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
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