THE thank god it’s over ROUND
FOR THE PHILOSOPHICAL MARNGROOK FAN
What a week it’s been in Footy Wrappers. At last we can put the Essendon Football Crisis behind us. The penalties seem a bit light. It won’t hurt Shoeless Jim to spend some time with the family, and losing this year’s 1st & 2nd round draft picks, seeing Joe Daniher is as good as three players, won’t hurt that much. But they only drop back to the end of the queue of Round 1 draft picks in 2014. Shoeless was picked up at pick # 79, but champions that late in the draft don’t come down with every peptide.
As for the money, if the 56,187 Bomberland members chuck in an extra $50 on top of their membership fee it would bring in $2,809,350. If half of them, those in a more financially secure situation say, double up, that’s a $4,214,025. A couple of coterie lunches at the Park Hyatt a month @ $10K a table would soon cover any contingencies. Don’t worry about the moolah; those sugar basins out at Whingy Hill are loaded.
And while it’s true that what happened at Melrose Drive was, deliberate, reckless and stupid, not to mention negligent of the club’s reputation and the safety of the players, we’ll all just have to move on. Sadly, as Shoeless has dropped the threat of a legal challenge against the Ayatollah & the Appalling Football League, we’ll never know the truth that he has kept telling us from day 1 would exonerate himself and the club.
That is until he gets around to writing his memoirs during his banishment. Got any ideas for the title Wrappers? How about Don’t Tell Mum I Coach The Bombers: She Thinks I Play Piano In A Whorehouse? Too long? Try The Good Hird then. No? The Hird Instinct? Hirder on The Tullamarine Express – In His Own Hirds – I Hirdius. (Righto Wrap, that’s enough; get back on message – Ed)
Don’t you just love those weasel phrases – like being on message? His Pedanticness uses them a lot. Must make him feel that he’s actually doing something around the place. But sometimes his utterances become positively catalytic; like his admonishment to stay on message. It made us look around to see who else was staying on message. We cheated a bit and joined The Media Scrum loitering outside Jellymont House. It wasn’t a long wait. Drawing attention to the fact that Essendon self reported and eventually pleaded guilty the Ayatollah proclaimed – and with a completely straight face mind you – When you get full cooperation, you must give credit. Now that’s staying on message. (It makes you wonder just how many times he’s rehearsed that line since February – Ed)
Of course there are going to be those Essendon Haters and Club Presidents who feel the penalties, considering the magnitude of what happened out there at Melrose Drive, are not punitive enough. To those unreconstructed tribesmen & women, understand that the ASADA Report is only an interim report. There lurks a possibility that infraction notices could still be served on the players. Being inside the circled wagons would the safest place for the Essendon Footy Club until that that threat has passed.
And don’t think the other codes aren’t having a not so quiet gloat over the predicament the EFC has brought Our Great Game. Spoken to any knuckle dragging cane toads or cockroaches lately?
As the Cootamundra wattles set their seeds and apple blossoms bring a snow-like dusting of white to Melbourne, we fast approach the Award Season. The Wrap judging panel is facing its one of its toughest years yet. The field is narrow, but the competition is fierce. The KRudd Shield for delusional excellence is a neck & neck affair as they swing into the home straight. Shoeless Jim has the inside running but the Ayatollah is pressing him hard.
And just when you though Angry Adrian had the Robbie Flower Medal all but hung around his neck we got this one from Coach Figjam. If my players were being injected, I would want to know about that. And I would want to know what was in the syringes. A bit of old fashioned straight talking indeed. From an old fashioned sort of bloke. We’d like to thing you’re going to be with us for a while Bucks.
But how many Coaches & Boards must been quite happy to slip under the radar while the noise of the scandal drowned out all else? For instance we’ve got several coaches under the spotlight. The Culture Club seems to be haunted by, well, by its culture. Last week’s show of spirit only highlighted how much they depend on the Old Guard, three of whom they’re losing before next season. Their season has been a steady downhill procession after last year’s mediocre effort.
Woosher’s year has been dismal, as has the response of the board. As far as we can judge from here over on the eastern shores of TheWideBrownLand, they’re not too sure what they should be doing about their plight. With The Purple Haze fast becoming the club of choice for those six year olds ready to swear lifetime allegiances, they could do well to avoid becoming The West Coast Jokes. (Or even The West Coast Spangled Drongos – Ed)
But spare a thought for The Kings of The Jungle & those Demonic Redlegs. Not only don’t they have a coach lined up for next season, but when you look around there’s not that much tried 7 tested talent available. Has anyone thought about seeking value in the WAFL & the SANFL? A pity Matty Knights is signed up with The Geelong Falcons. (They’re saying down in Flat Town that The Falcons will soon be the only factory operating around Corio Bay – Ed)
And from where in the name of Tom Wills did this latest itch to expand The Competition spring? The concept is a nonsense at this stage. The Suns are becoming competitive, but are still brittle. The Giants are struggling. In the meantime, four crops of the best talent in the land lie buried in these Football wildernesses. (10% of the population of Australia live in Greater Western Sydney – Ed) So where are they on match day Oh Great Pruner of Prose? Stop this talent drain and allow time for The Experimental Teams to put down roots before we compound what could yet turn out to be a well meaning but poorly thought through idea.
