THE WRAP – ROUND V

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

by John Mosig 

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Firstly The Saints fell in up in Brissy against The Lions.  Then it was The Sunbeams’ historic 1st win against The Enigmatic Tealers and The Bluebaggers avoided the 4th draw in five rounds with a one straight kick win over South Australia’s other representative at the Elite Level.  Then it was The Tigers’ turn to notch their 1st Victory for 2011.  The Mighty Magglepies thrilled the nearly 90,000 Faithful & Students of The Game at The G on Anzac Day to remain astride the Competition Table.  The Dockers stole the Four Points over in Perth when they denied The Doggies a win at the death.  And Geelong continued to Play The Game As It Should Be Plated, At Home Or Far Away.

Jeff’s worried.  The Ayatollah and his minions at JellymonJ House are worried.  Are you starting to worry too?  Firstly Port Adelaide, the complete underdog going into Showdown XXX, gives Crosstown Rivals and bitter class enemy Adelaide a six-goal start and overruns them by five goals.  The next week The Tealers start at $1.03 with their Winless Debutante Opponents up in the stratosphere at around $12 something for the dollar investment.  Guess what?  That’s right, playing into time-on in the Championship Quarter they’re 40 points up, and they lose.  (For those who came in late – hence the nickname Chokers – Ed)  Meanwhile, over in Melbourne, the same Adelaide side that capitulated so meekly the week before in the Showdown nearly pulls off another coup for The Bagmen when they are 11 points to the good of $1.25 favourites Carlton within sight of fulltime.  You tell me – is Adelaide becoming the new Pakistan?

But let’s take nothing away from The Metermaids and their beleaguered Skipper.  They launched this win on Gazza Junior’s inspirational goal late in the 3rd Quarter.  One thing that did catch our attention however was some media Coach McKenna did in the pre-match.  Preparing the Carrara Faithful for the expected hiding, he explained that building a team from a bunch of schoolboy stars was a choice they’d consciously taken at GC17.  No it wasn’t Guy.  It wasn’t a choice at all.  It was your job description from the Appalling Football League.

Caught a little bit of the Sunday Footy Show this week.  The same Footy Show from whence Shane Crawford instructed fellow Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett Junior how to conduct his life.  Now if you thought Question Time in Canberra was infantile ……  The sound was down so I may have some of this out of context.  Being Easter Sunday the line up of mental giants had a row of king sized Easter eggs lined up across the front of the table.   At one stage Dermie crashed one of them over Shane Crawford’s head, who looked a little annoyed but still shared a few pieces with his fellow panellists.   Not long after Shane promptly picked up an egg and shaped it into a crown, which he placed on the head of Billy Brownless.  As I said, I may have missed the meaning of all this not having the sound up.  No idea what happened after that as we had the grandchildren with us so we switched to a delayed telecast of Romper Room.  It’s easy to see why Coach McKenna would be worried if Gary was spending time with Shane & the crew from the Footy Show while he was down in Bleak City.  These are not very well developed people.

It’s been suggested that the Anzac Day slot be reserved for a Grand Final Rematch.  Great idea, just one problem.  Can anyone else see what’s wrong with it for Season 2011?

The new bench structure came under scrutiny again over the weekend.  The Hawks ran their sub on before they realized Cyril Riolli was off for the rest of the match – leaving them with a two-man interchange bench.  Look, there are people working here on The Wrap team who can remember when they rang a bell to end the match and two replacements on the bench.  No Nurelle, not two players able to come on and off to give their teammates a spell – two replacements for injured players.  But that was back in time that they had steam trains on the Frankston line and cops on point duty instead of traffic lights.

What’s it all about anyway?  The Ayatollah & Angry Adrian wanted to slow the game down for some reason.  There was talk of lessening the physicality of the contest or something.  Less impact. But if we can take a look at a time & motion study carried out in the late fifties we might reveal yet another inconvenient truth.  Factory management increased pay for increased output without directly tying the increased number of units to the pay increase.  You guessed it – output increased in direct proportion to the pay increase.  Now here’s the interesting point.  Management then reduced the pay increase – but the factory floor had become so accustomed to the new work pace they kept at it despite the reduction in reward.  The Ayatollah and the Angry Ant could do worse than looking up that 50 year old time and motion study when they next tinker with the interchange rules.  Evolution is about moving forward, not backwards.

