The Pre Wrap Round XXIII

For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

Ciad Mile Failte.  What a week it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Final Eight is locked in and just a few minor details need to be sorted in this Final Round of the 2015 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Home & Away Series.  One of the minor details isn’t who is to be The Minor Premiers for the year; it’s Freo.  And Rossy Lyon, as is his form and as is his right, is preparing his team for a crack at The Flag.  And hasn’t that got The Bagmen running for cover.  In one of their more courageous moves since taking over from Little Tommy Waterhouse, Brokelads have closed the betting on the Dockers v Port match.  This international betting shop has slammed the bag four days before the teams line up for the bounce.  That’s right Wrappers, they’ve slammed the bag.  They haven’t adjusted the odds.  They haven’t got their actuaries to work out the probability.  They haven’t fed the data into their massive global computer.  They’ve just run for cover.  Cowardice would be too soft a word for it.

The next question is – and this is not a dead rubber question – how do North approach Friday night’s match against The Tigers?  Win and they could find themselves facing the Rabid Adelaide Mob the following week.  (Presuming Adelaide slam The Handbags – Ed)  Lose and they get another crack at The Striped Marvels, albeit at THOF.  The problem with North is that you can never tell if they’re tanking or have just opened an off barrel of the Shinboner Spirit.

But now that’s been answered.  The Soupboners are going to rest eight to ten players.  This means they get the Tiges again next week, or maybe The Doggies, but they avoid going to Adelaide to take on the Rabid Adelaide Mob.  Well played North.  (Old Football Saying – don’t mess with winning form – Ed)

When is a sling tackle a spear tackle?  Ask Courtney Dempsey.  (Is it true that someone called him The Dumpster on Instagram Wrap? – Ed)  Better still, ask Brett Deledio.  To say that Dempsey’s interception of Deledio was careless suggests, in some way, that he didn’t mean to do it.  It may not have been premeditated, but the action, once begun, was nothing other than deliberated.   The Richmond player had been dispossessed of the ball.  The need for further action stops there.  Anything more is gratuitous.   The only description of careless in this instance should refer to the sling tackle becoming a spear tackle.  Naturally the Whatever It Takes Club is standing by their player.  The real test of their sincerity will be when the new coach goes over the list for 2016.

We’ve had a bit of mail about the things those people at the Appalling Football League could be doing with the $2.5b they accepted from Prince Rupert.  The one that came in at the head of the list was to recognize The Island State with a team of their own.  It really is getting to the stage where every announcement from Jellymont House about why a new team can’t be launched in a Football State but they can have two in Brisvegas and one out in Western Sydney has us changing the channel on the monitor in the Wrapcave.  And we’ve had to remove that photo portrait of their CEO the League sent around last Christmas.  There’s something about those eyes that follow you around the room.  Not sure if it’s the lack of sincerity or the absence of veracity, but it’s not a pleasant feeling.

We notice Kyrgios the Wonderdog has slipped a bit in the ratings.  He used to feature in the opening sequences of ABC TV’s Offsiders.  He’s been replaced with The Southern Stars celebrating their Ashes win – or the Diamonds their World Cup win, those blonde ponytails all look the same when they’re decked out on Golden Green – and a tearful Adam Day on the 72th hole of the US PGA.  Personally we thought they were a bit slow with the change, but the replacements highlight all that is good about Australian Sport.  Go you Aussie Good Things.  Put a gap in ‘em.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who’s going to be footloose & fancy free after Round XXIII.

Struggletown v The Soupboners tonight on the Shifting Sands.  With 8-10 of The Roos starting XXII in the stands with the WaGs, are you kidding?  And to think you could have got $1.60 on The Striped Marvels earlier in the week from Brokelads.  Richmond to kick The Sweep..

The Greatest Team of All v The Mighty Adelaide Crows down at The Cattery for the early one early one on Saturday.  And we mean early – 1.05pm.  (The need the early start to fit in all those Laps of Honour – Ed)  We’re going for The Moggies to give their Retiring Heroes a rip-roaring send off.  And The Free Settlers to be a bit flat after the result of Friday night.  And what Heroes they’ve been over the years.   It‘s been a great ride for The Flat Town Faithful and one that will spur them in the bleak years of The Rebuild.  Of course the word is out that the relief on the salary cap is going to open up all sorts of opportunities.  The name Dangerfield has been bandied around all season, and there are certainly others who are out of contract.  (It’s not true that Danger’s to be introduced to The Kardinia Park Faithful in one of those vintage sports cars during the Laps of Honour phase of the match – Ed)  The club is in good shape and they’ve got a terrific culture down there at Sleepy Hollow.  We’re tipping they’ll be back in the September Action before you can say Bobby Davis.  There’ll be those who argue that The Crows will give it their all, which is plenty, but we’ll stick with The Pussies, which makes them – at a cautious $2.20 – The Wrap Roughie of The Round.

