The Wrap (11) – Where lift imitates football

And what a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Rattzbaggers made it tough for themselves by going down to Geelong after looking to be in command.  The Tiges made it even tougher for themselves by going down to the Dockers.  The Bombers made it even tougher again for themselves by kicking 1-11 in half a game of football & 2-15 to ¾ time.  The Suns eclipsed them all by making it nigh on impossible for themselves by just turning up.

Come Sunday Monday, and The Hawks won comfortably in a game not without its incidents.  The Figjams continued The Cakewalk that is becoming their 2012 Campaign.

And let it be said right here and now, if the charge against Buddy for a sling tackle hadn’t been thrown out there’d be – especially after a round of some of the worst maggoting we’ve seen all season – a valid reason to question the judgement and, it has to be said, the integrity of those entrusted with this part of OUR GREAT GAME.  Buddy’s arm was between the player and the ground for crying out loud!  What sort of training are they getting around at Maggot Central.  Come on Geach, they were going so well for half a season.  What have you been saying to them that’s got them so confused?

While we’re on about the Star Chamber, how can Ballantyne only get a week for a vicious blow to the Richmond Skipper’s solar plexus?  (Trent Cotchin suffered a mysterious arm-numbing blow to the upper arm after being in a pack alongside the same serial basher too Wrap – Ed)  And if Beames & Clark aren’t shown wrestling on the back page pix in today’s Sage, could someone please explain to us here in the Wrapcave what they are doing?  Furthermore, Alwyn Davey’s bump on Daniel Hannebery was as good a hip & shoulder as you’d want to see.  Solid?  Sure.  Right into the point of Hannebery’s compromised shoulder?  Of course.  Illegal?  No.  Star Chamber verdict?  Two weeks.

And are we alone in noting from the snippets leaked to the public that there’s a succession afoot at Harrison House?  The name Gillon McLachlan has been mentioned in passing as being ideally suited for the CEO role.  Not that it’s going to happen some time soon mind you; just that he’d be ideal for the position.  It would suggest that the Ayatollah is not the Great Helmsman for life, and that he’s setting us up so we won’t be thunderstruck when he does finally pull the pin.

It may not be premature to review what he’s brought to the game under a nine reign.

The salary for the CEO has more than quadrupled, and the League has been burdened with a bureaucratic army of hundreds.

Sold the AFL draw to the TV Broadcasters, who tell us who plays whom, where they’re going to do it, and when they’re going to do it.  For example: who in their right mind wants to start watching footy at 4.30 on a bleak winter’s day?  And how come St Kilda play The Sunbeams twice in 11 weeks in an 18 team Competition?

Overseen a series of rule changes that were not needed & no one wanted.  Rule changes that have made The Game worse.

Overseen a bureaucratically driven evaluation of how the Tribunal operates that is as a shambolic system of justice as you’d see outside Putin’s Russia.

Corporatized the venues and the Grand Final, to the detriment of the Grass Roots Footy Fan.

Boosted the involvement of live betting, of which some politicians & most community groups have been highly critical.

But the jewel in the crown has to be the expansion drive into Rugby held Western Sydney and the sporting graveyard of the Gold Coast.  A drive that has all the appearance of being a drain on The Game’s Coffers  for a very long time.  Not to mention upsetting the balance of the Competition.

There have been rumours of a holiday house on Lake Como and business interests in Brazil & India.  Are these leaked hints a sign that the Grate Helmsman’s reign may be drawing to a close to prepare us for life without him?  One can only live in hope.

We normally fast forward the pre-match preamble, but we had the 2003 Connor Park durif breathing beside the cheese board for the QBB, and the fire needed watching, so we decided to hold off on the button.  I know they made a star of Patty McGrath, but what are they trying to do with Mickey the Maltster?   Better still, there’s a prize for anyone who can tell us what the interview between Mick & the Melbourne coach was about.  And was that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the background?  Who the hell do Channel Sept think is watching?  No PR person in their right mind would serve up that pap to a football audience, and not expect them to reach for the laundry bucket.  Now we know why we fast-forward the prologue, and why my grandmother will never race ferrets.

Surely that’s not how he coached.  Or was it Eddie?

But enough of my persiflage, let’s see who’s going to be going to heaven after Round XI.

The Right Royal Parade Miseries v The Sleepy Hollow Millionaires.   Unless there’s a mighty big turnaround in form, these two teams are about where they should be.  Battling it out to see who plays in the first week of September.  That’s not to say it wasn’t a great game to watch.  Thrills & spills, highlights & bloopers, perplexing umpiring decisions, this match had it all. The Silvertails jumped The Handbags in the Opening Stanza, and if they really are the Premiership Contenders the Bluebagger Faithful have been claiming since Round III, they should have gone on with it.  They held a five point margin at the Long Break, courtesy of two 50m penalties; one a ridiculous maggoting call, the other a ridiculous error from a Geelong player heading for the interchange bench.  (Maybe he was concussed Wrap – Ed)  The Moggies, as they did last week against The Giants, turned on the afterburners in the 2nd half, but even then they seemed to be conserving fuel.  At times – and it must be of grave concern to those Sleepy Hollow Folk who have seen the Millionaires in action before – they appeared to not be taking this contest as seriously as they could.  Reigning Premiers they may be, but they’re not playing a brand of football that will get them to the 2nd half of September.  The Miseries tried all night, and may have missed the nous & ball-getting of Heath Scotland, the run of Andrew Carrazzo, the midfield presence of Marc Murphy, and the forward power of Jarrod Waite, but not as much as they missed the marking power and rucking skills of Matthew Kreuzer and the on-field leadership of Chris Judd.  For all those Old Dark Navy Blues out there, let’s hope they recover their mojo for the trip across the Nullarbor on the Indian Pacific where Ladder Leaders West Coast await them.  Down at The Cattery, as Joel Selwood said, The Bye can’t come around quick enough.

