THE PRE WRAP – ROUND XIII part 1

FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL MARNGROOK FAN

What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Let’s settle this draw thing once and for all.  This is Aussie Rules.  We play draws and we pay draws.  We play them maybe once or twice a season.  Maybe once every two or three seasons.  It’s not as though we’re having to split a dozen nil-all full time results each weekend.  And while we’re on the subject – why did the Ground Management at the G feel impelled to some play nebulous tune over the evacuation of the ground after Monday’s result?  Couldn’t they have left the stunned Fans leave the ground in stunned silence.  There’s something very special about The Draw.  It’s part of life – not getting a definitive result.  It’s a right of passage to experience one.  And for those commercially driven automatons who insist the Fans need a result, need that instant gratification, let me tell you they’ve got one.  After the 120 minutes is up, if the scores are level, the result is a draw.  Now that shouldn’t be too difficult for Hutchy & Quarters, and even Doubtful Thomas, to comprehend, surely.  And if I hear one more word about a penalty shootout I’ll puke all over my Age Beautiful Game lift out supplement.

Which brings us to The Boilover.  Last Friday night’s game, with the Whole Football World watching, Carlton Fans were stunned.  You wouldn’t have seen a more stunned mob of Supporters in The History of The Game.  Did anyone, outside The Born To Rule Cheer Squad, suggest that the two teams hold a kick-off till they produced a result that made The Silvertail Faithful happy?

But if you want to push until you get a kick-off, let’s bring back the place kick.  And the drop kick.  Five designated players from each team have two shots at goal from the 50m arc, one with the place kick, one with the drop kick, from seven station around the arc.  No one defending the goal.

And to say we have to modernize the game to suit modern society – you have to ask just what is modern society – are we talking about the modern society that besieged a trainload of Footy Fans at McKinnon station returning with their families from a Sunday game?

While we’ve got you there Vossy, we’re a bit confused.  We caught your interview on Monday night with Quarters & the Crew.  Had a bit of trouble with some of the wording.  For instance you said The Fev de-commissioned himself for a month, and was just now getting back into full fitness.  It sounded very much like The Fev has been off with the fairies doing his own thing and has just now come back to train with the rest of the Boys.  You don’t think that could be seen as being a bit disruptive do you?  And his fortnight in Adelaide with the groin specialist during the split round – haven’t you got any groin specialists in SEQ?  We’ve been told the Gold Coast was full f them.

The troubles at Alberton Oval intensify as Daniel Motlop seeks the lonely beach, walks along which converted the wild child BBBBarry into Bulldog Barry.  Meanwhile his teammates spend hours in front of the mirror TAGHLAT.  Make no mistake, this is the real Sick Man of The Competition.  reviled by anyone not born in the 5700 post code, and faced with the gentrification of their homeland, The Power From Port is losing It’s Port Adelaide Tradition.  But don’t hold your breath waiting for the Appalling Football League to show any heart.

BTW, what’s all this talk of the Top End humidity?  Just how humid can it be up there during the winter?  They average less than 20mm a month from May to August, with average night temperatures of 22oC, 19oC, 19oC and 20oC for those four months respectively.  The locals play during the Wet when the average temps are over 30oC and the rainfall is measured by the bucket.  How does the thought of moving The Tealers to Darwin appeal?

But it’s not just Port Adelaide that’s down in the dumps. What about the AFL experiment in general?  The Pride of South Australia is, if not a basket case, ready for a total make over.  This leaves the Croweaters without a representative in September.  The Sandgropers have The Dockers carrying the Black Swan banner, and while it may be unfair, and certainly premature to write them off after back-to-back losses, they’re looking a little bit like their old flaky selves.  The Swans have the work ethic and a solid coaching team to feature in September, but not threaten.  Brissy look as though they’ve fired all their 2010 bullets and may not be able to replenish the ammunition locker before September catches them out in the cold.  The question of course is, is it cyclical, or is it inevitable – the cream rising to the top?  A secondary question would have to be – where will you find the cream over the next decade after The Competition has been homogenising by the Appalling Football League in the name of more bucks for the broadcasting rights?

Meanwhile, in Seth Freaking Afrika The Socceroos are going to court over Tim Cahill’s red card.  The court will decide whether Tim Cahill gets rubbed out for one, two or no matches.  It is indeed a beautiful game sir.  Why don’t they just program it and we can all play – reality soccer.  It could catch on.  The original did.  (late news – he got a match – Ed)

Still in SFA – where own goals and penalty shootouts dominate the news it’s been revealed that up in Somalia the Hizbul Islam – an ultra orthodox bunch of groupies if ever there was one – have arrested 30 people for watching the Germany v Australia Game.  It just shows you how wrong these self appointed Knights of Islam have got it.  And while we don’t wish to detract from the frightful plight of the detainees, the holy messengers should have arrested the whole Australian team and its coach.

