Tag Archives: Channel Nine

Thank Goodness. I Was So Worried… (Media Street)

ThreePies

WHY SO SERIOUS? Gee, life at Collingwood is going to be one big barrel of laughs for the next five years, isn’t it?

Now we can all get on with our lives! You know how anxious I was getting about the future of Nathan Buckley. I thought he would never find a job. But we can all relax now – we know what Bucks is going to do for the next five years…well, sorta.

Both he and Mick Malthouse have signed five-year deals with the Magpies with Malthouse remaining as senior coach for two more seasons and Buckley starting off as an assistant…though Eddie McGuire and friends will probably invent a much more important sounding title for Bucks. Football Intelligence Coordinator, perhaps? Vice President of Onfield KPI Production? Director of Training Fluid Replenishment?

PeanutGallery

And the crowd goes wild! The gathered media could barely contain their excitement!!!

Despite some nasty cynics suggesting that Malthouse would struggle accepting this type of succession plan, he appears happy to step aside for Bucks to take the helm. Though it could be a case of Mick being so stressed out about his contract negotiations that he was prepared to agree to anything! What he does for the remaining three years has yet to be fully sorted out…Football Overlord? Executive Producer of Monotone Press Conferences? Guess the Pies can make it up as they go along…apparently that is what ‘prototype’ means!

Opinions will vary greatly about the decision. Is this a footballing masterstroke? Will it turn into one big stinky pile of poop? But we shouldn’t be that surprised…this is the Collingwood way, after all!

TonyJones

The off-kilter tie. The shirt that doesn’t match. There is your Channel Nine exclusive…Tony Jones dresses in the dark!

Maybe that was little harsh on Tony Jones. It must have been a busy day yesterday – you know; with the press conference, recording and filing news reports and, most importantly, writing grovelly, suck-hole articles about how the guy that once ran his TV network is a freakin’ genius! But, in all honestly, it appears to be a great arrangement for all parties involved and Magpie fans should be delighted with this.

However, there is just something about the thought of Eddie McGuire’s wildest dreams coming true that makes me want to mix Red Bull and Stilnox together, drink it to excess and hope I forget the whole thing is even happening! Apparently, it works a treat

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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 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 Seven – Mind Your Head!

TigerCarnage

Shit…it actually hurts just looking at them, doesn’t it!

Damn! I’m still wincing from the sight of Richmond’s Alex Rance and Brisbane’s Troy Selwood clashing heads at the ‘G on Saturday afternoon…that shit was nasty! Selwood was knocked into next week, had to be assisted off the ground and sat out the rest of the game. He was the lucky one.

Rance was stretchered from the field and taken straight to hospital, his freaked-out parents by his side. The young Tiger came away with a fractured cheekbone but should be back in a few weeks to put his head in dangerous places once again.

Another bloke who continually puts his head in a dangerous place (that is, out in public), is Rance’s current coach Terry Wallace. Richmond lost again, the Pretty Picture Paper tried to get him sacked immediately and some knob from the nufty factory that is Channel Nine questions whether he even gives a shit about his job any more.

WallaceKnob

How Terry walked away without slamming this Channel Nine reporter’s head in the door is beyond me…

What fine journalism by the young brainiac who did the football media equivalent of leaving a burning paper bag filled with dog poo on the Punt Road door step, knocking on the door and running away. But on that form, he is destined to become the next Tony Jones and/or Craig Hutchison. Great! Just what we need…

Speaking of the nufty factory, Monday night football was the latest experiment to be held by the League as they explore ways to incorporate nine matches per round when GC17 and WS18 are artificially brought to life. Sure, it was on Channel Seven last night but if this timeslot becomes a regular fixture in years to come, it really does have a wanky, over-hyped Channel Nine feel to it. And if the League hopes to milk as much cash as possible from the next media rights agreement, they better prey that the nufty factory comes to the party.

The Games:

BuddyFlummoxed

Buddy checks out the scoreboard and refuses to believe that his team is actually behind Essendon at quarter time. It only got worse from there…

The Bombers have been getting all nostalgic this week and it just may have helped inspire them to an upset win over bitter 80’s rivals Hawthorn. Though it would be fair to say that the Hawks are far from firing on all cylinders, Essendon are far from full strength and have four wins already. Speaking of full strength, they face St Kilda next…that might tell us more about the Dons.

