The Wrap – Round 2: The Death by a Thousand Cuts Round



What a round it’s been in Footy Eddie.  The Tigers raised the curtain on the round with, apart from St Kilda’s opening goal, an all the way win.  The Gold Coasters put up a spirited display against TRP but it was only their scoring accuracy that prevented a massacre.  The Stevedores blew away any semblance of a Bulldog Revival in the Opening Stanza to win comfortably.  Brissy blew a Citrus Break lead to let The Chardonnays pop their cork in the Closing Stanza.  Port Power had a convincing win over Sheedy’s Shenanigans but the Fred Hesse Annihilation Scoreboard went to The Flying Pharmaceuticals, as they systematically dismantled the Melbourne Football Club.

Come Sunday and The Pussies kept the Easter Miracle alive with another back from the dead win.  The Figjam Maggies had Mickey singing The Blues, and The Hawks removed another of the seven veils covering the nakedness of The West Coast Eagles’ Premiership Pretensions.

When it comes to Melbourne where do you start?  (You could start with the shameless way Essendon sunk the slipper into a defenceless opponent – Ed)  That’s a given oh wise and bountiful Editor.  Anything to divert attention from their own murky medical machinations.  But firstly, where’s the President and the CEO flanking the coach at that fateful Post Match?  The fish rots from the head.

Secondly, who’s calling the shots around there at Jolimont Park?  Who cleared Green, Pettard, Rivers, Moloney, McDonald, and even McLean?  Ricky Pettard was amongst Richmond’s best on Friday night, McLean is in the leadership group at Carlton, (Not sure about being in the leadership group Wrap, but he certainly has had a lot to say – Ed) all the others are getting regular games in sides that have far deeper lists than The Irredeemable Redlegs.  And McDonald would have made a great development coach had he been made welcome.

As a kid learning about the history of the game I discovered that a club called University was so bad that it had to be dropped from The Competition.  As an adult I witnessed the death by a thousand (VFL/AFL) cuts of Fitzroy, another foundation club.  So wither goeth the MFC?  And this underwrites the whole sorry saga.  They can’t keep going the way they’re going.  Mark Neeld’s demeanour during his pre-match address to the team – so unwisely videoed live  – and his Post Match conference displayed the body language of a broken man.  This is well beyond a glib ‘you’ve got to get back on the horse’.  We’re talking about a human being in crisis.  And a football club beyond disarray; this is a total rout.

Now as much as we all get off on the schadenfreude, the deeper implications are more perturbing.  Fifty thousand odd turned up on Saturday night, but they were mainly Whingy Hill ghouls seeking some cheap glory.  That will soon wear off.  So what does The Great Helmsman do when his ground management clients, concession holders, and most important of all, his contracted media clients come knocking on his door seeking discounts, and heaven forbid, even refunds?

It’s clear that the MFC requires a top-to-bottom makeover.  They certainly can’t afford to pay out the old coaching staff and management team and install a totally new executive and staff.  Nor can they re-invigorate the playing list – not without a fairy godmother and several truckloads of stardust.  And who would want to trust their career to this mob anyway?

The perfect fit would have been Mickey the Maltster.  He was out of work and was busy telling us that the Stalled Ox looked longingly at the unploughed field.  He could have shown us what a truly great coach he really was by taking the Casey Fields Basket Cases to TLSIS – over the journey of course.  And what a market coup it would have been.  The Ayatollah could have poured the loot & the players into the club in the name of promoting The Game and paved their fixture with a long line of pushovers – starting with the Nar Nar Goon 3rds.  Ah, the lost opportunities.

You know what Nurelle, that’s not a bad idea– basing the team in Auckland for three months and giving them 12 successive home games.

Of course there’s been some light-hearted correspondence about all this, that under the new equalization scheme, Essendon should be made to share the windfall percentage.  (Don’t be too hasty on the light-hearted Wrap.  The envelope had a Clifton Hill postmark – Ed)

Any else pick it up?  Richo has a grin from ear to ear when he’s doing the post match interviews with the Richmond Players.  We have it on good authority that he’s tried sucking lemons, but that obviously hasn’t worked.  We’re waiting for the Eat ‘em Alive Tigers to slip out one week.

