THE BACK FROM MARS WRAP

For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

What a round six it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Feeling Faints win the Friday Night Mexican Stand-off and The Moggies kick The Sweep (just) against The Hapless Tigers.  North burst Melbourne’s bubble and Port win the Showdown as Coach Craig’s watches his career pass before his eyes.  Coach Clarko experiences a similar out of body experience as The Still Hungover Hawks give The Bombers their 2nd win for Season 2010.  Steak & Kidney hang on against The Brisbane Bears to hold Top Rung on The Premiership Table and Freo send Cross Town Rivals West Coast down to Davey Jone’s Locker to stay in The Top Four.  While at THOF The Woodsmen and The Silvertails stage a thriller, the final scores belying the closeness of the contest in its middle stages.

But hasn’t so much happened in the short five weeks while The Wrap staff took an early season breather?  The Knuckle Draggers have demonstrated that you can’t have your salary cap and eat it too.  It’s been in all the papers, even on the other side of the World, but the curious thing to us down here at The Wrap is that they’re still betting on Storm games even though there are no premiership points involved.  Call us cynical, but you’d have to suspect they won’t find themselves out of pocket over this little episode by the time they clean out The Bagmen a few times through the Season.

Just to emphasise how loudly money can talk Up North, our own Appalling Football League has bought a couple of high-profile, high-maintenance stars from the game where they throw the backward ball backwards and kick rainmakers when they do put boot to ball.  Fair dinkum, it would be farcical if it wasn’t our money they were spending.

We had a think tank in The Wrap Cave over the weekend and devised our own strategy for GWS.  For all the noble values it espouses and brings out, Our Great Game is built on hate.  Call them the Currawongs and explain to the punters out there in the Shadow of the Blue Mountains that Currawongs hate Magpies because they are both aggressive birds vying for the same turf.  They hate Swans because they are so different, and like rockers and mods they are mortal enemies.  They hate Hawks and Eagles because they are dominant raptors.  And they hate Cats because cats eat small birds.  That should be enough to get them started.  After all, we’re all going to hate them because of all the concessions they are getting without having earned them.  So they in turn can hate us.  Maybe that’s driving the AFL marketing guru’s thinking.  Not so dumb after all, eh?

Talking of concessions, is there a separate set of rules for Chris Judd.  I hope he’s not getting Dream Team points for all his incorrect disposals.  Pinned solidly by both arms he can still miraculously get fist to ball.  Or so the umpires seem to think.  He can run into a tackle with the ball under his arm and when pinged can let the ball spill without being penalized.  No wonder he looks so good when it comes off.

Are two heads better than one?  Sydney & Carringbush sit one & two on The Ladder while the basket case that was Port Adelaide sits 7th on 4-2.  All three have designated coaches in waiting.  Are we seeing the future?  Who wants to sit beside Neil Craig?  Or Alistair Clarkson for that matter.

And how many at Whingy Hill are questioning where Essendon would be now if there’d been a constructive transition from Sheedy to Neale Daniher at Bomberland?

But enough of my gabben.  Let’s see who’s still alive after Round V.

St Kilda v Bulldogs – The Battle of The Tricolours.  For all those who felt Friday Night’s game was dull, you should try a nil all drawn between Ankaragucu & Trabzonspor under lights on a chilly Istanbul Thursday.  Look, it was tight, low scoring football, but it if you want sporting glamour & excitement watch The Vixens v The Swifts in a game to decide who sits astride The Ladder.  AFL Football is a war zone.  The tactics employed were those that the respective commanders thought would win them the four points utilizing the resources at their disposal.  But let it be said, one general under utilized his main offensive weapon.  With one of The Competition’s most critical masses in the goal square against a renowned fumbler, why weren’t Footscray bombing it long into Bulldog Barry with Akka, Murphy & Higgins waiting to pounce.?  Maybe they should be recruiting Up North.  Maybe The Saints were lucky to win this one.  The Coach’s heart would have been in his mouth when Nasty Milne chose to out pace a Bulldog defender and dribble the ball through off the outside of his boot from 25m rather than baulk and kick off the instep.  But as his ex-coach, Doubtful Thomas will tell you, that’s the way he is and nothing will change him.  Next Monday night The Miseries face a refreshed St Kilda who have a nine day break.  For The Kennel Coughs it’s The Fuchsias OTR under lights on Friday Night.

North Melbourne v Melbourne.  Sadly, this was not the medicine Jimmy was seeking.  His Beloved Demons were not up to the task.  While it would have to be said that the skill levels of both sides put them firmly in the mediocrity group, The Shinboners showed more determination and displayed more strength.  The Dees had a purple patch in the 3rd Quarter but it came to naught other some crowd shots of ecstatic Redleg Faithful showing that Hearts Still Beat True For The Red & The Blue.  They have the pipe opener against The Dish Lickers next round.  The Norsemen face the Magpies on the G next Saturday Night.

Port v Adelaide.  In a repeat of last year’s final against Carringbush, The Crows fell apart under pressure.  This must be a worrying state of affairs around at West Lakes.  The Adelaide Committee must be as deeply concerned, in a deeply concerned sort of way, as the Coach.  Up at Alberton, the Committee would be patting themselves on the back.  Nothing succeeds like success: 40,371 must be a record for a Port Adelaide game.  The choice of the Junkyard Dog as Chocko’s understudy has proved inspirational.  More inspirational may be the new Aussie Rules type jumpers they are now sporting.  The Western Sydney Inventions and The Gold Coast Meter Maids should take note.  They have a Saturday Arvo meeting with The Bombers next week at The Dumb.  For the Beleaguered Crows it’s The Hapless Tigers OTR in a contest that could well decide this season’s Coveted Timber Trophy.

