Round 2 Winners and Losers

The second round of the season is in the books. Hopefully you had a tremendous Easter filled with family, chocolate and football. If you skimped on the last one have no fear, the following will fill you in.



This was a good round for club captains. Chris Judd started proceedings on Friday night with 33 disposals, 8 clearances, 3 goals and a 91 point victory. You know those cards the umpires write the Brownlow votes on? Do you think they come pre-printed with “C. Judd” in the ‘3 votes’ category? Feels like they would save a bit of time this way.

It’s a good thing his name is relatively short as well. That alone has probably scored him a few extra votes over time. I mean, the umpires have been running around for a few hours while being thrown constant abuse, I doubt very much they want to hang around the ground and spend any more time than necessary going through the formalities. Just pop down three names and on you go. “Chris Judd” lends itself nicely. If you’re in a rush, are you going to write down Setanta O’hAilpin or Chris Judd? It’s a surprise Robert DiPierdomenico won one at all. Do you think they wrote ‘Dipper’ on those cards?

Jobe Watson picked up Saturday afternoon right where Judd left off, notching 25 touches, 7 clearances and an incredible 13 tackles in a win over Port Adelaide, while Geelong’s Joel Selwood spent his Monday afternoon displaying a typical disregard for his own health. The definitive moment was undoubtedly the one where he practically knocked himself out and spent the next 30 seconds in the hands of trainers. A clearly dazed Selwood could be seen telling teammate Steve Johnson to give instructions to the team in his place. All this occured after he had cut his head open in the first quarter. Arnie once said that if it bleeds we can kill it, but he clearly never dealt with Joel Selwood.

Speaking of captains….

Gary Ablett

This guy is pretty good at football. Any small belief that Ablett was only as good as he was because he played among great players at Geelong has surely been eradicated, because anyone who watches the Suns knows he is not playing with good players at the moment.

98 per cent of good things that happen with the Suns involve Gary Ablett in some shape or form. When his teammates get the ball, and there is no clear and immediate option, you can see their brain begin to tick over.

“I’m not sure what I should do here……..But I bet Gary does! I’ll just give it to him”

I guarantee that somewhere in the Sun’s training facilities is a big sign that says ‘When in doubt, give it to Gary’. In fairness to them, it’s a pretty good policy.


Jimmy Bartel

For a Brownlow and Norm Smith medallist Jimmy Bartel does at times seem somewhat underrated, which is odd because, you know, he’s won a Brownlow and Norm Smith medal.

Bartel impacted the game tremendously in the second half. The tireless Geelong maestro could be seen taking marks at both ends of the ground, kicking goals in driving rain, and at one point acting as a goal keeper as his side attempted to protect their small lead. If you wanted one player for a big game, you’d be hard-pressed finding a more suitable candidate than Bartel.


Tom Hawkins, James Podsiadly and mature age recruits

It seems over the past eight months Tom Hawkins has finally caught on to the fact that he is a massive human being. The Tomahawk took 12 marks, 8 inside 50, and kicked 3 goals against the Hawks, dominating every contest.

Imagine if he learns how to kick.

Kicking was no issue for his forward line partner though. The jPod kicked 5 goals straight, including the last one of the game to put the Cats in front. With Podsiadly proving a more than competent forward, Ian Callinan adding much needed class to the Adelaide forward line, Michael Barlow having magnets in his palms and James Magner already cementing his place as Melbourne’s best midfielder, it’s pretty clear recruiters haven’t got it down to an exact science yet.


Michael Malthouse

Seven’s Saturday “arvo” football was interesting to say the least (more on that soon), but the former Collingwood coach was a more than welcome addition to my eardrums. Malthouse spent the telecast bucking recent trends by actually providing some analysis of what was occurring on the screen.




Hamish McLachlan

Those who tuned into the Essendon v Port Adelaide game could be forgiven for thinking they were watching E! News. Ryan Seacrest Hamish McLachlan educated viewers about practically everything other than what was taking place on the field. Do you know which Port Adelaide player Bernie Vince’s sister is dating? Hamish McLachlan does. Well, strictly speaking that’s a lie. He got it wrong. To his credit he did correct himself soon after. It’s Paul Stewart, not Ben Jacobs. What do you mean you don’t care? You just want to watch the football?


