Tag Archives: grand final

When The Cats Go Marching In! (2009 AFL Grand Final)

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PremierCats

Wow – Geelong are good at this cup-lifting thing! Looks like they’ve done it before…

Holy crap – what a day! A massive audience, a classic match and even the pre-match entertainment didn’t totally suck…well, until the Jersey Boys got involved! Yep, a limp-as-a-lettuce-leaf rendition of the national anthem – won’t that inspire to football masses to buy tickets to their crappy stage show!

NormChapman

Chappy deservedly wins Norm…just don’t ask me how he did it!

Anyway, back to the footy and on a wet, cold day at the ‘G, it was Geelong that found their way to the front when it mattered to win a second flag in three seasons. On the verge of two straight grand final catastrophes, the Cats scored three goals to nil in the final term to earn the ultimate reward for their sustained excellence and become a truly great outfit. Look out, Lions!

HayesYells

How would it feel to lead most of the way in a Grand Final and lose? Lenny Hayes pretty much sums it up…

One of these teams was always going to feel unfortunate to miss out on the great prize. Few could have predicted just how devastating defeat would become for the Saints…particularly when things quite easily could have gone their way had they capitalised on their opportunities early.

BustedGoddard

Broken collarbone, busted nose, dream destroyed…hard to imagine anybody feeling worse than Brendon Goddard must have after the siren!

If there is any consolation for the St Kilda faithful, it seems to lie with the hard-line stance of the coach looking to ensure his club strives to improve and bounce back in 2010. The popular Max Hudghton won’t be back but it will be interesting to see if anybody else joins him on the sidelines…like little twerp goal sneaks who wear number 44, for example.

RookeMobile

Max Rooke claims himself some new wheels…might come in handy this week during the celebrations! Wonder if his psychic told him about this as well?

But enough HBF-style hardcore analysis…it’s time to wind down after a long season that again defied all expectations (and defied logic at certain stages) and let our collective hairs down! Then, maybe, we can start worrying about who will be the team to beat in 2010. Until then, may all your Mondays be Mad and your blondes a little better looking than this one!


About Freakin’ Time! (2009 Brownlow Medal)

AblettCooney

For just a split second, Adam Cooney made Gary Ablett wonder whether winning the medal was worth it…

He has been the best player in the competition for the past three seasons but, finally, Gary Ablett has a Brownlow Medal to his name. After being pipped at the post in 2007 and 2008, the Geelong midfielder led from the opening game and had the award all wrapped up with two rounds left to count.

The ending may have lacked the drama of previous seasons but having watched a clearly nervous Gazza watch on helplessly as less-favoured (but still deserving!) players took the honour two years running, it was more a sense of relief once the result was beyond doubt.

AblettWins

He’s been crapping his daks about making a Brownlow speech for three years, now that time had come…

As expected, a number of St Kilda players polled very strongly, as did many of Gary’s teammates. Carlton’s Chris Judd finished second while Lions pair Simon Black and Jonathan Brown each picked up 19 votes. As usual, midfielders featured prominently in the votes but Brown’s equal fourth placing showed that forwards are capable of polling well.

Brendon Fevola was probably being light-hearted about the extra focus on-ballers receive from the umpires at the expense of forwards but, considering Fev has been known to check out of games when things aren’t going his way, the joke is on him!

FevDisapproves

Fev shows his displeasure at a midfielder, one whose level of effort is never conditional, taking votes off him. He has to be joking, doesn’t he?

But enough of Ablett! More importantly, the evening kicked off with the traditional red carpet fashions. And, in typical AFL style, any hint of tradition was sold off to the highest bidder as the carpet went from ‘red’ to ‘blue’. Apparently Toyota have a new car…and it’s blue. Wow, the things you can do with technology these days! Ground breaking…

BoganPrincess

Brownlow night is the highlight of the season for many a WAG… including the Princess Bride of Bogans, Alex Fevola!

The ‘blue-red’ carpet saw the usual mix of elegance, class and skank; from the half-mill diamond dress (ever taken a wee surrounded by four bodyguards?) to the eye-popping squeeze of former Sydney Swans supremo Dr Geoffrey Edelston! But the award for best couple of the night was unanimous…Adam Goodes and Simon Black!

