Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Ch ch ch changes

Apparently the old is no longer active with the new domain. Just the kind of shambles you've come to expect from us. Until I come up with something better please redirect all abusive missives to demonblogger at

Sadly it's the best I could do at short notice, though I feel duty bound to point out that "" is still available if you so desire.

Cheerio and go Dees.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Player 0000: Premature P. Anic

I'll admit that on Thursday night I let out an audible "WHO!?" when the name Jordan Gysberts was read out as our #3 pick. Suffice to say he wasn't fancied to go that high, and most of us probably expected a forward with that selection.

Not such a big deal, after all you have to put some faith in the recruiters who are paid to analyse these things but from the reaction of our fans, and various knobs from other clubs, afterwards you'd think that we'd called out the name of the Jordan who married Peter Andre and sported some of the most ludicrous hooters in world history. Cue radio and forums being deluged with "I'm happy we got Scully and Trengove but....."

Now, explain to me what exactly is the point of stressing over the draft order at this stage? How many careers have been made and unmade before the kid has even walked into a training session? Gone are the days when kids would celebrate being drafted first by ripping into the lines and dying.

It's bad enough that people continue this insane obsession with Watts "not being worth it", but have we reached some sort of sick point in our 'cycle' that we're this desperate for instant gratification? If anyone should know about patience it's the fans of a side that has won seven games in two years. And Richmond supporters. It's like people are unable to accept a vision that doesn't include a name they're not comfortable with.

I blame the internet. Years ago you'd just sit back and deal with whatever happened. If they picked a dud they picked a dud, and if they somehow scooped up a star at number 70 then bust out the champers. Gary Moorcroft at #39? Sure, why not. Now we (myself included) spend six months plus trawling draft boards and reading phantom drafts. We read the articles in the paper and listen to endless talkback callers all recycling the same shit. Come draft day we've changed our minds on who and what we want a hundred times, and somebody has always gone ridiculously early on registering forum usernames of the predicted top picks. Then somebody you didn't expect comes out and it's the end of us. We're rooted because we didn't pick some forward that some bloke in a phantom draft said was good.

Undoubtedly we would have taken Butcher if he'd got to 11, but it was never going to happen with Port having two picks in front of us and a rancid forward line.

So with the Butch gone all the talk moved to Talia and Black. Are they any good? Fucked if I know. They're good enough to be in the top 20 of the national draft, which is well better than 1000 other people who nominated - and about 15 million of us fat porkies on their couch. Did our recruiting staff believe they met our needs? Apparently not. So move on. The future might show it as a gigantic cockup, or a stroke of genius. Right now you don't know. What you do know is that the odds of a player in the top twenty of a draft being at least half decent are fairly high. The high priest of phantom draftery Matt Burgan had Gysberts in the 13-29 range - so I'm relatively happy that he's no Luke Williams. Talk to me in two years and I'll decide whether or not to join your in dumping a truckload of chicken manure outside the club offices, but until then deal with it.

Chances are none of us have seen the kid play live, and other than a few clips here and there we probably didn't know he existed. Sometimes we've got to go along for the ride instead of trying to second guess everything. I dare say that if you went back to this time at any year since internet forums became popular there'd be similar threads about our drafts. James Frawley and Colin Garland are poster children for the phenomenon of writing somebody off because they don't dominate in their first year. Injuries aside I don't think many would criticise them now, but a couple of years ago it was on like King Kong. And we're all potentially about to be proven wrong about one C. Sylvia - one time that I'm dying to admit to having stuffed up.

One thing I'll tell you about Luke Tapscott is that he already has a stalker. Twice before the draft, and once immediately afterwards, some guy rang up SEN demanding that Richmond flick Dustin Martin at 3 and pick Lt. LT Smash instead. After explaining how he'd been calling and emailing the club to tell them about his masterplan (surprisingly to no response), he went on to say how Tapscott would be better than both Trengove and Scully. Bizarre claims, and bizarre manlove for an 18-year-old boy but at least somebody cares. About an hour after the draft he was back on saying how filthy he was that Richmond hadn't picked the Taps, and how he was sure they were going to come to regret it. That guy is going to be proven to be a genius, or will have a restraining order slapped on him a'la that bird who ran on the ground to touch Greg Stafford.

The argument really comes down to whether you believe Watts, Jurrah, Miller, Bate, Jamar (!?), Johnson (!!!!), Spencer (just testing) etc.. can kick goals in the future. Does Lynden Dunn finally get sent back to where he might get some respect? Or is he going to be lost to an ill-defined tagging role forever? Will Addam Maric pay off on his undoubted talent? Does THE CELEBRATOR return from a year off and pick up more crumbs than a vaccum cleaner? Who knows. What I am worried about is the Jurrahcane suffering from over-inflated expectations next year, see for instance the story on Channel 7 calling him "the most exciting player in the league"? I think Cyril Rioli would have spat out his cornflakes hearing that. Also realistically next year is Watts' rookie year - I expect him to be a regular, but he's not going to be the full Dial W for Watts sensation yet. Maybe the idea is to go early on a tall next year? Realistically we won't finish any higher than tenth in 2010, and even with the Gold Coast bonanza that gets us pick 17. We're more likely to be at the top end of the bottom four - meaning pick 12/10/8. So don't stress that we're trying to break into the eight next year. Maybe you'll get your monster forward in a year's time - after a season when SCULLGOVE, Gysberts and Tapscott have gained valuable experience. Maybe we'll prove that we don't need one? Who knows. That's the beauty of football. Lie back and think of Waverley.

I understand if people have reservations about what we did. Deep down maybe I do too, but it's enough to make you throw your computer through an upstairs window when you see people who think they're the great undiscovered recruiters of the millenium because they've read the trade boards and a few newspaper articles. At least wait until they get on a training track before you reach for the knife drawer. I imagine that no matter how much they deny it these kids do sneak onto BigFooty and the like for a look at what's be said. It's hard to imagine what an 18 year old, about to embark on an experience that none of us can have any understanding of, must think when they read that ZOMGPIES101 thinks that the club has made a massive error in picking them.

Another ridiculous subplot on the night involved Luke Ball. By Thursday it became abundantly clear that he was going to get his way and land at the Pies. Like a swinging voter I'd gone from not wanting him, to thinking about it, to convincing myself that it wasn't such a bad idea and back again before finally landing at a position of dread that we were going to go into the slave trade and pick him anyway.

When Jordie G's name was read out it seemed even more obvious than ever that we weren't going to pick another midfielder at 18. Which we then proceded to do anyway, and in true dramatic fashion it was somebody called Luke. Barry Prendergast, not previously known as a master of the dramatic arts, even put a pause in there just long enough to make us all - pro and anti - sweat a bit.

So, what's the difference between having a nervous breakdown over taking midfielders and having a nervous breakdown about taking a midfielder? More than you'd think. I've got faith in our recruiters that they're onto a winner - and at least you know that Tapscott has some interest in playing for us and won't be a sook about it. In the end everybody won. We got a good youngster, the Pies got a good senior player and Ball got to pose in front of a Collingwood trophy cabinet that has seen only marginally more action than ours in the last fifty years.

Our refusal to select him, lest he burst into tears and tipped over a table, did lead to one of the most ridiculous pieces of "special comments" in history. Nathan Thompson, speaking on SEN straight afterwards, suggsted that it was a disgrace that we didn't pick him because he would have slotted straight into the leadership group. Pardon? I'm no guru but at what point does refusing to meet a club and all but declaring you don't want to play for them earn you the respect of walking straight into a leadership group? Even Chris Judd's parachuting into the Carlton captaincy was done with some hesitation - and he's a modern champion who made a conscious decision to join the club. I know we've had a rough trot, but we're not so badly devalued that "pretty good but with scant interest in actually being there" gets you into our upper echelon.

The other major highlight of draft night was Michael Voss uttering this very phrase immediately after when quizzed about Matt Maguire and the prospect of him returning to his best. "I know what it's like when I got my rod out" Vossy said, obviously too caught up in the moment to phrase it in a way that perves such as myself wouldn't snicker perversely over.

Lowlight of the evening was the absolutely putrid Fox Sports coverage. How many kids expected to go in the 20's and 30's weren't in the room that night, and instead saw their AFL career launched by a graphic coming up on the bottom of the screen while Jason "Dickhead" Dunstall asked Tom Scully what he was going to do with all his money. That was when I reached for the off button (of the dodgy internet rebroadcast) and went back to trusty SEN. Apparently later they had an indepth chat with Lindsay Gilbee about the 1999 draft while the real thing was going on in the background. As an advert for shelling out for Foxtel it was right up there with the Thigh Blaster and Jamster Mobile Club.

So, the moral of this story is.. Well, I'm not sure. Most of the above seems to contradict itself every second paragraph. All I'm saying is that in this age of instant gratification, email, Farcebook, Twitter (that's @demonblog) and porn at your fingertips 24/7 there are some questions that you can't answer straight away. You can't just look up Wikipedia and find out if we're going to be any good next year or if a player is going to be a champion. Sit back, enjoy the ride and let's wait until somebody gets described as "training the house down" (aka: 'Doing a Meesen') before jumping to ten years worth of conclusions.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Back in Blog

Hey you crazy kids, is finally back at Bad news, unfortunately, for those of you living in China but top news for people who like short URL's.

A big thanks to BigFooty for giving Every Day Is Like Sunday its start, and for five years of hosting. The problem was that nobody could remember how to make any changes to the layout, so it was littered with dead links and graphics that had bored the shit out of me by 2007.

So, what have we missed in the traditional "post nothing during the off-season" time of the year?

