Round 17 – Carlton v West Coast: Own Goals Galore

By Bob Pelekanakis


Leaving aside the fact that Iceland has never attracted the vitriol that Carlton has endured in the past, I’m inclined to think that there are a lot of similarities in how they’ve been perceived in their respective constituencies this year.


Or it could be that I’m hallucinating, compromised by delusions and withdrawal symptoms.  Kind of inevitable, really, having just returned from the Euro championships.  Of the round ball variety.


However, notwithstanding the inevitability of the sub-conscious being dominated by soccer, even I was floored by the number of own goals the hapless Blues gifted West Coast.  They were lucky they weren’t Colombian and none was named Escobar.


In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a team having as little to do with winning a game of footy as the Eagles did on Sunday.  I counted at least 5 own goals gifted to them by Carlton.  Add the two umpire-given gifts and we had a seven goal windfall up somehow morphing into a seven point … ahem… triumph?


The comparisons with Iceland and with soccer don’t end there.  Both Carlton and Iceland obviously need to pay particular attention to their defence at the respective stages of their development.  Where the emphasis on defence can go pear-shaped is when it translates to an end rather as the means to a different end.  There comes a point where players become so hunted, they surrender to the mentality of siege and gift their survival to their predators.  Own goals become the inevitable conclusion of eschewing attack.   The Blues’ last quarter effort when they actually did move the ball with purpose was testament to all of that.


Apparently, it was a day for different football codes.  American football also made a surprising appearance when Joe Biden’s secret servicemen kept snapping at make-believe wide receivers.  Rugby got a guernsey with defenders diving over the scoreline.   Match officials got booed.  No wonder coaches go on overseas study tours.


All in all, a strange day.  Carlton lost but won, as Iceland did.  West Coast won a game at the ‘G but only in the most cursory use of the word.   If their supporters were happy it could have been only due to non-football related reasons.


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