AFL Round 23- Adelaide v St Kilda: Mr Squiggle and Dr Smith, trapped aboard the Jupiter 2.

Remember the cranky blackboard that Mr. Squiggle used for an easel?

Blackboard’s catch-phrases are applicable to the 2014 Crows. All on their payroll should heed the be-chalked one’s gruff proclamations.

“Oh hurrry up!”


“Double hmmph!”


In 1999, mere months after Adelaide’s second, and seemingly final premiership, Mr Squiggle was axed. However, there wouldn’t be a kid on your street who’s heard of Gus the Snail or Bill the Steam Shovel.

It has been too long.

The Adelaide Football Club is the now underperforming Harvey Norman salesperson who previously played bass in the long defunct, forgotten band that opened for Powderfinger, before a half-empty Thebby twenty years back.

They’re becoming the quiz night question, that no-one gets. Not even that young, skinny physics teacher who ambled in alone, and is drinking diet coke.

The autopsy states the Crows’ season died as the siren sounded in Sydney when Richmond knocked off the minor premiers. But misery can be complex. Was it actually last week against North? And the defibrillator was whirring during those home losses against the Tigers, West Coast and Melbourne.

Or was it already on the fritz way back on that balmy Saturday in April after the Swans spanked us at home? When we were 0-3 with the ambulance already shrieking towards War Memorial Drive?


St Kilda start brightly, and register the first major. It takes the Crows ten scrappy minutes to score courtesy of Taylor Walker. The visitors dominate play, but fail to assemble any scoreboard pressure. Kicking like Mark Waugh used to bat, he then gets another.

A Tex roost is among our code’s joys.

Plainly dejected, Bruce McAvaney has left the growl home at Glenelg South. His descriptions reflect the stature of the match. It is an exhibition game between the locals, who, like Bob Dylan in concert, are maddeningly erratic. And we’ve got the AFL’s eighteenth best side.

In a spurt, Adelaide inserts five goals and smotes the Saints. Suddenly, it’s an unpleasant mismatch, like a professional footballer setting fire to a hired dwarf on Mad Monday.

At one terrifying point in the second quarter the commentary team go a complete minute without mentioning Lenny Hayes’ retirement. The Channel 7 receptionist has me on hold, and then, over the muzak, I hear Tom Harley reminding us the Saints star is the all-time leading tackler. Wow-wee!

Relieved, I hang up.

Adelaide and St Kilda exchange easy goals early in the second half. Whilst there are six-pointers aplenty, the contest now has less fizz than flat Fanta. Mrs Rutten is well thrilled as her Ben kicks a goal with his last kick in AFL, due to a handball from that most scarce of footballing creatures, the unselfish, crumbing forward. Eddie Betts is then compensated with the fifth major of his own in a fifty goal season.

Of some interest to the crowd is the third stanza moment when the Crouch brothers are on deck together for the first time. They’ll provide substantial midfield grunt for many seasons. Of course, they’re the first siblings to wear the tri-colours since the Jarmans, who are now providing substantial midriff grunt.

Game over, but questions remain.

Did Farren Ray and Spencer White co-star in a string of 1930’s Hollywood musicals? Why is Leigh Matthews still in the media, when Basil Zampelis is offering his considered insights? Did James Podsiadly play for Geelong? And, if you had the choice, who would you take to a Hugh Grant rom-com: David Armitage or Samantha Armytage?


It has been too long.

Listen. You can hear it. On a distant AM radio. So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999. Yes, it is Prince. When Mark Bickley last thrust the cup aloft, 1999, somehow, remarkably, hadn’t yet happened. Like The Jetsons, the song was in the delicious, crazy future.

With an official mission launch date of October 16, 1997, Jupiter 2 of the cult TV series Lost in Space was, at least narratively, drifting silently about the galaxy when The Crows last triumphed. And Dr Zachary Smith was the show’s enemy agent and saboteur.

If he were to burst flamboyantly into the 2014 Crows’ post-season review he’d surely exclaim to one and all, “You bubble-headed booby!”



