The Wrap Report – Finals’ Edition IV: Ninth no more

 

 

THE WRAP REPORT – FINALS’ EDITION IV

For the Philosophical Marngrook Follower

NINTH NO MORE

 

A Toyota 2017 Premiership Season to remember.  Oh what a feeling indeed.  Here in the Wrapcave we’re trying to be objective, but the subjective superlatives keep leaping off the keyboard. We’ll try to keep the lid on it here at Wrap Central Wrappers.

 

On Game Day we’d parked the Wrapmobile in a quiet place in East Melbourne made available to Wrap writers and typesetters in that quiet leafy domain.  (Halfway between The G and the All Nations, it’s proven to a handy spot for a quick getaway more than once Wrapster – Ed)  It was quite early in the morning and the few Crows who’d managed to get a payday loan to cover the gouging airfares and accommodation were wandering around under a high overcast. It wasn’t clear if they were looking up at the tall buildings or trying to guess what the weather was going to do, but the most worrying thing was that despite the extortionist charges, they were still getting through. They were out in numbers too big to ignore.

 

The All Nations opened the door early for the LSPRF and the joint was jumping by 10.30 and the shuttle buses started rolling around midday.  There was optimism in the air.  There was hope.  There was a quiet confidence that The Tiges were cherry ripe and ready for the fray.  After all, since their Round IX flogging by today’s opposition they’d only dropped three matches – and one of those was a lapse of concentration against The Feeling Faints and the other two against Geelong and Sydney.  In the same period, The Crows had dropped 5½ matches and struggled against The Bluebaggers.  Both teams had shown great form through September, but little did The Tiger Army realize what was about to unfold.  No-one did.

 

The pre-match entertainment.  Hard to make much of it really.  The sound was blurred and the enthusiasm fabricated.  (It wouldn’t have been if they’d been able to decipher the words and hear the music clearly – Ed)  From the Wrap press box, it looked suspiciously like they’d given away enough tix for a mosh pit and a background of flag-waving punters.  No one else seemed to be all that moved by it. Even the fans in the moshpit were surrounded by security to prevent them wandering off.  And then when 100,021 Football Fans wanted to join Mike Brady in Up There Cazaly, no one was sure where he was up to.  The appalling football league could be well advised to seek professional help next year.  Rock bands don’t work on the PA of a 100K capacity venue.  And the words of Mike Brady’s classic Football anthem could have been run across across the big screens, and the bouncing ball employed to get the sing-along going. Let’s just put it down to another thing they squander our money on to placate their egos around at Jellymont House, and do poorly. Ironically, the after-match blast was everything a rock concert should be. (Jack & The Riewoldts stole the show I hear – Ed)

 

From the mailbox I. Why is it that Gil doesn’t scrap the entertainment that all footy followers can go without thereby saving a lazy $1m, and by doing so, deny the cappo corporates the entertainment they can pay to watch in concert. By declining to provide $1m worth of price-loaded tickets to the them, the Gnomes Deep In The Bowels of Jellymont House would be able to give those tickets – at face value – to members of the competing clubs.  Revenue neutral for the AFL and the loss to the undeserving corporates who have no interest in footy. The loss of these corporate urgers would  be compensated by the unmitigated joy for footy club members, and lovers of the sport.  We couldn’t read the signature, but the return address on the envelope was Downright Lie & Procrastynate – The Battlers’ Counsellors.  There was some other stuff in the letter about the appalling football league staying out of politics and getting the MRP sorted out, before it wandered off into a diatribe about Coach Hardnose being shown the door quicker than Tony Jewell after The Tiges collapse in a screaming heap next year. We can only hope his search for Splinters of the True Daniher brings comfort to his tormented mind.

 

From the mailbag II.  This one came in from the grade II kiddies at Wendouree Primary.  Thanks for that children, and may your respective teams do well next season.  Especially all those Little Bluebaggers who are doing it so tough right now.