* St. Kilda lost a grand final in heartbreaking circumstances. We covered that, but it's funny to see it in writing again.

* Brock McLean was swapped to Carlton where he will presumably go bananas and make us look silly. Still a good move though.

* We then attempted to use pick 11 or 18 on Luke Ball, who has precisely zero interest in joining us. Everyone gets knickers in knot about better than average player.

* Blogging idiot breaks elbow and finger playing in a forum game. Melbourne, at least, win.

* SCULLGOVE all but confirmed as our 1 and 2 picks at the draft. Fans whip themselves into a frenzy about who else we're going to get - every player in the world named at one point or another on an internet forum. I think even I got a mention at some point.

* Kane Tenace and Mitch Thorp train with us. If both drafted - which is about as likely to happen as world peace - that would mean we'd have the following draft picks on our list;

1 - Watts/Scully
2 - Trengove
3 - Sylvia
4 - Morton
5 - (McLean would have been handy here)
6 - Thorp
7 - Tenace
8 - Meesen

And we're still shit..

* I hit the wall working on Demon Wiki. New information is being added, but I've had to take a break from trawling the archives for old stuff. Feel free to chip in.

Anything else? God knows. Make sure to Twitter-up and follow @demonblog for actual proper updates. Over and out.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Liquid Football '09

If you've never seen any of the Alan Partridge shows then you're robbing yourself. It's almost certainly the funniest character ever invented in the history of anything.

And somewhere a genius decided to merge Partridge and Jurrah. Result = genius.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

End of year thoughts

So the season is officially over then. Could have fooled me, I thought it was done a month ago. Observations from Grand Final Day

* Obviously nobody bothered to check how "Cup Cam" would look on Mark Ricciuto.
* The 'entertainment' was rubbish as usual. Has anyone noticed that other than the title of the song Holy Grail has nothing in common with footy and everything to do with people dying horrifically? Even Mark Seymour was singing it in a half-assed fashion.
* Should we make a Grand Final I'll quite happily sit in Hurricane Katrina-esque conditions to get a seat without paying $5000.
* I'll be having Colin Sylvia for the Brownlow next year but he probably won't be back in the Grand Final Sprint
* But at least he didn't almost go tits up on the starting line like Mike Pyke.
* I take back everything I've ever said on here about Tom Hawkins after I bet on him to kick the first goal of the last quarter.
* Sucked in St. Kilda

And what of Brock McLean? Even though there had been some internet whispers about the deal I've learned that 99% of those are usually total bollocks. It was certainly still a shock when I got in my car and heard it.

I'm not too concerned. Brock is a good player, and will be very handy for Carlton but if we're going to draft one - probably two - of the best midfielders in the country somebody's going to have to shift. McDonald is almost certainly in his last year, but I wouldn't be messing with Moloney, Jones or Sylvia anytime soon so something had to give. He was ordinary this year but with a full pre-season and some class players around him he'll kill it at Carlton. Wouldn't you rather be kicking it at Fev (off the sauce variety) rather than our dog's breakfast forward line? Of course I said the same things about Chris Johnson and he continued to be ordinary but this time we've been compensated. Don't ask me to give you any phantom drafts or wishlists but here's hoping there's a KPF/ruckman around there that we can use the pick on. Everybody - hopefully - wins.

Of course this having come true means that the next 99 rumors you hear (Davey, Jurrah etc..) will be utterly false.

P.S - Demon Wiki is now more than 4100 pages strong. Check it out - I know what I'll be working on in the off-season.

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Demonblog's end of season spectacular

Whoa, I almost forgot to do this. Spending too much time working on Demon Wiki. I've been concentrating on the 70's for the last few days. My god if you're like me and weren't even alive that decade then kindly join my in shutting the fark up about having three (four? five?) poor years in a row, because some of the heartbreakers people (you know who you are, and you're hardy souls) had to put up with back then was RIDICULOUS.

Witness for instance Round 22, 1976. Having not played in the finals since 1964 all they needed was to beat bottom placed Collingwood and have minor premiers Carlton rumble Footscray at Princes Park. The Pies were duly dispatched but the Dogs held a lead all day and everyone gets miserable. Carlton fight back and things start getting interesting - they level the scores and... the game ends. A draw and the Dogs are into the five and Melbourne out. Some measure of a reverse was effected in 1987, but Jesus H Christ 9 years and spoons galore are a tough price to pay for some muppets from Parkville not being able to get the job done.

ANYWAY, back to the present. The format for today is as follows. First - links to all the matches this season. Secondly a recap of the awards and full awards history, and finally the "The Good, the Bad and the Neither Here Nor There" awards. And here's your host, TV's Ugly Dave Gray;

And tonight he's joined by the Blankety Blanks Choir. Entertainment truly befitting a spectacular like this I'm sure you'll agree.

PART ONE - That was the season that was
Pre-Season Preview Spectacular - where Ray's Tent City failed to be named major sponsor at 1000-1.

NAB Cup Round 1 vs Hawthorn - "New Year, Same Team" - Where we almost won a meaningless pre-season match against the premiers but threw it away like clowns before losing to a goal kicked from an obvious hand in the back. Little were we to know that the hands in the back rule would get as much respect from the AFL umpiring fraternity in 2009 as Porkys got from Oscar voters in the 80's

Practice Match vs Sydney - "50 Ways to Lose A Match - Where I refused to go to a family reunion so I could attend Princes Park and find out whether or not John Meesen actually existed.

Practice Match vs Brisbane - "Mystery Match Mania" - where I didn't go to Cairns but somehow still managed to come up with votes for the Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance.

Practice Match vs Footscray - "How 'bout That Drought?" - where somehow I managed to not be able to go but Jane, Andy and Gabrielle bravely submitted a match report from conditions not seen since Hurricane Katrina.

Round 1 vs North Melbourne - "One Is The Loneliest Number" - Where a moderately negative tone caused some cockhead to devote a whole thread on BigFooty to whinging about it.
BOG - Kyle Cheney on debut.

Round 2 vs Collingwood - "In the event of a major disaster the season management plan will swing into immediate action" - Where a Pies fan took genuine offence to over-use of the term 'spastic' shortly before one of their spastic fans belted Nathan Jones' dad.
BOG - Aaron Davey

Round 3 vs Port Adelaide - "Chasing AAMI" - Where I went out on the pish in Adelaide alone the night before, had two hours sleep, watched us get thrashed, sat in Adelaide airport for five hours in a depressed state and considered turning Every Day Is Like Sunday into a fringe festival show.
BOG - Brad Green

Round 4 vs Richmond - "Bring Your Quarter To The Slaughter" - where we won, we really did. And the guy sitting next to me was so depressed about being a Richmond fan that it almost made me feel better.
BOG - Brock McLean

Have you ever wondered why I always write players names out in full? I have. Don't want to confuse you with all the other Cheneys, Daveys, Greens and McLeans in our side afterall. It's a legacy from the Febey/Febey, Lovett/Lovett, Viney/Viney era of the early 90's.

Round 5 vs Adelaide - "The Truth is Out There" - where we scored three goals could have won. The government are still investigating the tapes as we speak to work out WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON.
BOG - Brent Moloney

The next Saturday I almost ran over Brad Miller who was fanging a BMX around the back streets of St. Kilda. Don't say anything, my mum loves him.

Round 6 vs Geelong - "The Foregone Conclusion Cup" - where we avoided being flogged by a massive margin despite Gary Ablett kicking a goal after 9 seconds. The first sign that Geelong weren't as good as the last couple of years.
BOG - Davey (2)

Round 7 vs West Coast - "Go West. Lose. Come Back. Lose Again" - where we could very well have won our first game west of Victoria for years but botched it. Also where I watched dodgy internet live streaming for the first time and sat there for four quarters wondering what the hell was going on.
BOG - Nathan Jones

Round 8 vs Footscray - "Dog Day Afternoon" - where we pushed the second straight flag contender to a close game and suddenly started to think we weren't so bad after all despite being 1-7.
BOG - Moloney (2)

Round 9 vs Hawthorn - "Armpit vs Deodorant" - where I debuted the #34 Stefan Martin Experience jumper just in time for him to snap one from the pocket. Also the night where Russell Robertson effectively ended his Melbourne career with one of the most ludicrous attempts at playing on in front of goal EVER.
BOG - Colin Sylvia

Round 10 vs St. Kilda - "Golden Showers" - where I pulled out of going because of a lack of money, and thank christ for that too because watching St. Kilda keep us goalless in the second half would have being depressing. First threat of the season to fill my pockets with rocks and walk into the sea. Offered the chance for somebody to write a guest report and for the first time ever nobody wanted to - smart people.
BOG - Jared Rivers

Round 11 vs Collingwood - "Crusty Demons of Shite" - where we shamefully debuted Jack Watts for nothing more than financial gain and were rewarded by being flogged. In a mystic vision of the future I declared that West Coast, Port, Richmond and Fremantle were the only teams we could possibly beat. Three correct and one moral victory. I also won a "Name a Game" DVD off SEN which almost four months later I've still not received.
BOG - Sylvia (2)

Round 12 vs Essendon - "The Royal Shaft" - where Watts kicked his first goal, the Jurrahcane lit the Dome up and we still got belted. Our only Friday night game of the year and rightly so too.
BOG - Sylvia (3)

Round 13 vs Brisbane - "Northern Exposure" - where I was suckered into providing a preview which accurately predicted we'd lose. Spookily accurate. Demonlogy's George_From_The_Outer came through with the guest report and votes but unfortunately for him had to sit through the game to give them. I went to a trivia night and managed to win whilst simultaneously swearing under my breath while listening to the radio.
BOG - Stefan Martin

Then there was a mid-season review which came about three weeks after the middle of the season. It appears that I got so excited writing about Mark Jamar at one point that I completely forgot to finish a sentence.

