Tag Archives: Melbourne Demons

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

Round Eleven – The Excitement Builds In Western Sydney

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

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

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

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

Terry Farewell

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

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

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

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

BazzaMitchell

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

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

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

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

Round Six – When The VFL Came Back To Life

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Yes – these are the legs of Ben Cousins. Yes – they are covered in ice. No – he is not injured. No – we will not make any obvious Ben Cousins/ice jokes today. Sorry ’bout that…

With two derby games, the reigning premiers taking on the rising stars and two undefeated teams cutting a swathe through the competition, round six should have been all about the AFL. But when you have a Ben Cousins sighting near a footy field (or anywhere for that matter), that seems to take precedence somehow…

As it did on Saturday afternoon when Benny donned the red and blue of Coburg in the VFL to test his dodgy hamstring as he works his way back to fitness and a place in the Richmond midfield. He showed up, he ran around, touched the ball a few times and finished the afternoon on the bench with his lower half covered in ice.

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Players from both teams fight with the gathered media in an attempt to sell their ‘Day With Ben Cousins’ story to the highest bidder.

Oh yeah, and there was a massive brawl! It was more like a massive pushy, shovey melee than an actual brawl but hey  – Ben Cousins was there, so let’s describe it as a brawl because it sounds more violent and bar-roomish (is that a word? It is now!). Not entirely accurate but very dramatic…

These stories were almost the lead items in Melbourne news last Saturday night. No kidding! A rare win for the VFL over the AFL…though if the powers-that-be continue to be unnecessarily full-on and pedantic, the VFL could be the only league us cyber-types will be allowed to talk about!

The Games:

bucksandmick

Two of the most talked about figures in footy go one-on-one in a scintillating TV interview…where they cover not one of the topics that any of us are interested in. YAWN…

Collingwood didn’t let the Anzacs down this week after easing past the Argentinian national team on Friday night. The Kangas continue to be hit by injury while Mick Malthouse, as usual, still managed to find something to whine about in victory. This time it was his call for substitute players after an early injury to Paul Medhurst…I’m sure Mick was equally concerned when David Hille wrecked his knee in the second minute last week.

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Last year it was 99 goals, now he’s blown it by hitting the post! Maybe Fev is destined to be a ‘so close yet so far’ kinda guy…

It should be all about Jarryd Roughead, who kicked eight in a winning side, but the Carlton-Hawthorn game will be all about Brendon Fevola! On the day Carlton’s premiership credentials were questioned due to their reliance on the Fev, he went from legend to loser when his shot at a ninth (and match winning) goals hit the post. The Hawks might consider themselves lucky to get the win but they should be extremely fortunate that they don’t rely on Fev to win them games every week!

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An emotional Paul Hasleby praying that this win by Fremantle will convince Matthew Pavlich to never piss off back to Adelaide!

Western Australian footy fans love the western derby and they got another good one, this time it was Fremantle who came away with the win. They needed a second half fightback to do it too…though some wayward kicking by the Eagles certainly left the door open. Matthew Pavlich clocked up his 200th game in style…so maybe he will want to hang around after all!

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Brisbane takes flooding to a whole new level at the Gabba on Saturday night.

Brisbane may have been shite last week but the Gabba is far from Kardinia Park…and Essendon are far from Geelong! The young Lions, with the help of Browny, cruised to victory and helped spoil the party for 300-gamer Dustin Fletcher. At least Fletch received a nice momento to take home from the evening…a nice little leg fracture and several weeks on the sideline!

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How many Bombers does it take to carry an old bloke with a fractured leg back to the sheds?

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Is there any explanation why Chad Cornes would wear two different coloured boots that wouldn’t make him sound like a knob? Doubt it…

Yee-haw…it’s another Hoedown win for Port Adelaide! The Crows fail to fire in the biggest game for the state of  South Australia in what the coach described as their worst loss of the season…though they still have four months left to top that effort! Port look like they are headed back the finals this season on this form but would Mark Williams hang around to coach next year for less money? Hmmm…

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Jack be nimble, Jack be quick…but Jack is not quicker than Marty Mattner!

The Sydney Swans secure a hard fought win thanks to Mattner’s great tackle and their new foreign recruit Mike Pyke…a ruckman from Canada, eh? Richmond were gallant in defeat but have still only won once this season – so, naturally, Terry Wallace is talking finals footy at Punt Road. Gee, we are really going to miss Terry when he is gone, aren’t we!

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Gary Ablett? Injury scare? Then why is this guy not wrapped head to toe in ice like Benny Cousins was? Don’t Geelong care?