 

R – is for rightly so, as in The Tigers will be Premiers again next season

 

I – is for an Incredible performance in lifting from 13th to Premiers in a season.

 

C – is for the Courage Benny Gale & Peggy O’Neil demonstrated at the end of 2016

 

H – is for Humility, as only they can do it at Tigerland

 

M – is for the Momentum that carried The Striped Marvels through September.

 

O – is for the perpetual Optimism that pervades all those who stood on beer cans at The Punt Road End.

 

N – is for Never Again Ninth.

 

D – is for Desire for the Pigskin that has carried The Tigers to the Ultimate Victory in 2017.

 

Stone The Flamin’ Crows Death Look.  Oh really?  Looked more like a line of strutting bantam roosters.  All that heavy breathing and chest-puffing.  It may have worked if they’d been able to back it up with some action.  Across the aisle, The Striped Marvels looked totally relaxed.  Some were chewing gum.  Some were mouthing the words of Advance Australia Fair.  Some were looking arounds the stands.  All were relaxed & smiling.  All linked with their brothers.  It could have been a group photo from Tobruk, of a platoon posing in front of a burnt out German tank.  When they broke, they just patted each other on the chest, leaving The Crows standing there looking for all the world like an excavation pit of terracotta warriors.  (You didn’t go with The Crows on a barbwire fence line, Wrap? – Ed)  That mob-fisted, death-stare stuff may be something they could consider when they get around to their debriefing out at West Lakes.

 

When the two lines of players moved to the last huddle we got some more schoolboy rah rah.  The Crows moved into a circle that looked like it had been marked out with a compass by the ground staff for them while Big Tex gave them their last pep talk.  It all looked a bit structured; a bit corporate workshopped.  The Tiges leant in as a loose unit huddled closely around their Skipper.  The difference in the two teams couldn’t have been starker.

 

Wha’ ‘appened?  In simple terms Adelaide, you got mugged.  This Richmond Outfit is superbly trained and superbly fit.  And mentally tough.  You underestimated the Richmond bottom six, and may well have overestimated the Adelaide top six.  And while there were plenty of examples to observe during September, you weren’t prepared for the Shock & Awe that is The Tiger Blitzkrieg.  Pure and simple, you were outgunned, outgeneralled and outplayed.

 

And judging by the look on Don Pyke’s face as the Premiership Medallions were being presented, he realized it.  You should be able to sell tickets to the Crows de-briefing.  There’ll be more fireworks there than The Chardies set off on Saturday, and the club could collect a motza in door money.  But they’ll need to get it right, because what comes out of it will set their course for 2018.  If they don’t come back to contest TLSIS it’ll be a shaky time for the coaching staff out there. It’s not hard to lose your way in the AFL jungle, and there’s plenty of teams that are going to get better next season.  (You still tipping Collingwood’s going to be one of them Wrap? – Ed)  If you want to talk about it Ed, Collingwood, St Kilda, Footscray, Hawthorn, Carlton and Melbourne will all have better seasons in 2018.    Geelong and  Sydney won’t contest September.  Put it in the time vault.

 

Superbly fit.  The Striped Marvels were at the peak of fitness.  Consider this: they ran hard all day, covering twice as much ground as their Adelaide counterparts.  That means they were present at twice as many contests as their Adelaide counterparts.  In other words, they had twice as many players on the field.  Or so it would have seemed to their Adelaide counterparts.  Bachar Houli was everywhere.  Shane Edwards the same.  Anyone bother to count the times three Tigers got up from a pack and there was just the one Crow at the bottom of it?

 

The steak knives.  But the Fitness Team at Punt Road delivered more than that.  Consider this: Dylan Grimes has played 104 games in eight years; not because he’s a battler, but because he’s been injured.  David Astbury has played 85 games in nine years; not because he’s a battler, but because he’s been injured.  Nick Vlastuin has spent huge slabs of time in the Medical Room over the last couple of years.  This backline stayed intact right through the season (Except for Bachar’s little indiscretion – Ed) and this has played a significant role in the Tiger Blitzkrieg Game Plan.  Hands up anyone who can remember the fantastic – by the standard of the times – fitness of Tommy’s Tigers.  Apart from the fact they’d run through brick walls for him, they actually could.  This Tiger Outfit – touch wood – had a terrific run with injuries in 2017.

