Tag Archives: Andrew Demetriou

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!

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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 Seventeen – Oh So Bitter!

AfterSiren

Hawthorn thought they had the upper hand over rivals Geelong…until Bartel’s point after the siren changed everything!

Rivalry round. It kinda snuck up on us a bit…probably because the League didn’t seem to dedicate a lot of time on promoting the event. They did create a web page where you can spend lots of money on sponsors product that you either already have or don’t really need! So that’s something…I guess.

But, as you would expect, the footy did all the talking and the weekend delivered some outstanding games. Not always pretty, some downright ugly, but never boring! And the level of some of these rivalries has now intensified to greater levels after round seventeen action.

NeonLeon

No doubting who is number one right now in the Collingwood-Carlton rivalry. It’s Neon Leon and the Pies!

Geelong and Hawthorn added another exhilarating chapter to their playing history…but this time it was the Cats who got one over the Hawks. Sure, it wasn’t a grand final but a big win just the same. Collingwood got one over Carlton in one of the longest standing rivalries in the game. And while all the heritage-listed footy journos in Melbourne might scoff at the thought that the rivalry between the Crows and Power is the biggest right now, they may have a point. There was no talk about revenge in the lead up to Pies verses Blues…or ‘The Death Derby’! Only in Adelaide…

DogsBench

Whoops! Scott Welsh’s screw-up made the Doggies interchange bench a very intense place to be…

That long-standing rivalry between modern technology and a footballer’s brain came to the fore on Saturday night when failure to read a magnetic whiteboard resulted in 19 Western Bulldogs starting on the ground in the final quarter! The battle between player and umpire also intensified with Hawk coach Alastair Clarkson wondering whether Buddy Franklin will receive a free kick any time soon. And the League flat out refuses to concede defeat in the battle for respectability in the football world regarding the priority draft pick system. Andy D is not afraid to take on his rivals in this one…but there are so damn many of them, would he even have the time?

MaherStuffup

This post-match interview was TV so bad that you couldn’t look away…so expect Channel Nine buy it and make it a 20-episode series!

But our favourite new rivalry was started by an innocent but talkative boundary rider after the Cats-Hawks game…it’s Cancer verses Depression! Channel Ten’s Andy Maher conducted a highly awkward post-match interview with Geelong captain (for the day) Cameron Ling where he babbled on about the importance of playing for the BeyondBlue cup. But, according to Maher, BeyondBlue  are assisting in the fight against cancer! Ling did his absolute best to remain composed before correcting Maher that BeyondBlue is actually the national depression initiative! Ling then explained why it was such a prominent issue for people in Geelong right now! Probably not the best time to stuff that one up on live TV…

That was followed by an equally awkward presentation where the lady with the cup was completely ignored, only given a short “pass it over” command from Maher before she just wandered off…which Ling probably wished he could have done as well! Good to see that the rivalry between the footy media and the English language is still alive and well…

The Games:

MagpieMark

“Marriage proposal, wedding day, birth of a child…forget it! Marking the footy after a Collingwood goal will be the happiest moment of this Magpie fan’s entire life!

So, how is that top-four finish for Carlton looking now? And how could a story like that run in The Age and not be written by Blues lover Robert Walls? At least Wallsy is a realist…predicting that Collingwood would find more goal scorers and hold steady in defence against the Fev-focused Carlton. Spot on. It wasn’t pretty though and Brett Ratten should have plenty of kicking drills in mind for his boys this week!

BartelCelebrates

Geelong have won a shitload of games recently but they would have never celebrated a victory so much since grand final day in 2007!

James Bartel…you friggin’ beauty! Geelong come from 28 points down in the final term to beat Hawthorn with a point after the siren. The Cats may have injuries galore but wins like this can do wonders for their self belief. The Hawks may have let more than just four points slip on Saturday…the premiership defence might just have ended as well!

SandilandsMedal

211cm Aaron Sandilands…a tough assignment for opposing ruckmen and presenters-draping-medals-over-his-head alike!

