AFL Round 23 – The Wrap: Journey’s end for some; the start for others

THE WRAP – ROUND XXIII

THE THANK GOD IT’S OVER Round

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

What a round it’s been in Footy, Wrappers.  On Friday The Hawks, with a come from behind win, showed why they are The Minor Premiers for Season 2013.  (And TTTBFTF* – Ed)  On the Saturday it was St Kilda’s turn to welcome an ex-Coach back to Docklands; and didn’t they turn it on for Rossy and the scratch team he brought with him?  The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires turned up down at Simonds Stadium to WBTNPM**.  Carlton came from the clouds to win by the same margin over at Footy Park.  The Tiges brought down the curtain on Essendon’s Season that Never Was to finish 5th and play Finals for the first time this Century.  And Adelaide totally obliterated The Lesser Spangled Drongos.

Come Sunday and The Shinboners hit The Woodsmen with The Gasometer and toasted the occasion with Shinboner Spirit.  The Sunbeams kicked The Sweep against The Orangemen as Coach Mumbles waved farewell to the 13,080 at The Metricon.  And The Doggies did what had to be done to put the cap on Melbourne’s miserable 2013.  (Finding a couple of mill a year for Roosie’s stipend might bring a bit of ongoing misery with it Where Hearts Beat True , especially if the Appalling Football League withdraws its subsidy – Ed)

Hey, have you caught up with Kelly Underwood & Garard Whateley calling a match together on Great Southern Grandstand?   We went straight home and threw out all our old Captain & Tennille albums.

You were right Ed, when you said this Essendon Drugs Drama was getting to me.  As we all well know, life imitates sport and next weekend we have to vote for someone who, for all we know, may just have the sort of values we’ve seen displayed in this public scandal revolving around Jellymont House & The Little House on The Windy Hill.

Speaking of Le Scandale, let’s pick up the story from where his old mate & hero, Willful Jim, decides the Doc is too old school for the All New, All Singing, All Dancing Essendon.  From our simple understanding of the story, the Doc didn’t blow the whistle publicly, only to Willful and the now ex-Football Manager Hamilton.  They, or some else, chose to sideline the Doc, who is charged with, as the club doctor, the welfare of the players.  The wildfire injection program went ahead, beyond the Doc’s control but still under his responsibility.  The charges laid by the League’s governing body stem from this alleged dereliction of duty.

But at last there is a flicker of Light on The Hill.  Maybe even a gleam.  At last we’re seeing some honest courage on show for arguably the first time during this whole sorry saga.  Let’s pray that it comes with some courageous honesty.  Then that gleam could rise once more into the Arrogant Bunch of Scum we love to hate.  You see, as it stands at the moment, their behaviour over the season has made it difficult to hate them with that wholesome passion so integral to Our Great Game.  And that’s sad.

What’s also sad is the way this whole sorry saga has been played out.  And if the Doc’s inquiry helps throw some light on the role of the Appalling Football League, its executive, ASADA and the Media have played in this drawn out tragedy it may be the le moment psychologique for which we’ve all been waiting.  Because, when we talk to Footy Fans, either at the ground, in the queue at the post office or down at the pub, they’re not buying the official line.  Not for a moment Great Helmsman.  Not for a moment.  (Are you suggesting that it might pay to ask the cameras to keep the Ayatollah’s image off the big screen during the Finals? – Ed)  Surely the Jellymont House Media Department would have already advised accordingly Oh Ponderous Pruner of Prose.  The obligatory image of him seated beside the current PM would make what the West Coast Faithful served up to the Brownlow Medallist seem like the hallelujah chorus.

Another question that would have to be asked, is, if Bomber Thompson was signed on as Assistant Coach at an astronomical sum – reported as $650K per – why isn’t he stepping up to take the place of the fallen senior Coach? If he doesn’t want to do it, why have him there in the first place?  They must take us for mugs.  And that’s the really annoying part of it all.  It’s wishful thinking that we’ll ever get the truth of what’s been going on between the protagonists in this sordid sage.  And within the respective camps.  But behind ever cloud there’s a silver lining.  Whoever gets onto it would make a killing.  We reckon there’s a marketing opportunity in pegs in club colours to put on our noses whenever we’re downwind of Jellymont House & Whingy Hill.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who was filled with glee after Round XXIII.

