What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The round started with The Bluebaggers come from behind win against the dogged but ragged Tigers on the Thursday night.  Friday night’s clash between two September contenders droned on until the time keeper could stand it no longer and rang the bell with The Handbags in front by TNPM.  The Pies continued where they left off in 2010, against The Other Magpies. The Mayblooms squandered a 30 point lead to go down against The Free Settlers and the team strongly fancied for the Coveted Timber Trophy scared the living daylights out of the team fancied to go one better, up under the palms.

Come Sunday and it was time to unveil The 2011 Model Bombers; they blitzed The Doggies in a frightening display of Shock & Awe that gave notice that all the opprobrium of 2010 was worth it.  The Dees & The Swanees slugged out the first tied result of the season and West Coast edged out The Shinboners in a tight, seesawing & entertaining tussle over at Paterson Stadium.

So what do we take from Round I 2011?  No Premiership Hangover at Victoria Park.  Excitement level up around that 11 mark with four results that went down to the wire, two of which were decided in the final minute, including the draw.  A couple of ominous walkovers, the second of which sent a shudder through The Competition.  Have we underestimated the return of Bomber & Hird to Whingy Hill?  Is it too early to talk of Fear & Loathing and The Northern Scum again?

The new rules don’t seem to have made much difference – or have they?  Too early to tell, but can anyone remember an opening round in which so many players sustaining major injuries?  Sickening injuries to Joel Selwood and Jonathon Brown were accidental, but long term injuries to La Cras, Shultz, Staker, & Porplyzia were in the run of play.  One or three household names there, eh?  If the attrition rate continues it’s going to be last man standing by Round XXIV – literally.

And the question has to be asked, what was the players’ union doing when the Ayatollah and the Angry Ant made the changes to increase fatigue to their members?  Imaging trying to get that past John Halfpenny or Jack Mundey.   Any nuclear physicist would tell you that intensity in the face of increased fatigue demands more frequent replacements.  But then the Awful Football League isn’t known for its nuclear physicists, only its nuclear reaction to every bee that buzzes around the Ayatollah’s head.

And while we’re on the thinking processes of the Awful Football League, we’d like to thank Jimmy Stynes for his moral compass.  Yes Jimmy, allowing the New Clubs to recruit 12 months in advance does endorse deceit.  The only question remaining is – why has it taken so long for someone to say so?

Other news from around the venues tells us that The To & Froms have been bundled out of the event over on the Sub-continent, as have those perennial chokers Seth Efrica.  And with the departure of The Saggy Greens in the quarterfinals, the pressure is building on Andrew Hilditch & The Punter.  Red Bull # 1 driver Mark Webber blames dirty spark plugs for his 5th at Albert Park.  Could it be time for Mark to clean his own spark plugs – at another stable?  The Aussies cyclists continue to shine over in Apeldoom with gold to Shane Perkins in the Keirin and Michael Freiberg in the omniun.

But enough of my gabbin.  Let’s see who made the run in Round I.

Geelong City v St Kilda United.  Half time score St Kilda United 2 Geelong City 1.  Fair dinkum, if you thought Thursday’s Pipeopener was lack lustre, you should have tried this one.  Six goals 13 behinds will lose you most Football matches on a dry day above U10 level.  But at the Elite Level on a dry night the 2007, 2009 Premiers outlasted the 2009-10 Runners Up to win by a point with that exact same score.  To be honest, we turned off the set and went to bed not long after Farren Ray skittled Joel Selwood.  (And let it be said here and now – TWNII*)  Later, listening on the radio we marvelled at the ease with which The Moggies turned the match on its head – and probably St Kilda’s season as well.   True the margin was as narrow as it gets, and true the shock turnover in the Shadow of Full Time provided a final twist to a sorry tale.  And true it was a physically bruising contest, but in a way that country football between Traditional Rivals is bruising.  The play itself – again except for Geelong’s extraordinary three goal burst in as many minutes – was excruciatingly dull.  The Saints get a chance to slip into gear next Friday night at THOF when they tackle The Tigers.  For The Victorious Cats it’s over to The West for a crack at the Stevedores.