Hard to believe that Fremantle could have a mental advantage over anybody but it’s starting to look that way with the Western Derby. The Dockers have now won five straight against the West Coast after winning a tight one by less than a kick. Apparently the win is a great indicator for what Freo can achieve in the future…yep, like we have never heard that about the Dockers! Still waiting…


MilneSucks

If this guy ends up a winner on Grand Final day, and it’s looking very likely, I will throw up a little in my mouth…

If, like me, you made the trendy pick of the Bulldogs to end St Kilda’s quest for The Perfect Season…then you must be feeling as stupid as I do right now! The Saints dominated early, weathered the storm in the middle and ran riot in the end. And now they are going to win every game on their way to the flag and that little twerp Stephen Milne will become…don’t make me type it…a premiership player! What a terrifying thought!!! Next game, quickly…

BrownyRules

Finals footy, Coleman medals…Jonathan Brown has missed out recently but is just about to get all that back again!

Jono Brown goes berserk with eight goals as the Brisbane Lions cruise past North Melbourne to pretty much ensure themselves a spot in the finals. Browny is now looking good for the Coleman medal having overtaken Brendan Fevola at the top of the goal kicking list – which would be a fair result considering one of those blokes tries his guts out every week and doesn’t sulk it up…and the other clearly doesn’t!

SydneyMelbourne

This is probably the highlight of the Sydney-Melbourne match…that there was a final score and it was over!

The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, or more generally New South Wales and Victoria, has been alive and well in all aspects of life, especially sports, for over 100 years…except for AFL footy! The Swans and Demons don’t have any semblance of intense rivalry – hence this match being played in front of a few thousand curious onlookers in Canberra. Sydney won, by the way…

TigersVictory

They blew it last week and they almost blew it this week too…but the Tigers finally get to belt out that kick-ass club song again!

It’s a Monday night, the last day in August, and the Essendon players will be pissed, tired, emotional and dressed up  in women’s clothing or whatever it is they do at the end of season party. If they start to wonder why they are not planning for an elimination final game that weekend, they have Sunday’s effort to thank! Richmond wins and they thoroughly deserve it…

BirdmanFlies

Hey, I remember you…you’re Brett “The Birdman” Burton!!! Welcome back.

The Adelaide Crows take the honours in the Showdown and become the toast of the town…much to the delight of a large majority of that town! A 70-point win, Brett Burton back doing what he does best, damaging Port’s chances at sneaking into the finals and the opportunity to laugh at Chad Cornes -Rivalry Round could not have been any more perfect for Crows fans.

Round Sixteen – Let’s Help Nathan Buckley Find A Job!

RobboArticle

Nathan Buckley is interested in coaching? He has kept that quiet…

Half Back Flanker would like to take this opportunity to apologise and correct what appears to have been a poor lapse in editorial judgement. It has become quite apparent that this site has failed to give due consideration to the importance of the future direction of Nathan Buckley’s football career. See…we have not really focused on this story a great deal – mainly due to the eight games of football played every week that kinda determine who makes the finals and wins the premiership. Yeah, you know…the football games. Clearly this is a total mistake and we are really very sorry.

The amount of discussion about Buckley’s future employment status has been freakin’ intense, even by AFL standards. Half Back Flanker could only resist for so long but the power of Buckley is too great! The media discussions that start with “I know everybody is sick to death talking about Buckley but…” and then talking about Buckley for 45 minutes! The man himself making media appearances, paid and unpaid, to announce that he will not discuss his position in the media! And the articles…the endless stream of articles! Not sure which one was the final straw for me – maybe it was this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one…or this one

So if it is Buckley we want (and clearly, this is all we want!) then it is Buckley we will get. Initially, I was hoping to concentrate on Andy D’s “What Tanking?” media campaign on the weekend. The big man on the AFL campus spoke to every radio station on Saturday afternoon to announce the League’s official position on the perception of teams being rewarded for losing and exploiting the priority draft system. His stance is this – unless a football club proves that ‘tanking’ exists by formally announcing that they are not trying to win games, then it does not exist.

Of course, we all know that a club would never, ever say that they are deliberately losing games. That does not mean it could never happen! And if you use the same ‘Andy D Logic’ for other issues in footy, like the prospect of playing football on Good Friday, it also makes little sense. “Um, we won’t play footy on a Good Friday until God proves that He/She would not be offended? So we have to wait until He/She materialises on this Earth and gives us the Thumbs Up? Or does Andy D require He/She to release a press statement?

