Tag Archives: Lance Franklin

All Eyes On The Juddster! (Media Street)

JuddFinger

Visy ambassador Chris Judd reacts badly to Michael Rischitelli’s confession that he doesn’t recycle…

Two weeks ago, it was Buddy. Last week, it was Lloydy. This week…Chris Judd? For an alleged eye gouge? Not THE Chris Judd, surely! This can’t be true…must be a case of mistaken identity. Fev is the cause of all problems at the Blues, isn’t he? Must have been Fev! Or even that dancing guy of the same name that married Jennifer Lopez in 2001!

No, it’s true. Carlton captain Chris Judd has been busted for inexplicibly fiddling with the face of Brisbane Lion Michael Rischitelli during Saturday night’s elimination final! The Ruddster will be shattered…

Mr Judd will miss the first three rounds of 2010 unless he takes the early plea, reducing it down to two matches. But relax, football fans – not only is Judd eligible to win the Brownlow Medal this year and next, he can still attend football’s night of nights with his glamorous partner Rebecca Twigley. Forget the AFL tribunal…imagine the trouble he would have been in at home if they weren’t allowed to go!

TwigsJudd

No Brownlow Medal night? Juddy would be lucky to escape with a bloody nose if that ever happened…

Interesting to see whether the Blues challenge this decision as it appears the Match Review Panel have not left much room for them to move. The incident was listed as a ‘misconduct offence in that he made unreasonable and unnecessary contact to the face’ and assessed as intentional conduct (three points), low impact (one point) and high contact (two points). With those parameters in mind, no doubt it was intentional and the face certainly falls in the ‘high’ category. Unless they can downgrade ‘low’ impact to ‘barely any’, I can’t see how Judd can beat this one.

ShutUpJudd

That’s enough Chris…No need to say any more…Ok, you need to stop…Just shut up now…GOD, MAN – WHAT ARE YOU SAYING?! STOP TALKING ALREADY!!!

What certainly works against him are comments made the day after the gut-wrenching loss to the Lions where he denied eye gouging Rischitelli. For reasons that cannot be explained, except for an early start on Mad Monday festivities, the normally measured Judd revealed he was aiming for some type of martial arts style pressure point on the guy’s face! Yeah, that helped clear things up.

Whether he was fair dinkum or not, it was probably the dumbest thing I’ve heard this year. And now we have knob-ends like Craig Hutchison chasing martial arts experts for comment and floating theories about how it could have been lethal. Nice work!

hong-kong-phooey-gal-431

When the going gets tough, Judd’s super tough…with a Hong Kong Phooey chop!

Something else that would work against any potential challenge is that incident back in 2007 where then-Eagle Judd was initially charged with eye gouging Campbell Brown in a match down in Tasmania. After some ‘generous’ evidence from Brown, Judd walked free. The Hawk hard man appeared to abide by the strict rules of the ‘player code’ on this occasion, though it certainly doesn’t apply in any incident involving Matthew Lloyd.

CampbellFaking

Here is Chris Judd doing ‘nothing’ to Campbell Brown’s eye in 2007.

Maybe Judd threatened Brown with some pressure point action…or did he use the Jedi mind trick?

ObiWanMindTrick

If Judd gets off this charge, we will know that the Force is with him!

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Round Twenty Two – Well, Wasn’t That Fun!

FinalsSchedule

The League announced the finals schedule during an ad break on Channel Seven’s Dancing With The Stars

WatsonDancer

…and it looks like Tim Watson grabbed one of the latin dancers from the show to help him!