The Collingwood Magpies v The Port Adelaide Magpies.  Apart from a 3rd Quarter flurry, Carringbush never looked troubled against Port Power and ran out easy winners to share top billing on the Premiership Table with Essendon after Round I.  And on the form and commitment displayed on Saturday, it is a position they look likely to hold throughout the 24-round season and beyond.  Nary a sign of a hangover.  Every sign of hunger for an era.   The Homeside wasn’t disgraced so much as overpowered.  The move to Adelaide certainly hasn’t done Tiger Tambling any disservice although Tiger Schultz’s season took a major setback when the big forward did a knee.  The Maggies have North away next Saturday Arvo.  Port hosts The Weagles in the late afternoon.

The Pride of South Australia v The Mighty Fighting Hawks.  Turn the clock back 20 years and you have déjà vu all over again as The Crows mount a 50 point turnaround to embarrass The Hawks in front of the Baying Adelaide Mob.  Once more we saw a player subbed.  The Porpoise badly wrenched his shoulder and could take no further part in the game.  Viewers in the Leafy East would have been wishing they could have subbed Big Buddy.  He booted a Richoesque 2-6 when his team really needed a Jumping Jack-like 6-2.  Dare we say it?  It’s going to cost someone a Flag one day.  Along the trendy Glenferrie Road there are mutterings that The Mustard Pots may have taken this one a bit casually.  Nominal & Spiritual Skipper Hodge stacked up a pile of stats with Box Hill when he could have been stoking the boiler over in the Shadow of Mt Lofty.  The Squawkers have the Battle of The Mergers for the late on next Sunday.  The Chardonnays have the bye.

The Boys From Old Fitzroy v The Barry Crockers. The Bagmen would have been getting ready to laugh all the way to the bank until Big Jonathon Brown went down from a sickening collision with Luke McPharlin’s knee.  Even so, The Lions fought it out to the very last and many will argue that poor maggoting cost them the four points.  It looks as though The Lion’s Pride has been aroused and future trips to the balmy South Pacific Shores may not be the percentage builder we all expected only a few days ago.  The Longshoremen slink home to host the other close winner from Round I: Geelong.

The Bad News Bombers v The Sons of The West.  By the first change of ends it was looking ominous for the Kennel Coughs.  The only question was could The Dons sustain the pressure?  By half time Laurie Levy was calling for Hugh Wirth to step in with the blue syringe and put The Doggies out of their misery.  Cautious Students of The Game will be pointing out that the outcome may tell us more about Footscray than Essendon, but out along Puckle Street the word is Bring on Collingwood.  Hille & Ryder dominated the rucks, Mrs Watson’s Little Boy Jobe led from the front and Professor Gadget proved that vintage and age don’t necessarily mean the same thing.  The Bombers had strengths everywhere, while The Bullies just couldn’t get a look in.  Next Sunday the Dons are guests of The Swans at Opes Prime Stadium.  The Tricolours host The Maroons an hour early at the Little Ground at the end of Bourke Street.

The Redlegs v The Sydney Swans.  Steak & Kidney led all day and should have had The Fuchsias well and truly buried by the Citrus Huddle.  Both sides looked exhausted and Melbourne managed to overhaul the fast fading Bloods, only to watch Ryan O’Keefe snapped the equalizer with less than a minute to go.  Neither side disgraced, although the Sydney Coach would be livid his charges hadn’t put the contest beyond Melbourne’s reach long before the sapping Final Stanza.  Next Sunday The Swans host The Resurgent Bombers.  The Dees have The Hawks for the twilight match at The G.

The Coasters v The Shinboners.  The Eagles gave notice that they’re not going to be the easybeats of last season when they rose to the occasion at Paterson’s Stadium.  There was ample evidence of a new strength, a new determination and a new purpose at West Coast.  Todd Goldstein’s pre-match withdrawal wouldn’t have helped North’s cause, but West Coast were without the height & mobility of The Nat.  A trip across the Nullarbor is always a difficult gig, and the Shinboner Coach would be disappointed with the outcome.  Next Saturday they host The Reigning Premiers at Ethelred Stadium.  For the Coasters it’s a trip to the City of Light to play Port Power on the Saturday night.

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

* TWNII – There was nothing in it, Jimbo.

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. Stevedores? They’re just up posh wharfies aren’t they?

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