AFL Round 8 – Gold Coast v Western Bulldogs: Frankenstein’s Monster

It had to happen one day no matter how carefully I checked the fixture at the start of the year. I was double-booked. I was on my way to Geelong to see a play when I should have been home in front of the TV watching the Bulldogs versus Suns. It was almost un-Australian.

I’m superstitious enough and insecure enough to believe I have to watch every minute of a match to get my team over the line. If I turn away from the screen or stop listening to the radio even for a while, I just know that when I return, the opposition will have piled on some quick goals.

Stupid and illogical, but that’s how desperate you get when you have a danger game about to start against a team that’s only been around for three years.

Fortunately the play in Geelong will finish in time for me to listen to the first quarter on the radio and watch the rest on TV when I get home. The tricky bit will be switching from Classic FM to 3CS Colac at 4.30 without upsetting the ‘non-believer’ in the passenger-seat.

I hoped the distraction of after-play analysis and the expectation of coffee at Inverleigh would do the trick.

The play itself was an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Lots of moral themes such as being born with original sin and quotes from ‘Paradise Lost’.

As soon as we left the theatre, the playwright in me wanted to link the play themes with the current state of the Bulldogs. The best I could come up with initially, was both Frankenstein’s monster and the current Bulldog team were both friendless. The second act of the play was about the monster pleading for a female mate to ‘be made in the lab’ to be with him after he was cast out of society.

The Bulldogs haven’t got many friends at the moment and the press is starting to use that awful term ‘irrelevent’ just as they did last year with Melbourne and Port Adelaide.

If the villagers in the play armed with pitchforks and pikes hounded Frankenstein’s monster, it won’t be long before the wealthy clubs, particularly the interstate clubs, will try and cast out the Bulldogs who they will say are using valuable AFL funds to survive.

So it’s 4.35pm and I managed to flick the radio on to the footy after a quick point out the window and a ‘Look at all the work they’ve done to that old mansion! I then went into zombie mode as I concentrated fully on the broadcast, blotting everything else out.

But I didn’t anticipate there was more play deconstuction to come from the passenger side. So the one-way conversation went something like this:

WIFE: I think they could have made that first scene where the monster first appears a bit shorter. Don’t you think?

ME: Uh huh.

WIFE: I thought it was clever the way the blind man befriended the monster because he wasn’t worried what he looked like.

ME: Uh huh.

WIFE:  I was reading about the English production of Frankenstein and they said the guy playing the monster did it in the nude.

ME: Christ! Are they ever gonna get the ball on to their forward line! Roughead’s the only one getting a kick at the moment! (pause) Sorry Darl. What were you saying about some nude guy?

With just a slight lead at quarter-time and the ominous call from commentators that the Bulldogs were already ‘running out of puff’, I knew it could be another disaster looming. I’d run out of uh huhs answering play questions so the non-believer settled back for a half-sleep leaving me to wallow in the ensuing misery. Just as she had done over the last forty-two years.

The second quarter was fairly even with the Buldogs relying on new recruit Jake Stringer to kick a couple of goals and the poor-man’s Harry Taylor, Lukas Markovic, to go forward and kick one as well. He became a triple swing-man when he then went into the ruck to relieve Will Minson…our only ruckman.

It gives an indication of how depleted the Bulldogs are that they rely on a fringe player to kick a goal and then take over the ruck. Stan Alves might be right, we are in a worse position than Melbourne.

The second half was hard to watch when I got home. The final nail was watching our two best endurance athletes, Boyd and Cross, get run over by first, second and third-year Gold Coast Sun players. And then watching the cream of recent AFL recruiting turn it on. Realizing that some of those players could have been Bulldogs if it were not for the creation of so-called ‘expansion teams’.

I’ve written enough about how it has come to this. I’ve blamed recruiting, the coach, the lack of key-position players and even missing a home ground like Geelong and Sydney. This time I’ll try an analogy with the play I saw in Geelong.

The AFL has created two monsters south of Brisbane and west of Sydney. In their haste to capture new ‘markets’ after realizing there were huge populations to win over, they conveniently forgot about the struggling Victorian teams. Just as Doctor Frankenstein created the monster and left him to fend for himself, the AFL has virtually sacrificed a team that’s been around since 1925 and in Melbourne’s case, the oldest football club in the world.

GOLD COAST

1.3  4.7  11.11  13.15  (93)

WESTERN BULLDOGS

3.3  5.6  6.10  8.13   (61)

GOALS: G’COAST–Brown 3, Hall 2, Matera, Stanley, Bennell, Harbrow, O’Meara, Shaw, Day, May.

BULLDOGS: Stringer 3, Markovic 2, Giansiracusa, Jones, Murphy.

BEST: G’COAST–Ablett, Brown, O’Meara, Thompson, Prestia, Stanley.

BULLDOGS: Cooney, Minson, Macrae, Murphy, Boyd, Griffen.

UMPIRES: Jeffery, Hay, Armstrong.

CROWD: 13,520 at Metricon Stadium.

OUR VOTES: O’Meara 3, Ablett 2, Prestia 1.

About Neil Anderson

Enjoys reading and writing about the Western Bulldogs. Instead of wondering if the second premiership will ever happen, he can now bask in the glory of the 2016 win.

Comments

  1. cowshedend says:

    Nice work Neil,
    Perhaps a Frankenstein creation, with Templetons hands Quinlans legs Crossies Heart and Lungs and Jack Dinatale hair (for aesthetics),and we can create our own players ,avoiding the draft……cue thunder and lightning

  2. Neil Anderson says:

    You’ve just stolen my lines from the Second Act Cowshedend. Your idea of a composite, super footballer was going to be my clever ending but I thought I might be over the word limit. I need a word-counter whenever I email Almanac Admin.
    Loved the Crossie’s heart bit. I’ve got a feeling that other knackers will let their imaginations run wild with the best bits to use to construct the ultimate footballer.

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