What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  It’s hardly been a slow news year has it?  This week’s no different.  But you’d have to wonder at the wisdom of Handy Andy’s Great Big New Tax wouldn’t you?  We all saw what happened to the last bloke who tried to pull that one, eh?  And what with having to back down on the condition of the playing surface at Ethelred, the dissatisfaction with the knee jerk interchange regulations imposed by Angry Adrian, the deplorable standard of the field & goal umpiring and the outrageously inflated cost of food & drink at the venues, you’d think he’d know when to call it quits.  But being on a lazy $1.8 mill per, you’d like to think he would have thought this thing through.  The Sage subbies have dubbed it a Robin Hood tax.  If my 1006 & All That has it right, that was the time Prince John was hauled up before the Barons and made sign the Magna Carta Libertatum.  Maybe it’s time for the Barons to rise once more to secure the realm from usurpers.  We await the call to arms from the Oval Office.

But it raises several questions, not the least the timing.  With the ‘rich’ clubs either concentrating on September or, as is the case at Essendon & West Coast, wondering where their next win is coming from, the concerted effort to challenge the morality of the proposal may not be fully focused.  Then there’s the divide and rule philosophy embodied in the move.  But the two that spring to mind here at Wrap Headquarters are 1. If the Appalling Football League has a war chest sufficient to fund new teams in hostile territory, why didn’t they recognize the state of the existing teams in The Competition and slip some aside for this contingency.  And 2. Are they over budget already and are we looking at the next MYKI scandal?  Or Insulation Fiasco?  It does happen you know.

A 3rd question that could be thrown at the press conference – presuming we have one on the topic – how much of a smoke screen is this Great Big New Tax to cover the absolute disaster that is the playing surface at Ethelred?  And here’s another to think about.  Has anyone noticed those people with the mops continually soaking up the split beer around the liquor outlets at the said venue?  That’s right, you got it in one – the surface laid down by the architects is a litigants’ paradise when it’s wet.  How much are we – the Mug Footy Fans – paying for that particular blunder.

Speaking of the playing surface – and I think this has been raised in this column before – anyone who was paying attention during Grade 3 Nature Study would have heard of photosynthesis.  You know, the one where the rays of the Sun – no Nurelle, the one that rises in the east & sets in the west – make the grass put out oxygen during the day and carbon dioxide at night?  The bottom line is — you can’t grow grass without sunlight.  So why is the condition of the surface at The Dumb causing so much kerfuffle?  Has someone shifted the sun’s trajectory since they build the stupid bloody thing?  The Singing Cowboys have dubbed it The Darklands, and we are really envious we didn’t think of it ourselves.  The surface is crap, no two ways about it.  And with players committing to a line on the ball at full tilt, someone is going to cop a serious injury one day.  And dare we say it, that could cost someone a Flag.

The Appalling Football League and the ground managers are looking into it – what ever that means.  Princes Park was good enough to be put forward as an alternate venue for the 1956 Olympics when the MCG trustees played hard ball, and was even used as a Grand Final venue during the time THOF was home to the US Marines during WWII, so why not as a venue for some of the matches against interstate teams that don’t pull the big crowds?  Or at least until the ground managers at Ethelred can get their product up to standard. (Or why not use Eureka Stadium at Ballarat for games against the Adelaide teams?  Save their supporters getting lost in Melbourne, and it’s sort of half way  – Ed)

Knighta just can’t get it right can he?  His Bombers fell in, courtesy of a couple of the weakest umpiring decisions you’d ever want to see.  Boomer’s handball in the goalsquare to a teammate was legitimate, yet called a throw.  La Geisha backed his man on the day, but he would have needed X-ray vision to be sure.  The goal umpiring decision was a travesty.  It was clearly a goal, yet the maggot said it bounced off the base of the post.  Then there was the weakened North side and the Appalling Football League’s confusion over the emergency replacement for Daniel Wells.  This was hardly a Famous Victory.  A respite win at best.  Humility was the order of the day.  A missed opportunity Knighta.  But you’ve surely been told that when you picked up your lunch order from the Puckle Street Patisserie.