And just like that, the AFL home-and-away season is done and dusted. It only seems like yesterday that Richmond was being destroyed by Carlton in the season opener, doesn’t it? Actually, no it doesn’t! Season 2009 has been so eventful and action packed that it has felt like this long-standing, never-ending provider of highlights, lowlights and bizarre occurrences. Hard to believe that it is now over…

But never fear, we have a finals campaign that will undoubtedly provide even more of the wonderful, the weird and the wackiness that we’ve come to expect from footy these days. And if round twenty two is anything to go by, this year’s finals series is going to be plenty wacky! It started with (yet) another deplorable showing from Richmond against a West Coast team that the Herald Sun flat-out accused of tanking in order to qualify for a priority draft pick yet ended up winning eight games and would have finished above Hawthorn had they snuck a ninth win! What chance they receive a well-deserved apology from the hacks? Hmmm, not great…

The round then finished with the Western Bulldogs winning by just enough points to leapfrog Collingwood into third spot on the ladder; meaning that they now face the (seemingly) more vulnerable Geelong and the Pies are relegated to fourth and a date with the (almost) all-conquering Saints. But it was the events on the Saturday afternoon of the final round that will be remembered for a very long time to come…

LloydSewell

Clearly Matthew Lloyd didn’t read any of those articles about the bump being dead last week. He should probably avoid reading the papers this week as well!

The playoff for eighth spot always promised to be memorable for one reason or another. And if you thought Essendon and Hawthorn hated each other before Saturday’s game…how about now! Bombers captain Matthew Lloyd’s attempt to exert some influence on the second half ended up with Brad Sewell ironed out on the ground, sparking a wild response from the Hawks that continued on after the match. This included coach Alastair Clarkson going off his nut as he left the ground and hardnut Campbell Brown talking all sorts of smack from the rooms.

CaMMMpbellBrown

Pot-Kettle? Takes one to know one? Stones-Glass Houses? Own backyard? Call it what you like, they all seem to work in this case!

Essendon took charge in the second half to qualify for September, something Matthew Knights feels they deserve but it’s a view not shared by their opposition. For the Hawks, who lost control of their composure and the match following The Incident, it was a frustrating end to an equally frustrating season that saw them behind the eight-ball all year as they tried to defend their fine win in 2008. They will be back in 2010, and regardless of whether Mr Lloyd is still available, that first Hawks-Bombers match will be…emotional!

KennettBananas

Embarrassing yourself by going bezerk at the umpires while your wife/girlfriend/significant-other looks away and laughs at you! Don’t worry Jeff, it’s happened to all of us!!!

Essendon’s win left us with the potential of a blockbuster elimination final at the ‘G against Carlton. All the Blues needed to do was claim fifth place on Saturday evening…but no! Now both teams head interstate this weekend and will probably head home with their season over, free to drink as much alcohol as they can manage on the flight back! The Blues might feel they will be better off for banning three players for a spot of tardiness but what they really need is a mature response this week in an elimination final is Brisbane. Yep, a team with Brendan Fevola needs to show maturity…gulp!

MickyOver

Cheer up, Micky O! What’s that? It’s your last game? Oh. In that case, cry away!

The final round of the season also gave us the opportunity to bid farewell to those who are giving the game away. This resulted in some emotional matches; particularly in Sydney for some premiership heroes, at Melbourne for some club stalwarts, and at Richmond…where most of them should probably give it away! Then again, maybe next year the Tigers can start to bounce back and gain respectability in the footy world again. There is always next year…

The Games:

RelievedRawlings

Jade Rawlings contemplates all those weeks of his life that he can never have back!

Good luck Dimma…you’re gunna need it! West Coast embarrass Richmond in the final game of the season to reinforce the massive task Damien Hardwick has in front of him. The cull has started already but there could be plenty more on the way out if Richmond are to become relevant again any time soon!

HardwickMessage

Hardwick’s first move at Richmond? Installing a very large door…preferably extra wide!

OttensBack

Brad Ottens is back for Geelong! That makes things interesting…

Geelong eased into another finals campaign in a dawdle against Fremantle at Kardinia Park, the most notable event was Brad Ottens not crumpling in a heap in his comeback from a long-tern knee injury. The Dockers can now prepare for 2010 where they will aim to improve their performances on the road and figure out whether it is worth holding onto Paul Hasleby.

And congratulations to Geelong’s Gazy Ablett on winning the Brownlow Medal! That’s what the Herald Sun online reckons…hang on a sec! Who is Gazy? Bit of a mix-up between the formal Gary and the nickname Gazza I suppose. But if you are going to spell a player’s name wrong, it probably shouldn’t be arguably the best player in the game…and one that actually works for your organisation!

