The 2014 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round 9

Greetings Tipsters


Remember when you’d look at the ladder after Round Nine and every team had played nine games? Remember when, and it isn’t that long ago, every team played every other team and then the first seven again? This meant that after seven rounds, every team would play every other team and the ladder wouldn’t change too much.


Now it’s all over the shop. Maybe it makes the season less predictable and more exciting. Eighteen teams means there’s only five re-matches in a season, finals excluded. Freo, f’rinstance, have a run of eight or nine games against teams in the Bottom Ten this week. Likely they’ll play finals but this supposedly cruisy run has little relevance to September form.


The 4&20s stumble pretty badly in Adelaide (that was nearly a week ago, your correspondent is sorely lacking in self-imposed deadline discipline) but the Tigers stumbled worse. Watching the press conference you might have wondered if Hardwick might just walk away from it all, such was his despondent bafflement. And small wonder.


It was the last chance the Tigers had, not of playing finals, that went two weeks ago, but of maintaining some respect, and with the ghost of Tom Hafey looming over them, they blew it, bigtime. On Sunmorn teev Chaplin parroted the line “yeah, he’s an inspiration’ but clearly Tom don’t mean much to Richmond’s current players. Why would he? They’ve been coddled from the day they exhibitited football prowess, at 8, 12 at the latest. You reckon they’re gonna watch the 1967 Grand Final?


I’ve watched it a few times, it’s a great match. But my copy’s on VHS so I’m not likely to be watching it again anytime soon.


Ch7’s tribute on Sunday featured a snippet of footage of Tom addressing the Collingwood players. They were a sheepish-looking mob and kitted out in a colourful variety of socks, shorts, T-shirts and old footy guernseys that made them all look like they’d woken late and grabbed whatever was laying on the floor. I’m sure that some of them would’ve been wearing mismatched socks but the snippet was too short to study.


Contrasting heavily was a shot of today’s St Kilda players at training, togged out identically in shiny gear featuring, bizarrely to these eyes, the old stickman-with-basketball-hoop logo. At least it was only the training gear, unlike Brisbane’s unfortunate decision to wear the horribly appropriate Bears strip a few weeks ago.


It seems like the days of Reuben Perlman are here again. There’s a mooted change to new base in Springfield (cue Homer Simpson jokes) and new chairman Bob Sharpless, who’ll never sell steak knives with a name like that, just happens to be deputy chairman of the Springfield Land Corporation. The fans lack faith in the administration which is hardly surprising, given how such things are seen to be reflected in the on-field fortunes of a club. And those on-field fortunes could hardly be worse. The Lions are terrible in a manner far beyond that of any other club in the League. One win from nine matches, 55%, scribes across the land drawing parallels with the last days of Fitzroy.


A quick fang down the highway and the Suns are winning matches and looking like they might get to play finals this year. Everyone’s chuffed about that. They’d do well to look north and see how quickly things can change.


Cheers Tipsters


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.

Brought to you with the assistance of The Del Lords’ ‘Get Tough’


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.


  1. You seem a bit down about the footy Earl. There is nothing I can say to brighten you up. So try listening to this:

  2. Earl O'Neill says

    Great choice, Peter! We used to play that song in a band I was in.
    I’m not down about the footy, just that writing about Richmond and Brisbane will make anyone seem that way. Late with the column and lacking time – writ over a cup of tea this morn – I didn’t get around to eulogising Sydney’s frightenly great form. But Bomber Thompson did it for me.

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