Tag Archives: The Essence of the Game

Round Three – Should Have Laid Off The Choccy Eggs!


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!


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:


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…


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!


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.


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



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!


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!


Six Months of Football Madness Starting…NOW!(AFL Season 2009)


Honestly…how friggin’ lucky are Channel Ten!

Welcome to AFL season 2009 and year two of Half Back Flanker! The last footy-free weekend for six months has passed and now it is just a matter of days until the madness kicks off at the MCG between Chris Judd and Ben Cousins…and whoever it is they play for.

Normally, the free weekend between the NAP Cup final and the opening round allows us footy heads one final opportunity to indulge in some non-AFL activity. You know; some relaxation, a few household chores and meaningful conversation with loved ones – all those activities that fall by the wayside once the season swings into action.


There were plenty of memorable moments during Channel Seven’s The Essence Of The Game documentary last Friday night. This was NOT one of them!

This year, in a radical departure from recent years, we received something a little extra to help celebrate the oncoming season – some decent footy-based television viewing! If the football documentary The Essence Of The Game that screened on Channel Seven on Friday night didn’t get you all fired up for AFL footy then you must be crazy! Or a Geelong supporter who did not enjoy reliving the events of grand final day 2008…in which case, Sunday’s viewing would not have been that enjoyable either!

After a slow build-up to the new season, that doco has me primed for footy season. Chuck in the unveiling of the kick-ass AFL season launch commercial and that grand final rematch next Friday night can’t come fast enough! The AFL’s biggest stars, some impressive CGI work, the Dropkick Murphys blaring in the background…doesn’t get much better than that!


Some rare kudos to the AFL’s marketing gurus – the new ad rocks!

So, what can we expect from season 2009? Hawthorn and Geelong will rightly start off as the two favourites to reach the grand final but identifying which team will rise to become their biggest challenger is not so clear cut. The Doggies were the third best side last year but prolonged success is something this club has struggled to achieve. St Kilda have been touted as The Next Big Thing for five years now but we are still waiting, waiting, waiting. They were downright lucky to finish in the top four in ’08 and anywhere between the GF and tenth spot would not surprise me!

North Melbourne are tipped to tumble down the ladder every year but always seem to deliver – they are the anti-Saints! The Crows? The Swans? Both make me sleepy! Collingwood? Can’t bear the thought…but of those teams just outside the top four from last year, they loom as the most likely to challenge. Carlton and Richmond are soooooo hot right now but just making the finals would be a fine achievement.

Which reminds me…should probably have a shot at ranking the sixteen teams in order of ladder position after round twenty two in the next day or so. Though last year I had the Bulldogs in the bottom four…so much for credibility!