But the one that has us tossed is the Appalling Football League’s obsession with slowing down The Game to increase its continuity. They’ve capped the interchanges at 120 during match time. Can anyone please explain how slowing it down is going to increase its continuity? If all things are equal, hoe is it going to reduce the scrums & mauls? And aren’t they part of what The Game is about: a test of manhood under extreme conditions? We thought that thinking would have departed when Angry Adrian cleaned out his desk. If they really want the pace taken out of the contest they could always start paying free kicks for holding-the-man & incorrect disposal. That would bring it back to the pace of an England innings.
And around here deep in the Wrapcave, we’re still pondering how, given that most of the Bombers had more needle holes than a pincushion, nothing ever registered on ASADA’s Richter scale. Not even a blip. Yet a kid sucks on an over-the-counter energy drink and the needle flicks up immediately into the red. (Nothing showed up on Lance Armstrong’s test results either – Ed)
So the Essendon Football Crisis has signed up Shoeless Jim for another two seasons at – did we hear that right? – a reported $800K per. (The Dick Reynolds Coterie would get that in the hat over a couple of lunches Wrap. It’s not a lot of money up at that end of town – Ed) Agreed Oh Worldly Word Watcher, but it wasn’t actually the money that caught our eye. It was the indecent haste with which the announcement of the contract was forthcoming. This has been an extremely grubby event from whoa to go and no one involved in its machinations has come out of it with clean hands. No one. You’d think this was time to let the Football Public absorb, even indulge themselves in, the Whingy Hill Remorse before having its endless defiance flung back in their face. (You saying those gold earrings are going to be melted down again this time next year Wrap? – Ed)
(This whole thing’s really getting to you isn’t it Wrap? I’m glad you weren’t outside Wilful Jim’s Toorak Mansion on Wednesday when he told the gathered throng when they challenged him whether he’d broken the rules. Not at all. I didn’t break the rules. Those charges have been dropped. He then proceeded to walk from Point Ormond to the Point Cook. In a direct line – Ed)
Don’t worry Ed, we have suspected all season that when this scandal broke, everyone involved made their first call to their media adviser before calling their lawyer. The thing that has impressed us most here in Wrapland is the robust intellect of the average Footy Fan. No one outside a fanatical bunch of unreconstructed Bomberland Zealots have fallen for one word the media advisors have spun. Those involved in running The Game take note.
And another thing. How does Essendon finish Glorious 9th? That’s right, ninth. Not stripped of points and sent straight to the bottom of The Ladder. Where they’d proudly hold aloft the Coveted Sylvan Shield. Where they would displace GWS. So how does that sit with The Bagmen? They would have taken some adventurous investments on The Flying Syringes finish stone motherless. As well as holding some risk-averse money on The Giants of The West. (Did you know 10% of Australians live in Greater Western Sydney Wrap? – Ed) You’ve covered that Oh Dappled Dispenser of Diatribe. So what do you say to those punters who took The Weight Watchers to be stripped of points & relegated to 18th? Unfair? You’d reckon. How was it determined thus? You tell me and we’ll both know.
But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who is going to filled with glee after Round XXIII.
The Bloods v The Mayblooms at Moore Park Road tonight. The Swans will start without Shaw, Smith, Hannebery & Lamb. (And Jetta, Goodes, Reid & The Hyphen) The Hawks will start without Rioli, Guerra & Sheils. They bring in Lewis, Poppy & Duryea against Sydney’s Cunningham, B. Jack, Bolton & Biggs; the latter for his debut. Steak & Kidney are coming off a road trip & a belting. The Mustard Pots have strung together three solid wins since The Tigers gave them a seven-goal football lesson in round XIX. Little Tommy has The Visitors at $1.45, which is about right. The Leafblowers are being tuned to roar in September. Then there’s the matter of revenge for last year and the need to stamp authority on September. The Squawkers impressively. And never mind the risk; there’s heaps of value in Little Tommy’s offer.
The Feeling Faints v The Purple Haze under cover. The Haze have gone a bit cheeky. Or is that arrogant? The Sainters may be in a re-build of the re-build phase, but they’re sending three soldiers to Valhalla tomorrow and showed that there’s still a pulse beating down along Eel Race Road. Where going to grab a healthy bucketful of that $2.25 the bagmen are pumping out. We reckon there’s enough incentive down at Seaford to make Ross Lyon pay for his insult. That’s right Wrappers; The Mighty Junction Oval Seagulls are the Wrap Roughie of The Round.
The Pivotonians v The Maroons at the traditional time down at Cat Central. A Brisbane win and a Carlton loss would see the Boys From Old Fitzroy playing finals this year. If that doesn’t put it into perspective for you, let’s point out that The Moggies are playing at home in front of the Flat Town Faithful, they’ve won all but four of their matches this season, and they’ve won their last three matches by an average of seven goals. The Lions have sacked their coach in controversial circumstances & won 10 games all year. Put the money you got for from your redundancy payout on The Handbags at $1.04. Even the Sleepy Hollow Millionaires couldn’t blow this one.