Now here’s one stat we should all consider.  Back in 1992 Geelong established a new record by kicking 37-17 (239) against The Bad News Brisbane Bears up at Carrara.  Twelve years later Brisbane had played in four consecutive GFs, winning the 1st three of them.  When the moon is in the 7th House and Jupiter aligns with Mars, then peace will guide the planets and love will steer the stars.  We all know the rest.  (Not a bad tune for their club song either Wrap – Ed)

Why isn’t it so department?  North’s #22, Todd Goldstein, played professional basketball in the US for 18 months.  How come he isn’t getting the Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt sized packages?

Did you see that umpire department?  What a difference a Premiership makes.  Eddies lads have put the iPods away are A Shouting, As All Good Barrackers Should.

But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s still alive after Round V.

The Lions v The Feeling Faints.  St Kilda, in the true spirit of the times, took the Melbourne Comedy Festival up to Brisbane.  Ably supported by The Brisbane Lions, this comedy duo had us in stitches for the Full Hundred Minutes.  Unfortunately these two don’t bill again together this season, however you can catch the main act at Amii Stadium next Saturday night when they appear with the other comedy sensation of the season – The Mighty Adelaide Crows.  Of course there’s always a sadness about clowns, and to witness the dream fading to grey down at Moorabbin was a crushing reality for The Long Suffering Junction Oval Faithful.  Even the most flinty hearted amongst us would have felt the overwhelming emptiness of the moment.  The Maroons continue their season with a Saturday night gig against The Richmond Tigers.

The Tealers v The Mermaids.  If the landing at Gallipoli defined our nation back in 1915, their Famous Victory on a fine autumn afternoon in the City of Churches defined The Gold Coast Suns.  And who ignited them?  That’s right, their Skipper.  He has delivered his first dividend with that inspirational goal in the Shadow of ¾ Time; the goal that led the charge.  But there was enough from the youngsters to make us start to wonder how long before this bunch of early draft picks mature into a very dangerous combination. After this round’s Famous Victory it shouldn’t be too long.  Remember, ?this is The Team Who Never Say Die!  Wally Matera’s Lad was brilliant and what about the 205cm Zac Smith?  Saved from a lifetime of soccer, this Zac will be iconic for all the right reasons.  He’s only 97kg wringing wet at the moment, but wait till he fills out.  In the meantime, The Chokers write yet another chapter in their Proud Club’s sorry history.  They have North next Saturday under cover.  The Sunbeams have The Bombers OTR on the Sunday arvo, also under cover.

Carlton v Adelaide.  If ever a team needed to be swabbed it’s Adelaide.  Sure they were helped by some accurate goal kicking, and Carlton’s inability to put them away by the Long Break.  And The Silvertails wouldn’t want to whinge about the umpiring for the 2nd week in a row.  They were saved from the draw, also for, the 2nd week in a row, with a goal resulting from one of the most open-handed handpasses you’d see outside of a rugby pitch.  Yes, Blues Brothers, you know the one I mean, Kade Simpson’s little number.  Fair dinkum, you could clearly count all ten digits during the whole movement; at no time did he have his fist clenched.  But they would have been stiff to lose.  They did enough around the ground to win, although Students of The Game were saying on their way to Southern Cross Station that they’d need to make up some ground if we’re to see them doing anything more than making up the numbers come September.  Meanwhile, The Pride of South Australia slip home to turn off the heaters in the Visitors’ Rooms for The Culture Club.  They weren’t disgraced, but they board the Overlander empty handed.  And hey, Graeme Johncock will never win a Brownlow, but he’d be one of your first picks in the backline wouldn’t he?  After his don’t argue on the Aging Judd, you’d have to wonder why he’s not given a run on the ball.  But the Adelaide Fans learnt why Richmond cleared Richard Tambling.  If ever there’s a player who’ll make the wrong decision under pressure it’s Tiger Tambling.  A pity really, because he has some classy skills in his kitbag.  The Bluebaggers bank the Four Points and set themselves for a Friday night outing in Sin City.

