FEARLESS 2019 – Round 19: The overdue return of the squirrel grip…

Hi all,


I had the privilege of meeting Carlton interim coach David Teague in passing a couple of nights ago. First impressions only I guess, but what stood out was a confidence, an aura and a belief. Stands to reason that the players have fallen in line behind Teague thus far and the wins have come. Winning breeds confidence and so maybe that will help Teague get the job full time. As reported in the weekend paper, he’s just a hard working country kid who’d done anything for anyone. That and a Carlton Best & Fairest (2004) may mean he gets the job full time. Despite the misconceptions of the Juddy “training wheels” comment, Teague has coached his own team at VFL level and has held assistant coaching roles at Carlton, Adelaide, West Coast and St.Kilda. Time will tell who Carlton appoint…but they would do well to undertake due diligence as expected, but equally might not need to look any further.


Many things annoy me about footy at present but metres “gained” is top of the list. An ability of a player is measured by how far forward he moves the ball. Yet if he goes backward, the metres gained decreases. Jack Watts gets 27 touches one day and registers metres gained of -34….WTF? Patrick Cripps plays one of the best individual games of 2019 against the Western Bulldogs and registers 84 metres gained…serious? It is a nothing measure. Not surprisingly those leading the metres gained count so far are defenders…now there’s a surprise…that’s their job, in a very basic sense, to move the ball forward. Sydney’s Jake Lloyd leads the table with 546.9 on average per game..that stat doesn’t tell me anything and yet commentators bang on about that being elite…spare me the rubbish…


It is an indictment on the game that a player like Greg Williams would be considered too slow and too small to get recruited in 2019…clubs need ball winners to get the ball out to the runners. The game isn’t the athletic pursuit many regard it to be, so why do clubs persist in recruiting players on the basis of time trials? In this light, the metres gained statistic becomes even more irrelevant, as there is no accuracy as to whether the player has done anything constructive with the ball…and, yes, sometimes it is actually more productive to move the ball backwards! (Thanks to ESPN for the stats.)


More jargon…just not helpful at all. More white noise emanating from the commentary box when already they spew forth enough irrelevancies and inanities.


Round 19: The overdue return of the squirrel grip…


I think that’s collectively what Richmond applied to Collingwood at the G on Friday night. The Lynch-Riewoldt combo is working well and the Pies are suffering from injuries. After halfway in the 1st, the Tigers took the game from the scruff of the neck and the Pies had no answers. Tigers by 32. Lynch 5. Treloar 39, Dusty 38 and 2 goals.


Brisbane weren’t scared of the trip to Launceston to tackle the Hawks. They had stormed the Bastille before. The Hawks inadvertently assisted with 7.18…25 scoring shots to 22 and yet lost by 27pts. The Worlpedo got 34 and Lachie Neale 33, continuing Brownlow fave-ism. However, Birchall’s squirrel grip on Hodgey…at least no malice.


Teague’s Terriers faced off against an Adelaide, whose wheels had fallen off the Crowmojo. Carlton had found winning form to be enjoyable and again were led by the indefatigable Patty Cripps with 39 stats and a goal. Veterans Murphy and Simpson helped but the Crows, having dropped Eddie Betts, still looked listless. Baggers 27pts.


Rhyce’s Roos headed far west to tackle the Eagles in footy’s toughest roadtrip in 2019. It was probably the toughest gig of Rhyce Shaw’s coaching tenure. Ultimately 3rd v 13th on 3rd’s home ground and that’s how it played out. A 6 goal burst in the 3rd qtr by the Eagles took an 18pt lead at the 1/2 led to a 48pt lead at the last -game over! 7 JK BIT.


Eternity…the battle of saints and demons didn’t carry the same weight on Saturday night at Marvel but both sides were keen to make amends for 2019 so far. Richo-less Ratten-led Saints took the lead in the last and never looked back. Forward 50 potency and new found confidence was the difference as the Saints by 19. Bruce 4, Skunk 3.