Dustin Fletcher

Dustin Fletcher played magnificently against Port Adelaide in what was his 349th appearance for the Bombers. Fletcher isn’t a loser for his on-field performance; he loses because his age was discussed more times than those of Olympic gymnasts.

Seven used their “Saturday arvo” telecast to trial a new show titled ‘The Dustin Fletcher Fun Fact Hour’. Did you know Dustin Fletcher is so old that he was playing in the AFL before Port Adelaide’s Chad Wingard was born? Or that he is so old he was playing in the AFL years before The Port Adelaide Power were born?

Tune in next week when we hear second hand about Dustin’s experience during the Great Fire of London (“really hot”), his feelings at the premiere of The Battleship Potemkin (“I don’t like steps”), his fond recollection of the 1904 St Louis Olympic Games (“George Eyser is my favourite athlete of all time”), and who he voted for in the ‘Essendon player most likely to google themselves’ poll (probably Angus Monfries by the sound of things…)


Interviews with parents

One of the things I’ve noticed so far this season is an increasing trend where broadcasters stick a microphone in the face of a young player’s parents. They normally result in the viewer missing some part of the play, and are always, without question, useless. Both of them are very proud. There, we don’t need to do that anymore. Now if they went a little more like this:

Commentator: Your son makes his debut for Hawthorn today. Are you proud of your son?

Mum: No. Not really. It’s only his first game. I’ll be more impressed if he gets to 200. Besides, I wanted him to be a Doctor.

Commentator: Oh… about you Graham?

Dad/Graham: He’s only had 7 touches so far. I told him if he doesn’t get 25 there won’t be no McDonald’s after the game.

Commentator: Okay then. How does Uncle Alf feel about his nephew?

Uncle Alf: I’m an Essendon supporter.

Then I’d be interested.


Kicking the ball along the ground in the rain


Don’t think Lance Franklin will make that mistake twice….. sorry three times.


Greater Western Sydney Giants

Once again The Simpsons demonstrates it has a scene that is applicable for any situation. This one perfectly summarises North’s decision to extend their 76 point halftime lead to 129 points at the final siren.

About Adam Ritchie

My name is Adam. I started watching football with two fellow parapsychologists in an abandoned firehouse. When we’re not watching footy, we’re running our own pest control business. What do you mean I stole that from Ghostbusters?


  1. Great stuff, Adam! You’re a funny man.

  2. Ahaha, any report that manages to work in a Simpsons reference is a “Winner” in my books :P

    Nice work!

  3. Your’re right on the money about Hamish McLachman, Adam. He was hopeless. What was he thinking with all the trivia? Christ if Seven don’t smarten him up I’ll be tuning out next time he calls a game

  4. Kim Daniels says

    Funny stuff Adam…this is my kind of footy info :-)
    Well done x

  5. “With Podsiadly proving a more than competent forward, Ian Callinan adding much needed class to the Adelaide forward line, Michael Barlow having magnets in his palms and James Magner already cementing his place as Melbourne’s best midfielder, it’s pretty clear recruiters haven’t got it down to an exact science yet.”

    You’re not wrong. Mark my words: Dustin Fletcher has not yet even peaked.

  6. The sound was off and I only walked by quickly, but was that Cat Stevens/Yousuf Islam being interviewed pre game by the Ch 7 commentators before Richmond and Collingwood.

    Regardless of the various merits of Cats in the Cradle vs Tea for the Tillerman, or how he feels about the sub rule, can I get a big fat WTF please?

    I am getting very very nervous only two rounds in about a few seaons of Ch7 in charge of our broadcasts.

    Adam, nice work, loved the Fletcher bit. Hope this will be a weekly review?


  7. Thoroughly enjoyable. “Tom Hawkins has finally caught on to the fact that he is a massive human being!” Love it! As Homer once said-“it’s funny ‘cos it’s true!”

