I guess I am not a nice person. “Uncharitable” might be a good way to term my behaviour this week.
You see, when I started the Mongrel Midfield Championship Belt, I did it with a hard and fast rule in mind – the title must be defended every round except for the bye rounds. If a team has a bye, the champ can hold onto the title for another week. If not… it must be on the line.
Twice in our history prior to Round 18, the title has been forfeited due to injury, or the champion being unable to play. It is now three times.
Due to possible covid exposure, champion, Callum Mills was unable to take part in the game. And as much as I like Callum, and enjoyed his title win over Jack Macrae… I’m not a bleeding heart, and the rule stands – if you don’t play, the title forfeits. Mills is no longer the champion as a result. The belt was still on the line in the Swans v Giants clash – vacant for the best midfielder on the winning team to take home.
Ladies and gentlemen… your winner, and NEW Mongrel Punt Midfield Champion… LUKE PARKER!!!
Now, onto the regular spiel….
The world loves a winner.
Except for the losers, I guess. But the rest of us love a winner, and following the 2020 season, one man reigned overall.
Dustin Martin stood on the podium with another two medals stemming from his best-afield performance in yet another Grand Final. The best player on the best team in the biggest game of the year – he was the undisputed champion of AFL midfielders, once again.
However, with a new season comes new challenges… and new challengers to the title.
As we entered 2021, the Mongrel Punt Midfielder Championship Belt was fastened tightly around the waist of the Richmond champ, but every battle, every week would call on him to defend it. And all it takes is a bad day for his grip to loosen on that which he made his in 2020.
The Mongrel Punt Midfield Championship is a bit of fun – let’s be honest, but it’s a bit of fun that adds a little bit of interest to each and every game the champ competes in. Who, if anyone can beat the champ?
Each week, the champ defends his title in this system. In order to unseat him, firstly, the challenging team has to win. Like in Pro Wrestling, the title cannot change hands on a disqualification, so if you have a great performance, but your team loses, you can’t take the title. You have to beat the champ in a win. You have to outperform the champ in a win to take the title off him.
The individual win has to be comprehensive. If a challenger has 26 touches and a goal and the champ has something similar, we call it a draw and the champ gets the benefit of the doubt to retain the title.
So, who sits atop the AFL mids and holds the belt at this stage of the season? Who will reign like Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair? And who will be an interim champ… like Kane, or the Iron Sheik?
Let’s jump in and find out.
Note – at the conclusion of the weekly update, a full championship history, spanning from 2017 to the current day is available, including a full history of title reigns and most successful defences, etc… We are now at 7K+ words in this baby, and the history grows every week.
The Mongrel Punt Midfielder Championship Belt is a weekly column for our Mongrel Members. They also get weekly wingman rankings, early access to our Good, Bad and Ugly reviews x 4 each week, and at a couple of standalone articles. Wanna join them?