Round 14 vs West Coast - "One for the Boss" - where we all got a bit teary about Jimmy, and where I managed to scab my way into two corporate boxes at two different games in the same day. End result = blind but that was all at the second game. Yelling "go home you bastards" out the window now seems futile given that there was nobody down there.
BOG - Jack Grimes

Round 15 vs Port Adelaide - "Here I am! Rock You Like A Jurrahcane!" - when Port proved themselves to be the flakiest bunch of slops ever born and the lost man Lynden Dunn managed to rort the worst 50/free-kick of all time out of Chad Cornes. Somehow Port still almost made the 8.
BOG - Cameron Bruce

Round 16 vs Geelong - "Back to Life, Back to Reality" - where the antics of the Geelong based commentary team made me want to commit felonious homicide, but where we learnt that Geelong has a different husband/wife team of idiots advertising Wombat Gully Plant Farms. Also when I left ludicrously early for the first time since 1990.
BOG - Davey (3)

Round 17 vs Sydney - "Capital Punishment" - where nobody watched us at the game, and after quarter time nobody watched us in the pub I was at. We almost won but it took noted goalkicker Matthew Whelan to float forward and boot one to do it. Take note forwards.
BOG - Cale Morton

Round 18 vs Richmond - "2009 Melbourne International Tank Festival" - where I made the most inspired decision in history to leave at half time for a star studded movie premiere and somehow missed the most potentially soul destroying finish in the history of footy.
BOG - James McDonald

Round 19 vs North Melbourne - "You Can't Stop The Horror" - where Rohan Bail had the shortest AFL career in history (30 seconds), Lynden Dunn continued to get shafted in stupid matchups and Darren Crocker actually won a match. Nobody was there, it was shit.
BOG - Matthew Bate

Round 20 vs Fremantle - "Interstate visitors, Melbourne welcomes you" - where I made a last minute decision to ditch a lucrative day of work and join 13,000 other idiots in getting wet and cold. Thank christ too because we played our most slashing football in years, I wouldn't have wanted to miss that.
BOG - Davey (4)

Round 21 vs Carlton - "Monumental Moments in History" - where we suffered one of the better big losses over the past few years and Jamar finally had 6 kicks in a game. Not to mention five goals. MAIGOD!
BOG - Mark "The Beast" Jamar of course

Round 22 vs St. Kilda - "It was all a dream" - where we scared everyone, including our own fans, into thinking we were going to win for a quarter before falling to pieces and winning at the draft. Jamar upped his PB to 7 kicks and I fell in love. Then we got all a bit teary again about Robbo, Wheats and Wheels leaving.
BOG - Sylvia (3)

And that was that. Let's take a moment to look at those we've lost this year.

PART TWO - The Awards Ceremony
Welcome back, and welcome our special guest host for this part of the night. The Dancing Man of Kew Junction.


Who is, coincidentally, a massive Melbourne fan. No wonder he lost the plot. Now, a recap of the leaderboard.

30 - Aaron Davey (WINNER: 2009 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year)
27 - Brent Moloney
25 - Colin Sylvia
23 - Matthew Bate
20 - Mark Jamar (WINNER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
19 - Nathan Jones
17 - Cale Morton
16 - Brad Green
15 - Cameron Bruce
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Jack Grimes (WINNER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Rising Star Award)
11 - Ricky Petterd, James Frawley (WINNER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
10 - Liam Jurrah, James McDonald
9 - Jared Rivers, Russell Robertson
8 - Matthew Warnock
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Shane Valenti
5 - Kyle Cheney
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan, Neville Jetta
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

The honour boards are therefore as follows (brackets indicate opening price)

Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year
2005 - Travis Johnstone
2006 - Brock McLean
2007 - Nathan Jones
2008 - Cameron Bruce
2009 - Aaron Davey ($8)

Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year
2005 - Nathan Carroll and Ryan Ferguson (shared)
2006 - Jared Rivers
2007 - Paul Wheatley
2008 - Matthew Whelan
2009 - James Frawley ($22)

Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year
2005 - No players eligible.
2006 - Matthew Bate
2007 - Ricky Petterd and Michael Newton (shared)
2008 - Cale Morton
2009 - Jack Grimes ($4 fav)

Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year
2005 - Jeff White
2006 - Jeff White [2]
2007 - Jeff White [3]
2008 - Paul Johnson
2009 - Mark Jamar ($3)

Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance
2008 - Aaron Davey
2009 - Cameron Bruce

The All-Time Leaderboard is as follows,

125 - Cameron Bruce
121 - Brad Green
109 - James McDonald
104 - Brock McLean
81 - Nathan Jones
80 - Aaron Davey
72 - Travis Johnstone
68 - Matthew Bate
66 - Brent Moloney
64 - Russell Robertson
59 - Colin Sylvia
49 - Jared Rivers
43 - Brad Miller, David Neitz
35 - Jeff White
34 - Cale Morton, Adem Yze
31 - Nathan Carroll, Matthew Whelan
24 - Nathan Brown
23 - Paul Wheatley
21 - Mark Jamar
18 - Shane Valenti
17 - Lynden Dunn and Byron Pickett
16 - Chris Johnson (ineligible for anything due to being a ****) and Ricky Petterd
15 - Ben Holland, Stefan Martin, Daniel Ward, Paul Johnson
12 - Clint Bizzell, James Frawley, Colin Garland, Jack Grimes
11 - Simon Buckley, Ryan Ferguson, Matthew Warnock
10 - Daniel Bell, Austin Wonaeamirri, Liam Jurrah
8 - Clint Bartram, Simon Godfrey
6 - Shannon Motlop
5 - Michael Newton, Kyle Cheney
4 - Alistair Nicholson, Phil Read (oh philthy, why did I mark you so harshly?), Jamie Bennell
3 - Neville Jetta
2 - Addam Maric, Guy Rigoni

Thanks Dancing Man, we'll be back after these ads.

"Buy a membership you clowns"

PART THREE - The other awards

- The Stynes Administration
Goes for him, McLardy, Schwab etc.. Finally everyone is on the same page behind a universally respected figure. Record membership and making in-roads into debts. Hopefully he's recovered and back in the drivers sooner rather than latter. If you're a Twitterer make sure to follow the great man @jimstynes . Then follow us @demonblog

- Matthew Bate
Already a key member of the side. Takes a good mark, kicks a good set shot and brings other players into the game. Does all the things I dreamed one B. Miller would do. Completely unknown to opposition fans but threatening to break out and do all sorts of crazy shit next year.

- Aaron Davey
Had a bad run when opposition teams worked out what was up to but is still one of our most reliable players. Still, I miss his freakish goalkicking. Can I not dream of a Jurrah/Wonaeamirri/Davey forward setup?

- James Frawley
Great year. Developing into one of our better defenders and threatening to become part of a new Jurassic Pack in the backline when Garland returns next year.

- Brad Green
Part of him is probably wondering why he didn't go to Collingwood, where he'd rightfully be regarded as one of the mid-range stars of the comp. With us he gets nothing but deserves plenty of credit for a good year.

- Jack Grimes
A mid-range hit who promises to go absolutely triple-platinum supernova if he can stay fit. West Coast game was a revelation.

- Mark Jamar
Never in one season have I gone from wanting to get rid of somebody to wanting to get their number on my jumper. Consider the fact that he only played a handful of games as well. Got his disposal right (i.e handball everything), got more of it, had some killer performances in the centre and provided one of the moments of the season when his 5th went in against the Blues.

- Liam Jurrah
What more can we say? Here's hoping he doesn't suffer a second year comedown in a forward line without Robbo to take the best defender.

- Brent Moloney
The biggest hit since the Beatles. Finally played the best part of a full season and showed some of what we were given a taste of in '05. Potential captain material.

- Ricky Petterd
His best season to date. Not hard considering that the others have been destroyed by injury, but a good year nonetheless. WE WANT MORE!

- Jared Rivers
Like Moloney he finally played an almost full year and we benefited greatly. When he went off on the stretcher against the Eagles I'm sure everyone threw their hands up in the air and swore loudly but somehow the porcelain man survived and thrived.

- Colin Sylvia
The second half of his season was 10 times better than the first five years of it. Potential to go ape-shit crazy and do terrific things over the next couple of years. If I'd said to you two years ago that he really would be the better pick from the '03 draft you would have kicked me in the cruetts.

- Matthew Warnock
The final member of the Jurassic Pack. Angry, angry man. One of my favourites.

- Our Bandwagon Fans
I know the people reading this are true. I know most of the people posting on Big Footy, the 'ology and the 'land are legit. But I also know that there are thousands of people out there who will jump straight back on when we start winning again. Knobs. WE DID THE HARD YARDS.

- Daniel Bell
Has never been the same since Ben Johnson killed him. Our attempts to put him in the shop window against Port failed miserably when he gifted them a goal and then necked himself.

- Paul Johnson
Lost the plot in epic fashion compared to last year. Bizarrely saved his best performances for clashes with Cox and Sandilands.

- Brock McLean
Only because I've got high standards for him. Deserves a full pre-season to come back next year and cause some chaos.

- Brad Miller
Like Johnson he got worse in a team that got better. Has the attributes to dominate but we're just not getting it. Trade bait perhaps?

- Michael Newton
I want to love him, but alas I cannot. Why in god's name did we sign him to a 2 year contract last season?