GazyAblett

Let’s hope they get Gary’s name right on the medal…if he wins it, of course!

MichaelHurley

As an Essendon supporter, can I just say – I love Michael Hurley!

First Buddy, then Bailey (poor kid!) and finally Brad Sewell…but the worst B-word for Hawthorn on Saturday was Bombers!  They all conspired against the Hawks as they went from premiers to outsiders in the space of eleven months. Essendon now have a finals campaign to prepare for and feel that they are not cannon fodder for the Crows. Mmm, not so sure about that…

Oh yeah…the game got a bit fiery too!

CyrilRioli

As a football fan, can I just say – I love Cyril Rioli!

BurtonMOTY

This guy is over thirty and coming off a knee reco? That’s un-freakin-believable!!!

Carlton’s timing has been off all week. It started with three players missing a recovery session and being dropped from Saturday’s match and ended with the team missing a great opportunity to play their first final in ages in front of their home crowd. Adelaide crushed the Blues and looked scary good in the process…no wonder Neil Craig and co. are thinking big things!

ClarkScreamer

This would be mark of the year most seasons. But thanks to the Birdman, it wasn’t even the best grab we saw that day!

Space was the final frontier in Star Trek but Michael Voss is probably not into all that sci-fi bulldust! For him, Sydney was the final frontier…which his team has now conquered! The Lions crashed the Swans farewell party and set up a big gathering of their own at the Gabba next weekend against Carlton. Retiring Swan Michael O’Loughlin thinks that his club will never bottom out…they can’t afford to!

HappyChoco

Is it just me or is Mark Williams a little bit too excited that these two veterans are calling it quits?

Port Adelaide are no St Kilda but the Kangaroos managed a second tight upset win in succession…though it is hard to classify any win over Port as an upset these days. In front of very few fans, the Power tried to lift for their retiring stars but still couldn’t stop the determined Roos in the final minutes. They can feel dudded by a late fifty-metre penalty awarded against them if that makes them feel better…but the call was right so it’s a waste of time!

RiewoldtOK

The St Kilda doctor stood next to Nick Riewoldt all day just in case he got hurt. Thumbs up…he’s OK!

All St Kilda wanted to do was run around on the MCG and not get hurt. Mission accomplished…we think. Melbourne wanted to celebrate their retiring champs…just not with a win. They didn’t and they now have access to the best two kids in the country. Forget Robbo, Wheatley and Whelan…the players should have chaired off Tom Scully after the match!

DoggiesThird

They had the game in the bag but Jonno’s late goal gave the Doggies third spot!

It was a footy statistician’s wet dream! Two good teams fighting for ladder position and it went down to the final minute…it was the Western Bulldogs who claimed the prize and head into September choc full of confidence. Will slipping to fourth on the back of this effort cost Collingwood dearly? Mick Malthouse hopes the loss will be a wake-up call for his side. Personally, I hope they don’t get the wake-up call until it’s too late – Betts-Garlett-Cloke style!

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

BenBuddy

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

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

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

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

JobeWatson

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

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

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

DidakLoser

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

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

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

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

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

Ugly: The Buddy Bump!

Public League

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

The Finals

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

SENFrank01

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

Twitter DT

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

The Finals

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

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

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

cooneymedal3

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

Premium Dream Team

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

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

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

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

Public League

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

The Finals

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

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

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

Round Twenty One – A Few Loose Ends

PolakReturns

Didn’t think we’d see this again…welcome back, Graham Polak!

A slow, painful journey came to an end on the weekend when Richmond’s Graham Polak made his return to football after his shocking tram accident last year. It was great to see him play again and was one of the true highlights of round 21 in the AFL. And while he can laugh about it now, there is one thing that he still must deal with…that he plays for Richmond. Now that is no laughing matter!