The Shinboners v Struggletown.  The Tiges got jumped again and it looked like it was going to be another Tigers Of Old day for TLSPRF.  Their backline was porous and they were turning the ball over more times than those snaggers you get outside Bunnings.  Swallow had sunk them the last time they met and looked like doing the same again on Sunday.  The Shinboners also had the rub of the maggots but they hadn’t broken The Tigers and at the Kia Ora Cordial ¾ Time Huddle The Visitors were only two straight kicks off the lead.  The roar went up from The Tiger Army as Coach Hardnose unleashed his secret weapon.  Shane Tuck, sporting Mopsy Fraser’s #21 Guernsey instead of the sub jerkin, opened in the centre bounce and had an immediate impact.  In 30 minutes of play he had 12 possessions – six of them contested, two tackles and two inside 50s.  But it was Dusty Martin who had kept The Tiges in it up to then.  He’d have to have the best don’t argue in the caper wouldn’t he?  And you’d hitch a ride on the mail coach down from Booligal to watch Jumping Jack Riewoldt, with his Jack Dyer short back&sides hairstyle, do his thing.  Can that lad kick a goal?  You’d have to go back to Peter “Moptop” McKenna to find a full forward as accurate, and Jack creates as many goals as he kicks.  He had eight handballs on the night.  Hungry Kevin didn’t have that many in 403 games.  He had five tackles and a spoil to help lock the ball in, as well as turning up near the centre.  He ran Thomas off his legs and still had enough spring in his own to take four of the best contested marks you would have seen all Easter.  Then there was Trent Cotchin’s one handed mark and the unbalanced kick under pressure from out near the paint that sailed over the top of the umpire’s hat.  As the Late Great Living Legend  – Captain Blood – would surely tell you – The Tigers are BIT.  I hope those Bomber fans had enough sense to kept Bachar Houli in their dream team.  He had 30 possessions and 114 DT points, 2nd only to Dusty Martin’s 143.  Similarly, the Bluebagger Faithful, knowing the real value of Shaun Grigg will have been sure to include him in their DTs.  The Shinboners will be rummaging around deep in the Arden Street Cellars for another barrel of the magic elixir in preparation for their Saturday Arvo clash with The Chokers.  They should have won this one; they had Richmond’s measure for most of the night.  They can lament the free to Martin as long as they keep in mind the soft one to Petrie in their own goal square.  No need for details; they’ll know the one.  And they can lament some poor shooting on goal when it counted most.  The bottom line is that they wilted and The Tigers finished full of running.  Struggletown get a chance to further distance themselves from the Cellar when they invite The Boys From Old Fitzroy down for a Saturday night shindig on the Hallowed Turf.

The Bombers v The Woodsmen.   This was an Anzac Day of reckoning.  After a dawning shrouded in fog, Melbourne turned on all her Autumn Glory for Essendon’s challenge of The Reigning Premiers.  After getting the daily chores out of the way, The Wrap household sat down to the traditional Anzac Day lunch of falafels and tabbouli salad to take in the match reviews and the pre-match ceremonies.  Would the Dons’ three-ruckman plan work?  It was certainly a day for high marking.  But we took aboard the words of one of the keenest, if often misinterpreted, philosophers of The Game.  Dermie said that with every great reward there is a great risk.  If their three-ruckmen policy failed The Bombers would be run ragged.  And that’s pretty much what happened.  Paddy Ryder had another flat day and David Hille has never been anything more than a lumbering thug who can take a grab and roost the ball a country mile.  Bellchambers was young & athletic, but by the 20-minute mark of the Opening Stanza it was obvious that the kick-it-long-and-high-to-the-forward-line wasn’t going to work for The Bombers.  Apart from that, as Mrs Wrap pointed out, Essendon just didn’t want the rusk.  But The Maggies were slipping into old habits and at the Long Break there would have been much discussion about Collingwood not having buried The Marshmallows by then.  (Maybe they felt a bit squeamish about shooting Bambi in cold blood in front of 89,461 fans – Ed)  the concern was well placed.  When Hille took that strong mark at the 19 minute mark of the Championship Quarter some SOTG may have recalled the words of the Late Great Living Legend – Captain Blood – who said that the big men didn’t get any smaller the further the game went.  But The Maggies must have heard that too.  Dawes, Leroy Brown and Cloke tore Essendon apart.  And with so many Collingwood goals scored off the back of the pack, you’d be entitled to ask who was the defence coach at Whingy Hill.  Smarting from missing out on last year’s Beitzel Medal, Razor Ray Chamberlain was leading the three blind mice on a tiggy touchwood crusade but the soft frees were evenly distributed and had no impact whatsoever on the final result.  With eight minutes to go, the Rookie Essendon Coach had dropped the headphones, Razor Ray & his mates had put away the whistle and Joffa was slipping into the Gold Lamé.  There’s talk around the Coffemate this morning that Essendon suffered an honourable defeat.  The image we were beamed on our 72” plasma was Collingwood carrying Essendon for most of the last quarter before decking them in the dying stages of the match.  After all, it is 100 minutes of Football.  Make no mistake, this was a resounding win.  The Dons have uncovered a couple of good ones in the Daisy Thomas look alike Hemple and 2nd year player Cameri and they weren’t disgraced – just well beaten by a superior opponent.  The monochromes have The Tricolours to close off the next round.  The Gliders get some respite next Saturday when they host The Chokers.