BloodyJackson

What is with Richmond players breaking their faces this weekend?

Richmond are starting to look ahead to life without Matthew Richardson… unfortunately, that life looks exactly the same as it has with Richo there. That is – not very good! Brisbane tough it out and claim victory at the MCG, leaving Terry Wallace threatening players with the axe. Well, he should probably do some sacking of his own before it happens to him

BarryHall

Barry Hall contemplates giving up football so he can take up boxing and start legitimately hitting people for money!

Paul Roos thought that Geelong would still be a tough task without the brilliant Gary Ablett. He thought right! The Cats remain undefeated as they brush the Swans aside, Roosy counting the cost of poor ball use. The Cats also shut Barry Hall out of the game, making him look like a pro boxer who plays footy on the side rather than the other way around. At least the two sports didn’t merge on him this week…

ElvisLives

Look – Elvis Lives…and he resides on the Gold Coast! Thank you very much, Warwick!

The classy folk of the Gold Coast were on hand to witness three in a row for Fremantle. No, not losses…and no, not denials by Matthew Pavlich that he would ever, ever leave the club. The Dockers have actually won three games of football in a row. I know, how crazy is that! Carlton let another winnable game slip and the coach is blaming the handball…though I would have thought it had more to do with Fev doing stuff-all! But Brett Ratten did also say his boys need to grow up…ok, now he’s talking about Fev.

TazFev

Fremantle won the match, Carlton took the money but who won this battle of the minds…Chris Tarrant or Brendan Fevola? Must have been a nil-all draw!

MoneyKids

The Kangas in financial strife? Bulltwang! Just look at their fans…they are loaded!!!

It hasn’t been the best of seasons for North Melbourne…and that was before ex-AFL head honcho Wayne Jackson had them merging with the Demons! But they did manage a win on Saturday night…and a very good win at that! Port go home empty handed with sore shoulders and a pissed-off Mark Williams…that’s one flight home I wouldn’t want to be on!

BulldogsAway

Sunday was a triumph for the Bulldogs…and a tragedy for haters of crappy white away jumpers!

The Western Bulldogs hadn’t won for a while and the trip to AAMI Stadium is usually a daunting task. Not this time, however. The powers of belief in the mind of Rodney Eade propelled the Doggies to a big win over the Crows. What were they worried about? It looks like the people who should be worried are Adelaide fans…and don’t say that Neil Craig didn’t warn you!

Coming into this match, I had tipped one result out of six for the round. So when Melbourne held a slender lead in the third quarter, I was preparing for a complete tipping disaster! But the Eagles spared my blushes by hitting the front and then holding off a dogged Demons outfit. Dean Bailey must be pleased with their endeavournot so pleased with the injury toll.

MalthouseSearch

Mick and his trusty binoculars embark on a desperate quest to find a Collingwood forward. No luck, I’m afraid!

It’s Monday night footy. It’s prime time. The glamour, the excitement…and Collingwood kick only one goal in the first half? Sure, half their forward line was missing and the other half was Anthony Rocca but…one goal in a half? The Saints continue to demolish every team they face; next victim…Essendon. Even with three extra days to prepare, the Bombers are in serous trouble!

That’s What I’m Talkin’ About! (2008 AFL Grand Final)

If anybody was destined to go totally nuts on the podium today, it was Crawf…and you can’t blame him either!

Hawthorn have just upset the footballing applecart…tipped it on it’s head, in fact! Geelong failed to cash in on a season of rare dominance by falling short at the final hurdle and the Hawks now have a tenth premiership cup in their keeping. After losing just one match on the way to the grand final, the popular theory seemed to be that the match would be tight but Geelong would be the better side in the end…well, that idea went to shit in a series of failed forays forward and sprayed shots at goal from the Cats.

The stumpiest captain-coach combination in VFL/AFL history delivers another cup to Hawthorn…and Sammy Mitchell is so excited that he appears to be at half-mast!

