Monthly Archives: May 2008

Crowbots Prevail…Just! (Round Ten – Welcome To The 21st Century)

LOSING TO ESSENDON…DOES NOT COMPUTE!

Man, that was close! In the battle of man verses machine, those fragile humans from Windy Hill came within a goal of upsetting the Crowbots. The football was far from pretty and Crowbot Commander Neil Craig would have blown a circuit board had they lost but he appeared ok after the match. Matthew Knights on the other hand

No, I’m not crying…it’s just raining on my face…

Knights did manage to get a much improved performance from his struggling young side and has plenty of reasons to be pleased with what he saw. One of these days, his humans will rise up and prevail over the might of the machines…well, in a couple of years at least!

Here is the rundown for the remaining games as we say Welcome To The 21st Century :

SATURDAY

Brodie Holland has designed his own space-age alternative strip…don’t think Eddie will like it!

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Collingwood v West Coast (TEN)

The locals are excited about the start of the 21st century…little do they know it actually kicked off about eight years ago!

Aurora Stadium, Launceston – 2:10pm (local): Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs (FOX)

Brisbane are a successful club with a multi-million dollar turnover…can’t they invent some hi-tech pants that won’t fall down?

GABBA, Brisbane – 7:10pm (local): Brisbane v North Melbourne (FOX)

Tattoo removal via laser technology can fix this little spelling error…not that there’s anything wrong with being a Gay Premier!

Telstra Dome, Melb- 7:10pm (local): Geelong v Carlton (TEN)

SUNDAY

The 21st century? No. Here’s one Sydney Swan who is destined to live in the 1980’s for the rest of his life!

SCG, Sydney – 1:10pm (local): Sydney v Richmond (FOX)

Auto-Tune pitch correction technology made people believe that Nick Riewoldt’s girlfriend could actually sing…

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): St Kilda v Melbourne (SEVEN)

These scientists are trying to come up with a reason why Freo are so shitty…no luck so far!

Subiaco, Perth – 2:40pm (local): Fremantle v Port Adelaide (FOX)

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Round Ten – Welcome To The 21st Century!

With the first pick in the 2028 AFL draft, the Gold Coast Cappers select…Android RX50000!

Space travel, robot dogs, Ipods. Modern technology…how awesome is it! And AFL footy has seen some wonderful innovations designed to make the game bigger and better. There has been no shortage of wonderful advances in modern technology – all in the name of footy progress. Like the incredible bionic knee, hypoxic altitude training and a ‘Mind Room’ that uses biofeedback technology and sports psychology to prepare players to handle high-pressure moments on the field. Clearly, Barry Hall skipped training that day

Now the League has taken one giant step into the brave new world of technology and introduced computer technology to assist with the implementation of the recently updated interchange rules. Last weekend was the first where sanctions were applied to teams that broke the new rules and, sure enough, things turned a little scandalous.

After the inevitable screw-up, thanks to interchange stewards recording player movements on post-it notes, the League acted fast to adopt a computerised system for tracking player interchange. While there is no guarantee that everything will be in place in time, at least the humble post-it note can now be used for its intended purpose…to be stuck all over Adrian Anderson’s work computer by disgruntled co-workers at AFL House!

So let’s make this weekend a tribute to modern technology as we welcome the AFL to the 21st century and promote the development of more innovations that will take the game to greater levels. How about an elixir that cures soft-tissue injuries? Or a tiny microchip you can install in the brain that eradicates skill errors? And what about a piece of technology that can help Melbourne get off the bottom of the ladder?

Hey, if we are really lucky, somebody might invent a contraption that will help drag Sam Newman into the 21st century…but then again, scientists might be geniuses but they are not miracle workers!

TEAM NEWS

TIPS FOR WELCOME TO THE 21ST CENTURY

CROWS by 60: And that is being incredibly generous…unless the Scott Lucas comeback is amazingly successful!

PIES by 29: The game straight after an amazing performance can sometimes be fraught with danger…but surely they could slip up here!

HAWKS by 14: Hawthorn to win the Tassie blockbuster…how long will they stay undefeated?

LIONS by 8: The Roos love a good nail-biter and this one could be close as well…but they might be on the opposite end this week.

CATS by 45: You get the impression that Geelong are going to hit back hard after last week’s shocker…bad news for the Blues!

SWANS by 35: The Tigers will be confident but the Swans in Sydney are a touch better than the Bombers…

SAINTS by 11: St Kilda should rebound here after a disappointing run…but if you thought the local media was being harsh on the Saints recently, imagine what will happen if the Dees get up!

