Tag Archives: Melbourne Demons

From First To Worst – Fast Forward To September (AFL Season 2009)

wiihodge

One week from defending the premiership and what is Hawk Luke Hodge up to? He’s impressing the ladies with the size of his Wii! Is this a bad sign for Hawthorn?

Surely by now, you have checked out many of the 2009 AFL season previews that have been published in print or online. They are all over the damn place! Both Melbourne papers put out season preview magazines over the weekend but the Herald Sun have previews for each team available here. You can also check out previews for all sixteen clubs from Sportal Australia while the official website of the AFL have gone as far as rating players for each team in order to make their guestimates appear better than everybody elses.

But it’s not just the media big-boys that are cranking out good previews for the new season…try checking out some of the other footy sites out there such as The Roar, Contested Footy or Kick 2 Kick. This season, Half Back Flanker has completely run out of time opted against writing previews for each team but instead has peered into the League’s crystal ball to find out who finishes where on the ladder after the home-and-away season.

That’s right – Andy D actually has a crystal ball in his office (honestly, check the book case…it’s hidden behind a framed photo of new Queensland Premier Anna Bligh!) Don’t worry, I won’t spoil the surprise of who wins it all in September, or whether Jason Akermanis finally makes it to 300 games…because Aker is the biggest story of this season, right? Right?

crystalball

First To Worst – The Ladder as of Round 22, 2009

1st: Geelong

Redemption from last September and an intense hatred for mouthy Hawk prez Jeff Kennett should be enough of a driving force for Geelong. Jimmy Bartel also revealed in this article that he discovered The Ramones in the off-season…so expect greatness from him!

2nd: Hawthorn

Apart from Luke Hodge’s Wii exploits, the Hawks will find life much more difficult having gone all the way last season. But it won’t stop the likes of Buddy Franklin and this year’s leading goalkicker…Jarryd Roughead!

3rd: Western Bulldogs

The Doggies might have a tough start but if the coach gets big improvement from the current Brownlow Medallist…watch out for the team of the mighty west!

4th: Collingwood

Collingwood will not only play good footy but again dominate the league in off-field discussion. Prepare yourself as our journos indulge in weekly speculation about the current coach, the coach in waiting and the president in everything. And we mean EVERYTHING!

5th: St Kilda

A fast start to the year would certainly help the Saints if they want to return to the top four…as would kicking more goals and keeping Nick Riewoldt forever and ever!

6th: Carlton

Looks like the arrogant Blues are back and finals are a real possibility. If they qualify for September, prey that the match is not broadcast by Channel Ten – Robert Walls, Tim Lane, Andy Maher on the boundary…sheeesh!

7th: North Melbourne

North died in the arse last year so even if they make the most of their Victorian-based opening half to the year, there will be lingering doubts about how far they can progress. The Roos do like having doubters though…

8th: Adelaide

The Crow-bots could easily slide out of finals contention…and it could all hinge on their ability to kick goals via the reconstructed knee of Trent Hentschel and a rebuilt Porpoise.

9th: Port Adelaide

Hard to tell who needs rescuing more – the club by the AFL or the coach by another club that wants to pay top dollar for a footy-obsessed maniac! This season has so-close and yet so-far written all over it…

10th: Richmond

Between Terry Wallace’s contract, Kevin Sheedy’s warblings and the comeback of Ben Cousins, Richmond will be a hot topic this year but too much depends on a 34 year old Richo. At least we don’t have them finishing ninth…

11th: Sydney

The Swans might feel confident that they can defy the critics who say they are too old and qualify for another finals campaign. But we don’t!

12th: Brisbane

Voss is now boss at BrisVegas and has given Jono Brown the captaincy all to himself. But the new coach can’t just order his side to become more skilful…it will be interesting to see how Vossy handles a rare taste of mediocrity.

13th: Fremantle

As if the Fremantle Football Club isn’t weird enough, they appear to be set for a big season of shouting at umpires in order to protect the tallest man in the competition. At least the worst theme song in footy won’t be heard that many times!

14th: Essendon

The Bombers were hoping for an injury-free run in ’09…and that lasted a good few weeks before completely turning to shit! They could do better than bottom four if their players stop break themselves…however, that appears unlikely.

15th: West Coast

The Eagles will try to use the AFL captains poll (where nobody gave them a chance of making the finals) as some type of motivation to play well. But there is a reason nobody thinks they are good enough…it’s because they are not good enough!

