Round 10 – The Wrap: Where Life imitates Football

THE WRAP – ROUND X

Where Life imitates Football

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.  For once the Friday night viewers get their money’s worth.  And the drums are beating out the message from the Deep Woods, across the jungle, high up to the mountain kingdoms, and to the tough waterside bars of Morristown.  BIT.  BIT.  BIT.  As The Late Great Living Legend, Captain Blood, would tell you: The Tigers are Back In Town.

On Saturday The Bluebaggers were brave against The Pride of South Australia, but sadly lost Old Man Judd along the way.  Steak & Kidney did what was expected of them driving The Sunbeams to the bottom of the Competition Table along the way.  The Cats chewed up The Marshmallows in a one sided affair in front of fast emptying stands.  And Port turned on the afterburners to Power away from The Gallant Bulldogs.

Come Sunday and The Orangemen pulled away from The Lions to surpass their previous best number of season wins in front of 9,079 Fanatical Fans out at Spotless Stadium.  The Shinboners slipped some of the Magic Elixer into the OT at the Citrus Huddle to outscore The Eddie Eagles against a screaming Blundstone Arena gale.  And The Mayblooms piled on the percentage against the gallant but outgunned Saints.

The Queens’s Birthday Block&Bluster on Monday went the way of The Cloke Led Collingwood in a seesawing contest that had the 66,120 crowd entertained all day.

And what a fortnight it’s been in Football Eddie.  The Septimus is dead.  Long live the Septimus.  (Rumour has it that Tumbling Frank Lowry may not be immune from further investigation – Ed)   But you have to ask yourself why the investigation now?  This whole scandal has been as plain as the nose on the end of the World Game’s collective face since last century.  Did someone from FIFA souvenir an autographed poster of Eliot Ness from the Department of Justice Hall of Fame?  And is it possible that the flimsy veil covering the IOC selection process will be the next apparel ripped from the bosom of our illusions?  That would be too much to ask for.

More importantly, this column has long contended that the World Game – with one umpire referee and limited scoring opportunities – leaves itself wide open to manipulation.  Ireland’s hand ball payoff – and this at the Highest Level – must surely expose a wider malaise.  (You thinking the staged penalty given against the Socceroos in the 2006 World Cup Wrap? – Ed)  What I’m thinking Oh Dexterous Deleter of Dross is that we too should have put our hand out for some hush money.  Around $43m worth of hush money to be precise.  But the issue runs deeper than that.

In an ever increasingly secular & sceptical world, a world in which our treasured institutions have been overrun by hypocrisy and hype, Football has provided refuge for many troubled hearts.  It has become the one thing that gives us the purity of outcome we all crave.  The only honest game in town.  To find the cancerous claws of corruption tearing away at one of the few remaining segments of our lives not contaminated by the twin evils of greed and acquiescence is a shattering revelation.  It’s going to take a huge amount of political and popular will to reform the smoking ruin that is the World Game.  (And let’s mention in our prayers The Game That’s Played Around The World: Our Own Great Game.  Let’s hope & pray that it doesn’t fail our trust – Ed)*

And one subscriber emailed during the week No Danks – No Dons.  We felt it was a bit unfair, but in the name of honest and fearless reportage we feel impelled to print it.

Just when you thought we could leave the comedic saga that has been the Philosopher Coach’s sojourn at the Cartoon FC we find those suspicious folk on The Grassy Knoll have produced a theory that Greg Swann was a Collingwood mole and that he engineered the recruitment of Mick, who in turn loaded up The Miseries’ salary cap with the injury prone Daisy Thomas.  And both MM & GS dismantled the Carlton forward line by clearing Kennedy, Betts, Waite, Robinson & Gartlett.  Fanciful?  Maybe.  Fact?  Absolutely.  All those things happened.  (I don’t know how you got that diatribe through to the typesetters Wrap; I must have been out to lunch that afternoon – Ed)

Oh BTW, Charlene Schadenfreude of Hawker Gate cleaned up over $15m for her 50¢ investment by correctly predicting the exact time & date down to the forward second the Carlton FC would declared that they were going to have to let Mickey rebuild his own future without them.

And here’s The Skip of Skipton 8-point Ladder as she sits at the end of Round VII.  (Better check it out Skip.  He can be a bit distracted after a Season Defining Win – Ed)

FREMANTLE                          60.5

SYDNEY                                57.5

HAWTHORN                                  54

COLLINGWOOD                        52.5

GWS                                       49.5

WEST COAST                       48.5

ADELAIDE                                      47.5

RICHMOND                        46.5

…………………………………………

Port Adelaide                      39

Geelong                                38.5

North Melbourne                38.5

Footscray                                   38

Essendon                                                 34

Melbourne                           28.5

St. Kilda                                25

Brisbane                               18.5

Gold Coast                           15.5

Carlton                                 14

 

The Big Mover?  That’s right  Wrappers; it’s The Reigning Premiers.  Over their Back-to-back Hangover, they’re making their move on September.

