The Finals’ Wrap – Week III (The Feathered Friends Round)

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

And what a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  On the Friday night, The Swans saw off the Carringbush Hoodoo and booked themselves a place in the Last Match of The Season.  Well before the last bread & jam had rattled out of the CBD for Saturday night, the Hawks had put paid to any Free Radical Aspirations.  On the Saturday twilight game, The Leafblowers found themselves in the fight of their lives.  With their Football lives flashing before their eyes. They fell in by less than one straight kick, as they progressed to TLSIS, badly shaken, much relieved, but they made it.

Never mind the Jock McHale Medal, if Brenton Sanderson doesn’t get Coach of The Year the job’s crooked.  Fair dinkum, he’s taken The Motley Crows, who finished 14th last year with seven wins, to within a straight kick of playing off in this year’s Grand Final.  Adelaide born, his CV reads like a travel diary.  (You’re saying his a journeyman are you Wrap? – Ed)  And like Arnie & Doug, he’ll be back.  Along with The Pride of South Australia.

To scalp not to scalp?  No Nurelle, it’s not a philosophic crossroads for Geronimo and Hiawatha.  We’re talking about selling tickets above what they are worth.  And the finger points directly at Jellymont House.  How does this go down with you in these straightened times?  Would you call it scalping?

Adult                           Conc.               Junior              Family

Platinum          $390.00                       $264.50           nix                  nix

Gold                $355.00                       $240.50           nix                  nix

Silver               $300.00                       $204.00           nix                  nix

Bronze $200.00                       $134.00           nix                  nix

Standing          $120.00                       $120.00           nix                  nix

Crikey, you wouldn’t pay that much to see Meatloaf live, would you?  (OMG!  He’s not booked again is he? – Ed)  And if you missed out on tix for Temper Trap at The Forum in Flinders Street you can always jump on a Tiger Flight up to Sydney and catch them at the Opera House for $59.

Using the flat white meter, that’s 111 coffees you have to give up for your seat in the second tier.  Of course if you buy your java at the ground you’d only have to give up 86 doses of caffeine.  Now, if you’re taking your kid(s) along it’s going to be another 76(152) lifeline hits.  Or 59(118) by shopping at the AFL Shop, which is obviously the cheaper way to go when you look at it like that.

And they wonder why they only got 69,164 for a match between two clubs with a combined membership of 105,946.  As it tuned out, one of the best matches of the series thus far.

How about The People’s Game played on The People’s Ground?  Here’s a rough guide to the allocation for Grand Final tix we came across through our web search.  The site carried an AFL tag.

Competing Clubs                                                        16,000 – 35,000

AFL Clubs                                                                          0 – 18,000

MCC Reserve                                                 16,000 – 26,000

AFL Members                                                 13,000 – 23,000

AFL/Medallion Club Members                                     5,000 – 25,000

AFL Entitlements/ Contractual Obligations      5,000 – 25,000

Competing Clubs                                                                    0 – 5,000

Striking an average, this accounts for approximately 100,000 tickets.  There’s a number of standing room tix made available depending on a range of issues, and some ‘walk ups’ for the MCC Reserve.   Don’t you just love the zeros in there for the AFL & Competing Clubs?  Be nice or else.  Of course you can always buy into the Ethelred Stadium Breakfast for $1,750, drink all the selected beverages you can chuck down, laugh yourself sick at some in-jokes & weak gags, then get your dial on Foxtel.  That’s so your family & friends can see you s**tfaced at around that 10am mark.

We’re of the understanding that the Competing Club Members have been granted 30K tix this year – to split between 90,714 the Loyal Fans of The Bloods & The Mayblooms.

Then there’s the not so little matter of a gambling licence.  And we do hope the G Mac remembered to get one, because by any understanding, the non-refundable entry money – $5.50 – to the draw for tickets to the last five matches of the Finals Series is a lottery.

Just when the knock-knock jokes were starting to circulate about Geelong, their VFL team surged to run away from Port after the Borourghers had levelled the scores in the opening moments of the Final Stanza.  With only the retiring David Wojcinski and free-agent Shannon Byrne the only recognizable names amongst The Falcons, (They’re The Cats now Wrap – Ed) it would be highly advisable to get those Handbag jokes in while you can.  And what a day for Matty Knights?  He was quick to praise the support and loyalty he received from the Football Department, the Administration and the Selection Panel down there at Sleepy Hollow, and naturally he praised The Playing Group, predicting big things for them in the years to come.

All ready for Blondes’ Night?  Should be big.  Andy D says they’ve got a new red carpet and the segment’s going to be bigger than ever.  (We’re surmising he meant they’ve allocated more time to it – Ed)  He’s leaning towards Collingwood      D.      Swan.  Us?  We think Richmond     T.      Cotchin would be Good For Football, but it’s wide open.

