One of the age old debates in Aussie Rules reared its head once again over the weekend - how much fun are you supposed to be having on the field?
Essendon had a day to forget against Geelong on Sunday, getting thrashed in the first half before salvaging some pride in the second, but the heavy loss all but ending their finals hopes.
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The Bombers can still mathematically make the top eight, but only if certain results go their way.
As the team gathered shortly before the start of the second half, players could be seen sharing a laugh before setting to work in the third and fourth quarters.
With a potential finals spot on the line, former Hawthorn premiership star Shane Crawford said it was ‘not a good look’ from the Bombers players.
“It’s not a good look. Imagine throwing that picture out to Instagram or Twitter and asking all the supporters, ‘What is going on?’” Crawford asked on Wide World of Sports.
“The thing that I don’t like when sides lose, especially in really important games, you see players with big smiles on their faces interacting with opposition players at the end.
“Obviously here they’re having a bit of fun in some way trying to get themselves sparked up to get back into the match.
“But you’ve got to understand they were playing for a finals spot.”
Essendon attitude hurts supporters: Crawford
Crawford went as far as suggesting the club’s fans back home in Victoria would be particularly unimpressed with the Bombers’ attitude considering the state remains under lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.
He said Essendon ‘can’t be seen having a lot of fun’ with so much on the line.
“I’m sure at the moment with the way things are in Victoria and all the Essendon supporters watching this, they wouldn’t be happy. It’s not a good look.
“When you’re getting a whack like that, you can’t be seen having a lot of fun out on the footy field. It just doesn’t work like that.
“I don’t think it’s going to go to well in the football world … especially at halftime when they were slaughtered by the Cats.”
Crawford wasn’t alone in his criticism of the Bombers - club great Matthew Lloyd was equally scathing after they trailed 75-15 at half time.
What angered Lloyd even more was Essendon's diabolical form, with the club legend openly questioning whether the Bombers still commanded any respect from their rivals.
"The Bombers have got no respect in this competition anymore, and that hurts me to say that ... from where my heart is as an Essendon person," AFL.com.au.
"Who are they? What's their brand? What do they stand for? They've become a bit of a laughing stock of this competition.
"They just don't beat anyone of note. And I think it's just becoming really tiring for Essendon people who have waited and been patient for a long time, and yet you hear John Worsfold yesterday say, 'we are three pre-seasons off Geelong'.
"No you're not John. Your team has been nowhere for so long. Why keep making those excuses? Put your hand up and say, 'we've got so far to get'."
Essendon haven't won a final since 2004.
With AAP/Justin Chadwick