THE WRAP – ROUND XIII – part i

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Family Club made it six on the Stewie Trott as they saw off Arch Rivals Essendon in a match worthy of a Line In The Sand Contest.  The Barry Crockers snapped a two game losing streak to place a huge question mark over The Ever Coming Silvertail’s’ 2010 credentials.  While up under the palms, the tom toms beat out the message – BIT – BIT – The Tigers are BIT.

Come Sunday and The Kangaroos put their hands up once more to win over Chokko’s Chokers, and The Western Bulldogs took good care of the West Coat Eagles.

The shame continues.  This time it’s Dipper who apparently said something at a smoke night, based on ethnicity, that was derogatory to fellow Brownlow Medallist Gavin Wanganeen.  There’s talk that these comments were funny in another era, but that we’ve moved on now.  Wrong on both scores.  The sorts of comments we’re being told are being made weren’t funny in another era.  Just because more people than today thought they were doesn’t make them any less repulsive and shameful.  And it’s painfully honest that we haven’t moved on.

And after the Ayatollah’s public demotion of the said Dipper, who amongst you feels the whole thing wasn’t a bit stage managed?  That caught off guard when Mal Brown’s dumbarse comments were made public, he needed someone he could actually laud it over?  That he knew exactly where to look for a victim was a bit suss in the first place.  That the sacking was in retrospective for something the ex-Hawthorn enforcer said a week ago – something that had already been swept under the carpet – was doubly suss.  Anyway, Dipper has to travel the country on a re-education tour, visiting communities & outstations.  We may have missed it, but was this at his own expense, or is he still on full pay with expense account intact – just suspended from duties with Auskick?

Maggot Watch.  Are we too old school for the modern game?  Ducking the head into the tackler was called rabbitting and a free, if warranted for incorrect disposal, was paid against the rabbitter.  Now it’s a free for contact with the head.  The call of ‘Watch the head.  Watch the head” is relayed to the lounge rooms and sports bars around The WideBrownLand via the maggot effects mike.  And haven’t the ball carriers worked it out.  They grab the ball, put their head down and run into the nearest opposition player.  Of course, one week, around at Maggot Central, they’ll decide to target those players as being caught with the ball.  You watch.  But we just don’t know which week it will be.

And the kick-in, how many times is the full back allowed to go over the line before the ball is recalled and bounced?  Every week it goes on.  Trying to get every last millimetre out of the kick.  Every now and then there’s a recall, but you watch, only a small percentage of the infringements are penalized.  With three of them out there it should be 100% right.  And is it just our cynical mind that feels the recalls are made at crucial moments on the context of the game?

They showed footage of Izzy Falou’s high leap and grab during a rugby league match.  It looked spectacular.  Let’s see how he goes when he’s not the only one in the contest, eh?

In an already ugly week for Aussie Rules, Saturday night’s Dockland match was witness to one of the nastiest examples of tagging you’d ever want to see.  Ex-bomber McPhee – and you would have to suspect on his coach’s instructions – literally mauled the Carlton Captain & Superstar all night.  Honestly, there’s no great love in the game for those who turn their coat for money, but fair’s fair.  And as Ronaldo has pointed out – The referees are supposed to protect the best players.

But it says as much about the Carlton team as it does about the vigilance of the adjudicating maggots.  Imagine getting away with it when Ken Hands was the Bluebagger Enforcer, or in Wayne Johnson’s days, not to mention Big Nick?  Imagine even thinking of trying it on Diesel?  They’ve got a fortnight to spend in front of the mirror TTAGHLAT and decide whether they’re coming or have been and went.

Velvet Fog Watch.  In a decision that went the way of the big # 3 in the Essendon goalsquare, “Umpire Margetts calling a sweat a Gumbleton”.  Don’t ask me.  It must be some WA confectionery.

We fast forward most of the adverts embedded in the games we record, but every now and then one makes us stop and wonder.  Particularly ones you’ve paid for out of our own hard earned tax dollars.  We’re talking about the ‘look after your mates’ series, in which a legless mate gets himself into life threatening situations and is saved by the timely intervention of his mates.  It tells us much about the agency the Dummkopfs up in Spring Strasse have hired to do the add in the first place and the department heads who okayed it at the post production review.  Real heroes wouldn’t let their mate get as pie-eyed as their hapless mate appears in the footage.  Wrong message entirely.  But to cut back on drinking would be to cut back on the revenue stream from the excise on alcohol.  So that’s why the responsibility is thrown back to his mates to keep him alive to repeat the brain-cell damaging cycle next weekend.