  8. Richard Naco says

    Sorry Susie, but any report that includes references to the Great Fire of London and (especially) the Battleship Potemkin wins my untold respect.

    Quote of the weekend was by Dennis Cometti after Jimmy … sorry, that should read, “JIMMEH!!!” … kicked the Cat’s first goal of the last quarter:

    “If your life depended on a man kicking a goal, he would be the man you’d want to take the kick.”

    (It probably wouldn’t be Richard Osborne, especially from three metres out, straight in front.) (Especially if he gives Andrew Mackie a 45 metre handicap to catch him up.)

  9. Perceptive and witty. Thanks Adam. You are on the money about Hawkins. He has spent 3 years on my ‘over-rated pretty boy, will never be a footballer as long as…..” list. I reassured myself that he had just pulled his finger out for the GF, but would surely return to flakey.
    First 2 games this year lead me to think he may be just about to become the most dominant big forward since Carey. Made Buddy look underwhelming by comparison.
    File him under – can’t judge content from the cover; and big blokes take time. I plead guilty to the egg facial, M’Lud.
    One pedantic qualification – Cats in the Cradle is the late great Harry Chapin of ‘Taxi’ fame – the best spoken word ‘singer’ since Rod McKuen. Wonder if those names spark any Almanac middle aged, misty eyed memories?

  10. Richard Naco says

    My Bartel quote should be ascribed to Tom Harley.

    Who should know.

    (And I’m still waiting for my phone call, Tom ;) )

  11. Dave Nadel says

    Harry Chapin’s singing may not have been that brilliant but his songs were great stories. He was in fact a great story teller, try WOLD, Mr Tanner or Easy. There is something ironic about a man whose best song was about a taxi driver dying in a car accident……Oh, and I really liked your article, Adam.

  12. Ed Harcourt says

    Its amazing what happens when you give a player the space and understanding to develop without feeling like you have the pressure of a myopic authoritative/self-righteous figure. There is no doubt that Tommy Hawkins was always going to deliver in his own way. The kid was taking contested marks before he could draw.

    There are many colours in the morning sun.

  13. Apparently Travis Cloke is a good drawer.

  14. Richard Naco says

    Stevie J doesn’t draw anything.

    He prefers to take snaps.

  15. Harry Chapin was forthright in tackling many contentious issues.

    On his album Living Room Suit some of his finest work was ‘Why Did The Little Girls’ where he made a clear statement on gender inequality.

    Why did the little girls grow crooked
    While the little boys grow tall
    The boys were taught to tumble
    The girls told not to fall
    The girls answered the telephone
    The boys answered the call
    That’s why little girls grew crooked
    While the little boys grew tall

    Why did the little girls grow crippled
    While the little boys grow strong
    The boys allowed to come of age
    The girls just came along
    The girls were told sing harmonies
    The boys could all sing songs
    That’s why little girls grew crippled
    While little boys grew strong

    Why did the little girls come broken
    While the little boys came whole
    The little boys were set aflame
    The girls told to fan the coals
    The boys all told to be themselves
    While the girls were told play the roles
    That’s why little girls came broken
    While little boys came whole

    Why were the little girls all frightened
    To be just what they are
    The boys were told to ask themselves
    How high how far
    The girls were told to reach the shelves
    While the boys were reaching stars
    That’s why little girls were frightened
    To be just what they are

    And still they bled for us all
    As the moon rode the sky
    They carried our seed
    When our need ran high
    They fed all our children
    In the night as they cried
    Womankind wept
    As mankind died

    Why were the little girls left hurtin’
    When all the boys were done
    And the girls left in the moonlight
    When the boys went to meet the sun
    And when the girls were open
    Why had the little all won?
    That’s why little girls were hurtin’
    When the little boys were done

    Why did the little girls grow crooked
    While the little boys grew tall
    It’s maybe because the little boys
    Didn’t ever have to grow up at all

  16. I notice Tommy Hawkins took a snap on Monday too. Went through head high with no-one on the goal line. One for the TH album, which is getting thicker by the day.

  17. Thanks to one and all for their comments! I’m glad you all enjoyed it :)

  18. Another vote from me to have this as a weekly column.

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