Essendon v Hawthorn.  We all saw how good The Gliders are on Anzac Day.  If this was The Line in The Sand grudge match Hawthorn was the sand. Apart from a cameo performance by Buddy, the team that won the 2008 Premiership was nowhere to be seen.  The Matthew Knights’ Bombers are hardly the toughest team Essendon has ever fielded.  Doug Bigelow, Rotten Ronny Andrews and Bluey Shelton will vouch for that.  Yet they served it up to The Chicken Hawks as they liked.  Sure, some of it was off the ball, but they conceded the frees without complaint.  Is the 2010 Season over for The Mustard Pots?  On current form you would be inclined to say so.  They need a change of game plan, some injuries to come good, Roughie to get rid of his BO and a miracle.  A big ask.  If they’re coming back it will have to start at camp Sooby against The Eagles OTR next Saturday at the traditional time (over there).  For the Rampaging Gliders it’s The Chokers on the shifting sands of Docklands also at the traditional time.

Sydney v Brissy.  Bradshaw 6 Goodes 3 v Fevola 3 Brown 3: Bradshaw & Goodes win.  And that about sums it up.  That doesn’t mean The Maroons didn’t keep trying.  The 30,975 at the SCG witnessed a thrilling high-class contest, but The Homeside was just too good all round on the night.  These Sydney sides just won’t go away and they get to find out just how good they are when they travel down to Sleepy Hollow to test themselves against TRP in the early Sunday match.  Brissy have an equally challenging, if far less daunting task when they host The Anchormen on the Saturday Night.

Geelong v Richmond.  This result was as embarrassing for The Tigers as the jokes at the Logies on Sunday night would have been for the Channel Neuf gag writers.  (We only watched around in the Wrap Loungeroom to hear a barefooted K.D. Lang sing Halleluiah, as I’m sure you all did – Ed)  One consolation for TLSPRF was that their team’s score on the day would have beaten Footscray and St Kilda’s, which is not a bad effort for a side flogged by more than 100 points.  (Or an indictment of the two teams that played on Friday Night – Ed)  For The Pussies it was a training drill and stats and goals are immaterial.  It will set them in good stead for next Sunday’s contest against Ladder Leaders Sydney in the early one.  The Tiges meet their destiny over at Crow Park in the late Sunday game

Collingwood v Carlton.  This was without doubt TMOTR*.  Two Bitter Rivals, a break in the weather to get the lawns mown and a bit of gardening out of the way before a late lunch and warming glass of Terra Rosa red in front of the fire.  We chose to barrack for Carringbush; partly for family loyalty to country cousins, partly because we hate them less than Carlton.  The Maggie’s came out the blocks like Nova Perris-Kneebone and had a seven goal break before The Bewildered Silvertails knew they were in a Football Game.  With 10 minutes of the first half to go Rats had slid out of the headphones and gone to stretch his legs.  This was the signal for The Blues to hold the game up and re-group, which they did.  Trying to beat The Pies at their run and handball game wasn’t working, they reverted to a long kicking game that provided more one on ones up forward and their flankers came into their own. Yarran, Betts, Murphy & Garlett relished the extra space and were able to scavenge the loose footy provided by O’hAilpin’s attack on the ball.  (BTW, who’s the CHF at Carlton? – Ed)  They were denied a famous victory by Collingwood’s GAD.   Swan & Beams continue to improve and Luke Ball & Darren Jolly are enjoying their footy in Black&White.  Not too sure about the lumbering Dawes and Golly Josh Fraser isn’t actually setting the game alight, nor Neon Leon, but the team’s all round effort and commitment is outstanding and it should lift those two last named players if they’ve got anything left in them to lift.  Students of The Game are already suggesting Joffa get himself a new lamée jacket for September (And a decent barber – Ed)  It will be interesting to see if next week’s Saturday Night game against The Shinboners is a let down for them.  For The Centuky Fried Chickens it’s a Monday night clash against St Kilda.

Freo v West Coast.  The Weagles looked pretty good at the Long Break, but managed only two majors to 10 thereafter.  And thereafter lays the tale of the 1st Western Derby for 2010.  It pulled 40,886 through the turnstiles, which is always a nice earner.  The bottom line was that The Barry Crockers did more with the ball when they had it.  The Coasters were lamentable.  Apart from the 2nd Stanza, they were only around 50% efficient.  And is it too early to suggest The Nat is having his let-down season?  Or to ask, have they bulked him up too much?  The Eagles have Hawthorn at home next Saturday in a make or break game for both teams – mathematically at least.  The Dockers make the longest road trip of all when they visit The Lions’ Den for a Saturday Night game.

And remember – if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

* The Match of The Round.

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:

    “our own Appalling Football League has bought a couple of high-profile, high-maintenance stars from the game where they throw the backward ball backwards and kick rainmakers when they do put boot to ball. Fair dinkum, it would be farcical if it wasn’t our money they were spending”

    In recruitment, and behavioural-based interviewing, there is a saying: “past behaviour is a very good predictor of future behaviour”. Israel Folau has demonstrated twice in three years that he shows no loyalty. The AFL will be wasting their money if they invest anything in his development. He will be gone after two or three years.

  2. John Butler says:

    TW

    Welcome back. You’ve been missed.

    On the two coach theory, it may be helping some causes, but if the 2IC’s are really value-adding that much, then longer term complications must surely arise.

  3. John Mosig says:

    G’day Andrew,

    The Poor Old Tigers are haemorrhaging to death and the clowns at Jellymont House are playing these silly ego driven games. It’s enough to make you weep.

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