DOCKERS by 1: A real tipsters nightmare with both sides capable of losing from anywhere…will tip Freo with zero confidence and no real idea why!

Tonight’s action:

Modern food technology allows us to design cakes in Adelaide Crows colours…but they still taste delicious!

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide – 7:40pm (local): Adelaide v Essendon (SEVEN)

Premium Geek Out! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

Yeah, nah…looking forward to captaining Half Back Flanker this weekend.

It’s not like we needed another excuse to sit in front of the computer but on Monday night, Half Back Flanker spent a solid couple of hours participating in an online live draft, putting together a kick-ass squad for the AFL website’s new fantasy footy competition…the Premium Dream Team! With ten teams taking part, each with 60 or so seconds to select players for their team, the process was smoother than expected, though keeping track of which players had been picked up was a little difficult.

Anyway, here is the Half Back Flanker squad for the Premium Dream Team and a few notes to follow:

DEFENDERS: Craig Bolton, Jordan McMahon, Michael Johnson, Scott Stevens, Andrew Welsh, Andrew Mackie, Grant Birchall.

MIDFIELD: Brad Green, Brock McLean, Rhys Shaw, Chris Judd, Matt Priddis, Brad Sewell.

RUCKS: Dean Cox, David Hale.

FORWARDS: Dean Solomon, Quinten Lynch, Leigh Harding, Matthew Stokes, Alan Didak, Matthew Richardson, Brad Fisher.

Notes:

  • With pick three in the draft and the big ruckman from the Eagles available, how could we say no! This also allowed us to concentrate on other areas before picking up a second ruckman.
  • Our draft plan was to pick players based on their average scores per round so far this season…but that fell out the window in round two of the draft when we got sucked in by the big name and grabbed Chris Judd at pick 17. With around 40 midfielders averaging more than him, it probably wasn’t the smartest choice at that stage…and his prospects for a greater second half to the year are in doubt too!
  • Fortunately, the plan worked when Andrew Mackie and Matt Priddis, who have both missed a few games this season, were still available after round five. With Richo picked up in round three, our side has the top ranked ruck and forward in average score per round, the third and fifth-ranked defenders (Mackie and Jordan McMahon) and the fifth-ranked midfielder (Priddis).
  • We have the only two forwards who average over 100 per round (Richo and Didak) and four mids who average over 90 (Priddis plus Brad Green, Rhys Shaw and Brad Sewell). Brock McLean was still available in round 20 and after a 127 last start, here’s hoping he can produce at that level more often for the rest of the year.
  • Our second last pick was Bomber Andrew Welsh and, surprisingly, his average score per round is good enough for 16th among all defenders, while our last pick was Freo’s Dean Solomon who averages 71 as a forward.

So, the first opponent is Sox F.C., who has Fevola up front and a mean group of mids including Hodge, Goodwin, Carrazzo and Luke Power. Hopefully, Hodge will not be ready to resume after his hamstring problem…

So while we are looking forward to seeing how our Premium Dream Teams fares, let’s not forget the teams in Herald Sun Super Coach and AFL Dream Team. They both won last week, with the Dream Team side still undefeated, but both squads seems to be suffering from too many low-to-mid priced purchases based on making a profit and not enough re-investment in star players who consistently produce big numbers.

Super Coach: 18,002 points, 12,364th place overall – up a few thousand places…nice.

League: 12 points (3-3), 101.44% – 9th place. Back on the winners list!

Last Start: Defeated Roo Boys 2,095 to 1,848 – a good team performances helped cover for a few shockers, could have been more with Ben McKinlay (65) in the forward line instead of the bench.

Good: 130’s from Nathan Foley, Nick Stevens and Jono Brown plus a 128 from Cyril Rioli! Finally, a good week for the defence…but for one exception (see Bad). Double points from Pavlich (222) also helped.

Bad: Sean Dempster typified St Kilda’s effort on the weekend with a lousy 27 while Sydney’s Craig Bird, in for the injured Bachar Houli, could only manage a 30. Is it bye bye Birdy this week?

Ugly: Kurt Tippett went from Rising Star to a mere eight fantasy points? Sure. he’s a young guy who will have his ups and downs this year….but eight freakin’ points?

Next opponent: 11th placed Roc Roc Xaviers – topped 2000 last week with great scores from the forward line. We need to keep winning to stay in touch so…dare we say it…it’s virtually an eight-point game!

