Credit to all in AFL's week from hell

TIME to give credit where credit's due following a week experienced by the AFL like no other. Ever.

It was only seven days ago the Essendon supplements saga was again in the headlines after Hawk Sam Mitchell's jab jibe, and Bombers coach James Hird's questionable response.

But that almost petty exchange paled in significance by the events that would come.

First there was the release of Karmichael Hunt's confessions to police over the who, what and where of his end-of-season drug binge on the Gold Coast.

That was followed by the shocking images of his Suns teammate and former housemate Harley Bennell engaging in what appeared to be illicit drug use just before the start of the 2013 season, splashed across the front pages of our major newspapers.

Then, of course, the act that would put everything else into perspective - the stabbing death of Adelaide Crows coach Phil Walsh and the outpouring of grief across not only the AFL community, but the entire nation.

But, from some of the worst moments imaginable came some of the best.

And full credit must go to ...

Geelong players for putting themselves into the shoes of their devastated Crows counterparts and sacrificing the chance to win four premiership points by agreeing to cancel yesterday's clash at the Adelaide Oval.

Rival coaches and captains Alastair Clarkson and Luke Hodge, of Hawthorn, and Nathan Buckley and Scott Pendelbury, of Collingwood, for instigating one of the most touching tributes seen on a footy field at the completion of Friday night's game at the MCG, and replicated by every other team to play over the weekend.

Crows captain Taylor Walker for speaking from the heart on a video message about the coach he "started to fall in love with", the coach that once politely requested he not be called after 8pm, because "that's my bedtime".

Adelaide Oval operators for opening the gates to the ground yesterday afternoon and allowing footy fans to have a kick out on the field as a mark of respect to Walsh.

The Suns for putting behind them the toughest week in their short history to register their fourth biggest win - and

arguably their most significant - even if helped by the ineptness of opponent North Melbourne.

Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett, whose captaincy has come into question more than once this season, for coming out in his first game in three months to lead from the front by notching 30 disposals in a match for the 100th time in his career, a performance topped off with three goals.

Charlie Dixon, who reminded everyone of his immense

capabilities, and why Brisbane should be chasing him, and Gold Coast should be trying to keep him, with a dominant, club-record seven-goal haul against the Roos.

And, lastly, Harley Bennell, who instead of hiding under a rock after "being in hell" during the week when effectively named and shamed, showed enough fortitude to be front and centre in the crowd at Metricon Stadium among his Suns teammates.


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