AFL Round 14 – The Wrap: The Steady As She Goes round



What a round it’s been in Footy Wrappers.  On Thursday night The Scum, like cream, floated to the top when they wedged The Eagles over on the Western Extremity of The Fatal Shore.  Friday saw us all up in Steak & Kidney, where once more The Premier City turned on the taps to provide some thrilling close-up every-inch-millimetre-counts Footy.  (It’s still raining from last week actually – Ed)  Saturday saw The Free Settlers pull away from The Metermaids; a match that was there for the taking for the side that didn’t blink during the Final Analysis.  The Battle of The Magpies went decisively to Alberton, The Greatest Team Of All turned up at Kardinia Park to steam off The Purple Vapour, and The Refractory Redlegs lost the Battle for The Coveted Timber Trophy when they held off The Sons of The West on The People’s Ground.

Come Sunday and it was a big day for scoring.  The Hawks to kick The Sweep with a blazing 21-17 (143) down at Hork Park, followed by The Troubled Shinboners with 19-16 (138) and The Inaccurate Tigers, who notched up 17-17 (119).

You’d be excused for thinking that some of the more cynical Students of The Game may have drawn the conclusion that there’s a fair amount of stage management in this whole Peptide Scandal.  Take Doctor Ageless’s latest media release.  The way it has been handled shows no regard for truth – only for outcome.  Sometimes what he says needs translation, although the gist of it is there.  Speaking of the actions of ASADA – They show absolutely no regard for the requirement of confidentiality of substance and persons under investigation.  Unscramble that and you’d be ready to crack the Dve Astle’s Puzzle of The Round.  The media doesn’t mind how long it drags on.  Front page spreads are what sells newspapers.  BT & the crew at 3AW filled in an hour on Saturday while we clipped the hedge.  And that’s just one venue.  Let’s face it; it’s the talk of the Football World.  Becoming tiresome?  Probably.  Every Schadenfreude has a used by date.

But hey, just when you’re about to get off the treadmill it speeds up again.  Did you notice that today’s Sage has appointed one of their crack investigative teams to cover the circus into which this sorry saga has developed?  For those who my have grabbed The Hun off the newsstand by mistake, as the 7.25 from Waverly pulled into the station, here’s their lead-in para under the header Drug scandal Club officials blamed.  Essendon’s hopes of avoiding suspensions for players found to have taken banned substances rest on convincing the World Anti-Doping Agency that the club deliberately misled and ultimately betrayed its players.  The piece is basted in sources.  There’s a source aware of disclosures made to ASADA, and another source familiar with events at Essendon.  This latter source said the players had no option but to believe what they had been told.  “You imagine a kid down from the Northern Territory in his first year.  Is he going to go against something his coach wants him to do and the coach officials say is safe?  No way. this source said.  Letting the patronising and racial undercurrents implied in this source’s statement go through to the keeper – one we feel perhaps wasn’t scrutinized by the ever watchful eye of the club’s legal eagle Sir Frank Downright – could we respectfully inquire if that situation would apply to someone who had arrived at the club from Dimboola via Xavier College?  And while Downright Lie & Procrastinate may feel confident they could lead with that argument, prosecutors eat ignorance as a defence for breakfast.

Then there’s the morale issue.  How would you feel about all this as a player?  Never mind where you came from.  That’s just another grab at one of those straw swirling in the whirlwind engulfing Melrose Drive.  Our Concise Macquarie Dictionary describes dupe the verb as – to make a dupe of; deceive, delude, trick.  Which brings us to a deeper issue at stake – the KRudd Medal for Self Delusional Excellence.  And with that master of self-delusion back in full public view, we’re hoping to get him to present the award named in his honour.  You guessed it Wrappers – if the administration at Whingy Hill think that by basting the goose they’re slowing cooking will, with numerous undisclosed sources, sway John Fahey & WADA from delivering full justice they’ll be a hands down certainty to be the recipient of the KRudd Medal for 2103.  They may even take out the Fevola Medal as well, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.  (Don’t be too sure of yourself here Wrap.  Where do you think the Ayatollah’s been on his annual leave? – Ed)

The booing continued on Saturday night.  Ballantyne & Crowley the villains in this case.  Both played their roles well, and no one took umbrage.  And let’s face it; it’s part of the pantomime element of The Game.  (To provide an outlet for the same age group – Ed)

Anyone catch The Real Julia on Before The Game?  Couldn’t help but feel if we’d seen more of that lass than the focus group driven puppet the media department presented she wouldn’t have to finish her career in the Footscray goalsquare.  Then again, maybe that’s where she’d be more comfortable.

