AFL Round 3: The View from Shepparton

Was going to write about footy but Adam Scott has fixed that. Of course your favourite sporting columnist (?) was wandering around the Kensington Garden’s Village and arrived home just ten seconds after the winning put. Like missing the America’s Cup victory when he missed that too when in a forlorn attempt to maintain some sort of fitness by being on a run and he missed the final leg of the race by about ten minutes. Never admit to that of course, always enjoyed “seeing” the end of that event. In today’s particular sporting event Angel Cabrera was a worthy finalist and a really sporting runner up. Jason Day was pretty inspiring as well.

I must now relate to another event and I quote from what is known as the “Bleacher Report” (which according to Wikipedia is “also known as B/R, is an American digital sports media network”) in which the correspondent  Shawn Schultz in commenting in January 2008 on a disappointing loss by the Dallas Cowboys, a professional American football franchise, said, “Words cannot express the heartache that is ruminating over Dallas/Ft Worth area and over Cowboys nation-just total shock and utter disappointment”. Well I must admit that this is the way that I felt last Friday night particularly after Chris Mayne hit the post 14 metres out with about 30 seconds to go and thus handed Essendon an important victory and bragging rights which will probably resonate over the next half century at least or will certainly do so if members of the Bombers fraternity in my extended family have anything to do with it. On the other hand it could well be argued that given Freo’s hot form this was the best Lazarus act seen in years even if I found it to be totally depressing.  This more or less seemed to be James Hird’s view, “Coming to Perth and beating Fremantle in the form they’re in is a huge win”. Well it was too but of course all of the other dramas surrounding the Essendon Football Club have yet to be played out.

I could also use the above cited quotation to describe my reaction to the demise of Adelaide particularly as a Norwood supporter. As everyone knows, given the speed of the game these days a thirty to forty point lead particularly earlier in a game is no fortress against defeat but when it happens to the team being rolled a gradual sense of despair and panic and finger pointing and blame and bitterness sets in amongst its supporters and presumably within the team itself as well. As this is more or less a family article these days readers can as it were take it as read that I said more than “bother” as events unfolded in these two games. I have to grudgingly admit that the Powerless are certainly looking more powerful as the season develops and that form, if maintained, will be a real fillip for the competition.

On the other hand of course all was happiness and jollity for me  as Collingwood fell apart but I have to confess that  I missed the magnificent passage of play described in today’s Australian which saw two kicks and a handball end up as a coast to coast goal to the Hawks’ Franklin in the third quarter, that immediately of course resulting from a hit the post effort from Travis Cloke and the subsequent kick out. Talk about bitter sweet,  the bloke kicks five goals but his stuff up still indirectly or perhaps directly cost the Magpies the game. At the very least it certainly brought about a critical loss of momentum.

It was muted joy and happiness too as the Lions fell in against the Suns. Sure my mob have at last won something and I think that the Suns are a vastly different team this year but given the pre-season form that they (Brisbane) displayed the results by the end of round three don’t quite match up to expectations. Still, a win is a ………

I had more joy and happiness as well given that Geelong thrashed Carlton. Once again the Blues (by the way Grace “The Blues” are Carlton) looked OK early on against Geelong, their quick forwards seemed to be too fast and slick for their opponents. I was very surprised at the subsequent turn around in this game, particularly when ABC expert commentator Mark Maclure or was it Stan Alves? was waxing lyrical about the  way the Blues were playing when they in fact seemed to be, or were going OK.

When the Western Bulldogs belted Brisbane in round one, I thought that they would go on and be premiers, nay, be the team of the century but no, they have fallen into a deep hole from which they may not emerge. Alternatively, Richmond almost certainly have or are quickly emerging from years of being in one and like Port, it wouldn’t do the game any harm for them to have a decent year.

Sydney, despite being current premiers seem be a long way away from some people’s consciousness here in Victoria and are not the raging premiership favourites that they should be. North, despite honourable losses in their first two games in a difficult draw look as though they will struggle to get traction this year.

Greater Western Sydney were disappointing against St Kilda, but it is really rotten luck for them that Patton is out for twelve months. How I wish that they could develop the sort of momentum and success that the Western Wanderers have built up. What a fantastic team they are!

I, along with most other viewers became genuinely excited and engaged when the Demons snatched the lead from the Eagles mid way through the second quarter.  Could the impossible happen? No, yet another hiding for the Dees. I do find the continual beatings that some teams get underwhelming and disappointing for the game and the teams and supporters involved but then again that’s sport.

Highlight: This for the year/the decade: Adam Scott, and I suppose again in almost the same breath, Black Caviar.

Lo Light: The AFL if Melbourne continue to be walloped week in week out.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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