Monthly Archives: March 2008

It’s Time To Celebrate (Round One – The Great Unveiling)

Happy Birthday Kane

Happy Birthday! Kane, put it away…you have to BLOW out the candles!

Richmond has outperformed Carlton for the second time in a matter of days to open the 2008 season in style. It wasn’t enough that the Tigers knocked off the Blues on Thursday night – captain Kane Johnson has now gone one better than Carlton’s resident drunken idiot Brendan Fevola by weeing in public…in front of a police stationand getting arrested!

Johnson, who was celebrating his 30th birthday, has banned himself from Richmond’s round two clash with North Melbourne after admitting that his part was part of the incident. This incident has been described as “completely out of character” and an “aberration”…though we think that the guy was just slurring his words so that ‘urination’ sounded like ‘aberration’.

But it could explain why Johnson’s first possession in the opening game last season ending up with a 50 metre kick…the wrong way. Perhaps he went a bit too hard celebrating his 29th! Apart from Kane Johnson’s brain (and bladder) explosion, there are more reasons to celebrate after yesterday’s footy action:

Weekend reading:

Hey, there’s one more game to go in the Great Unveiling…and there is a medal up for grabs!

THE MATTHEW KNIGHTS MATCH

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): North Melbourne v Essendon (SEVEN)

Advertisements

The Greatest Unveiling Of All (Round One – The Great Unveiling)

Grizzly Adams 

We really need more beards in footy – great work Frase!

With all the great unveilings this week, the most impressive debut of round one must surely go the Fraser Gehrig’s new beard. Is it eligible for a Rising Star nomination? Just goes to show that even in the twilight of your career, beaten up old footy players can try new things and still have growth in them. 

Let’s pray the beard stays when the big fella runs out for the Saints again…hopefully, accompanied by a nice Bruce Doull-style head band. Celebrating 150 years of football in style…

Anyway, three more opening round matches were played yesterday. Just in case you spent the whole day trying to catch a glimpse of Nicole Kidman’s underwear (and what self-respecting Australian wouldn’t be up for that!), here’s what happened:

Today’s action:

THE KURT TIPPETT MATCH

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 1:10pm (local): Western Bulldogs v Adelaide (FOX)

THE CYRIL RIOLI MATCH

MCG, Melbourne – 4:40pm (local): Hawthorn v Melbourne (FOX)

What An Emotional Day (Round One – The Great Unveiling)

Party On 

Party on…you damn maniacs!

Richmond fans have been celebrating like idiots since Thursday night…and why not? They actually won a game…and who knows when that will happen again? And Geelong people are not that worked up over winning interstate…how times have changed!

But what about the rest of us? When will it be our turn to bark like rabid dogs at some blokes chasing a football? The Great Unveiling continues today with three very interesting matches, with another three to come over the next two days. It is the first Saturday of the new season – the first of many with arse parked on the couch, near the bar or within earshot of the radio and yelling like a damn fool at the footy. It’s…excuse me for a sec…it’s a little emotional…

Good luck if your mob is running around today…otherwise; be patient, reflect in the religious significance of this time (if that’s your thing), partake in a few choccy eggs (that’s more our thing) and get ready to cheer your boys on in the coming days!

Today’s action:

THE MARK JOHNSON MATCH

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Collingwood v Fremantle (FOX)

  • Probably the most overlooked match of the opening round. Collingwood is the team that doesn’t appear to be good enough but usually delivers while Fremantle has the talent and experience but yet to make the most of it. Should be a great match – a much better standard game than that Judd love-in the other night.
  • New skipper Scott Burns won’t be able to lead his side today after withdrawing due to injury. It continues a long run of what could be described as a ‘Captain’s Curse’ for Collingwood. Nathan Buckley was dogged by injury for most of 2007 and for years before that, Bucks was also cursed with being so much better than the rest of us. And before that…um…Tony Shaw ran into a tree?
  • To Buckley’s credit, he developed into a great captain and writes about it in today’s Age – definitely worth a read;
  • The build-up to this match has been a little reserved, though both coaches tried to get it on earlier this week. But Mark Harvey wants to start off his first full season with a win and is trusting his experienced players to make it happen. Brave man.
  • Fremantle made no guarantees to former Bomber Mark Johnson when they picked him up last year but he will make his first appearance (in public at least) in purple today. Having had a long history of tussles with Jeff Farmer, Johnson could not make any guarantees that he wouldn’t try to punch Farmer in the head if they both played in the forward line. Johnson has been named in the back pocket.

