The Pre-Wrap: The Round they took the Bombers down



What a week it’s been in Footy Wrappers.  Crikey, would someone please send a plumber round to the ASADA Enquiry.  They’ve got more leaks around there than a Welsh market garden.  We’re given up trying to keep track of them.  Tell you what though, they’ll be passing the hat around in a wheelbarrow at the next Dick Reynolds Coterie luncheon.

But how about That Phone Call?  After a certain amount of shuffling, it has been confirmed that the call did take place.  Bomber President David Evans has admitted the call took place, and The Choir Boy has backed him up.  Even the CEO of the Appalling Football League has admitted it took place.  But that’s it.  What was said has been left to the imagination.   So let’s do a bit of imaging, shall we?

Now Wrappers, this was at an emergency meeting – let’s call it a hastily called meeting in case there’s any legalistic sensitivities implied by the word emergency.  (That’s better Wrap; you see, the Oxford Dictionary defines an emergency as a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action, and we wouldn’t wish to imply that the meeting had been called to deal with a situation that could be considered serious, unexpected, or even dangerous.  Or that it required immediate action – Ed)

So here we are Wrappers, on this ordinary Monday, the week after school went back.  The kids’ new Barter Scouts may have been blistering a few heels and pinching a few toes as they wore them in on the asphalt at Merri Creek Primary, and there may have been a few of us nursing hangovers or sunburn, or both, but by all outward appearances this was just an ordinary late Summer Monday.  So here we are on this ordinary Monday evening having a break before getting stuck into the WhoCares Cup.  A BBQ at the home of the Chairman.  The Coach was there; the club doctor, football operations manager Danny Corcoran and the now former CEO Ian Robson were all there.  Just another Monday evening get together for this close-knit team of old soldiers.

So when the phone rings at the Evans’ household on that Monday night, how surprised DE must have been to discover that it was the Ayatollah gracing him with a call late on this balmy evening.  So what did they discuss – the Chairman of the Essendon Football Club and the CEO of the Appalling Football League?  No one’s saying.  So what do you think they discussed on this sultry early February night?

Going over the possibilities around the Wrap Coffee Mate the other day we came up with a few possibilities we’d like to share with you.  Here they are –

Was it the state of the turf at the new Melrose Drive training track?  It had been a hot Summer remember.

Was it to see how the kids were settling back into school?  Everyone wants to know how other people’s kids are settling back into the new school year, don’t they?

Was it to ask if the Boys at Whingy Hill would mind if he took another break in the middle of the season again?  After all, he did cop a bit of flack last year when he disappeared for six weeks.

Nurelle thought he may have been enquiring as to whether or not Dustin Fletcher was really going to front up for another season?   As the Wrap Safety Officer, she was obviously thinking of OH&S issues.

The work experience lad aimed right at the heart of why these stalwarts of the EFC were gathered in the one place on this particular Monday and volunteered that Andy D – having a family function to cater the following Monday – may have been curious to know how the Wiltshire Horn lamb chops from the new butcher in Puckle Street were sizzling up?

Ed, being more high-minded than most people in his position, thought it may possibly have been that he – Andy D – had solved that age-old conundrum that has baffled philosophers since Harrison & Wills crossed the Blue Mountains – whose got the pub over in Adelaide now?  And was so excited he was phoning everyone.

What do you think he phoned about?

It could be that we’ll never really find out, but what we do know is that the three greatest slogans of our time are –

Stop the boats;

Scrap the tax; and

Wait for the report

Hoping for some enlightenment on the situation we contacted Downright Lie & Procrastynate only to be told Sir Frank Downright, whose brief it is to navigate the EFC through the legal reefs & eddies of any troubled waters in which they may have sailed, was on extended leave.  (Inadvertently sailed please Wrap; we’re getting enough flack from the legal department as it is – Ed)  We’re suspecting he’s embedded somewhere amongst the Gauls.  His response, when we emailed him, came back from cyberspace in the language of love.

La défense des Bombardiers avec ASADA semble plus périlleuse qu’elle fait quand Buddy va enragé avec 9 buts.  Ne peut pas croire que mes collègues peuvent avoir tellement mal forniqué ceci en mon absence

Allowing that your French is as good as ours …. just focussing on a few key words and it seems to sum up the situation out at Whingy Hill pretty succinctly.

However, testing the trend of public feeling, if Shoeless Jim goes down and takes the Ayatollah with him, and The Bombers are suspended for the duration of the 2013 season, fined and lose a couple of years of draft picks, both honour and justice will have been well served.

