The View from Shepparton Round 20

by Peter Schumacher

Help, I am in a footy wilderness in South East Queensland surrounded by football atheists and infidels who do not follow the game. Worse, they do not support the game and are largely indifferent to the game, indeed they are largely indifferent to any sporting competition at all believing it to be a waste of time which could be better spent doing something, preferably that something being something which brings in income. Thus all of my observations are made in something of an alien stronghold as it were.

On Friday night whilst driving between enemy positions I managed to listen to some commentary on a local Brisbane station. I was shocked and horrified, though in truth not particularly surprised having seen Essendon’s feeble performance at the Anzac Day game, to hear that the Bombers were being belted yet again. Joffa could have had his gold (why isn’t it black and white?) jacket on at quarter time. Cloke got 5, how many points did he score? Only 59000 at the G must have been atrocious weather, (here today on the Gold Coast it is 25 degrees). Alternatively, Essendon supporters might have seen the writing on the wall meaning that 58,000 of those present were Magpie barrackers. Make the most of it all youse; Geelong will get you in the grand final.

On the other hand the Port West Coast game only attracted 14,000 must have been cold in Adelaide as well, certainly nothing to do with the Power’s ever decreasing support base. So they got over the line by a point. Port seem to be in a bit of strife though with Dean Laidley not soldiering on next year. On the other hand they won’t finish bottom. How the mighty have fallen.

Fremantle seem to be continuing in free fall, injuries have done em in. I got as much joy over Sydney’s victory as one would kissing a sister. Perhaps the Swans are now the last great white hope of the interstate brigade. Rotten luck for McGlynn with his new club. He first came to my notice when he got 5 against the Crows in Adelaide in what I think was the first round. Hannebery is starting to get going and Jack and Jedda are striking form also. The good thing is that they are youngsters around which a really good team might be constructed.

I look at yesterday’s Oz for most of my information on this round but must also acknowledge the Courier Mail for some of my “stuff as well.

For a short period of time I was able to keep up with the Geelong Bulldogs game in the first quarter but as reported by Patrick Smith, Tim Lane reckoned very early on that the Cats were finished as a force. I felt exactly the same. Imagine my amazement at the final result, and indeed the realization that Geelong had scored 10 goals in the second quarter. During the time I viewed the first quarter Ablett was doing nothing and as I recall comments were made to the effect that over the past few matches his form had been down a bit, perhaps this being a legacy of the uncertainty regarding his playing future. The Bulldogs are simply “not there” when it comes to these big matches. In view of the fact that all of the teams I sort of support have long since fallen by the wayside this year I have great faith that Geelong will be premiers this year.

Carlton had an easy win against Richmond. How disappointing has the latter’s season become. The Blues run so hot and cold that one cannot take their final’s chances very seriously. Cousins played well, it is such a shame that his career has been messed up by his off field activities. I had thought that Judd had been off the boil lately but he obviously came good this time around.

Riewoldt has finally really struck form; this is great for St Kilda followers and indeed the game. Always like to see players who are coming back from serious injuries regain their skills and influence. North Melbourne didn’t have much to cheer about but they have exceeded expectations this year anyway.

Melbourne finally lost touch with the finals after succumbing to Hawthorn. Was really hoping that they would get up because of the Jeff factor but at least this gave Clarkson the chance to tell him to go get…… Burgoyne has been a great get for the Hawks; wish that some of my mob’s recruits would have shown the same sort of promise. Aaron Davey has busted his leg. Another champion out, gee sport is cruel sometimes.

I watched the Adelaide Brisbane game on TV. I had hoped to be at the Gabba as I have many happy sporting memories of this ground which I reckon is the best of all to see the footy and cricket but unfortunately was unable to do so.

It was a great game which showcased many stars of the future with particular reference to Banfield for Brisbane and Tippett for Adelaide. The latter, though, exemplified the malaise of shocking kicking for goal which seems to affect all clubs. It was really disappointing that Brown could not play. In the end the better team won but I reckon that both will do better next year. Mitch Clark caused Adelaide real problems, particularly in the first half. Brisbane should have won this game at home particularly given the fact that they were clearly the superior team in the first quarter particularly. Brennan missed a very gettable goal which would have given Brisbane the lead and possibly the momentum in the last quarter.

Punter reckons that he wants to keep on going. Just hope that he doesn’t outstay his welcome.

About Peter Schumacher

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

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