Richmond clown removes his make-up


By Christopher Riordan


How could we resist? It’s not often that you get the chance to witness cannibalism on the terraces but, if the papers are to be believed (I know this has just taken a credibility dive), that is what will happen if the “eat their young” Tiger fans witness a loss to wooden-spoon, winless Melbourne.

The sheer relief that this is happening at other clubs than your own!

The Tigers are a terrible team. They came out all bluster and “look at me”, gaining a goal before the first bounce from a pre-match melee free-kick and then running around energetically. Their only other first-quarter triumph was a charity to an insipid Nathan Brown, who ducked and received a soft free for a goal.

Melbourne, also awful with skills and strategy, hit the post FOUR times yet still led at the first siren. Despite this, Betfair reported the Tigers as having shortened to be overwhelming favourites!

This was laughable.

Bowden was racking up stats and going nowhere. Jordy running fast, sideways. Richo cancelling endeavour and marking power with crap kicking and poor chasing.

By halfway in to the second quarter they were “gone”.

Melbourne, clang-happy as they were — and this was a game where even supporters were laughing at the miserable skills and decisions — at least had some positives on their report card. Brad Miller, awful earlier in the season, was hard and good. Nat Jones scrapped all day, John Meesen added size and Lynden Dunn added endeavour and some critical touches. “Juice” Newton was nearly great: his marking was fantastic, efforts at the man and ball greatly improved, and his kicking was lamentable. Spectators may well have queried the ball were it not for Aaron Davey, whose delivery was exquisite. He stood apart from all the rest for his quality and vision.

Not surprisingly for a game between two such poor teams with such fearful mindsets, there were moments late when the match could feasibly have swung either way.

Realistically, the right team won.

Media and sadists (OK, and me) were deprived of the true blood-letting by the new MCG configurations and the stadium’s propensity to make the PA dictate our attentions rather than the crowd.

In the bad old days, Richmond would have had to retreat in to the race at the bottom of the Northern Stand, copping the angst of their “supporters”, and then been corralled in their rooms as a throng formed in anger outside. On this day they were spared by making their escape between the MCC area and the Demon supporters while Grand Old Flag belted out and other controlled noise ensured public instinct was not voiced.

That part is much easier than in the past, but scrutiny, particularly on Wallace, will intensify. Doomed.

The Melbourne comedy festival is finishing, yet the image of the clown removing his make-up stays with me as part of Richmond’s wonderful and horrible status.

Smokey Robinson saw the coach’s demise years ago …

Now there’s some sad things known to man
but ain’t too much sadder than the tears of a clown.
when there’s no one around.
just like Pagliaccic did
I try to keep my sadness hid;
Smiling in the public eye
but in my lonely room
I cry the tears of a clown


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