The Final Wrap Report

 

THE FINAL WRAP REPORT

 

For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

 

 

Well here we are again Wrappers: at the pointy end of the season.  And what a season it’s been, eh?.  Carringbush & Struggletown have followed their old traditions.  There are murmurings from The Ghosts at The Yarra Falls End, and at Punt Road they’re eating their own again.  It turns out that Fourthorn really is just a suburb of Auckland, and those Mighty Birds, Kings of The Big Game, are really just a flock of sparrows flying in tight formation to look like something formidable.  Although something good has come out of the season for them.  The new September Chokers have won a contract to fly target practice for RAAF tail gunners.

 

The Saints finished Glorious Ninth on percentage, and surely would have made a better fist of a September trip to The Picturesque Adelaide Oval than The Troubled Gravyboners.  And troubled indeed they are.  It took The Previous Games Record Holder more than a decade to walk back into Glenferrie Oval after he’d been given the DCM*.  The question on everybody’s lips is surely, in which direction is Boomer going to set his GPS when he drives past the Gasometer for the final time?  He certainly didn‘t look too happy walking off with his three fellow stalwarts after the shellacking The Soupboners’ took from The Pride of South Australia.  But the troubles at Arden Street appear to be deeper than a forty-year-old being told he’s not up to the elite level any more.  And that he’s keeping a younger player out of the side.  From where we’re looking at it in the Wrapcave there doesn’t seem to be a younger player coming on.

 

The Dees blew some vital games – think Essendon & Carlton – and took some prize scalps – think GWS & Forlorn.  They piled up some massive scores along the way and pushed a few Finals Bound sides to the limit.  With a new coach and a new attitude, The Fuchsias look set to morph back into The Redlegs of the Norm Smith Era.  For those who came in late, Norm Smith coached The Demons to six Pennants.  Between 1955 and 1960 they took all but one of the Premiership Trophies on offer.  The run was broken by Collingwood in 1958, who were protecting their four successive Flags from 1927 to 1930.  He brought The Dees back to take the 1964 Flag.  (Didn’t they win three on the trot during the War Years too Wrap? – Ed)**

 

The Sons of The West have proven to be the real thing.  Worried by injuries all season – they lost their Skipper and Spiritual Leader early on in the season – they broke The Spinifex Pigeons over in the sand hills when they were expected to fail, and plucked The Other Raptors on The Hallowed Turf the following week.  This week they went up to the Sydney Showgrounds to show The Fabricated Newbees that it wasn’t the size of The Dog in The Fight that counted, but the size of The Fight in The Dog.  Now they’re back home after winning twice on the road and earning their Grand Final place from seventh.  Think about it for a while Wrappers.  The West Coast Wannabees have been Wedge Tailed Eagles on their home turf.  By the time The Tricolours had finished with them they were chirping like caged canaries.  Back to THOF to tackle Fourthorn OTR.  They pulled the curtain down on the latest Hawthorn Era, putting TRP out in straight sets.  Then up to Steak & Kidney to send The Big Big Noise back to Breakfast Point with something to think about over the Long Dark Summer.  So that’s three times they were the Under Dog, and three times The Bagmen had to clean up after them.  Now they’re back to The People’s Ground for the First Saturday in October.  The Bloods would have to go in favourites, but it would take a braver man than Gunga Din to back against The Sons of The West next Saturday.

 

The Unwooded Chardonnays put in a mighty season.  They fell short up in Sin City when they took on The Highly Fancied Bloods in their Semi Final, but they go into TLDS full of expectation for season 2017.  True, The Hon. A Betts is a year older, and sadly, we may never see the likes of him again when he does mothball the Guernsey for the last time.  Eddie & Nasty Milne may be poles apart in attitude, but they both light up a forward line when they’re plugged in and switched on.  (I’ll chuck in Stevie J & Cyril for my two-penneth worth on that list Wrap – Ed)

 

The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires proved that one Dangerfield doth not a season make when they conceded seven goals in the Opening Stanza on the Hallowed Turf on Friday night.  Maybe they should have insisted that they get a home game down at Kardinia Park, where it’s understood The Banners Fly High From Dawn Till Dark.  (The match would have still been played after dark Wrap – Ed)  Were we alone in feeling we may have seen a few Flattown Premiership Heroes walking up the race for the last time?  Corey Enright hardly held back the tears, although Jimmy Bartell of the bushranger beard seemed philosophical about it.  I was hard not to see this as the end of an era, as was the case with Hawthorn a week earlier.  Some SOTG are suggesting Dangerman’s arrival at The Cattery is The Moggies’ Juddanaut moment.  Only time will tell, but on too many occasions this season The Handbags were simply dismantled when Joel and/or Patrick didn’t turn up.  One astute SOTG counted 20 passengers on Friday night.