While Polak’s return to footy is now complete, there are still a few loose ends in the finals race that need to be tidied up following last weekend’s action. The top four teams are sorted at least..but the finishing order won’t be determined until third plays fourth this Sunday afternoon. Amazingly, neither the dominant Saints or Cats are premiership favourites right now – that honour belongs to (gulp!) Collingwood. Lucky Mick Malthouse doesn’t listen to hype…meaning he must have ignored everything Eddie McGuire has ever said during the past decade!

Chuck in two games that will determine who will host an elimination final, including two teams playing off for the right to host, and a massive weekend of footy looms. After that, an equally massive week of end-of-season piss ups kick off…at least we won’t be treated to Fev and his dildo. Not yet anyway…

BenBuddy

Lance Franklin and Ben Cousins clash at full pelt…and the ladies of Australia hold their collective breath!

Hawk fans will be holding their collective breath as well now that, much to the surprise of Hawthorn, spearhead Lance Franklin has been suspended by the match review panel after his bump on Ben Cousins during their big win on Saturday night. That result, combined with Essendon’s capitulation against the Dockers on Sunday night, sees the Bombers and Hawks play off for eighth spot on Saturday afternoon…and unless they can launch a successful appeal, Hawthorn’s glamour forward won’t be out there. Great news for my Bombers…shit news for my Dream Team!!!

SleepyBen

Breathe easy ladies…Ben is ok and he still looks hot!

The Games:

BulldogConference

“Great win boys – we’re in the four with a big shot at a flag! Now we’re all in this together so just stay focused on the team and forget about the individual stuff! Can you all do that?”

AkerAgain

Well, the answer to that question appears to be…a big fat NO!

Mark Thompson may not have seen this coming but plenty of mug punters sure did!  The Western Bulldogs knock off Geelong to secure their spot in the top four and enhance their premiership credentials. But did this performance stop the hacks asking inane questions about picking up a washed-up forward next season? Of course it didn’t! But more comments from Mr Inane Comment himself will only keep those questions, and many others, coming. Just what you need heading into a finals campaign…

RattenRevup

Come on you blokes, what are you doing? If you were fair dinkum today, we’d be ahead by 300 points already!!!

The finals-bound Blues were hoping for a decent hitout, the Demons needed to keep hold of their priority draft pick, the almost-homeless Russell Robertson wanted to show his wares and Brendan Fevola needed a few goals to wrap up the Coleman Medal…everybody got what they wanted! Well, except for Richard Hadley

AdelaideWave

Twenty-three years after coming into vogue at the World Cup in Mexico, South Australia discovers the Mexican Wave! Can’t wait for the next new fad to hit town…the Rubik’s Cube!

Is this serious? “ADELAIDE coach Neil Craig says West Coast is still as big a threat to his side as ever before.” Um, excuse me? The only threat in this match was Adelaide breaking all manner of records during an easy win! As expected, the dreaded West Coast Eagles hoodoo has been broken and now the Crows can look forward to some real pressure matches!

BuddyTeeth

Oh no, not again! At least Buddy has all his teeth intact this time…

Hawthorn may not feel worthy of playing finals but they might not have a choice in the end! They stay alive for another week with a regulation win over Richmond. We should learn soon which poor bugger becomes the next Tigers coach…and won’t they be thrilled to learn that they have a shitload of money tied into players they probably don’t want and can’t get rid of! Enjoy that…

WilliamsUnimpressed

No finals for Port, no pearls of coaching wisdom from Mark Williams. It just won’t be the same.

When you are playing for a finals spot and you lead by 47 points in the first quarter, how the heck do you screw it up? Brisbane complete the massive comeback and while the result displayed Brisbane’s strength of character, what does it tell us about Port Adelaide…apart from being a bunch of whackjobs? According to the coach, all they need are some new players who are not mentally fragile and are not called Peter Burgoyne!

PetrieWinner

Drew Petrie hasn’t chalked up as many wins as Nick Riewoldt this year but he sure can kick straight when it matters

Petrie and the Kangaroos shock St Kilda as his clutch late goal gives them a rare win…and a second loss of the season for the high flying Saints. No panic stations though – not for a club with a long history of failures, no no no!  As an Essendon man, I have always found James Hird to be an inspirational figure…and, it seems, so do the Roos!

