THE PRE WRAP – ROUND XVI
FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL MARNGROOK FAN
What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie. There sure has been a plague of this Repute going around. Melbourne nightclub proprietor & poky baron, Chris Judd, is unable to play for his Beloved Bluebaggers for four weeks because he’s become ill with it. And The Culture Club has suffered some brand damage because of it too. (You’d really think that anyone sporting a club scarf was a photo opp for those St Seaford ambassadors wouldn’t you? – Ed) Then it was Jack Ziebell’s turn. His over imbibing of The Shinboner Spirit defence didn’t hold up and he also scored a four week holiday.
And speaking of defences, how lame can you get? How about these arguments made as part of the Judd defence? (Silks must get paid piece work rates by the defence argument – Ed) Our client was trying to prevent Adams handballing. We’ve all seen the footage. Harry Houdini couldn’t have got the pill out of that tackle. When he realized Adams was vulnerable he let go. He let go when no less than three North players, realizing exactly what the Carlton Captain was up to, shoved him into the ground. The North player’s body movement led to the awkward positioning of the arm he, Judd, had by the wrist. With Carrazzo pinning him to the turf, Adams was lucky to be able to breath. Then, to not only bring OUR GREAT GAME into disrepute, but the integrity of the legal profession and the intelligence of the Football Public, Judd’s defence team ran with the absurdity that their client had no idea that Adams had a pre-existing shoulder injury. Not paying attention at team meetings Christopher? Or are we too busy polishing the brass nameplate at Raheen or adding up our off field earnings to attend? Either way, it grants you a very special status: you must be the only person in the Football Universe that didn’t know that under Adams’ heavy shoulder strapping was an unstable shoulder joint.
And there’s been conflicting talk of casting the first stone, and stripping Judd of his Fairest & Best Medals. Let’s deal with the latter first. In the old days, the likes of Ronald Dale & Captain Blood accepted that they’d never be honoured with a Brownlow. It wasn’t what they played for. They left that stuff to the Show Ponies and the Absolute Stars of The Game. Since Dipper got his, it didn’t seem to matter anymore, who got it, just as long as they weren’t rubbed out during the year. And the rationale of giving votes to players who have been suspended earlier in the season beggars belief; but that’s another story.
As for casting the 1st stone. Mopsy Fraser could have, and so could have Lenny Pascoe, Dermie & Bluey Shelton. All mad dogs on the Footy Field, but none was ever accused taking advantage of a downed opponent. If you copped it from them, you saw it coming. True, usually at the last moment, but that’s the way it was played back then. And there’d be plenty of other hard nuts standing in the queue with a yonnie in each hand. (You ever see that footage from a rain-soaked Western Oval Wrap? The piece in which Mr Football rubs mud into an opponent’s face? All in good fun, of course. Vintage EJ – Ed) The saddest thing about this character blemish, is that there’s no need for it. No advantage to be gained that, using his Brownlow Medal-winning skills, can’t be achieved in an open and fair contest.
Been down to the Eastern Beach café precinct lately? It’s worth a visit. More turn around than a boot scooting convention. It only seemed like yesterday that you could start a brawl by even hinting that those Krazy Kats from Sleepy Hollow weren’t the Greatest Team Of All. To suggest that there was even the slightest chance they wouldn’t be on the Sacred Turf contending for this year’s September Glory on The Last Saturday would draw charges of heresy and a collective nod toward the bonfire they were saving for Guy Fawkes Day. Now the buzzword down at The Cattery is Re-building*. A fortnight’s a long time in Football, eh?
In fact this piece of contrition arrived in the mailbag from a BLC** down in Cadel Country. Yep, it’s undeniable now. I think we can close the book on this particular era of the GFC now. They may pull one or two out of the bag against the remaining top eight teams come the end of season, but I think that’s the best we can expect. Hats off to Stevie J for keeping the faith this season. Hardest working player on the field and one his best career efforts trying to keep the fabric of the team to together. Vintage players Chappy, Scarlo, Enright, Kelly, Bartell, Wojinski, Hunt all look slow and just don’t have the pep (nor the back-up) they once had. Christianssen, Stokes, Motlop, Harry Taylor and Mackie are really the best hope being the mid-career players with some finals experience trying to keep things rolling along into future seasons. Pods looks like he’s had his fun and it was a good run while it lasted, but it may be time to hang up the boots come end of August. Hawkins simply needs to be sent to Siberia until he can prove himself worthy again – piss poor season and has let the team down badly. West and the rest of the kittens are just work in progress. From reality do big things grow.
Our Ammo Stringer has passed on the whisper that The Carey Fairies are up and about this weekend. Apparently all roads lead to the West Essendon Snake Pit as The Panthers take on The St Bernard Hounds in a Season Defining Match. SOTG will recall that this is the ground on which The Panthers won the C Grade 2008 GF that launched them upwards and onwards to A Grade. The Fairy Faithful are confident that a win here will be the first step in the journey to a Fairy Tale finish. With Julian Rowe showing the cracking form that made his name a by-word at the Preshil Football factory – beware of the Prancing Panther.
