The Wrap: In the words of the Velvet Fog, they stood up in the tackle


Where Life Imitates Sport

What a year it’s been in Footy Eddie. First we must congratulate The Geelong FC for their 2009 Premiership win.  They hung tough when they had to, and were able to find that bit extra when the contest was there to be won.  In the words of the Velvet Fog – they stood up in the tackle.  This was one for The Ages, and sadly someone had to be the loser.  In one on one, that’s the way it is.  Victori spolia. Our collective hearts go out to TLSJOF.  The heartbreak was palpable, worsened by the knowledge of what could have been.  And we’ll only say this the once: BKIBF.

And what a day.  The rain held off just long enough to get the pre-match entertainment out of the way.  Barnesy was in terrific form and fitted his image, but you’d be excused for wondering if Hungry Jacks was now sponsoring Whispering Jack.  There was a little bit of nostalgia with the Peter Allen Qantas theme enticing Aussies to still call Australia Home, but what’s happened to Waltzing Matilda?  You need a good emotional choke on these occasions when 100,000 of us get together to celebrate the end of Winter.  I don’t know about you, but the Land Girt by Sea Song just doesn’t do it for me.

The SMSs started to come through after Geelong’s 2nd goal.  But once The Saints settled the phone quietened.  With three on St Riewoldt it was creating loose men in the St Kilda forward line and everything was going to plan.  But there’ll be some tossing and turning in more than a few St Kilda beds until they get into the pre-season and get their minds off those nightmarish errors.  Those lost opportunities.  And the camera grab of Nasty Milne (Of all people – Ed) winking at an opponent as he and his teammates paid their respects to the Winners after the final siren is sure to be added to his GF highlights file down at Moorabbin.

Maggot of The Year was clear cut: Umpire McBurney.  Hawkins’ smother and shot on goal, from an Iconic Zac clearance, had grazed the post.  The goal umpire raised the two fingers.  Without a review process in place, the error could only be corrected in one way.  And it was Umpire McBurney courage that made that correction.  Later, when the goal umpire raised the two fingers for a Kossie snap on goal, Darren Milburn reciprocated, claiming he’d touched the ball.  Umpire McBurney adjudicated that he’d raised the wrong two fingers and awarded a free without the ball being returned to the centre.  Wear your Harry Beitzel Medal in good grace Stephen McBurney.  You are The Wrap Maggot of The Year for 2009.

And while we’re on that, how simple would it have been to challenge the decision and have the incident reviewed by the 4th umpire?  And, in this case, have the behind awarded and the ball given to Saint Kilda for the kick-in?  From the goal umpire’s angle he wouldn’t have picked up the deflection that was clearly visible from another angle.  There’s no blame involved.  It’s umpires working as a team to achieve a fair outcome.  Isn’t that what they’re there for?  They do it in the NRL, in fact they did it at least twice at Docklands on Saturday night before we fell asleep.  Dare we say it – it’s going to cost someone a Grand Final one day.

The Norm Smith was not so clear cut.  Now before the emails start flying in – Paul Chapman, with nine votes was a worthy winner.  However, Jason Gram also polled nine, receiving votes from all five judges.  The countback based on the number of 3 votes broke the deadlock.  Now corrected us if we’re wrong, but around here in The Wrapcave we thought they’d done away with the countback as being too old school.  And wouldn’t the player who polled with the most judges be the winner?  Or if we drop the anachronism, equal winner?

As they pump up the tyres on the Austin Princess to relay The Pivotonians from Kardinia Park to Gheringhap Street to receive the keys to Sleepy Hollow for the 2nd time in three years, Geelong may quietly admit that they got out of jail this time.  But it happened to them last year so they’ll take it without a murmur.

As the pain eases down at Linton Street they’ll have accept that even though they should have had it wrapped up by Half Time, the game was still there to be won in the 2nd Half.  That they lost in the phase of The Game that has been their strength all year must be particularly galling.

