AFL Round 6 – West Coast Eagles v Western Bulldogs: Facts, curiosities, odds and ends

FACT:  six West Coast Eagles were in the top 50 for ‘Frees for’ in 2012. FACT: a West Coast Eagle was number 1 on that list. FACT: not one Footscray player made that list! FACT: umpires are corruptible. FACT: therapies for crippling persecution complexes don’t always work. FACT: in my case it did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Question: what’s the best way to appreciate umpires? Answer: in a closet.

Pick the odd one out:

“Play on,” “All clear,” “Not fifteen,” “Knock it out,” “Move it on,” “Advantage,” “Mine,” “In danger,” “Throw,” “Too far,” “Blood rule,” Nickelback.

Can’t pick it? You’re right, there is no odd one out: they’re all weak-arsed

Game fact 1 (late third quarter): after throwing my head back in dismay over another hometown decision, I spat, “Shit, the frees are 2 to 1 their way.” My mate checked his iphone, and what do you know, it was exactly 18-9 in West Coast’s favour. How about that?

Philosophers’ zone:

If you lynched an umpire in a forest and nobody was there to hear it, did his whistle make a sound?

On the game 1: Liam Jones was magnificent for Footscray. He took numerable hangers and kicked goalward assuredly. His growth this year has been such that he’s like a plant fertilized with Sealsol© (Note WADA: that was an analogy; we don’t actually use Sealsol© at the Western Oval. Then again, the way we’ve looked green around the gills in making clanger after clanger this year, maybe Sealsol’s© our idea of peptides???)

On the game 2: Josh Kennedy – who, just like his teammates, benefited all day from outrageously favourable umpiring! – now rivals Bob Willis for having one of the wackiest rituals in sport. His stuttering kicking style has all the grace of a just born Wildebeest calf struggling to find its feet. My mates and I wondered whether the series of broken steps that stammer his shots for goal cripple him in other ways. I mean, having a leg stammer has got to be debilitating on the dance floor, doesn’t it? Or double clutching when driving a big rig? And what about when he’s strutting his stuff at a Roller disco? Like there’s no way that leg impediment is gonna keep him boogying on his skates!

Curiosity number 1: During the last quarter, we somehow stumbled upon why there is an Upper and Lower Ferntree Gully. What’s so special about Ferntree Gully that they can’t have a North, South or East Ferntree Gully? Is it a geographical distinction or a socio-economic one? Are they just being pretentious? What’s going on non-central Ferntree Gullyites? Why not good ole’ North, South, East or West? Or Lakes, Rivers or Heights?! An explanation would be redeeming.

Umpires 1: on this umpy appreciation round business, get the goal umps back in their butcher coats and I’ll consider it; like, that fluorescent gear they wear is so weak-arsed and pissy it’s not deserving of anything. Further, before I can appreciate, I first need to forgive. Indeed, before we have an appreciation round there ought to be a 12-step program. First a confession from their end, then penal servitude, then reparations, then compensation, then atonement, then a reinstatement of diplomatic ties, then an explanation for that West Coast centric free kick table, then an apology for costing Chris Grant a Brownlow, then a lengthy ‘What’s your decision’ segment for the million and one dodgy frees against Footscray, then ….

On the game 3: Jake Stringer’s miraculous goal in the first quarter bore a laconic reaction from the 2012 number 5 pick. I liked it. It meant the miraculous is commonplace for him.

True or false 1: Umpire appreciation round was Phil Carmen’s brainchild.

True of false 2: Ronnie Andrews almost choked on his weetbix when Phil called him about it.

A Gigs type moment: WEST COAST EAGLES is an anagram of SNORT COKE NOSTRILS*

Curiosity number 2: My 5 most hated clubs don’t include Carlton and Collingwood. When explaining why I don’t hate them during this match, I stated, “I have a soft spot for Carlton coz they stymied Collingwood in all them Grand finals during the 70’s and I don’t hate Collingwood coz since hating them in the 70’s I began to feel sorry for them being stymied in all them grand finals.’ (I tell ya, living in my head is hard!)

Umpires 2: during the 3rd Quarter, I got into a heated discussion with my mates over an umpiring decision that they thought had cruelled us. For a good 10 minutes they were at my throat over my defense of what I thought was a reasonable decision. In refection fellas, the next time I have a lapse like this, organize an exorcism or something. Like, defending umpires???? I must have been possessed or something.