BrownlowBlokes

As soon as it became obvious there was no need to stay sober for a speech, Simon and Adam lived it up! You boys have my three votes!!

The Best Case Scenario! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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GoldenCat

Imitation is usually the best form of flattery…but not down at the Cattery!

So much for that whole ‘excruciating pressure‘ theory! Septocemia 2009 will have the best possible finale as the two best teams in the competition will face off in the AFL Grand Final. Sure, we love a Cinderella story…but if it happened to involve Collingwood, that sure is one ugly Cinderella!

Thankfully, we don’t have to worry about that.  St Kilda squeaked past the Bulldogs on Friday night but Geelong roared its way in by making an absolute mess of Collingwood to qualify for a third straight premiership decider. The Cats produced close to their best football on the big stage with their star players stepping up when it mattered most.

The Pies can talk about the experience being good for their group but this club has played finals in each of the past four years, with at least two finals in the last three Septembers. How much more experience do they want before they show some true substance?

DavisMalthouse

Look – photographic evidence that All-Australian Leon Davis actually got a touch in a finals game! Cue the Bronx cheers from Magpie fans…

Whether the intent of Mick Malthouse’s widely-discussed ‘pressure’ article was overblown is up for debate. But after this trouncing on preliminary final night, one thing is certain – few coaches will be under more pressure next season than Malthouse. Season 2010 will be his eleventh year in change and second last chance to ever win a premiership with Collingwood.

And he has to do it with a shattered group of players, including some alleged high quality guys who inexplicably disappear once the ‘August’ page flips over to the back of the calendar. And did we mention that his successor will be sitting in the office next door?

HulkHoward

Channel Ten gave us Hulk Hogan. Channel Seven gave us David Schwartz wearing tights. Advantage Ten!

While last night’s match lacked any drama or intensity after the main break, I won’t complain. The very thought of the Magpies winning a premiership freaks me right out so Geelong’s dominance after halftime was fantastic view ing for me and capped a dismal day for Collingwood, who were also flogged in the VFL prelim during the afternoon.

And it just gets better Magpie fans…because we can all sit back and relive Collingwood’s back-to-back grand final defeats to the Brisbane Lions on Channel Ten’s One HD! What a great way to get Grand Final week kick-started!!!

They Didn’t Go Marching In But The Saints Are There!(Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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RiewoldtGoal

Saint Nick’s knee holds up long enough for him to do this…

How about that! In a finals series that has already delivered high drama and some classic finishes, we got another oneThe Saints are in the grand final…but they were this freakin’ close to a shock exit. And if it wasn’t for inspirational skipper Nick Riewoldt, they wouldn’t have made it. It really is that simple. That dodgy knee of his is more valuable than gold right now!

You just knew it was going to end in heartbreak for one of these traditionally down-trodden clubs…but recovering from this will be a massive challenge for Rodney Eade’s men. That loss was so harsh that I can’t even find a way to make fun of loudmouth lair Jason Akermanis! As much as I love doing it, it just feels cruel right now, wrong even…

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The power of the red beard was not quite enough for Adam Cooney and the Dogs.

The Dogs dominated the opening quarter and could have built a more than handy lead if not for a couple of squandered opportunities. As a result, the Saints were able to stay in touch and slowly work their way to the front in the third term. Down by five points at three-quarter time, Brad Johnson put the Doggies back in front but it was the other captain that willed his side into the big one next Saturday afternoon.

Whether Johnson returns next season is yet to be determined but it would be a real boost for a wounded club to have that guy back next year.

RocketComposed

The hacks have quizzed Rocket every week about recruiting Barry Hall for 2010…imagine if David Schwartz asked him now!

And now we go through it all again tonight with the Cats and Pies and thank you Channel Ten…we can see it LIVE,  baby!  No Channel Seven again in 2009 so no more garden makeovers, no more tasty recipes, No Johanna Griggs and no watching Dr Harry feeding the fish…it’s finals action as it happens!!!

SchwartzDisgrace

Last night was Channel Seven’s grand final…and didn’t they deliver some high quality family fun!

SATURDAY NIGHT

Second Preliminary Final – MCG, 7:30pm (local): Geelong v Collingwood (TEN)

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Matthew Scarlett is hoping to keep his hair for one more week before launching into some post-season stupidity!