BuddyChrist2

“Good Friday footy? Yes, you have my blessing! But only if Nathan Buckley is coaching one of the teams…”

Andy D’s woeful strategy of denial deserves more attention and scrutiny than it has received. But it won’t happen. And why is that? Nathan Bloody Buckley…that’s why!

BrayshawPissed

“Great, we are getting flogged by Richmond! Nathan Buckley will never want to coach us now…”

Luckily for James Brayshaw, his Kangas fought back for a draw. Will that effort help them snag Bucks? And if so, can they just do it quickly so we can all get on with our lives?

The Games:

BucksBooth

“Dennis…if you ask me one more time about ‘my new job’, I’ll be forced to apply some frontal pressure on you!”

Essendon did all they could to knock off the favoured Western Bulldogs in the pressurised, cauldron-like atmosphere of Whatshishead Stadium…but somebody must have lifted the lid at half-time and the Dogs ran over the top of the Bombers. Rodney Eade was saying the ‘F’ word after the match – fitness. Matthew Knights was probably saying the ‘F’ word during the game but afterwards, the only ‘F’ word he uttered was ‘footskills’…or a lack of them.

Nathan Buckley called this game as a commentator for Channel Seven and his in-depth analysis demonstrated why he is guaranteed to be a coaching great.

RattenCoaching

“Come on boys, we’ve gotta keep winning games and make the finals! Otherwise Nathan Buckley might think the Carlton job is available too!!!”

Carlton had not won three games in a row for a number of years but numerous high draft picks and a Chris Judd later, they have done it! It was one of the more disappointing days for Swans coach Paul Roos though Ted Richards didn’t have a lot of fun either!

Nathan Buckley called this game as a commentator for 3AW and his in-depth analysis demonstrated why he is guaranteed to be a coaching great.

Geelong’s worst losing streak in ages is finally over! The Cats can finally sing the club song again after two weeks of post-match silence with an easy win over Melbourne.For Dean Bailey, well…it was fun while it lasted!

Nathan Buckley watched the game tape in the early hours of Sunday morning and, based on his coaching philosophy, projected that he would have guided the Dees to a two-goal win had he been Melbourne coach for the day.

ClarksonSong

If the Pies kept winning, they couldn’t possibly replace Mick Malthouse as coach. So when Buddy, Clarko and Sammy sang loudly on Saturday night, Bucks might have joined in too…

Stopping Hawk Lance Franklin was supposed to be the main focus for Collingwood last Saturday night…which is great in theory. But the reality proved to be too tough and, all of a sudden, the Hawks are back in the finals race and looking dangerous.

Nathan Buckley watched the game from home, dressed in one of his old Magpie tracksuits, using the quarter time breaks to sprint down his driveway in preparation for running onto the ground to deliver stirring speeches to his players when he becomes a coach.

RainingFreo

The Dockers didn’t handle the rainy conditions well. No doubt Bucks has a kick-ass wet weather game plan…

Nine losses in a row now for Fremantle…though they were in front of Brisbane for a while, and Mark Harvey has a handy list of excuses on hand, so it’s not all bad. What would be bad is if some rookie other than Daniel Rich won the Rising Star award. Not even notoriously dodgy award voter Kevin Bartlett could selet anybody else but him…could he?

Nathan Buckley was very pleased to hear the result as his own coaching mystique is enhanced with every win rookie coach Michael Voss chalks up!

BradshawHammie

…and a thorough rotation system to avoid hamstring injuries to key veteran players!

PowerKit

Another new jumper for Port Adelaide? Did they deliberately make it look more ‘Collingwoody’…just in case Mark Williams quits and Buckley is still available?

Port Adelaide had no trouble beating the Eagles. West Coast had no trouble losing their 19th straight away game. Nathan Buckley has a soft spot for Port; having played there as a heavily mulleted teenager; but would have some trouble going back there to coach…well, he would be forced to grow back the mullet for a start!

RawlingsBrothers

“Sorry lil’ bro…but Bucks should come to the Tigers, not the Roos. Sure – I would lose my job but, come on…it’s Nathan Buckley!!!”

