Tag Archives: Alan Didak

Grand Final Week – Fantasy Finals Frenzy! (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

DrunkGeek

Hey, Mad Monday for fantasy footy geeks can get pretty crazy too!!!

September is now upon us, which means that fantasy must make way for the reality of what promises to be (all together now…) “The Best Finals Series In Recent Memory”! Well, the best since last year – and until next year, of course…

That said, the top four teams all look capable of winning through to a grand final so it will be fascinating to see which two earn the week off in the next few days and if they can follow up again in the preliminary final. Adelaide appear to be the only outsider truly capable of shaking up the finals with a win over a top four opponent but needs to overcome a far from glittering finals record to do so.

But before we delve too far into the AFL finals series (or ‘the real stuff’) let’s take a look at how Half Back Flanker fared in ‘the imaginary stuff’…the grand final week of our fantasy footy leagues! We started the season with five leagues over three separate competitions – the AFL Dream Team, Herald Sun Super Coach and the AFL Premium Dream Team. Despite taking an almost-too-conservative approach to trading in order to have options galore for the finals, all five squads finished inside the top eight, with only the Super Coach team failing to make the top four…and subsequently bombing out straight away in the elimination final.

However, week one was a triumph for all our other squads with four comprehensive wins – although they were mostly due to St Kilda’s mass omissions unsettling the lineups for our higher-ranked opponents. With a direct path to the preliminary final, we kicked back during the semi finals with fingers crossed that injury wouldn’t strike any of our players…which, of course, it did!

The injuries, plus a stupidly unnecessary panic trade in week one of the finals, forced me to use my last two trades of the Dream Team comp in preliminary final week, hampering my ability to upgrade the midfield. It was good enough to get me into two of the three grand finals but missed out in the Francis Leach SEN league – the one I really wanted to win. Oh well.

DeledioHand

For the second consecutive year, he has come up big in round 22 and helped us win a virtual flag. If you need a player to fire in fantasy footy grand final week, Brett Deledio is your man! Write it on your hand so you don’t forget!!!

So with three virtual premierships up for grabs last weekend; two in Dream Team and one in Premium Dream Team; how did we fare? Well, the wrap-up from last weekend is below but we couldn’t produce our best performance of the season, losing in the Twitter DT grand final and the Premium DT…badly! But we didn’t come home empty handed either, sweeping to victory in our DT Public league…repeating our premiership win in last season’s DT Public league. Back-to-back baby!

But with round one of the 2010 season many months away, what’s a poor fantasy footy geek supposed to do? Well, there is always the AFL Finals Dream Team! Plus we have two grand finals this weekend in rugby league fantasy comps. Then there’s the early stages of the A-League and English Premier League seasons…and the new NFL season kicks off in the States next week…and the NBA around November.

Maybe this fantasy sports thing is starting to get out of hand…

Dream Team 42,864 points overall, 8,693rd place – was way back in 20,948th place nine weeks ago so a good finish to the season.

Public League

Grand Final – defeated Roberts Rollers by 1,965 to 1,827. Lost David Wirrpanda on the eve of the match which proved costly. And seeing Campbell Brown score a lowly 38 for Roberts Rollers made my win just that little bit sweeter!

Twitter DT

Grand Final – lost to Bloodbath 1945 by 1,965 to 2,190. Too good luke2177, too good!

Good:  Brett Deledio (136) and Bryce Gibbs (128) have been great during the fantasy finals . And three others topped the ton, including Geelong’s Simon Hogan (who came in for Lance Franklin) with an even 100 points.

Bad:  Greg Broughton’s last three weeks were well down but his 43 on the weekend was his lowest score of the season. Ditto for Hamish McIntosh (47). And while it didn’t really make a difference, playing Beau Muston (55) at the expense of Daniel Rich (82) and Patrick Dangerfield (74) didn’t work.

Ugly: Apart from Gibbs, all our elite midfielders failed to fire. Captain Dane Swan (81), Chris Judd (77) and Joel Selwood (75) all underperformed while Scott Pendlebury didn’t even front! And worst of all, we used our last trade on Alan Didak and he failed to deliver, averaging just 75.5 points during the past two rounds.

LloydSewell

Geez, you hate to see this happen on the footy field…especially if the guy knocked out is your captain during fantasy footy grand final week. D’OH!!!

Premium Dream Team

Public League

Grand Final – lost to Silly Fairies by 1,532 to 1,827. Wow, that was ugly! Not unexpected, mind you…I’m still trying to figure out how I scraped into fourth spot a month ago, let alone playing off for the flag!

Good:  The midfielders who weren’t stretchered off the ground with a fractured cheekbone and eye socket! Bernie Vince (134) topped 100 in eight of this competition’s 13 weeks. while Gibbs (124), Adam Cooney (105) and Brent Prismall (101) also delivered. Colin Sylvia was on his was to a 200-plus score before a quiet second half saw him finish with 128.

Bad:  My defenders have been nothing but trouble since my draft thirteen weeks ago. Josh Drummond (22) failed to complete another game while the Cale Hooker (39) experiment failed. Aaron Davey (54) also struggled to shake a strong tag.

Ugly: Sewell had 60 point to half time and then Lloyd happened…any faint hope I had was snuffed out at this point! And to rub salt into the wound, all my non-scoring reserves fired – Clint Bartram (91) would have been my best defender had his score counted while Justin Koschitzke (91) almost doubled McIntosh’s output!

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Fantasy Finals Frenzy – Grand Final Week (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

BenBuddy

And with this bump, my Dream Team premiership aspirations have been dealt a severe blow!