How bad a state must Port Adelaide be in?  Talk about a poison chalice.  Maybe it’s the gases rising off the salt flats, but they’re dropping off like flies.  Who’s dropping off like flies?  Potential coaches, that’s who.  You know what?  We reckon it’s the best thing that ever happened.  It would make a great movie wouldn’t it?  Unfashionable coach takes over a bunch of misfits with a supporter base of battlers living on the very fringes of the Football World.  With Barnesy rendering the club song over the opening credits while footage of Port’s chokings in 2004 & 2005 set the mood.  Credits finish as the footage switches to the elation of defeating Brisbane for The Power’s solitary AFL Flag.  (You’d avoid Ports 23 SANFL Flags Wrap?  Probably ruin a good battler story anyway – Ed)  Then footage of humiliation by The Cats in the 2007 GF (Remember The Cats?  They play down at Simonds Stadium. – Ed)

Story board 1 – The sacking of Premiership Coach, and the appointment of Favourite Son as Saviour.  (Not another Messiah story, surely Wrap- Ed)

Story board 2 – The Rise: successive wins against North, GCFC & Carlton after sluggish start to the season.

Story board 3 – The Fall: the defeat by GWS, focus on The Giants doing it for Sheeds.  The self-immolation of Favourite Son.

Story board 4 – Search for new saviour.  Not even the Sacked Coach from the capital, down on his luck will take them on.  Aggressive Football League take over club debt and assets, including licence.  Darkest hour.  Enter The Kid With The Mars Bar looking for a job as a groundsman.  Taken on for keep & lodgings.  Kid grateful for a roof over his head.  Swears lifelong fealty to Alberton.

Story board 5 – Kid picks up a football near the centre pitch he’s rolling out for the cricket season and kicks it through the goals and up into the top deck of the stand off one step.  President is gobsmacked.  Learns from The Kid that his old coach up country taught him how to focus mental energy into physical exertion to maximise desired outcome.

Story board 6 – Prez and Kid seek Old Coach.  Following the trail of country coaching jobs, they get a mixed reception when they mention his name.  Finally track down Old Coach living in the arid wilderness in a borderline state of insanity.

Story board 7 – from this point the chronicle of Old Coach fed into story line bit by bit – but gist is that he is a discarded ex-AFL player with enormous potential who no one would take on because of his attitude to being coached the conventional way.  Treated as a pariah at the Highest Level, Old Coach becomes a journeyman.  Spends life helping battling country league teams rise above themselves but walks out on them just as they’re about to reach ultimate goal.

Story board 8 – Prez & The Kid convince Old Coach that he has something real to offer.  And that they need him.  This proves to be the clincher.  Old Coach can’t help himself helping people who need help.  Sound track –

With our tradition so strong

We can’t go wrong

And the Port supporters

Standing tall

True believers

One and all

 

Story board 9 – Prez then has to convince Gnomes in The Basement of Jellymont House that he can turn around the fortunes of Port Adelaide.  Puts house on the line to buy back the franchise and Alberton Battlers run chook raffles, trivia nights and talent contests.  One of them goes on to win Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.  Prize money split between the Alberton Battlers & the Battling Football Club.  Another wins Australia’s Got Talent singing – that’s right – Working Class Man.  Goes on to become international sensation with Port Theme Song.  Royalties – you guessed it – split between the Alberton Battlers & the Battling Football Club.

Sound track of AGT winner singing

Come on, Port Adelaide aggression

We are the Power from Port

It’s more than a sport

It’s the true Port Adelaide tradition

 

Story board 10 – You can write the rest yourself.  Except for The Twist.  Lots of tense moments.  The Kid and Old Coach finally convince the team to focus mental energy on achieving outcomes.  After winning last 11 games to scramble into 8th. Port set to become the first team to take Flag from outside The Eight.  LSIS dawns.  Team arrives at The G.  Has anyone seen Old Coach?  Frantic searching by Prez and The Kid.  Singing Cowboys pick up on the rumours.  Champs sings parody on Old Coach walkout based on Horse With No Name.  The Kid steps up and leads the Team out after convincing them that they have the inner strength to coach themselves.  Which is the message Old Coach had always wanted understood.  They trash The Cats in the Grand Final over AGT winner singing

There’s history here in the making

We’ve got the Power to win

We’ll never give in

Till the flag is ours for the taking

 

Closing credits play over Old Coach in Soweto taking The Game to the World.  Up There Cazaly playing behind images.  Sung of course by the Soweto Gospel Choir.