THE ‘PAIR OF GARDINERS’ MATCH

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 7:10pm (local): St Kilda v Sydney (TEN)

THE WEST COAST EAGLES MATCH

Subiaco, Perth – 5:40pm (local): West Coast v Brisbane (FOX)

Top Of The Heap (2008 Season Preview)

The Half Back Flanker season preview is broken up into four categories – Top of the Heap, Scraping In, Missing Out and Bottom of the Barrel . But rather than pretend that we know anything about footy, let’s look at what the ‘experts’ are saying and then, in 25 words or less, sum up the fortunes for each side this year.

So, without further ado…in ascending order of bragging rights:

Nice Tatt(brisbanetimes.com.au)

WEST COAST: The Eagles are looking to rebound from a highly controversial couple of years and the loss of two outstanding and influential (in different ways) midfielders. Will they remain to be one of the competition’s elite teams?

Half Back Flanker says: They will make the top four, all be in bed by 11:30pm and be as boring as all get-out!

Nice Tatt (Source: bigfooty.com)

PORT ADELAIDE: The Power came out of nowhere to make the Grand Final…where Geelong sent them back to nowhere very quickly. Are they really that good…or did psycho-coach Mark Williams scare them into believing they can play?

Half Back Flanker says: We have faith in Port but Choco Williams is very scary. We are just covering our ass in case he finds out where we live.

Nice Tatt (Source: abc.net.au – Getty Images)

HAWTHORN: The Hawks made giant strides last season after Spida Everitt pissed off to Sydney. With new cult figure Buddy Franklin running amok, this team is on the rise…but just how good are this mob?

Half Back Flanker says: They are headed for the top four and provided the likes of Hodgey, Browny and Jordan Lewis stop hitting blokes, could go further. Spida who?

Nice Tatt(Source: 3aw website)

GEELONG: The Cats swept all before them in 2007, ending a long premiership drought and giving Billy Brownless yet another excuse to piss on for weeks at a time. Can they be stopped in 2008?

Half Back Flanker says: Young nucleus, plently of depth – the Cats are the team to beat. But remember; don’t go to Thailand for your back-to-back premiers tattoo!

Richo Is Here To Save Us All! (Round One – The Great Unveiling)

Not Messiah

Maybe he’s not the messiah after all…

Richo

…maybe it’s this guy!!!

After all the hype and Eastery talk of messiahs and saviours, the Great Unveiling turned into the Great Reality Check for Carlton. Richmond fought back to win last night’s season opener, prompting coach Terry Wallace to sound off about critics who predicted his side will be crap…after they were crap last year and crap in the NAP Cup.

Yeah, we beat Carlton…who have been even worse than us for the last five years – in your face, football world…IN YOUR FACE!’

While in South Australia, Port Adelaide gave Geelong a fright by getting within 100 points of the Cats in the Grand Final rematch. Premiership coach Mark ‘Bomber Cat’ Thompson was obviously relieved to escape from AAMI Stadium with four points and no broken limbs while psycho-coach Mark Williams felt his side should have won after a big second half.

Ease up, Choco – they may not have won but they improved by 110 points compared to the last match…that’s pretty darn good!

But after our first shot of football fever, we have to wait until Saturday afternoon for the next game. Until then, if you are in desperate need of a footy fix, the best we can offer up is Sandy Roberts appearing on the Good Friday Appeal with his shirt slightly unbuttoned… 

Ooh La La 

Well, we did say if you were desperate…

Just in case you have spent the last 18 hours in your car trying to get home from work; here is some other footy news:

Go Crows
Your new look Adelaide Crows!

Round One – The Great Unveiling

Footy! 

Get It On Boys! (Source: realfooty.com.au)

Holy crap…footy starts again tonight! Like, there’s going to be an actual game to watch! In fact, there will be two…how freakin’ awesome is this!

Well, it won’t be particularly awesome if you are trying to get out of Melbourne with the Easter holiday traffic and a massive crowd heading to the MCG for a 6pm start! But we all have greater concerns right now…like figuring out where the scarf is or picking a killer fantasy football line-up or trying to guess the winners in the opening round of the tipping comp without seeing the selected sides for the weekend.

