James Hird’s medal collection
Round six kicks off today with two matches, including the now traditional Anzac Day meeting between Collingwood and Essendon. Debate rages every year over whether the same two teams should play on Anzac Day but the Pies and Bombers have built up a fine tradition and are always mindful to pay solemn respect to those people who fought and died for us on this day.
One of the highlights of this match is that the best-on-ground is awarded the Anzac Day medal…most of which are hanging on the wall at James Hird’s place. But is it fair that the medal, which has grown in stature as this tradition builds, can only be won by a Collingwood or Essendon player?
So why doesn’t the League just award medals for each of the games this weekend? It’s probably not appropriate to hand out Anzac Day medals for games played after April 25th but there have been plenty of other themed rounds, trophies and medals introduced lately…
So, we here at Half Back Flanker are awarding a medal for each match this weekend! And because the Anzac Day medal became known as the ‘James Hird medal’ after a series of dazzling performances on the big stage, each medal will be named after a player who did kinda good in recent clashes between the two sides.
- Scott Burns misses Anzac Day game while an old Sheedy love-child will front for the Bombers;
- A man-mountain from Bunyip to make his debut for Geelong…cult figure, anyone?
- St Kilda find a ruckman from somewhere as Steven King and Michael Gardiner get reacquainted with the medical room;
- To the shock of absolutely no-one, Brian Lake should be right to play against the Eagles;
- The Demons choose co-captains to replace David Neitz…can’t believe they overlooked Brock McLean and Colin Sylvia!
TIPS FOR ‘MEDALS FOR EVERYONE’ ROUND
PIES by 16: James Hird can get involved all he likes but he can’t bail out the Bombers this Anzac Day!
CATS by 31: Wouldn’t it be a typically Fremantle thing to do for them to pull out a big game and beat the premiers at home but then go on to suck the rest of the year!
CROWS by 18: The Blues are on the improve but three straight wins? It couldn’t happen, could it?
DOGS by 27: Dogs should stay undefeated but wouldn’t another draw be amazing! Robert Murphy would get even freakier if that happened…
POWER by 35: Now that they have actually won a game, the Power might get on a roll. They need to if they want to finish top-two again.
LIONS by 45: This would make it three crushing losses in seven days for Russell Robertson – what a crappy week!
SWANS by 11: Hard to see this match being anything but ugly…which means Sydney are specials to win.
THE JAMES HIRD MEDAL GAME
MCG, Melbourne – 2:40pm (local): Collingwood v Essendon (TEN)
- James Hird produced plenty of highlights on this memorable day…but he’s retired now – you may remember one of the twenty or so laps of honour he and his kids have taken. But who will take over from him on Anzac Day? Maybe it will be a Magpie…
- Mick Malthouse wants to see some big performances from his players and he gets all judgemental about guys who play well on big occasions.
Matthew Knights is a little excited about coaching his first Anzac Day game…though he won’t be excited about a late, and potentially season-ending, injury to Alwyn Davey!
- Let’s hope we get to see that guy in action again real soon!
- The Bombers are hoping for a four-quarter effort today – rather than relying on a third-quarter surge to recover from the largish hole they dig themselves in the opening two quarters!
THE MATTHEW STOKES MEDAL GAME
If you win the medal, can I drape it around your neck? Please!
Subiaco, Perth- 6:40pm (local): Fremantle v Geelong (SEVEN)
The Cats beat Freo by 68 points at Subiaco last season and after kicking a career-high five goals in that game, young Matthew Stokes now has the honour of having the medal named after him!
- If Stokes is lucky enough to win his own medal, we know which teammate would LOVE to present it to him!
Fremantle will be hoping to surprise Geelong today…it would surprise everybody if they played well enough to beat them! Particularly if this guy gets a run…
If the Cats win, Cameron Ling will become the player with the longest winning streak in VFL/AFL history…and a role model for redheads everywhere!
- Really, the only thing that could stop Geelong right now is if they start fighting over money…but that looks unlikely as well!