- The Trumpeteer
Embarassing and dresses like a goose. Get rid of him immediately.

- Dean Bailey
Ok, we've lived through the slop. The list has been turned over and now it's time to fire up. If we're pox come Queen's Birthday next year I expect the drums will start beating. As long as it doesn't just lead to Garry Lyon waltzing in and taking over after all the hard work has been done.

- Nick McCallum
Great enthusiasm, and obviously does a lot of free work for the club but lost the plot with his speech on Queen's Birthday. It's a bloody hard job to pump up a meagre crowd who think they're going to lose but may I suggest that doing it from the middle of the ground facing the members stand is not the way to go about it? And having to introduce the cockhead with the trumpet can't help.

- Simon Buckley
There were questions that were going to be resolved this year, but due to early injury we never found out. Telling that he didn't even sneak in for a novelty game at the end of the year despite being back at Casey.

- Lynden Dunn
One of my favourite players but rarely given any sort of opportunity to show what he's made of. If I was him and any other club showed interest I'd tell Melbourne to get stuffed and walk out. The matchup vs Todd Goldstein against North was a farce, and leaving him in the 2's for half of the season was beyond belief.

- Neville Jetta and Jamie Bennell
One showed some good signs at the start of the season, and the other at the end but god knows where they'll play in the future. If he was a stock I'd say HOLD.

- Addam Maric
Second season and suffered injuries but hasn't done much yet. Has just signed a new two year contract so we've got faith in him. Roll on '10. Could almost have been a miss if I was in a harsh marking mood.

- The Stefan Martin Experience.
Better than average as a ruckman, and still good as a backman but seemingly destined for a future up forward. Doesn't look comfortable there yet but I have faith in the power of the SME.

- John Meesen
Proved he existed and then looked good in his first few games before dropping out for the year with stress fractures. Is g-a-w-n GAWN next year if he doesn't have a good season so needs to come back all guns blazing.

- Cale Morton
Good at what he did, but was what he did particuarly useful? I like him as a player but we've got to throw him into a more damaging role next year.

- James Strauss and Sam Blease
Next year please.

- Jack Watts
Given that he's young enough to be an 18th century chimney sweep he did enough in limited time to stamp himself as a good player in the making. Criticised only by drug addicts, internet spastics and senile ex-coaches.

- Austin Wonaeamirri
Liam Jurrah watch out - the second year curse ran rampant on THE CELEBRATOR this year.

- The Rookies
Valenti played some decent football and deserves an upgrade, Spencer was very ordinary and it's too early to tell with McKenzie. Danny Hughes has one more year to get a game, Rhys Healey was injured too often and Trent Zomer is the biggest monty for delisting since Isaac Weetra.

And that's it for this year. See you all again in the pre-season. We'll go out tonight with a production number created by A. Random

See you in trade week!

Sunday, 30 August 2009

I believe the children are our future

If there's any justice in the world we'll wake up in a second and it will be Grand Final Day 2004. We snuck past Essendon, got back into some form and beat Geelong in the Semi before taking care of the Lions in a prelim. And surely we can beat Port. Alas this isn't an episode of Dynasty and we can't wipe out five years of storylines with one clumsily delivered plot device. Face facts that we fell into the finals in '05 (albeit via the best three weeks EVER) then got belted, blew another chance in '06 and then fell apart like democracy in Afghanistan throughout '07, '08 and '09.

And so here we are. Another year that ends at Round 22 with nowt to show for it but a top draft pick. Except this time we get two top draft picks, and by christ I hope that means we don't have to put up with another two seasons like this for another 20 years. My mum unwittingly delivered line of the day when discussing the career of Nathan Brown. "How many players careers have we ruined?" she asked. Well snapping Brown's leg in two was one thing but it's nothing compared to what we're about to do to Tom Scully and PLAYER TO BE NAMED.

Everyone knew we were going to lose this week. St. Kilda were hardly going to make the same mistakes as they did against Essendon/North, and god forbid we got too close it would be wacky coaching moves a-go-go and/or a desperate attempt to put too many players on the ground for a headcount. Dean Bailey isn't an idiot, from the Richmond game on he knew that he wanted the top two picks and wasn't going to lose them. Now he has to deliver or risk having less credibility than Mark Harvey.

Like last week we started well. Amazingly there were no bizarre last minute changes, and even with Spencer as the starting ruckman we looked much better than the ladder would have you believe. Miller got the first before proceding to do nothing for the next three quarters, and despite the ball going inside the Saints 50 continually Frawley and Rivers were doing a mighty job in keeping them from scoring. The retiring players weren't having the best of time - Robbo was trying a bit too hard to kick a goal and Whelan was so crocked that he spent the game in the forward line - but who really cared? Reminded me of the 2005 finals when we had so many injuries Wheatley was forced to go back on despite being crocked and somehow kicked 2 goals.

We led at quarter time and surprisingly there wasn't a riot. Mainly because people knew that we'd still lose one way or the other but I'd like to think there were some people there who genuinely wanted us to get up. I must admit that I almost snuck into that category - after all we've already got pick 1, let's not be completely greedy bastards. There's something palatable about having the moral high ground of not having to rely on priority picks and that's been in the back of my mind for months. Unfortunately the reality is that as of next year the draft will be a complete farce and we had to lose. It's a shit system but what could we do?

At least we got to see the Jurrahcane kick his customary goal of the week contender with the biggest overhead snap since Robbo about ten years ago at Subiaco. The concept of a Jurrah/Wonaeamirri forward line next year is hotter than the sun. Alas without Robertson to take the best defender it might be harder for the 'Cane to dominant. Having said that he has the biggest octopus arms in history so who's betting on him not just wrapping them around Matthew Scarlett's head and taking grabs?

The last six weeks of this season were our Springtime for Hitler. A secret plot to make massive losses in order to actually get in front financially. Bialystock and Bloom (to be played by Bailey and Connolly) were trying to lose money to avoid tax, we were losing footy games to get draft picks. This means that the role of Frank Liebkind, insane zealot and sympathiser for a failed system, will be taken by one Andrew Demetriou. Here's our end of season video,

"We're marching to a faster pace. Look out here comes the master race" etc.. Which is ironic considering how many blonde, blue eyed Germans we were playing against today.

Err anyway, you'll be surprised to know it didn't last. We did almost sneak to half time with a lead, which would have been a big fuck you to everyone who went for a half time/full time St. Kilda double to try and get themselves a bit of value. Sadly we didn't quite manage it and fell behind in the last couple of minutes. Our third quarters are rubbish at the best of times, so when the Saints got the first three of the term it appeared they were going to fire up and smash us. The Jurrahcane got a couple to keep it tidy though and somehow we were only 16 down going into the last change.

In a ridiculous scenario we were so close to the minor premiers and still a chance of rolling them but were actually punting them home to lose. The only thing that mattered in the last quarter was Robbo kicking a goal, Wheatley letting rip with a couple of trademark bombs and Whelan hitting somebody (preferably somebody with a name that starts with M and ends with ILNE). We got two of three, and Robbo's goal brought the house down. Brock McLean would have been beaten up by 5000 people in an on-field invasion if he hadn't thrown the handball over to him to kick it. The poor bastard was trying so hard today that he couldn't get near it other than a couple of misses.

We got the Wheatley show courtesy of a couple of torps into the centre square from kick-ins. Presumably he lined them up as not only a farewell to the crowd but for his NFL audition tape. He even managed to kick a goal with one of his 'trademark' bombs from outside 50. As much as commentators like to talk him up as the first man to ever kick a 9pt goal (as if 9pt goals are actually important) the term 'trademark' is a bit deceptive considering the set-play to handball it to him outside 50m move has a lifetime strike rate of about 28%. I'm glad they managed to get it right one last time in the last quarter of his last game. I've never been a massive Wheatley fan but he's always seemed like a genuinely nice guy so I'm pleased that he got himself into the highlight reel.

Unfortunately we didn't get the best of Wheels mainly because he could barely move. History will show that he's one of the, if not THE, most underrated players we had this decade. His on and off-field leadership has been invaluable and it's only injury that has kept him from playing more games. Lest we ever forget his murderous hit on Luke Ball in Round 1 2007;

And he got zero weeks for that one Hawthorn fans. Unfortunately from 2-2 in the first quarter we have had three seasons of slop since that moment, but it was still classic.

It's shame that after Wheatley's goal that we turned off and the Saints started piling on the goals to make it look far more respectable from their perspective. We deserved to be closer, but you can't blame a team who have been beaten from pillar to post all season for looking for the finish line. At least they put in a 1000 times more respectable performance than the slop that was R22 last year.

And that was it. Goodbye season 2009. As much as I hate St. Kilda they were pretty classy to wait ten minutes on the ground after the game to form a guard of honour for the retiring players. I must admit that I almost lost it when the woman leant over the fence and hugged Robbo. That was it. On went the sunnies to hide my shame - it was up there with when Daniher went off after his last game or when I found out Philthy had been delisted. Actually the last one was just obscenities and kicking over chairs.

Did anyone else feel a bit strange hearing the theme song belt out at the end? It was a nice touch but they could have played it once instead of belting it out 20 times.

Crowd Watch
One of the rare occasions I've been to a St. Kilda match and not ended up sitting next to people who have had (or deserve) a frontal lobotomy.

Retirement Rundown
Wheatley reckons he wants to go on. I can't see it happening, but surely he's got to have a crack at the NFL. I want to turn my TV on and see him roosting them for the Jacksonville Jaguars. Sav Rocca and Ben Graham don't look so out of place because they were big names but it would spin my head to see Wheats giving it a torp on ESPN.