Fresh from a nice relaxing week off, Geelong will be buoyed by the inclusion of two vital cogs and now appear to have their strongest available team. Steve Johnson and his dodgy hip will be a bit of an unknown quantity so they need somebody like Tom Hawkins to get on the scoreboard. Cameron Ling is not feeling the pressure now but that might change if Dane Swan gets a few early touches!

Geelong’s Dodgy Headline of the Week: Ling Primed For Ding Dong With Swan! Hmmm…Ling Ding, Swan Dong?

RejoiceEd

Settle Ed, it was just a semi final! Imagine if they actually won the flag!!! Actually, don’t do that…I dread the very thought.

It would have been difficult to forget about last Saturday night’s miracle win but, more importantly, Collingwood need to forget about what happened in round three! They have improved since then, says no-pressure Mick. How Scott Pendlebury’s broken leg has improved enough for him to play is beyond me…we’ll see.

Collingwood”s Dodgy Headline of the Week: Goldsack Wants Crack at Stevie J! All that’s missing is the defender reference so they could use the words back, crack and sack!

CATS by 19

Damn Stupid Pressure! (Septocemia – 2009 AFL Finals Series)

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WHAT…ME WORRY?

Pressure. It has cost us some wayward government ministers,  it can drive young divas into a head -shaving, umbrella-waving fit of rage and it forced the temporarily rampaging Adelaide Crows into their shell during the third quarter last Saturday night. And Grant Thomas ate it for breakfast (plus a little bit more, you suspect…) but look where it got him!

That’s right – it’s preliminary final weekend and the buzzword this week has been ‘pressure’. Our two grand finalists will be determined by the end of Saturday night and for all four competing clubs, the pressure is freakin’ ginormous. Though Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse has his own little theory. He reckons that this pressure mainly applies to Geelong rather than his own club!

Apparently, the Cats are suffering under the weight of excruciating pressure that comes with being the outstanding team of the past three seasons but only have one flag to show for it. The Saints and Dogs are also under pressure having not won the comp for well over 40 years. His own club, however, seems devoid of pressure somehow…

MalthouseCake

Under pressure? Feeling stressed? Mick has just the thing for you…a nice piece of cake!

So lemme get this straight – the coach with ten years in charge at the self-proclaimed ‘biggest club in Australia’, responsible for a couple of really good years but no ‘great’ year and, most notably, no premiership to show for it; this guy is not under any pressure at all? And he thinks Geelong is under more pressure than anyone? Um…ok?

Not saying that Malthouse is a bad coach or even an overrated one – the guy is good; see last weekend as a case in point. But he has been at his current club longer than the other three coaches taking part at this preliminary final stage and, unlike the others, he also has a concrete deadline of September 2011 before handing over the keys to Nathan Buckley. No pressure though, Mick! Maybe writing these opinion pieces relaxes him…

His misguided attempt at psychological warfare has made this week a little more interesting but Bomber Thompson would not be the only person to laugh off something he has said this year. But before we see the Pies and Dogs do their best to handle the occasion on Saturday night, we have ourselves another little pressure-soaked prelim tonight!

FRIDAY NIGHT

First Preliminary FinalMCG, 7:45pm (local): St Kilda v Western Bulldogs (SEVEN)

RiewoldtIce

After being wrapped in ice for two weeks straight, Nick’s knee feels fantastic! A little numb though…

St Kilda have been the best team all year but not so great in recent times trying to leap this particular hurdle. But things are different this time…honest! And Shane Warne has been talking to the players so what could possibly go wrong?

They do look the stronger side and should prevail but if something bad were to happen to an especially important but troublesome knee joint, anything is possible. Except for Max Hudghton running out to play…that ain’t happening tonight.

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If being coated with ice works for Nick Riewoldt, it’s good enough for the Dogs! Next…the head!!!

The Doggies are in the mood for an upset…but not the type of upset they felt after losing last year’s prelim! Saints coach Ross Lyon is aware of the danger the Dogs present but then again, what else is he going to say?

One thing he won’t say is ‘We’ve gotta shut down Will Minson’. Now, big Will is important to their structure and is a handy player and all but seriously – if he is so crucial that he holds the key to the Western Bulldogs making a grand final, I’d be more than a little worried…

SAINTS by 28

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.

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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!

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.