16th: Melbourne

After what happened last year, 2009 could only be an improvement, right? Maybe, but optimism seems to be pretty damn low at Demonland. Well, they have some major sponsors now…but it’s hard to see many other positives.

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We Just Couldn’t Resist! (Media Street)

YO ADRIAN!!!

Now, as much as we here at Half Back Flanker love to pay out on those players that drive us nuts for whatever reason, we have to give credit where it is due. No matter how begrudgingly that credit is delivered.

So it is with mixed emotions that we give sneaky St Kilda forward Stephen Milne credit for playing through a nasty looking facial injury during St Kilda’s vital win in Perth on Sunday. As a result, Milne was unable to fly back with his teammates and forced to hit the road! He is currently being driven the thousands of kilometres cross country back to Melbourne by a St Kilda official and hopes to be back at the club later today. Talk about an unwanted road trip…for the driver!

His fractured cheekbone will most likely keep him out of this week’s home game against Adelaide so there is no great hurry to get him back to Melbourne. So, why don’t they take him on a tour of outback Australia and give him the chance to explore some of the great regions in the remote parts of the country?  Like Uluru…or Kakadu National Park…or what about Wolf Creek? Ok, that was unnecessary. But we can’t help it…it’s Stephen Milne, for goodness sake!

In non-twerp news:

A Doughnut! My Kingdom For A Doughnut! (The Lost Weekend)

Travis Cloke beats up on two Demons at once…Dad must be so proud!

Melbourne may have been out there doing it for the jumper but Collingwood did it for the Queen! The Magpies were made to battle hard by a fired-up Demons outfit before running out clear winners in the Queens Birthday clash at the MCG yesterday. Not even the loss of two key players or the inspired state of an opponent reflecting on a storied history could stop the Pies.

While Collingwood are now entrenched in the top eight, the Dees remained rooted to the bottom of the ladder (with the key word being ‘rooted’)…though there could be some light at the end of the tunnel. Paul Gardner is standing down as president of the football club to make way for former great Jim Stynes…who has some big plans for the club. But Melbourne don’t need big plans…they need rich plans. Very, very rich plans!

If you think it has been a long weekend with eight matches stretched over four days, spare a thought for Kangaroos coach Dean Laidley. Having missed out on something to eat at halftime during Friday night’s game against Geelong, Laidley picked up the phone to order some room service and when his request for doughnuts was turned down, he went totally feral!

WHERE THE F&#$ ARE MY ORIGINAL GLAZED???

The combination of a busted phone and poor coaching decisions due to low blood sugar levels resulted in the Roos going down to the Cats…though Gary Ablett may have been a determining factor as well! So when Dean Laidley’s daughter offered her dad a sweet treat, her timing could have been better…

A Doughnut? Well, it’s a bit bloody late now!

Pfffftttt! May as well eat it…

Here’s a wrap of all the events of God Save The Queen Round:

SUNDAY

Everybody, this is Ricky…I pay him to be my friend!!

Wow…so this is what winning feels like!

NEWSFLASH! Someone other than Brown or Bradshaw just kicked a goal for Brisbane!!

SATURDAY

Another failed test…perhaps these Tigers should go back to school!

Essendon’s worst nightmare!

Fixing matchups or playing Scrabble? Either way, Paul Roos whistles while he works another miracle…

The head may be sacrosanct but for Mr Reprimand, it makes a nice target!

Um…How Does The Club Song Go Again? (The Lost Weekend)

I’m so excited that I have the chance to sing again! Hand over that mic…

Zero from six, 51 points down…you could have been forgiven for writing off Melbourne yet again. Even the most optimistic Demons fan would have just settled for a spirited second half, maybe break-even on the scoreboard, or just see Nathan Carroll smash Jeff Farmer…legally or otherwise.

Instead, they got to witness the best comeback in club history as the Dees recorded a mind-blowing victory! Aaron Davey caught fire, Russell Robertson kicked a few and what about young Wanna…Whatta…young Austin!

Oh Fremantle, honestly! You make me SO mad! I…I just can’t look at you right now…

But in every amazing comeback victory, there is an equally spectacular loser. And does it really come as a surprise that Fremantle is the loser again? Matthew Pavlich did all he could, their second best player was an 18 year old kid and the usual crew of sucky suspects failed to fire when it counted. What is Mark Harvey going to do now?

So what previously looked like a one-horse race for the wooden spoon/kick-ass Fijian kid now appears to be wide open. The two clubs from the west are now level with Melbourne but don’t discount the mob from Windy Hill from sliding into contention!