It’s grand final week! That last week in August which is the ultimate for fantasy footy nerds all over the nation. And Half Back Flanker will be there after winning three of the four preliminary finals we participated in during round 21. Though it wasn’t without a few traumatic moments…

After a magnificent performance against St Kilda in round 20, I got caught up in the Jobe Watson hype and promoted him to captain for my Premium Dream Team preliminary final match-up…only to watch in horror as he produced his worst score of the season at Subiaco on Sunday evening! His 24 points, doubling to an underwhelming 48 as the skipper, left us perilously close to a heartbreaking defeat after building a handy lead over TheDream Team.

With five Essendon players in our opponent’s line-up (including Dustin Fletcher – who we dumped last Monday morning after thinking his season was over), they were closing the gap quickly and looked poised to overtake us in the final minutes. But when the match ended, HBF was in front of TheDream Team by 23 points and through to an unlikely virtual premiership decider.

JobeWatson

He was the toast of the football world in round 20 but Jobe Watson’s shocker on the weekend almost cost me a place in the Premium Dream Team grand final!

HBF also won through to two grand finals in the AFL Dream Team competition but fell short in the SENFrank league. While disappointed in being eliminated at the preliminary final stage, this league was highly competitive and included some of the best squads in the entire comp. No glory but a lot of fun just being involved. That’s what you’re supposed to say after being knocked off in the prelim, right?

That said, we still have two virtual Dream Team premierships to play for this weekend with our Public and Twitter DT leagues. And with some good news at the selection table, we can now field a full squad despite the Lance Franklin suspension. Sure, Geelong’s Simon Hogan is no Buddy but will it be enough to claim the big prize?

DidakLoser

He might think of himself as a legend but unless new-buy Alan Didak does a lot better this week, it will be L for Loser!

Dream Team 40,899 points overall, 8,849th place – second highest rank for the season, hoping a big score gets me into the seven thousands next week.

Last Week: 2,133 points – best score of the finals series so far…saving the best for last, perhaps?

Good:  Half the side were 90 points or above; Brett Deledio (139), Joel Selwood (136) and Franklin (131) the pick of the bunch. Using our second-last trade to bring in Jason Gram (108) paid off…

Bad:  However, our final trade for Alan Didak (61) did not pay off on the weekend…he was our lowest scoring player of the round! His Magpie teammates Tarkyn Lockyer (64) and Scott Pendlebury (74) were well down this week also. Hopefully, there will be a massive pay-off from the Didak trade this week.

Ugly: The Buddy Bump!

Public League

2nd Preliminary Final defeated Fats Rockets (1,913) Only four 100-plus performers for Fats and midfield failed to fire, resulted in defeat by over 200 points!

The Finals

Grand Final verses Roberts Rollers (2,019 last round) – relying on quite a few mid-range defenders but appears to have a full squad.

SENFrank01

1st Preliminary Final lost to The Dominators (2,243) – not quite good enough but not too disappointed with a prelim finish in a tough league

Twitter DT

1st Preliminary Final defeated D Team (2,084) – they had a bad week in defence while our addition of  Gram gave us that little boost which helped make the difference.

The Finals

Grand Final verses Bloodbath 1945 (2,269 last round) – Luke (luke2177) has a strong team and is coming off a great week but will also miss Buddy.

Potential changes/trades: The Paul Chapman injury has affected many fantasy teams including ours…even though we don’t own him. In need of a running mid/forward type in place of Chappy, Geelong have recalled Simon Hogan – who now slots into our forward line in place of Buddy. Having used our final two trades last week, this news means that we can field a full team of 22 players. We will also gamble on promoting bench midfielder Beau Muston to the starting line-up, thinking that he can score more points against Essendon than Lions rookie Daniel Rich will against the stingy Swans.

Captain: Dane Swan should be automatic but faces a tough opponent in the Bulldogs, as does Bryce Gibbs with the Crows. Then there’s Joel Selwood…who could rack up the stats with a home game against Fremantle. It’s out of those three!

cooneymedal3

Could Brownlow Medal winner Adam Cooney add a fantasy flag to his list of achievements? I’m sure he’d love to…

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,513 points – our second lowest score of the season…yet it was good enough!

Good:  Six 100-plus scores plus high 90’s from Bulldogs Adam Cooney and Jarrod Harbrow. New addition Nathan Grima also managed 80, making him our second highest scoring defender for the week.

Bad:  Apart from Grima and Sam Gilbert (88), the rest of our backmen were well below average. Hamish McIntosh (66) was also down from his usual 90-point output.

Ugly: 24 points from your captain in a preliminary final week? And to think we went with Jobe over Bryce Gibbs (120)!!!

Public League

1st Preliminary Final defeated TheDream Team (1,490) – 23 point win…extremely bloody lucky!

The Finals

Grand Final verses Silly Fairies (1,774 last round) – ranked 103rd overall – my team has defied the odds to get this far but the premiership might be a little too much to ask!

Potential changes/trades: The Roger Hayden gamble from last weekend didn’t pay off and with a trip to Geelong on Saturday, can’t see him producing the goods. Cale Hooker replaces him in defence while Melbourne’s Clint Bartram returns at the expense of Jarrod Atkinson. Brad Sewell will start this week while last week’s captain could well be the bench midfielder this week.

Captain: Safe to say that it won’t be Jobe…Brad Sewell against the Bombers looks like a safe bet with Gibbs as his deputy.

Round Twenty – The Round Where Chris Judd Earns His Money

BowdenRecycled

I know it was your final game and all but come on Joel Bowden! This was Green Round…you couldn’t have tried carpooling?

SewellBin

Or maybe you could have hitched a ride in the nearest wheelie bin…like Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell?

We bash each other’s heads in on Rivalry Round, put aside just one weekend to acknowledge what amounts to almost fifty percent of the game’s supporters during Women’s Round and wear jumpers that look nothing like the current day edition during Heritage Round. Now we have Green Round – a great opportunity for us all to feel warm and fuzzy as we do our bit for the environment. Andrew Bolt will be ecstatic…

Green Round gives the league a platform to demonstrate their commitment to climate change by making Australian rules football more environmentally friendly. Of course, this strategy is sure to include the scheduling of less prime time night matches in order to decrease the number of kilowatt-hours each of the six MCG light towers burn up. No doubt the League truly values reducing our carbon footprint over profit…

GreenHawks

Hawthorn’s water harvesting program also doubles as a blueprint to how their 2009 season just went down the drain!