 

Then there was the discipline Tony.  Each Tiger had a role to play, and they never wavered till the final siren’s call.  Let’s stick with Astbury and Grimes for a perfect example.  They both sacrificed their own game to play a team role.  The Chardonnays’ attack pivots around Big Tex and The Hon. Edward A. Betts.  The two Tiger Defenders spiked Don Pyke’s big cannons and that was about the end of it for The Crows scoring power.  Sixty points in four quarters of Football on a dry day was the end result.  Everyone in Yellow&Black had a role to play, and they stuck with it to the letter.

 

The Opening Stanza – Sloane got the first boot to ball of the match – a toe poke from the bounce, but technically the whistle had gone and the first kick went to The Cosh, a free for holding.  He promptly gave us the first turnover when he kicked straight to Rory Laird.  When The Pride of South Australia had the first two majors on the board within the first five minutes – one to Sloane & one to The Hon. Edward A. Betts – it looked like everything was going plan.  The Tiges fought back, but two red-time snags had The Crows lead into the first huddle.

 

However, Astute Students of The Game would have noticed one thing – Jack was up and about.  In this column’s match preview, we had this to say – Let’s not forget The Jack Factor.  He’s been quiet through the series, and at the end of last week’s match it was hard to read his emotions.  Was he disappointed with himself, or just in a state of shock that The Tiges had made it through?  He had no reason to be disappointed.  He contested the packs, which, as the sole big forward, was his major responsibility, but we all know Jack thrives on limelight.  Should he get away from his usual two minders, it will not only ignite TLSPRF, it could help The Tiges get up.  Jack had clunked a couple, one a screamer over the pack, and taken a snap after some sparkling ground play, but had only raised the two calicos – one at each end – with all three conversion attempts.  (How many times do I have to tell you Wrap?  Don’t try to be clever; just call a behind a behind – Ed)  If Jack can drop the F bomb to a national audience on daytime television surely I can have a bit of license on The Last Saturday in September Oh Mundane Masticator of Meaning.  If he’d slotted those three it would have been a massacre instead of just a Boilover.  That he was up and about was threatening enough.  It certainly gave Talia, Lever and and Laird something to think about.

 

The Second Stanza.  It was around 10 minutes in when a couple of Astute Students of The Game exchanged glances and observed that The Pride of South Australia were not taking the game on.  Chipping responsibility 20 metres forward, backwards and sideways told the tale.  These two were prepared to call it.  (Come on Wrap; fess up, one of them was you – Ed)  Anyway, four goals to zip saw the Tiges going into the Long Break with a slight edge on the scoreboard, and while the lead was only 9 points, the psychological advantage would have been massive.  Nevertheless, what was to follow was unexpected.

 

The Championship Quarter.  Five goals to one will do it every time.  The Striped Marvels broke The Pride of South Australia here.  They were sublime and The Long Suffering Punt Road Faithful were besides themselves with delirium.  If it wasn’t for a BS 50m encroachment penalty to the Adelaide Captain, The Most Potent Attack In The Competition (TMPAITC) would have been held goalless for the middle half of the match.  And this was a Grand Final, for crying out loud.  At the Almanac Grand Final Lurch it was predicted that if the Tiges could hold The Crows in the first half, they’d pull away from them in the second.  And this is how it panned out.  (That’s it Wrap.  It was you who made that prediction.  I’ve had enough of your faux humility.  Come around to the office on Thursday and collect your cheque; and piss off back to Mulga Park, or wherever it is you crawl off to each Winter – Ed)

 

