AFL Round 22 – Review: The Wrap

THE WRAP – ROUND XXII

THE FOOTBALL GODS HAVE SPOKEN Round

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

What a round it’s been in Footy Wrappers.  On Friday The Woodsmen did the humane thing and put The Weagles out of their misery for 2013.  Come Saturday and Adelaide did the same job on The Doleful Demons.  The Roos served it up to The Ladder Leaders, but in the final analysis fell painfully short.  The Moggies monstered TRP and emphatically stamped both their own credentials, and those of their opponent, with their respective status for September.  The Dons did it for The Giffer when The Bluebaggers kicked the match away with 22 behinds from 31 scoring shots.  And over in The West The Purple Haze totally choked The Power From Port.

Come Sunday and St Kilda showed there was some life on The Old Saints yet when they dominated their contest with The Little Master & The Metermaids.  The Tiges piled on the percentage for Coach Mumbles’ farewell game at Skoda Stadium.  And The Doggies’ late run at The Lions came to nought.

The main outcome from the round is that Richmond will play Essendon to remain 5th.  Unless of course The Dons are stripped of their points.  In which case the main interest is who holds Glorious 9th.  Three teams can make it: Carlton, Brissy & North.  (Didn’t Brissy just sack their coach? – Ed)  Brissy have The Catters down at The Cattery: a tall order.  Carlton have Port in the last game for AFL points to be held at Footy Park: possible, but not on current form.  And North have Collingwood on the Big Stage: the most likely of the three to win.  And, although it’s a slightly grubby way of getting into the September Play-off, wouldn’t it be a just reward for a mob that may have been a bit stiff more than once.  I’ll tell you what though, if they do get in, there’ll be a shudder run through the other seven.  (Maybe not through The Hawks & The Cats – Ed)

Would someone please ask The Sage to wipe off that wipe off 5 shadow-advertising from The 2013 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Ladder.  Apart from it being annoying, it’s not really going to make any difference.

Anyone catch the Ch 7 pre-match on Saturday night?  BT & The Gang asked Paul Little all the tough questions.  He gave straight answers too.  Real answers.  So straight & so real that Luke Darcy to at any stage didn’t have ask him to say that again.  There was one moment of vacillation however.  It came when Lois Lane, complete with raised eyebrows and furrowed brow, asked the Essendon Prez whether Shoeless Jim had yet embraced the R word.  In a round about way that Disraeli would have been proud of & Bob Hawke never quite mastered he said yes, he, the Essendon Coach, had regrets.  It wasn’t quite clear whether those regrets were for what happened at Whingy Hill or his role in it all, one confused viewer texted the Wrapcave wanting to know, if Shoeless Jim had demonstrated regrets, what planet had he, the confused viewer, been living on since February.

But honestly Wrappers, wasn’t it refreshing to get some straight talk out of Bomberland?  The collective sigh of relief from The Beleaguered Red & Black Army was palpable across the Football World.  (In fact there was a sigh of relief across the Whole Football World – Ed)  After the orchestrated three-ringed circus we’ve been fed all season, it was difficult to avoid the conclusion that had the current leadership structure been in place from the word go we may have seen, not necessarily a different outcome, but certainly a different fixture timetable to the process of the investigation.  And avoided all the opprobrium it has drawn down up upon everyone associated with this sordid story.

But hey, talk about staying on message.  Anyone catch the BTV: James Hird Post Match Round 22?  We’re not going to comment about it much, other than to say it was a measured and calmly delivered response to which every one who has followed this sorry sage should take aboard.  (It’s worth googling if you missed it – Ed)  One item that caught our eye was the sponsors’ backdrop.  You know, the one plugging Kia, True Value Solar & Antler.  It’s still got their 2013 slogan of whateverittakes defiantly interwoven through it.  Sitting in front of it, Shoeless Jim reiterated that he had kept his silence and that he was at busting point for it all to come out.

Well Shoeless, we’re not sure if this will come as a surprize to you or not, but so are we.  Perhaps after all these negotiations with the Appalling Football League as to what chastisement the Essendon Football Crisis is prepared to accept are completed we might get to hear the truth that you & the EFC have been telling us all year will exonerate the club and the coaching panel.

