As a sport, the AFL entering the golden age of bullshit 24-hour media coverage about a game that is only played for a few hours every week. There are both positive and negative consequences from the extended coverage. On the positive, the time is now for AFL fans who love a good narrative. It seems as though every big-name player is now an entity to the fans as they become more and more accessible through social media and television.

There are plenty of ways we can look into the narratives of the AFL, and the characters the athletes are portrayed to be. Some use it to gain a greater understanding of the game, or a particular team’s style of play. Others, however, do not.

Hard ask: Which AFL stars make the grade as high-school stereotypes?


The bad boys

Jake Stringer:

The quiet kid who everyone thought was cool until he started dating an 8th grader.

Dustin Martin:

Dusty is the typical misunderstood bad boy. Everyone knows deep down; he is a great guy. However, you are still terrified of him. Brought beer to your 13th birthday.

Tom Liberatore:

Tom Liberatore is that kid who you invite to any party that isn’t at your house.

Joel Selwood:

Everybody loves Joel. He gets himself into trouble sometimes though. You also have to continually have room changes because he is on crutches and cannot use the stairs. That bit is annoying.

Luke Hodge: 

“I thought that guy already graduated? What do you mean he is sitting senior year again?

Max Gawn:

Had a growth spurt in year 7, which was handy because he had a full moustache in 6th grade.

Tom Hawkins:

The gentle giant who becomes the Hulk when he is angry. Once told a teacher to get fucked.


The Teachers’ pets

Alex Rance:

That good-looking religious kid who is unknowingly charming. All of the girls love him, the teachers adore him, and your mum wished he was her son. Will be school captain.

Cyril Rioli:

He is a funny kid, but he is rarely at school. However, he still shows up on the day of the test and gets an 85%. If only he consistently attended, he could be the best student at the school.

Nat Fyfe:

That country kid.

Patrick Dangerfield:

The ultimate teacher’s pet. He is smart as fuck and always answers the questions in class, before turning and giving you a smug look. You know he puts in at least four hours of homework a night, but you’re more than a little jealous.

Lance Franklin: 

There are three things guaranteed in life. Death, taxes and this kid is the most popular kid in school. He wins the school’s MVP in literally every sport. “I didn’t even think we had a men’s field hockey team?”

Marcus Bontempelli:

That young kid who is at of the parties but everybody lets it slide because he is okay. Pulls out an acoustic guitar at social occasions but isn’t seen as a douche.

Jack Watts:

Went to a Grammar School last year, but his grades weren’t good enough, so his parents sent him to the local public school.

Lachie Neale:

He gets straight As, but nobody notices him. Will probably get top grades in senior year and everybody will be shocked, even though they shouldn’t be.

The Teachers

Ross Lyon:

That teacher who may kill you. The teacher who doesn’t smile until the Easter break. You do your homework from fear and fear alone.

Luke Beveridge:

The cool teacher who rides a skateboard to school and goes surfing on the weekend. Doesn’t try to be cool, he just is.

Brendan Bolton:

That happy teacher who kids love. He hasn’t had a bad day in his life. The teacher who doesn’t get mad, they just get disappointed.

Comment your own AFL player stereotypes.