With Norm Smith Medallist Luke Hodge directing traffic superbly from half back, the Hawks broke open a tight match in the third term with six goals and the misfiring Cats could not find a way to get back into the match. The win was a fitting reward for veteran Shane Crawford after 17 years service at Hawthorn. This may well be his final AFL game; as he has a long post-footy career of goofing off on crappy Channel Nine television shows ahead of him; but there could hardly be a better way to bow out of the game.

Bomber Thompson will be pissy at some of his players…but not this guy! Lil’ Ablett was Geelong’s best and nearly matched his father by winning Norm in a losing team. Head up, young fella!

Cats coach Mark Thompson was left to wonder whether the opportunity to win back-to-back was too great for some of his players.  They were more than competitive for a majority of the match but a surprisingly dysfunctional forward line and poor shooting at goal prevented them from gaining any advantage…and the Hawks made them pay big time! And when we say poor conversion in front of goal, we mean ‘record settting…try the third most behinds ever scored in a VFL/AFL grand final and the most by a losing grand final team!

So while Cats fans attempt to drown their sorrows, the Hawk faithful will be going completely feral tonight! As for Half Back Flanker, we will be sleeping off a big day of drinkies, home-made sausage rolls and some post-footy rockin’ out on Guitar Hero and will fully review the events of grand final day very soon. Until then; well done Hawks (have another celebratory Chang beer, DC…whichever country you are in right now!) and commiserations Cats (bad luck LuLi…and a shame Delta didn’t sing today. I love that bitch too!)

Somebody Call The Fire Brigade! (Grand Final Week)

THERE’S A CAT STUCK UP A TREE!!!

It wouldn’t be a fair dinkum grand final week without some old fashioned espionage! Yesterday was Paul Chapman Fitness Test Day down at Geelong and, not surprisingly, the media went into 1960’s style Beatlemania mode as they flocked to Skilled Stadium and tried everything they could to crash the closed training session. We love the camera man attempting to film training from up the tree wearing the Cats jumper…because that makes him look completely inconspicuous; just your average footy fan with a big-arse camera and broadcast van. A plain-clothed guy with a massive video camera filming from up a tree? Now that would just look suspicious…

Awwww, look fellas. There’s a die-hard Cats fan with a camera watching training from up a tree! How sweet!!! He must really like us…

Yes, the Channel Nine helicopter did make an appearance…as did aircraft representing every other network. And apparently, the whole entire world was watching Chappy train…but that’s the thing about the Melbourne footy media – the world only spans as far west as Geelong and as far north as Kangaroo Ground! But they, like a few of the players, will need to wait a little longer before finding out the make-up of the Geelong side for the big one. Will we see a major selection surprise? Like that guy in the 53 jumper?

Forget Chappy…that number 53 looks like a real goer. Give him a game!

Hawthorn didn’t train yesterday so it was left to publicity-shy president Jeff Kennett to create the Hawk-based headlines. Kennett is expecting victory from his side on Saturday afternoon…of course, he famously expected victory on a Saturday afternoon nine years ago. And look how well that turned out for him! Relax Cats fans, you’ve got it in the bag now…

Jeff wants a repeat of the success from 1989…but he might just find himself well beaten like he was in 1999!

Non-Grand Final news:

Rodney Eade manhandles Scotty West to ensure the reluctant retiree actually goes through with it and doesn’t run out of the room to hide behind a treadmill in the gym!

Would any clubs want a 33 year old with a bung knee? We doubt it…but good luck Westy!

Don’t Call It A Replay! (The Lost Weekend)

It’s a rematch of 1989…without Gazza senior…and Chris Langford…and everybody else who played in 1989!

Well, now we might finally have ourselves a contest! The two raging hot favourites qualified for the 2008 AFL Grand Final after claiming victory in the preliminary finals and the two best teams over the year will fight it out for the flag. Sure – some footy boffins were shouting “1999” from the treetops last week in an attempt to keep everybody interested but there is a darn good reason why Carlton’s upset win over Essendon was so special…shit like that only happens once in a lifetime! But a select number of media types were not only floating theories that an earth-shattering upset could happen again so soon, but twice on the same weekend. Huh?

