THE WRAP – ROUND XIII – THE BOILOVER ROUND
WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL
What a round it’s been in Footy Wrappers. On Friday night The Leafblowers were roaring across the Sleepy Leafy East as The Mighty Fighting Hawks stamped their authority on The Competition. On Saturday it was The Boilover I as The Reigning Premiers succumbed to The Power From Port over on the New Arctic Park. The Saints slammed the New Bloom Fuchsias and The Tigers Of Old hardly gave the Bulldogs a sniff on the Saturday night.
Come Sunday and it was Freo giving the Old Heave Ho to Brad Scott & The Funnyboners – for the round & most likely the season. Then, in the gathering gloom of this last compromised round for Season 2013, it was Boilover II as The Bad News Bears did a catter on The Cats, hauling in a 52 point lead to give The Bagmen, with the last kick of the day, their second Christmas in two days.
Maggot Watch I. We had a postcard from The Geisha during the week. He’s in Peru and just loving it. He said the thin mountain air had him breathing more deeply than normal, and his head had never been clearer. Said he’d met a man on top of a mountain. This man had been sitting on top of that mountain for 155 years. Since he climbed up there in the Summer of 1858, in fact. (And that’s longer than Digger’s been following Collingwood– Ed). He apparently impressed Maffra Man. The Geisha talked of a blinding aurora surrounding The Ancient One. And an all-revealing all-knowing presence. The card he’d chosen from the rack at the gift shop at the base of that cloud-covered peak was a strange one. Not your usual wish-you-were-here scenery, just a couple of quotes in plain black helvetica neue on a glossy white field. One quote was from Albert Einstein – You have to learn the rules of The Game. And then you have to play better than anyone else. The second quote was from another Albert – Albert Camus. Integrity has no need of rules. We wanted to write and ask him when he was coming back, but there was no return address. Besides, we kinda got the feeling he wasn’t coming back. The card just had one line; it read Travel light & ride good horses, Jeffry.
Anyone else notice the trend in the VFL – that the Reserve Sides of the established clubs – like cream – are finding their way to the top? Matty Knights has Geelong sitting astride The Competition 9&2 and a whopping percentage after their demolition of The Mighty Boroughs. They are joined by an Arch Rival & Traditional Enemy at the top. Yes Wrappers, it’s The Box Hill Hawks, with a similar points & percentage count, challenging for Minor Premiership. And you know what, the only syringe in sight is loaded with anti-tetanus serum.
They were joined at the Top after this round by The Casey Scorpions, Melbourne’s VFL affiliate. Sort of collapses The Demons’ argument for concessional draft picks a bit, wouldn’t you think?
Don’t know whether it’s climate change, global warming or just plain old lack of due diligence, but the Shifting Sands of Docklands still aren’t consolidating. Over the weekend the players brought up huge divots anytime they dug the boots into the turf for extra purchase. Will it ever be ready for competition at The Highest Level? (The sooner they develop an Astroturf for a collision sport such as the Indigenous Code the better – Ed)
You’re in early this morning Nurelle. I thought the fog would have held you up. And yes, I’m going to mention the email from the upper Goulburn Valley. It appears that our typesetter, in setting up the Roman numerals for MMXIII, used a C instead of an M. Thanks for that Anthony. And isn’t it good to see your Tigers going so well after so long? But do really think they can win the Flag this year? Maybe next year. Then, maybe not.
But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see how Richmond confirmed their intention to contend this year’s Finals, and who else was seen to preen after Round XIII.
Hawthorn v West Coast. Memo to self – never tip against The Hawks for the foreseeable future. Even when they’re playing The Catters. And let it be said here and now – to take this year’s Flag they’re the team you’re going to have to beat. The Eddie Eagles, as expected, threw everything but the Burswood Dome at The Mayblooms, and were always in the contest, but after The Mighty Fighting Hawks blasted their way to a comfort zone with a six goal to one 2nd Stanza, they weren’t able to threaten on the scoreboard. But make no mistake; they’re back to close-on full strength: The Eagles. They’re got a potent attack, a workmanlike midfield and a thereabouts defence. As good as they were, the Hawks were better. The match started in the usual way – a goal to Roughie followed by a goal to Buddy. And isn’t Roughie’s having a break out season now Clarko has dropped the idea of using his as a follower? There were feathers flying everywhere, but as good as The Wedgies were, The Hawks were better. Their efficiency is creative. (Tony Abbott & Julia Gillard take note – Ed) Their potency utterly awesome. With 12 wins on the trot – and while you won’t hear it out at Waverly, you’ll certainly hear it in the trendy coffee shops along Glenferrie Road – they’ve declared themselves The Team To Beat For The Flag. Next week – and that’s perfectly correct Nurelle, they’re still only taking it one week at a time – they drag The Victorious Maroons down to Hork Park on Saturday for the early one. The Weagles, after their hit out in Bleak City, have invited The Flying Syringes across to taste the pleasures of The State of Excitement for the Thursday night pipeopener. Yes Nurelle, you heard right, the Thursday night pipeopener. Don’t ask me, I’d be the last person to know what goes through the minds of the marketing gurus hanging off the flagpole at Jellymont House. Maybe it’s a ratings thing. The final of The Voice. Or the Block. Who knows?
