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AFL 2077

The year is 2077 and 77 year old Alex de Minaur is serving his 2nd term as the Prime Minister of Australia, a video game titled ‘Cyberpunk‘ that was 57 years in the making finally gets released with no bugs and The Australian Football League (formally ANZ Football League 2035-2060) is celebrating its 181st year of operation.

As the siren sounds for the end of the 2077 grand final between the Swans and the Saints, here is a look on what we all witnessed in the past 57 years post Covid-19.

2021 was not a good year for the mighty Tigers as they didn’t even make the 8, so a 3 peat was definitely off the table. But from one teams downfall became another teams rise as the Brisbane lions create history by winning 8 flags in a row from 2021 to 2028. The 2026 grand final will go down in history as one of the greatest comebacks ever when the Bombers were up 73-15 at halftime to then go down 96-94 to Brisbane in front of 95,000 fans at the MCG.

The year 2030 we had a new team in the AFL the Canberra Pumas who were thumped by 150 points in their first game against the Magpies, the Pumas went on to win 1 from 22 to be the cellar dwellers in their inaugural season. Carlton in the other hand get the double (minor premiers/premiership) and is their first since 1995.

The AFL took as massive turn in 2035 with 2 teams from New Zealand joining the league and the struggling Western Bulldogs merge with the Geelong Cats to become the Geelong Bullcats and St Kilda relocating to Launceston to become the Tassie Saints. The AFL had 20 teams and newly appointed AFL CEO Chris Judd flipped the Australian sporting world upside down by turning the newly named ANZ Football League into 5 divisions of 4 teams and introducing the first Android umpires.

Freo, West Coast, Adelaide and Port were in the WASA division. Brisbane, Gold Coast, GWS and Sydney were in the Pacific division. The 2 kiwi teams Auckland Heat and Otago Thunder would join Geelong and the Canberra Pumas for the AUSNZ division. Richmond, Melbourne, Hawthorn and Collingwood would then be in the YARRA division and that would leave Carlton, Essendon, North and Tassie in the BASS division. Teams would play each team twice in their respected division in a home and away season and play each other team once having a total of 22 games in the regular season. The top team in each division and 3 wildcard teams would qualify for the finals making a top 8.

Fremantle Dockers
West Coast Eagles
Port Adelaide Power
Adelaide Crows
Brisbane Lions
Gold Coast Suns
Sydney Swans
Auckland Heat
Otago Thunder
Geelong Bullcats
Canberra Pumas
Richmond Tigers
Melbourne Demons
Hawthorn Hawks
Collingwood Magpies
Carlton Blues (Frankston Blues 66-68)
Essendon Bombers
North Melbourne Kangaroos
Tasmania Saints

Melbourne, Carlton and GWS were the most successful teams during the ANZFL era winning 5 premierships each and there was not much love over in New Zealand with the Auckland Heat (Auckland/Waikato Heat 2044-2049) reaching the grand final 5 times with 0 wins. The 2054 season was cancelled after only 9 games due to World War 3 with no team being made champion even though Carlton and West Coast were both 9-0. After the 2059 season a true ANZFL god had retired Jeff Swan son of Dane Swan had retired after 20 seasons in the league and winning the Brownlow 9 times and 5 flags with the Demons.

At the start of the 2057 season the world was in shock with the entire Adelaide squad killed in a plane crash during their pre season training in Mexico, instead of then fielding a side of lower grade players or even forfeiting the season each of the other 19 teams would loan a player to Adelaide for the 2057 season, the Crows did come last in the WASA division that year but it was 17 year old Butch Crawford (grandson of Shane Crawford) who was loaned to the Crows from the Hawks had broken a 100-year record by kicking 19 goals in a match over the Lions in Brisbane that saw a total of 44 goals combined from both teams. Butch went back to the Hawks in 2058 and was never the same player he was at Adelaide only playing 3 more seasons before playing out his career in the VFL.

The year 2061 the ANZFL was disbanded and renamed AFL when the two New Zealand teams started a standalone league in New Zealand with 8 other teams, The AFL was back to 18 teams with all 18 teams in the same league as it was in 2034. The 60s decade just like a century ago with dominance of the Victorian clubs, not one grand final between 1960 and 1970 had a team from out of Victoria playing. Richmond and the Bullcats were the most successful during that period with 3 wins each and even playing each other 4 times (Cats 3-1). West Coast in 2066 had merged with Freo to become the Perth Eagles and the mighty Darwin Waratahs joined the comp officially after spending more then 50 years in the VFL and it only took the Tahs 3 seasons to make the top 8.

In 2071 the Brisbane Lions were the first club to trial an Android football player cloned from Jason Akermanis and it even had bleached hair attached to it’s head. Brisbane had a total of 11 Android players in the 2071 season and Perth, Gold Coast, GWS and Port followed suit in 2072 by having Android players in their teams. In 2074 all teams had at least half of their playing roster an android except for Canberra who have their entire roster android players. After the end of the 2075 season the then CEO Eddie Betts Jr decided to have 2 separate leagues, a league for humans and a league for android players with an exhibition match halfway in the season between the two (Humans vs Robots).

That brings us to the 2077 year, in other sports the Eels are NRL champions, Japan is Rugby world cup champions, the Mets are world series champions again (5 in a row) and the Newcastle Giants of the Australian NFL are champions. 2077 in the AFL started off like every other year with sellout crowds at the MCG and some big name players doing some injuries in the first 4 weeks of the season. The 2 biggest stand outs in the first half of the season was the Tassie Saints undefeated after 12 rounds and the Demons winless, the Humans were dominant in the Humans v Robots clash and the Sydney Swans ended up with the minor premiership. The top 8 in 2077 was Sydney, Geelong, Tasmania, Gold Coast, Perth, Port, North and Essendon, Sydney and Tassie won their week 1 games with both the Power and Bombers eliminated, in week 2 of the finals the Suns and the Roos were both eliminated which would make a Sydney v Geelong and Tassie v Perth semi finals weekend.

The Swans would win the 2077 grand final with the scoreline reading 12.10 (82) to 10.14 (74), Tasmania’s forward Ricky Dangerfield won the Norm Smith for his 8 goal 31 touch performance, but it was the Swans defender Jackson Franklin who stole the hearts of the crowd kicking 2 goals in the last 3 minutes to seal the victory for the Swans and gift them their 2nd grand final in 5 years.

As we look into next season and beyond (season 200) we can see that the Saints have a very young team who is also very good and the Demons and Brisbane are rebuilding, my money would be for Tassie to win the 2078 final @$7 the Demons to be the wooden spoon @$3 and Marcus De Goey to win the Brownlow..

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