AFL Round 8: The 2014 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup

Greetings Tipsters


We had a great evening, Sunday. Christian and Jane hosted Colleen and Perky Girl and me and we drank and smoked and talked and laughed and listened to the new Afghan Whigs album on double twelve inch 45rpm white vinyl and a lot of other great music and had ourselves a heck of a time.


Christian and Jane aren’t sports fans at all. He’s a musician, she’s an artist, tho he did grow up in Le Havre, so has some awareness of football in the broadest of senses. Colleen’s a nut for the NFL, a Miami Dolphins fan, poor soul – says me, wearing my Deetroit Lions T-shirt that night, in honour of the draft.


At some point, I mentioned that I’d be watching the Monaros when I got home and that I might watch it at 1.5 speed because I’d be trimming Sue’s hedge at 0800 and wanted the extra sleep.


Well, what a talking point that was! I then tried to explain the free-moving nature of Australian Football that made this possible (try it sometime, you’ll understand). Perky Girl knew what I was talking about. When I said ‘there’s no offside rule”, Christian said “Ahh” in that all-encompassing way blokes have of understanding, with a great French inflection.


I attempted a comparision to American Football, its stop/start nature. This got Colleen and Perky Girl involved. See, Perky Girl can be very quiet at social gatherings sometimes and she really digs motorcycle racing but I’ve never seen her watch a sport with such intent as American Football. So we talked about the necessity of replaying every play and pausing it every quarter-second in order to see what the offensive line was doing, how the linebackers were reacting, where the recievers are running, Colleen brought out the key, the D reactions to the O. We were getting a bit raddled by then, I’m not convinced that Christian and Jane are gonna be nailing themselves to the teev to watch hours of Free Speech Football anytime soon.


Somewhere in there, I said that I follow the two codes at the extreme ends of the football universe, Australian and American, so I don’t need to bother about any of those compromise codes.  September 2013, I watched more NFL than AFL finals.  So, if you were wondering, I like American Football more than Australian these days, but the reasons for that are fodder for another column, fodder I’ve been stacking for a few weeks now.


Perky Girl and I got home, hit the replay.   1.5x went to 2x early in the second when we put the music on. I prefer to remember the second half as the time when I got some fancy bread rolls, possibly known as paps, under the griller, lightly toasted on the backs, warmed on the cutside, then scraped on honey and marinated fetta. It was an experiment that worked. Nothing the Monaros tried worked.


It was terrible! I want to gather up every old Valiant from every wrecker’s yard in Sydney and truck them over to the Monaro’s HQ (which I didn’t get the contract for landscaping, not that I’m holding that against them), pile them up in the carpark, douse them in petrol and flick my Zippo…


Orange flames, grey smoke.


It’d take the heat off Toby Greene (stupid thug), it’d make headlines, it’d be a wonderfully abstract artwork worthy of Christo, if not more so.


But this is Australia, not the Burning Man Fest, so don’t start booking your flights just yet.


Other stuff happened this round. Sydney are starting to hit it and managed their high-priced forward line nicely. Hawthorn were down on some key players but none of them were important backmen. Port ran all over Freo, raising the question: will Ross Lyon ever coach a premiership team? Unlikely – while attack wins memberships and defence wins premierships, Ross has had his chances and won’t be around when Freo are seriously back in the hunt.


None of the other games involved anyone but strugglers, tho it’s good to see the Dogs starting to hit some form. Maybe, in the next few years, they might make it to another Prelim Final.


Tom Hafey. No club ever responded to him as Richmond did. He lifted them to a level they’d never known before or since. He dragged Collingwood to Grand Finals they didn’t deserve to be in. His radio commentary was priceless. Very few, if any, champions of the game were as much loved and admired as Tom. Perhaps because he wasn’t a champion player, but a champion coach and he plyed his trade and he did situps and pushups and he ran and he swam and there was something about Tom that we’d all like to be.


Cheers, Tipsters


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.

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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.


  1. This column is crap (the photo I mean). Ever since Perky Girl disappeared from the Avatar I have to read your pieces from the top down, and not the bottom up which was much more fun.
    The words were OK. Except for the bits about American Football.
    Any chance of getting a PG rating for your columns again? Or she could write her own. No words required. Just the profile.
    P.S. Your comments about Tommy were spot on.

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