We think we’ve got the invertebrates at the Star Chamber worked out.  The suspensions are based not on the severity of the tackle, but on the damage it does.  Ashton Hams sent Carlton’s Dennis Armfield to hospital so he cops a 3-4 week option.  Port’s Cameron Hitchcock would be excused for thinking he’d stepped out in front of the Glenelg tram when Graham Johncock ran through him.  He got up and played out the game; Johncock got two weeks.  I couldn’t tell the difference between the two hits.

And could some one please explain the difference between the get-off-me-you-prick elbow delivered to Player Dal Santo by Player Brown and the get-off-me-you-prick elbow delivered by Player Judd to Player M. Pavlich?  Other than one player is a recidivist and the other a high profile goody-two-shoes?   (And isn’t that the way it’s always been and ever more so shall be so? – Ed)

Speaking of recidivists – I see Vinnie Waite’s young lad was up before the bench again.  This lad must be the driving his parents mad.  Not to mention his coach.  He’d be one who could be turning up at Carrara with his boots and athletic support in a Gladstone bag, and with the 110% support of the Committee.

The retirements are picking up now the season begins to dim for all but a few.  Tredders has decided to hang up the Pumas for good.  A true Servant of The Club, Favourite Son and Premiership Captain – Warren, you will always be remembered for your famous 000 phone call from The Home of Football – Send help quickly.  There are 22 players choking to death out here.  Tredders, you’ve been an Ornament to The Game.  And for that, we salute you.

To prove the stocktaking around at Downright Lie & Procrastinate hasn’t dulled the deep thinking capacity of the Senior Consultant around there, Sir Frank Downright has developed a theory on coaching pedigrees and has posed the following challenge – name a premiership coach since 1966 who isn’t one of Alan Jeans, Tommy Hafey, Ronald Dale or John Kennedy, or who has played under the illustrious quartet or under one of their protégés?  Think about it.  That’s over the last 45 years.

BYW, don’t worry about the cap on interchanges.  It’s not going to happen.  And we didn’t need Laurie Oakes to tell us either.

But enough of my gabbin.  We’re into the XVIIIth Round and the September Song can be heard by some.  Let’s see who’s picking up the sound.

The Gliders v The Feeling Faints on the Shifting Sands Friday Night.  Man Mountain Hille is back for the Dons, as well as Lonergan.  The Saints have dropped McQualter and brought in Lynch.  The Three Blind Mice are Donlon, Razor Ray Chamberlain & Mollison.  Channel Sept start their delayed telecast at 8.30.  The Essendon Caretaker Coach has led his charges to two wins out of the five times he has coached against Rossy Lyon, the last two times they have met in fact.   Essendon have beaten St Kilda eight times out of the 13 times they’ve played The Seagulls on this ground and 136 times overall out of a possible 203.  But they won’t win tonight.  The Bagmen have The Sainters out at $1.18.  Lending your money for a couple of hours at an 18% return would be denounced as usurious in some cultures, so be thankful we don’t have those inhibitive attitudes on The Fatal Shore.  And take as much of it as you can get.  1965 will be revenged – St Kilda.

Collingwood v Carlton at The Peoples’ Ground at the traditional time.  The Pies have dropped Lockyer to make way for Cloke, which to some may seem a bit unfair as Tarkyn hasn’t been doing anything wrong.  But no one in this Collingwood Machine is doing anything wrong.  The Bluebaggers have brought Brad Fisher in to replace Ellard.  They’re coming off a win, but that’s all the coming they’ll be doing tomorrow.  The Mighty Maggies from us here in The Wraproom.  And if you think The Saints are a bit shaky against The Marshmallows, you might want to share the love around.  The Woodsmen are out to $1.18, and against this mob of dispirited Silvertails, it doesn’t get any less usurious than that.  Carringbush.

The Power v The Hawkers in The Shadows of Mt Lofty tomorrow.  The Squawkers have brought in Ladson for the Troubled Mal Brown.  The Chokers have replaced the retiring Josh Carr and the concussed Logan with Krakouer and Trengrove.  This is a Danger Game for The Mayblooms.  Their ordinary percentage is likely to keep them out of the Four, but they need to finish above Fremantle & Sydney to hold the Home Final.  They should do it on paper, and they should do it above the shoulders.  The Chokers probably played their best Football of the year to maintain bragging rights in the City of Churches.  With too much at stake, we’re going with the Mustard Pots for this one.  Sean B will be keen to show his old teammates that he hasn’t lost anything by moving to Waverly and The Hawkers will be keen to show their Faithful that the hangover is well and truly over.  And at $1.36, they’re worth a punt for those who like some Tabasco on their dog’s eyes.

