The Wrap – Round II

 

THE WRAP – ROUND II

WHERE LIFE IMITATES FOOTBALL

by John Mosig

What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.   With an emphatic win over a brave but ill equipped Brissy on Thursday night, The Rattzbaggers announced that after all this coming, they’ve finally arrived.  On Saturday we witnessed more demoralizing destruction of Melbourne’s already tattered 2012 season over in The West; The Chardonnays had to put in, but they eventually out lasted The Doggies over in the City of Churches; The Tigers produced too little too late against The Lukewarm Pies; The Stevedores slung the hook in the end, but they were too late to unload before their shift ended up in Steak & Kidney; and The Bombers came home on a wing and a prayer, eventually landing safe & sound against a determined Port bombardment.

To close off the Easter Round The Penrith Pygmies provided the Fred Hesse Annihilation Scoreboard down in Hobart Town as they were crushed by a massive 129 points.    Gold Coast, tried hard not to be outdone by their Cockroach Rivals, but St Kilda failed to grasp what was at stake here, and The Sunbeams fell well short of that impressive gap, managing to go down by only 92 points.  The best was saved for Easter Monday when The Mustard Pots & The Pivotonians slugged it out.  In yet another titanic struggle.  And titanic is the right word, because once more, the iceberg won.  In yet another one for the ages, The Moggies hauled in a three-goal deficit to win by the penultimate narrowest possible margin against their Wayward Rivals.  (Why don’t you just say two roast joints Wrap? – Ed)

The most heinous crime that can be committed, according to the Appalling Football League’s view of the world, is to Bring The Game into Disrespect.  Let’s look at a few items from Round II and see where they themselves – the Great Helmsman and Angry Adrian in particular – sit on this score.  Let’s say a 10 goal margin suggests a team playing substandard football and in need of a major overhaul; a margin of 15 goals, a team that is totally out of its depth; and a margin of 20 goals, a team that should be dismantled and sent packing to another league, or merged with another AFL club.  There is no doubt in anyone’s mind – anyone with any sort of moral and/or commercial compass that is – that these sorts of margins, particularly if returned consistently, devalue the brand.  (You weren’t facing Canberra when you wrote that were you Wrap? – Ed)

Margins that rang the bell over Easter – Carlton v Brisbane – 91 points (15-1) – Carlton fired up for Greatness with a superb midfield, a snappy forward line and a thereabouts defence with regular defenders to return from injury versus a re-building team without two of its star players – s**t happens.

West Coast v Melbourne – 108 points (17-0) – this is Melbourne’s 2nd consecutive humiliation, and events surrounding the club – both this season and over the previous administrations – suggests an organization in need of drastic remedial action.  How much of this remedial action will need to be in the form of hard cold cash is anybody’s guess, but it took a supreme effort to get them in the black last time, and the light on the hill is shining in another place now.

NMFC v GWS – 129 points (21-3) – one of the two ‘New Territory’ adventures set up by the Ayatollah last decade.  In two matches so far this season they’ve scored 91 points (15-1) and conceded 283 points (47-1).  In need of financial, supporter base and on-field propping up for an undefined period into the future.  The gate by the way, down at Blundstone Arena, for the inaugural Kangaroo game, was 11,127.  Eleven thousand odd?  For crying out loud, over 8,000 parked around Mulwala Park to watch The Fev turn out for The Yarrawonga Pigeons against Lavington.

St Kilda v The Suns – 92 points (15-2) – 2nd year in The Comp.  Their opponents last week – Adelaide – all but doubled their score.  No real signs of improvement from their inaugural season yet, despite the valiant efforts of their Skipper.  The crowd at Ethelred Stadium for The Saints’ 1st home game of the season was 21,078.  A work in progress?  So is putting computers in every school and insulation in every roof.

Without rabbitting on about these scores, nor labouring the point of the AFL’s marketing folly, the main point of interest in these sorts of mismatches is going to be one of schadenfreude.  And while that alone should qualify as bringing Our Great Game into disrepute, note how North & Saint Kilda have shot up the 2nd Round Ladder on percentage after being gifted percentage boosters against the two tyro teams.  Those who get to play them twice this year must be licking their chops.