Geelong win over Melbourne…check! New record for possessions by the Cats…check! Keeping Gary Ablett fresh and injury free…maybe not! Brownlow punters might be shitting themselves right now but lil’ Ablett has been so good that he can afford to miss a week or two and take out the medal anyway. And good on Jimmy Stynes giving it to the likes of Jeff Kennett and Sam Newman about their stance on umpiring…though the Dees have more chance of making the finals than those blokes have of actually listening to anybody!

Great match-up, shitty timeslot! The Saints-Doggies game kinda got lost a little without the prime-time, free-to-air spotlight it deserved. The Dogs should be grateful! St Kilda remain unbeaten after a solid win and while they are not talking flags just yet, at least the hype appears to have plenty of substance this year…provided they kick straight!

Round Four – Should Have Known Better…

Should have known better than…

lionspew

Don’t worry Michael Rischitelli…I had the same reaction as you did when I saw the final score last Friday night!!!

  • To dismiss Port Adelaide’s chances of upsetting Hawthorn purely on the strength of their poxy away jumpers! Honestly, they are shit, aren’t they? And now that they have beaten the reigning champs by five goals in those ugly things, that will just encourage them to wear it more and more. I think I’m going to have another Michael Rischitelli moment…

tredreapillow

Those stupid away jumpers might have been designed with pillows in mind but the Power were far from soft against the Hawks!

  • To tell my Carlton supporting friends that the Blues would bounce back after my Bombers knocked them off last week. Fortunately, I didn’t believe it myself when it came to tipping as the Swans squeaked out a win at the SCG. Once again, the Blues were wayward with the ball while poor old Fev missed shots at goal and could barely stay on the field! Well, we all know how wayward he can get…

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Brendan Fevola – just a lovable larrikin who is always pushing the boundaries…or tumbling over them!

  • To think the Adelaide Crows would complete a remarkable comeback to beat Geelong. The Cats looked like they were going to cut up the Crows ‘St Kilda-Freo’ style but Adelaide fought back hard in the second and third quarters. However, all their hard work was quickly blown away in the final term as lil’ Gazza did as he pleased on the way to a big win…holy crap, that guy is good!!!

ablettchair

Gary Ablett should not just be chaired around by teammates after footy games. It should happen all the time – to training, to the shops…he deserves it!

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Forget the on-field clangers…the Bombers couldn’t even exit the arena correctly against the Kangaroos.

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Terry Wallace makes a quick call to Centrelink, only to hear that they are open from 8:30am to 5pm weekdays and to call back during business hours.

Round Three – Should Have Laid Off The Choccy Eggs!

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Heath Shaw – seems like a touch…a touch too much!

Talk about having a crappy Easter break! Collingwood’s Heath Shaw would have been feeling sick to his stomach all weekend without the aid of a single chocolate egg (or many of them in succession, like the rest of us!) after his report for touching an umpire last Thursday night. Unfortunate because it was actually Alan Didak who touched the umpire, Shaw was just covering up for him…again!

hodgeumpcuddle

Now this is the best way to touch an umpire…gently, respectfully and with a smile!

The matter has been sent straight to the tribunal so it will be a pretty big night there…particularly if there are a few players who elect to contest charges stemming from round three. But while some people in footy might have had a crappy Easter weekend; Heath Shaw, John Worsfold and Terry Wallace immediately spring to mind; it pales into insignificance compared to the anguish that the family and friends of ex-Hawk and footy documentary whiz Rob Dickson must be feeling. How sad…knocks the stuffing out of you, doesn’t it!

The Games:

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Busted nose for Steve Johnson…guess he won’t be able to rely on his looks anymore!

Geelong continue on their merry way as they steamroll Collingwood…causing the normally-obtuse Mick Malthouse to deal in the bleeding obvious. The Pies were made to pay for numerous acts of inaccuracy…which makes you wonder whether Heath Shaw meant to grab the ump’s arm or was actually trying to grab him elsewhere and just plain missed! Bloody skill errors…

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Be it celebrating with teammates or wrestling with opponents, Kossie just can’t stop whacking blokes in the head!

St Kilda could hardly have been more impressive during the opening three rounds, and Nick Riewoldt has yet to really get going. So maybe this is (finally) the year of the Saint? The Eagles looked very average and you can just imagine John Worsfold being so pissed that he would have confiscated every Easter egg from his players on the long flight home to Perth!

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Two weeks ago, Essendon were a crap team and everybody at Windy Hill hated Hayden Skipworth…seems neither of those things are correct.

Carlton’s rise to premiership glory stalls after the Bombers win a classic in front of seventy thousand at the ‘G. If only Fev wasn’t injured, and if only Matthew Lloyd was really finished as a footballer (like he was last year), the result could have been so different. But…it wasn’t! And a big thanks to the bogan footy family who interrupted a quiet Saturday night dinner at the local Chinese restaurant in Warrnambool with random screams of “Go Bombers”. Made my night!