Whelan is done but apparently wants to play local footy. We had better keep him on in some sort of role.

Then there's Robbo. He had a pretty awful game today but can you blame him? He wasn't doing 'the team thing' (which is pretty overrated I reckon) but why should he? He's given us 420+ goals and great memories, and he knows as much as anyone that nobody really wanted us to win anyway. As much as I've been frustrated by him at times I can't quite believe we're giving him the arse. One more season would have been perfect. I honestly hope that wherever he goes next year that he wins a flag - like Greg Wells he can go and win his premiership elsewhere but we'll always know he's Melbourne at heart.

But where will he go? The interstate teams probably wouldn't be interested (although as a wild card what about Port? Their forward line is pretty ordinary. Westhoff? Which one? Who cares they're both shit), and you can wipe out any side who aren't going to make the 8 next year. It basically comes down to Geelong and Carlton. I just can't see it but I hope he gets a gig somewhere.

He could even go to St. Kilda. At least then they could have a small forward who doesn't start sweating and fidgeting nervously during respect to women lectures.

2009 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Colin Sylvia
4 - Cale Morton
3 - Mark Jamar
2 - Liam Jurrah
1 - James McDonald

Apologies to Dunn (disposal was pox but was great at getting it), Bartram, Moloney, Cheney, Rivers and Frawley. The defenders got slapped late but they were killing it early on.

Final Leaderboard

Moloney might have snuck in for a vote but it wouldn't have helped. Davey's first half of the year has carried him to his first Jakovich Medal victory.

30 - Aaron Davey (WINNER: 2009 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year)
27 - Brent Moloney
25 - Colin Sylvia
23 - Matthew Bate
20 - Mark Jamar (WINNER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
19 - Nathan Jones
17 - Cale Morton
16 - Brad Green
15 - Cameron Bruce
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Jack Grimes (WINNER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Rising Star Award)
11 - Ricky Petterd, James Frawley (WINNER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
10 - Liam Jurrah, James McDonald
9 - Jared Rivers, Russell Robertson
8 - Matthew Warnock
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Shane Valenti
5 - Kyle Cheney
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan, Neville Jetta
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

Congratulations to the winners, they join the following luminaries on the Demonblog leaderboard. I'd also like to announce that from next year the Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year will be the Jeff Hilton Rising Star award to take into account that any player who debuts in the last month of the season before is eligible to win it. Good news for Tom McNamara and Rohan Bail who are in with a shot next year.

Jakovich - Johnstone
Seecamp - Carroll/Ferguson
Hilton - Nobody (No players eligible)
O'Dwyer - White

Jakovich - McLean
Seecamp - Rivers
Hilton - Bate
O'Dwyer - White (2)

Jakovich - Jones
Seecamp - Wheatley
Hilton - Petterd/Newton
O'Dwyer - White (3)

Jakovich - Bruce
Seecamp - Whelan
Hilton - Morton
O'Dwyer - Johnson

Jakovich - Davey
Seecamp - Frawley
Hilton - Grimes
O'Dwyer - Jamar

A full statistical analysis will follow later but as we speak the all-time biggest vote getter is Cam Bruce (125) all the way down to Guy Rigoni and Addam Maric on 2 apiece. 52 players have received votes since 2005. Davey's winning score of 30 is the second lowest in history - Travis Johnstone's 38 in 2005 is still the best result.

Giveaway Corner
I've still never seen the people who give away Friskies cat food, but judging by the 'everything must go' end of season clearance quantities that people were trying to carry after the game today they must be keen to shift heaps of the stuff. One or two packets is fine - as long as you've got a cat - but trying to balance five while walking through a wet car park is just undignified.

Next Week
Casey are in the finals. I'll be there. Apparently there's some sort of other top 8 contest going on over the next few weeks. How funny would it be if Matthew Lloyd somehow got off? Hawthorn fans would explode en masse. Hillarious. Shame Lloyd is pretty much fucked. Let's just hope the AFL don't do something stupid like schedule Hawthorn vs Essendon in R1 2010. Wait until Lloyd is back and then bring on the hate! Meanwhile I'd love a crunt of a player like Campbell Brown. Somebody is just angry and unbalanced. Rod Grinter apparently has a son who can play...

Next Season
Well it can't be worse than the last two can it? There are signs. My god there are signs. Have we not suffered enough?

Demonblog will be back with the Allen Jakovich Medal stats and an end of season review in the next week or so and then, pending any reports on Casey games, it'll be the usual process of forgetting to post again until January next year.

Final Thoughts



Saturday, 22 August 2009

Monumental Moments in History

1 January 1901 - The Australian constitution comes into force and the colonies became states of the Commonwealth of Australia

2 September 1945 - The signing of the Japanese surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri

22 November 1963 - John Fitzgerald Kennedy goes for a drive through the streets of Dallas

22 August 2009 - Mark Jamar has seven kicks for five goals.

And no I'm not even going to bother resizing that. It's THAT SORT OF MOMENTOUS OCCASION

They used to ask where you were when man walked on the moon, from now on they will ask you where you were when a bloke who looks a bit like Alex Ischenko ran riot up front. I was in the front row of the third level of the Coventry End of Etihad Stadium.

Apparently we got thumped in the match too. Who gives a shit?

2009 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

Not much juice in these votes today. A few racked up possessions but didn't have any great impact, therefore I'm going for the forward line power twins. The Russian wins the countback for going into the ruck at the end.

5 - Mark Jamar
4 - Russell Robertson
3 - Neville Jetta
2 - Aaron Davey
1 - James Frawley

Apologies to McDonald, Sylvia, Bate, Davey, Moloney, Valenti, Rivers


Pending a BOG performance from Moloney next week, Davey should be safe to win his first Jakovich. Jamar is home in the Strawbs, Frawley has got a 2 vote lead on Rivers in the Seecamp and Grimes can only lose the Hilton if the Jurrahcane picks up 5 votes next week.

30 - Aaron Davey
27 - Brent Moloney
23 - Matthew Bate
20 - Colin Sylvia
19 - Nathan Jones
17 - Mark Jamar (WINNER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
16 - Brad Green
15 - Cameron Bruce
13 - Cale Morton
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Jack Grimes (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
11 - Ricky Petterd, James Frawley (LEADER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
9 - James McDonald, Jared Rivers, Russell Robertson
8 - Liam Jurrah, Matthew Warnock
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Shane Valenti
5 - Kyle Cheney
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan, Neville Jetta
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

Next Week
St. Kilda @ the MCG. We'll get porked, end of story.

Final Thoughts
Notwithstanding the fact that he's playing decent football, how does McDonald get a one year contract at the same time we're giving Robbo the arse for being too old?

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Interstate visitors, Melbourne welcomes you

At 11am this morning I wasn't going to the game today. For the first time EVER I'd chosen non-compulsory work over a game. Need the money, meaningless end-of-season slopfest etc.. Then suddenly an opportunity to do a runner presents itself and I decide that keeping my ridiculous streak of seeing every game in Victoria when not overseas needed to continue no matter how much it was going to cost me in lost wages. And by christ thank god I did.

The last time we won a game by more than ten goals, Matthew Bate was playing his 4th, Neita kicked 6 and Hawthorn were fielding players like Ben Kane and Harry Miller. It has been a long time. 1186 days to be precise.

Nobody was there of course, but I think we all expected that. Somehow they managed to get just over 13,000 but if that wasn't at least moderately massaged then I'm not here. It wouldn't have been a surprise figure in a normal game much less one threatening to be played in aquatic conditions. If only Freo had kept Shipp and Gale. Imagine how few people would have been there if we'd beaten Richmond? Some goose rang up SEN at half time and claimed he couldn't go because he didn't want to have to cheer for Freo. How drunk/stupid/senile would you have to be to think that we're a chance to win either of our remaining games? Today was like a school muck-up day (with less maimed animals) - the last day of real fun you have before you cruise through the last two weeks with no effort. The only problem is we're too dense to be invited to the final exams.

I was a bit surprised that we went in as underdogs in this one. I know we were slop last week and they flogged Port, but surely the bookies were setting themselves up for a bit of a beating offering 2.20's on us during the week? Yes, we are the only team they ever beat at the MCG but were bookies living in some sort of fantasy world where we weren't rorting the system for the past fortnight.

Before we get to the game, an apology. I was severely deluded to suggest that Freo would come out at 110% and be physical after seeing us assume we were going to beat them for the last two weeks. What I forgot is that they're the flakiest football team of all time and probably didn't even mention it once before the match. Sure they got the first goal, and yes they were in the mix for most of the first half but it was as close to zero intensity as you can possibly get. I may be the only person in Melbourne who actually likes their theme song but there was no need to hear it again on the back of a soft performance like what they threw up today. The usual suspects (Pavlich and Sandilands) were handy, and the usual suspects (pretty much everyone else and players you've never heard of) were terrible. And where was Tim Ruffles, the first VFL/AFL player ever to be named after a potato chip?

Certainly not soft was Ricky Petterd, who gets more and more impressive every week. The advantage to him is that since we unearthed Jurrah it's meant that he no longer needs to be a forward every week, we can use him elsewhere and he can chip in for goals up forward when required. His mark for the first goal today was a pearler running back into a pack. Didn't do an enormous amount for the rest of the game but has been very impressive overall this year.

