Tag Archives: Mark Thompson

When The Game Takes Over Our Drunken Idiot Coverage! (2009 AFL Grand Final Preview)

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drunkfev

We will now briefly focus on a football game before returning you to your regularly scheduled programming…which, apparently, is this guy!

Relax, people! Once Saturday’s game is over, we can go back to the main reason we all follow the game…what stupid Brendan Fevola up to now and what EVERYBODY ELSE thinks about it! Or maybe you’ve had enough of Fev and would prefer to talk about trades – where Shaun Burgoyne thinks he is going or where Brock McLean says he is going.

Perhaps you are stunned that Marty Clarke is choosing to go home or that Matthew Lloyd is choosing to stay home. But for now, the 2009 AFL Grand Final needs to take centre stage so you’ll just have to make do with that…

Not a bad consolation though…the two best teams in the comp are virtually at full strength (sorry Max fans!) and primed to present us with a fitting finale to the footy season. It’s going to be entertaining day and a great spectacle but, please, remember to behave appropriately. You don’t want to end up like Stupid Fevola (that is, a big blokey legend!), do you?

ST KILDA SAINTS

SaintsPlane

The secret to St Kilda’s success? Not catching swine flu from the filthy, germ-infested masses!

The dominant team of 2009 but not a clear favourite… a lack of respect or is this just history talking?

The Team
B:
Jason Blake, Zac Dawson, Steven Baker
HB: Brendon Goddard, Sam Fisher, Sam Gilbert
C: Farren Ray, Lenny Hayes, Nick Dal Santo
HF: Andrew McQualter, Justin Koschitzke, Clint Jones
F: Stephen Milne, Nick Riewoldt, Jason Gram
Foll: Steven King, Leigh Montagna, Adam Schneider
I/C: Luke Ball, Raphael Clarke, Sean Dempster, Michael Gardiner
Emg: David Armitage, Jarryn Geary, James Gwilt

In: Dempster
Out: Robert Eddy

GEELONG CATS

AblettPolice

The secret to Geelong’s success? Police arresting anybody that goes within one metre of Gary Ablett!

The Team
B:
Darren Milburn, Matthew Scarlett, Corey Enright
HB: Tom Harley, Harry Taylor, Andrew Mackie
C: Joel Corey, Cameron Ling, James Kelly
HF: Jimmy Bartel, Cameron Mooney, Steve Johnson
F: Travis Varcoe, Tom Hawkins, Paul Chapman
Foll: Mark Blake, Joel Selwood, Gary Ablett
I/C: Brad Ottens, Shannon Byrnes, Max Rooke, David Wojcinski
Emg: Shane Mumford, Simon Hogan, Mathew Stokes

No change

So…who wins this bloody thing? St Kilda made the one team change but it will not result in a fairytale send-off for stalwart Max Hudghton. Geelong are unchanged but have sterner opposition compared to last week. Hard to predict a winner with any great confidence; hence the call of a draw’ being quite popular.

For me, the deciding factor is simple…and probably a touch immature, but oh well. I just don’t want to see Stephen Milne win a grand final. The thought of that little twerp receiving a premiership medallion and whooping it up would ruin my entire year.

MilneSucks

For the love of God, do not let this twerp win a premiership!

If St Kilda did win and for whatever reason; concussion,  injury, diarrhoea; Milne was not involved at the end, I could live with that. If they could vote him off the podium and replace him with Robert Harvey, even better. But please Geelong..do not let this twerp win!!!

CATS by 22

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.

DogsIce

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

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!

Round Twenty – The Round Where Chris Judd Earns His Money

BowdenRecycled

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

SewellBin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BombersCelebrate

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

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

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

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

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

JohnsonThirsty

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

Mark Robinson

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

The Games:

HawksCrows

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

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

ClokeBite

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

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

EaglesSnap

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

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

RoosLongmire

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

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

AkermanisPumped

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

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

RobboPumped

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

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

StevensHouse

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

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

RiewoldtThinks

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

RiewoldtMisses

Time to be a hero…or not!

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

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!

Round Fifteen – The Great Unravelling!

SheedyKiddie

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

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

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

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

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

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

The all-conquering Geelong Cats?

ThompsonUnhappy

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

The Fremantle Dockers…again!

FreoGoal

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

The Sydney Swans without Barry Hall!

HallGoodbye

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

Port Adelaide’s credibility!

RodanLoss

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

The Games:

ThomasCelebrates

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

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

DidakWatson

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

HallSendoff

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

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

FevSpecial

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

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

DeledioHand

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

VossWinner

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

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

GoodwinChair

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

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

BuddyWins

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

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

JurrahHanger

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

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

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

Round Thirteen – An Unlucky Number For Some!

LovettClimb

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

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

NineNaitanui

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

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

LatestPunch

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

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

WarrenBreak

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

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

The Games:

FevDenial

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

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

RoosBazza

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

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

HeathShaw

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

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

HappyVoss

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

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

BlondeFinger

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

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

ComfyUndies

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

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

StacksOn

STACKS ON!!!

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

MaxBaby

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

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