Tag Archives: Nick Dal Santo

About Freakin’ Time! (2009 Brownlow Medal)

AblettCooney

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

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

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

AblettWins

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

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

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

FevDisapproves

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

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

BoganPrincess

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

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

BrownlowBlokes

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

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

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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.

Another Friday Night Snoozer (Round 14 – Welcome To Splitsville)

Clarko tries to fire up his boys but it’s clear that they are all on holiday and nobody is listening to him…Crawf is just sleeping with his eyes open!

Well, we haven’t had much luck with Friday Night Football the past two weeks. Last Friday was the St Kilda-Fremantle stinkfest and last night’s Hawthorn-West Coast game was not much better. It was clear that most of the players were just counting down the minutes until their mid-season break kicked in…it was played with the intensity of a Melbourne office worker the day before they head off for three weeks holiday in Queensland!The footballing equivalent of cleaning your desk a dozen times and shuffling pens until five o’clock!

The Hawks just went through the motions, relying on the occasional efforts of Buddy Franklin and Jarryd Roughead to ensure a comfortable win. Alastair Clarkson will have been pleased to get to the break with just two losses though he can’t seem to keep his players from hurting themselves.

John Worsfold, on the other hand, seemed pleased with the effort of his players to lose a shit-boring game by ten goals! That is not the Worsfold we all know and loathe…

SATURDAY

Brendan Fevola is hoping to finalise his new contract with Carlton during the split round…then he might be able to afford some dental work!

MCG, Melbourne – 2:10pm (local): Richmond v Carlton (FOX)

Nick Riewoldt will stay on the Gold Coast during his break…just getting a feel for his new footballing home in 2011!

Gold Coast Stadium, Gold Coast – 7:10pm (local): North Melbourne v St Kilda (TEN)

Port Adelaide players love frolicking at the beach during the split round break…they build sand castles and Warren Tredrea dresses up like Pamela Anderson in Baywatch and pretends to rescue his teammates. What fun!

TIO Stadium, Darwin – 7:10pm (local): Western Bulldogs v Port Adelaide (FOX)

SUNDAY

Brock McLean will be threatening to crush young school children with his massive arms unless they sign up as members during the break. The kids are not impressed…

MCG, Melbourne – 1:10pm (local): Melbourne v Brisbane (FOX)

It seems those orange boots are a massive hit with the ladies! Kyle Reimers will spend his break picking up many famous single women…he has even recruited Jay Nash to help keep up with demand!!

Subiaco, Perth – 2:40pm (local): Fremantle v Essendon (FOX)

Round Thirteen – Ling For The Brownlow!

Cameron Ling winning the Brownlow Medal…how awesome would that be!!!

The Brownlow Medal has come under scrutiny this week after Lance Franklin was ruled ineligible to win the award when found guilty of a rough conduct charge. But because he accepted the guilty plea, he received a reprimand rather than a suspension, so he can still play on the weekend.

With a series of players already out of Brownlow contention this year; some of them who, like Buddy, were not actually suspended from playing; most of the footy media types with access to a keyboard or microphone has taken the predictable angle that changes need to be made:

While the media race against themselves to come up with solutions that will just be ignored by the League anyway, Half Back Flanker is happy enough to leave the current system alone. What the Brownlow Medal really needs more than anything is another unfashionable winner! A bolter from the blue.

For too many years now, the very elite players of the competition have totally dominated the Brownlow. Goodes, Judd, Cousins, Buckley, Bartel – all dominant, skillful and not entirely unattractive…depending on what you are into. What’s happened to the less skillful, more gutsy types such as Libba, Dipper or even Paul Kelly? Why can’t a battler ever get a look-in any more?

Would Dipper have won a Brownlow if he was playing today?

So that’s why we are officially kicking off the campaign for an unheralded battler to rise above the pack and once again claim football’s highest individual honour. Ling for the Brownlow round will encourage all those high-flying medal favourites to go on report for the most frivolous incidents and become ineligible for the prize…leaving Geelong’s Cameron Ling with a clear run to the finish line and become the most popular winner of the Brownlow in the history of football!

TEAM NEWS

TIPS FOR LING FOR THE BROWNLOW ROUND

SAINTS by 2: We have zero confidence in the Saints…but less than zero in Freo!

HAWKS by 38: Dean Laidley will be cursing that Buddy Franklin reprimand after this game…

POWER by 18: Richo will probably make us pay but how often do the Tigers win two in a row?

CATS by 41: Worsfold can deny it all he likes but the Eagles don’t want to win this game…no chance!

LIONS by 18: I wouldn’t like to face Jono Brown after he had his sexuality questioned by wearing a pinkish tie the other day!

SWANS by 50: Sydney will enjoy a quick trip to Canberra, flog Melbourne, pick up some porn and fireworks and have an awesome bus trip home!

BLUES by 28: Carlton’s push for the finals will get another boost here…but can they really finish in the eight?

DOGS by 31: Remember the 2006 elimination final? Hopefully, the Doggies can repeat that effort…

Tonight’s action:

Matthew Pavlich: GUILTY of wrestling…with his own emotions whilst playing for a basket-case. REPRIMAND – OUT OF BROWNLOW CONTENTION!

Telstra Dome, Melbourne – 7:40pm (local): St Kilda v Fremantle (SEVEN)