AFL Finals Week 1 – Richmond v Carlton: The People’s (Reverse) Elbow – A message for the AFL Finals Series, written and authorised by C. Judd, Carlton

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While there’s life, there’s hope.
Marcus Cicero

If you believe in yourself anything is possible.
Miley Cyrus


Carlton is the cockroach that refuses to die already.

In the shadows of the final quarter, after Jeff Garlett heaps another shovel of insanity over the corpse of Richmond, and after the yellow and black make for the exit1; I cannot help but be reminded of a quote from the American humourist, Jack Handey.

“It takes a big man to cry, but it takes a bigger man to laugh at that man.”

Even as someone given to tilting the most mundane of events into a Viking epic, this is unhinged lunacy, if not larceny.

I am all but dry-humping complete strangers in the stands.


Only after disaster can we be resurrected.
Chuck Palahniuk, ‘Fight Club’

The queue at Gate 2 is colossal. If it wasn’t the MCC gate, the now member for Lindsay, Fiona Scott, would put it down to a handful of Indonesian fishing boats.

From the very beginning we are outnumbered. Yellow and black everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Fans in tiger-skin hats, tiger face-paint and tiger trinkets. Why so enthused? WHAT PAST TRAUMAS ARE YOU HIDING!?

Carlton runs out to what Mick Malthouse would later describe an atmosphere akin to playing at Subiaco with just a busload of supporters. I feel so lonely. So painfully un-Tiger.

The first half however is nothing but Tiger. Whatever spark of enthusiasm Carlton had from last week’s miracle at West Lakes has long since been extinguished.

Richmond is like a wrestling dwarf at Bells Hotel. That is to say ‘on fire’2

The only way the first-half could have been worse was if Carlton was coached by Baz Luhrmann and our game plan was plied with a liberal dose of ‘jazz hands’.

Across Carlton’s half-forward line, Chris Yarran appears to pull out of a contest, a voice to my right me yells ‘SQUIB!’. On my right, Julian Burnside AO QC yells ‘HEROIC!’

I don’t care for Dustin Martin. I don’t care for Tyrone Vickery. I don’t care for Brett Deledio. So I’m not in the tank here when I say this game is fucking awful. I think we all would’ve been much happier if Carlton weren’t bumped into the eight and we could be busy not giving a shit about football.

Instead, it is the collective I-don’t-give-a-fuckness of those wearing navy that is a key component of my irrational, irrepressible anger.

When Aaron Edwards goals less than three-minutes into the third Carlton is five-goals-with-interest down.

And then Chris Judd happened.


Three votes. C… Judd
Andrew Demetriou

It is almost as if Edwards’ goal led to Chris Judd to mutter to himself:

“Fuck me, do I have to do this on my own… again?”

It cannot be understated how ballsy Judd’s third quarter was, so I’ll say it in caps-lock.


And while we’re on gene-carrying duffle bags, Bryce Gibbs finally emerged from a seven-year cocoon as a butterfly with a big set of hairy testicles.

12 clearances. 18 contested possessions.

Carlton has winners everywhere.

Jarrod Waite, Eddie Betts and Nick Duigan — sorry, NICK FUCKING DUIGAN!!! — are having huge quarters. Maybe if Jack Reiwoldt wasn’t too busy planning his next shitfit, he could’ve taken notes.

We’ve got this!

And then… three minutes into the last Carlton is half a goal down when Mitch Robinson — hardly the over-educated man’s footballer — concedes a goal to Ivan Maric. I have a Reiwoldt-level shitfit.

Eddie Betts pulls it back two minutes later, and then…


The ‘coach-tester’ marks fifteen out and puts Carlton in front.

Whoa, hey, what the fuck just happened?

Carlton. Is. In. Front.


The Blues are ten points up and it’s a hard thing for a lot of Richmond people to accept why God would allow the as-of-last-week-hobbled Chris Judd to go running through their yard, spinning around and kicking goals.

The malfeasance of Maric momentarily hits mute on the party mix before Jarrad Waite and Nick Duigan both kick their fourth.

Let me type this again, slowly, so you can let it sink in and savour it.

Nick Duigan kicks his fourth.

When Henderson takes a courageous mark with only three-and-a-bit minutes left the Carlton canaries that twitter around #AFLfinals appear to be singing to the tune of ‘Lily of Laguna’.


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At least one of Malcolm’s teams had a good weekend…


RICHMOND   3.5   10.7  12.10  14.12  (96)                  

CARLTON     2.3    6.5  12.7  18.8 (116)          



Richmond: Vickery 2, Cotchin 2, Edwards 2, Maric 2, Riewoldt, Grimes, Newman, Martin, Tuck, Ellis,

Carlton: Waite 4, Duigan 4, Betts 3, Garlett 2, Robinson 2, Warnock, Scotland, Judd



Richmond: Deledio, Cotchin, Martin, Rance, Newman,

Carlton: Judd, Duigan, Gibbs, Murphy, Curnow, Betts, Waite


Umpires: Farmer, Nicholls, Meredith


CROWD: 94,690



Judd (Carl) 3, 

DUIGAN!! (Carl) 2, 

Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party Gibbs (Carl) 1


 1. Chances are, few Richmond supporters (or Carlton haters) will care enough about this article to read it, so I’ll shamelessly pepper it here with search-engine-friendly phrases such as “Scarlett Johansson Nude” and “Harry Styles New Haircut”.

