The Footy Almanac 2007 Round 4 – West Coast v Carlton: At least our song is better than theirs

The first printed edition of The Footy Almanac came out in 2007, before we had a website. In the absence of a real 2020 season, we will be publishing the 2007 pieces for the first time ever on Follow the season!



West Coast versus Carlton
2.40pm, Sunday, April 22
Subiaco Oval, Perth


IT WAS THE BATTLE OF THE NEWS HOGS, and if centimetres of ink in the newspaper were the measure of a football team, the Blue-baggers would certainly give West Coast a fright.


Before the West Coast drug scandal, the ink had been soaked up on Carlton’s boardroom fighting, Brendan Fevola’s bar-room brawl in Ireland and the failed coaching coup. However, everything West Coast did was bigger, better, badder. It was like the Eagles said: “Put your little boardroom battle in your pipe and smoke it. We’ve got real news, real pipes, and better things to put in it, baby.”


To Carlton’s credit, they wouldn’t give up. They gave us the Whitnall family feud, and even when West Coast was being hauled across the coals for Michael Braun’s derby-day speech and Adam Selwood’s infamous sledge, the Blues threw up the story of Nick Stevens being ruled out for the rest of the season with a neck injury.


Quite clearly, the Blues stories weren’t as good, but they were having a crack. They were about four goals down and just needed Dick Pratt to be busted by the taxation department or his fancy jet to crash and take out Denis Pagan (that would solve a few problems) to give them a slender lead.


Of course, in real football terms this was the reigning premier versus the reigning wooden-spooner in da House of Pain, and the Blue-baggers had little hope. But I was feeling optimistic; not for an upset but for the Blues to be close. After speaking to my crazy Carlton mate, we loaded up on a multi with Freo to make a mess of Melbourne into the Blues to lose by less than 29.5 points.


As game time neared, dark clouds gathered over Subiaco. The lights were switched on and I was thinking John Worsfold might need a bolt of lightning to kickstart the project that he surely had brewing in the Subi basement. A bit of Judd, a touch of Kerr, a splash of Cox and just a tiny drop of big Quinten… not too much.


The rain pelted down and, contrary to the myth that wet weather is a leveller, the cream floated to the top. Dan Kerr and Chris Judd were on the sizzle, amassing 23 touches between them for the opening quarter. Of course, with that sort of talent on show you sometimes forget about guys like David Wirrpanda, who found himself up forward and kicking goals. Matthew Lappin booted Carlton’s first from a tight angle, but by quarter time it was a 24-point ball-game.


I became worried. I was worried about all sorts of things. I was worried about my bet, I was worried about my fantasy football team, I was worried that West Coast were on track for not another flag, but another three, and I was worried that my wife was about to come home and discover that I’d just cracked open a bottle of red. I checked the computer to discover that Freo had, indeed, tickled Melbourne and the first leg of my bet was home.


But still I was worried. My fantasy footy team was playing a team called Bagger’s Renaissance and the team convenor had Pavlich and big Aaron Sandilands – and Pav had bagged six and Sandi had had 28 hit-outs. Not good.


Halfway through the second quarter at Subiaco, Carlton started to look a bit better. Fevola was reported but Lance was getting touches and the Blues were hanging on. When I say hanging on, I mean they were hanging on to the line – 29.5 points. I had points to burn and wine to drink.


I called my crazy mate and he told me that Carlton were the comeback kings and that Scotland and Murphy would get better in the second half. I topped up my glass. The third term started poorly for the Blues. Jarrad Waite dribbled a goal off  his toe and it was called a point. He then missed a sitter before Shannon Hurn sent a 75-metre drop-punt sailing through the goals. Where the hell did they get this guy from?


By the final break, Wirrpanda had four and the margin was 36 points. I was in bad need of a goal and half of a point, a shave, and 2/3 of a glass of red.  Only the latter was likely on this afternoon.


I got back to the computer and had a quick look at my betting account to check the bet, the line and the odds. Then it hit me. Like Magro on Jezza, I was flattened. The crazy Carlton guy had taken the short line! Was he mental?


I was suddenly in need of two goals, one point, a serious shave and more red – and the bottle had to get us through dinner.


It was a bad day. The account was drained, the red was almost done, dinner wasn’t ready, and I was listening to “We’re flying high…” Why don’t they just change it to Eagle Rock and be done with it?


At least the Blues can boast that their theme song is better – even though they don’t hear it too often.


West Coast 5.2 6.8 9.11 14.16 (100)
Carlton 1.2 2.6 3.11 4.15 (39)


West Coast
: Wirrpanda, Hansen 4; Kerr 2; Cox, Hurn, Armstrong, Waters.
Carlton: Lappin, Fisher, Scotland, Fevola.


West Coast: Wirrpanda, Judd, Kerr, Glass, Cox.
Carlton: Lappin, Scotland, O’hAilpin, Simpson, Bentick.

Edwards (Carlton) – debut.


McBurney, Sully, Pannell.

(WC) 3, Wirrpanda (WC) 2, Cox (WC) 1.  

(WC) 3, Hansen (WC) 2, Hurn (WC) 1.



For more Round by Round reports of the 2007 season click HERE


If you want a printed copy of the 2007 edition of the Footy Almanac, they can be purchased here.

The Footy Almanac 2007



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