Tag Archives: swine flu

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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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 Ten – A Series Of Perfect Tens

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Ben Cousins filming the latest promo for One HD, Ten’s new 24 hour sports channel.

Ten was the magic number last weekend. St Kilda won its tenth straight game to start the season while Geelong matched them to also remain unbeaten after ten rounds of footy. They appear to be set on a collision course for round 14 in the biggest blockbuster game of the season…to be played in the smallest stadium in town. But fear not, footy fans – we will surely get to see the game live on TV…won’t we?

Channel Ten was the other big winner out of the weekend’s action when former Eagles champ Ben Cousins chose to vent his frustration with a single-fingered salute right down the barrel of a camera as he returned to play in Western Australia for the first time as a Tiger. Sure, Benny thought it was just a bit of fun but the League will want an explanation as they seem to have a different opinion on what exactly is fun….as we all know from years of questionable grand final entertainment!

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Terry’s time up at Richmond? Wow, that came out of left field…never saw that coming.

Then there is our old friend Terry Wallace. Despite his struggling side recording a rare win on the weekend, he and the Tigers announced today that they are parting ways after Friday night’s clash with the Bulldogs. The conference can be read in full here but the general gist of it all was that the Tigers are somehow better off now (with an extra five years of failure) than when he began, that his coaching career is pretty much over and that he’s kinda sorry for what happened at the Bulldogs in 2002. I’m sure the Doggies fans can’t wait to express their gratitude to him on Friday night…

The Games:

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Fev clearly doesn’t know how to perform a Pressed Ham against the Glass…maybe he’s asking the umpire how it’s done!

Did the hysteria about the poor play at Carlton get a little out of hand last week? Sure, the Blues did have their arses handed to them by Adelaide last week but you’d have thought they were level with Richmond on the ladder by the amount of whining. But a little siege mentality, including the fortnightly Robert Walls Carlton focus article, helped inspire them to ease past the Eagles at home on Friday night. West Coast are no longer making finals their priority…we think that is wise!

Brisbane score a solid away win against North Melbourne on the back of some exciting young players and their exciting young finals-talking coach. The Roos wasted no time delving into a comprehensive post-mortem…perhaps they can send an update to fans who spent most of the first quarter sampling the many seating options at Whatshishead Stadium. Sounds like a fun place to watch footy…

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One behind in a quarter? Think Roosy might kick 22 behinds this week at training!

The Western Bulldogs looked right at home in the nation’s capital of fireworks and pornography with a comfortable win over the Swans that places them at the head of the class for next-best underneath Geelong and St. Kilda. The Swans managed to keep Aker quiet (no mean feat…whatever the context of ‘keeping quiet’!) but it was not a great day for them. Maybe the ‘other’ Sydney team will have more luck up there.

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Terry wants to celebrate a rare win so he finds a guy who knows how to party…

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…though perhaps he needs to learn from ‘Aussie’ Guus Hiddink…now that’s one guy who knows how to party!

It was always going to be a big game for Ben Cousins returning to the west…and didn’t he love being back in WA! Well, he and the rest of the Tigers were loving it when they scraped over the line against Freo in a thrilling finale. Mark Harvey’s side almost pulled off the win despite a multitude of injuries…yep, cue the debate for substitute players.

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Samuel L Jackson just wants to get these mother-flippin’ Saints of this mother-freakin’ plane!

No disrespect to Melbourne (of course…) but St Kilda’s biggest issue this weekend was not the game but travelling amongst the dirty, swine-infected members of the general public. They all made it safely and took care of the Demons without a great deal of difficulty…though they did get a little cutesy. The Saints now look forward to winning the next three before the Geelong game while Dean Bailey will focus his team on losing to Collingwood next week.

Adelaide blew away the reigning champs in the first half to record another win at home…and may have just unearthed a new goal kicking hero in the process. Neil Craig was suitable impressed…Al Clarkson? Hmm, not so much! And does he think they will bounce back right away? No, not really.

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Shoulda turned back, boys…shoulda turned back!

May as well just recycle the reports from round two in 2008…Essendon received a comprehensive football lesson from Geelong with coach Matthew Knights planning to use this loss as a leaning aid for his players. The only point that is unique to 2009 is that while the Cats keep racking up wins and proving a point against all opponents, they are referring to St Kilda as the benchmark. Yeah, nice try…

A light tower loses power at the MCG on Sunday as Port Adelaide stink it up on the field, prompting all manner of kooky headlines… oh, delicious irony! The Pies blitz the Power in the second half and, after copping plenty of criticism a fortnight ago, now they are headed for the top four. In fact, Mike Sheahan has already chalked them up for another four wins during the next month…and he never gets it wrong, does he!