Finals Week 1 – Six (Talking) Points

1) The Lid is Off at Richmond

All attempts to keep the lid on at Punt Road were abandoned over the weekend. Have Richmond gone too early, or should they enjoy the ride? But will they take their eyes off the road ahead?

2) Lids is Off at GWS

Poor Brett Deledio. Can anyone think of any other notable examples of jumping at the wrong time? Or has he (and his team) been written off prematurely?

3) Shrug, I Dunno

Aside from a couple of despairing Port players, did anyone else instantly complain “he lifted his arm!!!” when Luke Shuey had his part rearranged by a Jared Polec tackle? Has anyone seen a free not paid in favour of the “shrugger” this year, despite the pre-season pronouncements to the contrary from the bloke that used to run that side of things?

4) Eight Bus Loads

Have those five hundred or so Essendon fans made it back yet? Will their team’s commendable eighth place finish spur them on to bigger things next year or is that just some misplaced pretzel logic?

5) Extra-Time All Year Round

Even though Port went out in straight set, at least they went to a tie-breaker. In a season that had more than the usual number of draws, should extra-time be used in the home and away season?

6) Festival State Final

Does the probable Adelaide v Sydney final loom as the Grand Final prelude? Will the winner of the Tippett-Mattner-Fitzy Shield be installed as the flag favourite? Or will Geelong find some nous backbone form?


About Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt

Saw my first SANFL game in 1967 - Dogs v Peckers. Have only ever seen the Dogs win 1 final in the flesh (1972 1st Semi) Mediocre forward pocket for the AUFC Blacks (1982-89) Life member - Ormond Netball Club -That's me on the right


  1. 1) Tigers should keep the lid off. Death or Glory

    2) Nathan Buckley, Leigh Colbert. The Frankenteam will come back, worse luck. See #1) above

    3) What sticks in the craw is that the official chooses to pay that one, then, after missing dozens similar throughout the match (and the other matches)

    4) Who knows?

    5) Nope. A tie is a result.

    6) Cats need a necromancer. Counting on the Crows to slay the cheats this time. See #1) above

  2. 1) Everyone left should take the lid off. Life’s too short to be pessimistic for fear your optimism somehow jinx your side. As long as you recognise how unlikely a premiership is in any given year.

    2) Dangerfield jumped at the wrong time, possibly for both clubs. Yes, GWS have been written off prematurely. Could run themselves into form against West Coast and have the grunt to deprive Richmond of the pill in the right conditions.

    3) It’s an interpretation that’s almost unenforceable live. Perhaps something that requires post-game video review/referral (or just deal with it as not a huge threat to the game).

    4) Essendon are a decent team that will get better.

    5) No, we should wallow in ambiguity as frequently as possible.

    6) Adelaide and Sydney are still the best two teams left in it but footy’s a funny game.

  3. (1) Lids are made to be removed.
    (2) It was a mutually agreeable parting, but no-one could have envisaged what was going to happen. If Lids had stayed at Punt Road, would the Tigers have evolved to their current state? I doubt it. (As an aside, Richmond fans still seem torn between life-long respect, pent-up rejection and schadenfreud.)
    (3) Gaudi explained the distinctive architecture of his La Sagrada Familia on the basis that “there are no straight lines in nature”. There are no straight decisions in time-on of a final.
    (4) The Dons will be playing in a Grand Final within two years. If Jake Stringer heads north along the Maribyrnong and enjoys the views from Windy Hill, it could be next year.
    (5) No.
    (6) Before we get to Adelaide v Sydney, we’ve got two cracking games this weekend. Friday night is Geelong’s chance to stop it falling into the Finals Abyss previously known as the Richmond Precipice. Sydney is pumped and primed. If Sydney gets up, a lazy tenner on the Swans against the Crows might be worth considering.

  4. 1) The Tiger is on the loose; there’s nothing to be done about.

    2) Lids was off at Punt Road too; his injury rating hasn’t improved at Breakfast Point. It’s said he took one for The Tigers. Always an open door for him at Punt Road. It also highlights the piecemeal nature of the team at GWS.

    3) The Tiges have a developed a way of tackling that doesn’t allow the elbow lift of the knee drop from becoming effective. Ask Joel Duckwood. He was neutralised on Friday night. Or maybe he just pushed the envelope too far.

    4) Train wreck, bus wreck; what’s the difference? I personally haven’t seen any of them hanging around their usual haunts. Should we check out the bottom of the Bulli Pass in case they decided to peel off the Hume and take the scenic route home.

    5) No. No. No. A draw is a result and has been for 120 years. Each side involved shares the four points. For finals, where a result is required, the extra time works. It also adds something special to the September Season. You could even make it 10 minutes each end if you like, but that may be a bit of an ask.

    6) Yes. Yes. And No.

  5. 1) Tigers should keep lid off and enjoy it while they can. Disappointment looms in a fortnight.
    2) Lid permanently detached at Eagles Spanish HQ. Just taking it one miracle at a time. The Avenging Eagle is lighting daily candles along our Camino de Santiago pilgrimage stagger.
    3)Why are we talking about this when Port got 25-12 frees after the first 15 minutes, and then choked twice in both the last quarter and extra time? The Hartlett free when he charged backward into Petrie was a joke, and then the non-reversal when he was shoved to the ground. Even outrageous home town decisions couldn’t save that mob of over-rated (WIngard???) chokers. Justice prevails.
    4)Essendon will win finals when Hird apologises and accepts responsibility. Or hell freezes over. The Curse of the Bambino looms.
    5)Weekly option. At end of full time the trailing team should have double or nothing option. Leading team scores count double in extra time and winner gets 8 premiership points. I have it on good authority that James Packer and Crown Bet (the official corruption partners of the AFL) are already in talks with Gillon (about future Board opportunities).
    6)Yes. False favourite – expect a flood of pesos for the outsider. See above re neck constriction.