Wow – a draw! There really were no winners after the Tigers-Roos clash. Not the coaches. Not the players…especially those denied a potential match-winning shot at goal. But most importantly, the media couldn’t make the audacious leap that the winning team would be the best coaching option for Buckley!

The man himself called this game as a commentator for Channel Seven and while his in-depth analysis demonstrated why he is guaranteed to be a coaching great, he changed his mind on which club he would choose 18 times during the match and now needs another few weeks to ‘weigh up his options’!

KossieStrike

Clumsy Kossie cops a week…Bucks wouldn’t stand for that type of ill discipline!

Lemme get this straight…The Perfect Season remains alive for the Saints after they won their 16th straight game, rendering Adelaide helpless at times…and they think they are the underdogs heading into their next match? Wow…not even Nathan Buckley would attempt to sell such a crazy mind trick. Would he? Will we ever find out? Will we ever f*#@$ng shut up about Nathan  f*#@$ng Buckley?

Round Eleven – The Excitement Builds In Western Sydney

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The suburbs of western Sydney look exactly like this year’s NAB ad…well, it would if you removed every single Sherrin!

Half Back Flanker went on a bit of a field trip for round eleven of the AFL season and ventured out into the Aussie rules footballing hotbed that could well be soon on the receiving end of the 18th AFL franchise. I thought it might be nice to gauge the levels of excitement and anticipation from the millions of  residents in the west of Sydney as they count down to the arrival of their very own AFL club.

Well, having left Sydney and returned to Swine Flu Central…I can’t say that Sydney’s west is exactly swept up in AFL fever. It was like round eleven never actually happened! Not exactly sure why Andy D is so gung-ho about expanding into western Sydney..no, actually I am – there are a shitload of people out there! And they are watching plenty of footy. But let me tell you something…they ain’t watching our game!

If you wanted to talk to the locals about how the Tigers died in the arse during the second half on Friday Night football, they would have agreed. But they are talking the Wests Tigers in the NRL…not Richmond! And while the coach of the West Tigers might be in trouble, at least he still has a job…and he actually won something during his time there. Terry Wallace has neither of those things

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Richmond fans in western Sydney had to stay up past 2am on Saturday morning to watch Terry Wallace coach the Tigers to the last loss of his career.

And just say that you were keen to check out the Tigers-Doggies game and lived in western Sydney – you had to wait until after 11pm for the start of the match on Channel Seven. The Friday night marquee event AFL game and a massive audience in the largest growth area in Australia that has been targeted to adopt your code…and they are the last group of people in the entire country to see it?

And things didn’t improve on Saturday either. The ladder-leading Saints had another win? Nuh, they didn’t play until Monday night and they (being St George Illawarra) lost to the Gold Coast. And if you settled down in the family home to watch the action on a Saturday night, no AFL either. It was rugby union between the Wallabies and Barbarians…where the Lions were British, not Brisbane, and the Blues were from Auckland, not Carlton. If you went to the pub for some pay TV footy action, it was all about Johnathan Thurston and his Cowboys – not Toby Thurstans and the victorious Port Adelaide!

At least we saw some AFL action on Sunday with the Sydney Swans playing Hawthorn…it was live and everything. Sure, every pub with a TV had the rugby league on but those with a second screen were showing the Swannies. Sure enough, the Swans lost; in part to a classic Barry Hall brain-snap; and big bad Bazza has pretty much been the only AFL coverage in the Sydney media for the next three days.

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Another Barry brain-snap…but it’s probably the only way to keep AFL and the Swans in the Sydney papers!

Say what you like about the hot-headed Swans spearhead but if it wasn’t for Barry Hall doing stupid things on a regular basis, the term ‘AFL’ would barely be uttered up there. Gary Ablett and the Cats keep tearing up the competition…read the scores in the paper the following day. The Crows and Bombers put on a great show with some spectacular goals…didn’t watch or listen to a second of it! Probably just as well for me…

And how about the latest teenage whizkid to hit the big time! Huh, who the hell is Jack Watts? They are talking about rising Wallabies star James O’Connor and his selection in the best rugby team in the country. They wouldn’t have the first idea about Watts making his highly (try ‘overly’) publicised debut for the worst team in the league – which just happened to coincide with Melbourne’s home game blockbuster against the biggest crowd drawing team. What a funny coincidence…

So, despite the miserable skies and hail storms greeting me at the airport, it was great to arrive back at the home of AFL football and catch up on what happened in round eleven. The guy behind the success at the Swans has doubts about the new Sydney club…and after my experience last weekend, I would have to agree.