(You haven’t got Mickey Malthouse lined up for the role of Old Coach have you by any chance Wrap?  And Jarrad Oakley-Nichols playing The Kid – Ed)

There’s elections in the air.  Forget about Barak v Mitt.  Down at Punt Road there’s talk of a changing of the guard.  Out at Whitten Oval too.  In both cases they’re trying to be gentlemanly about it.  Which is nice.  Although it’s not clear what’s brewing at Tigerland.  According to The Sage, it’s rumoured that the Big End of town is trying to muscle its way into three board seats for acuppla mill in a brown envelope.  There’s been no response yet from The Struggletown True Believers to this rumoured high-handedness, but don’t be surprized to see the Yellow&Black bumper stickers claiming We Are Not Carlton.

Speaking of whom, isn’t it refreshing to see some new faces around there at Visy Park?  Ahmed Fahour, straight from the shemozzle at MLC, has thrown his hat into the ring, as has Luke Sayers.  Never a dull moment around there where the Oval meets the Graveyard.  It makes Gillard v Rudd v Abbott v Turnbull look like high school debating contest, eh?

Hey, did you cop a load of that Sydney mascot?  That’s the airport Nurelle.  The White Swan Mascot – the one with the funny thing on its head?  Not sure what the message is there.  Sheeds might be right about them being the Vaucluse Racquet & Croquet Club after all.

Maggot Watch.  Talk about swallow the whistle.  You could count the frees on Friday night just by using all your digits.  The word must have come down from Maggot Central because on Saturday they rattled the pea a solid 46 times, including the time they reversed a Hawthorn free.  Hale nearly had his head ripped off.  Schoenmakers, who was not having the best of nights decided to show the flag, so he chested The Dolphin.  Not the smartest thing to do, but still pretty innocuous.  Neither side should mind if this turns out to be the Play Station 2 team Angry Adrian announces to adjudicate next Saturday.

But enough of my persiflage, let’s see who’s left to go through after Week II of The Finals.

The Bloods v The Mighty Monochromes.  Always a match too far, The Pies ran out of pastry at last.  They gave their all, but never once threatened.  Sure, they gave The Army something to cheer about, but when, with 4½ minutes to go in the Championship Quarter, Bucks dropped his head into his hands you knew they’d lowered their flag.  They went down swinging to finish 4th for season 2012.  No shame in that.  After a long season and an arduous Finals Campaign they were exhausted.  Darren Jolly had carried the weight of the ruck all season.  Against Roughie & Hale a fortnight ago he had The Boy With The Mars Bar as a relieving ruckman.  Last week he singlehandedly took on and broke even with the All Australian rucking duo.  This week he was so exhausted he could hardly give off a handball.  In the Home&Away Season, after a couple of grinding encounters you get a couple of soft games.  Not in September.  That’s must be why they call it the Grand Final.

Any review of their season would have to start with their new coach.  We’d give him an A-.  Maybe an A, all things considered.  The list had worked with Bucks around the club over the last two years, but now he was calling the shots in his own right.  Calling them over many of his old teammates.  That took a few weeks to get bedded in properly.  The list was cruelly struck by injuries and fielding a creditable team was a battle some weeks.  Then there was the Cloke Factor.  You can shrug them off when confronted for comment by the media, but the doubts it creates in the Locker Room are unknown.  Swan’s little number wasn’t exactly standing side-by-side together either.  But the biggest distraction would have to have been Motormouth Mick sniping at him all year.  Under all this pressure he carried himself like the gentleman he is.

The Silvertails around at Visy Park have done Bucks the favour of sidelining the philosopher coach from October, and it’s only going to cost them a million a year and three more years in the Football Wilderness to agist the Talking Ox.  Bucks will be the better for the year and so will his charges.  That they rose above all that speaks volumes for the leadership & spirit of the team Everybody Loves To Hate.  Not us, we love them.  They sell column inches.

(The match Wrap, you gunna talk about the match.  Who gives a who gives a flying f**k about Collingwood? – Ed)

What about that run of Jetta.  Better get him out to Breakfast Point.  That’s the sort of thing they like to see out there in the Shadows of The Blue Mountains.  Pity the Dally Messenger Stand wasn’t in the background for the highlight reel.

Speaking of highlight reels.  Heath Shaw running back hard with the flight ball took the mark.  His effort drew “the balls in sure hands there” from Brucie Boy.  Not sure the mike picked it up, but it would have surely drawn a wince from The Velvet Fog.