The Bloods v The Pivotonians on the old Olympic Stadium for the Channel Rove Saturday night special.  The Big Tomahawk returns to limber up for the Finals, The jPod rests his 28 year old body, Bartel has an ankle and Blake has been omitted.  The Swans are so confident, or bereft of ideas, they’ve gone into this one unchanged.  Don’t know about you, but we think The Swans are gone.  We’re going for The Pussies here.  Comfortably.

The Bad News Bears v The Grande Olde Flag up under the palms on Saturday night.  The locals will be listening for The Mighty Roar, but it just ain’t gunna happen.  Not until The Sun bursts upon the scene in 2011.  With a modicum of luck The Demons would be calculating their chances of making it through to September.  They’ve got the pitchforks sharpened and Rivers & Frawley will shut Brown & Fevola out of the game.  The Fuchsias.

Richmond v Adelaide at The G for the early one on Sunday.  The Tiges have regained Moore & Thursfield to bolster their defence and Jackson returns after a Star Chamber imposed holiday to bolster the midfield.  The Crows have lost Johncock, arguably their best player; certainly their most reliable.  The Tigers had their pants pulled down last weekend, but it was against a team that some are saying, even away from the Grace Darling, is TTTBFTF.  The Chardonnays were also humiliated last round in The Showdown.  The Chokers were in disarray and the Pride of South Australia was making a play for September.  The romp in the park became a morale shattering defeat.  Both teams playing on Sunday will be out to make amends.  Apart from Cotchin and Griffith, Richmond are at full strength.  The Croweaters are without their Skipper & their Spiritual Leader. At $2.25 we reckon not only will Struggletown win, but they’re worth an investment.  That’s right folks, time to dip the toe back in the water.  The RFC are TWROTR.

The Boys of The Bulldog Breed v the Shinboners at Ethelred on Sunday at the traditional time.  We know we’re not allowed to call them The Shinboners anymore, but they’re going to need a truckload of the Arden Street Elixir to pull this one off.  They’ve blooded a couple of new lads – and we wish Brayden Norris & Marcus White all the very best in their debut match.  But Footscray are on a roll and will prove much too powerful all over the ground for North.  The Sons of The West in a contested match.

The Dockers v The Coasters in Perth for the twilight game.  The Eagles showed last weekend what they’re made of, and it wasn’t much.  They may lift for the Derby, but then, so will Freo.  With a Home Final at stake, they’re not going to drop this one.  The Anchormen, and at $1.38 they are the Wrap Investment Opportunity of The Round.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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

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.


  1. Andrew Fithall says

    Thanks again Wrap. Fine work. I have changed my tip to Melbourne based on your forecast.

    On the matter of tonight’s game and “The Three Blind Mice are Donlon, Razor Ray Chamberlain & Mollison.”, I think Ray Chamberlain umpires like another Ray Ch….. This one had black skin and played the keyboard as he sang. An excellent cameo in The Blues Brothers.

  2. John Mosig says

    Do you want to hear a funny story Andrew? In a previous life I had a fish farm out of Violet Town. I had my two adolescent daughters up from Melbourne for the weekend and was wondering what to do with them on Saturday night. I phoned the Benalla cinema to find out what was on. It was the Blues Bros. Now I’d been buried away in Nature up there on 1,000 acres of bush and wildlife and was a bit out of touch. I’d never heard of The Blues Bros. Neither had the late middle-aged proprietress of the cinema, but she said it was a musical. When we got there the place was deserted – open, but no one was around except the late middle-aged proprietress. She explained how the town had taken a set against her and no one came to the movies anymore. Country towns can be a bit like that as you may know if you’ve ever lived in one as an outlander. Anyway, we had the place to ourselves. Fair dinkum, not another soul in the building except us and the late middle-aged proprietress. It seemed like years later that I saw it at the Walhalla late night cult movie. And how long ago was that??? Living in the country can do things to your mind. I was never the same after 10 years in the town that derailed the Spirit of Progress twice, blew up an ammunition train bound for Puckapunyual and spawned Killing Heide.

    Hope the Dees don’t let us down.

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