Monthly Archives: June 2008

Normality Takes The Weekend Off (The Lost Weekend)

No wonder Austin Wonaeamirri celebrates like a crazy man…check out his dad! And what on earth is Jimmy Stynes doing to him?

What the hell is going on? After Hawthorn’s regulation win on Friday night, you got the feeling that every other game in this first weekend of the split round would be equally uneventful and boring! That the players were just going to go through the motions and play out the match before pissing off to their favourite beach, bar or back paddock for the mid-season break…

The interchange ump got his head on TV this weekend – not once but twice!

Instead, we had one of the most eventful, amazing, bizarre and sad weekends that you could possibly imagine! Gutsy upsets, unusual occurrences, interchange penalties, Daniel Kerr stung by a stingray on a Melbourne beach and, in the ultimate WTF incident, Richmond player Graham Polak placed in an induced coma after being hit by a tram on Saturday night! While there are some positive signs today, it is too early to determine the full extent of his injuries or whether he will be able to return to football. Our thoughts go out to him and his family…here’s hoping he can make a full recovery…

Sunday:

Ahhh, Brad Miller…where have you been?

Saturday:

Look – the Aker handstand is back! Whoop-de-frickin’-doo!

The Roos are spitting chips at letting another game slip…clearly they need more spitting practice!

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Another Friday Night Snoozer (Round 14 – Welcome To Splitsville)

Clarko tries to fire up his boys but it’s clear that they are all on holiday and nobody is listening to him…Crawf is just sleeping with his eyes open!

Well, we haven’t had much luck with Friday Night Football the past two weeks. Last Friday was the St Kilda-Fremantle stinkfest and last night’s Hawthorn-West Coast game was not much better. It was clear that most of the players were just counting down the minutes until their mid-season break kicked in…it was played with the intensity of a Melbourne office worker the day before they head off for three weeks holiday in Queensland!The footballing equivalent of cleaning your desk a dozen times and shuffling pens until five o’clock!

The Hawks just went through the motions, relying on the occasional efforts of Buddy Franklin and Jarryd Roughead to ensure a comfortable win. Alastair Clarkson will have been pleased to get to the break with just two losses though he can’t seem to keep his players from hurting themselves.

John Worsfold, on the other hand, seemed pleased with the effort of his players to lose a shit-boring game by ten goals! That is not the Worsfold we all know and loathe…

SATURDAY

Brendan Fevola is hoping to finalise his new contract with Carlton during the split round…then he might be able to afford some dental work!

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Richmond v Carlton (FOX)

Nick Riewoldt will stay on the Gold Coast during his break…just getting a feel for his new footballing home in 2011!

Gold Coast Stadium, Gold Coast – 7:10pm (local): North Melbourne v St Kilda (TEN)

Port Adelaide players love frolicking at the beach during the split round break…they build sand castles and Warren Tredrea dresses up like Pamela Anderson in Baywatch and pretends to rescue his teammates. What fun!

TIO Stadium, Darwin – 7:10pm (local): Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide (FOX)

SUNDAY

Brock McLean will be threatening to crush young school children with his massive arms unless they sign up as members during the break. The kids are not impressed…

MCG, Melbourne – 1:10pm (local): Melbourne v Brisbane (FOX)

It seems those orange boots are a massive hit with the ladies! Kyle Reimers will spend his break picking up many famous single women…he has even recruited Jay Nash to help keep up with demand!!

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

Round 14 – Welcome To Splitsville! (Part One)

While every other AFL player is escaping from their club for a week off, Ben Cousins is just trying to find a club somewhere, anywhere to join!

Woohoo!! Mid-season break! The split round is here and every footballer will be looking forward to a weekend away from the head-high bump and grind of a long AFL season. And the players cannot wait!

But what do they get up to? We know that Dean Cox will be heading for a deserted island far, far away the second the final siren sounds at the MCG tonight. Fremantle players are already in holiday mode…and they actually have to play this week!

But those players who were hoping to stay up late to watch Maria Sharapova win Winbledon next week will be shattered this morning…absolutely shattered! Don’t worry boys, Ana Ivanovic is still in the tournament

Maria is out…but Ana is still in! Well worth staying up late for…

So, what will our favourite footy players get up to when they have a week off during the split round? Well, it’s time to find out as we say Welcome to Splitsville!

