AFL Grand Final: The Wrap

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.

About John Mosig

I'm an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it's my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Comments

  1. Wrapster – farewell for 2012. Some extremely crapless columns this season.

    What a ripper Grand Final. I think its fair to say that not many teams would have won after being 2 goals down 10 into the last after reliquishing a 29 point lead. But the Swans just never stop. The word “relentless” was used a lot in our tent all afternoon.

    My Normie would have gone to Mike Pyke. What a unique double – a World Cup try and a Norm Smith. However the winner was worthy. Pyke’s game was telling. With Mummy having a shocker the Pykelett emerged and played like a veteran of the game. Marvellous story.

    The Hawks have let a Premiership slip – ala the Cats of 2008. It hurts a lot. There is no cure. Hodge was awful all day. Tried hard but never seen him turn it over so much. He was obviously crook. And Clarkson’s treatment of Roughead in the ruck was dismal. Clarkson let the team down badly. Maybe he took things a bit for granted?

    A lot of fringe dwellers for the Hawks. It just wasn’t their day.

    Very happy for the Swans. Its good for football!

  2. Wrapster,

    kama is a wonderful thing; especially if you are a Cat grieving from 2008 and requiring the exorcision of the pain.

    In 2008 Dew, surplus to requirements from another club, kicked a couple of vital goals that in hindsight appeared to bury the Cats.

    Fast forward to 2012 and Morton, again surplus to Tiger requirements kicked two goals that again appeared to bury the Hawks.

    I just love a story with a happy ending.

  3. Agree with all that. I meant to give Klondyke Mike a mention but it slipped my mind when I sat down at the keyboard. I thought of it in the car coming in from our Sunday drive. Just one of The Blood Stained Heroes on the day.

    I thought Clarko was a bit rabbit in the spotlight in that 2nd quarter when they were being overrun. Waiting for Plan A to kick in. We’ll never know, but Buddy & Cyril onto the ball worked in the Championship Quarter; it may have at least stopped the Sydney momentum in the second.

    BKIBF. That goes without saying. As does what goes around comes around.

    Check the tackle count. This Steak & Kidney mob doesn’t come from the knuckledraggers’ heartland without learning something. I must admit I didn’t pick it up at the time, but in hindsight, targeted is a word that springs to mind. I’d like to see the number of times Hodgie was crunched. And they play rugby in the Wagga school yards too, remember. You don’t know; maybe he played a bit of crazy fool football. Either way, he came off second best.

    Roughie & Jordan Lewis will be sharing some sleepless night too. I haven’t heard from Mr Kane yet, but around here at in the Wrapcave we’re waiting for his analysis of the performance of the 3rd best defensive system in the Competition.

    Great match. a worthy winner, and I guess they’ll just have to wait another year before they launch that ‘New Era’ from the Ausdoc Oval.

    BTW,sorry I didn’t say good bye on Friday. We were having guests and I had to rush off.

  4. Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord. The Tigers had their comeuppance in 1972 when we went in redhot favourites against Blood Enemy Carlton. We only had to wait a year for revenge, but.

    Great win for the Moggies in the VFL. You’ve got a good man coaching there Phanto. The Tiges join the Ancien Regime in 2014. Looking forward to that. A home game every second week at Punt Road at a sensible time. Footy as it should be.

    Enjoy the break – and happy recruiting. For the record, I was sorry to see Mitch Morton go.

