View from Shepparton: Round 8

By Peter Schumacher

I reckon the the games in Sydney and Adelaide prove that footy is the best code of all.

A few years ago Kevin Sheedy asked why people would be bothered watching a game where one or two goals might be scored when they could watch our game and see many goals being scored. Yes of course there is always tension in the round ball game as moves and counter moves are made to get the ball into the net, but to me this is in some ways “contrived closeness” because so few goals are scored. As scoring is so much easier in Australian football, close games such as occurred on the weekend provide real excitement. Tredders did a Leo Barry to save Port — and he kicked seven goals.

I was really baracking for Freo on Friday night. Once again bad shots for goal when it really counted let a side down. Have to say that I did not recognise a lot of the Freo players as so rarely do they get a gig on free to air, but the team looked to me to be on the up even though they lost. Credit to Hawthorn for winning away and certainly if Roughead doesn’t get you then Franklin (or Williams) must. Some pundits said that it was not a convincing win but the Hawks looked OK to me. Pavlich played well again.

Geelong were far too good for North Melbourne although the latter went OK after half-time. Whether this was due to Geelong releasing the pressure or North Melbourne lifting their game was hard to say. Geelong might be a decent team when Ablett, Ottens et al come back. Hate to play them then.

The Western Bulldogs with the Brisbane escapee played pretty well but Melbourne sure gave them a decent game. Hard to know how good they really are, Footscray, but 5-3 is OK; a few other teams can just wish!

Including Adelaide against my mob, though the Lions looked like they could get rolled during the first half. That would not have made my weekend, I have to say, but then good old Bradshaw got going — gee, that bloke can play. Really rotten to lose Patfull, though. And how did he get that broken jaw? One of these days I am going to get pay TV so that I can see these things. Bad luck for McLeod on his 312th; he played really well also.

The Sydney-West Coast game was brilliant, as was Adam Goodes. Trying to rough up Hall would be tantamount to trying to catch a rattle snake, but rather than striking he put the score on the board, and good on him. Wasn’t too impressed with the jab that Jolly received in the last quarter. Very reminiscent of the going-over that Riewoldt received at Brisbane all those years ago. Such incidents scarcely show the game in its sporting glory.

Essendon played well above expectations against St Kilda but were never going to win. Brisbane play the Saints at Etihad Stadium next week. Who on earth dreams up these stupid bloody names for footy venues?

Carlton were far too good for Collingwood to the relief of most of us. Perhaps the Pies really are being crueled by injuries. Can’t blame Mick for wishing that Judd played for Collingwood. Surely in the greater scheme of things he (Judd I mean) could have gone to Brisbane!

According to Mark Williams, Tredrea played his best game ever for the Powerless, and that is what it took to get over the really gutsy Tigers. I reckon that Richmond are a melodrama in themselves, fair dinkum.

Finally, as alluded to previously, we will have another chance to see how good Brisbane really when they play St Kilda this week. Hope that the Lions’ effort against Geelong was no template in that regard.

About Peter Schumacher

Wannabe footy commentator and writer, used to be a wannabe footballer


  1. Richard E. Jones says

    PETER: why do we A. Rules fanatics — Sheeds is just one example — get so defensive when talking about our footy compared with other codes ? Is it becoz as one football (soccer) follower once said to me: “You blokes get your overseas trip when Vic. plays Tassie. You get to cross Bass Strait !!”
    I suppose as a sports writer I got to cover a multitude of sports, and have loved soccer since childhood. A parallel love with Aussie Rules, which after all isn’t the code accepted throughout our own nation however vocally the Vic. media trumpets its cause.
    Rugby league rules supreme in Qld. and NSW.
    I’ll give you 2 anecdotes. In Egypt last December I was scrolling through some English Premier League results on a hotel website (in a Red Sea resort, actually) when some local hotel employees asked about the footy I grew up with.
    Words weren’t nearly enuf so I drew them a diagram. You know, the oval shape with four sticks at each end and little crosses down the oval showing where the 18 men on our side were.
    When I started putting in red marks for the opposition 18 they burst out laughing.
    Eighteen men on the paddock — and those just your players. You must be jesting.
    When I told them you got one point for missing the main target they considered me a fairy-story teller. So I desisted. Do we have the only footy code in the world, nay the only sport, where you’re compensated for missing ?
    Point 2. I took our London-born son-in-law to the G one Easter. The Cats were playing Richmond. By half-time Geelong was leading by a heap, and Richo had barely had a kick.
    Are we going to sit through another half when we already know the result, was the plaintive query.
    Think of it. How many times do you and I go to the footy and the four, premiership points have already been decided at the 10-minute mark of the 2nd term.

  2. Peter Schumacher says

    Hi Richard,

    Thanks for the feedback, always appreciated I have to say.

    You make some good points particularly when you provide a reminder that unlike soccer the results of the Australian game are frequently, indeed dare I admit it, “mostly” known a long time before the final siren. Yet to me this can be looked at from the other point of view, that is when there really is a close game in ‘Rules, there is nothing more scintillating. I half believe that soccer riots sometimes arise out of sheer boredom. In making this comment I am aware that there is a lot more to crowd violence than that, for example ethnic tensions or trouble makers whose main aim in life is to do just that, cause trouble, they don’t give a damn about the game.

    I am succumbing to another point you make, the perceived need to immediately get defensive about the Australian game, and in truth I don’t know why I for one feel this way. Perhaps it is frustration in the fact that for me I honestly believe that it IS the best game, yet this view is not even shared across this country let alone anywhere else. Just think how it would be if the game was played internationally, (or even in Western Sydney!) would love to see for example how some of the black athletes around the world would go.

    In fairness I absolutely do appreciate other sports, who can forget Australia’s qualifying for the world cup last time round, it was fantastic to be part of the country’s sporting culture when that ball was netted. The country was behind the team then and what a collective sigh of frustration and disappointment it was when that Italian bloke took the fall after Australia had pushed them all of the way, no worries about the AFL or anything else then, it was one of the most disappointing moments in Australian sport.

    I would be remiss in this context not to mention Rugby League, despite the terrible press the ARL has been getting lately (and that could lead to a whole new debate, suffice it say that if I were died in the wool supporter I would be sickened by some of the behaviours being talked of), sport doesn’t get much better than the State of Origin clashes.

    Rugby is a bit of a mystery to me but I do remember that conversion by John Eeles, produced the goods when under real pressure, another great sporting moment for the country.

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