AFL Round 15 – The Wrap

What a round it’s been in Footy Wrappers. On Friday we saw the launching of a new club song. It goes, and remember, we’re not trained vocalists around here in the Wrapcave, something like this ……..

Da da da da da

We are The Paper Blues

The Old Dark Paper Blues

We’re the team that never lets you down

We’re the only team All Visy knows

With all the champions

They like to send us

We’ll keep our ream up

And they’ll know that they’ve been playing

Against the Famous Old Soft Blues

On the Saturday it was the return of the status quo. At the bottom end of The Table The Doggies just scraped in against The Orangemen. In the middle rankings The Tigers of Old fell in a screaming heap against their nemesis North. While at the top end, The Kennett Curse continued. Interstate, The Coasters tipped out The Crows in a low scoring thriller.

Come Sunday and was even more status quo as the easy leg of Round XV unfolded. The Bloods beat the Fuchsias, The Dockers brushed The Seagulls off the wharf, and The Bombers had blitzed The Tealers by the Final Siren.

Some wag has suggested that the reason why the ASADA Melrose Drive Drugs In Sport Enquiry is taking so long is that they’re trying to find a way of finding The Flying Syringes innocent of all charges. (That would certainly explain the time drag on the report – Ed.)*

It may even take a year or two. Dr. Ageless has declared that he will challenged his subpoena, to an examination under oath by ASADA, to the highest court in the land. We’re talking years here. Very convenient for all involved? Maybe. Maybe not. Of course all those with an interest in stalling an outcome will be chuffed. But it’s hard to see the Long Suffering Mr & Mrs Football and all the Little Footballs copping it lying down much longer. There’s growing disquiet amongst the punters that they’re being snowed. If the Appalling Football League wants to avoid a Football Fans’ Spring they are going to have to show some leadership and bring this sorry saga to a head, and do it sooner than later. Much sooner. (That’s a bit of a tall order when the AFL leadership is on annual leave – Ed.) Well, just imagine should the ire of the Football Public reach a stage wherein it expresses itself as a stream of booing every time any Essendon player took a possession, not just St Jobe. An ugly thought, but not one beyond the normally passive nature of the average Footy Fan if he or she feels they’ve been dudded.

Maggot Watch I. We weren’t alone in thinking that the whistleblowers at the GeelongHawthorn match were leaning towards The Hawks? Chris Scott’s blood pressure must have been off the scale at some of the howlers the maggots delivered on Saturday night. A couple that caught our eye came in quick succession. One was a softest of soft clearing free to Hawthorn, who by that stage could see the game slipping away from them. The second was a shot on goal to The Hawks – equally as soft, which, true to their form of the night, they butchered. Then there was Tomahawk penalized for hands on the back – a bit rough considering what was being allowed around the ground. Then when Tommy himself gets shoved out of the marking contest it’s OK. It’s the sort of inconsistency that wins Beitzel Medals. (You haven’t forgotten Kelly’s clearing kick have you Wrap – that, due to the oval shape & consequential unpredictable nature of our ball, broke viciously enough to rival a Warne leg break? Crikey, there must have been a good 20 yards of running side spin on that kick – Ed.) You don’t reckon they might practice that on Tuesday night Ed? The bottom line is that you would have to come close to querying the reason for the bias. These weren’t lineball decisions; they were plucked out of nowhere. (Careful Wrap, you saw what happened to Julian Assange & Julia Gillard when they spoke out – E.d)

Maggot Watch II. Same match – only this time it’s an interchange infringement. Or was it? It shouldn’t be that difficult to keep track of who comes through the interchange gate, surely. Forgetting that for the moment; what happens if this was a Grand Final decided by less than a straight kick in favour of the recipient of the erroneous penalty? This wasn’t a subjective call – did his bootlace flick onto the field of play before the shadow of the replaced player clear the boundary line? No, this was purely a numbers game. At all times The Cats had three players on the interchange bench. True, Josh Hunt ran off and straight back on, but that was his misunderstanding. It was not an interchange infringement. How could the steward get it so wrong? And why wasn’t it overturned when the error was discovered. Presuming of course that the Geelong bench protested. And if they did, and were ignored, what review steps are in place to ensure it doesn’t happen again? And if, at or before the end of our hypothetical GF, the steward’s blatant miscount is discovered, will the decision be reversed?

Talking about annual leave, we had another card from The Geisha. Not sure where he is now because this one was postmarked back in mid June. It was a beach scene with umbrellas & tables on the sand. One of the brollies had something in Mexican Spanish blazoned across it. Something like Zihautanejo. The Geisha was his usual taciturn self. The message just read – Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all. No indication at all as to when he was coming back to sort things out at Maggot Central.

But enough of my gabbin’. Let’s see who is going to be able to red-hot keen after Round XV.

