AFL Round 19 – The Pre-Wrap: The Farewell Shoeless Jim Round (and the drawing up of our own drug code)



What a week it’s been in Footy, Wrappers.  Crikey, didn’t The Weapon open up with both barrels on Wednesday night.  And the AFL’s CEO and his deputy out of the country while the official Football Channel hosted the paid interview with The Inside Man.  Coincidence?  Dirty pool?  What do you make of it all Wrappers?  Look, we’re as keen as anyone to see an end to this increasingly convoluted saga, but now ASADA boss John Fahey has said it will take as long as it takes.  Not exactly what Footy Fans wanted to hear.  Sort of like the season ending with the death of JR and having to wait till the next season starts to discover the culprit and the motive.  (This is running longer than the phoney election campaign – Ed)

Anyone getting the feeling that this whole show is being stage managed?

We didn’t find anything in the Weapon’s unsworn testimony, other than he’s not all that happy with the way he’s been treated by Essendon, and, in particular, the Coach.  There was a ring of authenticity in what said, as in it was his side of the story.  The only time his eyes wandered being when he got to the bit where Shoeless Jim had given him the Whingy Hill Mission Statement – Outmuscle The Magpies.  Be that as it may, his evidence will need to be tested.  And for the sake of the future integrity of Our Great Game, all the claims and counter claims escaping from this Pandora’s Box will now have to be challenged and tested transparently.  The Game, The Fans and the Stakeholders deserve, and should expect no less.

Boring?  Afraid so.  Necessary?  Absolutely.  But can it please wait till the season’s over.  Let’s get back to the bl**dy football?  It’s not going to make any difference.  Essendon aren’t going anywhere.  They may make the 3rd week at best.  Even if they do win The Flag and later are found guilty – they can be stripped of the premiership as easily as Melbourne Storm was stripped of theirs.  Plus fines, plus loss of draft picks, plus suspensions.  (Melbourne Storm were also made to play a whole season without points – Ed)

The ceremony could be carried out Crown Casino for the big end of town with $10K tables and repeated for the Football Public at The Home of Football at $25 ahead, $20 concessions for club ticket holders and kids and peanut vendors free.  (Don’t joke about it Wrap, if there’s a quid in it the AFL will run it – Ed)

Although, the claims made about The Magpies makes you wonder why Swan & Jolly went to Arizona for high altitude training mid-season while they were injured.  And were we alone in feeling a little bit queasy hearing from The Weapon that the shady Chambers was Shoeless Jim’s personal trainer back when he was playing?

We’ve given up trying to work through it, other than to ask the question all Footy Fans, Students of The Game, Punters & Pundits alike would like to see answered.  And answered honestly & frankly.  And that is, if there was going to be no advantage, why go to all the trouble to implement the program in the first place?

The thing that has intrigued us here in the Wrapcave is that no Essendon player has tested positive to any performance enhancing substances that are banned under the WADA rules.  Or any other AFL club for that matter.  Until Ahmed Saad unwittingly took a substance that is allowable, but not when the player is competing.  Now, what has happened at Essendon, by their own admission, has been a systematic, on-going and secretive drug administration program of unsupervised and dubious substances.  Saad gets called up and a verdict, presumably, is handed down on the spot.  (Like a court martial – Ed)  Essendon get a seemingly endless inquiry and we’re subjected to more intrigue and mystery than a Carter Brown crime novel.  (Don’t forget the subterfuge – Ed)

I wasn’t going to Oh Great Pedantic Overseer – Not to mention the smoke and mirrors that have been hired by everyone involved it the nefarious narrative.  Which leads us to the supplementary question – if Teflon Boy is so squeaky clean, why has he hired a top silk & a top spin doctor?

But now it’s Floodgates.  The disclosures are coming thick and fast.  Peter Brukner’s his own man, but the leaks coming out of the ASADA investigation could be coming from any Deep Throat involved in the process and with an axe to sharpen.  You whistle and we’ll point.  And Teflon Boy, in more shit than a Werribee duck, may find it’s his neck that’s on the block.  The moral of the story, don’t ruffle feathers around at City Hall, eh?

In the meantime the Ayatollah and his 2IC are over in NY with a selected bevy of Club Presidents to see how the game can be equalised.  Which begs the question; does the AFL know anything about football and football clubs either than how to fit them into their own money worshipping agenda?

For openers, the expansion team experiment  – the expansion team experiment that no one wanted other than the Great Helmsman and his sycophants at Jellymont house has been a total, as predicted, disaster.  Never mind the funds needed to prop up these fabricated clubs.  That’s nothing compared to the talent drain on the Competition.  A talent drain that has left the mediocre clubs trying to ‘equalize’ their playing lists from what would normally be 2nd round draft picks.

But what’s it all about?  Over the last 10 years we’ve watched the Tigers shake off the disaster that was the Wallace Years, and build a competitive team under Coach Hardwick, CEO Benny Gale and Prez March.  We’ve seen a basket case at Alberton re-invent itself under Coach Hinkley, CEO Thomas & Prez Koch.  And the Doggies seem to be coming out of their kennel a bit more these days too.