The Sydney Swans were meant to be Brisbane’s bogey side…sure didn’t look like it! The Lions knock off Sydney at home and it seems like the message of Voss is getting through…though if they are really setting themselves for a return to the big time, beating Collingwood at home is a must. And a Friday night as well…rare territory for Brisbane.

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Doesn’t look like Dean Bailey is loving life as Melbourne coach but…

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HE LOVES TO COUNT…AHH AHH AHH AHH AHH!

First we had Lloydy, now Warren Tredrea rises from the Useless AFL Player grave to kick six goals as Port bounce back after a poor showing in Perth last week. But come on – they were playing the Demons at home…as if they weren’t going to romp it in! The only problem they were going to have was with discipline…and yes, they struggled in that area again. The coach will be delighted. No, seriously – he will think it’s unreal! He loves tough guys…

The premiership hangover theory can be discarded too as Hawthorn put injury woes and tragedy aside to win easily over North Melbourne. It ended a miserable week for the Roos, Dean Laidley referring to the scrutiny around the chicken sex video as akin to World War III.  Well, without the global significance, the devastation and the mass killings of soldiers and innocent people, of course! Apart from that, yeah – just like a war…

The Crows did manage to handle their week of scrutiny a little better than the Roos, fighting their way to a good road win against the Dockers. Three rounds in and how many wins do Fremantle have? None! Luckily, coach Mark Harvey has a supporter in the coach that just knocked off his team. Grant Thomas is definitely not a supporter…but that probably works in Harvey’s favour!

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Will the Tigers find inspiration from Richo snorting his glove through his nose and out his mouth? Well, anything is worth a shot for Richmond…

The Western Bulldogs, a top-four team in good form, had a good win yesterday over Richmond, not a top-four team and not in good form. So the outrage and hysteria about the Tigers seems a little over the top and, dare we say it, contrived by media types who need content for the week. But if Terry Wallace is feeling heat now, imagine what he will cop if they fall to the winless Demons this Sunday!

Round Two – Some Things Never Change

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The moment when the new rushed behind rule won me over…

Tough questions being asked of good teams after just two rounds, youngsters making the most of their opportunities, off-field indiscretions (not just by footballers either) and the Fremantle Dockers stinking up football grounds all across the nation. These are just some of the AFL footy norms that occur year after year…and 2009 appears to no exception.

One element of the game that does appear to change every season is the rules but even that creates the traditional argument about the laws of the game and whether all these damn changes are necessary and why don’t they just leave the game alone! But the evidence after two rounds is that the implementation of the rushed behind rule will be a big success.

After some dodgy decisions in the equally dodgy NAP Cup, the opening round saw a reduction of rushed behinds and produced some exciting passages of play in the defensive fifty…mainly because the players didn’t quite know what to do when under pressure close to goal! I thought that once the players and/or coaches figured out how to exploit the rule, it might not have much of an impact. But when Ed Lower swooped past a hesitant defender inches from the line to kick a goal early in the last quarter of yesterday’s Bulldogs-Kangaroos game, it absolutely won we over.

The fifty-metre penalty for dragging down running players after disposal…that’s a different story! But another of footy’s norms is that the League cannot get everything right…

The Games:

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Shall we call him Logan, Weapon X or Wolverine? Brendon Goddard and the Saints take out the Crows…X-Men style!

The St Kilda bandwagon was already starting to gain momentum but it might get out of control now after finishing all over the Crows in Adelaide on Friday night. Chuck in Trent Hentschel’s knee and the Nathan Bock affair…what a shit weekend for the Crows!

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The Prez looks at the scoreboard and then vomits a little bit in his own mouth…

President Eddie looks worried here but the Pies eventually recovered to win handily. But if they had lost, would Media Eddie have told President Eddie that he should bring Kevin Sheedy to Magpieland…just like he did with Richmond last week? Hopefully, we can look forward to just one week when we don’t hear a peep from any of the Eddies…fat chance, right?

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Don’t worry Terry…you will probably feel much, much, much flatter than this later on this season!

You just got flogged by Carlton, have rarely beaten Geelong and then gave the Cats one heck of a fright down at Kardinia Park. And you feel flatter now than this time last week? Does he mean flatter in the stomach because he punched out a shitload of abdominal crunches all week? No, apparently not. Who should be feeling flat right now…Brad Ottens, that’s who!

The Sydney Swans had a planmust have worked ok. The Hawks have now suffered their first loss on the “Morale Victory” competition ladder but, unfortunately, the reigning champs have yet to register a win on the real ladder…you know, the one that counts for something.

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Browny is spitting chips…and that was before he got reported!