Just to finish off on this, and in the name of balance, consider the following.  The AFL knew, when ASADA warned them that Essendon had been sniffing around the dark arts.  It would have been a natural thing to do to phone and armed with the concern that the ACC believed an AFL club was embroiled in a possible drugs scandal, and say, look David, I don’t know who it is, but we both know you’ve had a look at it.  If it’s you, you’d better make sure your powder’s dry and the wagons are circle.  No moral or criminal offence?  Line ball may.  Technically a betrayal of the oath taken to the Australian Crime Commission.  That’s their business.  But it still doesn’t explain why the wagons were apparently already circled when the phone call came through.

Did you have a chuckle at that suit from Cycling Oz too.  When he said that Stuart O’Grady had made an error of judgement in taking an unfair advantage when he pharmaceutically enhanced his chances against his competitors.  Unfair advantage!!!  In the name of Russell Mockridge, he was just trying to keep up with them!  In fact it was the procrastination of similar suits in the world cycling body at that time that led to the current sorry image of one of the world’s greatest and most gruelling tests of manhood, and the sport in general.

But enough of my gabbin’.  Let’s see who is going to be seen to careen after Round XVIII.

The Peptides v The Mayblooms under cover tonight.  The Flying Pharmaceuticals have re-called Howlett, Hocking, Pears Daniher & Zaharakis.  Not a bad intake, eh?  The Hawkers raise them a Mitchell & a Franklin.  Make no mistake; this is a big test for The Gliders.  So far they’ve been able to weather the storm from featuring on the front page as much as the back page.  They’ve drawn together under this external pressure, but over the last few weeks there have been signs that the stress may be starting to tell – both on & off the field.  And at $3.15, they’re pretty friendless out there in Punterland.  This is 1st v 2nd.  Both sides are close to having full available lists.  Crameri & Flethcer may not make the starting XXII in September anyway, so while household names won’t leave a huge hole.  And she’ll be a beauty.  We’ll be stoking up the Wrapfire in the Wraploungeroom, loading up the Wrapcheeseboard and breathing something robust but smooth from the Wrapcellar.  And the Wraploungeroom will be festooned with the GoldenBrown colours of The Leafy East.  It’s The Mustard Pots to be too hot for The Marshmallows.  Please yourselves about the $1.35 on offer.  It’s not without risk, but so is crossing a busy street.

The Abbletts v The Miseries up on the Metricon for the early one on Saturday.  Coming off their first real scalp, The Metermaids will have their tails up.  Sitting Glorious Ninth, The Bluebaggewrs will have an eye on the wildcard on offer should The Bombers season come to a grim conclusion.  We’ll stick with The Silvertails in this one.  They’ve been thereabouts all season, and while they may be struggling with the oblique meanderings of their Philosopher Coach, they have just too many guns for the Metermaids.  At least two of which will be aimed at The Little Master.  Caaarlton.  And at $1.42, they carry less risk than The Leafblowers.  (Are you sure about that last comment Wrap?  At the last production meeting you said they were flaky, and that Judd was taking his match fee under false pretences – Ed)

The Fuchsias v The Shinboners under cover at the traditional time.  One last chance North.  If you can’t beat this mob it’s time to chuck it in.

Carringbush v the Orangemen up at The Showgrounds in the gathering gloom.  Collingwood OTR or The Refractory Redlegs?  Are you kidding?  Bucks would have torn strips off them during the week.  The Woodsmen, and at $1.01 you can put the holiday money on the outcome.

The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires v The Feeling Faints under lights on the Saturday down at Kardinia Park.   The one thing Scotty Watters doesn’t need right now is The Handbags OTR down at The Cattery.  Sorry Sainters, but this may get ugly.  The Moggies.

The Barry Crockers v The Pride of South Australia over there on Saturday night.  Coming off a Famous Victory, The Chardonnays will be pretty pleased with themselves.  Coming off a crushing loss, The Anchormen will be spitting chips.  They’ve wielded the axe, and they’ve been able to re-call Big Laurie.  The Crows are still without Patrick Dangerfield.  The Stevedores, convincingly.  Keep the player-cam on The Iconic Zac catching up with a few old mates from Eel Race Road.

The Power From Port v The Brissy Lions on the New Arctic Park for the early one on Sunday.  Brown’s back to lead The Maroons onto the field and The Tealers have regained Cornes & Cassisi.  The Lions have had more ups and downs than the fuel price index this season.  And we’re afraid this is going to be a down.  True Port got out of gaol last week, but The Coach of The Season will have knocked any complacency out of them by Sunday.  Port OTR.

The Doggies v The Coasters on the Shifting Sands of Docklands for the middle match on the Sunday.  Both sides have let their supporters down this season.  The Wedgies carried the burden of Redhot Pre-Season Flag Favourites into Round I.  A burden that has grounded these Highflying Raptors for most of the year.  The Bullies have shown glimpses of improved form, but have been consistent only in their inconsistency.  We wish them well, but we fear the Avenging Eagle may have something to whistle about come 4.20pm (WAST).

