THE GRAND FINAL WRAP
WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL
And what a Grand Finalé to a Grand Season it’s been Eddie. Just in case you’re not sure of the words of The Tinseltowners’ song we’ve printed them out so we can all sing along with The Loyal Sons & Daughters.
Cheer, Cheer the Red and the White
Boy what a match? It’s hard to know where to start. Let’s start with the umpiring. It may be just us, but did you get a surprise when you read on Sunday morning that Hawthorn had twice the free kicks that The Swans received? (21 to 10 actually – Ed) That’s good umpiring. The only time the Leafblower Cheer Squad gave it full throttle was when a late tackle – admittedly as innocuous as the one paid against Cyril on The Jetstar – was paid on the spot instead of downfield. And wasn’t Chelsea superb? The way she arches the back when she signals the result: pure class.
Honour the name by day and by night
Hands up those who, as the Swans desperately dragged back the Hawthorn lead in the last, had The Dreaded Draw swirling in the mists of their crystal ball? The Swans wouldn’t have much in their bags on the return trip for the replay – they left most of it out there on The Hallowed Turf. Goodes, Richards & Big Mummy would surely have to be considered omissions in any replay team sheet. But that truly would have been a cruel outcome.
Lift that noble banner high
I’m sorry Squawkers, we can’t let this one slip away without comment. We know you’ll all be torturing yourselves with it, but all season you’ve been the Dead-eye Dicks of The Competition – both around goal (With one notable exception – Ed) and in the field. You got out of gaol last week against The Chardonnays; this week it cost you. And cost you big time. Pressure?
Shake down the thunder from the sky
And the defensive lapses; what happened there Hawthorn? Two bursts of unanswered goals, one of eight and one four had you reeling. Although it must be said, some of South’s goals would make any highlight reel made of The Lakers proud 124-year history. But really, 14-7 in any match is pretty handy kicking. Some of the others were just too easy. Especially compared to what was happening at the other end. Pressure?
Whether the odds be great or be small
How did you go with the Norm Smith? Before and after the game? The call from our tent before the match was pretty much spread, but before they made the announcement it was pretty much for Daniel Hannebery. Although no one had a problem with Ryan O’Keefe.
Swans will go in and win overall
The half forward flank is often called the graveyard. True, the likes of Stevie J and Alan Diddums Didak will always attract the spotlight. But enter Mitch Morton. A bit on the slow side, but his two 2nd Term majors and his superb Final Stanza goal assist contributed 18 points to the Swannie’s score from 11 possessions from 60% game time. Not bad for someone who has hardly player senior footy all year and was a stand-in for an injured regular. (Both rejects from other clubs too – Ed) The Hawkers had a couple of contributors from the graveyard. In fact it’s been part of their strength all season. Gunston from eight touches contributed 2-1-2. And Breust 2-0-1 from 14. But as for Cyril, he’s buried standing there. The Swans packed the defensive zone, as they have since the days of Rocket Eade, and even The Squirrel couldn’t wriggle and squeeze his way clear.
While her loyal sons are marching
The result must be as heartbreaking for the Mayblooms as it is uplifting for The Bloods. They were clearly the best side all season and worthy Minor Premiers. But we’re not Pommies. That accolade counts for nothing other than an extra day’s preparation. Which was not only denied them, but was granted to their opponents, who finished 3rd at the end of the Home&Away Season. (As expected, you won’t hear that from anyone at Glenferrie Oval – Ed) You’d be excused for wondering how much The Bloods would have had left in the tank after the Citrus Huddle if the rightful order had been maintained? And what would have happened if Buddy & Cyril had been thrown on the ball when they were being overrun in the 2nd Stanza. They were certainly instrumental in the Hawthorn Revival when they were sent to run on the ball in the Championship Quarter. Which is something we’d all love to see more of next year. He’s certainly wasted (and wasteful – Ed) in the goal square at times. When both these superstars get on their bikes Hawthorn look absolutely scary. Mrs Wrap will tell you, they’ve got better goal kicking options than Lance Franklin’s wild slams at the big sticks.
Onwards to victory!
It was a gutsy win, and a popular one. There’s everything to like and admire about the Vaucluse Racquet & Croquet Club. Something very tradesmenlike about them. From the Long Serving President to the Even Longer Serving Bootstudder. And if you didn’t shed a tear for The Chimp as he presented The 2012 Premiership Cup you’d be advised to seek the attention of a medical professional immediately. There’s a strong possibility you may be dead.
What has this year brought us? We all see it differently I guess, but here in the Wrapcave we saw a few things that stuck with us.
A changing of the guard at the top of course. And a steely determination of the vanquished to make good the Year That Got Away. Not too sure you’d want to face off against The Mustard Pots this time next year, eh?
The announcement that landing in those hummocks lapped by the balmy Oceania Indicus is once more a dreaded journey. That trip up north to where the bananas grow on trees, away from the southern chill of Bleak City & The City of Churches, also carries its dangers.
The expansion experiment has provided a few laughs but mostly massacres. They pad out a few column inches and keep the spin doctors at Jellymont House employed, but don’t fill hearts, and certainly not minds, with hope.
Carringbush entertained as always, and The Marshmallows & The Miseries provided the Schadenfreude for those to whom the season has been less than generous.
The evils of Corporate Football were evident everywhere you cared to look as it mined the bonanza Our Great Game has become for Jellymont House, the greedy grubs at its helm and the gnomes embedded deep in its bowels.
Home grown basket cases emerged, as is sure to happen when the number of teams becomes overblown. The Dees & The Dogs seem lost in the wilderness and you’d think Alberton Oval housed a leper colony.
The middling teams all had mediocre years. You don’t need us to tell you who they were. They reload for next season – each new draftee expected to kick a bag of wheat over the local silo, run faster than the Geelong Flyer and further than the Indian Pacific, fly higher than the Western Bulldog’s Full Forward’s rhetoric and land softer than a Wayne Swan budget. None of which ever happens. In some cases a full-length mirrors for the list they’ve already got would deliver as much value.
The prediction for the next Big Issue? We’re thinking Free Agency & the question of rewards for endorsements. Wouldn’t it be delicious to see Carlton suspended from the draft table for the duration of Mickey’s tenure for a 2nd offence? Now that’s what we call Schadenfreude Gross.
The prediction for the next big move? The move for the 10 Victorian teams back to the suburban heartland with full-blown VFL teams.
As they say up where they agist Santa’s reindeer – mitä enemmän asiat muuttuvat sitä enemmän ne pysyvät samoina.
And so we say farewell to Season 2012. The icy fingers of the Long Dark Summer grasp our emptied hearts as we hibernate once more ahead of the gaudy frocks and silly hats of Flemington and the utter pointlessness of the Pyjama Game. Thank you Wrappers for your support and remember the immortal words of Everyman & Everywoman – there’s always next year.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
* GFF – Good For Football.