But once the sadistic pleasure wears thin, the boredom sets in followed by the anger as squillons of our dollars – yes, they’re the dollars we provide by loving The Game and putting up with the crap the AFL serves up to us, including a medium size bucket of stale, lukewarm chips costing $7 plus an extra dollar if your kid wants sauce.  Without the Fans, there’d be no matches. It’s the exploitation of our tribalism, our devotion to The Game, our blind passion that has allowed this situation to unfold.

So in one sense it’s not fair to blame the ego & greed of the Two Million Dollar Man and his minions and toadies, but at some stage the question has to be asked; when does it become our responsibility to do something about the bleeding of a viable Competition’s strong teams to support what is nothing more than a marketing itch from an administration that has far outreached its original purpose?

And for those who came in late – the Commission was empowered to neutralize, with an independent administrative body, the constant feuding between the Original Twelve Tribes.  Now the madness from Jellymont House threatens the very structure of The Competition at The Elite Level.  The changeover to the dictatorship, in the name of better governance, that we now have has been so gradual we haven’t seen it coming – or have we?

Can I tell you a story about a grand old gentleman who was born in Hawthorn?  (You’re going to anyway Wrap – Ed)  He was one of life’s journeymen.  He turned up on our farm with his caravan in the early 1980’s and became a regular seasonal visitor.  He could turn a washing machine motor into a reverse cycle fan, loved his jazz and his church, and play a blinding game of chess.  He was one of those sorts of people who rode a motorbike around the bush during the Depression fixing windmills for a living.  (Are you saying those times might be coming back Wrap? – Ed)   I’m not sure if they still make them like Bob Tyrell anymore.  We got talking about Footy of course, and he’d seen the worst of the Mayblooms during his growing up in the Leafy East, and there was very little up-side in those dark days for the Yankee Doodle Dandies other than Col Austin losing the Brownlow on a countback.  They were the days of fierce suburban loyalty, and he learnt to stick through thick & thin.  They breed ‘em tough out under the plane trees.  (I’m getting to the point dear Editor – Wrap)  He said he’d lost interest.  The Game, he said, had become all about the money.  The dosh, the loot, the kanga, the moolah, the almighty dollar.  For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?  That was 30 years ago.

As ye sow, so shall ye reap.  As I said, they don’t make ‘em with that sort of foresight anymore.

What’s in a name?  Would the real Josh Kennedy please stand up?  We’ve got one, trade-bait from Carlton, soaring higher than Eddie The Eagle over in The West, while the other, a Hawthorn Reject and son & grandson of Club Legends, ripping the opposition apart up on Coathanger Bay with The Bloods.

And we’ve discovered a way to beat the noise pollution at the G.  Attend when Carringbush are playing.  Absent on Saturday night were those inane ground announcers and sponsor’s messages.  You could actually talk to the people around you.  There was the obligatory rock band of course, but it was subdued, and they only played a couple of numbers.  (Chips still $7 a medium size bucket at the Collingwood End Wrap? – Ed)

Tough Talking Coaches, 2012 style.  The GWS mentor, the inimitable Coach Mumbles, has lifted a page from Coach Neeld’s songbook; the club will not put out the same team for this week’s game against West Coast.  Anyone want to lay the odds on Izzy Folau not boarding the Indian Pacific on Thursday night?

But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who ran true in Round II.

The Lions v The Silvertails.  We were wrong.  Unfortunately it looks as though those bullyboys from Princes Park are BIT.  While Brissy threw everything they had – except the Brown & Black kitchen sink – at The Blues, they were no match for The Carlton Professionals, who it must be said, are looking every bit a Top Four Side.  With their #1 Draft Pick midfield firing on all six cylinders and their forwards putting on a classic display they won by nearly 100 points after being challenged in the Opening Stanza.  The Juddanaught claimed 33 possessions, 17 of them contested.  Eddie The Best took a couple of screamers, and The Silvertails simply carved up the opposition with superb skills.  They’ll display them again against Arch Rivals Collingwood in yet another Blockbuster at The G next Friday night.  Boss Voss ships his charges over to Perth as guests of The Purple Horde.