Carlton v Collingwood. Memo to self, never ever tip The Softcocks unless they’re playing a Cellar Dweller, and then only if the Cellar Dweller is in the basket weaving phase of their rebuild. Fair Dinkum, Parko reckons it was the worst display of Football that he has ever seen from a team wearing The Famous Old Dark Blue of Bob Chitty & Ken Hands. He was wrecked. SOTG may be tempted to go further and say the worst wearing any sort of jumper. Or cardigan. They sat back while The GAD Magpies swung a 52 point turnaround on them in 38 minutes. Collingwood rovers were breaking through two or three Carlton tackles as they drove the ball into attack. If the match had been a fight it would have been stopped at Half Time. (If The Bluebaggers were a horse they would have put the screen up – Ed.) The less than expected 78,224 was noticeably thinned by the OT Huddle, and cynics may be already suggesting basket weaving and macramé may be more in Carlton’s grasp than Football at The Elite Level. It was only Carringbush’s lapses in front of goal in the 2nd Half that prevented this from becoming a total rout. True, The Miseries lost Waite early in the piece and Robinson & The Hon Edward C Betts were carrying injuries. The latter gave us one of his trademark tackles. A Collinwood small – it may have been Elliot – was eluding Carlton defenders just outside the attacking fifty. He had been stepping around them and fending them off like they were witches hats and training dummies when he was struck down by a Navy Blue Cannonball. The Hon. Eddie must have run all the way from his forward pocket to lay that tackle, and the Carringbush smart aleck had no idea what hit him. The Silvertails fielded no less than four #1 draft picks on the night. The three they picked up from Wooden Spoon finishes all had less than 20 possessions each. And apart from a few cameos from their ex-captain, which amounted to no more than 29 more Judd statistic, they delivered precious little to take into next week’s game against St Kilda. The Kreuzer, to his credit, ran around red-faced, but produced nothing in the way of inspiration, as did Judd’s efforts. It’s now becoming evident; it’s not so much a new coach that they needed; it was a new ticker. (Or a new fitness coach – Ed.) And speaking of their new coach, would we be alone in suspecting they may have pulled the wrong rein here, for the wrong reason? This time last year they were glorious Ninth with 28 points. So where are they now? That’s right Rattz – 11th with 24 points. (Are you saying that to pull the heavy load you must first have the right oxen Wrap? – Ed.) Not sure what’s wrong at Optus Oval Ed. It could be something in the water, but I suspect it’s more likely something in the culture. (Sticks reversing the decision to retire at the end of the season a bad call? – Ed.) But enough of The Royal Blue Pretenders. The Figjams responded in glorious fashion. Bucks is building his own Team of Champions around there at Victoria Park, and The Ghosts at The Yarra Falls End would have surely given their imprimatur after Fridays night’s back to the wall. Figjam fielded eight players with less than 50 games experience; six of them with less than 30. This is shape-up or ship-out time around at the Lexus Centre. Can we see a few less than gruntled Magpies following Mick the Bullocky to more gentle, less rigorous pastures? Would it be unfair, even considering the limited options available to the losing coach, to say that he was outcoached by his former understudy? Probably no. Coaching is as much about getting the best out of your charges as on-field strategy. (You don’t think the Carlton players – a Brownlow Medallist amongst them – may have been a bit more than embarrassed – let’s say mortified – to see themselves on national television being shown how to kick a football by a silver-haired gnome? Ed.) You saying he’s lost the players Ed? You can only play as well as the opposition lets you. (Not like you to be giving Caarlton the benefit of the doubt Wrap. You haven’t dropped off your medication again have you? – Ed.) This was one of the best displays we’ve seen from The Mighty Magpies all season and they may well have sorted out what was bugging them. They have The Mighty Adelaide Crows next Friday night at …… do you really need us to tell you?

GWS v The Doggies. The Doggies won this one, but didn’t they make a meal of it? Not sure if the outcome says more about The Scrays as it does about The Giants. The Orangemen’s outing next Saturday won’t tell us much. They’re up against TRP. The Bullies need to regroup before next Sunday’s battle with The Fighter Bombers, and fast if they’re not going to be strafed into oblivion before they can get off the ground.

The Shinboners v Struggletown. Out They Come, Out They Come, Out They Come To Play, Just For Recreation Sake To Pass The Time Away. This was the North Melbourne SOTG tipped to challenge deep into September. This was the North Melbourne that had every team they’ve played this season on the ropes at some stage. (Except Fremantle- Ed.) The difference here was The Striped Marvels weren’t able to work themselves back into centre ring to get some space. The Shinboners’ relentless pressure un-nerved The Tiges and they showed that they still have a terribly long way to go to challenge for a Top Four rating. Cotchin’s either sadly out of form or been tightly checked all year, and Deledio has form in regard to the latter scenario. The Push-up King broke loose a couple of times, but other than that their forward line was swamped by the out-numbering Kangaroo defenders. The high bombs lobbed into the Tiger attacking fifty didn’t help one little bit either. The 45,194 strong crowd were treated to a North Melbourne revival; and TLSASF were singing The Song before the final siren had gone. The North midfielders were dominant all day, and wasn’t that three bounce goal of Boomer’s just pure vintage? With these eight points on their belt, they’re up under the palms next Saturday night as they start their belated tilt at September. The Endangered Species take on their Banana Skin game up at Cazaly Stadium in the short tropical twilight.