TEAM NEWS

TIPS FOR WELCOME TO SPLITSVILLE – PART ONE:

HAWKS by 41: Hawthorn are in the top four and care a lot. West Coast are in the bottom four and don’t care a lot. If you were ever stupid enough to bet your house on a game of football…this would probably be the one!

TIGERS by 9: They may not get one hundred thousand people at the ‘G, but the four points should keep Richmond happy.

ROOS by 18: Could be a rough night for the Saints, particularly if the guys from GC17 catch up with Nick Riewoldt about his future plans…

DOGS by 35: If you were ever stupid enough to bet your house on two games of football…this game and the Hawthorn game would probably be the two!

LIONS by 21: Will Travis Johnstone feel a bit sentimental when he takes on his former club? No, we don’t think so either…

DOCKERS by 29: A third win and perhaps a permanent vacation for Jeff Farmer and Heath Black…is this a turning point for the Fremantle Dockers?

Tonight’s action:

Daniel Kerr will spend his week off ringing other clubs in the hope of getting traded to a contender at the end of the year!

MCG, Melbourne – 7:40pm (local): Hawthorn v West Coast (SEVEN)

On The Improve (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

Judd’s headache might be on the improve but will he take his place in our Premium Dream Team midfield this week? And, if he doesn’t, do we keep him?

The finals in all fantasy footy competitions are fast approaching…and Half Back Flanker might just feature in them all! After a few difficult weeks in our Herald Sun Super Coach league, things are looking up…now back in the top eight and with some winnable games coming up, finals fantasy footy is now a reality. But for our AFL Dream Team squad, there is real hope of a grand final appearance – second spot with a good percentage, top-four is looking very likely. And with both teams playing the bottom side in their respective comps, our position should only improve.

The fate of our Premium Dream Team squad is at an interesting stage. Two wins from four games so far but there are two teams we have yet to play that are guaranteed wins and big percentage boosters. But concerns over key players this week might mean some tough decisions at the trading table…including one massive name!

Premium Dream Team: 7,296 points, 525th place overall – slight rise in overall standings despite the loss on the weekend.

League: 8 points (2-2), 107.20% – 6th place. Only percentage out of the four but a league win this week should get us back up there. With two relatively easy matches coming soon, finals are assured.

Last Start: Lost to Fixymatosis Bunnys 1,902 to 1,810 – the late withdrawal of Matthew Stokes cost us dearly but, as usual, it was the presence of Gary Ablett in the opposing team that did us in!

Good: Our faith in Dean Cox as captain was restored as he scored a 115…as did free agent pick-up Barry Hall! Jordan McMahon topped 100 points while a good group of players scored in the 90’s.

Bad: Injuries affected the output of Chris Judd (61) and Michael Johnson (47) while 50’s from Birchall, McLean, Lynch and Leigh Harding prevented what could have been a winning score.

Ugly: Our reaction to the late withdrawal of Stokes from the Geelong-West Coast game was far from attractive. Watching Gary Ablett carve it up and clock up double points for the opposition was also tough to watch.

Next opponent: 4th placed CARLTON BLUES (1,415 last week)…they currently have injured players (Bradshaw, Salopek) and if Staker is left out for the Eagles, we are looking good! But  this team has Buddy Franklin, who was very quiet last week, so a big game from him would make a heck of a difference.

Potential changes/trades: Choosing to trade out Dean Solomon instead of Leigh Harding has cost us valuable points in the past two weeks so provided Solly is selected to play, a late trade is likely. A bit concerned about the health of Michael Johnson and, of course, Chris Judd…but then he has been our lowest scoring midfielder. It sounds crazy but if he is left out of the team tonight…do we trade him for available players that are averaging close to 100 like Michael Doughty or Daniel Harris?

Super Coach: 25,746 points, 21,118th place overall – a rare improvement in the overall, up a few hundred spots.

League: 20 points (5-5), 101.15% – 8th place. Back in the eight and a friendly draw in the next month (we play four of the bottom five teams) could see us stay in the finals.