JuddsterRuddster

The Juddster appears impressed with the Ruddster’s technique. He should be…whether it is responsibility, blame or a green footy; the ability to handball is an essential element for any politician.

Green Round is also Carlton captain Chris Judd’s busiest week of the year. And with Judd being paid more than handsomely to be an environmental ambassador/eco-warrior for the Visy corporation, he has been doing a whole lot more than his usual ‘couple of talks about recycling’ or ‘nothing at all’ this week. So there you go, Mark Robinson – you can stop wondering whether the League is concerned about the Visy-Judd arrangement!

And whether it was karma or the football Gods are just a bunch of greenies, Judd’s good deeds paid dividends on the field as Carlton’s win over Port Adelaide keeps them with a slight chance of a top four finish. Conversely, that environmentally-friendly imaginary football force might have punished the Power for all the unnecessary production that goes into creating their over-abundance of crappily-designed jumpers!

GWSLogo

Is the 18th AFL franchise being based out at Uluru? That’s a little further west from Sydney than I expected…

And how did the League celebrate Green Round? By using a Sydney Swans home game to launch the second Sydney franchise, of course! Andy D schmoozed 500 Sydney businessmen in the hope they would buy into the new venture, now known as GWS or Greater Western Sydney. At least the League can recycle that bland looking logo in the future should they expand the competition to include a team from the Northern Territory! Don’t laugh…they will probably get a team before Tassie!

BombersCelebrate

Essendon celebrate wildly after not only jumping into eighth spot but helping to save the rain forests!

While all sixteen clubs used Green Round to display how environmentally friendly they are, one team in particular stood out in demonstrating their commitment to the cause. Essendon scored a shock upset win that ended St Kilda quest for The Perfect Season and the opportunity to rewrite the record books. As a result, there is no need to use up a shitload of paper on new record books. Well done Bombers…you all just saved a tree!

SaintApatow

Judd Apatow used his appearance on Rove to jump on the Eric Bana-St Kilda bandwagon. His timing could have been better. Um…did nobody explain to him that they just lost?

KingJumper

Every single week, Jake King has his jumper ripped in a wrestle. All those wasted jumpers are not good for your carbon footprint

When Jake King annoying the shit out of Alan Didak is your lone highlight of the afternoon, that can only mean you have a pretty crappy football team. And that is exactly what Richmond has at the moment! The distance between the Tigers and ‘good’ is massive and the Magpies didn’t think too highly of their approach to Saturday’s game. Forget climate change, this mob needs a culture change! And whoever is crazy/brave enough to take on the Richmond job has a shiteload of work to do in order to make this happen. Good luck…

JohnsonThirsty

Now why would this classy young lady throw all of her beer over Brad Johnson? What a waste of a precious natural resource!

Mark Robinson

That’s probably why this journo was so disgusted by the act. He would have happily recycled all that alcohol…

The Games:

HawksCrows

Look at the score! Look at the time! The ball is in Hawthorn’s forward line! Chalk up an easy win to…the Crows? What the hell happened?

Well, that’s just about it for Hawthorn. Adelaide made sure that they will take part in September action at the expense of the reigning premiers. The Hawks may not feel finals worthy but they could yet face a winner-takes-all clash against Essendon in round 22. The Crows may well be proud of their unbeaten run at the MCG this season but that little winning streak St Kilda is on was on probably tops it…

ClokeBite

Is that Travis Cloke having a little nibble on Luke McGuane’s finger? Well, at least it’s not a processed food!

So, ya think that spray about Richmond’s culture from caretaker coach Jade Rawlings had the desired effect? That outburst may not have harmed his chances at winning the full-time gig next year…but that slop the Tigers served up on Saturday certainly will! And to think Mick Malthouse went to the trouble of warning his players about treating Richmond lightly…like it would have mattered. At least there was some biffo to provide some entertainment!

EaglesSnap

Kicking freaks goals off the ground like this is a clear indication of the ‘T-wording’ that is happening in Perth…it’s called TRYING!

Those knobs at the Herald Sun should be feeling pretty stupid about their West Coast ‘T-Wording’ campaign now that the Eagles have just won their third straight game and, before Sunday’s upset result, actually had a mathematical chance of finishing eighth. Well, they should…but given the attitude usually displayed at the home of Victoria’s entertainment-focused tabloid, they will probably take full credit themselves for inspiring West Coast to try and play well!

RoosLongmire

Marty Mattner, Rhys Shaw, Ted Richards…now the Swans know how to recycle! And take a look at their Replacement Coach Planting Program in action!

After sitting through two shithouse free-to-air games to start Chris Judd Round, all I can say about the Sydney-Geelong clash is…thank you!!! Mark Thompson was very pleased with the form of his key players while Paul Roos has liked what he has seen recently too. So everybody is happy, right? Well, not exactly

AkermanisPumped

If Brad Johnson copped a beer in the face after beating Brisbane, imagine what the Lions fans would have thrown at Aker if given the chance? A half-finished keg, I suspect…

They lost to the West Coast last round and then lost Ryan Griffin (injured…not misplaced) but the Western Bulldogs found whatever it was they lacked a week ago to win up in Brisbane. Rodney Eade doesn’t strike me as a guy who is easily impressed so when he says ‘best win of the season’, I’d believe it. Michael Voss still thinks his Lions can finish fourth…I don’t believe that!

