PB’s Week 1 Diary – The Anti Football League

Thirty four degrees and humid in Perth last week.  Not football weather.  Our great game shouldn’t be played when the temperature has a 3 in front of it.  Traditionally the footy season started with our national day – April 25 – when we gathered to remember the fallen, get pissed and play two-up.  Women and children needed something to do (and men needed to sober up) in the afternoons.


If footy was meant to be played in the blistering heat of summer Australians would all have been born black.  Waddayamean they were?


Thursday was the highlight of my week.  The Avenging Eagle and I took in the Joni Mitchell at 75 Celebration Concert at the movies while hostilities resumed on the eastern seaboard.   Los Lobos fronted by La Marisoul and Chakha Khan doing “Dreamland” won the Norm Smith in a stellar field that included James Taylor, Dianna Krall and Kris Kristoffersen taking the piss out of himself (but not Joni’s lyric) with a seminally creaky (I could drink “A Case of You”).  Do yourself a favour.


(This is fan’s YouTube footage not the crystalline sound and video of the movie footage).


My Friday afternoon golf lingered into the Perth twilight and by the time we reached the 19th hole it was the medleys at the ‘G for last year’s Grand Finalists.  I should have seen it as an omen instead of their penance for causing my November angina and stent.  


After the orange break of life, playing the last quarter with vigour and joy holds much more excitement for me than watching a nil all draw decided by penalties on the other side of the continent.


The omnipresent media/corporate hoopla of “footy is back” makes me want to resurrect Keith Dunstan’s Anti Football League.  They weren’t so much against footy as the stultifying coverage that blocks out the sun for 8 months of the year (12 soon with AFL’s W,X,Y and Z).  Ein Reich; Ein AFL; Ein Gillon.



No escaping it by Saturday, as I gloated “innocently” over the last half of the Crows capitulation to the ever-drilled Hawks.


Saturday night you ask?  Well as Andrew Gaff commented as he took in the Kangas/Dockers game on Sunday – “dodged a bullet there not signing on as first mate on the Lusitania, but the world’s largest ocean liner appears to be taking on water and listing alarmingly.  Time to get back on board and start bailing.”


Footy is primal.  Fear and hunger.  A 10 minute burst at the end of the first quarter had the Eagles 4 goals ahead of the energetic but wasteful Lions.  You could almost see the Eagles players thought bubble “how good is this – cue the triumphal march music”.  


Second quarter the young Lions tore into us and past us.  No fear and plenty of hunger, while the Eagles waited for one of their heroes to turn up and turn it on.  Deafening silence.


The second half was even worse like a tennis player 5-0 down tanking the last game so they can serve first in the second set.  


Structurally we were too tall with rucks Hickey and Vardy lumbering and ineffective with their taps and absent in general play.  Allen, Brander and Waterman are all promising young talls who look like leggy young 2yo’s at Moonee Valley charging down the back straight, then falling over their feet and hanging when they got to the turns.  Waterman notably missed an easy set shot then dropped a chest mark and hung his head.  “I don’t belong here.”  Fear not hunger.


Chris Masten’s legs appear to have shrunk six inches over the summer and were unable to carry him to any contests.  Historically he has thrived when the ball is slippery but like most of the midfield he lacked appetite for the run and contest.  WAFL looms in his mirrors with Cripps and Gaff back soon.  But he had plenty of mates (Jetta, Venables I’m looking at you) who will need to lift back to a warm, dry night against the rampaging Giants in Perth for the (hopefully not white) flag raising game this weekend.


An 18kg bag of Wrap Enterprises Wild Tuna with Vegetables arrived on the doorstep Monday addressed to Shandy the Wonder Dog.  (www.lifewisepetfood.com – no free plugs on this site – Ed.)  Have rung Mr Wrap about how much to feed Shuey and Redden this week to restore their appetite for the contest.  Coats are looking dull.  Shandy is not happy – back on Coles Home Brand Kibble and Dust.  Priorities.


The Round 4 Der(not dar)by against the Dockers suddenly looks ominous after their Sunday form.  Had to bin a half dozen Ross Lyon jokes (ones I prepared earlier) after their stunning showing against the Kangas.  What the?  I prefer being magnanimous and condescending to our southern cousins.  Humility does not sit well.


A home game should make it feel more like footy season.  Until then more time spent working on the backswing…………..  


Harms is in Perth this week keen to sell Eagles Almanacs to fans looking to remember the past more than look to the future.  Dinner Thursday night at the Windsor Hotel in South Perth after watching the Tigers and Pies beat each other to a pulp.  Melbourne games in March finish before the sun goes down over here.  Western Drinking Time.  Do yourself a favour.



Almanac Event in Perth on Thursday March 28



  1. Should be an interesting Western derby.
    Freo looked ok on Sunday (albeit against a poor opponent)

  2. Phillip Dimitriadis says

    It was a weird feeling for me , too. PB. Humid in Melbourne all weekend. It felt more like watching the last serious pre-season hit out than an actual game for premiership points…until the Pies lost and reality sunk in.

  3. I could hardly wait for the season to begin after the mickey Mouse comp, especially with the new rules to spice the competition. However all we got was the same old same old. defense still ruled, flooding galore and the COLLIEWOBBLES.

    Over in Adelaide, the PYKERS dished up the usual rubbish. In my humble opinion, the Crouch brothers are over rated. True, they get plenty of disposals (mainly handballs) but most times fail to hurt the opposition.

    Meanwhile, the Power have given their fans hope of a much better season – time will tell.

    Swans v Crows this weekend – the clash of the pigmies

  4. Hello PB. I reckon you’ll be right Saturday on your home deck. And the forecast is 29. All the indicators are positive!

  5. Luke Reynolds says

    Agreed, last week still felt very much like summer. I was neither ready nor enthused about the season opener. We were very much on Western Drinking Time last Friday night at our cricket presentation night, celebrating our flag win.

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