In 2007, the League decided to take all the excitement, atmosphere and passion of September and suck the life out of it by giving the AFL finals series a lame-arse name…we were given “Septopia”. And didn’t Septopia catch on…
Geelong appeared to reach this mythical state of footballing awesomeness and you can be sure those big-wigs who are showered with corporate box kindness will have suffered a few symptoms! But while there were some exciting moments last September (Buddy Franklin beats the Crows, Collingwood almost make the Grand Final), there were others that weren’t so inspiring (the Roos flogged…twice, Collingwood almost make the Grand Final).
And who could forget the pinnacle of the footy year, the AFL Grand Final, where Geelong embarrassed Port Adelaide by 119 points! If you were at the same GF party as us, the answer to that question was ‘virtually everybody forgot’ as people turned away from the big screen and focused on the snack table!!
Now in 2008, Half Back Flanker is getting all innovative and introducing our own lame-arse marketing concept…we proudly present Septocemia! It gets in your blood, it spreads through your system, it leads to vomiting, hypertension and organ dysfunction…footy fans will love it!!!
The big question in this year’s finals series is…will things be any different this September? The Cats appear to be unstoppable right now and are firm favourites to go back-to-back while Hawthorn and the Bulldogs are in the box seat to become this year’s ‘Port Adelaide’…poor buggers! The Saints may have finished fourth but currently have artificially elevated confidence levels from last weekend…Geelong will fix that for them! And Collingwood are primed for another gutsy but ultimately futile finals run after blowing the chance of a top four berth at Freo last Friday night.
So, can Geelong be stopped? Will Buddy Franklin produce more late-game heroics to get the Hawks back in the grand final? Will Aker’s self-perception of greatness be matched by his on-field play to help guide the Doggies to the big dance? All this and more will be revealed thanks to Septocemia!
YIPEEE!!! We’re in the finals, we’re playing Hawthorn…this is soooo cool!!!
Second Qualifying Final – MCG, 7:50pm (local): Hawthorn v Western Bulldogs (SEVEN)
A quick side note: Half Back Flanker will be in Sydney on Friday night and, naturally, will not be able to watch the match live! Sure, Johanna Griggs will help pass the time but what about the damn footy?
Look out South Australia…the Collingwood fans are on their way!!
First Elimination Final – AAMI Stadium, 2:00pm (local): Adelaide v Collingwood (TEN)
PIES by 6: The Crows are saying that they will not fall for that old wounded Mapgie trick…but they are far from healthy themselves. Neil Craig might be fending off criticism for his use of Jason Porplyzia but that will pale in comparison to the bagging he will cop if they are bounced out of the finals at home. This match has Collingwood steal written all over it!
Sydney will have home ground advantage…but can they also get that extra player on the ground this time too?
Second Elimination Final – ANZ Stadium, 7:30pm (local): Sydney v North Melbourne (TEN)
SWANS by 19: There has been quite a rivalry between these two sides for a while now…since the events of 1996 and the Kangaroos’ failed push into NSW. That was only heightened when the Swans had a little extra help in that draw earlier in the year but the Roos are more concerned with payback from last year’s finals exit. But a cold Saturday night in Sydney is possibly the worst place to seek redemption…
The Saints had all the glamour but now Geelong have the glory…
First Qualifying Final – MCG, 2:40pm (local): Geelong v St Kilda (SEVEN)
CATS by 45: Things could hardly be better down at Geelong – a great team, all players fit and firing and not losing any stars to the salary cap…yet.The mighty Cats are also not big fans of St Kilda as they certainly like to point out any differences between the two. And they will take great pleasure in easing past the Saints on Sunday and crushing any sense of optimism that might be held down at Moorabbin.