The ride home.  When Jack got onto a penetrating kick from Lambert and converted, it was good night nurse for The Crows.  The Wrap Publications press box was amongst the Adelaide Cheer Squad banners at the Ponsford Stand End, and they took it calmly.  This had been a very tough day for them, and to a man woman and child, they’ll carry the scars for life.  For the LSPRF it was the opening of the floodgates, in more ways than one.  Bursts of Yellow&Black could be heard around the ground, and grown men and women were tearing up everywhere you looked.  The Adelaide Fans were stoic about it, and the Richmond Fans tried to console them as best they could when the Croweater Faithful trooped out after the presentation; after all, the LSPRF been down there on the floor themselves, and fully understood the gut wrenching agony that comes with this sort of humiliation.

 

The Captain’s Speeches.  They may have been a further revelation of the difference between the two clubs.  The Crowbot Captain’s words to the Adelaide Supporters were curt –  borderline churlish, but certainly graceless.  These poor buggers who had made the banners and waved the floggers all year, had followed you around The Fatal Shore in all weather, and at great personal cost, had just sat through three hours of utter shame that you and your team of flogs had just served up, and that’s all you can come up with Tex?  Maybe you’d only prepared a victory speech, which is more the pity, and more revealing.  But surely you’d had plenty of time to think about what you were going to say as the losing captain.  These honourable souls deserved more, lots lots more.  In case those who may have been opening a beer or pouring a cup of tea missed it, we’ve decided to paraphrase it here for you.  Thanks for coming, sorry the food was crap, goodbye.  I’m serious; he spent more time bending down to the microphone than he spent addressing the LSWLF*.  (You saying The Crows are badly led Wrap – Ed)  Let me put it this way Oh Fallacious Fiddler of Phonics, The Richmond Captain had tattooed on the palm of his hand what he wanted to say and who he wanted to thank.  And before you start with some wise-acre crack about tattoos and Struggletown, he had them tattooed on his palm because he’ll probably be making the same speech again next year, and the year after that again.  The captaincy might be something they look at during their debriefing over at Crow Park.

 

The Clash Strip.  There’s no doubt it will look okay on the highlight reel, but there are options, you know.  The AFA Wasps – before they were invited into the AFL in 1908 – wore a Yellow&Black vertically striped jumper.  That would surely be an optional alternative design.  Or at least drop the canary yellow and go for a deeper, richer yellow – more of a reddish gold tone – with a black sash.

 

Gamble responsibly, and if you read it in the Wrap you’ll know it’s not crap.

 

*the West Lake Faithful Cheer Squad have applied for Long Suffering status, but at the time of writing, it hadn’t been verified.

 

(And that Wrappers, was all we have from him.  I hope I haven’t hurt his feelings. He’s such a fragile sensitive thing, but at times you just have to pull him up.  We know we can get a message through to him via the Pooncarie Pub, but apart from that, his whereabouts remain a mystery.  Let’s see what happens next season when the acrid smell of briquette smoke mingles with the sandalwood scent of belah, and the sweet thunk of Bata Scouts sinking into Ross Faulkners can be heard across the nation – from the Meanstreets of Struggletown to the shaded cul-de-sacs and crescents of The Leafy East – from the cobbled bluestone lanes to the never ending plains – among sandy hummocks and by still waters – under pines and palms and the Shadows of Mt Lofty – and dare we say it – from sea to shining sea – as the WideBrownLand awakes from slumber – Ed)

 

As The Long Dark Summer falls across The Wide Brown Land, we end this meeting of Marngrook Philosophers with the silent prayer –  May next season be your season.  And if it’s not next season, there’s always the one after that.

.

READ MORE GRAND FINAL PIECES HERE.

 

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.

Comments

  1. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says:

    Like your team, you timed your run to perfection this year Mr Wordy Wrappinghood. Bravo.

  2. Joe De Petro says:

    Great stuff, Wrap. I agree with your comments on Tex Walker. It is a line ball as to who contributed most to Richmond’s victory. Was it Josh Jenkins or was it Tex?