 

The G-Men learnt a valuable lesson on Saturday.  Apart from the fact that a Big Big Sound is nowhere near as intimidating as a Bulldog Growl.  If you’re going to be A Big Big Sound From The West Of The Town, you’re going to have to learn to forget about the Big Big Sound and study how Real Blue Collar Westies go about their business.  All through the match we were waiting for The Orangemen to show us why they were the Premiership Favourites.  Instead all we got was petulant jumper punches and sniping.  Not sure from whence it came; Leon Cameron never played in that style. Tuesday’s Star Chamber should be interesting.  Interesting on two scores.  One, to see if the appalling football league hands out anything more than a few smacks on an open palm with desk ruler and some fund replenishing fines.  And two, conjecture what the verdicts would have been if GWS had to field a Grand Final side the following week.  Regardless, The Men in Orange & Gun Metal Grey can spend The Long Dark Summer contemplating how they blew a crack at The Big Big One.

 

The Flag

Our tip for The 2016 Toyota Premiership Season Championship (Do we have to go through this every season Wrap?  Just call it The Flag like everybody else will you please– Ed) is Sydenee .  It would be great for Football if The Doggies could do it.  To Stick It Up Em For Teddie.  For The Long Suffering Western Oval Faithful.  For Dyed In The Wool Footy Fans Everywhere.  For Robert ‘Bob’ Murphy. But, we’re saying it’s likely to be a Flag Too Far for them.  The Bloods look to have too much of everything where it counts – up forward and in & under.  (You want me to scrap what you wrote yesterday morning so you could knock off early do you Wrap?  This bit: We’re saying that, in front of a small crowd of South Melbourne Diehards, some rusted on Sydney Faithful, corporate boxes packed with pollies, suits and celebrities, and MCC members who will turn up to any event that has a blazer or a reefer jacket as the dress code, The G-Men will blast their way into the annals of history with the first of their run of Flags that will become so authoritative as to bore the interest out of The Competition for years to come – Ed)  Go f**k yourself you pompous nit-picking prick.  The season’s over in six days, and I’m outa here.

 

The Boys of The Bulldog Breed will certainly have the whole of Victoria behind them.  And hasn’t it given the day a lift Wrappers?  They must have been torn by angst down there in the bowels of Jellymont House.  The Gnomes would have been weighing up the drachma forfeited on a Giants v Sydney GF gate against the boost to Giants’ memberships for next season of a Premiership Parade up the Parramatta River and down Church Street.  Our hearts go out to them.  The burden they carry each season can only be imagined.

 

The Fevola

This year’s Fevola was pretty clear cut in the end.  Reactionary leadership in Canberra is one thing, at Jellymont House the physical, economic and mental state of the Nation is at stake.  If rule tinkering, pricing, ‘the fixture”, the scheduling of games around the clock to suit the broadcasters, rule changes for change’s sake, and a general air of condescension wasn’t enough to clinch the count, a rumoured leak that turned up in the Wrapcave mailbag suggesting the Gnomes Deep in The Bowels of Jellymont House are working on a miniaturized version of Our Great Game that will fit on a soccer pitch was.

By the time the AFL Fans’ Association bulletin hit the screen highlighting the fall off in the “Blockbuster” crowds that started under Hologram Man’s watch, the appalling football league & HM had the medal in their steely grasp.  That there was a crying need for a Fans’ Association in the first place almost assured them of the gong.  Who said gouging was a dirty word?