The Dons v Port Adelaide.  Never mind Harry Houdini, we’ve got our own Great Escapist out at Whingy Flat.  Once more The Bombers got out of goal.  And while it should be said they did it with one fit man on the bench, it is equally valid to ask why this situation keeps cropping up.  They have the percentage booster up at The Metricon next Saturday night.  The Power, looking every bit a team on the rise, host Sydney next Saturday afternoon.

The Bloods v The Barry Crockers.  For the second week The Swans won with less than a Hundred Minutes of Football, however, they were never really threatened.  As expected, The Purple Haze was more a puff of smoke after their bruising encounter against TRP last weekend.  The Swans swap Sin City for the City of Light next Saturday night in what is shaping as a real test of one side’s credentials on the road and the others bona fide improvement.  The Wharfies are hosts to Brisbane, also on the Saturday.

WCE v The Redlegs.  Move along.  There’s nothing to see here.

The Magpies v The Tigers.  The Maggies won this with a withering eight minute burst of power footy to open the 2nd half.  Apart from that 5-goal purple patch they were lack lustre.  They weren’t on their own.  Twenty five scoring shots to 24 suggests a tighter match on the scoreboard than it actually was.  Both defences were on top.  Jumping Jack was getting most of his limited ball up the ground and Tyrone Vickery had another horror night.  He missed a couple of shots my grandmother would have made and spilt a grab in the goal square that could have, in the context of the match, ignited The Tigers.  The Pies took home the bacon on the night, but walking up through the car park it was obvious Collingwood is fraction riddled.  The Mickeyites want to go back to the good old days – well day actually – when they held possession around the boundary line and held aloft The Holy Grail.  The Nathanites want to press on with the novel concept that the shortest way to goal is down the guts.  But the most damning criticism came from the Mickeyite Camp; that Carringbush had lost the passion for the Football.  Or was that passion for Football.  It’s hard to understand them when they take out their teeth so they don’t lose them in the jostle getting down the ramp and onto the Epping or Hurstbridge train at Jolimont Station.  They’ll get their chance against Carlton next Friday night when The Blues transfer a home game from The Dumb to The G.  The Tiges have the Battle of The Original Co-tenants on the Saturday arvo.

The Pride of South Australia v The Western Bulldogs.  The Chardonnays hoicked up their Whatever Cup Pennant before their 1st home game for 2012.  Then went on to take up where they left off last week.  The Rabid Adelaide Mob was in full cry and by The Long Break they looked like going on to notch a convincing win.  Again, it was a battle of defences.  Both Walker & Tippett forgot to collect their kicking boots from the cobbler’s, but fortunately The Scrays were unable to mount a convincing counter attack.  The Bullies look a shadow of the high scoring outfit that has stunned opposition defences over the last few years.  They have The Feeling Faints under cover next Saturday night when another pair of Rookie Coaches line up against each other.  The Black Birds get to test themselves against Equal Flag Favourites Hawthorn on the Sunday at The Home of Football.

NMFC v GWS.  The spin from Jellymont House will tell us that this is the defeat GWS had to have, however, you’d think it would to be a hard sell to a bunch of teenagers, who in every likelihood, have never copped the sort of beltings in their junior days as they’re getting now.  And around at Unfashionable Arden Street, they must be wondering at their free percentage boost from the Appalling Football League.  You’re not wrong Nurelle; 338.88% is a truckload.  And they get to play them twice.  The Greater Western Shenanigans have invited the WCE to a shindig at Blacktown International Spots Park, Eastern Road Rooty Hill.  BISP has a capacity of 10,000 so get along early for this one.  (It’s the AFL Marketing Department’s way of creating a lock-out – Ed)  The Kangas hop along to Docklands to host The Moggies for the Sunday twilight match.