PiesMcLaren

Dale Thomas and Nick Maxwell try to talk some sense into umpire Scott McLaren. Forget it guys…many have tried and all have failed. It’s Mission Impossible!

Collingwood keep rolling on with an easy afternoon’s work against an embarrassed Sydney outfit. Paul Roos might be pissed off about the overly officious interchange rules that saw his team punished during the game…but it’s his team’s bloody fault that we have it in the first place!

FreoHuddle

The Dockers flip a coin in the pre-game huddle to decide whether they give a shit this week. Must have come up heads!

Fremantle…shit one day, not-so-shit the next! The Dockers go some way towards making up for that craptacular performance against the Demons by spanking the (possibly) finals-bound Essendon at Subiaco. Aaron Sandilands pretty much did as he pleased in the ruck against Essendon’s fourth and fifth best ruckmen…though if the big fella could truly do as he pleased in life and football, he sure wouldn’t be doing it at Freo!

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

man-in-bandage

Many of my fantasy opponents had star players that were laid low by injury in the first week of finals…

hammock

…and now we can be laid back this week as we enjoy a break before the prelim finals!

Half Back Flanker is officially…one lucky son-of-a-gun! While many owners struggled mightily to field full squads in round 19 due to the massive injury toll of key fantasy players, we capitalised big time in AFL Dream Team and Premium Dream Team by winning all four qualifying finals to earn a preliminary final spot and one week’s rest. When it became apparent that each of my opponents in the AFL Dream Team finals would be short anywhere between four and eight players, I used up one of my final three trades to ensure I filled all 22 on-field positions and secure my path to the final four in each league.

While the trade (Liam Jurrah for Brennan Stack) was not really necessary as I would have won all three matches comfortably with one forward down, I have two trades and a wad of cash awaiting me for preliminary final weekend. How I use those trades could determine how many grand finals I can qualify for…or if I even make it into one!

dal-santo-crowd

Nick Dal Santo, and a few of his teammates, sat out last week…it helped me immensely!

My strategy for Premium Dream Team also paid off, electing to wait until the final minutes of trading on Friday night to release my two injured key defenders, Brendan Goddard and Jack Grimes, in order to field a full team. It was a risk but, considering my league-leading opponent Teal Power refused to part with injured Saints midfielders Lenny Hayes and Leigh Montagna, it was worth taking if I wanted any shot of the upset. And when Nick Dal Santo failed to make the trip, leaving my opponent another mid short, I managed the win by 124 points and my tactic paid off. Now having traded my key defenders back in, let’s hope that they are both fit and firing come round 21.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Half Back Flanker last weekend. The good fortune on the injury front did not extend to our Herald Sun Super Coach team, knocked out in the elimination final stage by the team we easily defeated just the week earlier. Too many absent players meant that even with the addition of two new elite players via trade, we were well short of a competitive team and a 500-point drop from last round meant our year was over.

So, no matches this week…but still plenty of homework to be done. We are planning to make the most of our final trades and field the strongest possible lineups in the upcoming preliminary finals. Hopefully we can win our way into some grand finals but if we do, we might find ourselves in a couple of rematches against the top-ranked teams we just knocked off that won their way through…and have all their injured players back!

BuddyToothless

Buddy took one for the team! He’ll be right…but if he wants to take it easy this week and be right for round 21, fine by me!!!

Dream Team 36,906 points overall, 8,596th place – best overall position for the year, probably overtook many teams choc full of St Kilda players!

Last Week: 1,896 points – a drop of almost 400 points from last round…but it was still good enough.

Good:  Having 22 fit players was great! Five players over 100 points (including captain Dane Swan with 103), three of those over 120 – Joel Selwood and Greg Broughton (128) and the much maligned (by me!) Shannon Hurn (121).

Bad:  Big names Lance Franklin (55), Chad Cornes (57) and Luke Hodge (70) not up to standard. Concerned that any or all three of these guys might not be major contributors in the final two rounds, especially if finals are out of reach for their teams.

