The Wrap: Mrs Wrap might just be right on the Collingwood coaching deal

ROUND XVIII
And what a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  Carlton spoilt Adam Simpson’s send off, but that was to be expected.  To celebrate a new club games record holder, The Doggies tore strips off The Anchormen, and the Sleepy Hollow Millionaires got out of jail down at Kardinia Park.  The Feeling Faints also held out by TNPM to maintain their unblemished record, and The Maroons made The Maggies work hard for a Top Four Finish.
Come Sunday and 2009 becomes a state of mind for The Gliders and The Mayblooms as these two 2009 Wannabes have their September Visas voided.  Meanwhile, back in the Heartland of OGG The Original Co-tenants stage a thriller at THOF.

On the Ménage à Trois, Mrs Wrap, with the insight of her gender in these matters, had reservations.  She said they don’t like each other anyway and there’s every chance they’ll be spending quite a bit of time in the Oval Office at the Lexus Centre sorting out their differences.

Ayatollah Demetriou is claiming a huge victory with the signing of Karmichael Hunt.  Not to be confused with Mike Hunt, who sells once loved autos out at Car City.  We’re asked to believe that this is going to swing the 10,000 who attend NRL games in Queensland and the 20,000 who stroll the bleachers in Sin City each weekend to drop everything and buy a season ticket for the Meter Maids or the West Sydney Inventions.  As Peter from Keyneton will tell you this is nothing short of an invasion.  An invasion into hostile territory.  An invasion that carries all the markings of the next Afghanistan.  And it’s going to be the Football Public who will to be footing the bill.  Never mind the ratepayer underwriting of Brumby’s de-sal plant.  Watch for the 10c loading on each Four & Twenty and the 1% levy on entry fees.

Speaking of Karmichael, did anyone catch the interview Mark McClure did with him for Great Southern Grandstand?  I’d like to hear it again, but I got the distinct impression Our Karmichael thinks he’s playing for the AFL – and on the AFL payroll.  No Karmichael, you’ll be playing for The Cold Coast Meter Maids.  The AFL is the name of the competition.  And the name on the cheque your agent receives every month.  Something else we felt quite revealing; there seemed to be a lack of understanding of the intensity of Marngrook.  Were we the only ones who felt Karmichael didn’t have a schmick on how many gut busting seconds there were in 100 Minutes of Football?  And did anyone pick up how much he’s getting paid?  We’re waiting for the ASX please explain request – and the invitation to a cosy morning tea with the RBA.  This largess, and what it implies, will surely change the Football landscape forever.

Look, we can joke about the expansion now, but this really is more than a game.  And what we’re getting from the custodians at Jellymont House is nothing more than a naked grab for personal glory.  Surely it can’t be about the betterment of THE GAME, or even money.  THE GAME has never been sounder and it’s awash with dosh thanks to Kerry Stokes.  This season has been a vintage year; one in which we may even see St Kilda’s or Footscray’s 2nd Flag.  The current crop of youngsters are more athletic and more skilled than ever before, taking OGG to unimaginable levels of breathtaking skills.

As fans we’ve got all we need.  Eight matches a weekend and 150 years of tradition to look back on. But no, the Ayatollah and the invertebrates at Jellymont House want to risk all this on an ill-conceived, grandiose adventure of subprime magnitude.  If Demetriou had half a brain he would have sought advice from a sociologist instead of a bunch of ponytails.  To start with they don’t do a lot of sport out in Western Sydney.  Unless you count knife fighting and drive-by shootings.  Up on the Gold Coast half the population are waiting for the call and the other half are Kiwis.

Guest speakers at Footy Almanac lunches have spelt it out.  Benny Gale said the Artful Footy League would spend what ever it took, in cash and draft picks, to make the two new teams successful, and historian Chris McConville explained the demographics why that could cost us our heritage.  Call it what you like – stupidity, stubbornness, ignorance, ineptitude, greed or arrogance – but Andrew the Vaingloriousness risks leading us into the wilderness.

The lessons of history are there for all.  In living memory and on-going.  Win the hearts and minds; without grass roots support you have nothing but a bottomless pit.  And we’ll have to stand by as the cream of several generations is fed into the mincing machine of the Barren Wastes.  But in an historic sense, it’s the Australian way.  Heroic but futile.  Burke & Wills’s mad dash for the Gulf and Ned Kelly’s Stand at Glenrowan spring to mind.  Possibly more apt is Lassiter’s Last Ride.  Surely an opening here for the next Sydney Nolan.

The sad thing is that nothing will divert the Supreme Leader, nor save us, from his madness.

The Coaches’ Carousel has moved to the City of Churches.  Chokko’s come out and said he’d taken Lloyd’s advice and put it to Hirdy that he follow him as mentor at Alberton Oval.  As usual with Chokko, you never k now whether you should be taking him seriously.

