The View from Shepparton

Went to church yesterday as is my wont every Sunday. Thus I miss out on Insiders and Offsiders every Sunday which is not my want. But just discovered iview. Hallelujah.

Was ushering. Daughter and son in law and 15 year old grand daughter and 12 year old grand daughter identical triplets (which means that at any given time I have one chance in three of of properly identifying them), presented through the door.They came in wearing smiles that split their dials. Whilst  I was trying to usher and maintain some sort of decorum, unsuccessfully as usual, they said to me as one,”What happened to the Lions last night”. What happened to Voss, thought that he was supposed to be a good coach. He was pretty good on the blackboard but in the real world?” They sneered, they jeered, I wondered what had been reared.  I said that I wouldn’t know as I was watching the Storm beat the Broncos (again). I knew all right. If I were of the Catholic persuasion, I wonder how many “Hail Mary’s” I would have to recite before my sin of lying in that sort of environment in particular was expunged. Our mob had been done again. Now we were one of two laughing stocks in the AFL competition. Oh and by the way I just loved it that there was no footy on Saturday night. The “Pineapple Cup” was a tremendously exciting game but not telecast. As  mere supporter of AFL I feel like a pawn, or possible raw prawn in the grand plan. Helpless and hopeless to do anything about the corporate greed that had enveloped our code and indeed all the big sports in this mouse infected land.

So OK, we was done. And truthfully, the average observer would argue that given the pre match pettiness displayed by the Lions towards Rischitelli and Brennan the Lions had it coming to them. And as coach Mckenna pointed out, it was bit rough calling Rischitelli a footy mercenary when he was used as trade bait to get Fevola. Perhaps Voss’s coaching career at Brisbane can never recover from this lack of loyalty he displayed to erstwhile team mates. Got to have replays though. That goal, come on. Had things turned out a little more favourably for Brisbane this year they might have been three and three by now. Meanwhile the Suns keep shining. How long will it be though before they beat a real footy team? I must say that from what replays I viewed they have some pretty exciting indigenous players like Krakouer and that bloke Patrick, what gems they are, just love watching them, spekkies, angled goals, the sort of thing that reminds us of why Aussie Rules footy is such a great code. McGrath, Rich and Banfield were really good for us. I mean we have the nucleus for a decent team after all.

Big game for Melbourne, big shame for Adelaide. This was telecast but I gave up soon after half time given that the Crows were totally impotent to stop the flow of play. Not that I was emotional about this mind you. I merely invited the events organiser to watch an episode of “West Wing” with me instead. I was very calm about this outwardly or at least that is my story, but inwardly I was fuming and felt a searing rage at the state of South Australian football as represented by Adelaide’s two teams. I did have a few words to say on the subject but regrettably they failed to stop the flow of play on this Sunday afternoon.

Thought that Port was going to give Hawthorn a decent go but the inevitable happened, they were steamrolled by Buddy and his mates. I reckon that only Buddy can miss or nearly miss so many goals even going so far as to fall over himself in the goal square, recover, and still soccer a goal. I suppose that I should give credit where it is due, at least the Powerless looked like  a team for the first three quarters.

Geelong had the easy win against North Melbourne for their 25th home win in a row. I must say that I never realised until it was pointed out on Walid Ali’s show on the ABC this morning by Gerard Whately  that most of the time games scheduled at Kardinia Park involve the weaker teams in the firmament as the ground is not big enough to cater for blockbusters. Another excuse for Collingwood not leaving Melbourne I suppose. Well we will see just how good they (Geelong) are next Friday night. I reckon Collingwood by 30 points. Wish that we had Menzel starting out with us, what a gun he is going to be.

Richmond had a tremendous win against Freo. Have to say they were all over them after half time. The good thing for them was that their goals were spread amongst several players. I smile and I feel some sort of glow when the Tiges are up and running, they have had so many meaningless seasons. Perhaps this year they might do something. Bad luck though it was against Freo. Somewhere, somehow, interstate sides have to be competitive in Melbourne.

Which West Coast were for a while but they too failed as well. Essendon are a good side though that’s for sure.

As is usual in life there is sometimes a hairline between joy and despair. So it was that St Kilda, having come back from the dead in the last quarter and hit the front lost because of the iron nerve of Andrew Walker. I mean, he actually kicked straight after a towering mark, and with all the pressure that was on so close to the end of the game. What a joy for him and Carlton, now running third and only two points behind the leaders although they have played one more game and have an inferior percentage. Once again Milne had started the first quarter like a German Band. It somehow seems to be unfair that a player whom many can’t stand seems time after time to play a real blinder or at least he does for parts of a game. Nick Riewoldt seems to be in the doldrums these days but he lifted in the second half.  First gamer Siposs certainly set the stands alight with that 55 metre goal that had got the Saints within 3 points then followed by that goal of Grams. And just to make the game interesting, another interchange blue by the Blues in the third quarter. Would make the coach go ballistic.

In the wider scheme of things is there anyone playing in the AFL at the moment who is as inspirational as Darren Lockyer is in the NRL. I have to admit that because I thought that the Port Adelaide Hawthorn game would be a crock I spent most of my time watching Australia playing New Zealand. Once again though I hate to admit it NRL at that level is as exciting as anything that the AFL has to offer.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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