The 2018 No Zones Cup – Round Twenty Three, still

Greetings Tipsters


First, spare a thought and a prayer for Maggie Varcoe and Leo Sloane, whose untimely fates lend a touch of perspective to football.


Will we have a pre-finals bye next year? How many articles can be writ about trade rumours? At least we had the DAFL rep match last year. I caught a NEAFL match on NITV last weekend, Sydney Uni thumped NT Thunder but it was played with spirit.


By the time you read this one final may have been decided, but ne’er mind, the following teams’ seasons are definitely over, so what will we make of them?


Footscray, 8 wins, 77.3%
Very occasionally, this team played some great football but too often didn’t. A two-goal game early on, the narrowest of losses to Richmond at the end. The question being, where is the team is truly at, which of those games is the more realistic pointer? Dogs fans have been going nuts since March trying to figure that out.


Adelaide, 12 wins, 104.1%
A lot of really weird bands came out of Adelaide in the 1980’s and the Crows season seems a tribute to them. Dark tales, radical form swings. Collective minds is a contradiction in terms, minds are eternally and uniquely individual. Why do players continue to want out? Do Brett and Don ever look anything other than grim?


Essendon, 12 wins, 105.1%
Port Adelaide, 12 wins, 107.6%
Both figured they’d leap ahead this season, recruited three players, promised the world, delivered buggerall. Essendon were beaten by Carlton, f’gawsakes, to their credit then made a rare mid-season turnaround in game style, sacked a bloke who isn’t very popular, then played like they were supposed to, without the #1 forward, one recruit was great, the others okay. Port did it in reverse, collapsing at the end of the party. Recruits didn’t do much. Players want out.


North Melbourne, 12 wins, 108.9%
The Shinboners slugged it out, more consistent than any below them but rarely outstanding. I rated them one of three of the worst in March, as did many another, they surprised us again, more power to ‘em. Should be everyone’s second team.


Checking my predictions – – I was way short of the crease with Collingwood and Hawthorn but otherwise hedged my bets well enough.


I wouldn’t be surprised if Hawthorn won this eve. Rumour has it that Lynch will soon be a Tiger, could that be a move that’d Tippett in an unexpected direction? The 2012 Swans had a beautiful balance, as did the 2017 Tigers.


I wouldn’t be surprised at any result this weekend, there’s no strong form in any direction. Melbourne v Geelong, the two oldest clubs here and almost anywhere else in the world, we know that one type of Dees will show up but three or four types of Cats, one of which can win.


Collingwood could win or just run out of puff. They’ve done great but finals are a different league, harder, faster, brutal enthusiasm ramps up several degrees. Monaros may be a bit too nimble for Swans. Sorta like Toranas v Falcons in 1978/9.


Dreamed yesterday morning that I was at a football match, sitting on plastic seats with a bunch of groovy folks, Aragorn joined us, he was wearing a checkered tan suit, we were laughing and carrying on, Fremantle were playing, they kicked 15 goals in the second quarter – against who, I can’t recall – so Aragorn had to go do drug tests and one of the women yelled “you’ll have to watch them while they piss!” and he looked back over his shoulder all annoyed and we fell about laughing.


Cheers, 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. John Butler says

    Amen to your opening sentiment, Earl.

    As to the bye, I struggle to buy into the angst it seems to create. So it takes away some of the advantage of finishing top 4? So what? The inequitable fixture usually decides some of the placings. The bye might just counter-balance some of that effect. And what’s wrong with a more competitive finals series?

    Not sure what to make of your Monaros. A limp effort in the final round. I’d fancied them up ’til then.


  2. Earl O'Neill says

    John, the team balance of the bye doesn’t bug me, the weekend without football does. Is Aragorn bragging that “we’re so popular that we can have a week off in September and still smother you in column inches”?

  3. John Butler says

    Aragorn would seem to have enough on his plate. Not sure he should be cocky.

    Not hard to get column inches when you own most of the journos.

  4. Earl O'Neill says


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