The 2015 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – Round Sixteen

Greetings Tipsters


We all know what’s happening at the pointy end of the ladder, Hawthorn are the greatest thing since PVC plumbing and every other team is a clueless pretender.


What about the other end? What’s happening for those teams who walk the dark night of the soul week after week?


I wonder what it must be like for Justin Leppitsch, three flags with the last of the Classic Football Teams and now coaching a distant outpost with seemingly little relevance to the core. It reminds of General William Slim, who commanded the Commonwealth Forces in Burma in World War Two. Oft said to be among the most capable generals in the British Army, he fought a distant and obscure war that, if noted at all, is relegated to a paragraph in many histories. He was GG of Australia from May 1953 to February ’60.


Some pundits expected Brisbane to make a go this season, even after their best young players were hightailing it southwards. Dig the irony, folks, that while the Lions are screaming for a key forward, the Swans are lumbered with Kurt, once rumoured to be heading to the tropics. Sub-tropics, at least.


It’ll be a long time before the Lions are in any shape to have a crack at the finals. But why worry? Queensland isn’t a huge teev market for the AFL, only mad dogs and Englishmen and Rugby League fans go out in the midday sun.


Which doesn’t bode well for Gold Coast. The Dalai Lama of the AFL does his shoulder, the team collapses in a heap. He comes back, they start to play like a proper football team. Some of the list are allegedly drugnuts, some are allegedly evangelists, the rest are, unsurprisingly, sneaking drinks from the minibar. Eade was at Brisbane in the 80s, coached the reserves to a flag, he’d have a good idea of it but, allasame, must be thinking that he got dropped in it, the way things have panned out.


Well north of the Barassi line and well past the Barassi rule – he wasn’t gonna coach Carlton until he was sure that the front office was on top of everything.


You’d figure that the ODNBs have finally, eventually, gotten used to the modern era. The decision on the next coach will tell us more about that. Much the same as the Bumblers, another glory club who overreached and have fallen in a heap.


Carlton at least have something to look forward to. Essendon have the asadawada hanging over the club and everyone associated with it. Notice how Hird’s hair is brown these days? Blondes have more fun, as Rod Stewart, who had a hit song about his fave football club, opined and he’d know, but joyful fun is the last thing Hird wants to be associated with these days.


The aforementioned four teams all have, in the 21C parlance ‘list deficiencies’ that will take three or four years to properly remedy. Melbourne have a decent list, so we think. They can’t kick goals on a regular basis. Last week, Brisbane kicked one goal in a half, Melbourne kicked one goal in the other half. No wonder Paul Roos demanded a short contract, any longer and he’d be found out. If I had a Demons membership, I’d be counting the days until Simon Goodwin took the reins.


And so, thank the gods, we get to St Kilda, a team on the up and up. Young, quick, enthusiastic, Richo’s got something happening down there at wherever the spiritual Moorabbin is this week. Cf, Barassi rule, but the Sainters must be used to it by now.


I really enjoy watching young teams play each other. When most of the players are 23 or younger, they play with freedom, joy in their carefree youthfulness. Such teams rarely win flags, leave that to the hardened competitors whose players talk about themselves in the third person.


Much palaver lately about the state of the game, and what a dull, stagnant exhibition it’s supposed to have become. The AFL are about to comission a White Paper, but, for gawsakes, I’ve already writ the solution. Nineteenth and Twentieth man. No need for zones.


The Phil Walsh Shield, for the match that best exhibits the style and skill of Australian Football at the elite level, is hereby awarded to Sunday’s contest between Adelaide and Port. 35 goals in the match and just 3 points between them at the final siren.


Cheers, Tipsters


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

Brought to you with the assistance of The Kinks’ ‘Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire).

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. Luke Reynolds says

    Nineteenth & twentieth men. You’ve nailed it Earl. Get rid of interchange. The game would be so, so much better.

  2. The Kinks – Lola 1970 by elbellavistas

    Onya Earl – the only bloke in 2015 who still looks like Ray Davies 1973 (the song starts 1 minute into the video – so skip the interview intro – great song).
    Your footy ideas go OK too. Two interchange. Two subs. Cap interchanges at 40 per game.

  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Peter, I wish I had a recording of The Smokers’ take on ‘Everybody Else.’ Goddamn, we did a great version of that! Bottle Rocket did ‘All Day And All Of The Night’, don’t have a recording of that either.
    NO interchange. Two replacements, allowed on for 20 minutes in case of concussion.

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