AFL Round 3: The Pre-Wrap



What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  They bit the bullet around at Jolimont Park and fired another in the direction of Cameron Schwab.  It’ been messy, and excruciatingly painful for The Long Suffering Redleg Faithful.  And it’s not going to cure itself overnight.  Shuffling the deck chairs is not going to alter the fact that the Playing List is sub-standard and the players themselves must be ready to sign up for a BeyongBlue retreat weekend.  Certainly not a visit from West Coast OTR.  (Presuming the Eddie Eagles have got a rebound in them – Ed)  As for their mentors, they don’t look from the outside to be a happy bunch of campers.  Imagine how venomous it must be on the inside.  Then there’s the board and administration.  The Gold Coasters have them twice, as do The Doggies, The Dockers, The Giants & The Lions.  That suggestion of percentage equalization, the one with the Clifton Hill postmark, is making more sense by the day.  On current form a match against The Fuchsias is a gifted 6 points.

And what about the finances of the club?  Gate takings are going to plummet, and while we’re not privy to concession holders’ rental arrangements, you’d have to expect the pulling power of the combatants would have to have some bearing on it.  If it hasn’t you’d expect to hear something about it.  (At $4.40 for a pretty ordinary coffee in a paper cup and $7.80 for a pot of mid strength beer they won’t be drawing too much attention to themselves Wrap – Ed)  You can bet your bottom Euro we haven’t heard the last of this.

A by-product of all this is that we’re not hearing much about the progress of the investigation into the shadowy medical practices out at Melrose Drive.  Other than Supreme Leader has dismissed the suggestion that adverse findings wouldn’t result in Essendon being docked or deprived of a finals spot.   He told The Oz’s Patrick Smith that There is no suggestion at all that Essendon in 2013 are involve in any use of anything that is being investigated, so they are fine.  But for those seeking enlightenment as to why an investigation into The Cronulla Sharks can be done in a heartbeat, but a similar investigation into The Essendon Bombers for practices suspiciously involving the same people could take until July or August, the answer might lie hidden amongst this bizarre utterance from the highest.  The club (Essendon) is going about it the right way, the chairman is leading the way, they are performing on the field.  Get that Demons?  Performing on the field.  That’s what you’ve really done wrong, you’re not performing on the field.

Speaking of finances, the Great Helmsman’s right behind The Blue Mountain Experiments.  He’s pledged $85m to them up to the end of the 2016 season.  Now this is a club with around 11,500 members and is aiming to boost its average attendance from 8,117 last year to more than 9,000 this year.  Get that Demons – nine thou a match?  We know it’s going to be a struggle, but c’mon, with a membership of 27,395 you should be able to get those Tickers Beating True For The Red & The Blue.

Here’s one the statistically minded, Historians of The Game and those with far too much spare time on their hands at work.  Hawthorn’s most recent Round III meeting with Collingwood was in 1987.  A crowd of just 14,058 was at Princes Park to see Hawthorn win by 77 points.  Incredible that these two sides drew a crowd in the late 1980s of less than 15,000.  And yes Hong Kong Hawk, it does underline how much the game has grown.

But, stop the press!  There’s been breaking news from Melrose Drive.  And a backflip of gargantuan proportions at Jellymont House.  It has come to light that the much respected & long serving club doctor, Bruce Reid, endeavoured to warned the Essendon Board of the dangerous direction the off-campus pharmaceutical frenzy engulfing the club was taking.  His voiced concerns were ignored and his written warning was never tabled at the Board.  Whether it was discussed informally at that level has not yet been revealed.  (The Sgt. Schultz defence – I know nuzzing? – Ed)  As for Mr They’re Performing On The Field?  He’s horrified & shocked.  As apparent and as the CEO at the helm under whose watch these two scandals are unfolding.

The damning allegations that the coach and at least one assistant, Simon Goodwin, had lined up for a course of self-improvement injections are at this stage just allegations.  The drugs in question are only illegal when they are used to enhance on-field performance, not improve personal well-being.  And, in a celebrity driven world where the pursuit of eternal youth is overwhelming, who would begrudge Pretty Boy the chance to retain the image of his pinup posters?