Potential changes/trades: Now is the time to pick up rookie Tiger Trent Cotchin before his price hike and either Jarryn Geary or Craig Bird and the leftover cap leaves us enough to invest in a blue-chip defender or cash in Josh Hill for another star forward. Will Tadhg Kennelly be fit this week and even if he is, can we trust that he will last the match anyway?

Dream Team: 15,989 points, 15,550th place overall – Super Coach might be on the way up but Dream Team is sliding down the overall rankings.

League: 24 points (6-0), 114.23% – 2nd place – despite the overall slide, we are yet to taste defeat in the League.

Last Start: Defeated Shamo 1,614 to 1,500 – very fortunate to be playing a team that is not really trying anymore!

Good: Nick Stevens, Deledio and Brad Johnson clearing 100, Chad Cornes with a 91 in his first game back from a finger injury and Garrick Ibbotson (81) is one piece of good news for the Dockers and doing wonders for our defence.

Bad: Low scoring defenders, including new recruit David Myers (22) , Sean Dempster (37) and Michael Osborne (43). Paul Chapman’s late withdrawal proved costly while more hamstring trouble for Stuart Dew results in a low score and the belief that a trade might be the better option.

Ugly: The Adelaide Crows…well Tippett (14) and Andrew McLeod (26) at least. Can’t afford too many more off games from McLeod, particularly with little in reserve on the bench from our defenders.

Next opponent: 5th placed Whysie Boi…only dropped one match and would have beaten us by a mere three points had we played last week.

Potential changes/trades: Rookie-listed Demon Shane Valenti would provide a tidy profit if we pick him up now for either Josh Hill or Dew. But if we do this and get Cotchin in the midfield, it leaves us thin in defence and with only eight trades left. With finals a real possibility, do we hold back on profit-based trading and saves our moves for the business end of the season?

Come on, Chappy…we need you back this week!

Dream Team Eliminator:

Eliminated! And it wasn’t even close…1,986 to 1,614 against St. James Streakers. So now the focus goes onto the Premium Dream Team comp…

Ka-Ching!!! (The Lost Weekend)

Will the League fine the Eagles for this? Hey, it’s the AFL…of course they bloody will!

Indigenous Round will now be remembered as the round the new interchange rule went completely mad! Implementing a new system for processing the interchange of players mid season was certain to cause some controversy and, sure enough, it happened. Just not how we thought it would

Saturday night saw the first ever interchange free kick awarded to Adelaide against the West Coast, which resulted in a goal to Crows ruckman Ivan Maric. Problem is…the interchange stewards made a blunder and that free kick should not have been awarded! John Worsfold is understandably pissy about it and wants to know whether he can get that goal back. Well, you never know – the League seem to be a charitable bunch…

But Adrian Anderson can’t be happy…not only did he fail to raise enough money for his end-of-year Pimps and Hoes party but he will have to front the media this week and give one of his boring-ass legalese explanations why all his decisions are awesome. Can’t wait for that…

We want the goal back (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap) We want the goal back…

So before Mr Anderson shits us all to tears with the defence of his interchange rule, here’s a wrap of all the events of AFL End-Of Year Fundraiser Round:

SUNDAY

Can you feel the hate, Jeff?

Thanks for the honourable loss today boys…it’s probably fitting.

The only time you will see Brad Johnson without a smile…

  • Brad Johnson had another fairytale script written for him as he lined up for the match-winning goal after the siren and keep his Doggies unbeaten. But he missed and the Roos prevail. Obviously, Jonno’s script must have been edited by whoever was responsible for writing Monster House…because it all went to shit! But Brent Harvey must have be a fan of Monster House…because he loved it!

SATURDAY

If I am so good then why is my team so crappy???


Please, no need to clap…it was just Essendon…

Fellas, I don’t mean to sound harsh…but you are by far the shittiest team I’ve ever coached!

Well…That Was A Bit Of A Surprise! (Round Nine – AFL End-Of Year Fundraiser)

I really need a hug right now…

Holy Crap! Collingwood were expected to give Geelong a good run for their money last night. Instead, they stole Geelong’s money, spent it on baseball bats and clubbed them around the head with them for two hours! Even into the third quarter, you expected the Cats to get serious at some point and fight back but the Pies just kept bringing the rain.

After the game, Mick Malthouse, the human handbrake, was his usual non-fun self. What’s wrong with flogging the undefeated reigning premiers and then getting up and shouting “How f%#@!$g good are we!” Mark Thompson, on the other hand, would have been pretty pissed off with the lack of fight from his Cats. But we think that having journos ask him whether his team really needed to get flogged by 14 goals just to keep them humble would piss him off more.