The Bloods v The Mayblooms.   It wasn’t at Moore Park Road as suggested in the Pre Wrap, but the venue made little difference to the outcome.  The Hawkers after a blistering start, fell behind their opponents and trailed for most of the match.  But they fought their way back into the contest during the Championship Quarter and pulled away in the Final Stanza.  Bonecrusher couldn’t have run them down any more emphatically.  True, The Bloods have got a few to come back.  Hannebery & Tippett should make it down to Bleak City on the Spirit of Progress for next Friday night.  On the other hand, The Mustard Pots will be running out without Buddy.  His injudicious rush of blood should see him sidelined for at least a week.  As Clarko said in the Post Match, we’ve won Games of Footy without him, so we’ll do that again.  Judging by a Freudian slip from the Big Sandgroper – that he would be surprized to hear that anyone wouldn’t want to live in Sydney – winning games without him might be the default situation at Glenferrie Oval from 2014 onwards.  Roughie notched up 4-3 to clinch the Coleman Medal in another outstanding performance.  Indicative of The Modern Game, The Hawks had 11 goal scores, including Brian Lake, and the Swans had nine.  Not disgraced, but certainly outplayed on the night, The Lakers have to do it all again this coming Friday.

The Feeling Faints v The Purple Haze.  So what’s the charge here Ayatollah?  Tanking?  Bringing OGG into disrepute?  Or was an old mate of St Kilda’s just making sure they finished their season on a high?  If it was the latter, the verdict would have to be guilty as charged your honour.  The Long Suffering Junction Oval Faithful nearly lifted the roof off The Dumb.  The last quarter was one continuous roar as they willed Kosy a goal and got one from Jason Blake.  Last round matches are quite often emotional moments, and there’s no club that wears its heart on its sleeve more than The Saints.  In one of the most touching moments of a season that has given us little to celebrate, this was a time to rejoice and a time of rebirth.  If you weren’t reaching for the Kleenex as you watched the scenes on the oval after the siren you’d better check for a pulse.  The Saints go into The Long Dark Summer, full of the knowledge that while they’re in the throes of a re-build of the re-build phase, they’ve still got a Loyal Army behind them.  The Anchormen have to front up at the traditional time down at Kardinia Park. To see if they can engineer a Home Preliminary Final.

The Pivotonians v The Maroons.  Famous last words: even the Sleepy Hollow Millionaires couldn’t blow this one.  (What about put the money you got for from your redundancy payout on The Handbags at $1.04 Wrap – wouldn’t they qualify? – Ed)  If the umpiring had been fair dinkum they would have been.  In the last 30 seconds of the match we counted at least two frees that could have been paid.  If Geelong’s MVP didn’t throw himself on the ball in his defensive goal square, then pull it in under him, I’ll go he for tiggy.  And that deliberate OOB could have been paid if the job was fair dinkum.  It was Brissy playing for a place in September remember Wrappers.  Another life used up by the Moggies, and with a few cracks starting to show, and a few creaks starting to be heard, the Finals await them.  They’re on home turf week against The Barry Crockers.  A bit hasty – scheduling the match for Sleepy Hollow?  Crikey, they can’t even fit all the card carrying Catters into Simonds Stadium.  With Trans Nullarbor Railways putting a couple of extra carriages on the Indian Pacific, how are the ground managers going to cope?  With all the media and marketing people the Ayatollah’s stacked onto the payroll at Jellymont House you’d thing they could have scheduled the match up in The Big Smoke and promoted it as East v West.  The Style Cats v The Drab Dockers.  It’s a pretty shoddy effort.  (Turn it up Wrap; you know how busy they’ve been with other things  – Ed)  Fair dinkum, they’ll be holding the Grand Prix around the Eastern Park Circuit and Botanic Drive into pit lane before you can say Frank Costa next.

The Power From Port v The Miseries.  You want enquiries?  How about swabbing The Blues?  Or The Power?  The Silvertails were gone for all money halfway through the Championship Quarter?  Then all of a sudden Captain Carlton woke from a long long sleep.  He kicks three goals; the Three Amigos kick 6-6 between them and the Bluebaggers fall into September with 11 wins.  But what an exhibition these two teams turned on.  If either or both can unpack that sort of Footy in September they’ll worry a few.  The Blues have The Tigers waiting for them at THOF next Sunday.  And how big is that Footy Fans?  Struggletown v The Silvertails.  The Tealers are at the same venue the night before to tackle The Woodsmen.  But what about those jumpers?  It wasn’t the absence of differential so much – because there wasn’t any to speak of – it was recognizing Cartlon as The Bluebaggers that presented the difficulty.  (maybe that’s what they need around there at Visy Park – a new image – Ed)

The Club That Dare Not Speak Its Name v The Striped Marvels.  This was the original Claytons match – the match you have when you’re not having a match.  Normally, with both these sides jockeying for their September starting lanes would pack out the house.  Just over 60,000 bothered to read the last rites over The Bombers annus horribilis.  The Football rarely got above mediocre – a real bruise-free affair.  And the excitement level never got above a low rumble.  Even when the Essendon Captain & Brownlow Medallists received a cheer from the Whingy Hill Faithful, The Tiger Army could barely muster a polite boo in response.  The Big Scoreboard displayed requests for the dwindling Bomber Faithful to stay in their seats until the end of the match as the players wanted to pay their respects to them.  It might have helped if their team had given them something during the match to get them up out of their seats, but a good section stayed on.  After all, they’re still Their Boys.  A good portion of The Tiger Army stayed on after several renditions of the Tigerland Battle Hymn to help clap the Essendon Players off the field for 2013.  And that was that.  The Pharmaceuticals go into hibernation till next season.  The Tigers take on The Blues next Sunday.