Over in the Land of The Great Unwashed, The Saggy Greens are fighting for their lives as Punter once more falls cheaply and Watson and Hussey lead the task of first saving the match and secondly setting up the wildest chance of a win.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who’s gone to the pound after the XVIIIth Round.

CARLTON        14.10    (94)
NTH MELB        11.18    (84)
The Shinboners v The Silvertails.  Whether you’re waiting for the 2nd coming or still hanging out for the 1st, don’t hold your breath for the one we’ve been promised from around at Royal Parade.  They’re not going anywhere, so they’re not coming.  True they finished up 10 points the better of North Melbourne; the club they outrageously tried to buy under the John Elliott régime.  And The Fev performed the usual miracle or two, but missed as many.  This is a Playing Group that hardily inspires.  The umpires got into the act too.  Their efforts were as bad as we’ve seen since the early part of the season.  After they’d swallowed the whistle for several weeks, you could be excused for thinking Maggot Central has been infiltrated by the Mothers of Melbourne once more.  Remember these names: McBurney, Rosebury & Ryan.  And pray like Hell they don’t get gigs in the 2nd half of September.  They are regular little game cruellers.  Simmo said his farewells and like an old racehorse, he had lost a bit of gallop.  A Loyal Servant of his club, and when the sun sinks behind The Gasometer, they’ll remember him around at Arden Street.  The Shinboners made a real fist if this one, and exposed The Bluebaggers in everyway, however, their overall effort would have sent shivers down the hierarchy around at North.  Rejected by Bucks, out of favour with the Ayatollah, unfashionable in the Football World and almost invisible amongst the jumpers at Auskick, who amongst us is starting to think the Gold Coast Option may have been their last lifeline?  They face fellow Cellar Dwellers Melbourne & West Coast over the next fortnight.  The Only Team All Carlton Knows has The Greatest Team of All on The Paddock That Grew next round.

BULLDOGS        17.9    (111)
DOCKERS        11.14      (80)
The Tricolours v The Quadcolours.  If The Barry Crockers could have kicked straight they may have been still in this one at the 1st Huddle.  As it turned out The Doggies, no doubt looking over their shoulder at the looming Carringbush, put the pedal to the metal and had the Four Points stitched up by the time the red & black midgets came out to do their tumbling tricks.  That they added 5.5 to their Half Time 12.4 would have Rocket fired up.  They have another chance at a percentage booster next Saturday when they host The Wealges.  For The Anchormen it’s back to Port Fremantle to host Port Adelaide late on the Sunday.

GEELONG        14.9    (93)
ADELAIDE        13.13    (91)
The Moggies v The Pride of South Australia.  The Cats used up another of their nine lives in front of their Adoring Faithful on Saturday.  With the three goal wind abating for the Final Stanza, The Pride of South Australia nearly stole this one.  Only two things saved The Pradas from an embracing loss.  The wall Jimmy Bartell out up across half back as The Cats, kicking with the wind it should be pointed out, desperately defended their lead.  The other was Geelong’s MVP.  Bomber’s go to man in times of crisis.  Never mind Cry Baby, #35 is the bone dome who wears the Super Cat Cape down at Kardinia Park.  And what do you think of those Geelong Jumpers?  Prefer the full Navy Blue Hoops?  Us too.  It’s like your not getting full value, eh?  The Big Tommyhawk ran around a lot, which is a good thing, but the blood’s still having trouble getting up to the brain at times.  And he needs betas blockers when he’s taking a set shot.  The Pussies were well below their best and some SOTG are suggesting that we may have seen their best.  The Chardonnays can go home with their heads held high, but without the Four Points they so desperately wanted for a Top Four Finish and a home final.  The Birdman was flying high and snagged four for the afternoon.  He may have had more if it wasn’t for his clumsiness in going for the mark.  The loss may have taken the immediate edge off next Saturday night’s clash at Crow Park against The Woodsmen, but a good win can get them into The Four, however temporarily, on percentage.  The Hoopers get a practice run on The G against The Silvertails.

ST KILDA        13.16    (94)
STH MELB        13.15    (93)
South Melbourne v St Kilda.  Led by Dual Brownlow Medallist Adam the Goodes, The Lakers nearly caused the upset of the Season thus far when, with 20 seconds to go, they were all tied up with The Junction Oval Invincibles.   But as was the case in the earlier match down at Corio Oval GTWTCO. Regardless of how sad this would be, the lost would have to put paid to any slim chance The Harboursiders had of featuring once more in September.  They have The Rampaging Tigers next week at The Home of Football.  The Feeling Faints face TRP OTR down at Hork Park on the Sunday