Caretaker Coach Watch.  The word from John Pascoe Fawkner Reserve is as up beat as ever, and we can only applaud their optimism.  We beat Hawthorn but not Franklin.  Buddy for the flag!  Before his career is over he could be considered right up there with Kepler Bradley. As for Knighta, 9.5 out of 10.  Picked the right team and fired them up as well as he could be.  No-one could have beaten Buddy on Friday night, nor the goals Hawthorn kicked out of their arse and from soft frees at critical times. Victory would have been rewarded with a ten and, for the record, “Caretaker Coach” is not a phrase used by or known to the Bomber Faithful.

Missing Persons Column.  Has anyone seen or heard of Pres Motormouth, late of Glenferrie Road & more recently of Waverly Heights?  He seems to have pulled his head in.  It’s almost as though someone had written to him suggesting just that.

Speaking of missing persons in GoldenBrown, poor old Jarryd seems to be having a rough time of it lately.  Could it be time for a shift?  You could bet the LSPRF would only be too happy to get it right this time by swapping Tiger Tambling for Roughie.

Threatening The Fabic of The Club Take III.  Did we hear this right?  They’re wearing their Reg Grundies under the shower at Visy Park?  Not sure what Akka would make of it, but it would certainly have you taking a firmer grip of your shower jell if it came to pass at your club wouldn’t it?

World Game v Game Played All Around The World.  They’ve spent $44b over in the Rainbow Republic to set up the World Game Circus.  Do us a favour.  There were more heart stopping moments on the Hallowed Turf in one quarter on Friday Night than in a whole week of own goals, celebrity watching, dives and red cards over in Seth Freaking Afrika.

In the meantime, The Socceroos face a veritable Everest to avoid igniting an outbreak of car burning on their return to the fatal Shore.  But, regardless of what you think about Harry K personally, he may have been the victim of a conspiracy stiff.  Two playmakers sent off in successive matches for trivialities.  Make you wonder doesn’t it?  You’d be excused for believing that the roundball game, and the way it’s played at the highest level, doesn’t fit the Australian psyche.

The Wallaby’s old nemesis return to sink them in the Jimmy Cook Cup on Saturday night.  Jonny Wilkinson’s trusty left boot drilling the penalty that gave the To&Froms their winning margin.  Matt Giteau scored the Australian total of 20 points but missed several penalties, any one of which would have stolen the match for the Lesser Marsupials.

But enough of my gabbin.  Let’s see how these Eight Point Matches went in the first part of Round XIII.

The Mayblooms v The Marshmallows.  This was an absolute thriller.  Worthy of a GF.  Worthy of a Line In The Sand Match.  As the Velvet Fog put it – one for the time capsule.  We’ve all seen Buddy’s two runs from the wing to the flank.  (We were waiting for The Fog to comment that Buddy’s out flanked them – Ed)  But just how good were those two snaggers?  He first out-strode the supposedly aerobic McVeigh.  Then, just in case you were upstairs switching on the electric blanket the first time, he did it again. This time it was Cale Hooker gasping for air in his wake.  Osborne’s run-down on Jarrod Atkinson and Cyril Riolli’s one-man gang tackle on three Essendon ball carriers ij the single passage of play were equally as exciting.  Beware, this is a team on a mission.  But there were supreme efforts at the other end of the ground, non more inspirational than Alwyn Davey’s goal to close the gap to one straight kick with seconds of the Championship Quarter to run.  This was – as dear old Bruce McEvany put it – two Rivals who don’t like each other very much going at it hammer & tongs.  It really was a classic match.  For the Faithful of both sides it had the swaying fortunes of battle.  When the ball bounced off Gumbleton’s forehead in the goalsquare in the Opening Stanza and Cyril The Magician was turning the opposition inside out it looked all Hawthorn.  Twelve scoring shots to four at the 1st Change should have been a match winning lead, but The Squawkers had left the door open with some inaccurate kicking, and there was only three goals in it.  The margin was 3-3 at the Long Break, despite a 17 to 11 scoring shot difference in Hawthorn’s favour.  At one stage The Hawks were nearly five goals up.  Then, in the Shadow of Half Time the Bomber Mosquito Fleet turned on their weekly catch up effort.  With memories of 1984 hanging over them like a shroud, The Hawks huddled for the last time only a goal to the good and looking every bit a spent side.  With the match in the balance and their Seasons on The Line, these two proud & successful clubs slugged it out until Buddy’s two Inspirational Goals finally broke the Bombers’ counter attack.  The Final Scores didn’t matter from there on.  The Dons turn 5&8 with a percentage in the red.  Down along Puckle Street some wag has painted GTWTCO on a lamppost and tied a hung a bunch of flowers under it.  The Hawkers are 8th at 7&6 with a percentage in the black – just.  In a measure of where the two sides are at – and let’s be honest with ourselves here – The Leafblowers answered the challenge on the night.  Once more the Bombers had to make one.  But what must be most pleasing to Coach Clarko is the improvement in the defence and the improvement in the lesser players.  Guerra & Birchall in defence are two that spring to mind.  Similarly, Beau Muston & Michael Osborne in attack.  As Clarko will tell you, they can only get better.  The Gliders again produced too little too late.  When they’re on song they’re world beaters.  But they take too long to get the orchestra in tune.  The Hawkers have a busy month coming up, starting with The Kennel Coughs at the Gee on the Friday Night (2/7).  The Dons are over to Crow Park to play The Pride of South Australia. .  (Well done Wrap – you’ve covered an Essendon match without mentioning Caretaker Coach – Ed)

