AFL Round 2: The 2013 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup

Greetings Tipsters.

Seems like the worst thing an AFL team can do is kick the first three goals of the match.  The Café Set tried it again this weekend and again they lost.  It was a good game.  Started at a cracking pace and wily ol’ Confucian Mick seemed to have the better of the young Buck, with ground-level pace and quicksilver forwards, while the Jolly Green Giant’s journey to the rooms threw the 4&20s into, if not quite disarray, then a minor level of confusion.  But like two elks butting horns, the younger stuck to his plan, kept faith in his legs and strengths and wore down the old foe.

Meanwhile, on distant dark hills, fires are burning, spears are being shaken and the rattle of swords beating against shields echoes across the valley, a sturm und drang accompaniment to the strains of that old war chant of The Fighting Fury.  Two wins and in the eight, these are rarefied airs for the Tiggers.  Rack up a string of wins against the Big Boys and we might start to take you seriously.

Still, they have the guts of it together.  A calm and stable administration, a coach with experience in successful teams, a young and developing team that will likely only get better.  Unlike…  ahem.  You know, that team…

I’ll get back to that team.  I’m annoyed, damnedly annoyed, with the Wiggles.  Fifteen day break, at home to a team coming off a six day break, thought to be a bit slow in the legs, and they let them get away with eight goals to one early in the second term.  Okay, the Wiggles got back to within three goals when the Mayblooms were cramping and vomiting and passing out from humidity-induced headspins, but then managed to kick a mere theee goals to eight in the last.  What the hey?  Weren’t the Wiggles supposed to be Flag Fancies?  They’re none from two and have a glorious percentage of 69.5, little more than half that of their oft’ bullied little brother across town.  They’re playing that team next weekend and may expect a bit of relief and a touch of a boost to the percentage, but the mild-mannered pharmacist knows deep down inside that his lads will be playing catch-up for a few months at least.

Buddy hasn’t changed his hairdo, though.  I observed it last week and thought that someone might point out the obvious, but, whether they did (which I doubt) he’s sticking with it.  As a forward, he’s regularly seen on the teev bending over, giving us a good look at the top of his head, at the merkin cut.  Maybe it helps him relate to the girls who flock to his doorstep, or the nightclub when he gets a little ‘incoherent’, as alleged at a Crown Casino do.

Let it go, Bud, avoid the clippers, grow it out, let your freak flag fly!  Chicks dig long hair.

Or merkins, especially on footballers’ heads.

The Kebabs got away to a start against a team who, in the planning stages, ruminated upon the Dolphins and the Pirates as nicknames.  One would think they might have considered the Sharks, but perhaps they realised that Cronulla, a rugby league team with that nickname and very similar colours, have enjoyed (or not) a singular lack of premierships since their debut in 1967.  The Anti-Sharks ran away with it after the first break.

The Schoolies also put in a good first term, but thereafter the Sparkies did what they had to, and not much more.  It was a dreary kind of match for the most part.  In the second term Jarrad McVeigh decided that, as no-one else was really playing decent football, he might as well have a crack at it.  I might have written a proper match review, only I forgot to pack a biro and notepad with the JB HiFi voucher (later spent on the Californication box set) in the capacious pockets of my Belstaff jacket.  Which was a bit of bummer, because I was sitting next to a Level Two AFL-accredited coach who made some canny observations before leaving early when he realised that betting on the Sparkies to win by less than 39.5 wasn’t likely to happen.

You reckon the Scotts might swap shirts every now and then?  Show up at each other’s press conferences?  Maybe they did so on Sunday.  They were both right, there’s a roof over the Terrordome, you might as well close it.  One of them said he’d spoken to the ground manager who said the forecast was for clear weather, before he commented “How long you been living in Melbourne?”

But they’re right.  If it’s raining, you close the roof.  If it’s sunny, it looks terrible on the teev because the stands loom so far over the ground that the contrast between light and shade makes one or the other impenetrable.  So what’s it like for players trying to follow a high ball?

The Pivotonians could be none from two and the Shinboners two from two.  It’s a game of chance and luck, a random bounce (cf, the 2009 Grand Final) and getting a run on – the blue and white Scott teams demonstrate this.

Sometimes, though, it’s a game of idiocy and incompetence that runs headlong into tough professionalism.  And so to that team…

The Twin Towers of football columnists, Rohan Conolly (whose late brother Steve played a black Stratocaster with a red sash for Paul Kelly’s Messengers,) and Patrick Smith (that grumpy old blowhard) both wrote what all of us were thinking on Sateve, that the Melbourne Football Club are so seriously dysfunctional that it might be near time for Zeus to step in and give them the treatment given to the Kebabs and the Schoolies.

“Okay, you Redlegs, here’s a CEO, a recruitment manager, a football manager.  They’re proven performers.  We’re gonna sling you some money and some serious suggestions for your board members.”  And he oughta tell Gary Lyon to pay up or shut up.

Or put them out of their misery.  Who would care?  The members voted to merge in 1996.  Footscray and Fitzroy fought against merging.  Footscray and North Melbourne have been on the bones of the arse for decades, but they don’t stop having a go.  The oldest football club in Australia lack an identity, an attitude, bloody hell, they lack almost everything.

Heckin’ heck, now I’m just depressed.  Gotta go listen to some bouncy girl-group pop, circa 1962.

Cheers, Tipsters

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About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

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