WOODSMEN    12.23    (95)
THE MAROONS    8.7    (55)
The Magpies v The Gorillas.  With their boundary hugging game once again proving fragile under pressure, The Magpies looked set to be devoured by The Lions.  Jonathon Brown had already head butted Presti out of the game and Carringbush were spraying the ball all over the place.  Coach Brewery, smart bloke that he is, slipped the ruckman Wood back to cut off the match turning CHF’s feed.  It worked a treat.  Sometimes Brown was surrounded by four Collingwood defenders.  Where the other Brisbane forwards were is a mystery.  It left The Homeside’s forward line a bit under manned but they peppered the goals 39 times for a 12.23 scoreline.  Compare that to the 17 times The Visitors blazed away at the sticks and you have some idea of the difference between the two sides.  Good to see the relayed free brought back into the game – even if a bit gratuitously.  One blemish was the penalizing of the one on one wrestle for the mark.  Three times Jack Anthony won the advantage in this situation.  Three times he was pinged.  They’re going to have to swallow the whistle umpire up in Western Sydney or OGG is going to look a bit namby-pamby to crowds used to the hard hits of rugby league.  And what about the cheer when Presti came up the race into the 3rd Quarter?  The Ghosts at The Yarra Falls End would have had the tears streaming down their weather beaten cheeks.  This was All Collingwood.  All GAD.  They’re on the Overlander to play the Saturday night feature in the City of Light.  For The Bears, they face off against this week’s other Biggest Losers under the palm trees.

RICHMOND    12.14    (86)
MELBOURNE    12.10    (82)
The Dees v THE TIGERS.  This was not the match to take your cousin from Ghana to.  Playing off for The Coveted Timber Trophy, these two had managed eight majors between them in half a game of Football to the Long Interval.  Tanks or no tanks, The Dees proved themselves worthy of the Sylvan Shield and the Priority Draft Pick that will surely go with it this year.  They have a must lose against Freo on The Paddock That Grew and danger games against Hawthorn & Carlton in the run to the end of August.  With the Whole Football World and the wiles of Coach Bailey behind them they should be able to pull it off.  Of course the blessings of the Ayatollah will help.  For THE TIGES it was not the stepping stone to respectability TLSPRF had anticipated.  They butchered the ball at every opportunity and it wasn’t until the Final Stanza that this match took on any form of contest.  But for the tireless gut running and sublime play making skills of the bloke wearing Greg Tivendlale’s old number they could well have faced the embarrassment of having been beaten twice by this year’s Wooden Spooner.  Next Sunday they’ve invited Sydney down to play on The G.  For The Redlegs it’s North Melbourne under cover on the same day.

THE POWER    18.13    (121)
MAYBLOOMS    14.19    (103)
The Tealers v The Mustard Pots.  The Football Gods have spoken.  There will be no Football team representing Family Values in September 2009.  When five Hawthorn shots on goal, three of them from last season’s Coleman Medallist, rebounded from the post it was thus ordained.  But let’s take nothing away from The Tealers.  They stayed with The Hawks all day and had to kick The Sweep to win, but when the game was on the line they got on top and in the closing stages chopped the Hawthorn players down at will.  Incedently, for what it’s worth, Hawthorn’s score would have won every match bar the Bullies’ 111 points against Freo.  The win has Chokko’s mob into The Eight and little Hawkers will be wondering what happened to Season 2009.  With a lamentable percentage they’ll need to win the remaining four matches; matches that included St Kilda (next Sat down in Tassy) & Adelaide.  Back in the days of the original 12 tribes, Tommy Hafey’s TIGERS came from nowhere to take the 1967 Flag in a classic against the highly fancied, Polly Farmer led Geelong.  They missed the cut the next season then went on to take the 1969 Flag from 4th place and start an era that lasted until 1975 and included Four Flags.  The Hawks will learn from this year.  (Hopefully to gag their President – Ed)  As we said before, Hawthorn, your pre season begins now.  The Chokers may have turned the so-called corner however we await further proof that it’s not the just the corner of Port Road & Sussex Street.  They have Freo over there next Sunday, Cartoon & North at home with the only real test a trip to the Gabattoir in Round XXI.

WEST COAST        14.11    (95)
THE GLIDERS         10.8    (68)
The Coaster v The Bombers.  The Mosquito Fleet got morteened over at Camp Sooby as The Weagles proved what Handy Andy has been telling us all along: there is no such thing as tanking.  Some irate Punters who took the $1.30 on The Dive Bombers may feel otherwise, but the harsh reality is that they ran into a West Coast that is upwardly mobile.  An even harsher reality is that they may be a bit ahead of themselves.  They have a few aging superannuants to pay off and replace before they make any significant progress.  For a team tipped to be vying for Priority Draft Picks, they’ll be playing off for Glorious Ninth against TRP in Round XXII.  A commendable effort for Knighter & The Whingy Hill Mob.  They have the Saturday night match at The G next week against The Maroons.  For The Weagles it’s The Doggies under cover at the traditional time.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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

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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.

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