Maggot Watch I.  In Friday night’s match the trend to let the game flow continued.  It could have been because the whistles were choked with water, but for whatever reason, it was the sensible thing to do under the conditions.  Then, out of the blue so to speak, Malceski, in possession in the Carlton goalsquare, is forced back over the line by Bootsma.  True, it was a backward step over the line, and technically in error.  But in the name of Jack McMurray!  In those conditions?  Under the current umpiring philosophy?  And that Walker two-handed shove in Ted Richards’ back!  Straight out of the Keith Bruce Andrews’ How To Play Australian Rules Football Manual.  You guessed it; on a night when only the bleeding obvious was being paid, this glaring free kick wasn’t paid.  Then, lo & behold, with The Bluebaggers having hauled in South’s lead to two straight kicks – albeit as scarce as hens teeth in the Noah-eque deluge – the maggots pluck two of the softest frees you’d ever want to see.  (They might have been squaring the ledger for the end of the Financial Year – Ed)  Right out of nowhere they were.  Both well within range; both converted.  It should be pointed out scoring the two goals needed by The Blues to snatch this contest looked beyond The Miseries anyway, the way the game was flowing, but it nevertheless blighted the performance of the whistleblowers on a night when they’d let things slide to match the conditions.

Maggot Watch II.  As pleasing as this swallow-the-whistle free-flowing game is to the Fans, let’s sound a warning.  It may be OK early in the piece, while it’s a novelty.  But once the players’ instincts program what they can get away with, watch for the pushing of the envelope.  And the Maggot Central backlash.  And in a Grand final – it could cost someone a Flag.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who’s been seen after Round XIV.

Sydney v The Miseries up in Sin City tonight.  It doesn’t get any tougher than the Desperate Blues v the Bloods OTR in the pouring rain.  Rain so heavy you wonder how the players could see.  Mrs Wrap of course couldn’t see how they could play in those conditions, and like any Melbourne Mother wanted the whole thing called off.  But to SOTG it became a fascinating battle as each side strived to maintain momentum.  Any weakening of the mind would soften the resolve and allow the opposition an opportunity.  And weren’t those opportunities precious?  That three of them were gifted – two to The Lakers & one to The Silvertails (See Maggot Watch I- Ed) – didn’t really affect the outcome, but they were surreal in a match that was sensibly umpired otherwise.  In lovely weather for ducks The Swans slammed on 4-6 to three behinds in the First Term to open what turned out to be a match winning lead.  And isn’t that # 8 for Sydney look hungry for the pigskin?  With six first year players playing Bloods Football and Big Kurt in the goal square they look set to feature deep into September.  But first they have to make sure of a Top Four Finish.  They opened the door for Freo last week in going down to Port, and the earlier loss to The Anchormen up in Harbourtown may turn out to be an expensive loss.  They’ve got a chance to celebrate their Melbourne Heritage when they take on The Dees next Sunday for the early one.  It also presents a wonderful opportunity to boost their percentage and give Big Kurt some target practice.  The Blues on the other hand must be wondering where their next win’s coming from.  They have the pipe opener next round – Carringbush on The Big Stage.  They’re sitting 6&7 with a relatively healthy percentage (113.9%) – given their negative win-loss ratio – should they start winning again.  Go down to The Woodsmen next Friday and it gets all that bit tougher.  They weren’t disgraced on Friday night.  They won the Championship Quarter and were within striking distance on the scoreboard at one stage, but they just seem to have lost that winning feeling.  (The Rattzbaggers were sitting pretty much where they are now this time last year, and with a queue outside the medical room that stretched halfway around Princes Park – Ed)  It’s probably a bit premature to suggest a new coach, but hey, with things settled up in Canberra for the time being, who’s the next tall poppy the media can latch onto?  And remember where you heard it first, eh?

The Sunbeams v The Pride of South Australia.  This was a match that could have gone either way at the Kia Ora Cordial ¾ Time Break, but it was The Pride of South Australia that remembered to add the rum to the OT.  Patrick Dangerfield was again outstanding and must be shortening for the Charles Brownlow.  The Sunbeams are up to the Big Smoke next for The Mango & Banana Smoothie Cup next Saturday around that 4.40 mark.  The Chardies slip home to Crow Park to welcome The Eddie Eagles on Saturday night.

The Port Adelaide Magpies v The Carringbush Magpies.  Now cracks a noble heart.  Goodnight, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.  Make no mistake; this was a major setback to The Westpac Figjams.  It wasn’t the loss so much as the capitulation that would have struck the dagger deep.  But let’s take nothing away from The Coach of The Year and his Unfashionable Port Adelaide Charges.  They’ve made their mark on Season 2013 and did so with just old fashioned hard work and Self Belief.  Not a syringe or an extra draft picks in sight.  (You predicted this didn’t you Wrap? – Ed)  They get to test their newfound confidence against one of The Competition Benchmarks next Sunday under cover in the gathering gloom when they take on the Flying Pharmaceuticals.  As for Carringbush, they’ve arranged a concert that would outsell Meatloaf & Kiss combined when they roll out the Black&White carpet Mickey & The Miseries.

