For The Philosophical Marngrook Fan
And what week it’s been in Footy Eddie. But the biggest news would have to have come from the Bourse. Singlehandedly, the Geelong Football Club has turned the Global Financial Crisis on its head. Gucci & Prada have recorded record sales and the sales through Ladies Accessories have saved both Myers & Henry Jones from receivership. Guess what you’re all getting for Christmas down at Sleepy Hollow.
They said it. Buddy – just to prove they really do take it one week at a time at Ausdoc Oval – told Richo at the end of last week’s Qualifying Final that it was a tough game and they were glad to take the Four Points. Not too sure Lance has caught up with those missing four weeks of his life yet.
Andrew Mackie, talking after last week’s Elimination Final said – “It was really disappointing to go out like that. It’s a little bit shattering”. Would it be fair to say Andrew, that you all feel a little bit pregnant too, down there at Sleepy Hollow?
Keep those Geelong jokes coming in folks. They’re not going to be able to do much harm from where they’re sitting right now.
Were you as surprized as we were that Mick has been appointed senior Coach at Visy Park? What was that? Underwhelmed? Yeah, us too. And talk about being on the ball. He’s immediately picked-up that Juddie needs more help. The new ox eats the grass around the plough that the old ox choked on.
BTW, has anyone else noticed how Mick’s looking more and more like Akka in those TV stills they show over quote from radio? Not sure if Coach Brewery is morphing or it’s a photoshop make-over, but either way it puts a lot of what he says into perspective, eh?
And with apologies to Helen Reddy – the Battle Hymn of the Malthouse.
I am Mickey, hear me roar.
And I’m too young just to store
I have to give my all or lose the plot
On radio I bored
And TV pancake blocks my pores
I sure as hell deserve the bloody lot
Oh yes I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I’ve gained
If I have to I can do anything
I am strong
I am invincible
I am Mickey M
I’ve hoisted all those pennants
Now’s time to do my penance
But it won’t be on the house, believe you me
Give me one last shot at fame
I’ll put someone in the frame
Sticks prays it will be him, if it is it won’t come free
I am Mickey watch me slide
See me standing side by side
My pension put on hold until the flag
I’m in this for the ride
So with nowhere else to hide
I’ve got three good years to fill my bag
And how about Bob Wiley, Mick’s Captain at Punt Road in his one and only Premiership as a player? He’s prepared to leave a lucrative – or was that highly lucrative – lighting business in Perth and shift his family to the World’s Most Liveable City just as the mining boom peters out. And he’ll do it for the same money as his self-image reflects. Now in anyone’s book, you’d have to call that a sacrifice. Maybe not for The Jumper – maybe not for The Giffer. Let’s see what more unfolds as Mick builds his team, but is anyone out there getting the feeling they’re being taken for a ride around at Optus Oval?
If you were ever harbouring doubts as to what Mick was about, harbour no longer. He told Jon Pierik in Thursday’s Sage that If we’d won the 2011 premiership with Collingwood, (who’s we here Mick? Are we to presuming the royal we are we Mick? – Ed) I’m not sure what my mindset would have been in relation to taking on the Blues’ job. If it had happened and I’d seen it as a destination, that would have been it for coaching. Obviously, it didn’t and I haven’t. No further questions Your Honour.
It’s a bit early, but we can have a peak into the 2012 time capsule. Did anyone else get Jack Riewoldt for the Coleman? And The Coach Most Likely? We went for Rattz, and only missed out by a couple of weeks. We’ve got The Family Club for The Flag and Little Gazza for the Brownlow, with Trent Cotchin as the dark horse.
There’s going to be a lot said about Quinten Lynch getting off to play this round against Collingwood. And so there should. This column usually takes a very tongue-in-cheek view of events, but this time we are deadly serious. By any application of kinesis, the snarl on Lynches face was unconditional savage. The side on camera shows a deliberate launch with both knees cocked and eyes were looking straight at the small of Scott McMahon’s back. Check out the footage. He launched himself and twisted his body to make sure he delivered maximum damage. It was one of the ugliest and most brutal acts I’ve seen, on or off a football field. (Dermie was a gentleman by comparison, and Mopsy Fraser was always facing you when he went berserk – Ed) it was every bit as sickening as Barry Hall’s king hit on Brent Straker – for which he received seven weeks. So what do we get from Adrian Anderson’s oh so elegant point score compendium? One week! One week that is subsequently appealed – successfully. There was a token gesture of an attempt to spoil and every attempt to hurt, even injure. How any right-minded panel could let it go at a week, then change their mind at the behest of the player’s club is beyond rational thought. Why the fury? Google the name Beau Vernon.