Ugly: The Stack for Jurrah trade ensured I had 22 players, and a little extra cash, but it was probably a panic move that wasn’t required considering the size of my winning margins. Stack (20) didn’t produce and provided Jurrah is back by round 21, he would not be the preferred option if I needed a replacement forward to play anyway.

Public League

2nd Qualifying Final – defeated Woosha Warriors (1,205). Fielded just 13 players.

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of Fats Rockets (1,873) and Uninformed (1,702). Expecting to face the minor premier Fats Rockets for a spot in the grannie.

SENFrank01

1st Qualifying Final – defeated Princess Superstar (1,619 last week). Good score considering they only had 18 players, unlikely to have beaten this team otherwise. But…I’ll take it!

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Dominators (1,904) and mansnotacamel (1,759). Dominators would have beaten me this week and they had just 20 players…will need to make the most of my final two trades to beat them!

Twitter DT

1st Qualifying Final – defeated BigAl’s Bombers (1,619 last week). Big Al just had 17 players so feeling fortunate that he wasn’t at full strength as well. But that’s the way it goes.

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of The Irish Invaders (1,645) and D Team (2,021). Irish actually had 20 players while the D Team had a full team and a good round. Might be the 6th-placed D Team that wins through.

Potential changes/trades: Can stick the feet up this week in terms of trades but will keep a close eye on which players do and do not run out this weekend. Hoping that Goddard, Grimes and Hayden Skipworth will be ready for round 21 so that my final two trades can be used to bring in some elites.

xmenstyle

The loss of Goddard (and many others) was too great to cover…so cross us out for season 2009!

Super Coach 38,777 points overall, 20,427th place – big drop. Big big drop!

Last Week: 1,599 points – the biggest round of the season and it’s our worst score!

Good:  Not much…four 100-plus scores

Bad:  Nine scores under 80 points…the last thing you want when you are three players down to begin with.

Ugly: We were relying on a massive night for captain Gary Ablett in the hope that the double points could somehow keep us competitive. Alas, a mere 81 – his lowest score for the year. In fact, it was probably his lowest score in five years!

GMHBA

1st Elimination Final – lost to Hardy’s Heroes (1,799).  From our meeting the week before, they dropped almost 30 points. We dropped almost 500 points! And just like that…season over.

BrennanCarr

Jared Brennan kicked arse last round…just don’t headbutt anybody on the weekend, I will need you!

Premium Dream Team

Last Week: 1,659 points – Second best weekly score for the season and best of all teams in the league this round.

Good:  Seven 100-plus scores including a 127-point effort from Jared Brennan and four of our five midfielders. The only midfielder under 100 was Brent Prismall…who chalked up a 93 after being a replacement for Hawthorn’s Brad Sewell.

Bad:  Shannon Byrnes (58) is another victim of Geelong’s overall struggles, Aaron Davey (60) seems to be fading out a bit.

Ugly: Injury concerns over Josh Drummond (67) – wished he was a late scratching after reserve back Jason Blake pulled out a 102!

Public League

1st Qualifying Final – defeated Teal Power  (1,535 last week). Those three missing Saints midfielders made all the difference but, provided at least two of them fire this week, this team should feature in the other prelim final. Will we meet again in the big one?

The Finals – Prelim final in two weeks verses winner of TheDream Team (1,490) and Shelleys Boys (1,552). Can sixth-placed Shelleys Boys make the prelim? Interesting that TheDream Team has drafted retiring Richmond stat-machine Joel Bowden…does he have one last pearler in him before hanging up the boots?

Potential changes/trades: As soon as the Sunday lockout ended, went back in and reclaimed our two key defenders Goddard and Grimes, dropping Campbell Brown and Bachar Houli in the process. So unless something catastrophic occurs to one of our players before Friday, we might use our last trade on a speculative pickup for an injured player that should be back in action for round 21. Bulldog Shaun Higgins is a prime example and if he was right to go next weekend, would be a better option that teammate Jarrod Harbrow.

Update: just checked all the available forwards and somebody has already taken the gamble and drafted Higgins. Skipworth is still there but might just wait until team selection and see if any players suddenly become available.

Round Nineteen – Why So Sad?