Another player who has impressed me enormously, but mainly over the last two weeks, has been Shane Valenti. He was robbed not to play more games earlier in the year but took his medicine, went back to the 2's and dominated there before coming into the 1's and playing good football. My only disappointment was that the moment when he was running straight at Sandilands he didn't perform a kamikaze manoevure and just throw himself into the wall of man in front of him. Lucky Nifty Nev Jetta did have a crack at an irresistable force/immovable object inferface later and actually pulled the tackle off. It was tops. Valenti did have his own highlight when he jumped over two much bigger Freo players from a ludicrous kick to contest and marked.

Brock McLean added two in a row after the Petterd goal before Luke McPharlin benefited from all-round farce twice in two minutes. First he got a free-kick 70m off the ball directly in front because James Frawley breathed on him, then he marked on the point post and somehow got to kick from a ridiculously front-on angle. The free kick was interesting - it might have legitimately been there under the AFL's rubbish new directive about off the ball incidents but what a pissweak directive. Did somebody at headquarters realise that the new rushed behind rule has been well received - against all odds - and decide that they had better come up with something stupid and confusing to annoy the fans with?

McNamara put us ahead at quarter time with his first career goal, even though he clearly had NO INTEREST in kicking it at the time. After he calmed down and stopped trying to find an option everywhere he went back and slotted it perfectly. A couple of decent games to start his career for the old T-Mac. Hopefully he can play out the next two weeks and get some vital experience under his belt before next year.

From thereon in it was all us. Even Paul Johnson, the man who has lost the plot something chronic this season, was plucking the ball out of ruck contests and dribbling goals through. Robbo tried to take Mark of the Year twice and got it right once. Won't win but could run top ten. Miller kicked one just before half time to extend the margin to more than three goals but I still felt like Freo were going to come out and fire up in the third quarter. Once again expecting Freo to do anything that a normal side would do is just pure stupidity. They remained putrid.

I quite like the Dockers, but they really are a colossal basketcase and have been pretty much since they played their first game. Remember Round 22, 1997 - when all they had to do was beat us (16th) to make the 8? Remember trading Pick 1 for Trent Croad? Remember Damian Drum? Ludicrously enough Drum is now a Victorian State MP. Hopefully he uses the same sort of foul language in parliament that he did in the coaches box at a practice game against us at Victoria Park once. I walked past as we thrashed them and the air was turning blue. True to form we almost lost that game.

So they kicked the first goal of the second half and I my blood pressure shifted up a notch (which is saying something considering that it's already higher than the world record Pac Man score). No need - the Jurrahcane came to the party which his second before Robbo and Davey before Bate, who could very well win the B&F this season, kicked his first.

38 points ahead at three quarter time. You could have had $1.02 on us with Luxbet, but as regular readers will know I'm never comfortable under we're beyond the Glenn Lovett Line (lest we forget his goal which put us 48 points in front in the last quarter against Essendon in 92 before they came back to win by a point). Jurrah got his third, thanks to a random 50m penalty bringing him right to the line, and then Sylvia - the SEN Supergoal specialist (call 9429 1116 to win a free DVD from name a game. Still waiting for mine from Queen's Birthday) - drilled one on the run to take us past the magic mark and allow us to put the feet up and enjoy the show.

And show it was. Robbo got another before Jurrah kicked one of the more random goals of the year. I saw it in person, watched it on the AFL website five times and just saw again on the news and still don't quite comprehend what happened. He was on the ground and somehow managed to grab the ball off the deck and kick it over his head with half the Dockers defence about to leap on him. Surely not a goal of the year contender, especially considering that Leon Davis will probably finish 1st to 5th, but right up there as a contender in the newly created Andrew Lamprill Award for Goal of the Year.

Bate capped off a great game with a couple of goals before Valenti snuck in for a well deserved one to put the margin beyond 70 points. Sadly Freo decided to show some heart 28 minutes into the last quarter and add a couple of goals to make it look a little less ridiculous.

A win and proof undeniable that we're at least 4pts better than last season. Not that I particually wanted to sing it but how come you can't hear the theme songs in the top deck of the Olympic Stand? They only redid the place a couple of a years ago, at least install some speakers. Strangely enough you can hear Susan the Providore in the CGU ads with no issues.

Random Thoughts
Imagine how well we would have been done if we hadn't been stooged by the umpires for four quarters? A lopsided free kick count doesn't mean shit if the frees weren't actually there but my god how many could we have had in the first half? The novelty 50 to Jurrah in the last quarter helped a bit but it was a complete slopfest before that.

Media Whore Corner
Watching the highlights on the AFL website - once I got them to actually work - proved why being at a game is always better than watching any commentary team involving Dwayne Russell and Liam Pickering. Leigh Colbert is the Fox Footy 1.10 equivalent to Pavlich, somebody who should just tell everyone around him that they're shit and storm out in disgust.

Kontract Korner
Every week I change my mind on Robbo. This week, not surprisingly, I think he should be given one more year. Just like Petterd he's looked a lot better with Jurrah thrown into the forward mix. He's not always having five defenders hang off him. Sure he shouldn't be allowed

Crowd Watch
And just to prove I was actually there when everybody is claiming it in the future, here's a candid snap from the post match kickaround shenanigans.
Ladies, calm thyselves.

Eating with the Stars
I went to get a hot dog at half time and stood in the same line as Jordie McKenzie. Jamie Bennell was waiting outside, obviously not wanting to soil his body with the sort of slop they sell at the footy (or not being able to afford it on his wage). Then David Neitz and Al Nicholson walked past and Jack Watts stood at the bottom of the escalator talking to some kid. It was half time bizarro world in the bottom deck of the Southern Stand.

2009 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
5 - Aaron Davey
4 - Matthew Bate
3 - Shane Valenti
2 - James McDonald
1 - Liam Jurrah

Apologies to (deep breath please) Bartram, Cheney, Dunn, Frawley (2nd-4th quarters), Johnson, Jones, Miller, Moloney, Morton, Petterd, Rivers, Robertson and Sylvia. And about five of them could have snuck in for a vote.


What a change a week makes. We have a new leader as Davey bursts back into form with a cracker of a game and Bate joins the party at the top of the leaderboard as well. Moloney had 30 touches but just failed to slide in for a point which would have kept him equal first.

28 - Aaron Davey
27 - Brent Moloney
23 - Matthew Bate
20 - Colin Sylvia
19 - Nathan Jones
16 - Brad Green
15 - Cameron Bruce
13 - Cale Morton
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Jack Grimes (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
11 - Ricky Petterd
10 - James Frawley (LEADER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
9 - James McDonald,Jared Rivers
8 - Liam Jurrah, Matthew Warnock
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Shane Valenti
5 - Kyle Cheney, Russell Robertson
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

Next Week
Carlton will smack us. The week after that St. Kilda will do the same. Sadly we'll finish last again but there's no doubt that we're a far better team than last year, and when you throw picks 1 and 2 on top of that as well then there's some optimism for the future. I'd still like to fast forward a couple of years without the priority and see how we'd go with our dignity intact, but you can't have everything - may as well play it safe and take the loot while it's on offer.

Final Thoughts
This is the first time ever, as far as I can work out that four of my top five sports teams have won on the same day. Atlanta Falcons are excused due to not having a game, but Wimbledon, Wests Tigers and Wellington Phoenix (no, I will not be signing on with West Sydney) all did the job. It's a beautiful day. Next stop, punting the Dogs/Crows home in the finals and then trade week/draft day. Before you know it we'll be watching an intra-club game at Casey Fields in February next year. Maigod I can't wait.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

You Can't Stop The Horror

First things first, the raffle results. For those of you who bought a ticket in the "What key player will mysteriously suffer an injury and withdraw from the team" fundraising lottery the winning number is #27 J.RIVERS. Please collect your prize from the club office during business hours.

Well it's been an interesting week. We've been whipped from pillar to post for the tactical 'experimentation' which seemingly cost us the Richmond game. At least Bailey, who can't please anyone at the moment, came out and said that he'd keep bringing the freaky deaky moves for the rest of the year - thus giving us some reason to keep turning up and watching this shit.

And the wild experimentation started at the selection table. Rohan Bail came in straight from the Casey 2's, and Tom McNamara was picked after a blockbusting 4 possession performance for their seniors the week before. No sign yet of Danny Hughes or, god forbid, Trent ZOMG but give it a couple of weeks. Injuries to Blease and Healey aside, this year has all the hallmarks of that season at Essendon where every single player on the list got a game except one - and he was due to debut in the last round before doing a hamstring at the last training session.

So, the least we could expect was some wacky positional manoevures. They owed the 15 Melbourne fans who actually showed up to the ground that at least. And what an atmosphere - it was as if every single person in the ground had been lobotomised. No wonder our fans were depressed, we lined up with a relatively normal structure and still played like shit. Luckily in the early going North weren't much better. Our players looked pretty flat, which is not so surprising in Round 19 of an often futile season, but I'll bet you it had everything to do with them wondering when they were going to be thrown into some ludicrous position that they had no experience playing.

First things first if you blinked you probably missed Rohan Bail's debut game. He got a kick in the first minute, did his thigh and was never seen again. To be honest I blinked and missed his kick. Poor guy - what a way to debut. At the other end of the spectrum McNamara spent most of the game on the ground and wasn't too bad. He didn't do anything spectacular but looked solid enough for a first gamer.

Of course one quarter is all you get with this side. We didn't manage a goal in the 2nd and barely even registered a score. It was painful viewing. To be entirely honest I tuned right out. All I remember is hugh swathes of play where both sides turned it over to each other about twenty times before North finally got a goal. Absolutely rubbish football.