ADELAIDE    4.2   4.10    15.5   22.9 (141)

ST KILDA     2.2     7.5      8.7     9.8  (62)          



Adelaide: Betts 5, Sloane 3, Walker 3, Lyons 2, Kerridge 2, Podsiadly, Mackay, Douglas, M Crouch, Smith, Dangerfield, Rutten

St Kilda: Armitage 2, White, Ray, Schneider, Murdoch, Stanley, Jones, Montagna



Adelaide: Sloane, Jacobs, Smith, Betts, Talia, Dangerfield

St Kilda: Fisher, Steven, Dempster, Montagna, Hayes, Jones



Adelaide: Nil

St Kilda: Nil



Adelaide: David Mackay replaced by Mitch Grigg in the third quarter

St Kilda: Billy Longer replaced by Brodie Murdoch at half-time



Adelaide: Nil

St Kilda: Nil


Umpires: Fleer, Farmer, Armstrong


Official crowd: 44,969 at  Adelaide Oval


Our best: Sloan, Betts, Steven


About Mickey Randall

Now whip it into shape/ Shape it up, get straight/ Go forward, move ahead/ Try to detect it, it's not too late/ To whip it, whip it good


  1. Mickey,

    Nice wrap up of the Crows’ wasted season – the only blemish of note being the fact that Grigg certainly didn’t replace David McKay for the Crows. While Griggy may have been unlucky not to be in the 22, I reckon it might have been a Crouch replacing Brodie Martin.

    Go Tigers.


  2. Thanks for that Shotgun. Of course, you’re correct. Silly me, trusting the AFL website for my simple copy and paste!

    I blame BT.

  3. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Thanks Mickey a very average and inconsistent season finishes with the huge problem having to replace truck in defence which certainly did not occur with any consistent success this year it would be 3 or 4 yrs back when , Nathan Bassett said how , Kieran McGuiness would be a fantastic recruit for the crows I agreed then and more firmly agree now he would have been fantastic at least , Unley Jets A grade won and are in the gf , for you , Thanks Mickey

  4. Agreed, Malcolm that McGuinness could be the answer. What do you think Truck will do now?

    Nice work Unley A grade!

  5. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Too late for KMac now unfortunately , truck will be in the football business re coaching somewhere Mickey

  6. Great write up Mickey.

    I’d mark 2014 a failed season, but not a wasted one. Plenty of games into youngsters and several players who grew another leg this year (Smith, Jenkins, B Crouch, Martin). Just the team improvement never got into gear.

    I’m still very optimistic personally. We lost 6 games by under 2 goals, which means we only need to find another 10-20% to go from pretender to contender, and there are several massive opportunities in this off season to do just that with a new CEO, new senior assistant, new list manager, early entry into the draft for the first time in years etc. MASSIVE preseason coming up.

  7. Thanks Ben. I agree with you in that some individuals made excellent progress- surely Jacobs will be All Australian, and a couple others like Betts, Smith and Sloan are outside chances too.

    But the North and Richmond games, and particularly the last minutes of both showed our team deficits.

    As always we look ahead hopefully. Let’s trust the off-field appointments are beauties too.

  8. It would be great for Adelaide’s psyche if they could jag a big name in one of those appointments. Something like a Bomber Thompson as senior assistant. We always seem to be the bridesmaid when it comes to attracting the big names either on or off the field.

    Huge opportunities to introduce some cultural change though, and I think having Roo on the board and in the thick of things will definitely see the Club head back in the right direction. I’m ever the optimist though. Haha.

  9. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    I blame you Mickey for barracking too hard for the Tiges when they started their streak against the Sainters.

  10. Of course Swish! If only we had repaired to a pub that afternoon….

  11. Great write up, Mickey. All too true.

    The Redlegs on Saturday night having put me in a good mood I’m going to stick with the positives. We went the whole season without our captain. While Van Berlo may not have the same on field impact as some other captains it was still significant. He will add consistency to the pressure the midfield put on when they don’t have the ball – something that cost us more than one game.

    A new senior assistant in the box, maybe a seasoned tall defender / swingman as well as a young one through the draft and a backup ruckman and we are playing finals football next year.

  12. Thanks Dave.

    Agree that while it is not always hugely evident to a spectator, I’d like to think there’s plenty of good reasons why VB is the captain. I reckon only having Tex for half a year was another issue. His natural leadership is mightily inspirational, and I reckon he offers lots in this regard, possibly even more than Dangerfield and Sloan.

    Good luck to your Redlegs too. Port v Norwood grand final?

  13. Ben Footner says

    Nah get on the Panthers boys! Looked sensational against the Eagles Saturday night.