RobboPumped

One last overexuberant goal celebration for the road from Russell Robertson? The Demons sure hope so…

A ten-goal win involving Melbourne…where they were not on the receiving end? Yes, I shit you not…the Dees made an absolute mess of Fremantle for what was their best win in three years. You know what would be their worst win in three years…if it happens in the next two weeks and they lose that priority pick! And what’s this about Mark Harvey being puzzled by his side’s performance? Dude, you have coached Fremantle for almost three years – how can this tripe be of any surprise?

StevensHouse

Carlton’s message to the world for Green Round? Please, please, please help Nick Stevens sell his house!

There are a number of F-word that can be associated with the Carlton Football Club. There’s that one, there’s Fevola (these two are often used together!) and the recently-added ‘finals’. Now, after the Blues smashed Port Adelaide, you can include the word ‘four’…just don’t mention it to Brett Ratten! Mark Williams questioned his side’s work rate but they were probably just conserving energy for the finals. It’s not like Essendon could possibly beat the mighty St Kilda and leapfrog them into the eight…

RiewoldtThinks

Victory and The Perfect Season is in your hands, Nick. No pressure though…

RiewoldtMisses

Time to be a hero…or not!

Think again! Essendon hang on to win a classic after Nick Riewoldt sprayed an after-the-siren set shot wide, the Saints losing their first game of the season and Riewoldt losing the battle over his goal-kicking reputation. And it so easily could have been Brent Prismall playing the role of ‘goat’! The Bombers are now in the box seat for eighth spot…all they need now is to find a fit team!

Fantasy Finals Frenzy – Week One (Geekin’ Out – Fantasy Footy)

0191Bfantasytrophyplaque

Will Half Back Flanker trouble the engravers for the second season in a row? Well, we are about to find out!

It’s a little taste of September action right here in August! That’s right – it’s finals time for fantasy football geeks all over Australia and Half Back Flanker is primed for another shot at a virtual premiership! Well, we have five opportunities to win so hopefully we can go all the way in one comp at least!

And if there is such a thing as fantasy form, we definitely have it. The final round of the regular season was a triumph for our AFL Dream Team squad – we scored our highest ever weekly total on the way to victories in all three leagues, securing the double chance for each one in the process. The top four was already out of reach for our Herald Sun Super Coach team but a comfortable victory was also achieved against a side we now face again in the elimination final. A repeat performance will see us remain alive for another week…but it’s hard to see us running the table for the premiership.

But the biggest result last round was a shock top-four finish in our Premium Dream Team comp! After registering an upset win over the second-placed team, a few other results fell our way and we will now participate in a qualifying final this weekend – something we would never had envisioned after our disastrous start to the season. Can we make the most of our outrageously good fortune and challenge for top honours?

At this time of year, injuries play a major role in any team’s progression through the finals and with only a few trades left, every personnel decision is crucial. But, oh my goodness…there were some huge omissions announced on Thursday night that will have many coaches scrambling to field a full side! We only need to trade one forward in order to field twenty-two fit players in Dream Team but our  Super Coach squad has been decimated. On the other hand, some of our opponents for this weekend also face some major headaches and if they don’t have any trades up their sleeves, I might benefit greatly!

francis_and_david

While Francis Leach’s fantasy team is out of the running, our top four finish in his SEN league gives us a good shot at glory!

Dream Team 35,010 points overall, 10,444th place – another season-high overall ranking, close to cracking the top ten thousand.

Last Week: 2,282 points – another season high, 230th place for the week!

Good:  Only one score under 70 points was a major factor in this season-high result. It included ten 100-plus scores with two Dockers, Greg Broughton (129) and Matthew Pavlich (120), and two Pies, Scott Pendlebury (129) and captain Dane Swan (122), the pick of the bunch.

Bad: That score under 70 was Tarkyn Lockyer’s 68 while three of our forwards (Hayden Skipworth, Ryan Houlihan and Simon Hogan) all finished in the seventies. Can we win our way through to a grand final by playing all three of these guys in attack?

Ugly: Watching Buddy Franklin spraying shots at goal all over the shop in Adelaide on Sunday! Hopefully he is primed for a big one this week but he is facing the stingy Saints…won’t be easy!

Public League – defeated Finals or Bust (1,670). Massive win for us and our opponents didn’t Bust either by scraping into eighth spot.

Ladder Position – 3rd place (11-4, 120.00%) – Highest points scored in the league and best percentage…now for the real stuff!

The Finals 2nd Qualifying Final – 2nd placed Woosha Warriors  (1,847 last week). Will be seven players short if current squad remains the same for this weekend. Either he is out of trades or waiting until now to upgrade…and even if he makes two trades, he will still be five short. Looking good here…

SENFrank01 – defeated mansnotacamel (1,961). Would have finished in fourth regardless of the result but the win was nice…

Ladder Position – 4th place (10-5, 106.15%) – Great result in a tough league…a massive challenge faces us this week.

The Finals1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed Princess Superstar (2,040 last week). Below par score last week and, if she is out of trades, will be three players short! Primed to  spring a major upset and make the prelim…or am I speaking too soon?

Twitter DT – defeated Hybrid Flyers  (1,443). The percentage boost was nice but a loss by the D Team lifts us into fourth place!

Ladder Position – 4th place (11-4, 109.17%)  – Snuck up to fourth giving us the double chance in all three Dream Team leagues.

The Finals1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed BigAl’s Bombers (2,122 last week). The best performed of our three opponents last round but will be six players short if out of trades.

Potential changes/trades: While all our opponents are guaranteed to be short, we can have a full team by just using one of our last three trades! We could go all out and swap Skipworth for an elite like Brent Harvey or Alan Didak…but that would use up the rest of our salary cap.

Otherwise we could bring in promising (and cheap) young Doggie Brennan Stack for Liam Jurrah and have 230 grand left for our final two trades. We are leaning towards Stack and hoping that HBF can earn the week’s break in all three leagues!