 

The Bagman’s Corner:  Did you clean up last week?  The Current Bluebaggers turned in their usual 9-goal performance, although they did manage to wrest a quarter off The Bloods.  The Ex-Bluebaggers – Betts 2, Kennedy 6, Gartlett 2, Waite 3, Robinson 1.

 

This Round

Current Bluebaggers – 14

The Ex-Bluebaggers – Betts 1, Kennedy 3, Gartlett 2, Waite 0, Robinson 1

 

Mick called into the Weapcave for his cut through the week.  He said it might be time to count our winnings on this little bonanza and move on.  He’s not there to coach them to those 9-goal efforts anymore.

 

The Coach Most Likely?  They couldn’t shoot Bambi out at Whingy Hill when he was playing.  How are they going to shoot him as their coach?  (They didn’t have any trouble shooting Matty Knights for less than Mr Hird is dishing up – Ed)  And remember Oh Consistent Corrector of Comas, they’ve already had one crack at moving Him on and he called in Downright Lie & Procrastynate.  Be that as it may, if The Whingy Hill Faithful can boo Barry Davis they’ll get around to booing St James of Perpetual Petulance at some stage.

But isn’t it intriguing – this Coach Most Likely bizzo?  Blood sport?  Probably.  Damien Drums sacking certainly was.  So when does the public sympathy become schadenfreude?  You see, two coaches of the three coaches on the leader board this season appear to have manipulated themselves into the job.  Now we here in the isolation of the Wrapcave certainly aren’t privy to the machinations that led to their postings, but taking Mickey the Maltster first, he certainly made public Messianic claims on his appointment.  (He was still making them at the beginning of this season – Ed)  One can only conclude he made the same claims to the Carlton Board before his appointment.  That there didn’t appear to be any process leading to the appointment lends credence to the theory of self-promotion.  Regardless, there are not too many Punters, SOTG & Tribal Faithful out there in the Football Universe who feel he didn’t received his fair whack.

Now let’s look at the situation at Melrose Drive.  First there was the public undermining and eventual sacking of the incumbent coach: Matthew Knights.  Then, down at Sleepy Hollow, there was the walkout of the Dual Premiership Coach Mark ‘I’ll never coach again’ Thompson.  (Ask around at the Great Western Wrap, I don’t think you’ll find too many down there shed a tear when he packed his magnetic board and walked out the door with hiss Baby Bombers team photo – Ed)  He joined up with James ‘I’m quite happy running my own business away from football’ Hird to form the Dream Coaching Team at Bomberland.  The reckless chemical warfare waged out of Essendon under their watch has led to mass departures and created an ongoing disharmony at the club that is ripping the place apart.**  How long can the administration allow this to continue?  (Do you think the cameras following Club Prez Paul Little around the stadium were seeking enlightenment on this ongoing conundrum Wrap? – Ed)  We did notice him sharing a bench with Slammin’ Sammy Newman at one stage Ed; do you reckon Slammin’ Sam was clueing him up on his litigation options?

Now let’s wing it up to Wally World where it’s glitzy one day and sleazy the next.  Launched with the signing of Karmichael Hunt and bucketloads of Appalling Football League funding, the club was scheduled for September Glory by year four.  That’s this year.  The only trophy they’re like to be holding aloft is the Coveted Sylvan Shield.  You see, at the end of year three the inaugural coach, Guy McKenna, gets bumped.  His engine room and marquee player – Gazza Junior – goes down with a shoulder injury during his ultimate year and his team goes down without him.  Solution?  Sack the Incumbent Coach and appoint the Veteran Coach Rocket Eade.  Rocket has a good record of lifting young teams.  Was he handed a poisoned chalice?  Who knows, but the wheels have certainly fallen off the Chariot of Fire up there on the Metricon Ride.  A culture of adolescent delinquency has emerged and no amount of rockets Rodney has fired up them seems to be creating the desired changes.  Schadenfreude?  Not really.  Just – as predictable as it was – a long drawn sigh that it’s come to this.  Rocket should get another year, but if he can’t demonstrate an empathy with Generation Whatever the Appalling Football League is going to have to do something to protect the brand up there in Brisvaegas.