Freo v The Dogs.  The Kennel Coughs nearly stole this one.  And it would have been a Season Defining Win at that.  As it is, they sit even with the card at 2&2 with TRP next week.  (Is that at the MCG Wrap? – Ed)  The Dockers remain undefeated at 4-0-1 and are playing some pretty good Footy.  The Bullies challenged them but we all know that Good Teams Win The Close Ones.  The Stevedores have a spell next week before taking on the Tigers on The G in Round VII.

Hawthorn v The Handbags.  Apart from being a renewal of a decades old rivalry, this was as an important a game as the Blockbuster the day before – an early season play-off to see who finishes 2nd behind Collingwood.  Not the sort of challenge in which you concede a 4-goal start to a fancied opponent you wouldn’t think.  But that’s exactly what Geelong did and The Mayblooms looked like they were going to run away with the match.  That is, until Chappy initiated The Cat Attack.  Never again to be confused with G. Ablett, he was once more the one to put the house brick in The Handbags.   And were we the only ones to notice – it was Hawthorn that was looking too old & too slow.  Buddy after starting with two majors in as many minutes, faded out of the match and once Cyril was benched going into the final Stanza a good jeffing was on the cards.  They gave it an honest shot, but it was a game too far for the Boys From Glenferrie Oval.  They’re unforgiving out in the Leafy East and Buddy’s last quarter touch, down on the Geelong half back line, brought a resounding cheer from both Cheer Squads.  Too many Hawks’ players drifted in and out of the game and they don’t seem to be able to re-capture the Spirit of 2008.  Their Spiritual Leader and Skipper was well covered by the Cats’ Captain.  But it was when the Moggies threw caution to the wind and played the style of Footy that had earned them two Flags in three tries that they looked awesome.  Not to be confused with the Sleepy Hollow Millionaires, a confident Geelong is a beautiful and dangerous thing.  The Football World has 16 days to wait until they meet TRP at The Home of Football in Round VIII.  In the meantime they have the bye and North Melbourne, who some of the more cynical SOTG are calling the double bye.  The Mustard Pots share the bye with The Pussies followed by The Power From Port over there in Round VII.

Remember, if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

And for those Long Suffering Faithful of any denomination, recall the words of Voltaire –

Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

(That’s why it’s important that The Suns learn the words of their new song.  The tune’s unimportant – there isn’t one – Ed)

About John Mosig

I’m an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it’s my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Comments

  1. forwardpocket says:

    Hirdy’s Harriers did not lead for one second of the Traditional Anzac Day Cup. Of course it only matters who leads in the last second but worth noting nonetheless.

  2. Every one in Launceston knows about Craw’s little secret from a big night out a decade or so back. He must be having a senior moment.

  3. John Mosig says:

    Hirdies Harriers – love it – have covered lot of ground, but still have got a fair way to go one would think FP.

  4. John Butler says:

    Interesting observations on time and motion TW.

    The vogue for modern capitalists is very much against such ‘managerial’ directed notions.

    ‘Let creativity flow’is the new buzz.

    Worked a charm on Wall Street just lately hasn’t it?

    I wonder which school Andy D is from?

  5. John Mosig says:

    Just finished (nearly) reading Naomi Klein’s latest – ‘The Shock Doctrine’. Unnerving. Maybe not as much as Collingwood, but unnerving all the same.

    Let creativity flow eh? Now that everything else the bastards have foisted on us has failed they want to go back to square 1.

    Although I’m always wary of the unimaginative when they say things like – “Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land.”

  6. John Butler says:

    TW

    You might like to take in some of Thomas Frank’s scribblings if you’re in the mood to be unnerved.

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