Brisbane v The Coast. This was a game worthy of the Pineapple Bowl. Would the Little Master have made a difference? Most certainly. Enough difference? We’ll never know. The Sunbeams have their bunnies up in FNQ on Saturday. The RoyBoys are back in their spiritual home on the Sunday to take on the team they wanted to merge with back in the dark days.

The Mayblooms v The Handbags. From the very first passage of play it didn’t look good for The Squawkers. The Handbags were loaded with house bricks. And when The Mayblooms conceding 5-2 while only managing 2-4 themselves, it was clearly evident that The Kennett Curse was very much alive in the minds of Leafblowers across that vast region stretching from the Yarra Yarra River to the Blue Dandenongs. The Mustard Pots stemmed the haemorrhaging in the 2nd Quarter, but weren’t able to haul back any scoreboard margin. The stage was set for a breakout in the Championship Quarter. It didn’t happen. The arm wrestle continued with both sides getting the yipes in front of goal. The Moggies could have put this one away if a few of their seven behinds had been converted. That The Hawkers could only manage 1-3 gives some idea of the utter intensity of this contest. The match opened up in the Final Stanza as each team went for a knockout punch. The Hoppers seemed to have put The Mayblooms away until a late flurry of goals had the Leafblower Faithful screaming at full throttle. But it wasn’t to be. The best team on the night won. Did Clarko err in keeping Cyril’s in cottonwool till the match was all but lost? These, and other intriguing questions will be answered on TLSIS. In the meantime, The Hawks slip across to The City of Churches to take on The South Australian Magpies in the early one on Saturday. The Pivotonians have invited fellow Foundation Club Melbourne down to celebrate the renovations at Corio Oval at the traditional time.

The Free Settlers v The Screaming Eagles. You don’t have to be dead to be stiff do you, eh? The Pride of South Australia had this one in the bag until they decided it would be nice to get back into the shed early and hog all the hot water. Well, guess what? That’s right, the Weagles stayed out on the paddock and gave The Chardonnays a good old fashioned wedging. They kicked the last three majors to steal the match and keep their September Ambitions alive. They have The Derby next Sunday to close off proceedings. The Free Radicals come over to Bleak City to see what a bit of convict ingenuity and hard yakka can achieve when they take on the Carringbush Magpies to open proceedings.

Bleak City v Sin City. Nothing untoward happened here. The Dees were better than before, and played some Brave Football. The Lakers held control of this match, until they racked the cue in the last. They take on their Crosstown Rivals for the early one at Moore Park Road next Sunday. The Redlegs hawk their wares down to Cat Central for a traditional starting time on the traditional day.

The Barry Crockers v The Feeling Faints. The Feeling Faints showed Rossy Lyon they’d forgotten nothing of what he’d taught them. They were right with The Anchormen until The Pav lifted his side with a couple of timely Captain’s Goals. They’ll need to lift for The Derby, but they did enough for St Kilda. The Seagulls have the Miseries under cover for the call from the Velvet Fog.

The Bombers v Port Adelaide. The Power took it right up to The Bombers, but as so may teams are discovering, The Flying Syringes have just too much in the tank at the home turn. It would be shame if they get rubbed out, because they can really play good Footy. (But not shameful – Ed.) The Tealers made them work hard, but they showed the true grit of a team on a mission of redemption. (Fair punishment will only make them as strong mentally for next season as they are now physically – Ed.) Port OTR host Hawthorn OTR at Football Park for the Saturday’s early one. The Peptides have the middle one on the Sunday. They’re under cover against The Hapless Dogs.

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

With the season running away from some sides, there’s only one thing to do. And that’s prepare for next season. Dale Carnegie & Socrates offer advice on the matter.

Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing.

It’s a while since St Patrick’s day so why not check out what our Irish Cousins are up to.

Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend Finney.

“Did you see the paper?” asked Gallagher. “They say I died!!”

“Yes, I saw it!” replied Finney. “Where are ye callin’ from?”

And this one.

Billy stops Paddy in Dublin and asks for the quickest way to Cork.

Paddy says, “Are you on foot or in the car?”

Billy says, “In the car.”

Paddy says, “That’s the quickest way.”

In the name of balance, let’s see what our Hebrew cousins are up to.

Rubenstein called his Rabbi and said, “I know tonight is Yom Kippur Rabbi, but tonight St Kilda are playing Collingwood in the Preliminary Final. I’m a Long Suffering Junction Oval Faithful and I’ve just got to watch the game on TV.”

The Rabbi responds, “Rubenstein, that’s what VCRs are for.”

Rubenstein is surprised. “You mean I can tape Yom Kippur“?

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

Disclosure: Wrap Enterprises holds an interest in the demise of the EFC this year, and would benefit by a couple of bottles of vintage St Henri should they lose their points for season 2013.

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.


  1. Dips O'Donnell says

    An extremely wrappy wrap Wrapster. The maggots had a few howling at the G on Saturday night. Scared all the seagulls away.

  2. Stone Cold Steve Baker says

    “If the [AFL] wants to avoid a football fans Spring…” glorious! Quote of the day for mine, by the length of the Flemington straight!

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