Round 6 – Gold Coast v Adelaide: what’s the difference between Eddie Betts and Ed Smart?

It’s the 9th of May and I’m counting heads. As the boys hunting the ball churn the grass into dirt and the dirt into mud, I’m looking for the girls in the cubby and the other kids in the garage playing soccer. A seven year old’s birthday party has all the features of the Royal Show: noisy; chaotic; and far too much sugar. Being responsible for seven additional children that I barely know (at the first ‘dump and run’ party of our era) adds a slight flavour of paranoia to the pointless exercise of trying to impose order on proceedings. You can only shout ‘cake’ once before it loses its effect.


We’ve done pretty well with the lad. He is inquisitive and witty; intelligent and caring. Thus far, he appears to have sufficient tools to carve out the path he wants in life. If he ever works that out it will put him one up on his parents. At my shallowest of moments, most importantly he now takes a keen interest in watching football. Particularly the Crows and the Redlegs – he knows the path of least resistance when it presents. But he’ll also happily watch Friday night footy on the TV, even with the stinkers we’ve had in season 2015.


This evening, after recycling paper plates, stacking the dishwasher with many, many champagne glasses (kids these days) and eating more ‘ok bits’ of half eaten donuts than is seemly, I join the lad in the bedroom to watch the Crows take on the Suns while the women of the house watch Big Hero 6 on the big TV. I’ve had just enough to drink (a couple of glasses of Grant Burge Thorn ‘Special Release’ 2010 Eden Valley Riesling if you must ask) to fully appreciate the experience of sitting, watching and talking about footy with the lad.


Watching the footy with the lad is always an interesting experience. The questions come thick and fast but help you to frame the way that you see footy and the way that he contextualises it himself. From explaining the difference between Eddie Betts and Ed Smart (he was satisfied with the explanation he owns one’s Foxtel Cup guernsey but not the other) to why umpiring seems to be so much worse when your team is struggling. It is exasperating at times but it sure is a heck of a privilege.


From a Crows perspective this is one we should and must win. The Suns sans Ablett are vulnerable enough, but then benching a sizable portion of the squad for having a drink should make Metricon just another cheesy theme park for the Crows. Famous last words… just not today.


Through the screen of the 48cm CRT TV, the Crow backline of Talia, Cheney and Lever (and Kelly) is undersized against the hulking Dixon, Lynch and Smith. Dixon confirms this impression, snagging one early in between holding up a 19th century stagecoach and riding a fixie through Fitzroy.


The Crows kick the next five of the quarter, with Tex kicking the fifth from well outside 50. Walker does not look quite right. Despite his presence on the ground and kicking a few goals across the game he has stopped swaggering, lumbering instead. It wouldn’t surprise if he is carrying a back or equivalent injury. But with Jenkins out (and of limited use prior to his hip injury), Tex has to play.


Eddie Betts, much to the chagrin of many, continues to play team football and try to bring his teammates into the game. He does it himself with what approaches a pack mark and puts the Crows up 58-22 before the impressive Nicholls pulls one back after the half-time siren. Betts is on track for a 70 goal season – get off his back! The only people that would benefit from him kicking more goals are those that enjoy pointing out the quantum of goals not kicked by Carlton this year.


After the break Betts gets another goal from a Mitch Grigg assist. Grigg has to play every week (Sando didn’t listen to me, Phil, and look what happened to him). With a team that has one of the lowest kicking efficiency ratings in the league he never wastes a kick. If the only criticism of him is his leg speed, let me ask you this: who would win in a leg race between him and Luke Hodge?


By three-quarter time the game is well and truly dead with the Crows leading by 46 points. It is only the Crows’ proclivity for the post, with M. Crouch notching up their fourth for the game, that prevents the score from getting at least 20 points more ugly. Towards the end the Gold Coast get three in a row but the time is so junk that Steptoe and Son are out on the ground sweeping it up.


Grigg emphasises my point by kicking the last one and the Crows bank a 41 point win. Difficult to know what to make of this game. The Crows should still make the finals, winning a game that would have been considered very tough before the season started. Jacobs continues to tough it out but needs help – O’Brien looks good in the reserves. The Crows desperately need a second tall forward but if Jenkins isn’t going to be it, not sure who else.


Prestia and Miller were noticeable for the Suns along with Saad. Their season is approaching done regardless of how soon Gary comes back. Five years in you expect more, despite the detentions handed out to the naughty boys. I just don’t get the appointment of Eade – it seems conservative, based upon fear. Perhaps the reason will become apparent as the season progresses.


Despite the massiveness of his day the lad potters off to the lounge to watch the rest of the movie. Along the way he chitters about Eddie Betts supplanting Patrick Dangerfield in second place on his list of favourite Crows. Eddie is clearly moving up in the world! Here’s a picture of the lad with the other Ed.


About Dave Brown

Upholding the honour of the colony. "Play up Norwoods!"


  1. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Good stuff Dave and liked how you got Ed the hand of God Smart in to the article
    Well done surviving the party

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    About $500k per year would have been my answer.

    Think you might be right about Tex, he moved like a slug against the Dogs when I saw him up close.

  3. Eddie Betts. Miss him so much at Carlton. Would have been nice to see him play 200 games at the club. Good to see him playing well.

  4. They won at least which is more than Port managed to do at home.

  5. A kid’s party, Crows’ win and an Eden Valley riesling: top day.

    A good, but expected win. With Tex not fully fit, Rory sidelined and Jacobs having too much to do, I’m a little nervous.

    Talking footy with the boys teaches me much more than it teaches them!

    Thanks Dave.

  6. Dave Brown says

    Thanks for the comments all.

    Ed’s hand is truly a natural wonder, Malcolm (for the non-Redleg initiated he got his fingertips to a ball late in the last quarter of the 2014 grand final preventing a trademark Port slingshot).

    Very true, Swish. One of the great things about having kids is you get them before they develop a concept of race. When asked about the differences between him and the boy from Southern Sudan in his class the lad said ‘he’s taller than me’.

    Yep, Litsa, the Crows’ overs on Eddie are rapidly becoming unders. Baffling that the Blues would throw so much at Daisy and offer Eddie (comparatively) so little.

    A wins a win, no doubt, Peter.

    Yep, Mickey, we are a couple injuries away from ruination. Fingers crossed we get a few back before the difficulty spike in the draw.

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