So forget talk of ’99…now it’s all about 1989! But, please…it’s a rematch, of sorts, from 1989 but it’s not a damn replay! And it’s not a tryst either…isn’t a tryst a meeting between two lovers? How does that even make sense?

While the result of the Cats and Dogs clash on Friday night had a sense of inevitability, at least it was somewhat entertaining as a contest. Saturday night, on the other, produced a total stink-fest with Hawthorn embarrassing St Kilda and bringing the remarkable career of Robert Harvey to a sad end. But while there has yet to be a classic finals encounter this September, the results properly reflect the performance of the teams over the whole season – Geelong clearly the best, Hawthorn’s rise to legitimate challenger, the Dogs much improved but just a shade below the top two and St Kilda fortunate to finish fourth and exposed as pretenders by the two best sides in the comp.

Expect to see the Channel Nine helicopter flying over Buddy’s house tomorrow morning to check the status of his wrist!

And now we can all look forward to one massive week of full-on Septocemia! Brownlow Medal madness (could be a busy night, Catters!), grand final lunches, throwbacks to 1989selection headaches, hourly injury updates and death-by-analysis! And we love every minute of it, don’t we!

Well, not always…not when supposedly intelligent football minds ask dopey question after dopey question i.e. Tim Watson pointlessly quizzing Mark Thompson as to which team he would prefer to play next week after Geelong’s win on Friday night. The fact that Bomber Thompson is a three-time premiership teammate probably saved Watson the indignity of being labelled a f@#$&%g idiot live on national TV. And even then, it must’ve taken a whole lotta restraint!

Um…we’d prefer to play Bendigo, actually! Nobody ever answers that stupid question…ever! So why f@#$&n bother asking?

FRIDAY NIGHT

Doggies fans will be filthy about this for a very, very, very long time!

First Preliminary Final – Geelong 12.11.83 def. Western Bulldogs 7.12.54

There was no repeat of the 1999 shocker as logic ruled on Friday night…well, apart from one glaring umpiring decision! This didn’t rob the Doggies, mind you, so comparisons with Wayne Harmes in 1979 lack a bit of perspective! But it did kill off any hope of them pushing the defending premiers to the absolute limit.

What cost them was poor kicking at goal in the second half… and the hospital pass that set up Brad Johnson for the Max Rooke contest wasn’t too crash hot either. But with the Doggies closing in on Geelong in the third term, a series of missed shots at goal from Nathan Eagleton, Will Minson and Mitch Hahn cost them dearly. Particularly when the Cats stung them on the rebound for Cam Mooney to score, prompting this Brady Bunch-inspired graphic display that captured the moment perfectly!

Here’s the story…of a man named Rodney..who was beaten by some very lovely Cats!

How the Bulldogs respond to their stinging loss will be an interesting storyline in 2009 as they try to back up their top-four finish. But for the Cats, who don’t seem to like these grand final qualifiers all that much, they are back in the big dance and look primed for back-to-back flags. Unless…

SATURDAY NIGHT

We knew Luke Hodge was tough but he went old school crazy tough to lead his Hawks into the GF!

Second Preliminary Final – Hawthorn 18.10.118 def. St Kilda 9.10.64

Hawthorn made a mess of St Kilda – the match was effectively over at half time as the Hawks proved to be too tough and too committed for the Saints. While the result would indicate that they are in fantastic shape heading into the grand final, they do have a number of slight injury concerns. And one of them is Buddy, so expect a dramatic week at Hawks training.

St Kilda may wonder why they have attracted so much criticism for a club that finished fourth but last night demonstrated exactly why they cop it. Yes, they did finish fourth…but it has clearly been a three-horse race since May! With an alleged ‘star-studded’ list, they have yet to make a grand final since 1997 and in the latest chance to go one further, they were kicking consolation goals ten minutes into the third quarter!

And thus ends any hopes of a fairytale finish for Robert Harvey. The curtain has been dropping on Harvey’s stellar 21-year career for two months now but it is well and truly done with now. And this might be the trigger for the Saints to look to their youth in order to maximise their talent and go to the next level. So with the departure of the much-loved Harvey, does this mean the end for one particular annoying little twerp?

Goodbye Harvs…you deserved a better send-off!

Goodbye Milne…you don’t! And yes, we are trying to retire you!