But enough of my gabbin, let’s see who’s was the gone through after Round II.

Struggletown v The Long Suffering Feeling Faints.  The suffering was always going to continue for one of these iconic teams.  If The Tigers had gone down, the wind would have left their sails.  For The Saints it would mean the diagnosis of Dr Ablett and the Sun Clinic was reinforced.  Sadly, for those who trace their heritage back to the Junction Oval, it was Tigers on the up and Sainters on the down.  And down it was.  They had no counter for Jumping Jack Riewoldt who slotted a lazy seven to his cousin’s four.  Cousin Nick, the crap Riewoldt, drilled four straight and ran around the ground a lot, and even though Alex Rance wore him like a glove, he was instrumental in getting his team back into the contest.  But too much was left to the Old Brigade.  Richmond on the other hand looked the more balanced and enthusiastic side out on the paddock on Friday night.  True, they failed to put The Feeling Faints away, but even when there was only a straight kick in it, you could sense that The Tigers were going to prevail.  As we said last week, they’ll only improve as the season goes on.  They’ve recruited well, early draft picks are maturing and got a few back from injury.  It’s early days of course, but they’re off to the best start they’ve had for several seasons.  Their program continues next Sunday for the early one against The Sons of The West on the Shifting Sands.  For The Sainters, the rebuilding continues up at Manuka next Saturday when they take on GWS. It’s difficult not to view this as a watershed mark for their season.

Steak & Kidney v The Gold Coast Sons.  We had a good captain cook at The Suns on Saturday.  They’re unrecognizable from the kids running around in those netball strips a couple of seasons ago.  Even as recent as last year.  They’ll worry more than a few this year.  But they didn’t worry TRP, who only got better as the match went on.  They swap the balmy shores of Botany Bay for Hobart Town next Saturday as guests of The North Melbourne Football Club.  The Metermaids host The Lions on Saturday night.

The Boys of The Bulldog Breed v The Dangerous Dockers.  The outcome was never in doubt and Fyfe would have had to have notched up the three Brownlow votes on offer as the major possession winner for the Victors, but our votes would have gone to Libber for his 28-possession game.  Eighteen of them were contested.  Wouldn’t it be great if he brought another Fairest & Best Medal into the family?  The Doggies have The Tiges for the early one next Sunday.  The Dockers are back home The Ladder Leaders on Friday night.

Brissy v The Free Settlers.  The Crows were all but stoned at the Final Huddle, but somehow they mustered enough energy to make The Gorillas look like howler monkeys by the end of the match.  Big Tex was more a liability than an asset, but Dangerfield lifted The Chardonnays for a much needed away win.  The Maroons can take heart from their performance, but the GAS Cup Hangover still haunts them.  They slip down to the Metricon next Saturday night for the Local Stoush.  Adelaide have The Showdown on the Sunday arvo.

The Marshmallows v The Fuchsias.  The Good Old Marshmallows won.  Next Friday they’re off to The West as guests of The Anchormen.  The Fuchsias host the other Perth side at the Traditional Time & Place.

Port Power v The Drive-by Giants.  A basket case last season, Port are second to Essendon on percentage this season.  Melbourne take note.  Someone else who should be taking note is The Free Settlers.  They have them in Showdown XXXIV next Sunday.  The Penrith Pygmies are off to the National Capital next Saturday.

The Pivotonians v The Shinboners.  Wo’happend?  The Shinboners seemed home & hosed when they were running rings around The Moggies.  A rushed behind off a 7-goal to the good at the Long Interval, they squandered in the space of four minutes.  They forged ahead again and seemed to have the arm wrestle under control when in the shadow of full time Jimmy Bartell was given a free dead in front, 30m out.  Someone had to win this Battle of The Twins.  Or the Battle of The Blue & Whites, if you like.  In fact it was hard to tell the coaches apart when they attacked the ground management for not having the roof closed when the rain came.  But this would have been a heart-breaking loss for The Norsemen.  With a great chance to open their 2013 account, they lost concentration for the second week in a row.  As for The Cats, they’ve used up two of their nine lives already this season.  They have The Winless Bluebaggers next Saturday night under cover for a home game.  The Kangas drag TRP down to Blundstone Arena for an early start on Saturday.