The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires v The Anchormen.  Blown away, burnt off, call it what you will, but the mystique The Purple Haze longer holds up for 2013.  But in all fairness, they were ambushed.  With The Pav & Big Laurie out, the loss of Munday & Barlow left them more a Mauve Miasma than a Purple Haze.  Creepy Crowley & Ballantyne gave it their all, and let’s be honest here, there was very little protection from the men in chartreuse.  The Geelong Captain copped the brunt of the spoiling tactics, and he took it manfully, if not silently.  But the tactic failed.  And if that’s all Fremantle have to offer, they’re not going to go far in September.  The Millionaires played some of the most brutally efficient and free-flowing Footy we’ve seem from them all season.  And they played it from the first bounce.  (Hawthorn take note – Ed)  Thanks for reminding me Oh Chiefly One.  Cancel that 40th birthday gig you’ve now had planned for 39 years.  Next Saturday night’s clash could well be a GF preview.  Bruce has the call and the game’s a Geelong home game on The Big Stage.  The Violet Vapour pop back across the Nullarbor to host The Feeling Faints for the early one on the Sunday.

The Melbourne Devils v The Sons of The West.  The Fuchsias weren’t supposed to win this one.  And it had nothing to do with tanking.  They just haven’t played well enough.  Or have they been foxing again?  The fact that they led at every change must have been heartening for TLSRF, and would have been a real shot of Self Belief for The Playing Group.  (I know.  I know.  I dislike those modern terms as much as you do Wrap, but we have to use them to appear that we’re on top of the Modern Game – Ed)  In the end they nearly blew it, and it would have been poetic – in the context of the 2013 narrative – if they had.  With The Casey Scorpions running hot with several Redleg Rookies starring in their surge, the call for extra draft picks is starting to have a hollow ring to it.  The Poor Old Doggies, after showing some promise that they were ready to win, just couldn’t get their game going – until it was too late.  If ever they needed a high profile player in the goalsquare it was this weekend.  Maybe once the knife wounds in her back have healed she’ll be back.  They get another suck of the sauce bottle next Saturday for the early one up in Ruddsville when they take on the Red Hot Sylvan Shield favourites.  The Redlegs return to reality when they host The Lakers for the early one on the Sunday.

The Paid-up Proud & Passionate v The Lion Kings.  Poor old Brissy hardly had time to find their way from the tarmac to the terminal at Lonny when they ran head on into the Glenferrie Oval Express.  Warming up for their Hoodoo/Record-breaking encounter with their Corio Bay Nemesis, they made short shift of The Roy Boys, who it would be fair to say may feel more comfortable next Saturday up at The Gabbatoir in the gathering gloom when they challenge for The Tropical Fruit Salad Bowl Mk IV.

The Funnyboners v GWS.  The Roos slammed The Orangemen yesterday, and if the Final Eight was decided on percentages, they’d be sitting 8th.  But it’s not so they remain a slim mathematical possibility for September.  They take on the Tiges under cover at the traditional time next week in what will be a season defining match for both teams.  The Giants From The West Side Of The Town catch the team bus down to the National Capital to host The Western Chihuahuas for the early one on Saturday.

Struggletown v The Culture Club.  Not sure whether this game said more about The Culture Club or The Striped Marvels.  The Marvels certainly look to be brimming with confidence, but they were hardly tested as, for the second successive week, they dismantled a sub-standard opposition.  And we’re sorry Sainters, but you were sub-standard.  Not sure where you go from here, but you’d better shake a leg.  By the last quarter, the cheer squad area behind the Ponsford Stand End was showing more woodwork than staunch supporters.  And of the 52,148 at the ground, you’d suspect at a rough guess that 50,000 of them were decked out in The Yellow&Black of Struggletown.  St Riewoldt tried his heart out, but to be honest, there wasn’t much heart in the St Kilda team on Sunday.  The Tiges will take the Four Points and the percentage boost into their Saturday Arvo match against their Old Rival North Melbourne.  The Kanga have played The Tiges well over the last few years, and it’s a trend they’d like to reverse around at Punt Road.  The Feeling Faints drag their sorry backsides across the Nullarbor to take on The Dockers OTR for an early one on Sunday..

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

When the world runs out of ideas it has run out of time.  In that vein let’s see what some of the worlds great thinkers & doers have said on the matter.

Ideas can be life-changing.  Sometimes all you need to open the door is just one more good idea. – Jim Rohn

If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it. – Albert Einstein

You have to have an idea of what you are going to do, but it should be a vague idea – Pablo Picasso???

An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy to be called an idea at all. – Elbert Hubbard

At the other extreme, here’s some we found in the Christmas bonbons.

What did the astronomer do when the telescope failed?  He looked into it.?

What do you call a dear with no eyes? No Idea.

A man said to his shrink- “Doctor, I’m having dreams.  One night, I’m a tepee, next night I’m a circus tent.  The shrink said:  “Well there’s your problem, you’re two tents!”  (Get it?  Two tents) ??

How do you make holy water?  Boil the hell out of it??

Have you heard about the explosion at a cheese shop in France?  The area is covered in De Brie

How do you make an egg laugh?  Tell it a yolk.??

What do you call a crocodile in a vest?  An investigator!

?What do you call a pony’s cough?  A Little Hoarse.

What do you call it when a dinosaur crashes a car? – Tyrannosaurus Wrecks

Boom!  Boom!  Now we can all get some sleep.

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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