In the same period we’ve watched Melbourne make wrong decision after wrong decision until they’re the gibbering mess we see running around before us today.  What can Demetriou and McLachlan possibly bring back from the US that’s going to make a difference there?   That they couldn’t have picked up by reading American sports magazines & websites?  Except a large travel bill, some duty free perfume for the little woman and a box of Cuban cigars.  Oh, and a convoluted re-structuring of the draw/draft picks/equalization fund/whatever to fit some image they’ve conjured up over the champagne & caviar on the way home, up there in the pointy end.

Speaking of the pointy end.  The Bombers’ 2011 club champion, David Zaharakis has Belonephobia*.  With the story of the Pied Piper recalled from childhood memories, this fear of needles may see Zaharakis the sole representative of the EFC for a couple of years.

And when it comes to whether or not Ahmed Saad plays, this column says play Son.  Play your heart out.  You know if you took an unfair advantage, or were just a victim of circumstances.  This whole drugs in sport thing is totally out of whack.   If you can find banned substances in over the counter medications such as Sudafed, what’s it all about?  We should stop being lazy and hiding that slothfulness behind WADA’s rules.  We should draw up our own code, based on what we feel is unfair and unlawful.  Sure, use WADA’s framework, but in responding to the ACC report released in February, ASADA, the AFL & the NRL have made a joke of the process.  For those who want to compete internationally, they’ll have to abide by the world code.  No problem, but we must establish clear guidelines that present no traps for young players in our Indigenous Game.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who is going to be hungry & lean after Round XIX.

The Kangaroos v The Cats under cover tonight.  This is a no brainer.  The Kangas are flat track bullies and The Handbags are real bullies.  They play a tough relentless style of footy and although The Shinboners will be keen to get themselves up into a position to grab a September wild card should the ASADA Report force the Appalling Football League to do something about The Flying High Bombers, it’s just not going to happen.  The Moggies for us here in Wrapland.

The Giants v The Fuchsias up at the Showgrounds for the early one on Saturday.  The Ayatollah would have mixed blessings about Bagmen’s card.  His Beloved Giants are starting favourites in a game.  But it’s a game against his biggest headache – the Reluctant Redlegs.  Look, The Demons can’t be that bad, surely not?  We were going to plug for them tomorrow, until we noticed Frawley was out.  The Orangemen to break through for their first win of the season.  And allow those Bagmen carry winless tickets on them to breathe a sigh of relief.

The Mayblooms v The Striped Marvels at the traditional place at the traditional time.  The Tiges were exposed last week, as they have been whenever they’ve come up against class opposition.  And make no mistake; The Hawks are class with a capital K.  With The Coleman Medal up for grabs the shootout between Buddy, Jumping Jack and Roughie will hold some interest, and the Tiger midfield will make a good account of itself.  But The Mayblooms are just too polished all round for The Endangered Species.  The Mustard Pots comfortably in the end after an enjoyable day’s Footy.

The West Coast v The Cold Coast over in the ruins of Fortress Subiaco.  Surely The Wedgies can win one for Whoosher.  It’s been a long year for the embattled coach, and as a Loyal Servant of The Club, a Favourite Son and Decorated Player & Coach he deserves more from his charges than he’s been getting.   Sorry Gazza, you’re Boys have been putting in too, but it’s The Avenging Eagles from us here in the Wrapcave.

The Miseries v The Barry Crockers under cover on the Saturday night.  We have been accused more than once of anti-Carlton bias in these pages.  Let it be stated, quite categorically that these accusations are as untrue as they are hurtful.  To disprove those cruel barbs we’re going to say that Carlton can not only win on Saturday, but that they’ll beat The Anchormen comfortably.  And at $1.70 they’re worth a dabble.  True, Big Laurie’s back, but The Kreuzer seems to have been stung by questions concerning his Aggression at The Pigskin coming from the commentary box.  No Pavlich, but no Waite balances that.  Watch for a big game from The Hon. Edward C Betts; he may be on the market during trade week, and will be keen to show off his sublime skills.

The Lion Kings v The Feeling Faints at The Gabbatoir on Saturday night.  The Seagulls took a beating last week, and a trip up to the Lions’ Den is not exactly what they need right now.  They’ll rebound, but sadly, not enough.  The Brisbane Bears for ours.

The Sons of the West v The Reigning Premiers under cover for the early one on Sunday.  Sorry Doggies; you were good last week, and have been showing solid improvement, but you’re a wee bit outclassed in this contest.  The Lakers to win convincingly after an honest contest from the Homeside.

The Free Settlers v The Power From Port at Crow Park for the middle match on the Sunday.  Showdowns are always good viewing, and this one will be no exception.  Port showed plenty of that Old Port Adelaide Aggression last week when challenged and we can expect no less on Sunday.  Dangerfield & Thompson will have a say in the outcome, but Port just don’t Stop Stop Stop Till They Drop Drop Drop, and that Wrappers will be the deciding factor.  That and Jay Shultz and Westy around the goals.  The Power.