Captain: Swan has been extremely reliable this season but there is something about facing the Crows at AAMI Stadium on a Saturday night worries me. So the captaincy might be passed to Geelong’s Joel Selwood with Bryce Gibbs as deputy.

ChappyPillow

Paul Chapman can use that pillow to rest up for the next couple of weeks…but it’s the last thing I needed heading into an elimination final!

Super Coach 37,178 points overall, 17,605th place – tiny drop but just treading water this week before the finals.

Last Week: 2,071 points – around my average weekly score, need to be well above average from here!

Good:  Ten 100-plus scores, including captain Gary Ablett (115) but seven players managed to score higher than him. The best…vice captain Swan (170).

Bad:  Seven scores under 60 points; including three of my defenders and a rusty Steve Johnson (32).

Ugly: A hamstrung Darren Jolly (24)…after trading up for Jolly in round 17, the last thing I want to contemplate is using one of my three remaining trades to replace him. At least Melbourne’s Jake Spencer is getting a run again…but if you are relying on him to win you a fantasy final, that’s not great!

GMHBA – defeated Hardy’s Heroes  (1,821). Solid win and, as luck would have it, have the chance to repeat the dose this week.

Ladder Position – 5th place (10-5, 106.39%) No double chance, need to go the long way to have a shot at the flag.

The Finals – 1st Elimination Final – 8th placed Hardy’s Heroes! Difficult to tell how many short they will be. There could be as many as five missing but they have trades to use, and both Alex Rance and Peter Burgoyne could make the cut for Sunday, so they might be just one player short.

Potential changes/trades: Even if you include our two trades this round, we will be three players short. So we have to go for it! Jed Adcock will make way for his teammate Josh Drummond – not only does he own the third-highest average per round for defenders but he is around 50 grand cheaper and has a date with the spluttering Essendon this Saturday night that might lead to a big total.

With plenty of cash in reserve, we can swap Skipworth or Jurrah for a forward the calibre of Leon Davis, Jonathan Brown or even Harvey who is running into form for the Roos but doesn’t have the hefty price tag. That way, if we are fortunate enough to survive another week, we will have a little cash to use for our final trade.

Captain: Pinning our hopes on Ablett to have a huge game. Our opponent does not have Gazza in their lineup so if he produces, the double points might be enough to save my arse for another week. Pavlich has been red hot since his return from injury so he will be the vice captain.

AkerPumped

We asked Aker to  fire up…and he delivered big time! More please…

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,596 points – Second best weekly score for this comp, couldn’t have been timed any better!

Good:  Jason Akermanis delivers a massive 142-point game while 100-plus efforts from Gibbs (119), Jack Grimes (109) and Adam Cooney (100) contributed to the win.

Bad:  All that effort to nab Colin Sylvia didn’t pay off after he was banished to the reserves after serving his suspension. Also the switch of Saint Jason Blake from backup ruckman into defence didn’t pay off…just 34 points!

Ugly: The Brent Prismall captaincy experiment failed (78) while the tradition of the benched Bomber midfielder outscoring the on-field Bomber continued…Jobe Watson’s 121 going to waste!

Public League – defeated TheDream Team (1,512). Caught them on a bad week and took full advantage!

Ladder Position – 4th place (5-4, 98.35%) Losses last week by the fourth and fifth placed teams sees us sneak into the four!

The Finals 1st Qualifying Final – 1st placed Teal Power  (1,559 last week). Players out – Leigh Montagna, Lenny Hayes, Leigh Harding and Hayden Skipworth. Those first two are major blows and one will need to be let go in order for them to field a full team. Or will they play short rather than dump one of their key Sainters?

Potential changes/trades: In order to field a full team, we need to trade either Goddard or Grimes. Didn’t particularly want to lose either but will make a last minute trade for a new defender and hope they are still there when I try to trade them back in at the end of the round.

Captain: Carlton’s Gibbs to take on the responsibility this week with Brad Sewell as vice captain.

Round Eighteen – Limping To The Finish Line

SimpsonOver

“Shit! It’s all over…oh well, never mind. Beer?

The business end of the 2009 AFL season is here and those teams that harbour finals and/or premiership aspirations are busy plotting their course for September. But for clubs that are struggling with injury and/or no hope of finals action, the last remaining weeks of the season will be tough work. But before these players start throwing in the towel to focus on what dress to wear on Mad Monday, they should spare a thought for blokes like Kangaroos veteran Adam Simpson.

SimpsonCalf

And TWAAAANG goes the calf muscle!!! At least Adam Simpson’s final ever training session was memorable…

Simpson announced his retirement early last week with his final game to be played on the Friday night against Carlton. Problem was…he injured his calf at his final training session, a mere 24 hours before the Roos were due to play! This didn’t stop Simpson from taking his place in the side and although Carlton managed to spoil the party, Simmo’s effort to play was clearly the highlight of the night.

OttensAlive

Hang on, that looks like…no, it couldn’t be…Yes, it is! It’s Brad Ottens playing football!!!

The mighty Geelong Cats may appear to be limping towards the finals yet they keep finding ways to win. But a rare Brad Ottens sighting was probably even bigger news than the victory – whether he plays in September, or just how good he will be, is still unknown but the Cats sure do need him!

RichoSidelined

Richo’s comeback game consisted of nine minutes of footy and a couple of hours of sitting around.

Is Matthew Richardson limping towards the finish line of his AFL career? His comeback game for Coburg in the VFL didn’t go so well and for a guy who is 34 years old, out of contract, coming off major hamstring surgery and playing at an unsuccessful club looking for a new senior coach, showing he can still play AFL right now is pretty damn important, yes? So when Herald Sun hack Mark Robinson rants about how Richo shouldn’t bother trying to play again in ’09 on Channel Seven’s AFL Game Day show on Sunday morning, what was the response from fellow panelist and former Tigers coach Terry Wallace?