But let’s have a look at those Blockbuster Attendance Figures (BAF).  Hologram Man took over in April 2014 from memory.  Not that we’re making any assumptions mind you, and time may well prove that falling attendance at big matches is a natural course of events, but the figures make interesting reading.  Of course, the Grassy Knoll Theorists would have us believe that all these game day inconveniences are part of a plot to drive us back in front of the small screen with a direct link to the on-line betting shop of our choice.  (Not that you’d call your 105” plasma a small screen Wrap – Ed)

Crowd     60+      70+      80+

2013        17        11        7

2014        12        6         2

2015        11        6         3

2016        7         4         1

Overall the numbers are up on last season.  Playing South Australian matches at The Super Convenient Adelaide Oval and the abandonment of ANZ Stadium for the also Super Convenient Sydney Cricket Ground may have a bit to do with that.  But I’ll tell you what Wrappers, it was hard to get the motivation to go out some nights.  This climate change has got whiskers on it, hasn’t it?

 

The Harry Beitzel Medal

There’s no argument here.  The panel was unanimous.  The Laws of The Game Committee, give yourselves a good hearty pat on the back.  As if the deliberate OOB wasn’t enough; how many goals were conceded from someone not minding the mark centimetre perfect?  Or someone encroaching on some mythical cone of interference, even if there was no attempt to interfere.  Let us repeat ourselves one last time.  It’s going to cost someone a Toyota AFL Premiership Season Championship one day.  (Wrap!  This is your final warning – Ed)

Hayden Kennedy received several two-votes for his efforts at Maggot Central in not telling his charges that the two laws in question were a crock of faeces – and to ignore them – but not nearly enough for him to get up to take the silverware.

 

The Robbie Flower Award

This was a toss-up between those tireless workers at the AFL Fans’ Association who kept the Bunsen burner under the Florence flask at Jellymont House and the newly formed Women’s League.  We gave it to The Gals for what they’ve brought to The Game.  Apart from grace, style & flair, they demonstrated how the Game can have contact & vigour without being brain shatteringly brutal.  (I’ll bet you never thought you’d ever write those lines Wrap – Ed)

Third place went to The Velvet Fog.  Dennis we’re going to miss your quirky calls.  Any chance you can talk Bruce into joining you in your beach shack on Direk Hartog Island?

While we’re on The Robbie Flower Award, it can never be too often that we come across his likes in life.  In Saturday’s joyous Bulldog aftermath there was one of the saddest moments you’ll ever witness.  Robert Murphy has given his all to The Game & The Team From The Mighty West.  By the cruellest twists of Fate he has been sidelined from every footballer’s dream – playing in a Grand Final.  His on-screen pain was agonizing.  His private anguish can’t even begin to be imagined.  He shares with Robbie, and the late Neville Crow, the title of The Nicest Bloke To Never Have Played in a Grand Final.

 

The Brownlow

Put down the glasses; it’s Dangerman by the length of the straight six at Flemington.  If you want the trifecta try Dangerfield, Richmond: D. Martin, and Bontempelli.

 

The Coleman

Congratulations Josh Kennedy.  What would the current Carlton Coach give to have a dual Coleman Medallist to anchor his attack?

Good tipping and gamble responsibly.

And remember, if you read it in The Wrap, you’ll know it’s not crap.

*DCM – Don’t Come Monday

**An interesting aside here – two of Essendon’s Flags were awarded for minor premierships.  That’s right Wrappers, back in 1897 & again in 1924.

 

About John Mosig

I'm an Aussie Rules tragic who can remember, as a four year old, shaking the hand of Captain Blood in the rooms just before he ran out onto the ground after half time, as my Old Man slipped him a packet of under-the-counter Craven A cork tipped. Now it's my turn to take my grandson Ben through the ritual of character building that is the journey through PUNT ROAD to the outside world.

Comments

  1. Great Wrap as usual John While your missives have been sparse this year, the quality never diminishes
    Cheers
    Tony

  2. Its a bit rich having a card carrying member of TLSPRF denigrating the second best team in the comp. We just copped the wrong side of the draw and ran into the Bullydogs early on. No disgrace in that.
    Deledio to Sleepy Hollow? Seems a strange move given the lack of speed at the Cattery. Boomer and Boris have still got the smarts and enough run in their legs, but Jimmy and Mackie look to be doing it on memory like an ageing fighter on the ropes. Maybe Balmey could sign them all up as a Punt Road job lot? Hawkins and Motlop need a jigger under the saddlecloth.
    Regards to Beryl at the Pooncarie Pub. Hope you’ve been getting a good quid from the rabbit trapping. The Avenging Eagle and I will be in Bleak City for the Fitzroy Friday festivities. Hope to catch up.