OttensFinger

Why is Bomber Thompson sad? Because he has to actually do some real work in the coaches box nowadays! And his biggest asset just walks around in a suit, sipping water and trying to figure out where his finger has been…

After losing to the finals-bound Blues on Friday night, the Cats are in a little strife but Thompson appears to be keeping a cool exterior. There is no need to panic just yet…but the signs are not great for that second premiership. You wonder whether Bomber sought out Gary Ablett Senior at Geelong’s 150th birthday celebration and asked him what he was up to over the next couple of months? And what kind of shape was he in?

DumbQuestion

Don’t worry Ross, I’m equally stunned that any competent person would ask you that question!

Why is Ross Lyon sad? He wouldn’t have anything to be sad about, would he? Well, footy must be in a pretty sorry state if some dumb journo actually looked at him with a straight face and seriously used the “T-word” in reference to leaving out injured players! We should be talking about one “D” word…the depth and spirit of St Kilda’s list. Instead, D is for the dunces who are driving this “T-word” debate…which is now so misguided that it is embarrassing. Why?

A) It doesn’t aptly describe what is happening at those clubs who are struggling and in contention for priority draft picks anyway. B) It is now being applied (incorrectly) to any team that fails to field it’s strongest possible line-up, regardless of health status, and/or places a player in a position on the field that (according to the hack) is just slightly different to the way they always play. C) It detracts from the real issue of fans turning up to watch their team play hoping that they will lose…to the point that they are delighted when the opposing team kicks a goal after the siren to snatch victory.

But no…go ahead Herald Sun. Keep that coverage going. Overboard, overblown, over it!

RocketSpray

Have you idiots been reading the Herald Sun or something? This Eagles team are actually trying…they’re playing to win! So pull your bloody fingers out!!!

Why is Rodney Eade sad? Actually, he wouldn’t be sad that his top-four side couldn’t beat a bottom-four side at home on Saturday…he would be freakin’ furious!!! This setback now has critics writing off the Doggies as a premiership threat this year but Eade has announced that he is in for the long haul. But will Aker be joining them next year? Not if he keeps dribbling from the mouth like he does

LostTooth

Well, Buddy won’t forget his 100th game in a hurry…former teammate Zac Dawson made damn sure of that!

Why are all the football-loving ladies sad? Lance Franklin’s face has been tainted! Buddy went goalless in his 100th game as his Hawks faced elimination from the finals race and lost his front tooth in a marking contest…that’s a shit day by anyone’s standards! But by the end of the weekend, the tooth was back and the finals, unbelievably, are still within reach. And the ladies still love him!

BuddyToothless

Hey ladies, where are you going? Why are you running the other way? No female runs from me!!!

GreenDockers

Are the Port Adelaide players more concerned about wearing matching speedos than making the finals? Sure looks that way to me!

Why is the number eight sad? It’s not because seven ate nine…nobody wants eight! The last spot in the finals is up for grabs and nobody wants it. Not Hawthorn…not Essendonnot Port Adelaide. It became so farcical that Caroline Wilson dared suggest on 3AW pre-game last Sunday that Richmond, mathematically, could still finish eighth! Of course, they promptly went out and did what Richmond always do. And now the Sydney Swans have a crazy, outside chance at the spot all of a sudden! And to think that one of these sides has to feature in the opening week of the finals…

BradshawDraw

Bradshaw goal! Bombers gone! Brain hurts!

Why am I sad? I’m sad because having been dealt the potentially season-ending blow of Essendon’s kick-after-the-sirem draw against Brisbane…what was I subjected to on Channel Seven’s Footy Flashback show on Sunday arvo?

PluggersPoint

1996…Plugger’s Point! Prelim lost! Brain hurts more!

The Games:

JuddAblett

Channel Seven pre-game gets all futuristic! But are Juddy and Gazza ‘combat ready’ to take on each other…

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Or are they teaming together to fight an army of Agent Smiths from The Matrix?