Port Power v The Bloods. Memo to self – never tip against Port Adelaide when they’re playing at home. We’ve said this before, and we’ll probably say it again: how was Ken Hinckley overlooked for so long in being recruited to the senior coaching ranks? He’s got The Power showing All That Old Port Adelaide Aggression. True, the blustery conditions didn’t make for clever Football, but Bloods Football isn’t about clever Football; it’s about playing Winning Football. And it was at their own game that The Swans were beaten. Port believed the Had The Power To Win and Never Gave In. They held Sydney to 2-4 in the second half while piling on 7-7 themselves – 5-6 of that in the Last Term. The Magpies stunned everyone but themselves. You see, this Alberton Mob is chock-a-block full of Self Belief, which anyone who dares venture over to the Festival State will discover. Did The Sin City Rollers take their opponents lightly? You wouldn’t think so, not under Horse you wouldn’t. Are they susceptible to relentless pressure? (Who isn’t – Ed) The Hawks took them apart in the GF Rematch. The Pradas came from behind to overcome them when all seemed lost – but then they’ve done that to a few teams this season. (Not last Sunday they didn’t – Ed) And The Dangerous Dockers snatched a draw from them when The Swans seemed to be cruising to the Four Points up at Moore Park Road. You’d expect SOTG & Punters alike will be revaluating The Greater Eastern Sydney Giants after this shock loss. Although they should consider in any assessment that Sydney have never been a dominant Ladder side, just The Quiet Achievers. They get to regroup and assert some authority over The Competition when they host The Royals on Friday night. Port stay in The City of Churches for The Battle of The Magpies.
St Kilda v Melbourne. Well, sacking the coach didn’t work. What’s next? And with 28,751 rattling around the country’s premier sporting stadium, one with a capacity of a tad over 100,000*, it was an ignominious sight. For venue managers, food & beverage concessionaires & broadcasting rights holders. If ever there was an indictment of the Appalling Football League’s expansion policy this was it. Two Foundation Clubs, one the oldest sporting team in the land, with a total of 3 wins between them this season, ran around for the obligatory 120 minutes. St Riewoldt & Nick Del Santo played their 250th games. The Redleg Faithful jeered the opposition Skipper. Then we all climbed aboard those extra trains Metro had so obligingly provided and went home. Or to the end of the St Kilda pier and threw ourselves into icy grey waters of Port Phillip. Next week The Devils are going to The Dogs – 17th v 16th. Actually it’s a Melbourne home game at The G on Saturday. The Sinners have The Tigers at the same venue the next day to close off proceedings for Round XIV.
The Western Labradoodles v Struggletown. The Endangered Species struck again, knocking off The Sons of The West this time, by a neat 10 goals. The margin could have been more if The Striped Marvels had been able to convert their many opportunities. But the impressive thing was that they did it with an overall team performance. Admittedly it was against a side that is very much still finding its way, but it has launched The Tiges deep into the bottom half of The Eight, and with some matches coming up that could earn them real respect, they may, Heaven forbid, move up even further. Playing a style of Footy taken from the Glenferrie Song Book, and borrowing a mantra from Sydney’s recruitment program, The Tiges are winning games and receiving a more than solid contribution from their recycled brigade. Ex-Port Adelaide’s Troy Chaplin has strengthened the previously porous Richmond backline and they sit 6th in the scores-against list. Another of their mature age recruits that is paying his way is ex-Roo Aaron Thomas. He had 16 possessions, half of them contested. He took eight marks and laid five tackles. With Jake King giving cheek from the other flank, it has given Richmond another attacking option. (For the record – they had 12 goal scorers on Saturday night & Bachar Houli & Shaun Grigg were amongst The Tigers’ best – Ed) Next Sunday Struggletown host The Victorious Feeling Faints to wind up Round XV in the gathering gloom. The Bow Wows weren’t all that bad and have some real up & comers. Jake Stringer did a few impressive things and has all the makings of a key position player. Lachie Hunter, on debut, was another who impressed, but was let down by his kicking. In fact the final scoreline exposed both sides lamentable inaccuracy around the sticks – 17-19 to 9-13. The Sons of The Bulldog Breed go to THOH next Saturday night to tackle fellow Cellar Dwellers The Casey Fields Basket Cases.