The second half was like Argentina in the late 70's, people who had been prominent were just disappearing with no explanation and never being seen again. Jetta and Valenti had been good all day but vanished off the face of the earth while North ran riot. We fired up a bit and even Juice managed to take his tally to 2 goals without missing a sitter (not surprisingly he didn't make it to 3). It looked as if they were going to have a big crack in the last quarter, unencumbered, and at least go down with a respectable (nay honourable) loss. Wrong. Cue a ten goal loss to a team who hadn't won in a million years and were, frankly, ordinary.

Highlight of the day was undoubtedly Jake Spencer's first career shot on goal. For those of you who missed it think of Jamar in the goalsquare against Essendon last year, Robbo against Hawthorn this year and then double it. This time Spence took a beautiful (!) pass (?) by Newton (!?) 40m out on a slight angle. He went back to have a ping at the set-shot, started walking in... and dropped the ball cold on the ground. The poor bastard recovered to get a quick snap off but it didn't even score. Welcome to the blooper reel for the rest of your life. He's getting better - and certainly not contesting the ruck with an "air conductor" baton technique anymore but bad luck everyone's going to remember the ball drop and nothing else.

We did, however, get to see the worst free kick ever paid. Petterd jumped, the North guy jumped, nobody went anywhere near anyone's back and somehow the umpire paid a free to us. It was completely mystifying. Lucky there was absolutely nothing on the line at the time.

And now a message from the SAVE LYNDEN DUNN ACTION FACTION (SLDAF);

What the fuck was up with leaving Dunn on Goldstein for so long? He's not a key defender and, Frawley aside, wasn't surrounded by any key defenders. Not surprisingly he got slaughtered. I don't give a rats if Stef Martin had kicked two, he's a freaking defender and with Warnock, Garland and Rivers not available he needs to spend some time in defence. By the last quarter it wouldn't have hurt to throw him down there, but instead we left him in a misfiring forward line and got nothing out of it except the record showing that some slop kicked 5 goals against us. If I were Dunn I'd be asking for a trade at the end of the year. He's just disrespected at this club.

Eventually, and mercifully, it was over. The North fans celebrated - you might as well if you'd lost 9 in a row, even if it was the cheapest and nastiest ten goal victory in history - and we all just shrugged and walked out. All 8 of us that were left at the end. The cheersquad were still trying to get a bit of clap, clap, clap going in the last quarter but they're not exactly normal people so it doesn't count.

Civil War Corner
Speaking of the cheersquad, can anyone fill me in with the latest news on the split that they suffered last year? Has the ruckus died down? Was it really divided around the issue of the guy with the homemade Ricky Jackson jumper who did bizarre claps and had his wedding reception in Pizza Hut?

2009 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Bate
4 - Jones
3 - Valenti
2 - Sylvia
1 - Petterd

Apologies to Cheney, Dunn (pre-Goldstein fiasco), Jetta, McDonald, McNamara, Morton and Newton


Moloney doesn't like right and I doubt he'll play next week and Davey has been ordinary the last month - therefore with 15 votes maximum on offer over the next three weeks anyone from Morton and up could theoretically win (except for Green of course) but all the money is for Sylvia.

27 - Brent Moloney
23 - Aaron Davey
20 - Colin Sylvia
19 - Nathan Jones, Matthew Bate
16 - Brad Green
15 - Cameron Bruce
13 - Cale Morton
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Jack Grimes (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
11 - Ricky Petterd
10 - James Frawley (LEADER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
9 - Jared Rivers
8 - Matthew Warnock
7 - James McDonald, Liam Jurrah, Brad Miller
5 - Kyle Cheney, Russell Robertson
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan, Shane Valenti
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

Last Night
Went to the Brisbane/Essendon game. It's nice to be able to watch a match without your head in your hands for four quarters. First draw I've seen live since Sydney at the MCG in 1992. Instead of playing the theme songs the MCG blasted out "No Second Prize" instead - it was tops. I love a game where you go as a neutral and still manage to be the only person in the ground who goes home happy.

Next Week
To be entirely frank I reckon Freo are going to smash us. Forget for a minute the travelling thing, if you're Mark Harvey what are you going to tell your players? You're going to tell them that they're playing a side who are so overconfident that they're going to beat you that they've effectively given up one win - and not exactly given themselves 100% chance of another - in preparation. They'll come out at a million miles an hour and we'll probably do something stupid like play Dunn on Pavlich and get slaughtered.

REMINDER - Under no circumstances will I be at this game - I'm taking the money for working that day and listening on the radio instead. If you want to write the report or do the votes email me (supermercado AT, otherwise I'll just be passing on second hand bollocks from the likes of Kevin Bartlett and nobody wants that.

Final Thoughts
This has been one of the worst fortnights in the last decade (R1/2 2008 just shades it for recent memories). Somebody this season's gonna be over.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Melbourne International Tank Festival 2009

The reviews are in for today's match;

Margaret - ****1/2 ("A true classic. Adversity, triumph, heroes, villains. This one had it all")
David - ** ("A late season slopfest enlightened only by a handful of last quarter heroics in an otherwise brutally dull and plodding brick on the road to hell")

Unfortunately to his detriment David Stratton has never actually used the word 'slopfest'.

Of course I missed all the fun today. Like an idiot I agreed to go to the Inglorious Basterds Australian premiere instead meaning I had to pull the pin at half time. There was already some seriously dodgy behaviour going on - Morton out for Spencer was a classic. Did Cale fall out of bed this morning or something? Whatever it was it was conveniently late enough to allow Sylvia to play in the 2's yesterday. Then Bartram lined up on Jack Riewoldt who was a head taller and had just come off a six goal game. Welcome to bizarro world.

And a truly awful game it was too. We had half our side out (legitimately or not), what was Richmond's excuse? I refuse to believe that's the same side that beat Essendon last week because they were right down at our level. They're destined for mid-table mediocrity, but anyone who thinks they're going places next year is off their nut. At least the only way is up for us.

My first half highlights were Davey hitting Cousins with a perfect bump then ripping King's jumper off, Valenti's sleeperhold tackle on whoever and another quality bump by Jetta. Apart from that... any goal by Dunn is welcomed, and Newton botching a soccer and missing the lot from 5m out was worth another look. The rest was epic gash.

And so I left thinking that nothing interesting could possibly happen. How wrong one can be. Halfway through the third quarter we got ushered down the red carpet (people were taking pictures of us for god's sake. Not in this sort of setup though.) and ordered to turn over our mobiles and 'all other electrical items'. I handed over the phone but kept my radio in pocket so I could at least sneak a listen to how things were going in the hour we were expected to be there before the thing actually kicked off. The bloke waved his metal detector over me and got nothing because - not surprisingly - radios (or phones for that matter) aren't made of metal. I should have gone with Plan A and stashed my phone into the double-sock combo I'd worn for the day for that very purpose.

So I get in there and, sitting on an aisle for maximum potential exposure, break out the radio. No coverage. Fucksticks. By the time the film started the game would have been over but I had no idea. First time that I'd had absolutely no idea what was going on in a game and no access to find out for many, many years and I DIDN'T LIKE IT. Even an end of year slopdown deserves to be followed. SEN's Andy Maher came in just before the film started, which was interesting because he was calling it the last time I heard anything, and I heard him say that Melbourne were ahead but "it'll be over now". Well that's terrific.

Also seen inside Chris Judd who unfortunately didn't fall down the stairs and do his knee. That bloke out of Underbelly was sat right in front of me as well. Lucky they took my phone so I couldn't photograph his bald spot.

So, for two and a half hours we sat there and watched some of the most quality carnage ever seen on a big screen. I'd lost interest in the film beforehand but I'll admit that in the end it was worth seeing. Still, being a sick freak the result of the game was still troubling me. We got out and I charged to get my phone - two messages on it about a thrilling loss. Fair enough I suppose, then a closer look at what had happened showed what I'd missed.

Now, in the spirit of the tremendously violent film that I was watching when all this was taking place, I'll tell you how I feel about what happened today. If I'd been there it would have been like having your family drive off a clif in front of you, as it was I had the equivalent of getting a knock on the door from the police. Shocking but not the sort of thing that's going to haunt me forever as it would if I'd seen it in person. Don't write in and complain, it's just an example.

I don't think I could have stood to be there for the end with our own fans cheering McMahon on to kick the goal. Even if somewhere deep inside my sick black heart I would have been thinking the same thing.

So, we got done again and let the tank debate rage. Not only was Newton deployed as a loose man in defence in the first quarter but I hear Brad Miller was given a wildcard run in the ruck for the first time in his life. Not to mention the gun forward line combo of Warnock (1 career goal) and Frawley (1 career goal). Yet somehow we almost won - what does that say about the Tigers? Their reaction - thanks to the AFL website for eventually letting me watch it - was understandable at the time but tomorrow they're going to have to sit down and go "Jesus Christ how bad are we going?"

Strange isn't it. I'm not saying anyone deliberately threw the game - because we don't have a legal department - but there was a serious level of experimentation going on and we still could have won but for one wild kick in the last seconds. Good signs, or the sign of a sick mind?

2009 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
From the average result of the BigFooty votes thread at the very moment that I finished writing the above bollocks.

5 - James McDonald
4 - Jack Grimes
3 - Ricky Petterd
2 - Nathan Jones
1 - Matthew Bate


It's down to three now you'd think. With a maximum of 20 votes on offer plenty could still win it but the top three are the only realistic chances now. Who knows if Moloney will be back this year, or if Davey will be this week's "mystery illness" winner. Either way Sylvia will be back next week with no doubts and could nick in and steal it.

Jamar and Grimes have got their respective awards all but sewn up, but the Seecamp is an absolute belter with any of Frawley, Warnock or Rivers a chance to grab it.