Whoah…Carlton just beat Geelong? Does this mean that after all this taking the piss out of the Blues for their 2009 marketing slogan, they might actually be coming now? Or are the Cats just going? It’s probably a little from column A and a little from column B…but Carlton’s win column says that they will play finals footy this year! How long until the prehistoric figure of John Elliott resurfaces, attempting to sell some boneheaded theory about how he played some type of role in this resurgence?

ZacDawson

From Hawk discard to undefeated Saint key defender…no wonder Zac Dawson is so pumped up!

Hey, whaddaya know? Despite a number of high-profile omissions, a fully committed effort from a confident, ladder-leading club proved to be too good for a bottom-eight side struggling for consistency and cohesion. Why are we all so surprised by this? Because all the mug punters out there dropped the Saints like hot spuds? Well…whoop-de-freakin’-do!  The Perfect Season is still a possibility and, according to the reigning premiership coach, the flag is a high probability. Never thought I’d say this about a team containing Twerp Milne but…good on ’em!

GriffinGutted

Yes Ryan Griffin, this shit is really happening!

The Bulldogs blew it big time against an improving Eagles outfit that is starting to benefit from exposing their young players to regular senior footy. Apparently, the fact that West Coast had not won interstate since Chris Judd left town was no issue…well, it sure ain’t one now!

LonerganBlunder

No, Sam Lonergan!! NO NO NO!!! SWEET JESUS NO, DON’T DO IT!!!

Lonergan’s blunder in the final twenty seconds allowed the Lions time to find Daniel Bradshaw in the goal square for the match-tying goal. While the draw proved a thrilling end to the match, coach Matthew Knights will be left cursing the one that got away. Sure, Knights can talk about the draw being part of the learning curve for his side…but take a look at the image below taken just after the final siren. Don’t tell me that Knights is whispering the words ‘learning curve’ under his breath!

KnightsPissed

You reckon this coach is thinking “Learning curve. Learning curve. Learning curve.”? No, neither do I…

LeonMark

Just another stock-standard off-balance one-grab mark for Leon Davis…

Who would have thought that anybody from outside of South Australia would love going to Adelaide so much? Collingwood return to Victoria with another interstate scalp and, thanks to the upstart West Coast Eagles, find themselves in third spot and what currently appears to be the preferred qualifying final opponent of second-placed Geelong rather that first-placed St Kilda.  It could have been the Crows who capitalised on the silly Doggies’ slip-up but now have to face up to their own lost opportunity.

DarrenCrocker

Wonder if Darren had a ‘Barry’ following too many post-victory drinks? Hey, it was his first win as coach – leave him be!

With Australia’s love of rhyming slang, the last thing you want is defeat after defeat when your name is Crocker! Fortunately, interum coach Darren Crocker can finally celebrate a win as the Kangaroos won for the first time in ages. Melbourne were so bad that the Herald Sun decided that they were not “t-wording”…they were just no good!

SwansKids

We all know that when you lose experienced players, clubs like to ‘play the kids’…but surely the Swans are taking this idea a little bit too far!!!

No, they are Michael O’Loughlin’s kids and guiding them through the banner was probably his toughest assignment for the day as Sydney celebrated Mickey O’s 300th with a comprehensive win over Richmond. While the Swans had every reason to feel good about their future, the Tigers went into ‘cultural crisis’ mode as Jade Rawlings called out the players for slipping into long-held bad habits. Benny Gale would understand that culture as well as anybody…so good luck to him. He’ll need it…

derrick4

This is the guy that inspired the Dockers – but he’s wearing red?

Port Adelaide could have virtually sewn up a finals spot with a win over lowly Fremantle. Of course, they cocked it up! The Dockers never looked like losing against the Power and it was all thanks to Mark Harvey and his pre-match motivation using a former NFL player that none of the players would have ever heard of. Derrick Thomas was a great player for the Kansas City Chiefs…but why didn’t he go choose a Minnesota Vikings player like Fran Tarkenton? At least they wear the same colours…

Tark

This is the guy they should have used – somebody who actually won lots of games wearing the colour purple!

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

0191Bfantasytrophyplaque

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

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

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

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

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

francis_and_david

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ChappyPillow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AkerPumped

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

Premium Dream Team

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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