Just two points that have raised our curiosity levels a notch or three over the weekend.  One is that if the Essendon Coach is innocent of 99%, as claimed in his Post Match, of the charges laid by the AFL – charges that actually made him sick that they’re out there and that people would believe that is the truth about me – wouldn’t that presupposes vexatious litigation?  (Are you saying watch this space Wrap? – Ed)  We’re just curious as to where the middle ground we’ve been hearing so much about over the weekend could possibly lie if the Essendon coach feels so strongly that the two protagonists are poles apart?

The second curiosity would have to be bothering the minds of anyone who believed in the crucial importance of impartiality to our justice system.  And unless the AFL is a law unto itself, you’d like to think that that one of underwriting principle of what makes us Australian would prevail in the current situation.  (I think you’re talking about natural justice and common law here Wrap – Ed)  Whatever I’m talking about Oh Verbiage Vigilante, can someone please explain to a simple soul, such as I am, how the accused can bargain with the judge & jury about the penalties that will be imposed?  (You getting images of Chief Justice Redmond Barrie calling a recess while he and Ned went back to his chambers for a stiff whiskey and a chat Wrap? – Ed)  Call us naïve, but doesn’t a negotiation presuppose a transaction, and doesn’t a transaction presuppose that the two parties have something with which to bargain?  Our undying curiosity is what could it be that all the parties involved in this unhappy sequence of events have to trade.  Our greatest fear is that we – the Long Suffering Football Public – will only be informed on a need-to-know basis of what has transpired in relation to these disheartening events.  If that is allowed to happen, and you maintain your silence Shoeless, the charge will be hypocrisy.  A charge from which there is no redemption.

One last question on the R word.  What was your match on the body language and the spoken word in that Post Match Wrappers?  Did you hear, toward the end, a qualified regret, but were conscious of a body language all the way through the presser that screamed resignation?  (You said at the production meeting that you thought that lead-in to the ‘regret’ answer sounded suspiciously like a Dorothy Dixer Wrap.  You gone cold on that? – Ed)

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who went through after Round XXII.

Craticus tibicen v Aquilla ordax.  It’s hard to make anything out of this match, other than that The Big Birds, Kings Of The Big Game may be watching a bit too much Sesame Street.  The most revealing part of the game came in Wooshers post-match presser.  You reckon that Kevin Rudd bloke never shuts up!  The Decorated Weagles’ Coach would play him on a break.  Honestly, Mrs Wrap went out to fill the hot water bottles, make the evening milo and divided the daily tim tam when he started.  When she came back with the tray he was still at it – explaining how the club had had some problems and that they would bounce back, maybe even with him still in the box seat.  Sadly, he actually sounded more like the Mad Abbott.  There was not one word of explanation of how this was going to happen.  If it was his job application for a renewed contract, you’d have to say he doesn’t want the job.  As for those other high-profile birds, The  Mighty Magpies, it wasn’t much a hitout for September, but it gave them a healthy percentage boost and The Monochrome Army lapped it up.  The Kings of The Big Game finish off their Lost Season amongst the rubble of Fortress Subiaco when they host one of the other Biggest Losers for Season 2013 – The Mighty Adelaide Crows.  The Collingwoods host The Shinboners.

The Free Settlers v The Fuchsias at the Crow Park tonight.  Yawn.  Yawn.  And yawn.  Adelaide have kept their slender wild card hopes alive, but have to beat The Weagles over there.  The Redlegs have to face The Rampaging Bulldogs under cover before they can pull down the shutters on Season 2013.

The Boomers v The Mayblooms.   Everyone expected The Roos to Make a Noise, and they had The Equal Premiership Favourites taking stock in the 2nd quarter, but it all came to naught.  Like the Champions they are, they steady in the closing stages of the Opening Half, then slammed on 7-3 in the quarter tagged the Premiership Quarter to set themselves up to win convincingly, if not comfortably.  It was a good hitout for their match up in Steak & Kidney next week.  Slammin Sammy turned in another blue collar performance but it was Luke Hodge and Daniel Wells who caught they eye more.  The Kangas are probably the only team outside the Eight that deserves to be granted a wild card entry.  Narrow losses and lapses in concentration have been extremely hurtful this season.  But we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: GTWTCO.  They’ve won only nine of their 21 encounters yet can still boast a percentage of 120.2.  That would have them at 5th if ladder position was based on for & against differential expressed as a percentage. But it’s not and they’re not.  The have to beat Collingwood next round to win a wild card, should one become available.