But as gutting as it was to lose, they weren’t disgraced.  They’ll grow from here.  Rossy Lyon has established himself as a leader of men and a football coach.  He fessed up at the Post Match that bombing it long into attack may not have been – in hind sight – the wisest strategy.  It was in our book Ross.  Especially in those conditions.  And it would have been Ross if you’d had the ground players to capitalize on the loose ball.  It was one helluva tight game and a couple of inspirational snaps from Goalsneaks Milne & Schneider could have swung the match your way.

I was always going to take an inspirational piece of Football to break this game open.  And wasn’t it fitting that it involved Scarlett, Ablett and Chapman?  You know the passage of play.  Where Icon Zac had smothered Ablett’s kick in the centre only to see Scarlett toe poke it back up into the arms of the running Brownlow Medallist who drove it into the goalsquare where Chapman goaled from the scrimmage.

Of course Bomber was full of praise for his Playing Group and, in shades of his Whingy Hill past, displayed not a little Sleepy Hollow bravado when he threw out a challenge to The Competition to come and get them.  Don’t worry Bomber.  We will.  And no 2nd prizes for guessing who’ll be at the head of the queue.  I can think of two more who’d just love to knock you off.

Speaking of back-slappers & gladhanders, did anyone else notice Andy Maher hoist himself up onto the Handbags Bandwagon?  After expressing no disrespect to Port Adelaide for their disintegration in 2007, when saying that this 2009 Geelong Pennant was earned the hard way, he followed up by meaning no disrespect to Hawthorn when saying The Cats should really be celebrating a Threepeat this year.  You’ll understand that we mean no disrespect to Before The Game Andrew when we suggest you’re becoming a perpetual candidate for Tool of The Week.

It was not a very pleasant Sunday Afternoon down at Moorabbin.  But the 9,000 Faithful by then were able to look each other in the eye and they made the most of it.  Maxie Hudghton hung up the Guernsey and what an emotional moment that was.  No club has had a more Loyal Servant or Favourite Son.  The Football World joins TLSJOF in wishing you fulfilment in your life after Football Max.  You gave your all.

Well that’s it for Season 2009 Wrappers.  All that’s left before we hibernate for the Long Dark Summer is to thank everyone who has made the year such a memorable one.  The Fev & The Juddanaught and The Blues Brothers with their ever coming Miseries – where would we be without them?  The Unsociable Antics of the Loudmouths from the Leafy East – may the leafblowers roar as long as autumn leaves fall.  The untying of the Windsock at Whingy Hill – may it swing free forever.  Thanks to Tankers – may you snub your nose at rule makers, bureaucrats and hypocrites till sanity prevails. Let’s not forget Mick the Maltster, Fast Eddie, Figjam and all the other philosophers around at the Lexus Centre – may your Colleys Wobble like corn before the scythe.  A special thanks to our basket cases at The Two Ports: Fremantle and Alberton – there but for the grace of the Football Gods …….  And we notice that the Ayatollah and the Mad Mullah have admitted they may have acted arrogantly in the past.  We thank them for their contrition, but accept the mantra that what happens in the spin dryer, stays in the spin dryer.  We expect no change of attitude as Season 2010 unfolds.  In fact we would be lost for words without it.  A special thanks and a bravery award to all who rode the Coaches Carousel in 2009 and to the men and women who served under the Playstation banner in an array of primary coloured strips.  To Daffs & Harmsie for The Football Almanac Lunches at the All Nations, more strength to your collective arm.  And last but not least – the Pundits & Punters The Long Suffering Faithful and Students of OUR GREAT GAME – for without you there would be no character building, there would be no bonhomie, but worst of all, there would be no raison d’être.

As Vera Ling sung over the closing credits of Dr Strangelove, …… until we meet again some sunny Autumn day.

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. Enjoy the Long Dark Summer TW

    Re the song, Banjo sadly can’t afford Qantas’ rates (and that extravaganza wouldn’t have come cheap).

    I bet Mark Seymour never envisaged himself joining Farnsie on the The Voice (or did he, secretly).

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