Last Start: Defeated The Clungeplungers 2,032 to 1,547 – nice percentage boost and a decent score to boot. Still yet to taste defeat when topping 2000 points…just haven’t done it often enough!

Good: Seven players over 100 points, including a huge return to form for Heath Shaw (158 ) and 136 from both Nick Stevens and Brent Harvey. New midfield acquisition Joel Corey was given the captaincy straight off the bat and while he didn’t crack the ton, we think he will be the consistent high scorer that our midfield needs.

Bad: Injury has hit Chad Cornes and Tadgh Kennelly pretty hard this year and both were under 60 this week. Kennelly still has plenty to play for this season but Cornes might be shevled for the year very soon…or will he? Rhys Palmer (53) will have his ups and downs but last week was a definite down – should bounce back at home against Essendon though.

Ugly:  Two emergencies comprehensively outscoring some onfield guys this week – Tippett with 103 and Kreuzer with 91 would have been awesome compared to Simmonds (44) and Rioli (38). Whether Tippett can replicate that score depends on whether he gets more time in the ruck but does Kreuzer get a gig ahead of Simmonds?

Next opponent: 16th placed Lebanese Gods (1,731 last week) – only one win this season but actually has a pretty good team, including Ablett, though injuries to Scarlett and Croad probably don’t help. Still expecting to win but it could be closer than we would like.

Potential changes/trades: With only five trades left and a friendly draw, we could probably get by without making any trades unless it was absolutely necessary. Even if Chad Cornes is out for the year, we can sub him for Collingwood’s Nathan Brown or Bradshaw if he is fit again.

Dream Team: 23,247 points, 19,019th place overall – another slight drop but with full focus on the League, not a great concern.

League: 36 points (9-1), 113.75% – 2nd place – tiny increase in percentage but comfortable in the top four and a big win this week might just ensure we stay there until the finals.

Last Start: Defeated Neversaydiepies 1,842 to 1,572 – could have been a greater margin had our captain not been the third lowest scorer for our team! See Ugly…

Good:A massive 152 from Nick Riewoldt plus four other 100-plus scores. While plenty of stars stood up (Chapman, Stevens, Cox, Pavlich), high 80’s from Mark Nicoski and rookie David Myers were equally important.

Bad:Cyril Rioli with a 36 – when we look to upgrade at the forward spot come finals time, he will be a likely out. Hopefully he can score a little better and keep his price up before we sell! Rare quiet games from Deledio and Osborne, both in the 50’s.

Ugly: Lance Franklin couldn’t even crack the ton with double points as captain! At least we have a few captaincy candidates in form at the moment, so Buddy will have to relinquish that honour this week!

Next opponent: 16th placed Me And You Kick Ass (1,042 last week) – guaranteed win coming up so will stay in second with a good percentage boost and still have eight trades to go. Probably our best chance at a league premiership!

Potential changes/trades: Only if Chad is out for the year as Bradshaw and Drum are our defenders on the bench and neither have played in recent weeks. If we do trade, Jordan McMahon or Heath Shaw would be the two best options but if Chad does play this week but doesn’t come back after the break, Jake King might be ready to return for the Tigers and would make a good trade option as well.

Terrible Week For Australia’s Team (The Lost Weekend)

The Blues couldn’t get over the line in support of their embattled billionaire ex-president…so much for gratitude!

Every Australian should feel a tinge of sadness after another tumultuous week at the Carlton Football Club. Having recovered from a perilous financial situation, due in large part to the generosity of billionaire president Richard Pratt, the Blues were finally making some real progress on-field by climbing into the top eight for the first time in a long while.

That all went to shit last week. First, Pratt vacated the top job after being charged for misleading the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. Then Brendan Fevola rejects a new contract offer of close to two million dollars over three seasons – well, he does have a family to feed. And then yesterday, despite another strong comeback that saw them hit the front in the final term, the Blues got rolled by Essendon and slumped to more familiar territory on the AFL ladder.