But the Geelong loss does mean that we have just two unbeaten teams left…and they are scheduled to meet next weekend in Launceston! Provided Hawthorn beat Melbourne (easy) and the Dogs beat North (not so easy) on Sunday, next Saturday afternoon’s clash will be the biggest thing to happen in Tassie since Open Day at the Cadbury factory!

Here is the rundown for the remaining games of AFL End-Of Year Fundraiser Round:

SATURDAY

Freo celebrate at three-quarter-time last week! Um…do they even know a game has four quarters? And is there really a need for a trophy?

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Carlton v Fremantle (TEN)

Warren phones Hawk Mark Williams to talk about silly goal celebrations…

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide – 2:10pm (local): Port Adelaide v Sydney (FOX)

Nathan Lovett-Murray and Richard Tambling trying to remember what it’s actually like to win a game of football…

MCG, Melbourne – 7:10pm (local): Essendon v Richmond (TEN)

Neil Craig had the boys working on the post-game song at training during the week…expect a big performance in the sheds today!

Subiaco, Perth – 7:10pm (local): West Coast v Adelaide (FOX)

SUNDAY

Hey Nick, here’s two tickets to the gun show!

GABBA, Brisbane – 1:10pm (local): Brisbane v St Kilda (FOX)

Who could take this man seriously wearing that jacket?

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Melbourne v Hawthorn (SEVEN)

He’s inside, has bleached hair, and wears number 12. Now go smash him!

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 4:40pm (local): Western Bulldogs v North Melbourne (FOX)

Round Nine – AFL End-Of-Year Party Fundraiser

This weekend is meant to be all about this…

But instead, it will be all about this!

This is supposed to be Indigenous Round – a weekend dedicated to recognise the contribution of indigenous players to our great game, the highlight being Dreamtime At The ‘G on Saturday night. But wait just a minute…it seems that the League has an even better idea that will benefit all football followers. Ah, no – actually it will just benefit those people at AFL House…

Here’s the story. A few weeks ago, the Sydney Swans had one too many players on the ground at a vital stage of the drawn match against North Melbourne. Well, the League didn’t really know what to do. So they looked busy for a few days and then slapped the Swans with a fine…one half was suspended but Adrian Anderson used the other half to throw a sweet toga party!

But the League couldn’t afford to have this blunder happen again and Mr. Anderson hadn’t tinkered with anything for a while so they put him to work on a new player interchange system. They introduced it last week and it was heavily criticised by the clubs…mostly because they didn’t know what they were doing and it was panic stations on the sidelines.

Don’t Panic! The AFL have introduced new interchange stewards…

Typically, the League thought that was totally awesome! So much so, they are actually going to start punishing clubs for botched interchanges as of tonight. And if the Swans are one of those teams, they will get slugged an extra 25 grand!

This has made Adrian Anderson about as popular as Brendan Nelson in the football world right now but that’s why he has the job…in which case, he was an inspired choice. But the team at AFL House must love him, especially when he is raking in the dough from club fines and holding kick-ass dress-up parties!

So, now this weekend will be known as AFL End-Of-Year Party Fundraiser Round! How much money will he raise this weekend? And, most importantly, what theme will he choose for the dress-up party? Our money is on Pimps and Hoes…

Adrian Anderson has already picked out his costume…

TEAM NEWS

TIPS FOR THE AFL END-OF-YEAR PARTY FUNDRAISER

CATS by 30: Remember the last time these two teams played? Well, this game won’t be like that at all!

BLUES by 19: Well, they are playing Fremantle…

POWER by 4: Mark Williams is about to lose his mind right now so a loss at home could prove fatal…

TIGERS by 49: Richmond are the most improved side yet cannot seem to actually win a game…expect that to change this weekend.

EAGLES by 15: West Coast are pretty much out of the finals race already but will still win the odd game at home…like this one.

LIONS by 35: Brisbane should win and then we will get another series of ‘What’s wrong with St Kilda?’ articles to read next week. Can’t wait…

HAWKS by 51: The Demons faithful will gather as Melbourne send off David Neitz…but it sure won’t be in style!

DOGS by 26: The Dogs are probably due for a loss but we want them and Hawthorn to stay unbeaten before they clash next week…

Tonight’s action:

MCG, Melbourne – 7:40pm (local): Collingwood v Geelong (SEVEN)

Luck Of The Irish (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

AH, MY KNEE!! I’m sorry Half Back Flanker…I can’t go back on!

