Updated: Aug 14, 2019
"Paper Beats Rock But What the Hell Beats a Dragon?: Putting AUL Namesakes in a Dense, Conceptual Thunderdome"
I joked last year about writing a thesis with the above title, thinking that it would be a bit of fun. It wasn’t. There is a lot of swearing in this. There is very little insight into anything worth your while. To be honest, I wouldn’t recommend reading it.
With all that in mind, let's begin.
Part I: Foreword and Forewarning
Due to contract clashes, IOU Editors Max and Mark are unable to speculate on the upcoming AUL Season. That task has fallen to me. Given that I’m a serial people pleaser, I have elected not to talk about outrageous draft picks (Lucky break for you, Dave), the glaring omission of Gemma Coleman #24, or the rumours of some zany new League rules. I have instead decided to try really hard to work out who would win in a fight between a bunch of dragons and the sea. I have both the time and the desire to do this. That’s just where I’m at in life, I guess.
Over the course of two articles - two seminal treatises - released over the course of two weeks - two long, painful weeks - I'll try to work out which of the AUL namesakes (Flames, Suns, Breakers, Freeze, Power, or Dragons) would win in a full round-robin of fights.
You should not respect my opinion. Actually, I encourage you to shit on it, and me, in the comments; there is some pretty speculative trash in here. A lot of bad logic and very little research. I did outsource most of the astrophysics to Brisbane Coach Dr Tam Davis (and she 's been on Catalyst like twice), but I couldn’t find any dragon experts and had no idea where to look for someone to speak academically about a “Breaker”. But more on that monstrosity of a name later.
This super weird, hopefully fun, probable-waste-of-all-our-time article will follow a simple, four-parted journey. First, this forewarning. Second, defining what each team mascot will look like. Third, released next week, rampant, baseless speculation. And finally, the conclusions we can draw about who will win the second season of the AUL based on physics, semantics, and basic reason.
If you think I’ve missed something you’re more than welcome to write your own rival treatise - but to be honest I wouldn’t recommend it. It took me a really long time and I am no closer to knowing what the hell a “Breaker” is. More on that monstrosity of a name right now.
Part II: The When, Where, Who and How... There isn’t really a Why
The obvious challenge is where to start. Do you jump straight into imagining a handful of dragons fighting an iceberg? But how many dragons are there? And how much ice? No, no, that’s no good. No bueno. No bien. This will quickly descend into ridiculousness if we don’t start by establishing a few ground rules.
First, in the case of a tangible, pluralised thing as a namesake (that is, the Suns, Dragons and Breakers), we will imagine that there is one thing per player on the roster (12). Second, in the case of weather, elemental or conceptual phenomena (that is, the Freeze, Flames, Power and Breakers), we will imagine that the phenomenon is the size of the city it is representing.
In the unique case of the Breakers, which is kind of a thing, and also a natural phenomenon, and also a goofy pun all at the same time, there will be one Breaker per player, and collectively these Breakers will be the size of Brisbane. They need all the help they can get.
The battles will take place in the imaginative Thunderdome inside each of our minds, or at Melbourne’s Docklands if physically possible. It’s a fight to the death. There will be no draws - looking at you, March Madness (this article was written at a time when March Madness was still relevant). If a winner cannot be determined the full two points will go to whatever team’s object or phenomenon is closest in colour to their jerseys.
Great. That’s the admin out of the way. Now it’s time to get our heads around each team. We’ll go in order of last year’s standings.
Quite simply, the Melbourne Flames will fight in the Thunderdome in the form of a raging fire the size of the city of Melbourne - roughly 10,000 square kilometres. That is, off the bat, a pretty formidable foe. No wonder they won last year. We will know the Flames have lost when their fire is suitably doused, extinguished or left otherwise smouldering. Fire is red so the jersey colour checks out. This is all pretty straight forward, isn’t it?
Well guess what? It’s very fucking downhill from here. If only all the teams were basic elements! I could get around the Adelaide Water. Or what about if all the teams were some variation of the timeless paper, rock and scissors? This breakdown would be so easy - and who wouldn’t want to be paying member of the Perth Paper or Sydney Scissors? But no, the rest of the namesakes are kooky as fuck and things are gonna get weird. Strap on your glasses, nerds, we’re going to space.
The Sydney Suns are the next item on the ticket. As per the ground rules, the pluralised Suns will fight in the Thunderdome in the form of twelve separate solar entities. That is to say that there will be a dozen G-type Main Sequence Stars, twelve balls of piping hot plasma, each with an approximate equatorial radii of 700,000km, each approaching 6,000 Kelvin in temperature, containing within them incomprehensibly dense quantities of mass and gas and other stuff. In plain, digestible english, the Sydney Suns will be twelve co-existent, gigantic, near perfectly spherical helium explosions. Yikes.
