The Good Friday twilight fixture should be rotated between the 10 Victorian-based AFL clubs.
The game raises money for the Royal Children's Hospital, a famous Melbourne institution, and should not remain the domain of only two clubs.
Clubs should earn the right to play in blockbusters by attracting huge numbers and providing a competitive, entertaining contest.
If the AFL truly espouses to treat all clubs equally, it should seriously consider sharing blockbuster slots, even for established fixtures such as Anzac Day and the Dreamtime game. But we know this is highly unlikely to happen for several reasons, mainly financial.
North Melbourne coach David Noble was adamant the Roos would fight hard to continue hosting the Good Friday game, but their efforts on the national stage in the past two have been pathetic and embarrassing.
While the game attracted a healthy crowd for the RCH's Good Friday Appeal, the Kangaroos were never in the contest against the Western Bulldogs, apart from a brief flurry in the second quarter.
The second Good Friday game was also a huge disappointment, as Sydney thrashed West Coast in Perth, but the Eagles should be cut some slack given the massive challenges they have faced with COVID-19 and injuries early in the season to settle their line-up.
While Melbourne sits atop the ladder as the only unbeaten team, there are heartening early signs for two of the AFL's underachievers, Fremantle and St Kilda.
The Dockers' fortunes are no longer heavily dependent on skipper Nat Fyfe and veteran David Mundy.
As Fyfe remains on the sidelines after back surgery, Fremantle's impressive youngsters have stepped up, led by Andrew Brayshaw, Caleb Serong, Nathan O'Driscoll, Will Brodie, Hayden Young and Jordan Clark.
The Dockers have a star ruckman in Sean Darcy, supported by the experienced Rory Lobb, while Alex Pearce and Luke Ryan spearhead a solid defence.
The lingering doubts about the Dockers continue about whether they can kick enough goals, but the combination of busy, speedy smaller players around key forward Matt Taberner and Lobb is working well for now.
Fremantle (4-1) sits in second spot, with its only loss to the Saints at home in round two.
After losing its opening game to Collingwood, St Kilda has been impressive in winning its past four.
The Saints are more dangerous when Paddy Ryder and Rowan Marshall work in tandem in the ruck, but they found a way to win against an improving Gold Coast without the suspended Ryder and coach Brett Ratten, who missed the game because of COVID protocols.
Jade Gresham is back to his brilliant best after a shocking run with injury and inspirational skipper Jack Steele leads a hard-working midfield. St Kilda also has one of the AFL's best young key forwards, Max King, as a target up front.
It has been an impressive start for two teams chasing that elusive premiership - their long-suffering supporter bases hope this is finally the drought-breaking year as it was for the Demons last season.
The decision to award a 50-metre penalty against Brisbane defender Harris Andrews, late in the game against Collingwood, for putting his arms out was laughable.
But don't blame umpire Andrew Stephens for making the harsh judgment; rather, those who instruct the officials should be chastised.
The AFL has made the right call to crack down on player dissent towards umpires mainly because of the flow-on effects such as failing to attract enough officials at grassroots level, but there needs to be some common sense and consistency applied when emotions run high and the ridiculous adjudication on Andrews took the rule too far. Fortunately for Andrews and the Lions, the decision did not cost them the four premiership points.
At Gillon McLachlan's first staff meeting after being appointed to succeed Andrew Demetriou as the AFL's chief executive officer, he vowed his approach and style would be far different than his predecessor.
While both shared a huge passion for the game, McLachlan has been true to his pledge and history will judge his tenure as being much more successful than Demetriou's.
In eight years, riding the constant roller-coaster that goes with presiding over this country's highest-profile sport, McLachlan has demonstrated a rare ability of being able to relate to the corporate sector as easily as he can to the average football supporter.
I worked under him for almost 10 years as part of the AFL Record team and marvelled at his ability to work collaboratively with a wide range of people inside and outside the organisation. McLachlan is generous with his time and interested in your welfare. Not all of his decisions have been correct, but that shows he is as fallible as the rest of us.
Among the CEO's many achievements, his incredible efforts in keeping the competition going during the past two years of the pandemic rates are at the top of the list, along with the establishment of AFLW.
Of his possible replacements at the end of this season, I've had a lot to do with Brendon Gale, Andrew Dillon and Travis Auld over the years and all are outstanding candidates, but there are others such as Christine Holgate who have ideal credentials.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @hpkotton59
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