Talking Heads (Media Street)

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Robert Walls in high definition may not be pretty but watching a full hour of One Week At A Time is no problem…

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…but Footy Classified? Can’t do it! The very sight of Craig Hutchison makes me scramble for the remote every time…

It has been with us for less than one week but already Channel Ten’s 24-hour sports venture, ONE, is getting a decent run on the plasma TV at HBF Central. And it was with great relief that the new Monday night AFL discussion show One Week At A Time made its debut. I say relief because without the pricey television goodness of Foxtel, the only AFL analysis program available to me during the week has been Footy Classified…which is not my cup of tea, to be honest.

Sure – the prospect of tuning in to see a casually dressed Robert Walls in high definition is not the most visually stunning image…but it made a nice change to have a panel partaking in an enjoyable hour of footy without a single hint of interruption, contrived provocation or wild accusation. It still needs some work, obviously, but after one airing, it already beats the shit out of cringing through Craig Hutchison and the Channel Nine hype machine. So call me ‘faint-hearted’…but I have no place for Footy Classified. Give me OWAAT or, if you are up late around Footy Classified time, try 30 Rock on Channel Seven. You’ll be much better for the experience…

Speaking of talking heads…have you seen the movie Watchmen? There is a character called Doctor Manhattan…he’s big, blue and can create duplicate physical versions of himself in order to perform more than one task at the same time. Well, Eddie McGuire obviously thinks he is the Doctor Manhattan of the AFL. All he needs to do is announce which ‘Eddie’ he is being at any certain time and we are expected to forget about all those other ‘Eddies’ out there – be it President Eddie or Media Eddie or Former Game Show Host Who Really Needs A New Game Show Eddie!

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Thankfully, unlike the various versions of Doctor Manhattan, the various versions of Eddie McGuire all choose to wear pants!

So, when Eddie floats the “Kevin Sheedy coaching Richmond by round four” theory after the Tigers were flogged by Carlton, it’s not poor form coming from an opposing club president because he’s not a president any more…it is Media Eddie talking. But when President Eddie frowns on speculation about Collingwood’s coaching position by people in the media (people just like Media Eddie), that’s ok too.

Um, is the line becoming blurry yet?…Well, stiff! Try telling him that he’s out of line and you can guarantee that one or more versions of Eddie will be after you . The only other guarantee we can make about this whole saga is it will end up in another Caroline Wilson article on The Eddies later this year! And it will probably include many parts of this article too

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Well well…don’t  Anna B and Andy D look pleased with themselves!

The Gold Coast now have a footy team…well, almost! The licence is ‘provisional‘ but Andy D and Anna B wouldn’t have put on such a flashy Gold Coast stylee show, signing contracts and smiling a lot, if it wasn’t going to go ahead, right? So if you are an AFL club, lock up your youngsters…especially if they are Queenslanders!

Now how is the League going to pay for GC17…and WS18 for that matter? The next media rights, of course! Andy D is already spruiking it up…big time. And don’t think that the massive interest created in last week’s AFL season opener won’t be used by Andy and friends with a view to milking as much cash as possible in the next rights deal. Well, last Thursday night’s hype-fest was more a result of good fortune with the Ben Cousins saga.

So unless the league plans an annual roll-out of previous Brownlow winners, straight out of rehab, to participate in the opening game of the year, we won’t experience the likes of last Thursday night again. And after the result of that game, it would be just as well…

From First To Worst – Fast Forward To September (AFL Season 2009)

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One week from defending the premiership and what is Hawk Luke Hodge up to? He’s impressing the ladies with the size of his Wii! Is this a bad sign for Hawthorn?

