The true measure

Stats seem to be the key in the professional footy world right now but quite frankly the sheer amount of gibberish being hammered home of late has turned my mind to jelly. And are they measuring the right thing? It’s all well and good to concentrate on a player’s work rate and inside leg measurement week in week out but on the bus ride over to the SCG on Sunday arvo I figured a bit of self reflection on my own achievements at a game was in order.

Possessions:

Running at a three year best so far this season. The purchase of a flashy supporter’s jacket in Melbourne last week has proved a masterstroke. Yours truly is now looking the part and can be easily identified as a Swans man even in dim lighting in an inner west street without having to lower oneself into lunatic territory by wearing a red wig and white pants. ISC’s clothing sizing still niggle though (XL guernsey, small jacket?) but pulled up OK after a training run round the apartment. Potential trade improvement identified in the form of a new scarf but after a wash the existing one, just like Teddy Richards in defense, proves to be holding up true and strong.

Nerves:

At their normal high level until halfway through the third quarter. Even the prospect of a home game did nothing for the confidence as the rain continued right up to the first bounce. The poor effort against the Saints and the Enemy’s testing of Geelong last week also had the veins jangling. However the inclusion of big Mummy in the ruck and Bolton’s goal two minutes after the first ball up saw the jitter levels drop significantly. The sight of Bolton covered in mud having been in the thick of the pack all afternoon was quite inspiring. Minor spike as Parker was subbed off with what’s now been revealed as a broken collarbone after going to ground with The Enemy.

Disposals inside mouth:

Significantly down on last week’s effort but in the context of the game must be viewed as a positive key performance indicator. The dip can mostly be attributed to a lack of proximity from a fridge of cold I.P.A.’s and a well stocked wine rack but nine goals to one in the first quarter helped immensely. Ditching the traditional plastic tray game plan for a two handed run and carry approach resulted in significantly less spillage up the O’Reilly stand steps. A minor offloading opportunities wasted as the wife knocked over a cup putting the Smiths chips away in the backpack but like our defense there was someone around to mop up and prevent a catastrophe.

Notepad hand-passes:

Happy to report these were down this week. Again a solid effort from the boys resulted in no throwing and less mangling of the notepad. Lewis Jetta however continues to be an exciting and welcome anomaly. His huge third quarter run down the wing in to bang one resulted in a leap to the feet and torn pages. Rhyce Shaw’s run off half back and Reid’s worm burner goal also providing something to delightedly thwack the pad to.

Sheer disbelief:

A constant presence at any Swans game. Normally found to spike late in the forth just as we look like making a comeback but this week reared its ugly head early in the second as Kennedy’s kick out of defense gets ruled deliberate. The sentiment is shared by entire crowd and right up until the third there were calls for deliberate every time The Enemy toed it over the boundary. A nice counter point was Jetta’s physics defying snap from deep in the pocket that bounced through for a major score. However serious questions are still to be answered about the umpires’ allegiance and whether there’s some conspiracy afoot that means we can’t get too far ahead before being pinged.

AARGH’s:

These garbled vocal frustrations at sloppy disposal, missed marks and general poor play were kept to a minimum much like The Enemy’s scoreboard tally. We still don’t look quite the slick marking machine we should be, especially in a contest. Indecision held us back at times and this ‘kick it and hope’ tactic frustrates no end. However the sheer effort put in today swung the scales the right way. Jack, McGlynn and TDL up front were firing and LRT was proving pretty handy too. Minor resurfacing of the AARGH’s early in the forth as our intensity let up a bit and Grundy (who seems to qualify for AARGH of the match, every match) stuffed up and gave away a goal. However thankfully The Enemy was off target and by the final siren we’re firmly in possession of the pill and a 90 point lead.

About Tom Bally

Born in 1834 Tom Bally was instrumental in establishing the rules of the modern game. It's a little known fact and the rare times he talks about it all he'll say is "that bloody Wills chap got me full of grape one night and the next thing I know he's peacocking around Richmond Paddock like he dreamt up the whole thing on his lonesome. Still I got the last laugh didn't I eh? Introducing the Umpire and all that."

Comments

  1. Witnessing the almost feverish nature of Tom’s support for his mighty Swans, it has amazed me how he gets from his notepad of scribble on game day to something that resembles an article to read. You have to see him to beleive what the guy goes through to bring you this insight.
    First of all, he has a “died in the wool” Carlton supporter as a fellow watcher of the great game (less said about that the better at the moment). Someone who gets lost after buying the Footy Record and Tom (with wife in tow), has to wait for him to catch up so he does not get too lost.
    Secondly, we decide whose shout it is at the start of the game and have now got it to a pattern of two beers in the first half and two in the second half, intermingled with a pie and sauce close to half time.
    The scribbling down of notes and verbal comments throughout the game is entertainment in itself. The umpires get a spray constantly and even a Swans player gets some verbage if he misses a kick or lets his opponent get away. His Carlton mate likes to take the side of the opposition most times (quietly) as he cannot bring himself to support the Swans as it would take the fun out of work on Monday morning.
    G

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