The Pivotonians v The Bloods.  Not quite the run into September TRP would have been seeking.  Not sure if  the outcome says more about them than it does about The Catters.  The Swans just weren’t allowed to get their Blood up and, apart from a brief rally in the third, hardly gave a whimper all day.  It was actually more of a commenter’s beat-up than a rally, and when you consider Melbourne outscored them by four points it paints a gloomy picture for their Title Defence.  They have last year’s challenger up for a visit to The Harbour City next week to finish off their Home & Away Season.  The Pussies stay at home to welcome the Troubled Brisbane Lions.  And what about Chappy’s return?  Don’t you just love the way he & Stevie J go about their business, eh?

Caaarlton v The Club That Dare Not Speak Its Name.  With everything to gain and nothing to lose, The Miseries let this one slip away.  And all those of little faith – those who have not only doubted, but also questioned the very existence of The Football Gods – the message may be lost on their barren hearts.  But for the True Believers there may just be a flicker left yet in the Light of The Hill.  The sagacious amongst us will be searching for meaning in this result.  Has The Great Architect of The Universe weighing up the motivations and actions of the respective coaches involved in this one, and come down in favour of Wilful Jim?  (When you get back from the mountain Wrap better fill us all in – Ed)  For The Dons there’s the anxious wait on the outcome of today’s hearing.  Then next Saturday’s match against The Tigers.  For The Miseries, they drag their sorry backsides over to the City of Churches to take on The Tealers.

The Stevedores v The Power From Port.  Those SOTG who have said Freo lacked a knockout punch, it might be time to reappraise them.  With The Pav rested for most of the season, he’s hungry for leather and fairly bursting out of skin with fitness.  This is the 4th week running they’ve slammed on over 100 points.  True, the opposition hasn’t been top notch, but you can only play against who they send you.  The Dockers have The Eel race Road Seagulls under cover to close off their H&A season.  The Power have The Bluebaggers in the Shadows of Mt Lofty.

The Saints v The Suns.  If ever The Saints needed to lift it was now.  Going into The Long Dark Summer battered & bruised was the last thing they needed.  And make no mistake, The Suns are no pushover.  They beat them conclusively and can take some solace from that.  But no respite.  They host The Dangerous Dockers on the Shifting Sands before they mothball the Guernseys for Season 2013.  They’ll start next season without Kossy, Stinky Milne and Jason Blake.  All Loyal Servants, all part of the mix that makes up The Culture Club.  The Sunbeams finish off with The Orangemen on the Metricon.  A victory would give them eight wins for the season.  You’d like to think they’d be happy with that.  The road gets a bit steeper from herein, and next year will be a big test for them.

The Orangemen v The Striped Marvels.  Sheeds televised his pre-match pep talk to his charges.  He told them that they had to in front of or at least with their opponents at the first change.  That they managed to be just 10 points down must be taken as a credit to the wily old coaches power to inspire.  Maybe he should have given them some instructions for the other three quarters.  It’s hard to judge them on their second season, but they don’t seem to be making the same encouraging headway as The Sunbeams under Guy McKenna & The Little Master.  The Tiges were able to pile on the percentage to launch them to 5th.  They finish off the H&A series with The Same Olds at THOF on the Saturday night.  The Penrith Pygmies are up to the Gold Coast.

The Bad News Bears v The Bulldogs.  A classic Game of Two Halves.  The 1st half was all Brissy.  The 2nd half belonged to The Sons of The Mighty West.  Fair dinkum, what’s wrong up there in The Lions’ Den?  They managed 2-10 after the Long Break.  In that time The Boys of The Bulldog Breed piled on 9-9.  They fell short by seven points, which just about sums up their season.  They finish off with The Fuchsias under cover, and can go into the pre-season with confidence.  The Lions on the other hand look to have a few things to sort out on & off the field.  They would be well advised to postpone that until they get their meeting with their fellow felines down on Corio Bay out of the way.

And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

With the Essendon Football Crisis about to draw to its inevitable conclusion, we here in Wrapland would like to leave you with some words of wisdom from another land.  A land far far away in our imaginings yet so close in real life.  And no Nurelle, it’s not Graceland.

“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

 “Begin at the beginning,” the King said, very gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”

 “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” “How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, or you wouldn’t have come here.”

