My vow to put less about football on the blog is failing miserably. My only excuse is that this is probably the finest season of footy in living memory and its hard not to be excited about it. I hope everyone in Qatar will bear with me - blogs coming soon on oil, dates, camels and your 2016 Olympic bid.
First: Alans. I have long had an interest in historical Alans. "The written sources suggest that from the end of the 1st century to the second half of the 4th century the Alans had supremacy over the tribal union and created a powerful confederation of Sarmatian tribes."
Then at some point in the 1930s they began playing football. I have nutted out a team, in position, of all the greatest Alans.
Many were called Alan, but few were chosen. Sorry Alan Mangels. I did find room for promising young Alan Obst on the bench. Alans have excelled over the decades particularly as rovers and goalkickers - I had to fill the key defensive positions with ruck rovers and the like. I don't want anyone to think this was easy, or that there is some AFL database on the net of Alans. THIS is the database of Alans.
Next subject - trends in footballers names. When I was a kid they were all Shanes and Waynes. Like me, you may have noticed that now they are all Danes and Kanes, with a few Zanes thrown in. In addition I am concerned about Brady, Brody, Cody, Cale, Cade, Jaiden and Chance. Where are the Ians? Where are the Steves? Every club should have a mandated minimum of one Colin, one Barry and two Kevins. I must stress I am welcoming of Setanta, Jarrhan, Andrejs and Alipate who have come on board in recent seasons. Diversity. But I am really concerned about Sharrod, Jamason and Ayce.
And Ayce brings me to my third point - footballer's sons. Footballers seem to give their sons shocking names. Ayce Cordy, Steele Sidebottom and Jaxson Barham come to mind. Jobe Watson. Dustin Fletcher. Gary Ablett got around it by naming his son Gary Ablett.
Finally - while searching for Alans I came across a very early Greg. Greg Stockdale of Essendon, carbon-dated to 1929. How hard would it have been to be a Greg in the 20s? All the basic Greg accoutrements (bodyshirt, suntan, flappy jeans, medallion) weren't invented until the seventies. Can anyone find an earlier example, or have I stumbled upon the Invention of Greg?