Curiosity number 3: when musing that this seasons bearded look is all related to players trying to ape their rock star heroes, my mates quipped that their rock star heroes have already moved on to a new look and that all these Ned Kelly wannabees are 2 steps behind. Irrespective of whether they’re right or wrong, being 2 steps behind doesn’t explain Dustin Martin’s haircut, does it? Like, Dustin’s is more like a couple thousand fashion cycles behind!

On the game 4: looking on forlornly as West Coast tore us a new one, my mates and I cast one eye on where we’ll finish up this year and the corollary question about our order in the draft. We decided that GSW would finish lower than us but only because we are fitter. Fiendish as they are, my mates then mused that in order to finish lower than GWS, we need to stymie our players fitness from here on. It was agreed that if Footscray was any good at tanking, Four and Twenty products should be served up on games days hereon. As for midweek training going forward, it should begin with a sit down meal at McDonalds, rounded off with the chain smoking of Winnie Blues in a poorly ventilated room. Failing that, we should then follow the Melbourne model.


West Coast       21.11 (137)
Footscray    10.7 (67)

West Coast: Darling 5, Cox 4, Kennedy 4, LeCras 3, Shuey 2, Masten, Hill,

Footscray: Smith 2, Cooney, Addison, Macrae, Stringer, Tutt, Jones, Wallis,


West Coast: Shuey, S Selwood, Masten, Cox, Darling.

Footscray: Jones, Boyd, Cooney, Minson, Smith.

Umpires: J Shameful, J Appalling, J Corrupt

Official crowd: 35 odd thousand zealots

Our Votes: 3 Shuey 2 Selwood 1 Masten






About Punxsutawney Pete

Punxsutawney Pete see's a shadow: twelve more months of winter


  1. Ah, Zitter. I’m not sure what was more enjoyable. – watching that game with you live or READING your take on watching that game with you live. I loved doing both. The Dogs’ gradual progress and you entertaining me is making this season more than bearable!

    Brilliant stuff.

  2. Gigs, if the article is any good, it’s only coz I pillaged you for just about every line. See you at next weeks game

  3. T Bone

    Brilliant as ever.

    As an ex umpire yourself (as you laid out in a recent post) does that allow you to bag them more than the rest of us?

    Looking forward to a critique of the various backwards running styles of the various boundary blokes in a future post.

    I wonder if Nickelback fans doing a google search end up at your artilces on a regular basis?

    I have always felt that the appearance of Lakes and Meadows in a suburb was inversely proportional to its overall attractiveness.

    I also believe that modern footballers aren’t trying to imitate Kings of Leon or Mumford and sons with the beards, they are all just trying to look like try-hard hipster coffee makers, tatts and all. (single blend organic fair trade soy decaf latte thanks, with a twist of lemon)

    Pip Pip, Cheerio


  4. Sean

    “I have always felt that the appearance of Lakes and Meadows in a suburb was inversely proportional to its overall attractiveness.”

    So true and beautifully put!

    As for me being an ex umpire, that’s a grave mistake I’m trying to put behind me. But to answer your question, ‘Does it give me empathy with todays umps? ‘I hope the vicious umpire bashing in this piece says a resounding NO.

  5. Lord Bogan says

    Straight from the heart and beautifully expressed Zitter. Did you really feel sorry for Collingwood in the 70s? Find it hard to believe. Loved the anagram. So apt.

  6. Hey Phil.

    I hated Collingwood more than anything in the 70’s. Relished every grand final loss like it was manna from heaven. I softened towards them in the 80’s (somehow?) and barracked fot them with all my might in the 90 grand final. One of the reasons was that it was against Essendon (whom I hate like poison!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) and another was that they had become a figure of pathos due to all them GF losses. I now count them as one of my fav teams. I think its coz of Lou Richards … its makes my day to see Lou happy. My five most hated teams are Nth Melb, Hawthorn, Essendon, Adelaide and West Coast. I think there’s an article there for all of us: 5 most hated teams and why?

  7. PeterSchumacher says

    It’s simple for me, any of the top 5 Victorian teams at any given moment. Why? Coz you Vic’s slagged S.A Football when I was growing up. Or at least I think that you did, perhaps you didn’t really care much one way or the other. Anyway my dad reckoned that you did so therefore you did. And wasn’t it simply FAB when at one of the interstate games I attended your lot were rolled by about ten goals by a rampant S.A. Nirvana, couldn’t get any better than that. As an independent observer I noted a bit of road rage, bit of a row as we were departing Adelaide Oval. Dad asked, “why are they doing that? What more do they need to b happy?” Couldn’t have put it much better than that myself!

