Care Factor Rising…Slowly

Carlton well beaten, injuries strike again at St Kilda, Campbell Brown overdoes it a little…sounds just like your regular AFL season, doesn’t it? Yet, we are just two weeks into the preseason and it’s still another 24 days until Carlton and Richmond kick off the 2008 season.

But, if it is possible for a competition where nobody picks their best team or places players in their correct positions to have a ‘business end’, we are now kinda getting close to it. Friday night will see Essendon and St Kilda play off for the right to pretend like they care for an extra week against the winner of Hawthorn and Adelaide, who took their sweet time to beat Fremantle yesterday.

The Bombers are generating some excitement with their style of play and promising youngsters, though the old ‘Baby Bombers’ label is slapped around any time two or more Essendon players under the age of 27 play well in the same game. St Kilda just seem to be generating more work for their medical staff but regardless of whether he is injured again or not,  Kossie will be rested this week….but he’s not injured again, ok…honest.

Adelaide’s victory has left Fremantle counting the cost of another failed preseason campaign…pffft, like they give a crap! But it means that the Crows are in the box seat to host the NAP Cup final provided they out-care Hawthorn on Saturday night.

The four week preseason is too long by half for Dean Laidley, the North Melbourne coach feeling his side did not get much value from their Off-Broadway hit-out with Brisbane.

“I don’t really know if that sort of footy and these games help your preparation. I like the NRL idea of two games and you’re into it,” said Laidley, though I imagine his tune would change slightly if his side had actually won those two games and were still playing off for a six-figure payday.

But perhaps an NRL-related concept could help enliven these practice matches between first-round NAP Cup losers…how about some boxing? According to Ricky Nixon, the occasional manager of Ben Cousins (it depends on how much trouble he’s in), Anthony Mundine may have been exploiting the ‘AFL-Britney’ Ben Cousins by adding him to the undercard of his next bout

Exploited to make money? Yes, I can barely believe it either! Why Nixon had to wait two weeks after the press conference/drug forum/media circus was held to reveal this is a little puzzling…but it seems that Cousins has now withdrawn from the event that he never agreed to

But now that Mundine has snapped back at Nixon, and there is this great desire out there for bouts pitting NRL verses AFL, halftime at preseason games would be the perfect time. Imagine if Mundine and Nixon donned the gloves at halftime between North Melbourne and Brisbane…that might have inspired Dean Laidley a little.

Or what about NRL bonehead Willie Mason taking on Wayne Carey? And, with the current administrators of both codes declaring war on the expansion of the game, why not have the ultimate matchup – NRL’s Gallop v AFL’s Demetriou…and the loser has their franchise driven out of the Gold Coast! David Gallop may not look like the brawniest guy but if anybody is taking swings at Andy D…there will be big interest.

Build it, and they will come…

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