Actually, tips are not our strong suit so we are probably better off knowing less…

ROUND ONE TIPS

TIGERS by 18: WHAT? But Judd’s playing for Carlton! Yes – it sounds crazy but the guy won’t be at his peak and Richmond’s side looks ok-ish. Maybe their preseason failures were just a ruse…hmmm, kinda regretting this tip already…

CATS by 28:The reigning premiers partied long and hard and there’s no guarantee that they will pick up where they left off last year; that is, kicking everybody’s ass. But they beat this team by 20 goals just six months ago. They couldn’t lose…could they?

PIES by 5: Not getting any of the hype of tonight’s game, which is rare for a Collingwood game, but could be the best of the round. Not game to tip Freo just yet…

SAINTS by 20: The way these sides attacked last year, five goals would have been enough to win. But the Saints won the NAP Cup so…they must be unreal!

EAGLES by 31: The Lions caused one of the biggest upsets of the season against the Eagles in Perth last year. We don’t think it will happen again but geez, the locals would go mental if it did…and that’s quite appealing.

CROWS by 2: It might be Brad Johnson’s 300th game but Adelaide have a habit of screwing things up royally for the Dogs. Plus, the Crows made the NAP Cup final so…they must be unreal!

HAWKS by 41: The Hawks are tipped for big, big things…Melbourne are not. But even with a number of players missing for hitting people kinda hard, Hawthorn should still be too good.

ROOS by 11: The Matthew Knights Experience is about to launch but his Bombers have not beaten the Roos since 2001! North love nothing more than to beat up on their annoyingly-rich neighbours and will probably do it again here.

Tonight’s action:

THE CHRIS JUDD MATCH

MCG, Melbourne – 6:10pm (local): Carlton v Richmond (TEN)

  • Channel Ten might be a little peeved that they cannot interview ‘the next Barassi’ for tonight’s telecast but come on, the guy has already been on The Footy Show this year to plug his new company and answer numerous probing questions about his girlfriend. You can’t expect a club captain to be interviewed twice in one year…fair’s fair!!

THE PAUL STEWART MATCH

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide – 8:10pm (local): Port Adelaide v Geelong (SEVEN)

  • What? There’s another game tonight? And it’s the Grand Final rematch? Cool. Sure it all went to shit for Port Adelaide in the big one last year but at least they get a shot at redemption straight away. And it is common knowledge that the Power are usually a 20-goal better side at home…
  • All this focus on the big Carlton debut of Judd…but what about the Great Unveiling of Paul Stewart? The guy is a second round pick from the 2006 draft and will debut for Port tonight. All the best to the kid…
  • But there is a tiny glint of hope for Port with Geelong big fella Brad Ottens out injured. With Steven King having moved on to break down mid-season for St Kilda, the edge in the ruck is clearly with Brendon Lade and the man with the silent ‘r’, Dean Brogan. Because of this, we can safely predict that Geelong will not win by more than 100 points this time.

Scraping In (2008 Season Preview)

The Half Back Flanker season preview is broken up into four categories – Top of the Heap, Scraping In, Missing Out and Bottom of the Barrel . But rather than pretend that we know anything about footy, let’s look at what the ‘experts’ are saying and then, in 25 words or less, sum up the fortunes for each side this year.

So, without further ado…in order of likehood of an early finals exit:

Hello Ladies (Source: smh.com.au – Tony Nolan)

SYDNEY: The Swans reached the top of the heap in 2005 but suffered an early exit last season. Will the recently reconstructed Barry Hall lead them back in flag contention?

Half Back Flanker says: Nobody seems to think so…we have to agree. But they will still scrape into the finals and give it one last shot.

Hello Ladies

FREMANTLE: The Dockers should be really really good – and they were for one year in 2005 – but they have a history of sucking whenever they start to look good. With a new coach, will they ever be good again?

Half Back Flanker says: We say they’ll make the finals but on one condition…they have to play West Coast in the most spiteful finals match ever played!

Hello Ladies (Source: footycards.com.au)

COLLINGWOOD: The club everybody else loves to hate became kinda likeable in 2007 with their gutsy late-season heroics. Are they really good enough to challenge for the flag?

Half Back Flanker says: Good? Yes. Premiers? No. Still kinda likeable? That was purely a one-off…it will never, ever happen again!

Hello Ladies (Source: saints.com.au)

ST KILDA: The Saints have won the NAP Cup and are now the heir apparent(ly) to Geelong’s throne. For a chronic underachiever, are we just getting a little carried away?

Half Back Flanker says: The Saints are relying on two broken-down ruckmen to lead an injury-plagued club to the promised land. What could possible go wrong?