The Bluebaggers v The Barry Crockers.  Once more The Flaky Silvertails lead the Football World down the garden path.  If they’re still coming someone should tell the people at Metlink so they can adjust their timetables.  There will be some who will argue that BKIBF, and for, half a match this was a fair cover of The Wayward Miseries.  But they took the accuracy pills in the rooms during the Long Break and answered their 1st Half 2 goals 12 behinds with a 10-3 2nd Half.  Syd Betts produced some magic but it wasn’t enough.  The bottom line was that The Anchormen had their measure all night.  It could be said that Murphy’s absence and The Kreuzer’s cruel injury left them under manned on the night, and there is validity in that argument.  O’hAilpin’s absence also left them unbalanced up forward.  But we all have to cope with injuries and setbacks.  That’s life.  They have a fortnight all but a couple of days before they are part of another Appalling Football League mid-week experiment when they launch Round XIV on the first of the month a pinch and a punch.  But make no mistake, The Fremantle Docker are the real thing.  Barlow tore Carlton apart from the mid-field and Sandilands dominated the depleted Blues’ ruck (49 hit outs – 19% efficient).  In a truly Sheedyesque move, Bomber Harvey ran his goal machine in the midfield.  It reduced Freo’s forward power but even with Bryce Gibbs wearing him like a glove he was the Dockers’ 3rd best possession winner.  And speaking of possessions – The Blues had 50 more than The Dockers yet it was The Visitors who did the most with theirs.  They are at home to The Hopeless Port Power for the early one on the Saturday in a fortnight.

The Brisbane Lions v The Richmond Tigers.  We hope you all took the sound advice offered on Friday and availed yourselves of the excellent value represented by the Tigers playing a depleted Brisbane on Saturday night.  This team of Young Guns is playing with Self Belief and, let’s be honest here, a degree of skill not seen at Tigerland since their Glory Days from 1967 to 1974 when they won four Flags, all under the same coach – The Little Bloke In The T Shirt.  This was a scrappy affair.  The Lions were sadly depleted.  Triple Premiership Hero & Brownlow Medallist Simon Black joined his Skipper among the Wives & Girlfriends before the ball was bounced, and their expensive ex-Carlton import had de-commissioned himself for his 200th game.  You’d have to expect that they are by now assessing their experiment with re-cycled players.  Something they should also be doing down on the Gold Coast, if they wish to learn by other’s mistakes.  The Tiges were challenged, by their youth and inexperience as much as the opposition, but they had leaders in Tuck, Deledio, who is on track for another Jack Dyer Medal, if not a Brownlow, and the irrepressible Benny Cousins.  Cotchin & Martin are displaying maturity beyond their years and the re-instated Connors has benefitted from time spent in the naughty corner.  Make no mistake, they’re developing a good team ethic under Coach Hardnose and the club’s profile under Benny Gale’s administration is one of stability and quiet purpose.  The Jungle Cat is purring.  BIT?  They’re certainly looking the best of the mediocre sides.  In the Brisbane airport lounge, TLSPRF were seen again pouring over the fixture, calculators clicking, as they checked the arithmetical chances of claiming Glorious Ninth as their own once more.  They test themselves against South Melbourne at THOF next Sunday fortnight at the traditional time.  For Boss Voss’ Bad News Bears it’s Carlton under cover next Thursday week.  (This must be a double for you Wrap – no mention of the Caretaker Coach at Essendon and you’ve now covered a Richmond game without mentioning Jumping Jack Riewoldt – Ed)