Talking about The Game That’s Played Around The World – our Hong Kong Stringer tells us we’d be impressed with the amount of Aussie Rules played in the Autonomous Economic Zone. Darren Flanagan takes the Auskick and they have hundreds of kids involved. They had three teams in an interclub play-off only a few weeks back. (Didn’t DF play in that Notorious 1989 GF against Dermie & The Hawks? – Ed) The Dragons have three senior teams and they face off against The Macau Lightning & The Guangzhou Scorpions. The word is keep your eye on The HKG Reds & The Blues. But let’s hear it for the Vikings – coached by none other than Credit Suisse’s Andy Mellor – these over-35ers gather every Saturday to work up a thirst for the five matches they get beamed into the Colony over the weekend. Not quite sure what Andy means though when he says the wives just love it! Is it the testosterone-free liberty the games offer, the quality time with the kid, or the matches themselves that they enjoy Boys?
Are we alone in losing interest in what’s happening on Le Tour? What with druggies, poisoners & saboteurs, it’s starting to lose it’s meaning for many. First it was tacks in Cadel’s tyres, then a mysterious tummy wog. All too much of a coincidence for some punters.
Mark Webber rolls out the Red Bull for the Deutschland Grand Prix on the Hockenheim Circuit, but we have to wait for Casey to get himself set up for the US event late in July before more of that saga unfolds.
For those who have always contended that the To & Froms couldn’t run a cold bath, we’re sorry we ever doubted you. So will every anarchist & drum beater around the Globe. Watch this space. Plenty of water to flow under London Bridge before this one’s a distant memory.
Breaking News – Phommy Disease hits Londinium. The transport union has decided to strike. As we said, we’re sorry we ever doubted you.
But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be around and seen in this big big big Round XVII
The Pivotonians v The Dons at the Home of Corporate Football tonight. Boy is this a big one? The Handbags have been less than Prada Perfect this year, and some of the Sleepy Hollow Faithful are even talking the R word. But let’s not give up on them just yet. They’re a proud mob down there at the Bottom End of The Bay and with North waiting to grab their spot in The Eight, you can expect nothing but an all out effort. Stevie J is firing on the ball. Chappy, while certainly not his devastating self, will cause plenty of headaches close to goal. The Big Tomahawk has had a horror season, after promising so much at the end of the last. He’ll lift, and with Motlop & Stokes lurking, they can kick a winning score. They’ll miss Christensen, but The Marshmallows have half their list in moonboots. Can they hold Essendon to a losing score? The Pundits & The Bagmen have installed them as lukewarm favourites. The Bombers have gone for height; they all ready have plenty of pace. Something Geelong aren’t over endowed with. If the ball comes in quickly, The Moggies will need their defenders to be on their best behaviour. This sort of removes the option of swinging Harry Taylor down into attack if Big Tom has an attack of the Richoes. Look, we can’t split them. The Saints shot down The Gliders a fortnight ago; their first monstering all season. Maybe, just maybe, the limited team list is starting to tell out at Whingy Hill. We’re going for the hard bodies and Civic Pride to get The Hoopers across the line in an absolute thriller. But don’t bet on it.
Carringbush v The Mayblooms on the Big Stage on Saturday arvo. Another toughie, and a Place in The Sun at stake here. Win and the Leafblowers will be roaring across The Leafy East and the Waverley Foothills. If other outcomes fall their way they’ll be standing astride The Table. But first they have to accept that Collingwood have ambitions of their own. Nurelle picked up on the point that The Pies had shuffled the side that beat The Pussies by five goals. Buckley & Clarke out for Seedsman & Young. Then there’s the matter of Cloke’s commitment. Not to mention his form. Gibson will frustrate the life out of him, and that may force Bucks to moved Tarrant back into the attack. Having him taking shots on goal from wing half forward is something the Hawthorn defence won’t mind. They attack from the last line, and that’s exactly where Tazza’s drop shorts are going to land. The Mustard Pots can match it with the star studded Monochrome midfield, and they’ve have found a place for Schoenmakers at CHF. With Roughie enjoying having the goalsquare to himself, Cyril & Puopolo at the fall of the ball, they won’t be outscored. It’s going to be a toughie, but with The Glenferrie Oval Bandwagon Tickets arriving in the mail this week, we’re going for The Leafblowers.
The Pride of South Australia v The High Flying Eagles in The Shadows of Mt Lofty at the Traditional Time. The Chardonnays have brought in rested players from their Skoda Stadium holiday. The Coasters have drooped three, bringing back Lynch, Waters & Hams. This one is easier than it looks. It will be the 3rd week running The Eagles have been soaring. When you spend that much time soaring just to get the venue you’d have to wonder how much soaring they’ve got left in them on match day. The Free Settlers will miss Walker in the goalsquare, but The Porpoise will make up for his absence, and they still have Tippett to take a big grab. The Mighty Adelaide Crows for us here in the Wrapcave. And if you need to take a financial interest in this fluid round, this is as sure as it’s going to get at $1.45.
