The View from Shepparton

Well, I might as well been on Mars trying to follow the footy this weekend, but instead, extremely happily it must be said, I and the Minister For Home Affairs were wending our way to the Sunshine Coast to get away from the cold and gloom of Victoria. The only thing was for whatever reason it was hard to keep a handle on the footy, thus my comments are even more a guess about the past than usual.

OK, well Melbourne were rolled again, who would have thought otherwise apart from coach Clarkson who seemed to me to put on a faux show of concern as to the ultimate result. Melbourne have become the Port Adelaide of Victorian football in that they too are now a once great club in seemingly terminal decline. Lance scored 3 goals 7. Good one, meanwhile some bloke playing for Freo has kicked twelve straight, over a few games.

I was trying to keep track of the Suns Sprawls game and being a banana bender at heart was shocked and horrified by the turn of events as they unfolded in the first quarter. I then had to depart my source of information, the car radio, to help the minister select a dress. On my return, just after half time, all seemed to be in order with the Suns ahead by 13 points and a complete GWS collapse a mere formality. Got that wrong, sure the Suns had had a fright in the third quarter but I was sure that they would ultimately prevail. Had to leave the broadcast again and holy bloody hell upon my return found they had lost by 5 goals. At this stage I was in a household where people did speak football but their focus was more on the Lions and how it was they kept losing good players to other clubs. Well, good luck to the Sprawls, they are going OK, just hope though that the Suns can get some inspiration from somewhere, say the Sprawls.

Meanwhile I was getting the idea via carrier pigeon that the Cats were being mauled, or perhaps more accurately pecked to death by the Crows. In truth I reckon that Adelaide barrackers, i.e. the whole of South Australia minus the few Port renegades, might have been a tad disappointed Geelong were able to pull the margin back a bit. I know that I was, particularly given the beltings handed out by the Cats in recent years. Has Geelong had it? I doubt it, the season is yet young and there were some significant outs. Pretty encouraging though for Adelaide, perhaps this is the year that South Australians will emerge from their captive misery.

My own personal captive misery was made even more captive, more miserable, by yet again another capitulation by Brisbane. I have to say that I never seriously expected them to win but even a half red hot go would have been nice. Collingwood had a percentage booster, ouch, that hurts. And now the Lions will be underdogs against the Sprawls, how much worse can it get? By the way, just glancing at an article in The Courier Mail I see the screaming headline “Tame Lion Cubs must lift their game or be axed”. To be replaced by…?  I ask, as was pointed out by that paper’s sporting  editor, Paul Malone, half of their so called champions are playing for what might be termed the seconds. Yet look at Adelaide, have there been many wholesale changes in that team this year compared to last? The question has to be asked, not who should be axed but why those who are on the fringe have not realised their apparent potential?

Richmond, ah Richmond, you Tiges are starting to tease. Up to two weeks ago the Swans were fabulous but now you too have plucked their feathers. What will happen to you next week, oh yes that is right you are playing Essendon best of luck. Sydney can’t win at the MCG, doesn’t do their finals prospects a lot of good.

Essendon easily beat the West Coast Eagles but as James Hird observed, their top players were out. Any Essendon barracker would be delirious at this result none the less; after all they had inflicted the first West Coast Eagles loss for the season.  I didn’t hear anything about it until the next day; personally I was horrified but not surprised.

North Melbourne were surprise losers to the Dogs. I viewed a bit of this game and thought that it was a well deserved win, The Kangaroos seemed to lack tow but perhaps this is because they were simply outplayed.

Fantastic Freo win, not because of the opposition, but because it puts them back on the winning list and the Pav got his 500th. This is a bloke who has probably sacrificed chances during his career to switch clubs and possibly hold the premiership cup aloft. He hasn’t and I reckon that he is an inspiring leader. As for Port probably the worst passage of play so far this decade occurred when a player on the half back flank short passed back to full back, unfortunately straight into the arms of an opponent who promptly kicked a goal (which for some reason not obvious to me was recalled, lucky Port).

I don’t like the concept of Monday night football as  sometimes it is possible to have too much of a good thing spread over too much time. I doubt that Saints fans would share this thought though. They were terrific and played against Carlton in the same way that the Blues had played against some other sides at the start of the season. Where were Yarran (not playing?) and Gartlett? Their equivalents for St Kilda whom I had never heard of, that is Ahmed Saad and Terry Millera played the sort of footy that I assumed the aforementioned Carlton players would manage all year. Milne played a great game as well dammit! The Blues might have been it but again could not kick straight.

Week’s highlight: Essendon.

Low light: Brisbane or the Suns, take your pick.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer

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