However, his position of trust and the matter of the private blood tests and nutritional advice sought from a medico specializing in the field add another dimension of murkiness to the procedures.  And while the legality, or otherwise, of some of the pharmaceuticals bandied around has not been established, for others it has.  True, you can have smoke from dry ice, however, the sort of smoke we’re seeing billowing from Whingy Hill has a fierce amount of heat under it.  Once we get some oxygen fanned onto it you can expect it to burst into an illuminating flame.  And when you see who’s manning the bellows, this burning bush is going to have a duration and impact of biblical enormity.

(OK Wrap, you’ve had your say.  Now get back to writing your usual crap – Ed)

But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s going to be the footloose & fancy free after round III.

The Barry Crockers v The Peter Pans, over there tonight.  Essendon, your heure de vérité begins now.  You jumped an Adelaide side, whose 2013 credentials are yet to be established and you monstered an Unravelling Redlegs Combination.  Tonight you’re up against The Striking Wharfies, and they’re striking at whoever they like.  They’ve regained the thorny Ballantyne and although they haven’t been setting the world on fire, their two ordinary margins of 28 points has left them with a percentage of 135, which suggests they’re not letting much through.  The Bombers have brought in Coyer and Kavanagh.  Look, it’s going to be a ripper.  Never mind all the brouhaha about the uncle dougs out at Melrose Drive.  They’re playing like men possessed.  It’s going to be a ripper match, and Essendon’s Admin, Coaching Staff & Playing List will welcome being out of the cauldron of the Football Heartland for a bit.  But we’re sticking with the Homeside in this one.  The Stevedores to prevail but only the tribally committed would be tempted to take a financial interest in.

The Shinboners v The Reigning Premiers down at Blundstone Arena for the early one on Saturday.  To be perfectly honest, The Blood Stained Angels have been a bit like Black Caviar – beating ordinary fields comfortably.  The Roos on the other hand have been hopping up and down on the spot.  They lost their way against The Maggies, and lost concentration against The Cats of Nine Lives.  Surely to goodness they’ve sorted that out by now.  They’ve brought in Wright & Hine to replace scapegoats Harper & Jacobs.  The Swanees, and we don’t want to take anything away from the Experimental Clubs here, are pacing themselves nicely for a 25 match season.  Or so it appears.  Look, we’re of the view, and while it’s not unanimous around here in The Wrapcave, that The Kangas are ready to put together the required Four Quarters of Football to win at this level.  And Drew Petrie must be due for a blinder.  That’s right Wrappers, The Shinboners, at $2.30, are The Wrap Roughie of The Round.

The Unredeemable Demons v The White Hot Pre-Season Premiership Favourites at the Traditional Time & Place.  The Dees have relegated a bunch of players, including Jack Who & Journeyman Davy Rodan, to the wide open spaces of Casey Fields.  The Eddie Eagles have regained Kerr & La Cras.  (Wasn’t La Cras supposed to be out for weeks? – Ed)  Neither side have opened their account, and while you’d like to think The Dees will be competitive, it’s difficult to see The Weagles failing to get home.  And at $1.03, it’s better than punting on the fluctuations of The Little Aussie Battler.  (It’s been a long time since the AUD had to battle Wrap – Ed)

The Long Striding Giants v The Feeling Faints in tomorrow’s fading light at Manuka.  You’d have to reckon The Seagulls would open their account up at the National Capital at the expense of The Giants wouldn’t you?  The Bagmen have The Visitors at $1.22.  Sure there’s some risk involved.  But The Homeside has done nothing so far this season than to suggest they’re a bunch of kids in their second season at the Elite Level.  True, The Metermaids caught St Seaford out, but they looked dangerous against The Tiges, and should have too much of everything for The Big Big Sound From The West Side Of The Town.  If they don’t win they’ll be pitching in with the Werribee ducks for a while.

The Pivotonians v The Silvertails on Saturday under cover.  The Pussies have got out of gaol twice already; The Miseries in their two matches have been in winning positions.  If these trends continue another Geelong win seems assured.  At the risk of being too hasty here, we don’t think the Bluebagger inclusions of Joesph, Hampson, Scotland and New Boy Buckley will make as much difference as the return of Stevie J.  The Bagmen have The Moggies out at $1.55 and we’d say that’s very good value if both sides hold to their current form.  Sure But keep in mind, Caaarlton have been competitive in both their matches.

