We now know what we did not yesterday, which is that the one-game suspension levied against Port Adelaide midfielder Robbie Gray will be applied to Round 1 of the home-and-away season.
Gray and the club spun the wheel and decided to challenge the penalty after Port put up the $10,000 fee required to lodge a challenge.
It seems a bit uneven that Gray would be banned for a game where actual premiership points were on the line, as the infraction occurred in pre-season JLT Community Series action.
In our opinion, it should be West Coast’s Jeremey McGovern who should be looking at sanction, but he could probably be nominated for an Oscar for his performance in acting as though the brush to his head by Gray’s shoulder was the equivalent of the frontal lobotomy performed on Jack Nicholson’s character, Randle McMurphy, in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Without seeming too cynical, was it ever in the realm of possibility that the AFL, with $10,000 of Port’s money burning a hole in the pocket of the league’s trousers, was ever going to issue a refund?
Gray will miss Port’s Round 1 match against the Fremantle Dockers and will now be rendered ineligible for Brownlow Medal consideration, unless the league has a $20,000 get-out-of-jail-free card that Gray and Port can purchase.
“We move on I suppose and take the verdict,” Gray said post-hearing in Adelaide. “I’ll miss Round 1, but I’ve got plenty of the rest of the year to play.”
It took the match review panel, brought out to work after Michael Christian sent the matter to them, all of six minutes to decide that Gray deliberately bumped McGovern and was not contesting the ball.
We spent more time reviewing the video, apparently.
What we now wonder is: Does the match review tribunal divvy up the $10,000 three ways, or does Christian receive a 25 percent piece of the action?
McGovern might miss Round 1 as well, but it is hard for us to not imagine him sitting in a hospice bed, eating ice cream and reading comic books, much as we did following our tonsillectomy.