The 2012 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round Five

Greetings Tipsters

That was one bloody long weekend of football. It seems like an age since Perky Girl and I woke up, stumbled to the loungeroom to flick on the big screen and catch Collingwood and Essendon going at it hammer and tongs. It was a cracker of a game, struck me that the 4&20s had good players doing good things, while no Bummer player stood out. Yet Jim’s young ‘uns kept at it and were never too far away on the scoreboard.

I was cheering for the Bummers because I’d tipped them, figuring they might pinch it. By the gods, they almost did and it was only the fatarse inkpot who kept the four points so tantalisingly out of reach.

I hear a lot of complaints about Essendon and Collingwood monopolising Anzac Day. Whilst I can dig where they’re coming from, fact is that these two clubs got it together and it has become the speciality it is because it’s these two clubs playing. They really lift for it. Would it mean so much if it was rotated and Port Adelaide played Footscray at Footy Park?

No, of course it wouldn’t. Having said that, I do take serious issue with the military references that get wheeled out. My Uncle Owen was a teenage gunner in the dorsal turret of an Avro Lancaster. He beat the odds twice over, Bomber Command being the most fatal of any Commonwealth Service in World War Two. He saw a Lancaster blow up beside his aeroplane, he’d been playing cricket with that crew that afternoon. He came home and started drinking and didn’t stop until he was checked into a veteran’s rehab with alcoholic dementia.

So all you sub-editors, spare me the headlines; “Like soldiers of yore, they fought until they could fight no more.” Those who could fight no more were dead. The living deserve better.

Rolling like a stone, Satarvo found me looking at the teev in a mild state of shocked wonder. What is that orange thing with the scary head? Turns out that it’s ‘G-man’, the Wests mascot. Seems the kids are gonnalove him, and as Wests’ marketing manager used to work for the Wiggles (the blokes who sing ‘Wake Up Jeff’, not the football team) I won’t argue with that.

Wests did themselves a great service by not only winning the first term, but keeping Footscray from kicking a goal. They looked good, like a real football team. A young, inexperienced football team, but a real one nonetheless. Wests have two advantages over the Goldies. One, that they recruited the best kids, topped up with a handful of old bastards who won’t be around too long but will teach the kids in the meantime, and they can recruit to fill the gaps for next season, when they know what they’ve got and what they need. Two, they’ve got Mad Sheeds, the greatest spuiker the game has known, and Choco, another proven coach. No offence to Bluey, but he’s a novice under pressure and that can’t be good for a new team.

Julia was looking worried, perched in the stand. Was it because the Dogs were getting done by Wests or was it because the seat allocation placed Zeus between her and Tim? Why the hell would anyone do that? Surely our First Couple Living In Sin should be allowed to sit beside each other at a football match. I’d be cranky if Zeus sat between me and Perky Girl, I’d demand he shout me a beer then accidentally spill it on his head.

Jason Dunstall’s suit is overly stretched at the waist and I feared the buttons would pop with any next breath. It’s time we re-assessed commentators’ outfits. Ling looks comfortable in an open-necked shirt and unbuttoned jacket. Richo looks kinda trussed up, his suit straining at the seams around his meaty shoulders. None of us would think any less of him if he showed up in a sloppy-joe and duffle coat and I’m sure he’d be a lot more comfortable. Get with it, Seven.

Got home from work on Sunday, flicked on the screen and Hawthorn were up 5 goals to 1 against Sydney. So I watched the motorcycle racing from Wakefield Park on SBS for a while, flicking back occasionally. Wakefield, near Goulburn, is a great circuit, there’s an embankment which allows you a view of the entire track, laid out on a gentle slope. Kevin Curtain won everything, which you’d expect, him having being a serious player in World Supersport racing.

Second term, Sydney didn’t get any closer, but kept Hawthorn level. Third term, they jumped all over them, got ahead. The Mayblooms, every so briefly, snatched a minor lead in the fourth before the team, once known with much derision as the Swannettes, kicked six goals to zip, zang, zowie.

Now, weren’t the Mayblooms meant to be something of a premiership contender? While it’s too early to write them off, they sit eleventh with two wins, three behind the top of the ladder, two wins behind the Bummers at fifth. That’s a lot of mileage to have to make up.

Sydney, in contrast, were generally thought to make up the eight, but have conceded less points than all but St Kilda, have not known loss and are looking like a more competitive team than they’ve been in five or six years, since they went head to head with West Coast with nary more than a goal between them.

Round Five started with a tight, hard match and finished with two. I’ll leave the Adelaide Derby to someone who watched it. I watched the Richmond vs West Coast match immediately after the game from Launceston, and that was another thriller. Oh yeah!

Close for a while, then the Wiggles kicked ahead and you’d be thinking, yeah, this is how the game is gonna pan out. Until the Tiggers caught up and it was goal for goal for goal for goal for a damned thin edge of the couch game that, in the end, came down to composure and confidence. Two qualities that the young and long-beaten Tiggers lack, but if Damo and his squad of sports-shrinks can convince the kids about it, they may very well pick up throughout this season. The Wiggles wooden-spooned their 2010 season. Now they’re top of the ladder and looking more like serious premiership contenders than any other team. They have a beautiful balance about them – forward, midfield, back, and a ruck combination like you wouldn’t believe.

Nic took most of the ruck contests and has a freakish talent for palming. Ivan Maric don’t quite have the talent, but is a real competitor and when you put the two together, by the gods, there is an historical hairfest happening.

No time to dwell on it, cos the Moto3 was on the screen and 17 of 34 starters crashed out or retired, race was won by a 16 yr old in his second outing. Moto2 was a great race, as usual, then, being up since 4AM, I fell asleep in the hour between the end of that and the start of the MotoGP. I woke up with three laps left, Lorenzo was going hard, but Stoner pulled ahead in the nick of time to claim his first win at Jerez. Us late-night viewers caught some incisive conversation between Mick Doohan and Daryl Beattie before flicking over to ‘The Conversation.’

It’s a beautifully lean, sparse movie about paranoia and fear with a deliciously wicked twist. For Julia’s sake, I hope she went to bed early on Sunday.

Cheers, Tipsters

P&C, A ‘Stop Privatisation of Footy’ Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.
Brought to you with the wonderful assistance of Ted Hopkins’ ‘The Next Hundred Years.’

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.

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