According to the back page of the Herald Sun, The Mighty Blues crushed the Lions to remain unbeaten after two rounds. Apparently easy wins against Richmond and holding off a late fightback against Brisbane at home makes you a ‘mighty’ team…imagine all the adjectives they could use if they actually beat a team that finished in the top eight recently…

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Sure, it’s not a pint of Guinness but young Irishman Michael Quinn doesn’t seem to mind having a drink tipped on his head!

Speed Kills…and coaching Fremantle can’t be good for your health either! Essendon take care of the Dockers to win their first of the season, forcing Patrick Smith to make shit up about another team this week. But what was more amazing – that AFL novice Michael Quinn made such an impression on debut…or that Kevin Sheedy never actually recruited and played an Irishman in all his years at Windy Hill?

The Western Bulldogs eek out a close one against North Melbourne, though the Roos pressed them all the way – and kudos to Mark Robinson for not using the mythical Shinboner Spirit to describe the effort. Can’t have been easy…  Dean Laidley should be a little worried about the form of Brent Harvey though…as am I. He’s killing my fantasy teams!

Daylight savings time has just ended and looks like the Eagles may have wound back their clocks further than one hour…try about three years! West Coast win big against Port Adelaide but relax Power fans – you may have lost the football game but you are still the toughest talking team in the whole comp!

Round One – Good To Have Ya Back!

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The elbow of Scott Lucas plays on despite a nasty knock…now that’s the gutsiest elbow in footy!

It felt like an age since our last taste of fair dinkum footy (an age filled with endless, boring cricket matches) but all the things we love about the game are back! The bumps, the bruises, the great goals, the baffling umpiring decisions – it all came flooding back over the weekend. We had a little bit of everything in the opening round of the AFL season…a great way to kick things off again.

However, the biggest constant that we can expect to see during the season is my deplorable tipping! It started with backing Richmond on Thursday night (I know, I know…) and ended by pinning my hopes on a good showing at home by Fremantle on Sunday night (I know, I know…) Plus, after hearing the Crows had upset the Pies on Saturday afternoon, I caught the quarter time scores of the Saturday night games as I headed out to dinner. Both the Eagles and Swans were up big and I was all prepared for a Richmond-style opening round disaster!

Fortunately, Saturday night’s games went as planned but it just showed that you cannot guarantee anything in footy. Not wins, not tips and not that a TV remote will not go flying straight into my new plasma TV screen at some point this season. It survived week one…though Essendon’s skill errors tempted fate at times yesterday!

The Games:

Already touched on this one last Friday but just in case you forgot – Carlton…great! Richmond…shit! Ben Cousins…hamstrung. And it’s all his own fault! Seems he has gotten the hang of that whole apologising thing now.

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Here is the obligatory ‘Ben Cousins gets interviewed again’ photo. Seems you are not allowed to write about footy without one…

Hawthorn beat Geelong in the grand final rematch on Friday night…didn’t they? Oh no, apparently they didn’t…my mistake. All the talk about Jeff Kennett and bogy men and Geelong spraying shots at goal because of their fragile mental state. Just assumed that Hawthorn actually won…sorry!

Question: when is losing a free kick count 18-14 deemed to be ‘lopsided’? Answer: when it happens to Collingwood..and they get beaten. It wouldn’t have been because the Crows deserved to win, uncovering some promising youngsters along the way. Oh no…definitely the umps!

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Beating Collingwood at the ‘G? Yep, that’s worth a little cuddle…

Sydney were on fire for about half an hour and then…nothing! They couldn’t buy a goal after quarter time and it wasn’t for lack of trying…or was it? Good start to the season for St Kilda though, who must have done well to charge home without a blinder from Nick Riewoldt. I’m assuming they did well…like you’d voluntarily watch a Saints-Swans game unless you barrack for them!

The Lions make Michael Voss feel like a coaching guru right off the bat, coming from behind to beat the Eagles at the Gabba. And Vossy’s impressions of the coaching caper? Yeah, love it …but hate it!

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Yep, Vossy loves coaching…even though it’s shit!

North Melbourne do what is required to beat last year’s wooden spooners. Taking on last season’s worst team in the opening round and being expected to win handily can be a tricky assignment – and they didn’t have it all their own way. Could have been worse though – they might have had to travel interstate first off…

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Cheer up Demons…for the first time in ages, you’re not dead last! Thanks Richmond.

…like Essendon did!  And Port Adelaide benefitted from a wobbly kicking Bomber outfit to win comfortably in the end. And considering the fans over there can now consume alcohol at their seats, there will have been some interesting celebrations at AAMI Stadium.

Yes…I tipped Fremantle at home. Yes…they were destroyed by the Doggies. No…I will never learn! The Westeern Bulldogs win big in Perth and it seems that the only two people who are surprised by this are me and Rodney Eade.