2. A milestone. My 400th St Kilda dwarf joke. I shall now retire it.

About The People's Elbow

I'm just trying to make a difference in people's lives - get off my sack.


  1. GOLD – {Across Carlton’s half-forward line, Chris Yarran appears to pull out of a contest, a voice to my right me yells ‘SQUIB!’. On my right, Julian Burnside AO QC yells ‘HEROIC!’}

  2. Super funny shit … but as a Tigers sympathizer, man I’m hurting

  3. Can you elaborate a little more about Scarlett Johansson and Nude?

  4. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Brilliant Your Imagination and Humour are Gold as always Litza love the Political connections especially of M Fraser ! As a Norwood Supporter NICK DUIGAN YOU RIIPPER and in the crunch Richmonds so called leaders went AWOL will Chaplin ever stand up in a Big
    Game ?

  5. Litza you clearly haven’t watched “When We Were Kings”. Mick’s strategy is straight “Rope a Dope” out of the Rumble in the Jungle. Richmond and Port exhausted themselves punching at shadows in the first half the last 2 weeks.
    401 – Tigers fans are more burnt and scarred than a diminutive St Kilda entertainer.

  6. I love this stuff.

    I especially love how Carlton folk have no regard for the footy gods.

    Bagging absolutely anything to do with Essendon at this moment in time is FWD.*

    If the Cats can’t be there (a little wobbly on Saturday by estimation) I am hoping for a Port-Carlton final.

    *Fraught With Danger.

  7. Bravo! Encore, encore!

  8. Andrew Starkie says:

    whatever – bogus, corrupt finals series.

  9. Thank you Silvertails. An invaluable lesson.

    Revenge shall be mine sayeth The Football Gods.

  10. Where is Jezza’s other hand?

  11. To watch Jeffy run into an open goal must have been like watching a car crash in slow motion for all the Tigers fans – 10 seconds of agony. Oh how I screamed and screamed in joy and threw out my shoulder.

  12. There goes my grand plan of Duigan being traded to the Bulldogs for pick 93 in a move that would have pleased both coaches & reinforced the Good-bloke-quotient of both clubs. Sheesh.

  13. Rob Clancy says:
  14. Dips, given the silverware that the Carlton boys nicked from The Lodge after the 81 or 82 Premiership, I’d half suspect that Jezza’s going for his wallet.

  15. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Sensational stuff Litza. I wanted Richmond to win at the start, but the sadist in me was hoping Carlton could further upset this joke of a season. They did. Now for Geelong to beat Hawthorn and play Freo in the GF!

    If you beat Sydney, Micky will be coaching at least until Labor comes back to power.

  16. daniel flesch says:

    Great stuff , Litza . Laughed out loud. (From “one of the few Carlton -haters” who read it.)

  17. Ahh, Litza. You’re again taking me places.
    The Very Hungry Caterpillar “sealed section” not available in the Moreland library network. I can only imagine Eric Carle’s illustration.

  18. Dom Fortuna says:

    All funny Litsa, however can someone please explain how Brad Green is your Senior Midfield coach considering he never had success and more importantly never played in the Midfield.

  19. Peter Fuller says:

    It was probably assumed that while Judd had two legs, no midfield coach was needed. Yesterday’s 3rd quarter cameo was a glorious reminder of just how good he is, and Litza’s guess at his thought patterns “Fuck me, do I have to do this on my own…again” is so accurate.
    It’s why his absence (whether not playing at all, or off the pace, because age is taking its toll) is so sorely felt, as Carlton lacks mentally strong players. Simpson, McLean and one or two others are about it. Contrast that with Hawthorn or Geelong who have up to a dozen players – not all top rankers – who can be relied upon, when the team is in trouble.

  20. mickey randall says:

    Phillip Dimitriadis- Caution! You’re going a bit Eddie there as Geelong first have to defeat Port this Friday. I don’t think that’s a given!

  21. Dom, if you can find someone who has the answer, tell them to give me a call.

    Nutso, you ain’t gettin’ Duigan.

  22. Dom Fortuna says:

    Judd obviously forget to tell Robinson not to whack the ball over the goal line after a bounce.

  23. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    You’re right Mickey, nothing’s a given in life and footy, but I reckon Port played their GF against the Pies. They were superb, but I think the Cats are hungry for a real crack at Hawthorn.

  24. Around our family this week, we’re very much keeping a lid on it, however…

  25. I could die happy after that game.
    I just love calling out “Juddddyyyy!!!!!

    Thank you Litza for bringing it all back …ahhhh….:)

  26. Peter Fuller says:

    I picked up that precedent independently of you. The problematic element is that Denmark only had to cross the Sound on the Bridge to Sweden. Our Blues have to travel half way round the world, Sydney-Perth-Melbourne.

  27. Stuart Hunter says:


    Always loved your work, but that was seriously outstanding, piss myself laughing funny. The line about Gibbs…….. “And while we’re on gene-carrying duffle bags, Bryce Gibbs finally emerged from a seven-year cocoon as a butterfly with a big set of hairy testicles” was genius.


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