  3. Can I nominate Matty Primus from the 2004 GF to console the great Robert Murphy? And the Pooncarie Pub served me the worst pizza I have had a few years ago, so if Beryl was there then, regards can be withheld. But great stuff from the cave, arise Sir Wrap, Knight Grand Cross of THOF.

  4. george smith says:

    Bit of a dilemma here. If the Swans win, they become more successful than our mob in the modern era, causing us to evoke the spirit of 53 and 58 in order to finally escape the kids table…

    If however the Footscray mob win they will be even more insufferable than they are already. In 2009, I foolishly took Footscray supporters to task in the comments page of the Herald Sun for their appalling record, and their tendency to win Brownlows instead of finals. The result was: “Who do you barrack for, george? How dare you criticise us when you won’t tell us.” They then proceeded to deflect, based on who they thought I barracked for, rather than address their own shortcomings.

    All I can do is say sorry, wish you all the best, and offer this advice to both sets of supporters: soak it all up, every minute, you never know when another chance will come, enjoy it.

  5. Stone Cold Steve Baker says:

    Ahh Wrapster, how you have been missed!

    As always, some Group 1 quality assessment of TSoP in the world of elite footy.

  6. Daniel Flesch says:

    Thank you Mr. Wrap ! Excellent account as always. (Can even forgive the insults to my Mustard Pots)
    I wonder if you could get your research team onto the following question : How often has a team made a GF for the first time (or first time in a long time ) and lost , but gone on to win the next year ? I know the Weagles did it in ’91-’92 , but suspect there may be a few others. Could happen again this year and next year , much as i hope the Doggies get up on Saturday.

  7. I can only tell it as it is DF. I couldn’t live with myself otherwise.

    Good question too. The most famous one would have to be The Saints in 1966. I was under the big scoreboard the year before when they went down to John Coleman’s Bombers. The Striped Marvels took The Flag the following year after 24 years in the wilderness, but that was a straight up win. They had plenty of second time lucky wins over the years – The Pies in 1919 – The Cats in 1932 – South in 1934 and The Dons in 1942, but they were always in the mix in those days. The Roys beat them in 1943; they came from out of the blue, and disappeared back into it after that.

    South Melbourne’s Foreign Legion won in 1933 after a long drought. They lost the next three, then like Fitzroy, failed to appear in another GF until Tommy Hafey got them up against The Crows in 1996. The Maroons next appearance was in 2002, which became a three peat. Again, not the same thing.

    But it has only been the Saints that have salved the heartburn with a next up Flag after suffering for a long period.

  8. Peter Fuller says:

    A couple of additions/amendments, Mr Wrap.
    South did make the bloodbath GF, so the drought in GF appearances was almost but not quite as long as you were suggesting (51 years cfd. 60 years).
    You would remember the Tigers’ vanquishing North in 1974, with the Shinboners then taking their first flag in 1975. North had previously lost a GF in 1950.
    Whether or not 11 or more years qualifies, probably depends on the degree to which supporters of some clubs have been spoiled by regular success. For this Blue Boy, 21 years since a flag and 17 years since a Grand Final appearance seems like an eternity – with relief still a distant dream
    Essendon’s loss in 1983 was their first appearance for 15 years, and was followed by their revenge against the Hawks in the next two GFs.
    West Coast’s 2006 win and 2005 loss came 11 years after their previous appearance As Daniel points out the Eagles won their first flag in 1992, after missing in their first appearance in the big one in 1991. They didn’t have a long wait of course, perhaps appropriate for pushy sandgropers.
    Collingwood’s 1952 loss then turning the tables on Geelong the following year were their first Grand Finals since losing in 1937, ’38 and ’39, and the 1953 flag was their first win since 1936.

  9. Superb Mr Wrap thank youn

  10. Good one PF, and thanks. I was going to add a ‘feel free to weigh in’ adjoined at the end, but Mrs Wrap had tea on the table, so I was lucky to get in what I did. But no excuses. I was there in ’74 when we went Back to Back and sat Barassi’s Bankrolled Boners on their ass.

    And Stevie B, is that The Season of Pain? But don’t tell me you didn’t see it coming after some shockers during the H&A season. Sorry to say it, but you’ve seen your last Sleepy Hollow Flag under Chris Scott. I’m predicting It’s going to be a race to the head of the Coaches Most Likely queue between the Scott Twins.

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