  5. Andrew Starkie says:

    great stuff Wrapster. love your reports

  6. Young Mitch is a motza on breeding, eh Mr Wrap. By Eagle Boy out of Tiger Lass – that’s the silk department. Shows how generous we both are in sharing our progeny with the dispossessed.
    As for the rest of your diagnosis I reckon that fearsome Hawker Mrs Wrap has got you bluffed. The man who stared down AndyD, AndyH and the Giesch – quaking in his boots when it comes to calling a Maybloom a Shrinking Violet when they turn on the headlamps in the glasshouse.
    The evidence is in. This mob blew a 5 goal Prelim gap on the Maggies last year. This years vintage nearly spat out the Chardonnays they should have swallowed whole. Nearly choked – but saved that for the final judging panel.
    For mine there is a lot of the flat track bully to them. Dig a few in short on a bouncy track and a lot of the big names go missing. I thought the foot soldiers stood up, but Cyril, Roughie, Hodgeie & Jordie all looked afraid to take a chance and take the game on. Shades of Scott (Adam not Chris) and the Shark trying to par it in on the Final Nine.
    The Hawks needed a bloke screaming “don’t think – DO”. I forgot they had one but sold him in a Bottom to the Harbour scheme.
    As my Dad never ceased to remind me – a Champion Team will always beat a team of champions. Plus ‘ca change.
    By the way – you seem to have forgotten our room number. We are in 213 at the Como. Could have sworn I heard you call our reception at Quarter Time and tell them to “put the Champagne on ice”.
    Tell ’em to hurry up. Nurelle is getting thirsty. And you know what women are like when their expectations are disappointed.

  7. Congratulations on your good work this year Wrap. Congratulaitons to the Swans it was a great game of footy and they are deserving winners as on two occasions they kicked 8 and 4 unanwsered goals and that in my humble opinion is why they beat my Hawks. As they say, All 18 teams are now equal, and everyone starts at 0, I’m off now to do my little part towards making sure the mighty fighting hawks make it again to the last saturday in september.

  8. You might just be right Mr B. I’d never thought of it like that, but when presented cumulatively, the evidence mounts a strong case. Then there were those claims of the dawning of a New Era at Waverley Park. Yeah, flat track bullies sits well with them.
    As for the scurrilous suggestion that I’m pussy whipped, I find it both offensive and sadly, oh so true. But aren’t we all?
    And as for the chilled champagne, the Como, reading the 3/4 time tea leaves, had it delivered out to Kew where it will be cellared for the next Tiger Premiership.

  9. Thanks for the kind words Saintly. And yes, all teams are equal in the eyes of the Football Gods. Some a little more equal than others, but that’s just Life Imitating Football, eh? Don’t worry, those Mighty Fighting Hawks will be Riding The Bumps With A Grin in Season 2013.

  10. Remember Wrapster,

    regarding the next Tigers’ premiership plonk, it may have to be cellared for some time yet. You are only 32 years into a hundred year curse for the deal with the Devil all your supporters made on the morning of the 1980 GF.

    ‘Poor quality wine gets no better with age’

    (Old Jungle Saying)

  11. “The old ox makes poor wine from sour grapes” Phanto. Old Malthouse Axiom..

  12. I thought whiskey came from old malthouses Wrapster.

  13. It does, and too much of it is what creates to Old Malthouse Axioms.. Following the Corio Vat 10s I thought you’d have known that Phanto.

  14. We used to call it ‘C O R Ten’ Wrapster.

    As Guru Bob would say ‘Think about that one’.

  15. Rick Kane says:

    Dear Mr Wrap

    Thank you for sharing your way of seeing the GF, and as incisive a view as ever.

    The Sawns are very deserving Premiers. Congratulations. They didn’t ‘steal’ the win, they won the game. And it was hotly contested for 120 minutes. Both sides had their chances, but one team was more accurate. The game was still in the balance with less than a minute to go. Footy fans couldn’t ask for much more. Yes, a Hawks win would have been just perfect but short of that, as Shakespeare put it so neatly for Hamlet to say all those years ago, the game’s the thing.

    Cheers

  16. Rick,

    more relevant me thinks.

    Othello Act 5 – Scene 2

    Lodovico says: ‘Oh, bloody period’

  17. So graciously put Mr K. You must be bleeding deeply on the inside. It was anyone’s game and is sure to become a textbook example of frugality under pressure in the AIS coaching manual.

    But I must admit, I’ve been surprized at some of the vitriol. Being old enough to have the underdog image of Hawthorn – make that Chopping Block Image – I’m just catching up to the idea that they’re now a powerhouse and as such can be hated with a venom. Something I’ll never be able to do.