The goal review system might need a good old-fashioned squirrel after stuffing up the Port – GWS game at Adelaide Oval on Saturday Night – Heath Shaw’s 300th. Coach Ken Hinkley might be the one to deliver it. The AFL “Footy Live” app was quoted as saying the game has yet to reach any great heights…GWS by 1pt. Keeffe gamesaver.


Dogs and Dockers at Marvel was a classic 8pt game for those close to making finals. The jungle drums had been going off in WA that Ross Lyon was on the nose at Freo?

Dogs started like a kennel on fire with 8.2 and by the 1/2 were 43pts up. 4.11 to 4.7 in the 2nd half and the game beyond Freo’s grasp. Macrae 38, Dale 4, Brayshaw 26, 3.


The scratchy top-of-the-ladder Cats travelled to the SCG to take on the equally scratchy Swans. Whilst competitive for a half, the Cats led by Tomahawk with 5 in his 250thnwere better after the main break. Tim Kelly broke the shackles with 31, whilst Heeney and Dawson kicked 3 each for the Swans. Blicavs won’t win an Oscar! Cats by 27pts.


A bit of Walla magic to Hooker saved the Bombers and the AFL Score review system saved many faces from turning red. It was a Jake Stringer long bomb that sealed the Bomber win at Club Metricon after the Suns threatened to derail Essendon’s finals campaign for 70% of the game. Dons win by 10pts. Suns better. Ben “other”  King 4.


Cheers PT




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  1. Good call on the jargon, Fearless. So much hot air about total b……t! I’m reminded of a book that had some currency in the 60s entitled ‘How to lie with statistics’. Also the old phrase, ‘lies, damned lies, and statistics’. Maintain the rage!

  2. John Butler says

    Interesting comments on Teague, Fearless.

    This is a debate Carlton people are fully occupied and consumed by at present.

    And you’re dead right about the misuse of statistics – the last refuge of the clueless commentator.


  3. I disagree, John Butler, I reckon statistics are the first refuge of the clueless commentator. Sometimes I wonder if some of those thickheads would have anything to say if it wasn’t for the endless stats. The best player lists also often just reflect the highest stat gatherers.

    Agree with you, Fearless, about the epidemic of statistics, it is just out of control. Somebody has seen some NFL and thought they could inflict the same drivel here. It seems almost every week a new category appears out of the weeds. No doubt providing employment for a vast army of factotums, (factota?) like the rest of the “industry”. Once in a blue moon I watch 2 minutes of rugby league and netball and the same nonsense has spread there it would appear. It’s even more hilarious there with some of the silly numbers I have seen.

    Just another factor reducing enjoyment of what used to be our great game.

  4. I’m always intrigued by the stats of the Crouch brothers for Adelaide. They invariably clock up numerous possessions (mainly handballs) but rarely hurt the opposition. Comparing their ball use and run to players such as Dangerfield and Ablett has the brothers falling well short.

    Not only that, but for all their (Crouch boys)possessions, the Crows are continually smashed in the clearances, especially in the centre square. Value for disposals is much more valuable than heaps of ball gets that result in a “ring- a- ring – a- rosie style in my opinion anyhow.

    As far a commentators go, they often concentrate on well known players, even when the chances are they’re out of position, at the expense of calling the actual play – often way behind the action.

  5. Ground ball gets, loose ball gets, offence, defence, metres gained, quarterback role, scrimmage, etc. Just, no! Agree regarding stats. 39 disposals is not helping the team anywhere near as much as it first seems if under 60% went to a team mate. I used to like Bruuuuce’s commentary but now he is one of the worst offenders when it comes to American jargon and meaningless

  6. Guys, just turn off the sound on the TV and watch the game. The muppets have nothing of consequence to say. I get to listen to a selection of 40+ years worth of my music collection instead!

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