As far as Footy Field Statements go, our favourite was Mickey O’Loughlin’s ferocious charge at the Eagles Cheer Squad as he followed through from the Football equivalent of a slam-dunk.  Nicky Winmar’s jumper lift is certainly up there with the very best of them.  (You’d have to put it up there with the Olympic Project for Human Rights salute at the Mexico City Olympics wouldn’t you Wrap? – Ed)  If Our Great Game stands for anything, it stands for theatre; Where Life Imitates Sport.  And Adam Goodes’ War Dance was as graceful a statement as you see in a long day’s march.  More strength to his arm.  And all you explainers – and yes, that includes the Carringbush President for Life – pull your bloody heads in.

Over where they put the lime in the coconut and shake it all up a quick game’s a good game.  But the real action doesn’t start till the Baggy Greens reach the other side of the Atlantic.  To play amongst those Dark Satanic Mills.

And we hope Sally Pearson’s broken wrist mends soon.  It looked a nasty fall, didn’t it?  Would it would be churlish to mention she was trailing the main bunch when she clipped the hurdle?  Probably, but it did seem as though she’s battling with her stride for some reason.

Speaking of churlish, it certainly would be churlish of us to let an event as momentous as Australia’s winning of the America’s Cup go unrecorded on the occasion of Alan Bond’s passing.  Let it be recorded here in The Wrap that anyone who doesn’t recognized that he was instrumental in using other people’s money to fund a relentless campaign that eventually wrenched The Auld Mug from the trophy cabinet of the New York Yacht Club is a bum.

Maggot Central.  Look, the office has been closed for a couple of weeks and we’ve all been on a bonding trip to the Cayman Islands, but there seems to be a vague recollection that rabbitting was going to be penalized.  (They call it diving into the tackle now Wrap – Ed)  Well, on Friday night we watched Michael Walters earn two shots on goal from ‘round-the-neck’ decisions that were clearly just that – diving into the tackle.   Maybe it takes a while for the carrier pigeons to make it across the Nullarbor.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who got left out of the pen after Round X.

Flaky Freo v The Tigers of Old.  What can you say Wrappers?  At last TLSPRF have a Famous Victory to celebrate.  And with – hopefully – many more to follow.  It’s taken Coach Hardnose a few years to get this Playing Group playing the Hawthorn Way, but on Friday night they may have just come of age.  They’ve been scrambling a few wins after an abysmal start to the season and with the bye next week turn for home at 6&4.  They can look forward to their clash with the Other Western Australian Team Saturday fortnight on THOF with renewed Self Belief.  (You’ve been saying for some time now that they’ve got some great youngsters coming through Wrap.  I’m starting to believe you – Ed)  Their blitzing of the tightest defence in The Competition was nothing short of Awesome.  And their own defence held firm when The Dangerous Dockers launched their inevitable second half counter attack.  But the match had been blown away by the Long Interval.  The Tigers tackled and ran The Anchormen off their feet.  Fyfe had some brilliant cameos, and his work with Aaron Sandilands was nothing short of master class, but The Tiges pushed them wide and played them close & hard.  Even with the Knowledgeable Fremantle Faithful urging them on, The Stevedores were rattled by The Tigers’ intensity at the Pigskin.  And when the whips were cracking in the last 10 minutes, when the contest was still up for grabs, didn’t Bachar Houli terrorize the opposition?  The Mauve Miasma drifts up to Wally World to get a suntan at the expense of The Suns next Saturday in the early one.

The Bluebaggers v The Chardonnays.  The Pride of South Australia went home with the Four Points, but that was about all.  And to be perfectly honest, it looks like Mick was right about discussions of his coaching future were disrupting the Playing Group.  Now his future has been decided the Playing Group has settled down to become a side that will trouble a few before the season’s done.  While the list may need a major rebuild, the likely retirement of the Juddanaught will leave a convenient space in the salary pool.  And the Blues’ Captain has regained his enthusiasm for Football once more.  Welcome back Silvertails; all is forgiven.  They have the bye next week.  As do The Mighty Adelaide Crows.

The Harboursiders v The Sun Coasters.  Move along please.  There’s nothing to see here.  Or so 13,068 backpackers & day-trippers thought.  The Gold Coast host Freo OTR next Saturday.  South Melbourne are down to Marvellous Melbourne to take on North Melbourne on Saturday night.