And if you think A. Anderson and the cowards at the Tribunal are going to be the runaway winners of this year’s Fevola Award, think again. Named after one of The Games finest flawed geniuses, the award is reserved for those who bring The Game into disrepute. What has unfolded here is more than that. It eats at the very fibre of what we believe in. Make no mistake, this was a cowardly act. The umpire who didn’t pay at least a 50m penalty in front of the ranting mob that passes for football fans over amongst the hummocks was equally cowardly. As for what has unfolded at the tribunal – we can only guess at their motives. Everyone involved in this travesty should hang their heads in shame. They deserve, and should receive, the scorn of everyone who loves Our Great Game, the values it embodies, and the rite of passage it provides to our young men & women. And that goes for the West Coast Eagles for having the audacity to appeal the decision
But we feel we’ve found this year’s Fevola Medallist. If you tipped it would be the Appalling Football League, you were on the money. The mix up with the draw for the last fortnight of The Finals beggars belief. This is a $1.25b business remember. And the CEO gets over two mill per. The Hawks clawed their way to the top after a slow srart to the season, and without doubt deserve to be playing on the Friday. The Family Club has been nice about it and said we’ll play on the Saturday, but make it Saturday arvo. So what do the mentally challenged gnomes in the bowels of Jellymont House do? That’s right, they schedule it for 5.15 on the Saturday evening. Now I ask you, what sort of time is that – for TV viewers, for ticketholders, and most of all – the players and coaches? Fair dinkum, this Appalling Football League couldn’t run a cold bath. The worthy winner of this season’s Fevola Medal is the Appalling Football League for making The Senior Code and the National Game an administrative laughingstock.
But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going through after Week II.
The Pride of South Australia v The Ever So Dangerous Dockers tonight on Crow Park. The Anchormen surprised us all last week. They not only beat The Reigning Premiers, they dismantled them. The finger pointing amongst some of The Cats would have been more appropriate at a year nine sleepover. Can The Anchormen swing the pick again, this time in the Shadows of Mount Lofty? Why wouldn’t they? There are some SOTG who believe that Fremantle have played their Grand Final. It would have given Roscoe a certain amount of personal satisfaction to knock Geelong out of The Finals, but that was only a stopover. They’ll have regrouped and readied themselves for the next challenge.
Those same SOTG who are of the thought that Freo have shot their bolt are also of the belief that Adelaide will rebound. Around here in the Wrapcave we’re not so sure they even have a bolt. They’ve got a couple of outstanding midfielders in Thompson & Dangerfield, and a dominant ruckman in Jacobs. A couple of key forwards and at least one really class crumber. So where were they last week? And if they can be taken out one week, why can’t they be taken out the next? You can look around the ground and talk about match-ups, but we all know this Game’s played in the head. But one thing that should be said, the crowd at The G last week for the Elimination Final was not much more than you’d get down at Kardinia Park when the new stands are finished, and they sat there in stunned silence five minutes after the opening bounce. That was the end of the HGA*. The Rabid Adelaide Mob may not prove so submissive.
But what’s going to give them something to howl about? Iconic Zac may be many things, and one is underrated. Rossy Lyon doesn’t underrate him, that’s why he told him Freo was the way to go. In return, the Iconic Marvel carries out the tasks his coach & mentor sets him. He’ll make Tippett earn every shot on goal. And Johnno Johnson will take out the Mullet. That leaves the Dolphin as the third prong of the Crow’s attack. He was all at sea last week, and every effort will made to make sure he stays out there. At the other end, Mundy, Hill, Mayne, Ballantyne, Walters & Pavlich all played their role last week, and as a forward line, had a touch of class about them. And it would have to be said, the Adelaide backline looks stronger when Graeme Johncock’s name is in the starting XVIII.
Both 1st Rucks are pure class, and fair dinkum, you’d jump The Ghan down from Oodnadatta just for the centre bounces. The Chardonnays rely on fast ball movement and long bombs into Kurt & Taylor. The Bloods showed how this game could be nullified. And it became obvious that The Crows had no Plan B. Students of The Game will be by now pumping their hands in the air to tell teacher that Rossy Lyon comes from the same coaching school as John Longmire. And they would be right.