McGuire v Malthouse.  This had everything that the pre-match promotion had built it up to be.  The Silvertails looked to have Collingwood’s measure and went into the Final Stanza with a healthy, in the context of the game, margin of 10 points.  When Jolly cracked a bunch of ribs in the first five minutes it gave The Kreuzer an armchair ride in the ruck.  He punched the ball out of the centre square on several occasions.  At one stage The Blues were 3 goals to the good and looked to be doing it easy.  Collingwood weren’t handling the ball cleanly and even though it rained at times, they were being well beaten overhead.  Cloke was well covered and they missed the magic of Daisy Thomas and Andy Krakouer in attack.  Quinton Lynch had to take on the entire Carlton rucking division and was having to cover a lot of ground.  But around at Victoria Park they’ll tell you, when the Boy pulls on the The Black & White of Carringbush he becomes a man.  And didn’t Young Jamie Elliot become a man on Sunday?  (Now there’s a footballer’s name, Jamie – Ed)  He finished up with 5 majors and 3 score assists.  This is the second time in the two rounds this season that an undermanned and injury depleted Magpie Outfit has found the GAD to pull off an unlikely victory – this time in the Inaugural Mick&Eddie Cup.  You’d have to be leaning toward the view that the Buckley experiment is on track to being one of the smartest moves Eddie’s made since he wrote off those haemorrhaging pokey pubs a few years back.  As for The Miseries, twice now they’ve jumped the opposition and been blown away.  This time Walker had three six-pointers beside his name before The Pies had caused the twin calicos to be raised at their end.  Even in the Last they drew within striking distance of The Maggies, but were unable to get in front.  Next Saturday night they’re under cover against The Cat o’ Nine Lives.  Zip & 3 wouldn’t have been the start the Silvertail Hierarchy had envisaged, nor the Blues Brothers for that matter.  And while you’ll have to take our word for it that it gives us no pleasure to have to record this, but in the interests of honest & courageous reporting we must.  In both these matches they were in winning positions.  The Maggies host Hawthorn for a 15.15 start on Sunday at The People’s Ground.

West Coast v The Mayblooms.  From one Famous Victory to another.  With a fortnight’s rest against an opponent that had spent a fruitless Sunday the previous week trying to herd Cats, not to mention playing at home, The Eddie Eagles were expected to have an easy win.  They were blown away in the Opening Stanza and never really recovered.  Make no mistake; this was an emphatic win.  West Coast were just about everyone’s favourite to at least make the Granny, if not take the Flag.  This is the second successive week in which they’ve been soundly trounced at home.  With just 19 points the margin at the Citrus Huddle, The High Flying Eagles were expected to storm home against  the tiring Mayblooms.  They kicked 3-2 to the Mustard Pots’ 8-3.  Now that’s not a bad score in any quarter of football, let alone a Final Term over in The West when you’re running on empty.  Big Cox has lost his influential presence, and Nick Nat Nui, it is rumoured, has personal problems.  Their forward line was all but non-existent and their midfielders lackadaisical.  They don’t seem a happy bunch of campers over there at Subiaco and a trip to the East Coast may be just what the doctor ordered.  They face Melbourne on the rebound, but we’ve seen more rebound from a Mexican jumping bean than The Weagles are likely to face on Saturday at The G.  The pressure doesn’t let up for The Squawkers.  They face Carringbush on The Big Stage on Sunday.

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

Let me leave you with the wisdom of Oscar Wilde & Malcolm X.

I don’t want to go to heaven. None of my friends are there.

A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

And try this one next time you get stuck in the lift at the Eureka Towers.

A man takes his Rottweiler to the vet.  “My dog is cross-eyed, is there anything you can do for him?”

“Well”, said the vet, “Let’s have a look at him”.

So he picks up the dog and examines his eyes, then he checks his teeth.  Finally he says, “I’m going to have to put him down”.

“What, because he’s cross-eyed?”

“No, because he’s really heavy”.

Boom! Boom! Now we can all get some sleep.

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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