Tag Archives: Norm Smith Medal

When The Cats Go Marching In! (2009 AFL Grand Final)

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Wow – Geelong are good at this cup-lifting thing! Looks like they’ve done it before…

Holy crap – what a day! A massive audience, a classic match and even the pre-match entertainment didn’t totally suck…well, until the Jersey Boys got involved! Yep, a limp-as-a-lettuce-leaf rendition of the national anthem – won’t that inspire to football masses to buy tickets to their crappy stage show!

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Chappy deservedly wins Norm…just don’t ask me how he did it!

Anyway, back to the footy and on a wet, cold day at the ‘G, it was Geelong that found their way to the front when it mattered to win a second flag in three seasons. On the verge of two straight grand final catastrophes, the Cats scored three goals to nil in the final term to earn the ultimate reward for their sustained excellence and become a truly great outfit. Look out, Lions!

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How would it feel to lead most of the way in a Grand Final and lose? Lenny Hayes pretty much sums it up…

One of these teams was always going to feel unfortunate to miss out on the great prize. Few could have predicted just how devastating defeat would become for the Saints…particularly when things quite easily could have gone their way had they capitalised on their opportunities early.

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Broken collarbone, busted nose, dream destroyed…hard to imagine anybody feeling worse than Brendon Goddard must have after the siren!

If there is any consolation for the St Kilda faithful, it seems to lie with the hard-line stance of the coach looking to ensure his club strives to improve and bounce back in 2010. The popular Max Hudghton won’t be back but it will be interesting to see if anybody else joins him on the sidelines…like little twerp goal sneaks who wear number 44, for example.

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Max Rooke claims himself some new wheels…might come in handy this week during the celebrations! Wonder if his psychic told him about this as well?

But enough HBF-style hardcore analysis…it’s time to wind down after a long season that again defied all expectations (and defied logic at certain stages) and let our collective hairs down! Then, maybe, we can start worrying about who will be the team to beat in 2010. Until then, may all your Mondays be Mad and your blondes a little better looking than this one!


That’s What I’m Talkin’ About! (2008 AFL Grand Final)

If anybody was destined to go totally nuts on the podium today, it was Crawf…and you can’t blame him either!

Hawthorn have just upset the footballing applecart…tipped it on it’s head, in fact! Geelong failed to cash in on a season of rare dominance by falling short at the final hurdle and the Hawks now have a tenth premiership cup in their keeping. After losing just one match on the way to the grand final, the popular theory seemed to be that the match would be tight but Geelong would be the better side in the end…well, that idea went to shit in a series of failed forays forward and sprayed shots at goal from the Cats.

The stumpiest captain-coach combination in VFL/AFL history delivers another cup to Hawthorn…and Sammy Mitchell is so excited that he appears to be at half-mast!

With Norm Smith Medallist Luke Hodge directing traffic superbly from half back, the Hawks broke open a tight match in the third term with six goals and the misfiring Cats could not find a way to get back into the match. The win was a fitting reward for veteran Shane Crawford after 17 years service at Hawthorn. This may well be his final AFL game; as he has a long post-footy career of goofing off on crappy Channel Nine television shows ahead of him; but there could hardly be a better way to bow out of the game.

Bomber Thompson will be pissy at some of his players…but not this guy! Lil’ Ablett was Geelong’s best and nearly matched his father by winning Norm in a losing team. Head up, young fella!

Cats coach Mark Thompson was left to wonder whether the opportunity to win back-to-back was too great for some of his players.  They were more than competitive for a majority of the match but a surprisingly dysfunctional forward line and poor shooting at goal prevented them from gaining any advantage…and the Hawks made them pay big time! And when we say poor conversion in front of goal, we mean ‘record settting…try the third most behinds ever scored in a VFL/AFL grand final and the most by a losing grand final team!

So while Cats fans attempt to drown their sorrows, the Hawk faithful will be going completely feral tonight! As for Half Back Flanker, we will be sleeping off a big day of drinkies, home-made sausage rolls and some post-footy rockin’ out on Guitar Hero and will fully review the events of grand final day very soon. Until then; well done Hawks (have another celebratory Chang beer, DC…whichever country you are in right now!) and commiserations Cats (bad luck LuLi…and a shame Delta didn’t sing today. I love that bitch too!)

Man, You Footy Fans Are Crazy! (2008 AFL Grand Final)

These Hawk fans have gone to a whole lotta trouble…but then it has been 17 years in between grand finals for them!

AFL Grand Final – MCG, 2:30pm (local): Geelong v Hawthorn (SEVEN)

One more sleep, footy freaks! Septocemia has engulfed the self-acknowledged ‘Sporting Capital Of The World’ and with less than twenty-four hours until the bounce, the excitement for Cats and Hawks fans must be tough to contain.  To call September in Melbourne a “silly season” is an understatement of gigantic proportions…the place is more than silly right now; it’s completely freakin’ mental!