In the other games yesterday, we had one small surprise but the other went to script:

A quick stroll down media street for some news:

I’ve Lost Some Seconds And I Don’t Know Where To Find Them (Round Seven – Welcome Back!)

What part of ‘Stop The F@&$%#g Clock’ don’t they understand???

Hmm, the League seems to be having a few timing issues at the moment. First it was a few lost seconds in the Fremantle-Geelong thriller last week, then all these kick-ass players that are due to play in the Hall Of Fame match next week keep getting injured playing in pesky meaningful regular season games. Now it seems that the game clock was not stopped late in last night’s Richmond-St Kilda match and at least ten seconds were lost.

As a result, Richmond’s Jack Riewoldt was forced to shoot for goal from outside 50 after the siren to try to win the game rather than have time to find a target closer to goal. Riewoldt’s shot fell short and the Saints survived a thriller!

But Terry Wallace is not the only one missing a few seconds from Saturday night. Half Back Flanker was fortunate enough to attend the game with access to as much free food and beer as we could handle. And let’s just say that a period of time just seemed to disappear…namely, the entire third quarter! So, yes Plough…we can relate!

Great hospitality and a final-kick thriller…what an awesome night! And you know you’ve probably had enough to drink when a) you are not completely outraged when one of you’re least favourite footballers – nay, humans – kicks seven goals in a match-winning performance and b) the people around you can’t seem to stop singing Barry Manilow’s ‘Copacabana’ at the top of their voice!

But after last night, we will never forget how awesome Richo can be, how amazing Robert Harvey is at age 57 and that her name was Lola and she was, indeed, a showgirl!

Three other matches yesterday:

Today’s action in Welcome Back round:
THE ‘WELCOME BACK SIMON GARLICK’ GAME
SCG, Sydney – 1:10pm (local): Sydney v Western Bulldogs (FOX)

THE ‘WELCOME BACK JEFF FARMER’ GAME

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Melbourne v Fremantle (SEVEN)

THE ‘WELCOME BACK GAVIN WANGANEEN’ GAME

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 4:40pm (local): Essendon v Port Adelaide (FOX)

Scoreboard! (The Lost Weekend)

Oh no! I’ve done a Nathan Brown and celebrated a win…what a dickhead!!!

What is with these footballers! Last week it was Richmond’s Nathan Brown who thought his team had won a drawn game…and yesterday it seemed that half the North Melbourne team had launched into the second verse of the club song before realising that they had finished level with Sydney! Dean Laidley actually thought his side had lost…let’s hope he didn’t break too many objects in the coaches box before he found out they had two competition points!

But if you ask Paul Roos’ wife, it should have been the Swans celebrating after Michael Firritto laid a finger on what would have been a Brett Kirk match-winner in the final minute. But Roosy himself is happy to move on without calling for the use of technology or an extra pair of eyes on the goal line. Besides, he needs to work on finding a way for his side to kick more than eight goals when they play at the Telstra Dome! But at least Adam Goodes is playing well again

Hey, we managed to find two winners in the other games yesterday:

A quick stroll down media street for some news:

Time Off For Daniel Kerr (Round Six – Medals For Everyone!)

Clearly Daniel Kerr does NOT want to play against Chris Judd next week!

What is going on with these Saturday night games? First it was Barry Hall who did something stupid and now it looks like West Coast midfielder Daniel Kerr is in trouble again after an incident with old Dog Scott West at the Telstra Dome last night. Kerr appears to lead with his head and collect West, who was a little worse for wear afterwards…

West was ok after the incident…though his eye was incredibly thirsty!!!

Amazingly, Brent Staker was also reported for striking in his first game back after he was sensationally KO’d by the Hall hit,…do you think that a plea of delayed concussion would work for him at the trubunal?

After the physical stuff died down, the Doggies clicked into gear and steamrolled a struggling West Coast Eagles outfit to remain unbeaten. John Worsfold’s mob have only won one match so far and if Eagles fans are sucking at the moment, just wait until they see this on Friday night…

Chris Judd in the navy blue…

Two more results from yesterday:

Today’s action in Medals For Everyone round:
THE DANIEL BRADSHAW MEDAL GAME
GABBA, Brisbane – 1:10pm (local): Brisbane v Melbourne (FOX)

THE BARRY HALL MEDAL GAME

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): North Melbourne v Sydney (SEVEN)

THE LANCE FRANKLIN MEDAL GAME

Feel the Love baby…FEEL THE LOVE!

MCG, Melbourne – 4:40pm (local): Hawthorn v Richmond (FOX)