Worthy slaughter?


I recently heard the 1970s hit All by myself  by Eric Carmen, no relation to Fabulous Phil (Eric couldn’t even spell his surname the same way as the great man), for the first time in many years. It’s a self-pitying lament, with some of the verses starting with the words When I was young, followed by how free, easy and independent he used to be, but no longer.


When I was young I enjoyed nothing better than going to watch the Pies slaughter some hapless and incompetent opposition in front of the baying masses at Vic Park. I’d go home thinking that our blokes were champions and dream that this would be the year.  Years of disappointments and letdowns, professional training which has sharpened my critical faculties and the cynicism which tends to accompany ageing means that those somewhat idyllic days of optimistic naivety are long gone for me. I am still generally optimistic re the Pies whenever humanly possible (I am my father’s son after all !) and have long developed a philosophical stance that being a Pie is much more about identity and belonging than the all too rare sweet taste of the ultimate success, but my naivety has long gone.


At this stage you might be thinking that I have got my emails mixed up and submitted my philosophy assignment rather than the DRs but fear not.  I am building up to stating that the win over GWS is without doubt the least impressive and least satisfying 100 point win in the history of the club, before the smallest crowd we have played in front of for many decades.   We were crap for much of the game, but our bigger, stronger bodies meant that we were able to wear them down and beat them up in the latter half of all four quarters.


While the win was unimpressive, it was not  however meaningless. The 120-point win did boost our ordinary percentage, and at least as importantly, hopefully boosted the previously bootlace level confidence of Big Trav, who clunked a few, kicked six and smiled for the first time on the field in weeks. Maybe it was because he could get away from his dad for a while. If only the rest of us could be so lucky.  The third objective of this game, to get some form into Dawes, was partially achieved.  Eleven marks and two goals looks OK on paper, but his touch still resembles Geraint Jones on a bad day, and for a bloke his size his body use and balance in marking contests is poor. When he was outbodied by Luke Power, the embarrassed silence was reminiscent of the Round 1 game against Freo some years ago when big Josh got outmarked in our defensive goal square by Peter Bell. The final objective, to get through injury-free, was achieved, notwithstanding a  couple of scares when Pendles and Fas got heavy knocks.


There were several who could consider themselves lucky not to feature in our worst three. Tom Young ended up with 25 possessions on the back of a huge last quarter, but was very suspect one on one and inspires little confidence. Dawes could easily have ended up in there, but the two goals and a goodish last quarter kept him out, and Fas and Sinkers didn’t do much. However, the votegetters were :


3 – S Buckley – team-low disposal efficiency, including some horrible turnover clangers, and very little impact offensively gave the Poor Man’s Bucks the gong. His lowpoint was his attempted left foot pass which travelled approximately six metres, slewing off the side of the boot and out on the full. Too many decision making and execution errors to make it at this level, but may get a look in against West Coast and Hawthorn where his big strong body is helpful defensively. I did find myself thinking that he would have been handy in the horror third quarter last week when Jordan Lewis was cutting us to pieces (albeit he was largely playing a defensive forward role on Heater, but managed to match up on Tom Young for a horrible few minutes).


2 – Mooney – like my brother I am loathe to give DR votes to blokes who have played little footy, but 4 possessions in two and half quarters meant that he was largely invisible. He does have some talent, and has played so little footy that it will be a couple of years before we know whether he can really cut it at this level.


1- Browny – a favourite of mine, but playing without confidence at present, and wouldn’t be in the team if big Lachie was available.  I’m not sure whether he’s having problems with his knees, but he’s struggling to get off the ground to spoil, and has consequently looked clumsy and slow in recent weeks.    His numbers were flattering, inflated by some uncontested marks when GWS had numbers behind the ball and bombed forward to nothing.  Will be interesting to see if the coach sends him to Riewoldt next week, as Reid looks a better bet at the moment, but Browny has a great record on him.


Finally, I’d like to tip a bucket on the AFL for its draw.  Yes, it is important to grow the game and therefore the development teams exist. Given they play each other twice, that means they each have another twenty games to play.  Forty games between the other 16 clubs means that a pre-schooler could work out that eight clubs get three games against the easybeats and the the other eight, presumably the finalists from last year, get two. Adelaide and North each getting four games significantly compromises an already compromised draw and will result in higher ladder positions for those two clubs. It’s not rocket science Adrian.


Phew, I feel a bit better now.


Floreat Pica



  1. Skip of Skipton says

    When was the last time Collingwood played for premiership points in front of 8,000?

  2. Skip of Skipton says

    I just looked through some records of Brisbane Bears vs. Collingwood games at Carrara and the lowest crowd was 9,000 in 1991 when Daicos kicked 13. This GWS (very patronising name) caper is a major WOFTAM.

  3. 8,000 Skip. Was that crowd number or combined IQ?

  4. I like Paul Roos but his harping on how bad Collingwood were all night long had him in a neck & neck tussle with Dermie for the title of most irritating commentator. By the same token any opportunity to heap patronising praise on the Giants was pounced upon. They wanted it both ways. Anyways, when an ordinary performance with almost half the best 22 out nets a 20 goal win it really points to a farce – and that’s without mentioning the pitiful crowd.

    To my mind, putting a junior team in a physically demanding senior football competition and maintaining this veneer of a totally professional elite level competition doesn’t wash. They can polish this turd any way they like but as you say Skip, this is a major WOFTAM. Even when these kids mature and the team is competitive, too few beyond their friends and family will support Great Waste of $ to justify dropping $30m a year over it. And the Kangas, Demons, Bulldogs & Power may well end up as collateral damage.

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