Kyle Reimers celebrates sinking the Blues by pointing to his ACCC tattoo…

But it is not just the die-hard Blues fan that should feel deflated today. Dick Pratt was partly responsible for ripping off a large majority of Australians and with his generous donations, it is like all of us box-purchasing Australians have indirectly helped prop up the finances at Princes Park. So we all have a monetary stake in Carlton…a dishonourary membership, if you will! And, as a bonefide stakeholder at Carlton, we want more talk of a top-eight finish…not less! We want a return on our investment…that’s all we ask.

In other results yesterday:

Some of the stories floating around over the weekend:

Holy Crap! (Round 13 – Ling For The Brownlow!)

DUDE! My team is so frickin’ sweet! This is totally killer!!!

Well, that was fairly impressive. Bomber Thompson could do nothing but look on dreamily as his Cats thumped the living suitcase out of the West Coast Eagles at Subi last night. Gary Ablett completely ruined our Cameron Ling for the Brownlow campaign by not getting reported during another stand-out performance.

John Worsfold probably felt like smashing an assistant coach about the face during the flogging but stated post-match that the future for his team is still very bright. He probably didn’t realise that the Eagles have to travel to Geelong in round 22…but then if they have a priority draft pick on the line in that game, another crushing defeat may well brighten up their future!

In other action yesterday:

Today’s matches:

SUNDAY

Brett Kirk: GUILTY of making contact with an umpire…after accusing the ump of ruining his path to enlightenment due to a poor free kick decision. REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION.

Manuka Oval, Canberra – 1:10pm (local): Melbourne v Sydney (FOX)

Every Carlton Player: GUILTY by association…REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION.

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

Adam Cooney: GUILTY of rough conduct…he stared threateningly at James Clement in 2007, forcing him into an early retirement. REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION.

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

Warning: Football Can Make You Drowsy (Round Thirteen – Ling For The Brownlow!)

The Saints would have loved to have one of these guys out there last night. The other one…hmmm, not so much.

Well, that was three hours of your life that you will never get back! And you know that a Friday night game is as boring as all get-out when sub-editors try to get away with writing dumb-ass headlines, purely for their own amusement. The guys at The Age went with “St Kilda killing off Fremantle’s finals hopes”…um, Freo have won two games all year. TWO GAMES! Gee, I wonder if Sydney will kill off Melbourne’s finals hopes tomorrow…

Even the people at the Herald Sun must have dozed off during the night after confusing St Kilda veteran Robert Harvey with Dockers coach Mark Harvey, which you can see in the image below. Well, Robert must be at least 15 years older than Mark so you can’t really blame them…easy mistake to make!

At least the Saints showed a fair bit of spirit after a string of lifeless efforts and Nick Riewoldt’s fine game kept the St Kilda faithful entertained while a burst of three goals in the second quarter from Matthew Pavlich was a rare highlight for Fremantle. After that…zzzzzzzzzzzz…

Typically, the Dockers went in as favourites after a win and totally stunk out the joint – they may as well just call themselves the Freo Pavlich from now on. No wonder Robert Mark Harvey is frustrated!

Won’t stand next to his opponent, won’t sit next to anyone in the stands! Even when he’s not playing, Nick Dal Santo is still unaccountable…

Hopefully, last night’s match was so damn boring that the umpires did not feel compelled to award Brownlow votes…assisting our push for a shock medal winner during Ling For The Brownlow round! Let’s see which other players need to be stopped today in order to get the Geelong Gingernut over the line…

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Luke Hodge: GUILTY of attempting to strike…during a VFL appearance for Box Hill a few years ago. Look at that flying fist! That cannot go unpunished…REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION.

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

Matthew Richardson: GUILTY of breaching AFL merchandising trademarks by wearing unlicensed football products from Dimmeys. REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION.

AAMI Stadium, Adelaide – 2:40pm (local): Port Adelaide v Richmond (FOX)

SATURDAY NIGHT

Gary Ablett: GUILTY of charging David Wirrpanda…sure, it’s from an incident two seasons ago (when he had hair) but better late than never! REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION.

Subiaco, Perth – 5:40pm (local): West Coast v Geelong (TEN)

Jonathan Brown: GUILTY of striking…well, he was thinking about it after this incident…and we feel that intent is an admission of guilt! REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION.

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