The 2014 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round Twenty One

Greetings Tipsters

That’s what I want to see from the Monaros! With the bookends and captains off the park early, they played the best game of their short history. They murdered the Demons on Sunday afternoon, who played one of the worst of their long history.

Most impressive of West’s win was them finishing full of vigour and intent. Kelly’s final goal summed up the match in a few seconds, a poor kick across halfback being snatched out of the air by the kid, who hit the ground and kicked in one sweet move, the ball curling across from fifty to make it 15.8 to 3.16. They didn’t let up, they didn’t try to protect the lead, they didn’t plead fatigue, they kept on going til the siren.

It was a defining game, this first win at the MCG, for the way they went about it rather than the record. That it should come against the hapless Melbourne is horribly apt. Three of the nine Monaros wins have been over the Demons, including the drought buster last season ( and if it plays nicely into The First And The Last symbolism, it shines a hard light on why that should be so.

You reckon Paul Roos might have been thinking of Coogee late in the match? He was thinking of something and his faraway gaze suggested it might not have been football. Perhaps it was that magical summer of 1937, which he spent as a lifeguard on Santa Monica beach…

It’s one heck of a Demon alright, this beast that eats coaches.

I was never a fan of the priority pick and there’s no reason why Melbourne should get one. Every now and then some bored journo writes up the ‘what ifs’, the best of recent years being “What if Richmond had drafted Franklin instead of Tambling?” He’d never have become the ‘Buddy’ that he is now if that had happened.

Because it’s not just the player, it’s the club. The Secret Footballer wrote a good piece for The Age this week about the total control that clubs have over players. Some clubs are fantastic at developing draft picks, others are disastrous. Where would Jack Watts be if he’d been drafted by Geelong?

We’ve two rounds to go and the Top Four is all but locked in. Sydney play Footscray and Richmond, Geelong play Hawthorn and Brisbane, Hawthorn play Collingwood in the last, Fremantle play Brisbane and Port. Eight games, two with a serious bearing. Make of it what you will, with due regard to injuries and suspensions.

Kennedy’s hamstring caused a spasm in the Brownlow betting markets and, of course, someone wrote an article about it. There’s been a lot of that this year, folks writing about shifts in the Brownlow betting as if it meant something. Perhaps they never realised that Brownlow votes go in after the match and are not revealed until the Big Night, so the vast majority of their scribblings are nothing but space filler.

Well, aint that sports ‘journalism’? I’ve no idea how Rohan and Caro and Robbo keep churning it out. Every season, I run out of things to write around Round Sixteen. I could re-post columns from ten years back, change a name here and there, and it’d work.

Aside from hairstyles. Anyone notice Lynden Dunn’s hair? Gordon Conventy sported a similar do in 1932. Trent Cotchin’s thick crop has taken on a life of its own and he’s looking an awful lot like a healthy version of a young Tex Perkins. Dustin Martin, true to form, has gone the ultimate yob, #1 clippers over the front half of his head and weird spikes sticking out the back. I like his spirit.

There’s a few young ‘uns running around with the longish do sported by Fyfe but it’s the Bluebeards that really capture the attention. Judd kicks long into the forward line and it’s contested by several blokes in danger of tripping over their whiskers.

If any team was gonna feature hipsters, it’d be Carlton, wouldn’t it? A bunch of Gen Y hipsters sitting in team meetings wondering what the bloody hell that baby boomer coach is talking about. And why is he fiddling around with his moustache trimming?

Perky Girl’s fave coach, Mark Thompson, reckons there isn’t room for him at Windy Hill next year. All the jobs are taken. Football manager, senior assistant, head coach, all locked in. No room for a premiership coach who has made Essendon a much better team.

Thommo’s been around the block a few times, he knows how it works. He’s said a few times “I’m only here for this season” and he’s enjoying it. So he drops a less than subtle hint that he’ll be doing something else next year. What’d that be?

Special comments on Ch7? A decent earner and he’d be great, bloody oath great. Doubt he’d do it.

Coach in waiting at the MFC? No-one is better qualifed but he knows he’d be walking into a disaster zone.

Electrician? He finished his apprenticeship, he knows how to organise blokes for the optimal outcome.

Mark Thompson has, for years, been the most interesting character to have coached any team, let alone a flag team. He aint the only Sheedy pupil in the ranks, he is the most successful, the one to have really made a mark, he’s a younger Mad Sheeds and there is scant space for him in the AFL, short of being the Top Dog.

Is there an opening in Brisbane for a football manager? Mark might like it up there and he’d make a good foil for Leppitsch, who’s done a creditable job this season.

Good luck, Tipsters

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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. Earl- wistful and reflective thoughts today. Interesting considerations on Bomber. Could this be a season in which a senior coach does not leave?

  2. Dave Brown says

    Sando needs a wise head in his box, so to speak. A match made in heaven… well Geelong, actually.

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Sando looks uncannily like a young Hunter Thompson. Perhaps that might explain the Crows formline this season.

  4. Earl O'Neill says

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