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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

DNA Tests for Footy Players

The current hooplah involving AFL players is the prospect that clubs may begin testing the DNA of potential recruits, attempting to get insight into their future height, strength, speed and stamina.

This is all well and good for their on-field performance. But DNA testing allows them to go so much further. Would it be too much to ask that they also screen for off-field performance (and public safety) too? For example, some sociobiologists argue we can use DNA to screen for tendencies towards behaviours such as violence, rape and addiction.

What if these very same sets of genes made for good footballers? Would the clubs then be liable if they've inadvertently unleashed a group of ultra-violent thugs, bashing, raping and marauding their way through city bars and clubs while high on Synthemesc? Oh no, wait: they already have a proposal for dealing with that.

Still, it's all in the name of progress and innovation. As Port Adelaide's chief executive John James put it:

"Being an innovative club, which is one of the core identities of Port Adelaide, DNA testing was one of the possibilities that came before us," he said.

"We are continuously looking at new innovations, and this was one of them. As far as making the decision we are not at that point yet, but yes, we were considering the move." (The Age, 21/6/2005)

Over at Port, they're not afraid to enter the Brave New World of footy. This candid photo from last summer's training camp highlights one of their more experimental techniques:

(Unnamed recruit receiving motivating instruction from trainer)

We're not sure what exactly kind of looped-images and music the recruits are subjected to - any tips would be appreciated.

Citations: The Age, 21/6/2005

Word Count: 298

Tags: footy,




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  • How about repeated footage of Kevin Sheedy swinging his bloody jacket around?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:05 am, June 24, 2005  

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  • What would be more impressive is the isolation of the gene that tells them how much money the testee is likely to demand after a successful season. Bonus points if the gene self-mutates to correct for inflation.

    By Anonymous taj, at 8:03 am, June 30, 2005  

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  • True. There would definitely be Darwinian forces pushing clubs to select players with very poor numerical skills. For example, the inability to distinguish between the numbers 750,000 and 75,000 would help a player's selection prospects no end.

    By Blogger Greg, at 3:57 pm, July 03, 2005  

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  • This sounds like science fiction, as in it's fictional to think there is any chance of clubs doing this anytime soon.

    They should just improve the training of players, it's possible to squeeze a lot more performance out of them than has happened currently.

    look at vertical leap, in the US there are athletes over 130kg who can jump easily higher than AFL draft camp records. Ditto for olympic weightlifters. They didn't use dna tests to find them, they don't need them here.

    By Anonymous Simon, at 10:08 am, May 25, 2007  

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