RobboWallace

If only there was somebody with just the tiniest amount of knowledge about Tigerland that could help Mark Robinson understand why Richo needs to play again this year. Anybody? Anybody that might just be sitting next to him?? Anyone whose name rhymes with Jerry Schmallace???

Nothing! Nada! Zip! You could hear crickets in the background! When Terry is forced to explain why his time at Richmond went to crap, you can’t shut him up on how all the decisions at Tigerland (made by people other than him, of course!) contributed to his lack of success. But a situation with a guy he actually coached for four-and-a-half years and was directly involved in the decision on how Richo should approach his comeback (because he was the actual coach when the injury occurred) yet he has absolutely nothing to say about this? Is this why he just walked into media gigs within minutes of being sacked? How does this even happen???

KarmichaelKicks

Rugby league player Karmichael Hunt kicks that funny-shaped red football at Broncos training. Looks like he needs all the practice he can get…

But the club that is currently limping towards (or out of) the finals race which is the biggest surprise? Is it Hawthorn? Is it Essendon? No…try the Brisbane Broncos! They just copped the biggest hiding in their illustrious history and are in danger of missing the NRL finals…for the first time since 1991! But I’m sure the Broncos players are going all out to win and are not distracted with kicking AFL footballs at training because their young star is leaving the code to join the new AFL franchise on the Gold Coast. This kind of thing happens all the time…no, wait! It hasn’t happened before? Hmmm…

The Games:

PetrieShattered

Cheer up, Drew Petrie…at least you get to play another game next week! What about poor Simmo?

When Carlton play on a Friday night, two things usually happen – Robert Walls writes (yet) another article about the Blues and they get beaten. This time only one of those things happened…and there was no way Wallsy could write about anybody else! The Blues spoiled the Adam Simpson party though it was far from convincing or attractive. In fact, the Roos could quite easily have claimed victory and placed Carlton’s finals hopes in real jeopardy. They will probably make it now…but will they be any good once they get there?

JohnnoRecord

Brad Johnson claims the Bulldogs games record from Chris Grant…while that old bloke in the background is still pissy that he doesn’t hold it because he was sacked and forced to finish his career at Fitzroy!

It was Brad Johnson day for the Western Bulldogs and his teammates sure didn’t let him down. They didn’t let Lindsay Gilbee down either, standing up for him on what must have been a tough, tough afternoon! Fremantle weren’t too concerned with their lack of success at Whatshishead Stadium…as they have little success wherever they go!

CatsExcited

You think these Cats are happy about the win? Just wait until Cam Mooney joins in…he lurves a good man-cuddle!

The Adelaide Crows went to the regional centre of Geelong looking for a genuine footy scalp and a top-four spot. They almost got it…if only they knew how to stop those baldies! These Cats might be thin up top and down back for the moment but they are working together to earn wins and second spot behind the undefeated Saints is a great place for them to be.

ShatteredCrows

No four points, no big scalp, no long-term memory. Can somebody help these Crows take off their boots? They all seem to have forgotten how to do it!

DidakDives

Alan Didak takes an overly-dramatic dive to try and con a free kick from the umpires

rivaldo

…which was more reminiscent of Brazil’s Rivaldo than Aussie Rules…

DidakLoser

…yet the Brisbane Lions guy is a loser? Seriously??? Pot – Kettle!

With The Big Announcement and a ninth win from ten matches, Collingwood are back to their smart-arsy best and are setting themselves for the top four. The Lions looked primed for the upset after Browny’s accidental head clash left Simon Prestigiacomo groggy but the skipper struggled after the main break when he had anywhere between three and five defenders pushing back on him. If only Jono Brown had another big forward to help him out

KingShoulder

Um, your shoulder is probably not meant to do that! But, in typical St Kilda-2009 good fortune, Steven King was able to keep playing.

I tipped Sydney to knock off the Saints, ending the quest for The Perfect Season and possibly becoming the only tipster in Australia to pick all eight winners for the round. The Swans lost by one lousy point! And St Kilda’s season has been so outrageously blessed that The Age is now writing feature articles about that little twerp Milne!!! I’m so depressed…

MickeyOMiss

Mickey O misses a sitter that might have cost his side the upset of the season, and my perfect tipping round. Yep, thanks for that…

TigerSandwich

Jade Rawlings learns something new about Richmond in the dramatic win over the Dees…Nathan Brown prefers to be on top!

Dean Bailey could barely believe it…and neither could I! Richmond managed a great escape with the win over Melbourne courtesy of a goal after the siren from Jordan McMahon. Coach Rawlings knew that McMahon would be fine taking the match-deciding kick despite his regular displays of bad decision making…highlighted by his decision to leave the Western Bulldogs for Richmond two years ago!

RickyOAdelaide

Perhaps Channel Seven showed this match in ten-minute delay in case Ricky Olarenshaw’s head overheated during his hyper-speed quarter-time summaries!

There must be a logical explanation as to why Ch.7 would bother broadcasting the Port Adelaide-Hawthorn match into Melbourne with a slight delay…or is Adelaide further behind the time than we realise? Otherwise, we live in a world where dickheads like Kyle and Jackie O broadcast live when they need a delay (actually, they need new jobs!) but the biggest sport in Australia is not ‘live’? Crazy!!! Anyway, Port Adelaide won and find themselves in the top eight…well, for this week at least.

EaglesRookie

A first-gamer kicking goals to help the Eagles win? Forgive Callum Wilson for he knows not what he does!

What? The West Coast Eagles won? But aren’t they meant to be ‘tanking’? Well, yes…if you paid any attention to lazy hack journos who throw out the ‘T’ word willy-nilly with no substantial thought behind it. There is clearly a problem rewarding defeat with a priority draft pick but  when you lose by less than a kick in round 17, it’s not ‘tanking’. And when you beat a top-eight side (at the time of the opening bounce) to register a fifth win for the season, giving up your entitlement to the priority draft pick, it’s not ‘tanking’ either. Using the ‘T’ word inappropriately actually helps Andy D with his ‘media beat-up’ argument! Maybe those guys at the Herald Sun are just struggling a bit themselves…limping to the finish line, perhaps?

