Round 8 Preview – The Stuff of Legends

Greetings All,


Mike Sheahan is as good a footy writer that we have seen, so good he was even on the selection panel for the AFL Hall of Fame.  His reasoning as to why that panel could not make Lou Richards a legend of the game was enlightening – to be made a legend you had to be a player that changed the way the game was played.  Lou might not have changed the way the game was played but he did more than most to change the way the game was presented, his impact on the game was enormous.  Maybe it would have all happened anyway with TV being the new media as he finished his playing days, but Lou grabbed the medium and helped it move rapidly into our livelihood.

He made footy fun and dubbed so many with nicknames that have endured – Leigh Matthews was Barney inside the four walls of Hawthorn, but once Lou made him Lethal the rest of the footy world adopted it.  His autobiography was not called Barney!  Plenty have ridden on Lou’s coat tails and a few have even tried to emulate some his traits.  Rex and now BT have dished out the nicknames – a couple have stuck but nothing like The Flying Doormat, the Galloping Gasometer, Lethal Leigh and of course The Incredible Hulk.  Sam Newman has been working on the antics forever, but at the expense of many.  As I heard in many recollections of his time today, Lou was the joke and joker himself his only targets were the great sidekicks Jack and Bob.

He even inspires keyboard warriors like myself.  The facts and opinions are great but to find the hooks and links and hopefully humour, it’s what Lou did in The Sun every Friday morning.  I know a few readers will have this email printed out with a coffee and cake at your morning break.  His influence is on footy commentary from every TV stations dedicated to the sport through to amateur writers and presenters who love having fun with the game.

The campaigning to make him a legend was unfortunately ill-conceived – Eddie and Tony driving it from the front made it a Collingwood against the rest discussion and maybe that is what they wanted.  If they had stayed in the background and had the campaign led by Lou’s contemporaries in football and media the result might have been different.  He may not have changed the game itself – but by golly the game is better for his involvement.

Mike’s discussion of the criteria had me thinking about a few legends that perhaps should be there.  Putting my blue hat on Anthony Koutafides fits the bill – he was first of the uber athlete midfielders who have completely changed the dynamics of midfield play.  The likes of Bontempelli, Cripps, Fyfe, Pendlebury all tall enough to play key position but also masterful at ground level to be able to control the game.  The reality is Kouta is not of legendary status – it takes much more – you need to transcend beyond your own club he hasn’t quite done that.  Lou Richards transcended so far he gets a state funeral.

Lou Richards – The Legend – RIP


The Corporation ($1.52) vs The Champs ($2.82)

A rematch of the classic final in Perth last year.  The champs are still not quite firing and leaving too much to the heroics of the Bont, something they can ill afford against West Coast at Subi.  No doubt the Dogs could win this but the Eagles at home will want revenge of sorts.


Launceston ($1.13) vs The Cubbies ($8.00)

The Hawks were all over Melbourne last week but have lost patience with one their prodigies and gave Sicily the boot!  They are not right back yet and can expect some cheek from the young Lions who now have to cope without both Beams and Robinson.  Hawks to prevail.


Full of Jacks ($1.27) vs Stars Rising ($4.10)

If you have enough Jacks you can slay the Giants as the Saints did last week with an extreme display of sustained pressure.  The Blues did not quite need that to beat the Pies but were still impressive and getting two nominations for the Rising Star is a great sign.  Last year the Saints ambushed the Blues with the their pressure and experience up forward, the signs for me are that the Blues will be better prepared but a couple of years off the physicality the Saints will bring.


The Battle Within ($1.23) vs Go Baby, Go Baby ($5.20)

The Giants were battling themselves as much as the Saints last week and appeared just a little bit happy with themselves.  The criticality of this game for the Pies sees them prepared to play their star Scott Pendlebury even if he has to dash off mid game for the birth of his child.  The Pies got the Giants here last year as is Bucks’ way – snares the big scalps but doesn’t pick up the easy ones.  Reckon the Giants will have sorted themselves out and be too good for the Pies.


This Wine is Corked ($1.20) vs Insufficient Intent ($5.90)

The Tassie Pinot tasted a bit off for the chardy set as North went rampant in the opening stanza, the Crows will be looking to make amends.  As will the Demons who turned up at the MCG last week with insufficient intent for AFL footy and got their right whack!  They will be better but Adelaide will be to good.


Popped in ($3.30) vs Popped Out ($1.42)

“Pops” Kelly was retired by the Cats and made his way to help out the Bombers – now as fate has it he plays his 300th game against his old club.  Both teams are struggling with consistency but just reckon the Cats have a bit more depth unless Big Joe can pull out a ripper.


The Terribles ($1.41) vs Frebirth ($3.30)

Richmond head into this one with both Ivans to take on the prowess of Aaron Sandilands.  It is no coincidence that Herman back in the side has assisted Get Stuffed Lyon with the revival of Freo.  They got the Demons in a nail biter at the G last time and just think they might do it again.


Pudong New Area ($2.84) vs Shanghai ($1.43)

Just don’t quite get how Port do the deal and make Gold Coast give up the home game – just glad that the Suns get to wear their (and the Chinese colours) – get stuffed Kochie!  Based on neutral territory I gave the Suns a chance till Rocket started sooking at the completion of last week’s game.  Port to be the champs of China.


Murderer of Crows ($1.99) vs One-n-six ($2.00)

The Kangas ambushed Adelaide and displayed what they have threatened to whilst the Swans got on the board as they should have over Brisbane.  On form I reckon North are playing that bit better, but Sydney have a pretty good record over them.  Just going Sydney in a flip of the coin game for mine.


Amateur Hour

Friars got rolled in thriller but were lucky to be that close after a poor first half.  This week the Under 19 head to Peninsula with the Seniors take on the all conquering St Marys at Ferndale Park


Go Blues, Go Friars,

Cheers, Sal








  1. MGLFerguson says

    Sal –

    Thanks for your creativity. I look forward to your previews every week: they have never once failed to make me smile.


  2. Sal Ciardulli says

    Thanks MGLF,

    Really appreciate that you enjoy my musings and hope that continues for quite while,

    Cheers, Sal

Leave a Comment