  6. Joe De Petro says

    1. Lids have been flying off saucepans for days now. Watch out!
    2. Lids was a great Tiger and a top 20 player in the competition at worst during his heyday. You can’t help injury and it catches up with everyone.
    3. The prior opportunity rule is a nonsense. We should go back to the traditional rule. Any legitimate tackle and the player has a split second to get rid of the ball. Any illegitimate tackle and it is too high/in the back. The shrug only came in when the tackler had to pin down the arms to stop the tacklee from lifting his arms, standing up in the tackle and looking around for ages for the best option for a handball. That should be instantly holding the ball. There would be no shrugs, no dangerous sling tackles, no grey areas. Just legitimate frees.
    4. It is Pretzel Logic. Taking aside the Sheedy era, Essendon has not won a final, ANY FINAL, since 1968. Great album though and RIP Walter Becker.
    5. I like draws. Was it Eric McKenzie who somehow turned a point into an OOB by crashing into the point post? One of the great defensive actions of the season. Technically, also a deliberate OOB, highlighting how ridiculous that rule is. Thankfully, that particular umpire appreciates good football.
    6. Agree. Unfortunately, they are now both in the same half of the draw, through no fault of their own.

  7. 1. Tiges playing genuine September football. I agree with Dave, lids are made to be removed to enjoy the contents of the, um, product…
    2. Lids is done, a magnificent servant to Richmond. GWS are the flipside to Richmond who have had a charmed injury run. You can write their injury list on a tic-tac. GWS are wobbly all over.
    3. Those are paid now. Annoyingly rubbery interprertations have been a thing since the Oakley years; you just have to sniff the wind, watch lots of game video, read the tea leaves to get this month’s fashion.
    4. Lots to like at the Dons and I see them scraping together another Tarago-load at least next year, also Dennis and Pat have got room in the van for 4 or 5, be at Highpoint carpark at 4am.
    5. No
    6. Tiges v Crows grand final with the pace-setters all year hot hot hot favourites. Which suits me.

  8. 1. The Tigers never had the lid on.
    2. Injuries have cut down Lids – won’t ever be the same player.
    3. No and No.
    4. Who cares. I reckon the Bombers have peaked/ out-performed/ played above themselves
    5. NO
    6. Nope. Nope. Nope.

    That was easy.

  9. 1) Looks unanimous — let the torrent run free. (Is that torrent or Torrens Wrap? – Ed)

    2) Unanimous again. Tigers’ have had a charmed injury run (touch wood) Interesting, because they’re such a hared tackling side, and the reverse is true of The Goliaths.

    3) They’ve choked before now you come to mention it.

    4) The Curse of The Bambino, or The Curse of Bambi Mr B? Either way it works..

    5) Unanimous except for Mr B who appears to have taken a liking to the Rioja by the time he got to #5.

    6) Unanimous again. This isa getting spooky.

    Swish’s Six could become a regular Monday feature, eh?

  10. 1 Enjoy it
    2 A reasonable player but has always been over rated continued re his own individual putrid finals performances
    3 As a experienced maggot a blatant free kick it was a terrible tackle by Polec have been stunned re the number of people who have queried it as a fellow umpire said to me 99 out of 100 umpires would have paid it and the other one has no idea.
    4 Essendon could go either way
    5 No
    6 Having predicted,Richmond come 16th I have given up thanks,Swish

  11. Mark Duffett says

    1) The lid is somewhere in Earth orbit. I cannot remember such a reaction to a qualifying final win, ever. Tigers will be crushed by the weight of expectation.

    2) Not writing GWS off (see 1)

    3) I called it live, high tackle every day of the week

    4) Bombers still on the rise

    5) A thousand times, no. As I may have mentioned once or twice before, there shouldn’t even be extra time in drawn finals – the team finishing higher on the home & away ladder should be declared the winner.

    6) Pre finals commencement, the scenario I ran shows Sydney coming out on top. Haven’t seen a reason to change that yet.

  12. 1. Lids do not belong on coffee cups nor on footy clubs. Blow it open. As Leunig says: “let it out, let it free, let it all unravel. Let it out and it can be path on which to travel.”

    2. Don’t know much about Lids. Ty Vickery might have timed his move better. (Or is there something chicken-and-egg about all this?)

    3. Move on, everyone. These things happen and may rot in your guts for a while (Harmes 1979, Rocca 2002), but they happen. Life.

    4. Bombers did well. No thoughts about their future. Except that each passing day takes them happily further from those dark days we know so well.

    5. No – I think extra time should not be played at all. A draw is a fair result in the regular season. I like M Duffett’s suggestion (above) for finals. That makes sense. The game is allocated to the team higher on the ladder unless their opponent can DEFEAT them on match day. A draw is not good enough.

    6. I’m not into “running footy scenarios.” It could be any one of 6 from my viewpoint, which will be explained knowingly by a battalion of Monday’s experts after the events. So many variables. So many moving parts. So many stories. Bring it on.

  13. 1.
    We’re lost in a cloud
    With too much rain
    We’re trapped in a world
    That’s troubled with pain
    But as long as a man
    Has the strength to dream
    He can redeem his soul and fly
    This is the end, beautiful friend
    This is the end, my only friend, the end
    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I’ll never look into your eyes, again
    She ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge. In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again. The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.

  14. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Thanks one and all, not as controversial as I had hoped in the Footy Almanac echo chamber, but I’ll try and be a bit more shock-jocky (or change my name to Kane Cornes) next week.

    And Rick – ?

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