The Tigers of Old v The Barry Crockers.  Nearly 44,000 turned up at THF on one of the bleakest Saturdays so far this season – most of them Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful.  There was a Purple Ink Blob anchored down behind the City End Goals who’d come across to catch the Myer Winter Sale.  Their vibrant cheers could be heard over the echoing silence that accompanied every Fremantle goal.  Richmond got away to a flyer and the stage was set for another Tiger Victory March.  But it wasn’t to be.  The Dockers settled, and led from the front by The Pav- who unfortunately for Richmond – chose this day to turn in a blinder.  The umpiring didn’t help the Struggletown cause either.  If there was ever a reason to question the integrity of the umpiring this was it.  The Army nearly jumped the fence in the closing stages.  With The Tiges streaming goalwards, a Richmond player had his head nearly wrenched off his shoulders.  Holding the ball was the call.  It had been going on all day.  Maybe it’s the three-maggot system.  The umpiring swung from tiggy touchwood, to find a free to open the game up, to wet-weather umpiring, but it was always Freo who seemed to get the benefit of the doubt.  That aside, The Tiges didn’t help themselves by making some fundamental errors.  On a day when every yard was precious, Bachar Houli decides to transfer play from wing-halfback to deep in the diagonal defensive flank.  There was a fumble, a Docker appeared from nowhere and the turnover was a goal.  An errant Bachelor handball back into the corridor gave away another.  The Mullet attempted to awkwardly mark a Dusty Martin long bomb on the goal line that was sailing through.  What was the margin again?  The Tiges slip up the Hume to Skoda Arena next Saturday to take on The Leviathans at the traditional time.  (A long time since you’ve been able to write that, eh Wrap – Ed)  The Relieved Longshoremen have The Bye.

The Abletts v The Feeling Faints.  Ask anyone along Cavell Avenue and they’ll tell you: The Suns are doing fine.  (That’s if you can find anyone who’s heard of them – Ed)  So far no one has beaten them by 100 points.  That’s more than can be said of their fellow Cellar Dwellers GWS & MFC.  And that’s about their benchmark.  Removed from reality, the navel gazing has glazed over and they’re in a state of perpetual development.  True, it’s only their 2nd season, but they seem to be going backwards.  And the novitly of the tyro has worn thin in the Football World.  The main interest in them this season is who gets to play them twice?  But what does it say about St Kilda?  They’ve had two cracks at them now and have failed to break the magic ton both times.   We’ll find out more about The Seagulls when they meet Adelaide in the City of Light next Friday night.  The Suns get some respite when they roll out the Red&Yellow carpet for the Wandering Kangaroos on Saturday night.

The Marshmallows v  The Lakers.  Those Whingy Hill Faithful who packed the corporate tier at Ethelred Stadium on Saturday night could be excused for slipping out at ¾ time.  Their team had to kick nine goals to salvage the Four Points (Or 8-2 if you like – Ed)  They would have been half way up Mt Alexandra Road by the time they realized they’d walked out on their lads just as they were about to make history.  They made history alright.  They were the first side to record 75 inside 50s and still lose the match.  And let’s not hear too much about Dempsey playing on just as the bell rang.  Any one of the missed shots up to ¾ time would have won the game for them.  That’s 19-32 they’ve booted in the last two weeks.  BKIBF.  In fact it’s match-losing Football.  Hirdy & Bomber have a right to be filthy.  And so have the Whingy Hill Faithful.  They have next week to get over it before they take on Freo over there.  Of their last 10 games, only The Doggies, North & Port Adelaide could be considered easybeats; and Port is away.  Two of those three losses so far this season could be considered of their own making, and all three would have been handy wins in the context of their drawn.  Not that we take any pleasure in pointing this out, of course.  The Bloods have The Bye.

Port Power v The Mighty Fighting Hawks.  The Hawks did what they had to do.  It’s hard to play attractive Footy on a bleak Sunday evening in the Shadows of Mt Lofty.  The Leafblowers won the 1st three quarters and drew the last without looking like doing more than the routine things.  It was a scrappy game, and someone must have drawn a line in the turf at the New Arctic Park ‘cos there was a bit of niggle in the contest.  Buddy booted four to boost his Coleman standing.  The Mayblooms put out the welcome mat for The Boys From Old Fitzroy next Sunday.  The Tealers get the centrally heated Telstra Dome against The Tricolours for the late one on Sunday.

The Redlegs v The Magpies.   This one was never in doubt, but if you ignored the scoreboard it was a game worth watching.  After a weekend of bleak weather, Huwie turned it on for the Queens Birthday Blockbuster.   The 64,250 who went along saw Carringbush set up the match with a 6-3 to four behind Opening Stanza, a spirited mid-game comeback by The Dees when they kicked seven of the of the 11 goals scored, and Collingwood’s Final Stanza master class when they kicked nine goals straight to The Fuchsias 6-2.  It was a great game of Footy on a great day for Footy; it’s just a pity wasn’t a great contest.  And did any one notice how well The Pies played the boundary?  That’s when they weren’t going down the guts.  Melbourne can play the game alright, and they’re not frightened to get in there and get the ball, but they made Carringbush look good too often.  And that’s about the sum of it.  The final margin was seven goals.  It was six goals after the 1st quarter.  The Maggies sit astride the table, and they deserve that.  (You on the Lexus Centre  Bandwagon again Wrap? – Ed)  They have a rest next weekend while The Eagles & The Crows play their catch-up match.  The Redlegs also have some time out.

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

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.

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