The Western Spotted Tom Tits v The Lesser Lambs’ Eye Pickers.  If the administration at West Coast think everything’s okay, and that next year will take care of itself, they’re a late runner for the KRudd Shield for delusional excellence.  If ever there was a team in terminal decline it’s this crop of Worsfold Eagles.  No point in dwelling on it, but surely someone over there is aware of what has to be done.  As for The Free Settlers, they’ll just have to pick themselves up and get back on the horse.

The Sunbeams v The Orangemen.  Could it e a Brownlow clincher for The Little Master?  The Sunbeams finished off a reasonable season without collecting any significants scalps – except North Melbourne.  Which in itself tells a tale.  The Giants are still a long way off filling their boots.  Maybe some vigorous recruiting will help.  Who knows, and unless it’s your stars being headhunted, who cares?

The Woodsmen v The Shinboners.  This was an absolute bottler.  A free flowing arm wrestle.  Both sides worthy of September, however, one had blown its chances through the season and had the door slammed in its face earlier this round.  Cloke had a chance to snatch The Coleman, but it wasn’t to be.  The Pies have The Other Magpies on The Paddock That Grew next Saturday night.  The Shinboners have a season of regrets to get over.  And what a shame The Roos aren’t there.  It really is.  They play some attractive Footy when they get on song.  Are we alone in thinking it’s going to be a long pre-season for them?

The Bulldogs v The Redlegs.  Good to see there’s some fight left in The Demons.  Sad to see that it doesn’t translate to their Football.  Although, it’s fair to be said they did come back a bit on the scoreboard after the mêlée.  They also farewell Davey Rodan.  One of Football’s Unsung Journeymen, David Rodan has been a contributor wherever he’s played.  TLSPRF were sorry to see him depart Tigerland in a trade to Port Adelaide.  Likewise at Alberton when he asked to play his last years near his family.  Brought down three times by knee problems, this fourth collapse was the last straw for him.  Vale David Rodan.  You have been a credit to the Journeymen of Football.

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

With the Essendon Football Crisis taking a back seat while we get on with the not so small matter of The September Song, we thought it might be as good a time as any to look at what some of the deeper thinkers in our community had to say about Remorse & Redemption.

Seeking to forget makes exile all the longer; the secret of redemption lies in remembrance. – Richard von Weizsaecker

On the throne, one has many worries; and remorse is the one that weighs the least. – Jean Racine

Redemption is not perfection.  The redeemed must realize their imperfections. – John Piper

When I think of the person that I thought was Bill Clinton, I think he had genuine remorse.  When I think of the person that I now see is 100 percent politician, I think he’s sorry he got caught. – Monica Lewinsky

Good God, if our civilization were to sober up for a couple of days it’d die of remorse on the third. –  Malcolm Lowry

The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times. – Patti Smith

I cannot show remorse because I do not believe I am guilty. – Lyn Nofziger

Well the first thing I’d say is that I’m not sure exactly what I’m supposed to do to show my remorse other than to say that I’m remorseful. – Jayson Blair

And as Shoeless Jim rides off into the sunset of 2013 -

There is no better place to heal a broken heart than on the back of a horse. – Missy Lyons, Cowboys Don’t Sing Siren Menage Amour

And if you’d never heard of any of the above personages except perhaps Patti Smith & Monica Lewinsky you’re probably not on your Pat Malone.

*- TTTBFTF – The Team To Beat For The Flag

** – WBTNPM – Won By The Narrowest Possible Margin

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. Great end of season wrap Wrap
    I enjoy you contris enormously
    cheers and thanks
    TR

  2. What’s with the horse racing metaphors? “Ran them down like Bonecrusher” indeed. The Avenging Eagle only lets me read your guff because she hasn’t run the Crio filter over your pieces. By the way, didn’t the Silvertails finish off like Bernborough on Saturday?
    How are the nerves down at Punt Road now that you have the traditional rivals on Saturday night? Have you got Balmey warming up to land a couple on “Vinney” Waite?

  3. We’re a philosophical mob gown at Punt Road. Whatever will be will be. But if you think we’re going to let The Only Team All Visy knows jump us again, you’ve got a lot to learn about The Tigers my son.

    Thanks for the kind words Tony. I’ll pass them onto the rest of the of WrapTeam.

  4. Thanks TW. I enjoy your articles. I pick up the team names a bit quicker now having read “A Game of Our Own”.

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