The Moggies v The Gliders.  Essendon went goalless in the first half for the first time since 1894.  (That was 1984 in the wet out at Whitten Oval, when neither side goaled to half time.  Don’t let your instinctive hyperbole get the better of you Wrap – Ed)  Why the comparison then Oh Awesome Approved of Prose?  1984 was an Essendon Premiership Year.  Apparently the place was booked out but only 40,632 bothered to turn up.  And it looked like half of them had gone home by the Major Interval.  This was an Essendon performance devoid of cohesion and commitment.  We’ve seen lifeless displays of this nature before. Earlier this season, until they change their coach, Carlton played a similar listless brand of Football.  And from a column that doesn’t resile from asking the tough questions it has to be asked – has too much responsibility been placed on the shoulders of the 79th draft pick of the 1990 season?  In the 3½ seasons of his tenure, the Dons have been at the wrong end of no less than ten 10-goals plus beltings.  Sure, they must be under a huge amount of pressure from the never-ending saga of the drugs investigation.  It would be costing them a bomb and they blew a heap on a top-heavy coaching panel till the fertilizer hit the fan, and now they appear to be running a retirement village for second-chance senior coaches.  No matter what slant you take on it, it all looks a tad shambolic out there where the Maribyrnong meets the Mountains.  There’s no point in talking about the water that’s long passed under the bridge.  It’s the rising water in the bilge they’re got to worry about right now.  They’re off to Das Kehlsteinhaus next Saturday before regrouping over their bye.  (No rest for the wicked, eh? – Ed)  The Catters have shown they’re still a force with which to be reckoned.  Settling down after a sloppy start to the season they’ve been demonstrating they can Still Play The Game As It Should Be Played.  However, The Power From Port will give them a real test next Friday night.

The Tealers v The Tricolours.  Don’t those Tealers look a different outfit with Ollie Wines on the paddock and The Hoff on song?  The Doggies were in this one till midway, after which it was, really, how far The Power.  They have the Curtain Raiser on TPAO in Round XI.  The Doggies are back in The Kennel till round XII.

GWS v The Lions.  This was a classic case of you can only beat who they put on the park against you.  And The Injury Plagued Lions didn’t have a lot to put on the park.  As a consequence The Maroons chose to limit the damage with a loaded defence.  The Giants didn’t do themselves or the 9,097 who turned up any favours by bombing it long to Cameron & McCarthy.  They’ll need to think a bit smarter when they take on The Maggies next Sunday in an Eight Point Match that could decided the Double Chance for one of them – for that week at least.  Brissy take a well-earned spell.

The Shinboners v The West Coast Kestrel.   This was a crunch match for both sides.  A Home Final & the Double Chance is a crucial launching pad for a September campaign.  That’s what stakes The Visitors put up.  North had their season on the line.  With a full gale wrapping the flags around the flagpoles the breeze was estimated as worth 5½ goals.  Fair dinkum, it would have blown the milk out of your tea. That neither team kicked 5½ goals in any quarter seems to have eluded most commentators.  Be that as it may, when North turned for home after their last use of this God Given advantage, they had only managed to scramble to 6-point lead, and then only after conjuring up three majors in the shadow of ¾ Time.  With Citrus Huddle OT heavily laced with the Well Documented Fermentation, The Shinboners kicked 4-1 against this, by now, abating force while The Tiring Eagles could only manage 3-3.  A Season Defining Victory for The Roos and a first up win for Stand-in Coach Darren Crocker.  (You making a point there Wrap? – Ed)  The Kangas have invited The Lakers down for a run on the Sifting Sands next Saturday night.  The Weagles turn off the hot water in the showers for The Woe Begotten Same Olds.

The Mayblooms v The Saints.  This wasn’t as one sided as the scores suggest, but it was nevertheless an emphatic statement from TRP.  They’re a game off 3rd now, and two games off a Home Final.  With the best percentage in The League – 155.2 – they only need to drawn level on games jump those ahead of them on The Ladder.  They have the bye next week before taking on The Crows over there, followed by The Marshmallows & The Four&Twenties at The G, after which they drag The Barry Crockers down to Lonny.  A toughish assignment, but very doable.  The Feeling Faints pick themselves up, note the lessons they learnt, and prepare themselves for The Redlegs OTR in the twilight of next Sunday.