Good Old North Melbourne v The Power.  Was it ever going to be anything but thus.  No Shinboner Spirit required as The Roos won every quarter and improved their percentage at the expense of the less than committed Port Adelaide.  The Tigers, seeking a twin tower to complement Jumping Jack Riewoldt, my have viewed the 7-goal performance of Jay Schultz for The Tealers with some regret.  Although the other ex-Tiger over at Port seems to have gone off the boil since an injury relapse.  With 34 scoring shots, The Norsemen  kicked the Sweep.  Coach Bradely has them playing some pretty smart Football and their Self Belief is high.  Meanwhile, over at Alberton, the coaching staff have their work cut out firing up their charges.  It will be interesting to see, with a quiet $5 mill slipped into the brown envelope from the Appalling Football League, what changes are made at the end of the season.  Clearly the two-coach program isn’t working and it’s hard to get any gossip out of the tight-lipped Port Adelaide community, but they certainly aren’t supportive of the current regime.  And with the morbid dirge of the Coaches Carousel playing in the background, the Junkyard Dog is keeping his head below the parapets.  Speaking of support, you would have thought more than 15,109 of The Long Suffering Arden Street Faithful would have turned up to Ethelred Stadium to cheer their beloved Shinboners to victory.  After all, they have been the most successful club since the 16-team competition got under way.  They have TRP down at the Cattery next Sunday fortnight for the early one.  The Tealers are on the road again – The Coasters over there on the Saturday.

The West Coast Eagles v The Western Bulldogs. It took three quarters of football for The Poodles to throw off their kennel cough.  Then they cut loose.  This time they weren’t playing catch up football and what has been over the last few rounds, too little too late, became a percentage building win.  The Weagles seemed to tire of the contest, but it’s only fair to say they had been doing a lot of jumper chasing as the Doggies moved the ball smartly all day.  The WCE have Carringbush on the Saturday night.  The Sons of the West have The Hawks on the Friday Night.

And remember, if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

Please note – the Wrap is going in for a knee reconstruction this week and will be out of action for a few rounds.  But don’t worry, we’ll be right for the finals.

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. Andrew Fithall says:

    Love your work Wrap (if I may be so familiar as to address you by your last name). I have one minor quibble (and yes, that is a tautology!). In rhyming slang I don’t believe it is acceptable to use the actual word (even if it is spelt differently) as the rhyme. Therefore, I believe you need to find an alternative for your line one “on the Stewie Trott”. “Douggie Gott” perhaps (but I am pretty sure he was never ever called Douggie)?

    Re your McPhee tactic reference, look closely at Geelong and you will see their captain employs a very similar “grab your opponent just before they take possession” approach. I risk offending you because he may be a relation of yours – given you possibly share a last name. You are The Wrap and he is CLing Wrap.

  2. John Mosig says:

    Thanks for the kind words Andrew. I’ve always been uncomfortable about the Stewie Trott. Although four on the Stewie has a ring to it. Let me work on it. Dougie Gott? Has possibilities. Tommy rot? Too old fashioned?

    I was referring to the continual wrestling and poking from McPhee, who isn’t one off my favourite players i must admit. . It was particularly ugly. But that wasn’t the only point. I thought the maggotting was weak and I thought the Carlton response was weak.

    My litmus test is how would you explain it to your cousin from Albania. If you can’t, and still maintain moral superiority, it shouldn’t be in The Game.

    Let’s watch the response from Maggot Central during the week and in Round XIV, eh?

  3. John Butler says:

    TW

    It’s funny you should say that…

    I’ve written pretty much the same thing re Judd/McPhee. On all counts. Swear I wasn’t copying!

    The response from MC will be all too predictable- after the event.

    Good luck again with the opp.

    Sure you don’t want to try a Wrap whilst coming off the laughing gas? Could bring a whole new Gonzo element to Knackery affairs. :)

  4. John Mosig says:

    No plagiarism suspected. Noble minds think in noble modes. He’s always been a mongrel that McPhee. Harvey wasn’t much better.

    I’ll see how I go on the laughing gas edition. I’ll be taking notes. Rust never sleeps. Should only really miss the 2nd part of Round XIII.

    Got Coach Mumbles signature in Cheryl’s book the other day, which I’m taking to hossy with me.

    Back soon,

    jdm

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