The Metermaids v The Lions up on the Metricon tomorrow evening. The Sunbeams will know they’re not playing Richmond this week. The Maroons have been there abouts for a few weeks now, and although they’ll miss Daniel Rich, they shouldn’t have any trouble with The Team Who Never Says Die. And if you’re worried about The Weagles springing an ambush over in the City of Churches, this may be the investment strategy for you. At $1.33 they’re better than the banks.
The Kennel Coughs v The Miseries on the Shifting Sands of Docklands tomorrow night for the Channel Kerry free to air broadcast. This one is probably the toughest of the lot. The Rattzbaggers are in total disarray. That old bald guy whom they brought in to bolster the midfield is on sabbatical for four weeks, and their key power source, The Kreuzer, is out injured, again. Their attack looks the poorer for the loss of Walker, likewise their defence for the loss of Henderson, again. Then Lucas is out as well. How long do we have to hear about the queue outside the medical Room at Visy Park? Are we alone in noting the serial offenders in the line? They bounced back against Collingwood, can they do it against The Heartwormy Bulldogs? They had Judd & Kreuzer on the paddock that night, and the Whole Football World watching. So, let’s look at how The Sons of The West can salvage something from their 1st season under Coach McCartney. Dropping the likes of Hargreaves might send a message; regaining Veszpremi and Giansiracusa might help as well. But it’s the likes of Grant, Pearce & Austin that have to step up to the plate. Will they? Who knows. The Doggies have been whipped so many times this season, you’d have to wonder if they had any fight left in them. Make no mistake, they have the personnel to win this one against the under manned Silvertails, but we’re sticking with The Tails. Carlton, but wouldn’t be at all surprized if the Yap Yaps throw off their kennel cough and ran off with the butcher’s bangers.
The Fuchsias v The Power from Port up in the Top End tomorrow night. The battle of the Cellar Dwellers. The Tealers have won twice as many games as their opponent – that’s two more. For The Redlags this one looks like it’s too far, too many outs, too little Self Belief. We’re going for The Power for no other reason than they have shown some fight this season. But again, no investment is necessary here.
The Tinseltowners v The Feeling Faints at Moore Park Road on Sunday for the early one. The Saints regain Goddard, Milera & Steven. Not a bad boost, eh? The Swans have all their options open. The Seagulls knocked off Sydney in Round IX. They are quite capable of doing it again. In fact when you look at their form they’re not travelling too badly. Only North, The Hawks & West Coast have given them a dusting, and they’ve been outlasted in a couple of close ones. (GTWTCO Wrap – Ed) Their last three runs have been city wins, but this one’s up where they race the wrong way round. And that, we feel, is going to be their undoing. The Bloods are coming off a Famous Victory, but also a trans- Nullarbor road trip. It will be a ripper game, and Drew Morphett’s got the call on 774. We’ll stick with The Homeside, mainly because they’re such a disciplined outfit and understand the value of getting off on the right foot. Be prepared for surprizes, and the $3.15 is tempting if you’re a sucker for shiny odds, but there’s better value going around.
Struggletown v The Shinboners at THOF on Sunday Arvo. The Tiges were only saved from a rolling headline this week by Rebecca Twigley’s better half dominating the news bulletins. Their performance over the last few weeks has been lamentable, culminating in their fatal lapse of concentration up in Cairns. There’s talk that it may have cost them a Finals Berth. SOTG will tell you this is arrant nonsense. Any one of the losses to Freo, Essendon, Geelong or West Coast has cost them September Action. They’ll be smarting from the shame of giving The Sunbeams their 1st win of the season and their 2nd win in Cairns from promotional away matches. They have The Big Mullet back, as well as Daniel Jackson, Dusty Martin, Brad Miller and Justin Post. And they can play The Game. Ask Sydney & Hawthorn. And won’t Jack be keen to make up some ground on Buddy for The Coleman. They’ll come out of the chute breathing fire, make no mistake. They’re playing a team that has turned its season around. The Norsemen have rolled a couple of September Contenders and knocked of the Highly Fancied Crows. They’re certainly not short of momentum. But how much disruption has the Ziebell Affair caused to their preparation for this winner-take-all contest? Petrie has had the wood on the prospective All-Australian full back in their recent meetings. As have the Roos on The Tigers. Maric is another prospective All Australian, and his tussle with ex-Preshil B&F, Todd Goldstein, will have a bearing on the eventual outcome. Cotchin v Wells will be another one. Captain-in-waiting Trent, has been smeared with a share of the blame for the lapse that saw The Metermaids kick two goals in 90 seconds to steal the unlosable. He’ll be keen to make amends, as will wayward Dusty Martin. It is safer to look into the eyes of The Ghost Who Walks than eyes of XXII Angry Tigers. And at $2.20, Richmond are The Wrap Roughie of The Round.
The Barry Crockers v The Penrith Pygmies over there to wind up proceedings. A slater in a chook house, a snowball in Hell, a sunny winter’s day in Melbourne, a fig leaf in Eden. Take your pick. Then add it to the sentence – Greater Western Sydney have about as much chance as …….
Good tipping and even better punting.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
*Re-build – (transient verb)
- Build structure again
- Restore something
- Make major changes to something
** BLC – Brave Little Catter