 “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

 “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”

“I don’t much care where –”

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

Who in the world am I?  Ah, that’s the great puzzle.”

 “You used to be much more…”muchier.” You’ve lost your muchness.” 

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. Andrew Fithall says:

    Wrap – I haven’t read your entire report yet, but I think in your forecast on who can finish 9th, you have discounted Adelaide and West Coast. If Port smack Carlton, Brisbane lose to Geelong and North lose to the Pies, if Adelaide can beat West Coast, or vice versa, by enough to pass Carlton on percentage (Adelaide in better percentage position than West Coast), they win the coveted 9th.

    AF

  2. David Zampatti says:

    Pretty sure the aggregate headline over here will say:

    Eagle’s Premiership Chances Soar as Dockers Blow Home Final Chance

  3. That is true – the chance of Adelaide & WCE making it to 9th & the headlines.

    Good luck on both scores.

  4. This is like one of those movie ads where the critic said “sublimely awful” and the PR flak puts up “sublime”
    I will get the Eagles website to put up:
    “Eagle’s Premiership Chances Soar as Dockers Blow Home Final Chance” – D. Zampatti.
    Got to take what enjoyment we can out of the scraps of this season.

  5. So that’s how you run the State of Excitement is it? I think we should come over and take some lessons. At least send Wilful Jim over.

    St Carmen of Amnesia would be so proud of you all.

  6. Look Mr Wrap, there’s no need to get personal. Anyway your piece is once again littered with factual errors. Brissy didn’t sack their coach, they made a generous donation to the Eagles Regeneration Fund. And its “Gipper” not ‘giffer’ – I was watching Knute Rockne : All American in the time I usually reserve for Friday night football. Family bereavement prevented me watching the game.
    And try to keep politics out of this forum. God knows its hard enough to escape, and then you go and publish large slabs of KRudd’s stump speech at the bottom of your piece.

  7. KIAs are the obvious car of choice for those living in the leafy, gated, enclosed community called Toorak. I know that a few of the young Bomber boys drive them too.

    What part of Europe do KIAs come from?

  8. I’ll watch that Mr B. My mind must have been elsewhere – like wondering when the finals tix allocations would come out of Punt Road.

    You’ve had a few family bereavements this season Mr B, haven’t you? We do hope the health of your family picks up in 2014.

    I think there’s flightless bird in The Shaky Isles called a kia. But I could be wrong. There’s a car by that name designed in the Hermit Kingdom and manufactured in South Korea under license. Would that be the one you’re thinking of Dips?

  9. Neil Belford says:

    You guys aren’t having a go at PB with that flightless bird stuff are you.

  10. Malcolm Ashwood says:

    Finish 9th and you Probably get to Play Richmond 2 ! if you get a dAy of bad Richmond with diabolical Chaplin etc you would fancy your chances 2 how ironic

  11. daniel flesch says:

    Just a small aside Mr. The Wrap : You say the Shinboners scare all but the Mayblooms and the Pivotonians. If North had had their 2 key defenders Thompson and Grima playing i doubt Buddy and Roughie would have got so many goals and the result probably a lot closer if not downright different. They deserve to be in the Finals i reckon , certainly more than the Miseries do. (Don’t barrack for North neither.)

  12. “It’s still got their 2013 slogan of whateverittakes defiantly interwoven through it.”
    Seeing that on the backdrop behind Shoeless’s remorseless self-justication, it made me wonder exactly What Everit did Take, and when the facts about that will come out.

    “I think there’s flightless bird in The Shaky Isles called a kia.”
    Yes, there is, it’s spelled ‘kea.’ It’s a large parrot that delights in tearing shiny things off your car. I invite you to draw whatever metaphor you can from that.

  13. Remorseless self justification. How come everyone else gets the good lines.

    You could be right about The Funnyboners DF. But would you be prepared to back them? Not not sure they deserve to be there though. They’ve had their chance. Still, better them than The Bluebagggers.

  14. I have been reliably informed that Chris Scott held Will Schofield down while Joel Selwood broke his jaw with a lump of 4×2 in Moorabool Street on Saturday night. Apparently this was payback for Will taking Adam’s spot on the Eagles half back line.
    This is clearly conduct unbecoming and Geelong FC should be immediately disqualified from finals.
    I remain confident that the Eagles will win this year’s flag via the litigation and disqualification route.
    Sue, Grabbit and Run.

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