The Feeling Faints v The Sunbeams.  Another gifted Four Points, plus 295 percentage points.  Talk about thank your father for the rabbits.  And they play them again in seven weeks time.  Next week’s consignment is a bit tougher for The Feeling Faints – The Western Dishlickers on the Shifting Sands of Docklands in what could be a definitive game for both outfits.  The Metermaids have invited The Dons up to Wally World for the Saturday night dance at The Metricon.

Geelong v Hawthorn.  What does Hawthorn have to do to beat Geelong?  Apart from being in front at the Final Siren.  Fair dinkum, with Pell Pot and Richard Dawkins going at it head to head on Q&A the same evening, it’s enough to make you believe in The Football Gods, eh?  The Mayblooms had chance after chance to seal this one in the Final Term.  Probably the saddest of them was Roughie’s towering leap over the pack in the goal square that failed to clunk the Sherrin.  He’d been doing everything right all day in his comeback match, without doing a helluva lot, and it would have been a hero’s return to The GoldenBrowns.  Alack alas, ‘twas not to be.  And who’s going to tell Buddy that the check-side is the outside of the boot and the running-side is the inside of the boot?  And that both are low percentage shots on a wet day at full pace.  But let’s hear it for The Handbags.  They were magnificent.  Four goals, in the context of the contest, was a mighty Last Quarter Effort.  Chappy, seemed to be carrying a ruptured solar plexus from last week, and had been beaten for pace all day, seemed to grow an extra leg.  Skipper Joel Selwood & Stevie J were swathed in red badge of courage bandanas.  Jimmy Bartell was tirelessly at them all day.  The jPod was always threatening perfectly complimented and The Moggie’s other Twin Tower, took 12 marks on a wet day – five of the contested.  Let’s make no mistake here; The Greatest Team of All has every intention of defending its 2011 Pennant with every ounce of endeavour & every degree of skill to the last drop blood.

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

 

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. Ed Harcourt says:

    I agree that the AFL has leaned on the dyed in the wool supporters for some leverage for the two new teams – but I think all this worrying about GWS and GCS is a lot like the hand-wringing that went on a few years back when Victoria failed to win the flag for 6 years. I recall someone calling for a Royal Commission and a bit of guff about unfair advantages. 5 (out of 5) Victorian flags (and 9 out of 10 Grand Finalists) later that little argument has been put to bed well and truly.

    I’m just shitty my team isn’t playing them twice this year!

  2. The Wrap says:

    I remember that Ed. How long do you think it will take these two new teams to settle in? The Bad News Bears were a joke – and so were Sydney till Tommy Hafey went into the box and Ron Barassi went onto the board – and Richard Collis.

  3. Ed Harcourt says:

    Hard to say, but the AFL has done their darnedest to make sure they start winning and start winning well ASAP with two things: Cash and talent. The unknown are the intangibles: character, experience, a supporter base. Maybe you can’t just start a club and have them winning straight away no matter what you do. The only two clubs to have any immediate success are Adelaide and Port – two teams with a lot going for them before they came into being anyway.

  4. Wrapster, what was that Pete Seager song. Where have all the May Blooms gone. I nearly suffocated at the local footy on Saturday but it appears they have all hidden away with the Thylacines. Courioser and courioser.

    Listened to old ‘Pell Pot’ last night.

    He is obviously not used to have to answer questions without coming up with some unassociated myth that he expects the meek sheep to accept.

    I drifted off to sleep while listening to it on news radio. Did any one ask him the elephant in the room one about systematic sexual abuse of parisioners?

  5. Dave Nadel says:

    Ed, you may be right about Gold Coast, although it does worry me that even Rugby League, which is the most popular footy code in Queeensland, has now failed four times to get a viable franchise on the Gold Coast. Soccer has also failed but they may be because they sold the franchise to Mad Mean Clive Palmer. I would hate to see both Gold Coast and GWS turn into bottomless pits sucking away AFL money (which is actually our money) and generations of young recruits.