The Power From Port v The Miseries in the gathering gloom under the Shadows of Mt Lofty. Oh dear, of dear, of dear. Flushed with their outstanding effort to make it into September with 10 wins, they’re faced with the challenge of finding Football Park. They’re without Brock Mclean & Duigan but have regained The Kreuzer, Gartlett and Walker. The Tealers are looking near full strength and raring to play in their first September Series since The Pussies dismantled them back in 2008. The Bluebaggers could shake the tree a bit here, but it’s highly unlikely they’ll creare any windfall. That Old Port Adelaide Aggression to take the day. The $1.85 is well worth a smallish investment.
The Club That Dare Not Speak Its Name v The Striped Marvels on the Big Stage for Saturday night’s Schadenfreude. Jumping Jack is out injured, Shane Edwards is out suspended. In comes Tuck & Big Stephenson. Tuckie has announced this will be his last season. He retires from Elite Competition without the elusive decorations for which one so dedicated to The Game hungers. But he takes with him accolades every young kid could aspire to: Favourite Son & Loyal Servant of The Club. There is no higher honour. Vale Shane; ride off into the sunset knowing you’ve brought honour to the # 21 of Mopsy Fraser & Neil Balme. There’s a couple departing Bomberland as well. Both Favourite Sons & Loyal Servants of the Club. The Man Mountain Hill & Nathan Don’t You Lovett Murray. There wouldn’t be a SOTG who hasn’t been uplifted by any number of Man Mountain’s clunk goals from outside the paint. Or one of NLM’s fearless dashes & clearing kicks off halfback. Vale both, you have served the colours faithfully. The result? Richmond are going to do to Essendon what the Invertebrates around at Jellymont House failed to do. And that’s belt the living suitcase out of them. Eat ‘em Alive Tigers! And Spit Out The Bones.
The Western Spotted Tom Tits v The Lesser Lambs’ Eye Pickers over there on Saturday night. The Battle of the Disillusions looms small. The Tommies – or is that The Titties? - have brought in Andrew Embley for his farewell game. A veteran and Premiership Player, he ranks amongst the Loyal Servants of The Game & The Club. We’re tipping that The Boys will show enough spirit to do it for the Gipper this time around, before they bury their dead and evacuate their wounded for Season 2013. The Free Settlers, playing out this meaningless charade of a contest far from home, hang up their Guernseys after a forgettable season. A season that started badly and imploded when Big Tex was subbed out for the year. Vale WCE & The Pride of South Australia for 2013.
The Sunbeams v The Orangemen on the Metricon Ride for the early Sunday match. The Suns should finish with eight wins and out of the Cellar. Next season is their crunch season. Break out or bust. The Orangemen start their presence in the AFL next season. It’s fair to say Coach Mumbles’ tenure hasn’t been a screaming success. Lots of 1970s rhetoric, but directed at Gen Y sensibilities it didn’t seem to resonate. There’s a string feeling that Buddy has sold his soul, and that may help lift the spirits of 0.178% of the 2.2 million people living in Greater Western Sydney. But apart from that, Breakfast Point remains a Melways’ reference.
The Woodsmen v The Shinboners on the People’s Ground for the middle Sunday match. If North win & Carlton lose, both distinct possibilities, The Roos go into September lined up against a team they’ve had the wood on for quite some time now. A delicious prospect. Based on percentage and some of the footy they’ve have played throughout the year, they really deserve to be in the finals. But then again – GTWTCO. Can they pull off the impossible dream on Sunday? The Pies can be exposed by a fast outside running side with tall forward power. And The Kangas have both in spades. Plus the incentive. We’re saying they’ll be bringing two things with them to the contest. A truckload of the Magic Elixir and the Gasometer. As long at they remember which one to throw at the opposition and which one to imbibe they can win. But will they? This one is very much in the lap of the Football Gods and the spirit in the hearts of The Kangaroos, not the spirit in the kegs of doctored OT they’ll be swigging. (Is that what you wanted us to say Brad? – Ed) The Whole Football World would love to see a fairy tale ending for Poor Old North, and we just hope we’re not giving them the kiss of death when we make them the 2nd Wrap Roughie of The Round.
The Bulldogs v The Redlegs on the Shifting Sands to wind up the tales of two clubs. Over the last five rounds The Sons of the Mighty West have won three of their matches, made a fist of it up in Sydney and narrowly lost to Brissy in a thriller up there. Over the same journey The Fuchsias have given their Faithful & their Coaches some of the most insipid football you’d care to cringe for. With a losing average of more than eleven goals they have run up the white flag for season 2013. But they can expect no mercy from The Boys of The Bulldog Breed, who can climb out of The Cellar at The Suns expense with a boost of percentage. The Doggies to set themselves up for Season 2014. For The Demons it’s looking like a return to their heartland unless someone works a miracle on them. And we’re not talking about Casey Fields here either. That other place beckons.
Good tipping and even better punting.
And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.