Surely by now, you have checked out many of the 2009 AFL season previews that have been published in print or online. They are all over the damn place! Both Melbourne papers put out season preview magazines over the weekend but the Herald Sun have previews for each team available here. You can also check out previews for all sixteen clubs from Sportal Australia while the official website of the AFL have gone as far as rating players for each team in order to make their guestimates appear better than everybody elses.

But it’s not just the media big-boys that are cranking out good previews for the new season…try checking out some of the other footy sites out there such as The Roar, Contested Footy or Kick 2 Kick. This season, Half Back Flanker has completely run out of time opted against writing previews for each team but instead has peered into the League’s crystal ball to find out who finishes where on the ladder after the home-and-away season.

That’s right – Andy D actually has a crystal ball in his office (honestly, check the book case…it’s hidden behind a framed photo of new Queensland Premier Anna Bligh!) Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the surprise of who wins it all in September, or whether Jason Akermanis finally makes it to 300 games…because Aker is the biggest story of this season, right? Right?

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First To Worst – The Ladder as of Round 22, 2009

1st: Geelong

Redemption from last September and an intense hatred for mouthy Hawk prez Jeff Kennett should be enough of a driving force for Geelong. Jimmy Bartel also revealed in this article that he discovered The Ramones in the off-season…so expect greatness from him!

2nd: Hawthorn

Apart from Luke Hodge’s Wii exploits, the Hawks will find life much more difficult having gone all the way last season. But it won’t stop the likes of Buddy Franklin and this year’s leading goalkicker…Jarryd Roughead!

3rd: Western Bulldogs

The Doggies might have a tough start but if the coach gets big improvement from the current Brownlow Medallist…watch out for the team of the mighty west!

4th: Collingwood

Collingwood will not only play good footy but again dominate the league in off-field discussion. Prepare yourself as our journos indulge in weekly speculation about the current coach, the coach in waiting and the president in everything. And we mean EVERYTHING!

5th: St Kilda

A fast start to the year would certainly help the Saints if they want to return to the top four…as would kicking more goals and keeping Nick Riewoldt forever and ever!

6th: Carlton

Looks like the arrogant Blues are back and finals are a real possibility. If they qualify for September, prey that the match is not broadcast by Channel Ten – Robert Walls, Tim Lane, Andy Maher on the boundary…sheeesh!

7th: North Melbourne

North died in the arse last year so even if they make the most of their Victorian-based opening half to the year, there will be lingering doubts about how far they can progress. The Roos do like having doubters though…

8th: Adelaide

The Crow-bots could easily slide out of finals contention…and it could all hinge on their ability to kick goals via the reconstructed knee of Trent Hentschel and a rebuilt Porpoise.

9th: Port Adelaide

Hard to tell who needs rescuing more – the club by the AFL or the coach by another club that wants to pay top dollar for a footy-obsessed maniac! This season has so-close and yet so-far written all over it…

10th: Richmond

Between Terry Wallace’s contract, Kevin Sheedy’s warblings and the comeback of Ben Cousins, Richmond will be a hot topic this year but too much depends on a 34 year old Richo. At least we don’t have them finishing ninth…

11th: Sydney

The Swans might feel confident that they can defy the critics who say they are too old and qualify for another finals campaign. But we don’t!

12th: Brisbane

Voss is now boss at BrisVegas and has given Jono Brown the captaincy all to himself. But the new coach can’t just order his side to become more skilful…it will be interesting to see how Vossy handles a rare taste of mediocrity.

13th: Fremantle

As if the Fremantle Football Club isn’t weird enough, they appear to be set for a big season of shouting at umpires in order to protect the tallest man in the competition. At least the worst theme song in footy won’t be heard that many times!

14th: Essendon

The Bombers were hoping for an injury-free run in ’09…and that lasted a good few weeks before completely turning to shit! They could do better than bottom four if their players stop break themselves…however, that appears unlikely.

15th: West Coast

The Eagles will try to use the AFL captains poll (where nobody gave them a chance of making the finals) as some type of motivation to play well. But there is a reason nobody thinks they are good enough…it’s because they are not good enough!

16th: Melbourne

After what happened last year, 2009 could only be an improvement, right? Maybe, but optimism seems to be pretty damn low at Demonland. Well, they have some major sponsors now…but it’s hard to see many other positives.