The Fremantle Dockers v The North Melbourne Kangaroos. We only caught the Last Quarter of this one, and really, they should have played the Last Post right through it. Our hearts go out to Shinboners around the world, wherever you are. Home by the gas fire in Kensington, in the fleshpots of Asia or weathering another bleak European Summer. His just wasn’t The Shinboner Spirit on display on Sunday. There’s been a peptide of distractions this year, and The Fuchsias have certainly cornered the sadness market. But watching Boomer lead his team off was one of the saddest sights you’d care to witness. Not to mention the thousand-yard stare of Brad Scott through the non-reflective glass of the coaches’ box. There wouldn’t have been too many Ladder Tipping Comps that didn’t have The Roos featuring in the early part of September, or at least making Glorious Ninth. Sadder still, and SOTG & statisticians alike will have picked up on this, their percentage is only 1.5% behind that of Collingwood. Yet here they are, on points, contesting for Cellar Dweller status while The Pies sit in The Eight. They have some relief next Sunday when they host The Orangemen. But let’s not take anything away from The Barry Crockers here. This clinical dismemberment was orchestrated by no less a surgeon than Mr Cut To The Bone And Then Cut Some More. Freo’s 10-7 (67) for the day would have beaten only the Bulldogs & Sydney for the round. Even Melbourne managed to scramble 69 points in going down to The Saints. But how you play The Game is for the storybooks. It’s the winners who are remembered in the re-telling. And this Rossy Lyon-led Dockers Mob is all about winning The Flag he wasn’t able to win at St Kilda. Ming The Merciless would look positively philanthropic beside the Fremantle Coach. Not sure what Wayne Jackson would have to say about it, but if it’s in the rules, go for it. However, having said all that, they may have picked a bad time to take the Torture Chamber on the road. They’re booked into Skilled Stadium to play The Pussies OTR. The Immoveable Object meets the Previously Irresistible Force. At least we’ll see if The Cats have run out of lives.
The Lion Kings v The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires. In another black moment in Round XIII for The Scott Twins, Geelong, the red-hot favourites, were pipped at the post. Going in to the Final Stanza with a 38-point advantage against a team that had only managed 7-8 all day, your money would be riding with The Greatest Team Of All wouldn’t it? Wrong. In a switch that, in its audacity, would make the Fine Cotton swap look timid, the connexions swapped the unbackable favourite for Sleepy Hollow Millionaire. This nag has form going back in the bloodlines for generations. The up-shot was that they run down in the home straight in a contest that was billed as unlosable. What happened? Maybe they’ve run out of lives. Are they like Phar Lap, need to come from behind? Who knows. We’ll find out a bit more about where The Handbaggers are at next Saturday night when they ‘forget’ to light the boilers in the Visitors’’ Room for The Anchormen. They’ve invited The Purple Haze across for a bit of a knees up to decide who sits below The Mighty Fighting Hawks on the AFL Pantheon. Brissy swap the balmy climes of Bananaland for the more bracing conditions of The Apple Isle when they slip down to play the aforesaid Competition Leaders in the early one on Sunday.
The Management of iWrap Publications would like to point out that it takes no responsibility for the predictions of individual staff members. Such as – The Pivotonians, easily. And it’s a close to a blue chip investment as you’re likely to see in a two horse race. Or – Sydney. And you can put the rent money on them at $1.08.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
With all the talk of the influence of the media and ballot box politics, the words of the Adlai Stevenson & Mark Twain may help us in our deliberations.
Newspaper editors are men who separate the wheat from the chaff, and then print the chaff.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.
It seems our next Leadership Group in Canberra will be decided on gender. Just to get things in perspective we thought the following may help.
Thommo, after mowing the lawn, raking up the leaves the other day, sat down for a coldie. The day was really quite beautiful, and the drink facilitated some deep thinking on various topics.
Finally he thought about an age-old question:
Is giving birth more painful than getting kicked in the orchestra stalls?
Women always maintain that giving birth is far more painful than a bloke getting kicked in the balls.
Well, after another beer, and some heavy deductive thinking, he came up come up with the answer to that question.
Getting kicked in the balls is more painful than having a baby; and here is the reason for his conclusion.
A year or so after giving birth, a woman will often say, “It might be nice to have another child.”
On the other hand, you never hear a bloke say, “You know, I think I’d like another kick in the nuts.”
The man’s a genuine genius, don’t you think?
Boom! Boom! Now we can all get some sleep.
* – Just for any trivia buffs out there, the registered capacity of the MCG is 100,018.