The Woodsmen v The Dieticians on The People’s Ground to finish off Round XIX.  The Biomen are under all sorts of pressure right now.  The campaign to discredit them has reached a crescendo on the eve of the ASADA Report’s release.  If anything it should draw them together.  They’ve also been playing more consistent football than their opponents all season.  That is until they ran into the Ladder Leaders last week.  The Pies have been hot & cold all year, and were decidedly lukewarm against The Western Sydney Experiments in their last outing.  However, we all know that The Maggies are a never say die outfit, and GAD has got them across the line more than once over the last three centuries.  Ball & Seedsman are two handy inclusions, but The Weight Watchers have regained their Skipper.  Some may say it’s a bit soon after a broken collar bone, a cracked skull, two broken legs and undisclosed spinal injuries, but come on, this is the club that made the Bionic Man look like a cardboard cut out.  At first glance they should win, but you never can tell with these two.  Ladder position and form count for nothing when they cross that white line.  Metro have put an extra carriage on the Epping & Hurstbridge trains running out of Jolimont station for the day but be ready to sprint for the platform as soon as the siren goes if you’re not hanging around for the song.  This one’s going down to the wire.  And we’re saying that it’s going to be The Monochrome Army that will be chanting about Premierships, Sticking Together and Cakewalks at the Final Bell.  Beams is running into form and Cloke will have to kick straight for at least a few matches a year.  Both clubs been through the wringer this season, and trhis will be as good a time s any to vent some of the angst.  BTW, why isn’t on free to air?  Talk to Jellymont House about it.  (If you can find anyone there who’s prepared to say anything other than visit our website – Ed).

Good tipping and even better punting.

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

The words of Lance Armstrong, Superman’s father Jor-El and Bishop Desmonf Tutu may help us through the confusion of the past week.

This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it.  I can push it; study it; tweak it; listen to it.  Everybody wants to know what I am on.  What am I on?  I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day.  What are YOU on?

You will give the people an ideal to strive towards.  They will race behind you, they will stumble, they will fall.  But in time, they will join you in the sun.  In time, you will help them accomplish wonders.

Though wrong gratifies in the moment, good yields its gifts over a lifetime.

Blessed are those that can give without remembering, and take without forgetting.

One day a florist went to a barber for a haircut.  After the cut, he asked about his bill, and the barber replied, “I cannot accept money from you.  I’m doing community service this week”.

The florist was pleased and left the shop.  When the barber went to open his shop the next morning there was a ‘thank  you’ card and a dozen roses waiting for him at his doorstep.

Later, a cop comes in for a haircut, and when he tries to pay his bill the  barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you, I’m doing community service this week”.  The cop was happy and left the shop.

The next morning when the barber went to open up, there was a ‘thank you ‘ card and a dozen donuts waiting for him at his doorstep.

Then a Member of Parliament came in for a haircut, and when he went to pay his bill the barber again replied, “I cannot accept money from you.  I’m doing community service this week”.  The Member of Parliament was very happy and left the shop.

The next morning, when the barber went to open up, there were a dozen Members of Parliament lined up waiting for a free haircut.

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

From the search engine –

Needle Phobia

Approximately 10% of the population has needle phobia, or an intense fear of needles and sharp objects.

Fear of needles is a “specific phobia.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) lists a specific phobia as “marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation (e.g. flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood)”

There are several different phobias which fear of needles can fall under:

Belonephobia: fear of needles

Aichmophobia: fear of pointed objects

Trypanophobia: fear of injections

No matter what the name, however, needle phobia can cause problems when people avoid receiving medical care because of their fear.  Today, the diagnostic process as well as preventive medicine regularly includes both injections and blood testing, both that require needles.

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. The Avenging Eagle is suing for defamation and breach of copyright Mr Wrap. She says you have tipped us and taken her name in vain for 3 weeks now. Is this some form of Wrap voodoo curse? We are quite capable of losing on our own thank you. You were just angling for the $3.50 about the Doggies last week weren’t you?
    By the way I am looking for my September side now. My Dad is a Port Adelaide man but I figure they are only making up the numbers. How far do you reckon the Tiger Train can take me? Or don’t you need the lead in the saddlebags?

  2. daniel flesch says

    Wrapper , your editor (sic) needs to smarten up , i reckon. How did a reference to Richmond as “The Shinboners” get through ? Shurely shome mishtake ?

  3. Daniel, it shoorly wash shome mistake. But ’twill make no difference to the Endangered Species. They’re well & truly out of their depth with either The Kangas or The Hawks.

    Mr B, I’ve still got my West Coast Wankers T-shirt from 1991. We all wore them proudly that sunny Spring morning as we lugged our picnic hampers across the Waverley car park. BTW, three Flags in 25 years equates to 12 Flags a century. That puts you up there with the elite.

    And I’m sure Murray Rance would be proud to have you follow the fortunes of Young Alex through this September. And subsequent Septembers while you wait for your fledglings’ feathers to grow.

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