So how will we know when the Suns lose? Well, Dr Tam Davis says “the ultimate defeat, and the natural consequence of being a Sun, is to end in a massive implosion.” Interesting commentary on Sydney’s culture there, Tam. So, if in the course of a Thunderdome skirmish the Suns implode, then they will lose. She also said a really, really hot Sun can be purple. Shazam.
I guess the Brisbane Breakers are next. Ugh. So a “breaker” is like a wave or something? Or is it a person riding a wave? Unclear. It’s a clever play on words, sure, and the alliteration is dynamite, but what actually is it?
From here on, a Breaker will be considered a wave that is suspended in the middle of doing that thing where it rolls over and smashes down (I surf sometimes no biggie). Barreling? Barreling. Just constantly barrelling over and over and over on itself. Righteous, dude. As above, there will be a dozen of these waves, coming one after another, each of which will be 1/12th the size of the city of Brisbane, which all together is an astonishing 15,826 square kilometres. That’s some gnarly urban sprawl, brah.
It’s hard to know when the Breakers lose, they’re so bloody ambiguous. I guess when the waves run out? Sure. Let’s lock that in. The ocean is blue so the colouring makes sense. I need to speed this up a bit, hey.
Okay, cool: Canberra. Our nation’s capital. The City of Ice. Except is it though? And how long will it be cold for? I mean, the rampant, seemingly unstoppable rise of global temperatures may make the Freeze an unsustainable franchise in the near future - though the same could probably be said for all franchises, the entire AUL, and life in general. Maybe a rebranding to the ‘Canberra Nuclear Winter’ could be a more realistic way forward.
In any case, for the Thunderdome, imagine a thick, thick sheet of ice the size of the actual city of Canberra: just 814 square kilometres. Adorable. Along with this sheet will be random ejections of arctic winds, one tram, blizzards, bureaucrats, roundabouts, a vibrant upper-middle class, and volatile cold swells. Miscellaneous Mooseheads patrons and the entire shadow cabinet, the spooOOOookiest of the cabinets, will also ride around the ice on their bicycles, throwing snowballs, screaming “TREMOR BEFORE THE FREEZE!” as they go.
How will we know when Canberra have lost? Easy. They will have lost if the sheet of ice is shattered or melted, if increasingly hostile national discourse and general tribalism corrodes the foundation of Australian democracy, or if the aforementioned nuclear winter comes to pass. Also, ice is white, maybe arguably “clear”, certainly not green.
We come next to Perth, and what a fucking headache we find there. Did you know that Webster’s Dictionary defines Power fifteen different ways - just what exactly are we supposed to do with that? The easy way out would probably be just to pick one and stick to it, to commit to something like “physical power”. But nah, I like Perth. I’ve got one of their jerseys and I’m friends with their players (not the ones actually from Perth, but there’s not many of them anyway), so we’re going to use all those definitions at the same time. In the Thunderdome, the “Power” will be a kind of intangible cloud of any moral, electrical, legal, authoritative, physical, or supernatural power that exists in any dimension, contained to the 6,418 square kilometres of Perth City.
But is it even possible to contain power? Is power yellow? Is Alex Gan past his prime?
A resounding no to all. What a stupid series of questions. You cannot put power in a bottle, it’s definitely colourless, and also please come home, Alex, you son of a gun. We miss you.
Last, and least, Adelaide. Yeah I said it. Oh what, that makes me the bad guy? You were thinking it! Besides, inflammatory press coverage = post engagement. I’m just doing my bit for the League. And anyway, you were thinking it!
Anyway. It’s clear from their team logo that Adelaide are more thinking along the lines of a Komodo Dragon for their mascot, or some kind of small, non-mythical lizard. I think this is a mistake. No amount of muggle reptiles will beat a fucking Sun, or Ice, or anything, as we can easily deduce from the 2018 AUL Season Ladder (Again, just doing my bit for the League). Even with the addition of Lucy “Le Difference” Deller and her brother Tom, standard, literally garden-variety lizards just aren’t going to cut it. And so for the purposes of keeping the Thunderdome interesting, Adelaide will be represented by twelve full-on fire breathing dragons. Actually, make it twenty. Why not? And they can be pretty big, sure, whatever. Let’s make each of them the size of The Big Lobster, one of South Australia’s famous tourist attractions, fine, who cares, I don’t think it’ll matter anyway.
I guess the Dragons will lose when all their Dragons are dead.
Great! Well, all the boring admin is over, and we’ve officially hit halfway. That’s right, there’s a whole other one of these to go. This is as disturbing and upsetting for me as it is for you.
See you next week. Feel free to speculate in the comments so I can steal your ideas without crediting you. Sorry Adelaide, I’ll buy a Deller jersey.
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