification.
Port Adelaide has taken to social media to voice their disappointment and criticism at Collingwood's choice of guernsey design for their inaugural AFLW team.
The design, which features a prison bar black-and-white striped look, is reminiscent of Port Adelaide's traditional SANFL guernsey, modeled on their history of supporters, players and staff having strong prison connections.
"It's really disappointing that Collingwood feel they can compete with us when it comes to being deserving of being behind prison bars," said Port Adelaide Chairman David Koch.
"Everyone knows we're the meanest, leanest, most fearless pack of gosh-darn rootin', tootin' and whiskey shootin' sons o' guns this side of the west."
Collingwood President Eddie McGuire shot back.
"You good-for-nothin' varmints are nothin' but a soggy mess o' lily-livered dunderheads who ain't got no right to be fixin' to take our title as the roughest, toughest, red-hot hoochie-coochers."
Koch and McGuire, in order to settle the argument, have agreed to a duel of pistols at the standard dueling time of dawn, behind Curly's Saloon in Omassapeekwa.
Port Adelaide's crosstown rivals, Adelaide, replied diplomatically on Twitter when asked about the controversy.
"Those two teams are complaining about which one is more deserving of wearing a uniform that literally represents incarceration? Who gives a fuck?"