Digger would have had every right to be incensed, but it didn’t cost them the match.  But I’ll tell you what, Chelsea Roffey would have been glad Collingwood didn’t lose by four points or less.  And it raises the question – where’s the Geisha and his committee of eighty reviewers when you need them.  (You’re doing it again Wrap; it’s eight reviewers.  You think something as important as Our Great Game is run by committee? – Ed)

And talking of umpiring, the Vaucluse Racquet & Croquet Club Cheer Squad is really getting the hang of things.  Mitch Morton gave his opponent a two handed shove in the back we saw down here in Melbourne to mark close in.  Naturally Mitch went through the pantomime of Oh no I didn’t Mr Rosebury, but he knew in his heart of hearts what he did.  You’d have thought the Red&White Horde had had their dummy taken away from them.  And it happened more than once.  With that sort of one-eyed support it’s clear that The One True Code has a solid following up there in The Harbour City.  Naturally they were deadly silent when Goodes got away with a couple of similar nudges, which he seems to achieve week in week out.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but did I hear Tommy Hafey say he does 700 sit ups a day?  Crikey, we wouldn’t do 700 a year around here in the Wrapcave.  And that includes getting up and going out for a counter attack on Thursdays & Fridays.

Didn’t your heart go out to Harry O?  He’d played the game of his life and just as The Swans seemed to be running out of puff in the face of a Carringbush goal rush, he kicked across the backline and out on the full.

In the end, as brave as The Woodsmen were, they were running on empty.  Out classed, out gunned, and totally spent by the first break, they left the field at the end of the night leaving absolutely nothing behind for the groundsmen and the seagulls to clean up.

Sydney?  They showed they possess a game worthy of TLSIS.  Goodes is back to armed & dangerous, they have a workmanlike rucking combination, break-away midfielders, a solid defence and a versatile attack.  If anything, their kicking lets them down.  And that might just be the story line for next week’s review of their contest with Hawthorn.

The Mighty Fighting Hawks v The Pride of South Australia.  The Hawks started nervously.  The Crows looked like they knew what they were doing.  Quarter time scores – Adelaide 4-2 to Hawthorn 2-6.  The Hawthorn backline was being dragged all over the place.  All ready challenged for bulk & height, they found their numbers at the contest system that had served them so well all year was floundering.  And while The Mayblooms always looked threatening up forward, they were uncharacteristically wasteful.

Big Tex was proving a headache up forward and Big Kurt was marking all around the ground.  Porplyzia was keeping the Hawks’ defence busy as well.  At the other end The Mustard Pots were able to answer the Crow’s challenge, but this was become an arm wrestle no one predicted.  (Apart from The Village Idiot & The Drover’s Dog – Ed)   The Hawks looked to be pulling away, but a late goal to Big Tex maintained the Chardonnay’s lead and the SOSs were starting to appear on the SMSs across the land – we’re in serious, serious trouble.  For the quarter The Pots booted 3-4 to The Pride’s 3-2.

When The Hawkers blasted four majors, three of them in two minutes it looked like it was Game Over.  Schoenmakers even took the opportunity to suggest to Big Tex that it was time to slip back to Rundle Mall to check on the petunia seedlings in the hanging baskets. A Game Breaker it may have been, but Game Over it was not.

Did The Yankee Doodles slip the oars thinking they were safely in port?  Probably not.  They’d been strangely off song all night.  Roughie & The X-man had nights they’d like to forget.  And Puopolo just couldn’t break clear.  Buddy was back to his Richo best with 3-5.  Burgoyne was quiet and they were smashed in the ruck.  But their winners made the difference.  Slammin’ Sam lead from the front and drove them forward numerous times.  Brad Sewell too.  Cyril was in everything.  And isn’t everything he does just pure class?  Fair dinkum, you’d hang-glide down from Mount Buffalo to watch him play wouldn’t you?

The Crows just wouldn’t go away.  They kept coming back at the Minor Premiers.  They eroded the scoreboard cushion The Homeside had built up with a goal on the ¾ time siren to – you guessed it – Big Tex from outside the paint.  Patrick Dangerfield showed why he’s wearing the sacred # 32 for Adelaide.  He couldn’t have done any more as The Chardonnays stormed home in a do-or-die effort in that desperate Final Stanza.  Only a burst of Riolli Brilliance saved Hawthorn’s bacon.  But That’s The Way They Play At Hawthorn.

For all those Free Settlers who sneer at those hardy souls who built the roads and the viaducts, you were beaten by a side that has a convict past.  They really did get out of gaol on Saturday night.

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

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. Earl O'Neill says:

    Love the movie, kid, let’s do lunch.

  2. Buddy may have scored 3.5 (not counting Out on the Fulls) but he did directly assist 4 other goals, so happy with his input.

    As the Hawks know all too well from the run of losses to the Cats, you have to beat a good side for 120 minutes and the Crows couldn’t keep up their good efforts the whole game through. They looked good and will get better.

    The Hawks had an off day, I mean night, I mean twilight and it’s hard to imagine they’ll put in two poor efforts in a row. They’ll be back, nerves in check.

    Cheers

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