The Bloods v Struggletown on The Other Cricket Ground to finish off Round XVIII.  The Tigers are coming of a SDW*.  Which begs the question, just how good are they?  Don’t let the 27-point margin fool you.  This was an emphatic win.  They’ve lost The Push-up King and regained Tuckie.  The Swans go into this one un-changed.  The Tigers aren’t getting carried away here, but they feel they’re in with a good show.  They gave this mob a good dusting down here last season.  (Don’t forget the quilting they gave the other 2013 Grand Finalist – Ed)  The Tiges are an outside chance for a Top Four Finish, TRP are a better chance.  Cotchin showed his best form of the season last week, and there was a sign that he’s growing into the leadership.  His Captain’s Goal after the citrus-break siren from out near the paint on a 45o angle was a turning point in the match.  If he turns in another blinder it’ll be game on.  On overall form throughout the season it has to be The Lakers, but if you can bear a bit of danger in your investment portfolio, The Striped Marvels look excellent value at $3.95.  In fact we’re going to tip them.  There’s a lot of ifs & buts – like Rance on Tippet, holding their own in the midfield and at the clearances, and Deledio being able to get away – but if The Tiges turn in what TLSPRF and the Coach believe they’re capable of, it’s game on.  And yes Wrappers, they’re The Wrap Roughie 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.

The words of Thomas Paine may be of help to those who have let self-interest and short-term gain swing their moral compass from true north.  No names needed.  They know who they are.

A thing moderately good is not so good as it ought to be.  Moderation in temper is always a virtue; but moderation in principle is always a vice.

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and angels know of us.

If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.

A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of being right.

It’s difficult to go beyond our Irish cousins for getting things into perspective, eh?  Here’s another example of it.  Came in with an Arden Street postmark, too.

The judge says to a double-homicide defendant, “You’re charged with beating your wife to death with a hammer.

?A voice at the back of the courtroom yells out, “You bastard!”

?The judge says, “You’re also charged with beating your mother-in-law to death with a hammer.”

The voice in the back of the courtroom yells out, “You rotten bastard!”

The judge stops and says to Paddy in the back of the courtroom.  ?“Sir, I can understand your anger and frustration at these crimes, but no more outbursts from you, or I’ll charge you with contempt.  Is that understood?”

Paddy stands up and says, “I’m sorry, Your Honour, but for fifteen years I’ve lived next door to that arsehole, and every time I asked to borrow a hammer, he said he didn’t have one.”

And from our Hebrew cousins we have this insight to life in the backblocks.–

Bernstein was resting peacefully on the porch of his hotel when he sees a cloud of dust up the road.  He walks out to see who could be approaching: it’s a farmer with a wagon load of stable manure.?

“Good afternoon,” says Bernstein.?

“Afternoon,” says the farmer.

“Where you headed?” asks Bernstein.?

“Town”, said the farmer.”?

“What do you have in the wagon?” asked Bernstein.

?“Manure”, ?said the farmer.

“Manure, eh?  What do you do with it?”?

“I spread it over the fruit.”?

“Well,” says Bernstein, “you should come over here for lunch someday.  We use sour cream.

Boom!  Boom!  Now we can all get some sleep.

* – SDW – Season Defining Win

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. Thanks for the advice Mr Wrap. Its the Avenging Eagles all up the TLSPRF in the evening fixture as the Wrap Roughie of the Round all up the taxi ride to The Gap for the long ride home. I’ll leave my coat at the top of the stairs. See you there.

  2. Peter Fuller says

    You’re clearly thrashing around looking for a punting adviser. I saw your request that Theo Harms be subbed in for his father and now you’re looking to the Wrap for inspiration (and not comic relief).
    Many years ago, the late Frank Hardy appeared on a filler between shows on ABC television, telling his tall tales/yarns. At the conclusion of this brief program, he would conclude with the admonition to viewers “stay out of the pub.” I’m inclined to adapt that for your circumstances by suggesting that you stay out of the TAB, although of course these days, the trick is to stay off the keboard. As that redoutable anti-gambling campaigner and Essendon enthusiast (which is worse?) Tim Costello has reminded us “you can lose your house without leaving the house.”
    I’d be particularly wary of the Wrap’s predictions about Richmond games. I find the contradictory alternatives of wishful thinking and a recognition of the Blues’ limitations make me a very poor judge in games where I have an emotional investment.
    I hope that you don’t take your coat to the Gap, I think it would be better if you detour to St. Vinnies on your way to Watsons Bay.

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