Silly season? What silly season? You find freaks like this every weekend in Melbourne!

If you needed any further proof, the place to be today was at the grand final parade!

Which bloke will be lucky enough to get that free hand on the trophy as well?

Of course, these two teams played out one of the best ever grand finals in 1989 and now Victoria has gone into some kind of late-80’s time warp! Plenty of reminiscing is going on…and don’t some of the old-timers love it! Since the Hawks held on to claim the flag in ’89, these two sides have also maintained a decent history of closely contested games – let’s hope this continues tomorrow. After all the whinging from the local media over the years about those pesky interstaters crashing the grand final party since the year 2000…it would really suck for them if we have another blowout!

Did Buddy try to disguise himself as a motorcycle traffic cop to avoid attention at the grand final parade?

So, the time for talk is over and the game is almost here! No matter which part of the world you find yourself tomorrow, there are ways to keep track of the events at the MCG, so there are no excuses to miss a second of what shapes up to be a gripping finale to the football season. If you are taking advantage of the occasion to crank up the barbie for the first time since last April, go check the gas bottle…right now! And if you have a ticket for the game, you are one lucky son-of-a-gun…or you must have connections!

And, for what it’s worth, our tip is back-to-back flags for Geelong…CATS by 27. Norm Smith Medal…lil’ Ablett!

Now grand final day is always a special occasion – exciting, dramatic, sweaty and bloody long! But when does all the interesting stuff happen? Well, Half Back Flanker has put together a complete run-down of the events on grand final day so that you can skip the crap that you don’t like but don’t miss any of the action!

THE 2008 AFL GRAND FINAL DAY TIMETABLE

9:00am: AFL Under-16 Championships Division Two Grand Final – Tasmania v Northern Territory. Winners each receive their first keg, courtesy of major sponsor Carlton Draught.

10:55am: AFL Under-16 Championships Division One Grand Final – Western Australia v Vic Metro. Winners each receive $10,000 from player agent Ricky Nixon and his business card. No obligations though…

12:55pm: Carlton Draught sky troopers parachute into arena.

Look out below…beer incoming!!!

12:58pm: Arena cleared of drunk bogans who jump the fence in an attempt to catch “all the giant beers falling from the sky!”

1:10pm: Delivery of match balls, beamed down from Lance Franklin’s alien spacecraft.

1:15pm: AFL Grand Final teams warm up in AFL-approved velour tracksuits.

1:35pm: Pre-match entertainment starts.

1:36pm: Pre-match entertainment cancelled due to lack of entertainment value.

1:41pm: Cavalcade of retiring players, 2008 Hall of Fame inductees, Olympians, Paralympians and the Terang Mortlake Bloods, Hampden Football League premiers, after a full week of non-stop drinking. The cavalcade will drive very, very slowly

The crowd will love Powderfinger…which makes you wonder how they found themselves on the bill! Perhaps the AFL were desperate when the Seekers pulled out at the last minute…

1:49pm: Performance by Australian Rock act Powderfinger.

1:50pm: Powderfinger performance cancelled after noise complaints from some of the AFL commissioners.

1:52pm: A 20-minute flag waving display from the Holden Precision Goal Umpires Team.

Some flag-waving fun…what a treat!

2:12pm: Delivery of 2008 Cup from ambassador Glen Archer to AFL chairman Mike Fitzpatrick. AFL chairman left to tip all the cold beer out of the cup.

2:15pm: Umpires enter arena under full police protection.

2:16pm: Teams enter arena.

2:17pm: Cyril Rioli exits the arena for a nervous wee.

2:27pm: Advance Australia Fair performed by Rocky Horror Picture Show star Derryn Hinch.

Think you’ve heard some dodgy renditions over the years? Well, just wait until you hear this!

2:28pm: Coin toss.

2:29pm: Another coin toss after Tom Harley successfully appeals for a ‘best-of-three’.

2:30pm: The 2008 AFL Grand Final.

3:40pm: Half Time AFL Grand Final Sprint; featuring the only eight AFL players who are currently sober.

5:15pm: Presentation of Norm Smith Medal for the best player, probably to Steve Johnson of Geelong. Presentation of premiership medallions, probably to Geelong. Presentation of Jock McHale medal to premiership winning coach, probably to Mark Thompson of Geelong. Presentation of premiership cup, probably to Tom Harley of Geelong.

9:30pm: A semi-conscious, half-naked Billy Brownless dragged off arena by seven burly security guards after going too hard too early with the post-match celebrations.