Fearless 2014 Finals Week 4: This is it folks, over the top! Live from Noosa…

SYDNEY SWANS vs HAWTHORN – GRAND FINAL – SATURDAY ARVO – MCG

Somewhere along the way, for all that has gone bad this year in AFL land, the two best teams emerged from the flotsam to take centre stage. The game was to be the biggest and best advertisement for the AFL with the two form teams over the season, and the finals played so far, dismissing all challengers. Not even the AFL and their choice of musical variety was going to stuff it up. Meatloaf’s reputation was still in ruins, a symbol of inept decision making. Someone had left the meatloaf in the rain…

 

Or so it seemed…the Melbourne weather set the backdrop for a glorious day. Ed Sherrin (renamed for the day) plastered on the sunscreen and belted through a couple of numbers before Sir Tom Jones rose to the occasion, like a true veteran displayed all the voice he has been able to muster throughout 50+ years (take note Meat, it can still be done!) Sheeran/Sherrin helped Sir Tom through Prince’s Kiss, far out of the range of women, undies and whatever slingshot required to get the trajectory onto centre stage at the G. Maybe Sexbomb wasn’t such a good suggestion after all. Sir Tom could’ve complied with the wags who thought Up There Delilah would’ve been a footified version of his classic song.

 

Once Olivia Newton-John delivered the national anthem we were underway, footy’s equivalent of the race that stops a nation. It soon became apparent by midway through the second quarter that the interstate visitors had lost their way to the MCG. Maybe Melbourne’s taxis had been painted with brown stripes to confuse the issue. Either way, the Sydney Swans were soon lost in traffic of a different kind. Everything that had been done so well in the preliminary final had gone missing amid the Clarkson playbook administered by minions Hodge, Lewis, Roughead and Mitchell. The abject lack of pressure by the Swans was sending alarm bells through the Sydney coaching box and the Horse was reacting as quickly as if he’d been euthanased Blazing Saddles-style. Seriously, do they have their whole team on the park? I couldn’t tell amid the bobble heads blocking my view of all screens at the Noosa Heads Surf Life Saving Club. Honestly, if I wanted overpriced drinks, poor quality food and to feel overcrowded I should have gone to the G on the day.

 

The commentary did make a salient point in reference to biggest comebacks in a Grand Final from half-time deficits. The Swans, if they were to turn around a 42pt deficit, would beat the record set by Carlton in the 1970 Grand Final. Barassi’s charges revolutionised the game with handball and Teddy Hopkins put his name into the history books with 4 goals, well before Champion Data was his brainchild. An attack of the Colliwobbles again…

 

By 3 /4 time it was apparent that the Swans had no Teddy Hopkins, the Hawks had no Hawkiwobbles and a 42pt deficit ballooned to 54pts. Hodge, Mitchell, Lewis and Josh Gibson were heading to 30+ possessions. 8 Swans players were struggling their way to under 10. The blades of grass weren’t that high that anyone could hide under them. Much associated with Sydney Swans pressure football had dissipated – leadership, pressure, precise skill execution, pace, clarity of thought. All had vanished due to Hawthorn’s total 4 quarter pressure. 3 Hawks went on to have less than 10 possessions for the game. Rioli, whose 9 possessions before the red vest, were the equivalent of double for any other player. Duryea, who handed the vest to Cyril, got 9 possessions in 25 minutes of game time and David Hale, whose 7 possessions were complemented by a goal and 10 hitouts.

 

The value of possessions for ruckmen and defenders change depending on roles played, compared to midfielders. That Gibson got over 30 had meant an entertaining tussle with an old mate. Buddy, Goodes, Pyke and Josh Kennedy had flown the Swans flag all day, helped by the man Billy Brownless referred to as Malsexy and the veteran Shaw. Buddy’s 4.2 got shaded by Roughy’s 5.1. 63pts at the final siren. Captain Courageous Hodge wins the medal. Spangher finally gets a medal after 3 false starts. Big Boy McEvoy must’ve smiled at his turn of fate. Clarko’s a 3-time Premiership coach in just 7 years. Hawks in a classic 4-quarter win like Geelong in 2007.

Comments

  1. Hi Fearless,
    Im afraid that Anyone who decides the watch the footy in Hasting St in school holidays deserves what they get, Great venue when its quieter. I would have gone to the backpacker joint over the hill where the crowd is a little less beautiful and the beer a dammed sight cheaper.
    Cheers
    Tony

  2. There must be a decent venue up this end of the coast. Next year let’s consider an Almanac shindig?

  3. Fearless

    Great read, and very jealous of you up there on Hastinsg Street.

    I did the same in 2013, watching the GF in what felt like Hawthorn by the water, although No. 1 son went for home in the apartment rather than the larger confines of the (impressive in my view) Noosa SLSC

    https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/afl-grand-final-taking-it-in-from-the-shores-of-upper-north-hawthorn/

    Well done

    Sean

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