    BTW, let’s know when you’re up to having your Alan Jones moment. I’ll get the cameras around.

  18. Hawthorn are the new Collingwood.

    (Did I just say that? I must have it is on the blog.)

  19. It’s getting that way isn’t it? Who would have ever thought? I suppose, if you stick your head above the parapets often enough someone’s bound to take a shot at it.

  20. Rick Kane says:

    I have no idea what you’re referring to re vitriol or “Alan Jones moment” or Mr P’s reference to Othello or Collingwood. I’m not being disingenuous. I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about.

    The game was up for grabs up until 34 seconds before the final siren. 34 seconds! That’s as good a GF as could be hoped for. Both teams held sway through the game but neither team took control. If the Hawks squandered its First Quarter lead, then the Swans squandered their Second Quarter brilliance. and so on. I don’t believe either side squandered anything. It was hard fought, intense and unrelenting. It will go down as one of the finest games of the last 20 years. That we lost is, in the end, the way it goes. Of course I’m hurting. And I so hope we learn something. Anyway, it’s October now :)

    Cheers

  21. I am with you Rick.

    The Cats were in the 1989 GF with 20 seconds to go. The price is high. It could be 10 – 9 the other way now.

    I thought the Othello quote was rather good considering you brung the bard into the equation, but the Collingwood reference was perhaps a bit naughty; “but I like it.”

    Jeff’s 10 in a row was, in hindsight, a little too visionary.

    The Swans have won 1/4 of the last eight when it was supposed to be a period of Pies and Hawks dynasties. Such is life.

  22. Great read Wrapsta!

    Re vitriol

    I suspect that a Club tagging itself as “unsociable” in any respect automatically creates an “us v them” mentality and is fuel for opposition fire, even if at a subconscious level.

    They’ve also had a couple of snipers in recent times who have been happy to dish it out, but who have then squelaed like stuck pigs when opposition has retailiated. That never goes down well.

  23. Let me remind you RK – when I questioned the steadfastness of the Hawks’ defence you came back with –
    “The Mayblooms defence isnt the best in the wirld? What? Hawks had third best defence in the comp this year. Three of five losses allowed a measly 9 points more than the Hawks scored”.
    No Alan Jones moment really required. It was just banter. I could see your cheery, confident demeanour on the screen as I keyed the words.

    But the vitriol is a concern. Hawthorn really are being dubbed the New Collingwood. I must admit it took me by surprize. I guess it’s the price of success.

    Maybe being beaten in a thriller by the unassuming apprentice who takes a cut lunch to work and has an apple at morning recess has exaggerated the Hawks Leafy East swagger. If they’d gone down to Geelong or, heaven forbid – Carlton or Essendon – the Football World may have taken a different view of the moment.

    Who knows?

  24. Geez Wrapster can you pleeese low profile that ‘Hawthorn is the new Collingwood’ comment of mine.

    Next thing AJ@3GB will be attacking me on air for being more controversial than him and stealing the limelight.

    I wonder how many signatures the Sack Phantom petition would get.

  25. Stand your ground Phanto. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion.

  26. Wrapster,

    speaking of opinions, dear brother is of the opinion that the Tigers will be so strong next season that they will need to play the Cats at the “G” to fit the entire jungle movement in.

    Further, he is of the opinion that he and I should travel the trecherous strait and watch the game hand in hand.

    Are you of the opinion that you would like to join us if such a tasty tit bit was thrown our way?

    As Little Alex said in A Clockwork Orange said. It would be ‘real orra-show’.

  27. Nothing would give me greater pleasure Phanto. You know I have Vandermonian ancestory don’t you?

    Margaret Norman & John Giles are my great great great grandparents. Fine upstanding citizens both.

    Let’s work it through when the fix comes out.

  28. Delicious.

  29. The Swans have won 1/4 of the last eight when it was supposed to be a period of Pies and Hawks dynasties. Such is life.

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