The Boys From Old Fitzroy v The Sons of The West up under the palms.  Not a lot going on here.  The Doggies will win and win well.  The Roys have got the Coveted Sylvan Shield stitched up and will be eyeing the Draft List for prospects.  They’ve had a Barry Crocker of a season and to be perfectly honest, we can see little up there with which to encourage The Long Suffering Brunswick Street Faithful.  The administration seems flat and the Locker Room is far from harmonious.  The only glimmer that could be offered is that St Kilda, Port and their opponents of the day were in the same boat earlier this decade.  Footscray easily.

The Power From Port v Flaky Freo under the Shadows of Mt Lofty at 3.20 on the Saturday.  The Bagmen have come out of their bomb shelter and have posted $1-09 on The True Believers.  This would mean The Power finish The Best Team Out Of The Finals, which isn’t a bad place from which to launch their 2016 season.  They’ve turned in a mediocre season, and one for which they’ll be keen to atone.  Remember, they beat Hawthorn twice this season.  Both wins were convincing.  In the first, at The Portress, they withstood a withering Hawthorn recovery after being over 10 goals to the good.  In the second, at Docklands, they had The Family Club Faithful heading for the underground car park by three quarter time.  They were stiff over in Perth in Round I against The Mauve Miasma.  They beat North under cover in Round III.  They won the first Showdown.  Ran The Weagles to 10 points.  Thumped The Doggies.  Were stiff against The Swans at Moore Park.  Lost the 2nd Showdown by less than a straight kick.  There, but for a bit of steadfastness goes a September Contender.  With a few changes in personnel via the draft and a massive pre-season out at Alberton they’ll be back – bigger & stronger.  Hesta la vista baby.

The Mayblooms v The Miseries in Saturday’s gathering gloom.  And gathering gloom it is for The Silvertails.  They terminated another coach this season, albeit one that any rational board would never have appointed.  Their list is in disarray.  At one stage of the season, forwards they’d cleared were kicking more goals for their new clubs than the entire team they’d retained.  They’ve called in a new list manager – An SOS in more ways than name only – and gone for a coach from the Dingly Dell School of Coaching.  Time will tell, but it’s a challenge.  Naturally we here in the Wrapcave, along with The Whole Football Universe, wish them well.  And look forward to helping them as best we can along the road to redemption.  But really Wrappers, and you have to trust our sincerity when we say there’s no disrespect intended as we say they really are The Team That Never Lets You Down.  The Leafblowers will roar away with this one.

The Bloods v The Gold Coast Suns at Moore Park on Saturday night.  It’s The Bloods of course.  But what of The Gold Coast Experiments?  They’ve had the pick of the shopping list for two seasons, been gifted a ready made champion and picked up a few cast offs along the way.  Conceived in haste they’re repenting at leisure.  Whatever it is they’ve done up there out of sight of the Football World they’ve made a proper balls-up of it.  Can Rocket get them back on the launching pad?  Who knows; but one thing’s for sure it’s going to take time & money.  Our money Wrappers, and a healthy slice of Prince Rupert’s two point five as well.  It’s our tip it’s going to be more about getting on with your life rather than watching this space.

The Wedgies v The Feeling Faints on the western fringe of The Wide Brown Land to close off Saturday’s crowded agenda.  Again it’s a pretty straightforward call: West Coast.  But what of The Saints?  They’ve been brave all season and as one LSJOF said of them, they’re at least watchable again.  They’ll shuffle their list around and pick up some early draftees, and with some of the most exciting youngsters in The Competition a year older they’ll face 2016 & beyond with confidence.  They’ve got a great coaching team and with the move from Eel Race Road back to their Urban Heartland imminent the road ahead looks sunny for The Sainters.