And just to prove how Australian soccer is becoming, one hiding and, in true Aussie style, they want to sack the coach.  But there could be something in it.  Kim Jong-Ils held The Brazilians to a scoreless 1st half and only conceded two goals in the 2nd.   They even clawed one back – which you’ll have to admit was a supreme effort.  Then, when New Zild goaled against Slovakia the embarrassment was total.

But the real embarrassment lies with Mal Brown.  Stupid or stubborn?  Who knows?  (And is there a difference? – Ed)  But poor old Mal just can’t work out how to change the calendar on the wall.  It’s 2010 now Mal.  Our values & our sense of humour have moved on since you played over in the Wild West.

There’s a story from Mal’s days at Punt Road.  He arrived in a fanfare and one of the sponsors provided him with a demo Merk to run around in.  Now this is a true story.  Mal locked himself in and had to send a message – pre mobile days –to the club, via a passer by, to come and get him out.  It’s unimaginable today, but back then child locks were only fitted to up-market models.   That’s right, Mal had been fiddling with the buttons and had locked himself in.  At a club renowned for bad calls, mal still holds legendary status at Punt Road.

Here’s one you may find in your next Sporting Trivia night.  Who has been the most successful club in terms of winning game percentage since the 16 Club Competition was introduced in 1996.  The answer was in The Hun during the week.  But if you don’t know it, you’ll be surprised when you find out.  We won’t spoil it for you.  But here’s a clue, if you stopped 100 people going into the MCG tonight and asked them I’ll bet you none of them would get it.  (Unless of course they’d seen the answer in The Hun – Ed)

The latest report on the Socceroos is not comforting.  Harry Kewell is slagging off at the media – and by default – the Fans.  We’ll stop having a go at you and get on your team Harry when youse all stop performing like a mob of sheilas and start playing as though the honour of your country depended on the outcome.

But maybe we should be reading more into Harry’s comments.  And Ronaldo’s too. He reputedly said “I don’t understand the decisions of the referees sometimes.  They are supposed to protect the best players”.  No Ronaldo, they’re supposed to protect all the players.  But maybe we’re a bit too old school around here in Wrapland.

But enough of my gabbin.  We’ve only got five matches this weekend, but there’s some Season Defining Moments in store for several clubs.

The Mayblooms v The Marshmallows tonight on the Hallowed Turf for LITS VI.  The Dons have blown The Squawkers away the last two times these teams met.  Since then The Squawkers have blown off their Premiership Hangover.  They’ve notched five on the Stewie Trott and are talking seriously about the 2nd week in September.  They have regained that old Leafy East Swagger and are back to their Unsociable best.  They’d love to go into the break with a win.  When festivities begin again they have three Top Four Contenders in four matches.  They are in frightingly good form and the image of XVIII harlequin bugs running around a chook house is appearing in the swirling mists of The Wrap Crystal Ball.  The Bombers aren’t without a chance.  They had their 15 minutes of fame last round against The Corio Kittens, but that was it.  Tripper Fletcher on Cyril The Magician will be something to ride your Malvern Star down from the Mt Donna Buang fire spotting tower to catch.  The two Skippers lined up on each other in the middle is another.  And can’t you hear the mutterings from the Whingy Hill Die Hards as they peruse the team list in the butcher shop window –  McVeigh is on the HBF line minding the dynamic Burgoyne instead of on the ball as suggested by Lloydie.  Let’s hope he does the job – for Coach Caretaker’s sake.  If Kim Verbeek thinks he can feel the ground shift beneath his feet on the other side of the Indian Ocean he should try doing the Jacket Waving out at Whingy Hill.  The Bombers look a bit one dimensional in this one.  As they do every week.  They look good with a run-on but fade over the whole 120 minutes.  Hodge is playing superb football and Big Buddy has regained his lust for the game.  The crystal ball is clearing and the harlequin bugs and slaters have disappeared.  All that remains is a flock of satiated chooks wondering where their next meal is coming from.  And at $1.55, The Bagmen have left to door wide open.  Sure, there’s a certain amount of risk, The Bombers aren’t all that bad, but what’s life without a bit of excitement.