Round Fifteen – The Great Unravelling!

SheedyKiddie

Look on the bright side Sheeds…at least these kids won’t be blaming you for Richmond’s ongoing woes in the future!

Oh, the drama! Something seems to happen every single weekend in AFL footy that makes you sit up and take notice…well, footy stories are always reported with dramatic overtones – whether they are worthy of the hype is up to our discretion. The largest football juggernaut to unravel this weekend was not a player, a team or a club…it was Kevin Sheedy’s coaching aspirations at Richmond!

While the campaign to place Sheeds in charge at Punt Road has been artificially bubbling ever since he left Essendon (thanks to one of his employers, the Herald Sun), it was only officially launched a week or so ago. His former teammate and notorious Punt Road malcontent Kevin Bartlett was leading the charge and the maniacal support from people who are fast approaching retirement age were selling Sheedy as if he were the only logical option for the Tigers. What could possibly go wrong?

But, unfortunately for the oldies, people who were born after the 1950’s make the decisions at Richmond and seeing the writing on the wall, Sheeds magnanimously decided to withdraw his application. He feels that his application will not receive true consideration and didn’t want another Channel Nine soap opera…which the network will now turn this into a soap opera anyway. And we all know what happens when Channel Nine has a show that viewers don’t really want to watch…they make a second series!

But all that hard work from Bartlett and friends down the gurgler…they are far from impressed! Will they suddenly lose interest in dictating who should coach Richmond next year or find another experienced campaigner with a once-impeccable record to endorse? Wonder what Ron Barassi is up to these days? Poor Sheeds. But he should know how melodramatic things get on the coaching roundabout…and not just at Richmond!

Now apart from Kev,what else went wrong during The Great Unraveling?

The all-conquering Geelong Cats?

ThompsonUnhappy

Joel Corey is shocked as Mark Thompson raises his voice for the first time since the year 2006!

The Fremantle Dockers…again!

FreoGoal

Yep, this was Freo’s only goal for the night. Savour the moment…

The Sydney Swans without Barry Hall!

HallGoodbye

Bye bye…Barry! Bye bye…Sydney Swans for 2009! Bye bye…any mention of AFL footy in the Sydney papers for the rest of the year!

Port Adelaide’s credibility!

RodanLoss

Could be worse, David Rodan…you could still be at Richmond!

The Games:

ThomasCelebrates

A big goal, even bigger celebration…yep, that’s what we’ve come to expect from Magpie Dale Thomas!

Sheesh…that was close! Collingwood appeared to have this match all under control before the Doggies fired up in the last term. But the Pies held on to win by one point and showed that they could well be a threat to the Saints and/or Cats in two months time. The Dogs showed that they are at least capable of coming back from 39 points down…shame they were down by 41 in this game though!

DidakWatson

Nice to see Alan Didak playing great footy and talking to the media without having to use the words “I’d like to apologise for my actions”!

HallSendoff

Yep, Bazza was sitting in the back of a ute for his lap of honour. Could not have been more perfect!

The Sydney faithful bid farewell to their favourite brain-snapping bruiser during Saturday’s home game against Essendon…and that was easily the highlight of their afternoon. It was a taste of what life will be like without him – struggling team, no finals and not even a hint of mindless violence to keep people entertained. The Bombers remain in the finals hunt with a rare interstate winno wonder they are a wee bit excited.

FevSpecial

Fev loves pulling freakish goals out of his arse…this was one of his absolute best!

Brendan Fevola has his care factor set to ‘high’ and attitude set to ‘smartarse’ on the way to registering a career-high nine goals in Carlton’s win over Richmond. Which is great against a crap team in early July…but Carlton need Fev to show this amount of energy and committment in the crucual games coming up. Will we get ‘interested Fev’ then or ‘sooky Fev’? We shall see…

DeledioHand

B..R..E..T..um, do I spell my name with one T or two? Or is it three?I always forget…

VossWinner

“Injuries, schminjuries! We beat Geelong and we deserve some respect, ya pricks! Yeah, you heard me…pricks the lotta ya!!!”

Gee…when it rains in Geelong, it pours doesn’t it! Barely lost a game for two and a half years, few injury troubles…now they have lost two games and half their team in one week! Brisbane took full advantage and super coach Michael Voss has his Lions all set for a return to finals action….and loving it too, one suspects!

GoodwinChair

Simon Goodwin puts on a brave face after his 250th game…but secretly shattered that his mates let him down by allowing their opponents to kick a goal!

Have the Adelaide Crows ever had an easier night’s work than this? Fremantle have had plenty of shitty results in their checkered history…but one goal in an entire game? One freakin’ goal? Surely it can’t get any shittier than this for the Dockers…can it? Well, don’t put it past them – they still have away games against the Dogs and Cats yet!

BuddyWins

Not sure where you have been, Buddy…but welcome back!

Maybe Hawthorn aren’t stuffed after all…though they looked certain to suffer defeat at the hands of the Kangas in Tassie on Sunday. The Hawks were holding out for a hero and up stepped Lance Franklin!  Buddy appeared from under the rock where he had seemingly been hiding with a stellar final term to pinch a vital win away from North Melbourne and stay in contention for the finals. The Roos may lack the stars but at least they have the cars – Mazda’s renewal of their major sponsorship a major boost…almost better than the four competition points. Almost…

JurrahHanger

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you…Mr Liam Jurrah!

Not sure how you explain the world going all arse-backwards like this but Geelong have lost two in a row and Melbourne have won two in a row! Jimmy Stynes would have loved the events that unfolded at the ‘G…not surprisingly, Mark Williams hated it! And now his players will be hating him after a 6am wake-up call! Choco can’t afford any more performances like that if he wants to play finals…or finalise that new contract!