Irish eyes are definitely not smiling on our fantasy footy teams at the moment! First it was The Chad, then Nicky Riewoldt….now the fortunes of Tadhg Kennelly’s knee pretty much reflect that of Half Back Flanker. Well, mainly in the Herald Sun Super Coach but not even a fit and firing Tadhg would have saved us this week just gone…

But it’s not all bad news for our AFL Dream Team squad, who are yet to taste defeat despite having Nicky and the Chad out of action. And of course the Eliminator competition…did we stay alive for another week?

During the week, Half Back Flanker also joined the AFL website’s new competition…the Premium Dream Team! The major difference between Premium and the other competition, apart from costing twelve dollars for the purchase of a near-useless game guide, is that players participate in a live player draft to select teams rather than choosing your own side with a salary cap. More on that next week…once we have thought about who to choose and why etc…

Super Coach: 15,907 points, 16,461th place overall – down around 5,000 this week and, unfortunately for us, the downward trend may continue as the weeks go on.

League: 8 points (2-3), 99.21% – 10th place. That’s two straight losses…another this week and the finals may start to become out of reach.

Last Start: Lost to Carn The Hawks 2,331 to 1,863 – the mother of all hidings that sent the percentage back a fair way. Guess which team has Geelong midfielders and which one doesn’t?

Good: 145 points on a dodgy foot – Dean Cox is amazing! Jono Brown finally delivered while new recruit Robert Murphy and Swan Marty Mattner also topped 130 points. Rookie Rhys Palmer still producing the goods.

Bad: Hall of Fame hangovers for Daniel Bradshaw (48), Heath Shaw (45) and Troy Simmons (37). Most of the midfield underperformed including Nick Stevens plus state reps Brent Harvey and Nathan Foley. And then, there was this guy…

Ugly: Tadhg Kennelly writhing around in agony after dislocating his knee on Sunday. He had that look on his face that not only said ‘I might not play for a while’ but ‘when’s the next flight home?’ Fortunately, the injury appears to be not as bad as it looked but is it worth holding on to him?

Next opponent: 13th placed Roo Boys – good forward line and defense played one man short last week and still outscored mine! Luke Ball’s injury could be a bonus for us though…

Potential changes/trades: Could have a thread-bare defence if Kennelly and Cornes are both out injured and Mark Nicoski is all we have in reserve. If Cornes is back, maybe it’s time to trade Nicoski…and Essendon youngster David Myers might be a good trade option. His price will go up after this round and if he keeps getting a run in their defence, he will definitely be a busy boy!

Dream Team: 14,375 points, 10,122th place overall – both teams are sinking gradually but the Dream Team is at least firing in its League.

League: 20 points (5-0), 115.52% – 2nd place – still undefeated and probably our only shot at glory after our Super Coach woes.

Last Start: Defeated McKane’s Hawkas 1,710 to 1,432 – opponent missing Cornes, Hodge, Kerr and Ottens and replaced them all with…nobody! Virtually a bye week but will gladly take the points!

Good: Four midfielders cleared 100 points while double points on captain Dean Cox came up big too. Good returns again from Pavlich, Deledio, Osborne and Dempster.

Bad: Four players in the 30’s, including McLeod and Simmonds and Mark Nicoski with 29 – his days in ours or any other line-up, virtual or actual, might be numbered.

Ugly: Our unwavering belief that Matthew Whelan will fulfil his role as a bargain pick-up. We have held onto him in the hope that he will rack up stats in an overworked Melbourne defence but has only played twice thus far. Time is running out for him…

Next opponent: 15th placed Shamo…all Shamo’s eggs are in the midfielder basket but the rest of the squad suffers as a result.

Potential changes/trades: Regardless of what happens with Whelan, it could be Nicoski for Myers here as well…though we still have 70 grand in the cap so an upgrade is also possible. Ryan Griffin to start in the midfield with Houli as an emergency this week. With rookie Tiger Trent Cotchin’s impressive debut last week, it might be time to cash in on Houli or Craig Bird and spend the profits on a defender that won’t get hurt…

Dream Team Eliminator:

There are now 32768 Dream Teams remaining…and Half Back Flanker is still in the race! We were certain that Tiger Time would knock Half Back Flanker out of this comp but no…1,720 to 1,555. Heath Shaw, Travis Cloke, Kennelly, Simmonds, and Koschitzke all underperformed for various reasons and a big game from our captain Cox ensured that we live on…but for how long?