Happy Olympic Hangover to all,
London has come and gone with the Aussies not reaching the maddening heights expected by the masses, but actually performing to expectations of the rationalists save for our less than expected return from the pool. But we can now look forward to the happiest time of the year, September through November is joyous time for sports nuts. But it is on the topic of nuts that this week’s diatribe is focussed.
I thought the West Coast fans on Friday night were atrocious, even though from the Sage’s point of view Chris Scott was a bit precious with his comments. My observations were that Tom Hawkins was given great appreciation from all fans as he was carried off, but the TV may have missed the uglier elements. But Scotty you coach the Cats and opposition supporters can’t even get a ticket at your home games!
However not to be outdone I went to the Blues-Lions stoush on Saturday night and had Carlton fans above and beyond the Eagles fans’ ignorance for the game. The nationalisation of the game is overall positive but it has done nothing for fan behaviour. It is easy to be offensive and ignorant when your fans outnumber the opposition 10 to 1, but as a fellow Carlton supporter I was pretty embarrassed. The worst case being after Jonathon Brown had sprinted 20 metres and dived head first to mark the footy splitting his head open again in the cause for the team, some neanderthal blue bagged JB all the way to the boundary. The heir turned to me and said “How can anyone abuse such a champion of the game like that?”. It made me pretty chuffed with the heir but also raised the question who are “The Untouchables” of the competition?
The criteria to be an untouchable is to “play the game as it should be played”. The Lions have two in Brown and Simon Black and of course there is St Lenny – Nick Reiwoldt could be there but there are those photos! Others that fit “the untouchables” are Jobe, Cyril, Jimmy Bartel, Jude and Bob Murphy. Added to the gloss with Bob are his pieces that add to the inches in The Age. Gazza is in my list but I am sure there will be hooped fans that disagree. Others that might make it are Nat Fyffe, Patrick Dangerfield, Marc Murphy, Scott Pendlebury, (but very hard for a Blue or a Pie to be universally respected) Trent Cotchin and a few others.
But in discussing this with the Sage the question arose “Who is the ultimate untouchable?”. A few that come to mind might even include a Pie and a Blue in Bob Rose and Bruce Doull, Robert Harvey was always untouchable. However to my mind and without hesitation it is Triple Brownlow Medallist Bobby Skilton.
Now on to the footy! Managed to pick the sweep again last week, unfortunately my late run won’t bring me any tipping competition glory just extra burgers! Now for this week.
Bomber’s Babys ($1.38) vs Thommo’s Tyros ($3.55)
The stoush between Bomber and Cornflakes over the best young list is long gone for these two but contest remains eager. The Cats have brought back plenty of experience and talent whereas the Saints have lost their talisman in Riewoldt. The Saints were uninspiring last week while Geelong was gallant in defeat – the table will be turned this week with the Cats taking the points.
Bombing out? ($2.24) vs What are ya? Chicken ($1.79)
Form and Judd’s return certainly make the Blues obvious favourites – however these encounters often trigger a reversal of fortune. Just go back to Round 4 this year where the Bombers began the slide for the Blues who were flag favourites at the time (all be it undeserved). The Bombers themselves have what they would consider 4 of their best 22 back also. Through loyalty and Juddy I am tipping the Blues, however from a punters perspective the odds should be much closer and the Bombers above $2.10 is good shopping.
Canberra ($5.00) vs The Fuschias ($1.24)
Another battle at the bottom, a win for the Giants could cost them first pick? Not a game to punt on! However I will pick the Dees, but certainly give the Giants some chance for an upset – imagine the ramifications.
The Blob ($1.47) vs Hard this Week ($3.10)
They are purple and they are growing – and they could make the finals interesting. Whilst I doubt they could win away a West Coast-Freo Elimination Final is a distinct possibility. But first they need address the Tigers who need to address their poor record at Subiaco and some hefty defeats amongst it. Freo are getting back their best team and even have Herman named as an emergency, whereas the Tigers are playing for 2013 with two immediate retirements of Miller and Moore. Hmmmm are they tanking? It won’t matter Freo will win.
MC Hammers ($4.90) vs Champagne Sippers ($1.25)
With Messrs Brown and Black in the team well “You can’t touch this”, unfortunately they are missing a few of their old mates. But the young one certainly threw it up to the Blues last week. Whereas despite Micky’s reservations the Crows can roll onto a top two finish. I expect them to do just that, however I also expect a bold showing from Brisbane who will be keen to atone at home for the last performance there.
The Blues Brothers ($1.36) vs Argentina ($3.65)
With Didak back in the team, Johnson an emergency they are getting the band back together – Dane Swan just needs to “Think”. Whereas for North this game is as critical as any final – they have talked up their games against the Pies and squabbled over their strips of varying hues. But for the last four of them Collingwood has unmercifully torn them apart by 52, 66, 87 and 117 points, they might have a similar issue as Sydney but a lot worse! To make matters worse the Kangas have picked up 3 injuries including Daniel Wells. For those reason I am selecting the Pies and will do in future encounters until North stop the trend.
Here Buddha Buddha ($6.80) vs More Kerrigans ($1.16)
The Big Q says the Eagles can win it all from fifth – another case of the Darryl John Kerrigans I’m afraid! The requirement is to win four in a row and they are finals. They’re longest winning streak since round 6 is two, and of the first 6 they won – 3 were at Subi and one at Blacktown. But they will get two in a row against Port – welcome to coaching Buddha! As for Q – dreaming!
Scraggers ($12) vs The Curse Remains ($1.08)
The Collingwood curse remains on Sydney but they welcome back Sam Reid and should prove too good for the Dogs who also have a nice set of ins in Cooney, Griffen and Higgins. Swans must win this with a big close of the season with Hawthorn and Geelong to come.
Buddy Idiot ($1.02) vs Bloody Scared ($36)
Fancy putting this on late on Sunday – possibly should be in the midnight horror slot with Hal Todd and Issi Dye! The Hawks finally get Buddy back after the hamstring and vehicle sagas and they have an appetite for big wins – that’s what this will be.
On to matters equine – many have bemoaned the influx of foreign raiders on the Spring Carnival. We might need them to fill the races with loss of Black Caviar, Atlantic Jewel and Lucas Cranach from the spring. But we do get a group 2 and group 3 at the Heath this Saturday – however with an arctic blast on the way fields could be decimated. The Lawrence Stakes (G2) sees the appropriately named Luckygray make his eastern debut after his strong form in the west – still can’t work out how he got that protest up! However I would prefer to see him first especially if the track is slow – the old campaigner Heart of Dreams might be a good each-way option. The Cockram Stakes (G3) sees the fillies and mares line up and typically a mix of the race hardened winter campaigners with some the highly fancied classics contenders. It should be a watch and see race – the one I will be watching closely is the highly rated Hi Belle.
Then in the ammos The Friars locked in their finals berth with a solid win over Ormond at EE Gun Reserve – always a tough encounter. This week they face the OGS in what will be a precursor to the 1st Semi Final – how each team plays their cards will be intriguing but the main event will be in two weeks time!
And the Mighty Hammers take on another Claret and Blue side in Aston Villa in their much anticipated return to the Premier League.
Go Blues, Go Friars and Go Hammers