  3. Wraaaaaaaaaaaap! I am surprised you weren’t called to the dais and presented with a premiership medal.

    YOU TIPPED THIS.

    What a brilliant couple of days.

    Some ripper observations amusingly conveyed in your epistle.

    Looking forward to discussing your contributions to The Tigers’ Almanac 2017 – which is being compiled as we speak.

  4. Sorry Joe, I missed Jerker Jenkins. He really did contribute in a big way.

  5. Dear Mr Wrap,

    Please see your returned draft marked “unfit for publication”. I know that the Almanac has indulged you for many years, but we cannot allow such fantastical ramblings to be published as if they were fact in a journal of record like the Footy Almanac.

    Next you will be wanting us to report Santa’s flight schedule on Christmas Eve; or the Tooth Fairy or Easter Bunny; or Dusty Martin helping old ladies across the road with their shopping.

    I thank you for your recommendations re Viennese clinics and Dr Freud. Given the obvious lack of success with your previous treatment I won’t be taking up the suggestion.

    Personally I put your delusions down to all the myxied rabbit you’ve been trapping or the pesticides in the cod washing down the Darling from Barnaby’s plantations. I suggest you repair to Darleen’s pub in Pooncarie and flush it out of your system. (Don’t tell her I sent you or my forwarding address).

    I trust Mr Harms will accept my editorial recommendation.

    Regards and wishing you a speedy recovery. Have a Bex and a long lie down. When you wake up the natural order will be resumed. Hawthorn are premiers and Mrs Wrap is no longer into the cooking sherry. I am still awaiting her Rennie Ellis portrait from p.3 of the Truth circa 1968. I’m also awaiting my reply from Heartbalm.

    Peter B

  6. Darlene says g’day, and to tell you the twins are doing fine. But she would like you to up the maintenance a little. She thought it was going to be on a weekly basis, not just your winnings when you back West Coast to win a Flag.

  7. Bob Morrow says:

    I know all this is supposed to be funny but ” H is for Humility ” ???

  8. Yes, but if you want any Bob you’ll need to get in early. Next year it will H as in Hubris.

  9. Brilliant Wrap. Does the Wrap Cave have electricity? If so the stereo system would have got a workout with repeat plays of the new 45 called “Oh We’re From Tiger Land”.

    Glad you mentioned Tex’s non-speech. I hope his mother gave him the rounds of the kitchen when he got home. Straight to bed and no dinner. Oh, and shave the bum fluff off your top lip!

    Where you one of the overly refreshed individuals on the roof of a shop in Swan Street at about midnight? Dangerous stuff even for a Tiger.

    Well done on a great season. The Tigers will have under-achieved if they can’t win two in a row.

  10. Stainless says:

    Great stuff Wrap and looking forward to further great words in the Tigers Almanac.
    I’d throw Daniel Talia into the mix of Richmond match winners if for no other reason than to put to bed once and for all the spurious notion that he’s The Best Negating Defender In The Competition (TBNDITC). Frankly I’ve always regarded Talia as a statue compared with Rance, Astbury, Grimes and plenty of other lively backmen from other clubs. But on Saturday I reckon he may just as well have stayed where he was for the national anthem for all the contribution he made to the game. Jack ran rings round him.

  11. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Dizzy heights Wrapster. Apparently some think you’re the worst team to ever win a flag. You’ll have to go back-to-back now.
    Congrats mate, terrific write-up on a momentous day for your ‘Marvels’. Well done.

  12. Phil & Dips, thanks for the heads up for next year. We were going to let one of the other clubs have a go, but if you feel we should go back-to-back, back-to-back it shall be.

  13. H for Hubris nearly says all that needs to be said. Reading The Crowvertiser for a week gave the distinct impression it would be a waste of time TLSPRF even turning up. But an excellent report Wrap and best wishes for travelling mercies en route to the Pooncarie Pub, wherein I had a reasonable (about 6.5/10) pizza a few years back. But you also have missed the chance for a Chaplin sledge!! Still waiting for the Rulebook report to include same… Finally, many thanks for your mob’s effort, from the Cockle Divers of Port Misery, around whose campfires very small hopes had flickered for the last month.