The Bluebaggers v The Barry Crockers on the Shifting Sands of Ethelred Stadium tomorrow night.  It’s the Channel Rove game too.  Can The Anchormen regain their momentum?  Will The Silvertails redeem themselves with the paperboys along La Via Lygon?  They should, but if Freo aren’t going to fall off the pace, they’re going to have to win this one.  Both sides were disappointing last week, and the axe has been swung.  Big Laurie should have too much of everything for The Keuzer to handle, whose career BTW is looking very much like another #1 rucking draft pick; one occasionally running around for Carringbush.  The Blues can consider themselves stiff a few times this season.  They’ve lost three games against quality opposition by one or two straight kicks.  But we all know the axiom – GTWTCO – so that must tell us something about the Visy Park Vigilantes.  The Dockers are looking down the barrel of three straight losses.  Both sides will have come to play, and as much as we’d all like to see The Anchormen send The Silvertails Down Below, the echoing voice is whispering Flaky.  If you’re well behind in the tipping you could do worse than take The Barry Crockers, but with both teams OTR we’re going for The Miseries at home.

The Brisbane Lions v The Richmond Tigers under the palms on Saturday night.  The Tiges have lost regular Full Back Kelvin Moore (no relation) but the replacement Thursfield is just as capable.  The Lions unchanged, which, from a side that was belted around the park last week, suggests lack of depth.  All but one of The Lions’ five wins have been at The Gabbatoir.  Three of them over Top Four Contenders, however, that was early in the season, except for the win over Collingwood four rounds ago when Their Season Was On The Line.  They’ve lost Big Jonathon Brown and some of their other playmakers are showing their age.  They come up against The Tiger Cubs, fresh from a good win over Fellow Cellar Dweller West Coast.  SOTG will have noticed a new desire and Self Belief at Tigerland.  They are finding ways to kick goals and young guns Martin & Cotchin have turned the midfield around with a maturity that belies their tender years; and while, Nason, Graham, Vickery, Astbury, Farmer, Connors & Collins may not be household names, they are coming of age quickly under Coach Hardnose & his assistants.  Look, we don’t want to be seen as Tiger Tragics around here in The Wrapcave, but we feel they’ve been underestimated by the Pundits and certainly undervalued by The Bagmen.  And to think we didn’t expect to see The Tiges so generously treated by The Pieman & his co-conspirators so soon after their generous donation to The Wrap End of Season Trip from the Port Adelaide match.  At $2.85 they’re most certainly The Wrap Roughie of The Round.  They were $3.85 earlier in the week so get on quickly before they lose their nerve.

Good Old North Melbourne v The Power From Port at the Boutique Oval for the early one on Sunday.  No changes for The Norsemen; The Tealers lose Ebert, Harlett & Salopek.  You never really know with Port do you?  They might pull one out of their backside, or they might just fade to black.  We’re tipping they’ll fade to black.  The Shinboners seem to be over their horror stretch and back on track.  At $1.37 they look like a good bet, if not necessarily a safe one.  You may wish to look further afield for a temporary repository for the cigarette money.

The West Coast Eagles v The Western Bulldogs at Camp Subiaco for the late one on Sunday.  Woosher and his charges have come under the microscope over in the State of Excitement.  They gave The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires a run for their money a fortnight ago on this oval in front of this crowd.  Used to success, the Eagle Faithful will expect a good showing.  They’ve dropped Jones & Stevenson and lost Nicoski to a crook shoulder.  The Doggies have had to leave Williams behind, but have regained Everett, Hargrave, Reid & their Skipper.  Kennedy & Lake will be an interesting tussle but at the other end, you’d like to think Bulldog Barry would have the measure of the Weagles’ fullback.  Fresh from his master class lesson on Jumping Jack Riewoldt last weekend, Eric “The Eagle’ McKenzie would be on the mandrax for a good night’s rest tonight.  The Kennel Coughs to win, and at $1.37, we believe they have as much chance of beating The Coasters as The Shinboners have of beating The Chokers.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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. Peter Flynn says:

    John,

    Superb as usual.

    For those who don’t know, John is having a half-knee replacement next Thursday.

    Hope the operation and rehab go well.

    PF

  2. John Mosig says:

    Good on you Peter. Don’t forget to check out the bloke in the 1970’s moustache walking in front of the men pulling above their weight banner for me. (I think it was the men pulling above their weight banner) – it might be one of the others)

  3. Peter Flynn says:

    No worries John.

    I’m still trying to get over our ‘mistaken identity’ yesterday.

    PF

  4. John Mosig says:

    We were spot on Pete. No worries, unless he broke down and confessed otherwise about that 50 pot mark.

  5. John Butler says:

    John

    What are they doing with the other half? (Ok, easy for me to laugh)

    Hope it all goes well. I look forward to the just-post-sedation Pre Wrap next week. :)

  6. John Mosig says:

    Other half OK- touch wood.

    Avagoodweekend,

    jdm

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