The Sunbeams v The Lions at The Metricon on Saturday night.  For some unknown reason Channel Bruce have been given this one-free-to air status instead of the Ethelred Stadium match between Carlton & Geelong.  Look, it could be a good game, but the interest is purely local.  The Gorillas seem struck with the GAS Cup Curse and The Abletts are up and about.  We’re going for The Lions in this one, mainly because they appear to have the better List and, after letting The Doggies catch them out, are playing the better Footy.  Neither side is publically listed and investment is not recommended.

Struggletown v The Sons of The West, on The Shifting Sands of Docklands at 1.10 on the Sunday.  The Tiges are travelling well this season.  They’ve toughed out a couple for two worthy wins and Coach Hardnose, while pulling up short of calling them lazy, has declared they’ve only playing at 65% of their potential so far this season.  The Scrays too, are showing signs that their time in the doghouse is behind them.  The Tiges have brought up Rockin’ Robin, the SA recruit Knights and Draft Pick Vlastuin for consideration.  The Yap Yaps have done the same with Markovic, Wood & Macrae.  If he makes the final XXII, it will be Macrae’s debut.  These two played off in the last friendly before hostilities got under way.  The Scraggers took it right up to The Tiges in that one, and The Endangered Ones had to dig deep to prevail.  Since then they’ve shown patches of scintillating form and a steadfastness that has eluded them for some time.  It’s going to be a bottler of a match, but we’re sticking with The Striped Marvels.  The Bagmen have them at $1.22, which underrates The Boys of The Bulldog Breed in our view.  Worth a dabble if you want to get on the Competition’s New Excitement Machine.  Well worth a run for the tobacco money.

Carringbush v The Mayblooms at THOF on Sunday at 15.20.  Channel Sept has the call again.  Both sides coming off famous Victories.  Both sides sure to contend for a Final Four Berth.  Both sides have sustained crucial injuries – The Pies are without rucking veteran Darren Jolly & The Hawkers are without midfield hard nut Sewell.  The Maggies have had to draw on GAD for both their wins.  The Squawkers were caught napping after having The Moggies on the ropes and pulled away from a much more rested West Coast over there.  The question of course is, how much did that take out of The Reigning Runners-up?  The Pies have regained starting XXII players in Daisy Thomas & Fasolo but have lost Skipper Maxwell along the way.  He’s a big part of their GAD.  The Bagmen feel The Mustard Pots may be a bit weary, which is a fair assumption.  But out at Jackson’s Road they knew the 1st seven rounds were going to be tough and will have prepared themselves for it mentally.  The Maggies have had a couple of tough encounters too, not to mention the emotional relief and let down from The Micky v Eddie & Figjam Cup.  We’re going to tip that the Leafblowers are going to be roaring from the Leafy East to the banks of Eumemmerring Creek.  They’re showing plenty of Self Belief and their forward line has more firepower than Kim Jong-un – and they’re prepared to use it.  At $2.90, we’ve got them as The Joint Roughie of The Round.  (We blinked too when we say those odds up in the Editorial Suite Wrap – Ed)

The Power From Port v The Pride of South Australia for Showdown XXXIV.  The Tealers have been able to add Cassisi, Renouf, Gray & Moore to their option for the final XXII, while dropping Redden.  The Crows have brought up Johncock, Lynch & Kerridge to the firing line.  The Power have only won against The Competition Easybeats thus far, but they’ve done it in impressive style.  The Chardonnays have struggled.  The Old Port Adelaide Aggression to prevail over what may turn out to be the Other Side From South Australia.  The Bagmen may have been on the colostrum tablets (Or even the first milk from a mummy cow – Ed) but they’ve got The Adelaide Magpies out at $2.70.  Now we’re either going to be living on bread & milk until the next pension cheque comes through or rolling in clover.  But here’s another Wrap Roughie of The Round.  You’d have to reckon they’d pay a Tasslotto dividend taken as a trifecta.  Even taken separately only two of them have to get home for a healthy return.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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

Let’s go back to a time we could not even image for the wisdom of The Enlightened One & the Father of Philosophy.

There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.?

Here’s one that depicts the power of prayer, a test of faith and the reality of pragmatism.  Not necessarily in that order.

An Irishman desperate to get to a very important appointment pleaded with his God to find him a parking spot out the front. “Jasus, if you find me a parking spot, I will give up the drink for life.”

A car right in front of him pulled out of a park leaving it vacant, and no more than 10 meters from the door of his appointment.

He immediately cried out to his Lord “Jasus, stop looking…….I found one!”

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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