    GWS will turn into a bottomless pit. There are not enough AFL supporters for two clubs in Sydney and the Swans were there first. I am all in favour of expanding the game and the new contracts call for nine matches weekly. If I had been Demetriou I would have set up one team in Tassie and the other in Perth. Population is growing fast enough in Perth to warrant a third team and there is certainly no shortage of both corporate and barrackers money in the West. For all of the AFL’s concern about (lack of ) Tasmanian wealth I bet both teams would have started paying for themselves earlier than GC or GWS are going to.

  6. Rick Kane says:

    Mr Phantom, re your question about the elephant in the Catholic Church’s pants. Pell at one point mentioned that they had gathered a group of young boys together and there was an almost audible giggle swept through the room. Pell looked around quizzically and then carried on only to have the giggle sweep through a second time. he carried on regardless, contemptuous of anyone below the station he has designated for himself. Jews, gays, atheists we all attracted his sympathy and contempt in equal measure.

    Now, as for the Hawks in hiding. Give me a break. We’re frickin hurtin. Not only did we freeze when we most needed to burn (again) but most of the doing was our own. Enjoy the well earned right to lard it over Hawkers but, know this well, what goes around comes around and our time is nigh. By the way, where should I send your Easter egg?

    Cheers

  7. Dave,

    we were just beginning to become friends and you just have to put your foot in it. The fall out from the Easter Sunday game in Hobart has started. We were told of full house stuff (17,000) but only 11,000 fronted. What with all the Statewide promotion and the complementary tickets first up this was a dismal failure. The natives are a bit restless.

    Comerade, we have only just got rid of a bullying corporate that had undue influence over our State government and you and others cry for the AFL to take it’s place. The State can not afford a team in the AFL.

    We already have a AFL Tassie manager who screams for tax payers money to prop up the games. No one will travel to Hobart from as close as the cafes of Salamanca Place let alone north of Bridgewater so the 50 mill per annum it takes to run an AFL team will have to come entirely from the parent body. The parent body will then want to run our State for us and contemporary Tassy politicians are easy prey it seems.

    The only people calling for a Tassie team are from the mainland or Hobart. Hobart historically produces no wealth. It relies on Canberra for it’s amjor income stream. Please mainlanders, don’t cry for us and assume we want a team in the AFL. It is patronising. We don’t bloody well want one. We can’t bloody well one. And besides, we allready have an established one; the 2012 premiers – the Hawks.

  8. Rick,

    I am beginning to understand and like you too. You must be different to the Hawks over here. They have harassed me all summer saying that Geelong didn’t win the flag because they would have beaten us in the grand final. They didn’t even get into the (fruit salad) grand final.

    They have (in big mobs) been unrelenting in telling me how we were going to be smashed yesteday because we had lost all our good players and they were at full strength.

    Perhaps you had better come over for the Knacker Magical Mystery Tour in June and teach them some manners or at least some humility.

  9. Ed Harcourt says:

    Phantom,

    The same argument was used by Carringbush supporters in 2008, post the 2007 Preliminary final close encounter. I think the Age even ran a front page spread with a graphic of a 2007 Collingwood WEG poster questioning Geelong’s legitimacy as Premiers. I love all that shit. It keeps the demons that lurk in satisfied mind down in their hole.
    Anywho, it was great to see the Catters beat the reigning premiers on Saturday. I only hope we can beat them when it counts.

    Phantom (i always have to suppress the urge to write Phanto),

    Would a Tasweigian team of it’s/their/your own (Ie., “The Tassie Devils”) make any difference? You can see the immediate impact it has made on Greater Western Sydney. Lesser Eastern Sydney is a shell of it’s former self.

  10. Hey Mr Phantom, Hawks at full strength?

    Dere one simple quation, sfars I concerned (sorry, watching Jackie Brown):

    Hodge + Yesterday = 4 points to the Hawks.

  11. Matt,

    ‘Thought’ thought the candle was out, so he lit a match to see.

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