  14. Yeah Bucko, you’re right, we haven’t heard much from Rulebook. Anyone been around to check on him?

    I’m afraid there’s no Chaplin sledge from Wrap Central. He was perfectly behaved over here in Vic. He didn’t shag anyone’s wife or family pet. He listened to Molly, and didn’t do drugs. He helped old ladies across the road. And he didn’t push any teammates under a bus.

    Speaking of The Crowvitizer, what did they have to say about The Pride of South Australia’s recent holiday jaunt to Bleak City?

  15. So the Chaplin modus operandi improved after retirement? Strange.

    The GC jaunt was deemed a master stroke before the GF, now…. Bit like the haka stare, OK while you win, look bit silly if not. Many unpleasant words since Sunday morning, some too harsh for sensitive souls such as yourself. Much carping about the hitherto sainted Pyke, Jenkins, Betts, Walker et al, even a suspicion that some of one’s own bath water may have been swallowed. A near mutiny in some quarters, being mostly ignored by The Crowvitizer which guarantees they will improve next year. Lever decision will distract for now, the chardies will have something else to moan about as the ginger nuts sink into the Twinings.

  16. As the ginger nuts sink in to the Twinings …. love it. You feel there may even be some pearl clutching in some quarters, too Bucko? No one burnt in effigy on Wigley Reserve yet? No bodies found floating in there Torrens?

    I must admit, I’ve been a bit of a fan of The Pyke. Caught him on Footy Classified last year and was very impressed. It turns out that what I was impressed by wasn’t what was going to beat Richmond’s Shock & Awe Blitzkrieg.

    They’ll be back, The Crows, but waking up is much easier than catching up. I reckon The Striped Marvels have got another Flag, or even two, in them before the rest of the competition catches up. Dusty Martins only come along once in a generation. And the rest of them aren’t half handy either, eh?

    It will be interesting to see what The Chardies take from this season. The Hon Edward can’t be getting any younger, and that much vaunted forward line would need to spend the pre-season on a couch somewhere in Vienna. Or in front of the mirror.

    Then there’s Lever’s desire to be out of there.

  17. Perhaps seven in a row. Then go for the St George record of 11. I can see free agents lining up at the Punt Rd door to play with The Tiges. One a year for a decade willing to play for board and beer money just to share a locker room with Jack Riewoldt.

  18. H – as in Hubris Mr Harms? You sly old Sleepy Hollow Handbagger. You won’t get us lifting the lid on it that easily.

  19. Pearl clutching, twin-set burning, knee rugs turned into dog beds, dart boards re-discovered, apricot slice recipes burnt, you name it, it’s all the go here. Lever bizo beginning to turn unpleasant, some water to flow under the Morphett St. bridge yet there. You are right about the forwards, selection may have been partly to blame, Jenkins swap for Tippo anybody?

    They will be back and still hard to live with, but at least no chocolates for the time being.

  20. Haigh’s Chocolates or Menz Fruchocs if you please Mr Wrap. If you are going to mock Croweaters get your preferred parochial products right. Or I’ll come around the Wrapcave and force an Abbots Lager down your throat. I think I’ve found Mrs Wrap with Sir Frank Downright before she did a Dangerfield and ditched him for you.

  21. Keep us posted on the Lever situation et al pls Bucko. We love a good Snowtown story over here in the East.

    How did you know I was an Abbot’s Man Mr B. They just don’t make lager like that any more.

  22. Bob Morrow says:

    I can remember when you went to a party & everyone put their beer in the bath the last bottles left were Abbots. Even the bludger that brought it didn’t drink it. On stinking hot days sometimes the pubs would run out of cold bottles – except Abbots.

  23. The world is divided into two sorts of people Bob, discerning people, and those who don’t drink Abbots. Oh, and those who can claim a sighting of the copper butterfly, and those who can’t.

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