The Fuchsias v The Woodsmen.  When Travis Cloke kicks 7-0 against you you’re always going to lose.  And that’s just what Melbourne did.  But not without a fight.  Three times they hauled in significant Collingwood leads; the most substantial a 6-goal margin in the Opening Stanza.  Four times they fumbled and bumbled themselves out of the contest.  This Carringbush Outfit is nothing if not persistent – as their 4th Rung Standing suggests.  Any lapse is going to be punished.  Which it was.  They have a half handy percentage of 128.4.  It’s the 5th best in The Competition and while it’s well short of those better than it, it’s a handy buffer against threats from below should they incur a loss or two.  GWS are on 7-3 & 113%; Adelaide are also on 113% and are 6-4; Richmond are on 111.6% with a 6-4 win loss ratio.  As for The Demons, you’d have to concede that the Consultant Coach earns ever penny of the Rajah’s Ransom he’s being paid.  Have you ever seen more hospital handpasses outside St Vincent’s Emergency Ward?  And Adam Oxley will have blisters on his palms from the 14 marks he took across the Collingwood backline.  Nearly all of them were uncontested and came from Melbourne thrusts into attack.  Now these are professional footballers.  Either they’re not up to the required standard or they’re not being coached properly.  It was a cruelling day for TLSRF who had come to pay their respects to – along with the Whole Football World – Melbourne Legend Neale Daniher.  And as cruel as it is to say this, it’s arguably crueller to expose him at The Elite Level week after week.  Jack Watts just doesn’t seem to have the mindset for it.  It gets a bit easier for The Dees next week.  They have The Saints under cover in the gathering gloom.  The Mighties are still on Their Beloved MCG when they host The Goliaths in the earlier one on the same day.

And remember, if you read it in The Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

* – for further reading on how ego & greed robbed the Long Suffering Australian Taxpayer of $43m get hold of a copy of last weekend’s The Saturday Paper.   The insider revelations of it all will astound you.

** – for further reading on the emotional fatigue created by the situation at Melrose Drive and the changes for change’s sake that are driving a growing culture of disillusion go to the Comment Page of Monday’s Sage and take aboard what Henry Wallis of Highlands has written under the sub-heading of Lost Cause.  (For even further reading try page 46 of Today’’s Sage – Thompson spray on Bomber’ Play.

 

About John Mosig

I'm an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it's my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Comments

  1. Love it Wrap. Sir Frank might be organising the Writ as we speak against the hapless Bombers, for a “Performance Beyond The Pale”.

    Where the Maribyrnong meets the mountains indeed.

  2. Good to have you back Mr Wrap. I am still waiting to receive your leave application for last Friday’s preview. The bream must have been biting.
    Mick copped his fair whack at Visy Stadium?? (I got a bit lost in all the double negatives in your statement). Were you thinking $ or behind the ears? I reckon he overachieved on one and underachieved on the other.
    The Friday fortnight clash of your Tiges and my Weagles at the Home of Football should be ‘season defining’ for both clubs. Middle of the 8 or bottom of the 8 will be up for grabs I reckon.
    The Avenging Eagle is keen to start spending her retirement cash. She suggested the Chapel Street shops and I suggested the 2.30 at Flemington. We compromised and decided that the Home of Football could be the winner.
    Any chance of yourself and Mrs Wrap joining us or will you be eating cucumber sandwiches in the Old Dart by then?

  3. daniel flesch says

    As sagacious and eloquent as ever , M r. The Wrap , and this week even a little moreso.
    I wonder how many experts tipped the Tigers. The Marngrook panel laughed when someone said Freo. will eventually drop a match , but it won’t happpen this week. The only person i saw get it right was Tadhg Kenelly , he who first played Our Game as a foreigner. Spot on too , about the Roundball Code’s Troubles. As well as the bribes and kickbacks there’s the thousand or so deaths of foreign labororers in Qatar which should at the least stop now even as we accept no-one will be held responsible. Lucky indeed we have the great Game of Our Own to distract and entertain us.

  4. Skip of Skipton says

    Fremantle 63
    Sydney 58.5
    West Coast 55.5
    Hawthorn 54
    Collingwood 52.5
    GWS 51.5
    Adelaide 47.5
    Richmond 47
    ……………………………….
    Geelong 39.5
    Port Adelaide 39
    North Melbourne 38.5
    Footscray 37.5
    Essendon 33.5
    Melbourne 28.5
    St. Kilda 25
    Brisbane 18.5
    Gold Coast 16.5
    Carlton 14

    This Friday’s Power vs. Cats clash is an old fashioned 16 point game!

  5. The Wrap says

    Thanks Skip. Catching up on two rounds and absorbing The Tigers Season Defining Win was obviously beyond the me.

    Those Moggies are still in the hunt. They may be Old Alley Cats, but they’ve still got the requisite Nine Lives.

    And Mr B, that fair whack Mick copped was behind the ears. He wouldn’t get a job coaching the Nar Nar Goon 3rds. He also got away with a truckload of moolah. In which case it was the Carlton Board who got their fair whack.

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