The Redlags v The Jolly Orange Giants on The Paddock That Grew for the early one on Sunday.  The Fuchsias couldn’t win this one if they started today.  For all the Appalling Football League hype, this has been a public relations disaster – both on and off the field.  We now have another excuse from the Two Million Dollar Man.  (Or was it $3m? – Ed)  It’s the losing attitude of the Long Suffering Redleg Faithful that’s making him look bad.  Sorry Melbourne Fans, it’s the decisions of the board that that’s making your club look bad.  They’ve allowed their standards of care to slip to the point where they’ve followed a fateful course of action.  One that hasn’t worked at Visy Park and didn’t work at Whingy Hill.  (And hasn’t worked at the Gold Coast if you want to throw the AFL factor into the mix – Ed)  Open the windows in the Longroom and let some fresh air blow through the place.   Maybe get those windows cleaned so you can see the outside world.  It’s the 21st Century out there.  Stuffiness drove one of the Greatest Coaches this Game has ever produced from the hallowed portals and you’ve been stuffed ever since.  And it doesn’t take Mandrake the Magician or Einstein to work out that The Red & The Blue will be everybody’s Christmas turkey until there’s a change of attitude and intellect at board level.  And it shouldn’t take too long to work out that Hearts won’t be Beating True for any coach that calls the supporter base a bunch of losers.  Reality would kick in at next year’s membership drive, you’d think, eh?

The Mighty Magpies v The Team That Never Was at The People’s Ground to lower the curtain on the 2015 Toyota AFL Premiership Season Home & Away Series.  It’s goodnight from me and it’s goodnight from him.  The Maggies started off like a German band but had fallen by the wayside by mid-season.  Turning for home at 8&3, they just ran out of puff.  Is it the tiring of a young team – both physically and mentally?  They did it the year before too if memory serves correctly.  Is it a trend or a transition?  Who can tell?  One thing’s for sure, Coach Figjam, while not quite needing 100% support from the Oval Office yet, would be on notice for season 2016.  They ran all over the Moggies last weekend, and will be as keen to finish on a winning note as they will be to give a Traditional Rival a hearty send-off.  And what about The Dons?  They’ve been pushing up marshmallows for four years out there at Melrose Drive.  They’ve finally bit the bullet and shot Bambi, much to the collective relief and sadness of The Whingy Hill Faithful.  With clear decks they can sail into the gathering storm of the rebuild.  The rebuild of both the Club and the Football Team.  It’s not going to happen overnight, that’s for sure.  And it’s not going to be messianic.  That sort of thing only happens in storybooks.  The WADA case is still to come, and things are far from harmonious at board level.  Essendon as a club has more coteries than the Masons have lodges.  It’s our guess that it’s going to take a mighty effort to put all of what’s happened behind them.  On the other hand, it’s certainly not beyond them.  Their list is also a bit of a problem.  Their Captain has taken French leave and there are others who may wish to follow Paddy Ryder to less weedy pastures.  We’d never sell them short, but it’s hard to see them bouncing back in 2016. They’ve been compromized at the draft table for a couple of seasons and old bodies have to be replaced.  One that deserves mention is Dustin Tripper Fletcher: the man with the extendable arms and the Peter Pan body & mindset.  An Ornament to The Game, Club Legend, Favourite Son, Loyal Clubman & Icon of The Aged are some just some of the epitaphs with which he retires.  Vale Professor Gadget.  The Bomberland he leaves behind, while no fault of his, is a trainwreck.  We, as you would expect, wish them well in the recovery phase, but like The Only Team All Carlton Knows, it’s going to take serious input the Get Their Bomber Side Up inside a decade.

Good tipping and even better punting.

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. David Zampatti says:

    “The next question is – and this is not a dead rubber question – how do North approach Friday night’s match against The Tigers? Win and they could find themselves facing the Rabid Adelaide Mob the following week. (Presuming Adelaide slam The Handbags – Ed)”

    Unpick this how you will and it still makes no sense. Why will Adelaide “slamming” Geelong affect anything (they’re on a half game and percentage means nothing)? How could have Norths possibly have had to travel to Adelaide if they won, without the Bullies also losing to Brissy? It would have been Richmond heading off to ignominious exit from the dance, their over inflated tyres spinning madly as they departed the scene (see “AFL is the Victorian Government Department of Football” rant on another post).

    The approach of the finals, for some reason, seems to make it impossible for people to do things like comprehend ladders and fixtures. The mid-finals “switcheroo” leaves folf gasping for breath. If astute and well-read folk like The Wrap and Ed. can’t fathom it, what hope for the Dwayne Russells and Basil Zempilases of this world.

  2. It was all too cerebral for us in the Wrapcave Earl. But it stirs the possum, and that’s what we do best.

  3. I’ve had breakfast now Earl. The blood sugars are in balance. If Adelaide had beaten Geelong they’d be – considering the Doggies’ loss – been 6th with a home final. So whoever finished 7th would have the trip to the City of Light. The surest way North could avoid this was to finish 8th. And they got to rest some players along the way. Richmond had to go for it on the off chance that Sydney faltered – and to ensure they didn’t rest a heap of players as well.

    But the bottom line is you don’t tamper with winning form, especially when there’s only four matches left in the season.

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