  8. Hey Peter

    I hate Adelaide and West Coast with equal intensity. It is a hate borne from the old state of origin matches, where the Big V was crusading for the prestige of our VFL over the WAFL and your SAFL (or as it became SANFL … and on that … a national football league confined to one state????? I have to say that made us Victorians chuckle.) Anyway, hatred is all part of sports pantomime ain’t it, so no need to think it an ugly aspect not warranting its place. As for you hating the top 5 Vic clubs, I guess that means my bulldogs are spared … well, for the time being at least.

  9. Luke Reynolds says

    Been looking forward to a T Bone match report this season and it didn’t disappoint. Laughed my way through it. Brilliant. Weak-arsed is almost a compliment for Nickleback. Best ever description of Josh Kennedy’s goal kicking routine. And love your use of the name “Footscray”, sounds so much better than “Western”. North acknowledged their name change mistake and went back, time for the Bulldogs to follow suit.

  10. Hey Luke

    Footscray DOES sound better, don’t it. It kills me that them [email protected]#$%ds won’t change it back

    “Weak-arsed is almost a compliment for Nickleback?” Indeed it is mate. I laughed.

  11. Brilliant T-Bone. Any connection to any football match recent or past is entirely coincidental. As an existential rant – I share your head space.
    The other brilliant thing is the grammatical non-sequiters. I remember when I worked in hospitals – whenever I typed “Medicare” the spell checker said “mediocre”. Prescient or what? We had a Dr. Dimmit. The spell checker always said “Dimwit”. Ghosts in the machine???
    Please tell me that “SealSol” was not a slip of the pen. I had the image of the black goo I pour on the roses being a by-product of the sludge from Reality TV talent quests. Spooky huh?
    PS – Stop cheating on your anagrams. You demean the talent of a truly bizarre mind like Gigs. I am working on something really insulting from “Zitterschlager Meadows”.

  12. Hey Peter

    I’m afraid to say Sealsol was a slip of the pen. SB Seasol. I don’ have it in me to generate images of black goo being poured on rose gardens as a metaphor for the decay of modern TV. Wish I did though

    As for the anagram, you’re right: what anagram. But I’m all for demeaning Gigs’s mind. Its character building for him. (And Gigs, can you humour Pete and anagram Zitterschlager Meadows???)

  13. cowshedend says

    Brilliant Peter,sadly i too felt that the Scraggers 70 point rodgering was in no small part due to BSUS (black short umpiring syndrome).
    Perhaps the Ferntree Gullyites cast an envious eye to the west to the all encompassing Keilor which diversified itself into ever diminishing pieces such as Keilor,Keilor Downs,Keilor East,Keilor Lodge,Keilor Park,Keilor North

  14. Andrew Fithall says

    Excellent work PZ. Very amusing.

    I am finding it difficult hating on umpires at the moment when I can sheet the blame for their difficulties to Giesch as well as the rules committee.

    And you cannot blame the umpires for costing Chris Grant a brownlow. That was entirely the fault of Ian Collins.


  15. Hey Cowshedend

    Yeah, those Keilorites are a pretentious lot too. No wonder they use to be zoned to Essendon


    Blame Ian Collins not the umpires? You know what, that’s an easy transition to make. I’ll add to all the annoying things about Etihad that’s he’s been responsible for

  16. Zitter and Peter, not sure how relevant it is to either of you but ZITTERSCHLAGER MEADOWS is an anagram of THIS OLD GEEZER’S WARM ACT.

  17. Hey Gigs

    I am an old geezer, but as I’m not a talent agent, I don’t any warm acts. I have a warm ….

  18. Peter Fuller says

    I can certainly disabuse you of the idea that there is any pretension in Ferntree Gully. Cowshedend’s speculation is close to the mark. Sociologically, it is the outer eastern suburb which is most like the west (IMO).
    As for the distinction, it merely reflects that the train line and the road begin to climb towards the mountain. Templestowe/Lower Templestowe is a rather more class conscious divide. For pretension, how about Pakenham Upper (note the reverse order)?

  19. Hey Pete

    Happy to be disabused about the Ferntree Gully matter. Pakenham Upper? Now that’s gonna take some explaining Pakenhamites

  20. I tried a Pakenham Upper once. I was high for days.

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