27 - Brent Moloney
23 - Aaron Davey
18 - Colin Sylvia
16 - Brad Green
15 - Nathan Jones, Cameron Bruce
14 - Matthew Bate
13 - Cale Morton
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Jack Grimes (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
10 - James Frawley (LEADER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year), Ricky Petterd
9 - Jared Rivers
8 - Matthew Warnock
7 - James McDonald, Liam Jurrah, Brad Miller
5 - Kyle Cheney, Russell Robertson
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

Next Week
North @ Docklands. Darren Crocker must already be celebrating his first - and last - win as a coach. I scored free tickets to the Medallion Club so we'll see how long they take to kick us out of there for using foul and offensive language to describe Newton's goalkicking.

Encyclopedia Titanica
Your weekly DemonWiki update - for Nowicki Carbone Lawyers: Call 1300 Injured if you're on the MFC senior list. All player pages are now uploaded and almost every season. There's also a fair bit of tit in the ads as well just quietly.

Final Thoughts
Has it escaped everyone's attention that we're actually only on 3 wins? We're putting a lot of emotional investment into beating Freo in two weeks time. I'm not, I'm not even showing up. As per usual write in (supermercado - demonblog - .com) if you want to do the report. Failing that the votes will be averaged out from Big Footy again and we'll look back in future years and wonder wtf I was doing that day which could possibly have been better than a Round 20 wooden spoon decider against the Dockers in front of 5,000 people. Answer = anything.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Capital Punishment

Last week I was ready to come on here and say that the moment we won our fourth game and the tanking shutters really went up that I was going to stop doing reviews. How I wish I'd said "at three quarter time of the Geelong game", because today was one of the most horrifically shit matches of all time. To think there were probably people who went to the trouble of spending their hard earned to travel interstate and watch it. Though not that many if the crowd was any sort of indication.

Ended watching the game in relative peace and quiet at the Cricket Club Hotel on Clarendon Street. Was told to head for the Limerick as its a "footy pub". Walk in at 12.59 to see Fox Sports News on the big screen with no volume but Bonnie Tyler's "It's A Heartache" blaring out on the speakers. Mmm classy. So I ask old mate behind the bar if they're putting the game on and he goes "oh yes of course" and nods at the smallest TV in history. With sound? "No, I don't think so". Well sir, you can stick your Bonnie Tyler Greatest Hits CD in your back passage (be careful, Total Eclipse of the Heart is very long) and spin it like a 45. The CCH, on the other hand, had six screens showing the footy and one with Fashion TV (!?). With audio too thank christ.

The game? Oh shit must we? It was so awful I can barely bother to recount it. Not only did I have to sit through it once but then I came on here and lost a massive chunk of what I'd written about it when my browser crashed. Next time Blogger claims they automatically save your work every minute I suggest spitting in their face. What I will say is that it was the sort of game that internationals would watch and wonder what was wrong with us for following it. In fact some of it was so bad that it was almost worse than watching Rugby Union. The Swans weren't particuarly good in the first quarter, but we were abysmal. There were a handful of people trying hard but when all that saves you from a fourth goalless first quarter of the year (when did we become Fitzroy?) is a scrappy kick from a last minute goalmouth scramble then you know you're in trouble.

Meanwhile if we're going to go down like an Iranian airliner over the next few weeks can we at least throw Aaron Davey back into the forward line? We all swooned over his super efficient delivery and general backline shenanigans at the start of the year but it's not adding anything at the moment. At least give us some excitement in the last few weeks. His first quarter today was one of the worst I've ever seen him play - put him where the action generally isn't and see if you can spark some life into that forward line. It's an absolute joke that he managed to get declared BOG in this article. I hate match reporters with a passion. Including myself.

The second term opened far more positively. Newton and Miller were the best duo since Hall and Oates when they didn't have the ball, but the moment they got it they turned into Cheech and Chong. Their chase, tackle, marking and general presence was great but the shots they missed were awful. It's not the first time either. Both of them played fiercly but unfortunately a key attribute of being a forward is the ability to put oval shaped ball between the two sticks in the middle. Neither of them has quite grasped it yet. Do we even have a goalkicking coach? What do they talk about? Juice has been doing the same thing for three years and has gotten no better or worse - surely somebody has to sit him down and try to work out what's wrong with his action. Knowing us we've probably got Earl Spalding giving him tutorials.

Eventually the Jurrahcane - who spent the first quarter going near and trying to lay the ball off - marked and goaled to get us back into it. He then proceeded to go down in a tackle and momentarily look like he'd necked himself before coming back to life. Spent most of the third quarter on the bench and was pretty much out of the game from then on. Luckily he's not seriously injured though because it was just the sort of tackle that usually ends in somebody's shin bone sticking out of their leg. Great work by the commentary team to spend two minutes wondering aloud why he wasn't picked up in the National Draft and was allowed to slide to the rookie draft. Nobody bothered to mention that he wasn't even nominated for the National. Given that one of the commentators - Pickering - is a player manager I'm going to have to guess that he doesn't have any interest in the Melbourne forward line.

Speaking of commentators it was right up there in B-Grade teams today. Leigh Colbert on the boundary was the only one who spoke any sense. Russell wasn't as bad as usual, but that still puts him in the bottom 5% of humans, Pickering was full of shit and Danny Frawley works best on the radio where he can be the Brownless-esque butt of jokes for four quarters.

So despite some positive signs in that quarter by the end of the second we were still 2.6 and staring down yet another putrid score. The options were just abysmal. They'd mark, play on and then realise that nobody was there. They'd mark and miss a target from 20m away. Poor Matthew Bate couldn't get a ball above his ankles if his life depended on it. Forget the tank, this was just pure slop. On a more positive note, at the other end of the ground Morton was doing a number on Adam Goodes. Bartram was also having a good one. I did like McKenzie in his limited opportunties, and I think Valenti is worth persisting with until the end of the year.

Third quarter saw Miller miss another sitter before finally getting one. Davey managed to redeem himself with one as well to make it at least officially interesting. The commentators were treating it like they were calling a sprint finish in the Tour De France - "THE CROWD ARE ON THE EDGE OF THEIR SEATS" screamed Russell as the camera clearly showed that what crowd there was were most certainly not. The kid in the Essendon beanie behind the goals said it all.

Foolishly I started playing the pub golf arcade game at 3/4 time and spent the first few minutes of the last looking back over my shoulder between chipping out of the rough. Every time I looked over we were copping another score. Wunderbar. Finally Newton got one at the 14 minute mark and we were some sort of chance. Then he got another one and botched it. Is it wrong that I really didn't care?

Ironically Whelan floated forward and got the last with a set shot that put most of the forwards in our team to shame. That cut the margin to 12 but the Swans were never going to let this one go - suffice to say they didn't. F'ing whatever. I was more concerned with trying to sell the concept that somehow Whelan will avoid the senior player massacre at the end of the year. I love Robbo (in a rugged "often disappointed by" sense) but I'm willing to boot him out the door at the end of the year if it means keeping Wheels.

I'm sure some other shit happened. Does anyone care anymore?

Crowd Watch
If you were the ACT opposition leader (yes, they have a parliament!) would you not walk straight in tomorrow morning and demand to know how much that cost the taxpayer? Let's assume all the remaining Sydney fans in Sydney travelled - that's 2000 people, and I'll give 150 travelling Melbourne fans tops. And we got paid an absolute fortune for it. Works for me, but I'd certainly be putting my hand up and asking questions if I was a taxpayer. It's no wonder they want a chunk of the new West Sydney team if this is all they're getting. I doubt more than a handful of people were watching on TV either, so any claims of 'exposure' for Canberra are a farce.

Did you know the Canberra ABC channel is 666AM? That's my favourite capital fact. You might also have noticed that the ads around the boundary were the worst since Anker Concreting and Lurline Liquor took out contracts to advertise at Casey Fields. My favourite was Batemans Bay Caravans.

And didn't the AFL do a great job scheduling this in "Rivalry Round"? Notwithstanding the fact that it's the biggest farce of a round ever because they don't have enough rivalries to go around, who decided to play it at a neutral venue? If Kevin Dyson and Wayne "Moose" Henwood aren't going to appear and present a trophy to somebody then you can just shut the door on the way out as far as I'm concerned.

Whatever happened to that once a year ANZAC Day night clash we were going to have with the Swans at Homebush? Lasted one year, we actually won and it got put in the bin. Another great fixturing moment in AFL history.

2009 Allen Jakovich Medal votes

5 - Cale Morton
4 - Brent Moloney
3 - Matthew Warnock
2 - Clint Bartram
1 - Ricky Petterd

Apologies to Bate, Cheney, Jurrah, Martin, McDonald, McKenzie, Miller, Newton and Rivers


27 - Brent Moloney
23 - Aaron Davey
18 - Colin Sylvia
16 - Brad Green
15 - Cameron Bruce
13 - Matthew Bate, Nathan Jones, Cale Morton
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
10 - James Frawley (LEADER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
9 - Jared Rivers
8 - Matthew Warnock,Jack Grimes (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
7 - Liam Jurrah, Brad Miller, Ricky Petterd
5 - Kyle Cheney, Russell Robertson
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan
2 - James McDonald, Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

Next Week
Richmond @ the MCG. A reminder that I'm only going to be there for the first three quarters so if you want to throw your hat into the ring to do a guest report (and as you can see it's oh so much fun) then let me know ASAP via supermercado AT

Final Thoughts
My heart says "WTF WAS THAT? JUST WIN YOU SWINE!" Head says "Well lost guys". Great system we've got going here.

It could be worse. We could be Freo. Wait, what do you mean they won? Shit.