The West Coast Eagles kept this one close for three quarters, placing St Kilda’s pursuit of The Perfect Season in some jeopardy until they got serious. The Saints eventually made it fifteen from fifteen and the coach felt that being able to win games interstate was important…which it is; though it is probably more important not to lose against a bottom-four side ever, no matter the venue! And now that the Eagles’ biggest and best player might be done for the year, so could any chance of them landing a big scalp before seasons end.

Round Thirteen – An Unlucky Number For Some!

LovettClimb

Unlucky number 13? Not for Andrew Lovett…it’s his incredibly f$@#ing lucky number!

It is an unlucky number for some people. In fact, fear of the number 13 is officially recognised as a fair dinkum phobia! It’s called Triskaidekaphobia…and clearly Brendon Fevola suffers from it if Friday night is any indication. Actually, he must have plenty of phobias that have caused him to not give a shit during various games in his career. The poor bloke…

NineNaitanui

Speaking of lucky numbers, Nick Naitanui makes it great to love the West Coast number 9 again!

Obviously, nobody from Geelong or St Kilda is afflicted with Triskaidekaphobia as both clubs have started the season undefeated with thirteen straight wins. They face each other next week…you might be made aware of it this week. Approximately 458 times! So beware…

LatestPunch

Ah, Barry? Are you serious? Are you that bloody stupid? Yep. appears so!

Adelaide’s Ben Rutten was also a little unlucky on Saturday when his number was drawn out at random in the Barry Hall Brain Fade Sweepstakes. First prize was a smack in the head! Hall has done worse during his career; much, much worse; but you can pretty much guarantee that the number of AFL games he has left with the Swans is less than thirteen!

WarrenBreak

Sure I just broke my leg but…man, this pain whistle is freakin’ awesome! I’m the luckiest man alive!!!

Once the morphine wears off, young Roo Ben Warren will be feeling more than a touch unlucky. Jade Rawlings will now be feeling a little bit unlucky…that his side doesn’t play the West Coast Eagles in Melbourne every week. But the unluckiest people from last week…Michael Jackson fans who had bought tickets for his comeback tour! And don’t forget the Farrah Fawcett fans too…

The Games:

FevDenial

Hey, none of this is my fault! If you pricks just kicked the ball exactly where I want it every single time, I can just kick goals and be a legend. So wake up to yourselves boys!!!

Look out, Carlton is coming…undone! Essendon destroyed the Blues by 69 points in front of a massive crowd at the ‘G on a night where the Bombers could do no wrong. Even their bad news was relatively good. The loss caused major embarrassment for the favoured Blues and the coach might be getting a little fed up with his flakey, disinterested, sook-arse full forward. Would they dare drop him? Yeah, right!

RoosBazza

Well, you guys try telling Barry that he’s being a dickhead…I’m not gunna do it! Do you think I’m crazy?!

Barry Hall and Sydney hit Adelaide with everything they had but the Crows fought back late to win a vital game that could just about sink the Swans for 2009. With the freakish Brett Burton due back shortly, the Crows appear finals bound…and no team would want to visit the city of Adelaide in September!

HeathShaw

Heath Shaw shows that it’s much better to fly than to lie!

See what happens when the dickhead element at a footy club is reigned in? Pay attention Carlton and Sydney! Swan, Didak and Shaw come up big as the Pies bulldoze Fremantle in the second half and stick it to all those nasty, nasty critics. The Dockers also lost Matthew Pavlich to injury and are fast running out of excuses. Nah, Mark Harvey will come up with a few more yet…

HappyVoss

Unhappy? Vossy looks fairly happy to me…but then he has always been pretty pleased with himself!

Melbourne may have picked first in the 2008 draft but Brisbane may have been the biggest winner by selecting Daniel Rich. The Lions were also easy winners on Saturday night as the Demons continue to stink up the competition. But fear not, loyal Dees fans – Gary Lyon will come back soon and fix everything…as if he would leave his cushy media gigs to coach that lot!

BlondeFinger

Charming! But she was right…LeCras missed the shot so it was only worth one finger.

Hawthorn’s attempt to defend their 2008 premiership was already looking shaky….and it just got a whole lot worse! Nic Naitanui, the Fijian-born rookie who did stuff-all for three quarters, sparked the West Coast Eagles with three final quarter goals for a famous win that leaves the Hawks in all sorts of bother. Once John Worsfold figures out what to make of the kid, he should be a beauty!

ComfyUndies

Yes, Mrs Murdoch, I am wearing Bonds! They’re very comfy undies!

Geelong warm up for the St Kilda game with a cruisey win over Port Adelaide and continue to put together an amazing sequence of sustained awesomeness. Mark Thompson has now extended his contract for another couple of seasons…wonder how many milliseconds he took to mull over that one? Mark Williams, on the other hand, must be pissed that his contract situation is blowing up in the midst of his team’s sucky streak. That’s probably why he has gone into Terry Wallace salesman mode in order to save his own arse…

StacksOn

STACKS ON!!!

It was a hard slog, and the coach thought they were a little bit sleepy, but the Westen Bulldogs stayed in the box seat for a top four spot with a win over the Crockeroos. The new North Melbourne coach was pleased with the direction his team was taking and one rookie in particular. Well, he didn’t break his leg so that gives him an edge over their other first year players!

MaxBaby

Sorry Max, it’s too late to take you to the hospital…we have to deliver this baby right here, right now!

If you’d have said that one team would fail to kick a goal in the first quarter of the St Kild-Richmond game, it would have to be Richmond, right? Wrong! The Saints were down two goals to zip at quarter time! Of course, they responded by keeping the Tigers away from goal for about 90 minutes or so and kept their unbeaten reord intact for another week. Now they play Geelong and coach Ross Lyon is getting excited…if he is, it might just be for the first time in his life!