Whether The Ravens can come up with an alternative style of play in a week is debatable. And herein lies the tale. Plan A has served them well through the soft draw. Many SOTG have even gone as far as to say that they fell into the Top Four, and the Double Chance that sees them fronting up again this week. As for The Stevedores, they’ve been building their systems and plays all year, the turning point probably was when they won in Melbourne against The Tigers, who at that stage were coming off wins against two of the two assured Preliminary Finalists, and hadn’t lost their Self Belief. In fact it could be said that the two teams passed on the stairs. (Are you going to make up your mind Wrap? We’re running out of ink here and the Copy Boy’s fallen asleep – Ed) Okay, okay. The Wharfies to roll their sleeves up and deny The Chardonnays any easy football, while at the same time opening their own forward line to create opportunities. The Dangerous Dockers To Send The Crows Down Below.
Collingwood v West Coast on The Sacred Turf on Saturday night. The Bagmen have The Pies as lukewarm favourites for this one. But then those odds are, in reality, set by the Mug Punters; and where they place their hardearned is not always judiciously considered. Collingwood put up a tremendous fight last week, but they were overwhelmed in the 2nd Half. Overwhelmed by a superior side with greater stamina and, not only better ball skills, but also more courageous and thoughtful use of the Pigskin. And herein lies the tale of Carringbush this season. They seem torn between moving the ball goalwards Via The Cape and venturing out into the open savannah. It must be said, they look good chipping around the boundary. (They should, they’ve had 11 years of practice – Ed) And while they won a Flag doing it, that game’s been worked out. It burns up a lot of calories and they are too easily corralled.
But it’s more than that. They just aren’t consistently creative. Too many stats for too little scoreboard damage; Swan the main culprit. And which Gippsland Delilah took to Daisy Thomas’ hair with the Just For Men hair colouring stick? As an afterburner that’s supposed to rocket through the tired opposition defenders, Substitute Diddums Didak looks more like a Gypsy Moth at a country air pageant sign writing a marriage proposal to a local belle. Okay, so we’re being a bit tough on Carringbush, but their record speaks for itself. They finished 4th with 16 wins and six losses. Two of those losses came in the last three home & Away Rounds, and they only won against Sydney & St Kilda by narrow margins in the two matches before that. But even more telling may be their percentage. Let’s examine that, and the implications associated with it. If Ladder Position was decided on percentage Collingwood would have narrowly scraped into the Eight at 7th, 0.79% above Freo. For crying out loud, Richmond finished with a percentage of 111.63 and they won 10, lost 11 and drew one. (So that’s established Wrap, Collingwood are pretenders – Ed) Of course, they can always fall back on the good old GAD myth. It helps keep the Monochrome Army at the ready, pulls the punters through the gates and keeps The Bagmen in Cohibas y Montecristos. So let’s presume they find their mojo, Cloke turns in another blinder, Dawes remembers how to play the game, and the Skipperless defence can stem the tide. So who are they playing? OMG! You’re pulling my leg aren’t you Nurelle. Not Quinten Lynch & The Animals?
Okay, lets see how we can mount a case for Carringbush. Jolly & Dawes – they’ll have to use Dawes in the ruck because they’ve lost Maxwell to the Star Chamber – versus Big Cox & Nick Nat Nui. Concede. Cloke et al? They could break even here; even cause some headaches if they get peddling now. The midfield? An arm wrestle. If The Pies are fired enough, and on their game, they could have the edge here. As long as they can second-guess Cox & NickNat. The Carringbush defence? A gill net across a spillway would have more hope of stopping Darling, Lynch, Kennedy, Embury & NickNat. And yes, Ward Rooney has light winds and has promised that any showers will be over by the morning. We ask you, Harry O on Kennedy? Are you having a laugh Bucks? Are you having a laugh Son? Two things: they’ll have to go the punch, and they’ll have to pressure the quality and the quantity of the supply into the Coasters’ forward line. And you’d better explain to them what you mean by the punch Bucks. Not sure that Maxie got what your meant last week. Oh, and then they’ll have to win the spillages from the grounded ball. A few rosaries wouldn’t go astray either. Make that a few dozen rosaries.
Look, they’re not without a chance, but if you’d backed them with anything more serious than Monopoly money you’d have to be as nervous as a nudist at a flea circus. The Wrap Loungeroom will be Monochromatic in décor for the occasion – that’s a given – and the dog will be wearing his number 13 Black&White body warmer (You don’t have a dog Wrap – Ed) but we just can’t see The Pies being able to stem the tide in this one.
Good tipping and even better punting.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.
* HGA – Home Ground Advantage Jimbo.