  14. Ben- The footy socialist in me loves that the Panthers are doing well. I reckon each of the SANFL teams has enjoyed some good seasons in the last six or so years.

    As a Glenelg fan we have mirrored St Kilda’s plummet after reaching the decider a few years’ back. Hopefully, our Mad Monday behaviour is more dignified, and we can quickly get back off the bottom of the ladder!

  15. G’day Mickey,
    Well played again; you’ve had a cracker year of Adelaide pieces full of pop-culture references. Mr Squiggle?!
    At times through the year I was fairly sure that both the Crows and Magpies would be active in September.
    Ahh, well. Everything’s upside-down, Miss Jane.

  16. Thanks E. regnans. Despite their spluttering finish I reckon Collingwood might have unearthed some good young talent. You’ll bounce back next year. Playing finals footy nine years straight is a great run.

    When reflecting upon the Crows’ season and its twin themes of loss and hope I considered referencing one of my favourite novels, The Great Gatsby (did not care for Baz’s film). But going from Jay Gatsby to Jay Schultz and Daisy Buchanan to Daisy Thomas seemed too hard.

    Still, it should be a terrific finals series, although I’m not yet sure which team I’m on.

  17. Luke Reynolds says

    Big fan of Gus the Snail. The real star of the Mr Squiggle show.

    Sad finish for us followers of feathered non Hawk or Swan teams. Looking forward to seeing Tex next season, 2nd year back from his injury. Love watching him play.

    Really enjoyed your Crows reports this year Mickey.

  18. Thanks Mickey, despite the ludicrousness of the suggestion, in terms of cattle on the park we are real underdogs this year. A Port / Norwood GF (particularly if the Power are finished) would be massive at Adelaide Oval. That said, my ideal scenario would be Port out in straight sets and the Panthers through. Would be a thing of romance.

  19. Bill the Steam Shovel fan here. A reasonable summary. Was interesting to be amongst the crowd in front of the member’s stand, listening to the rabble tell each other how week ‘we’ had played today, and how a 10 goal victory over the bottom team will/should somehow mean that the season wasn’t wasted, and augured well for 2015. Oh Per-lease! Poor list (but didn’t help not having VB all year) – Truck should’ve gone in 2013. Poor game plan (lost to Melbourne!). The loss of Bailey is obviously a severe dent. As to replacements? Who knows, but it’s never going to be easy to get someone to move to Adelaide.. Finally, looking to forward to a ‘purrfect’ weekend, jumping on the Panthers and Cats bandwagons.

  20. Thanks for that Luke. Let’s hope for an all-feathered top eight in 2015!

    Dave- Any club at which you can watch the game in the car with the de-mister on, is a club I hope does well. The Panthers have suffered long periods of misery, so are due some sustained success.

    Thanks Rabid Dog/ Bill. Beyond Rutten, the Porpoise and a couple rookies, I wonder who else might be moved on? It would be great if they could get Bomber Thompson or similar to sit in the box.

  21. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Lost in Space was the first TV show to capture my imagination as a child, new adventures/villains/monsters/creatures/concepts by the week, in an outer space context.

    I always wondered what Don and Judy got up to.

    I remember June Lockhart making an appearance on the Red Skelton show – she was wearing a rather tight top, and the host remarked that “June was busting out all over” – I must have been 7 or 8 years old at the time – the stuff that sticks in the memory.

  22. Swish- I was similarly captivated by the show. I reckon Channel 9 ran it at 5pm during the week. It was always disappointed when it was replaced by inferior offerings such as Land of the Giants.

    Even as a boy I could tell that Don and Judy had an adult relationship. Must have been tough on the Jupiter 2 to get some privacy. And no wonder Don was constantly angry- his boss, John, was also his de facto father-in-law. He took it all out on Dr Smith.

    And what do we make of the fact that Smith seemed to be more of a father figure to Will than his own, strangely distant dad? Smith, Will and the robot had the most interesting relationship on board.

    For me the robot stole the show and the best episodes centred on him. He was endlessly interesting, in a commanding way. And yet, as Smith often did, if you just yanked out his power-pack, that was it! More than R2D2, C3PO or even Neil Craig, he is my all time favourite robot.

    Among the highlights were the Green Lady and that Space Circus with the long-eared monkey-like creature. Now, it seems all very camp but as a boy, amazing.

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