Friday, 3 March 2006

For The Tip

I hate the pre-season. No really, I loathe it. You play in a plastic cup with gimmick rules where the penalty for winning is getting to pay another $15 next week to watch half-hearted football. And the penalty for losing is a trip to Morwell to see half your team do their knees on a ground that until Friday 5pm was a primary school carpark. The football frenzy was on in Melbourne tonight as a grand total of 11000 people bothered to show up to Telstra Dome for Melbourne vs Brisbane. You'd think more people would be greatful to show up and hand over their cash to the AFL given the amount the league has forked out to us over the years, but it turned out nobody could be bothered. Even 11k was generous, I would have estimated it at about 7. They must have hired the same crowd counting people as the A-League.

You'll be pleased to know that I bought my membership before the match. You'll be frankly digusted to know that I lost the "membership pack" they gave me within ten minutes of entering the ground. Which is a shame because I quite fancied the pen. After fighting through the frenzied, one hundred deep crowds to get into the game I ran into the traditional pre-season gimmick of closing the top level and denying me my traditional "back row of the whole place" seat. Swine.

The first quarter was fairly pedestrian. Long term readers should know by now that this is the last place you want to be for actual match reportage, so in short Sylvia ran riot and Byron "He used to be a dirty thug, but now that we've signed him he's a gun" Pickett has the biggest ass I've seen since Sir Mix A Lott's "Baby Got Back". I don't understand the logic behind putting him in the forward line, but as it's been conclusively proven in the last year my analysis talent is non-existant so I'll defer to the judgement of the coaching staff for now. Despite outplaying the Lions all over the park we somehow found ourselves two points down at the first break. Courtesy mainly of a rare 3pt rushed behind penalty after Whelan slapped the ball at the line and then stood back and watched it roll over. Fair call too, if they're going to implement the gimmick rules they should at least have the balls to enforce them. The only people who go homicidally mad about decisions in the pre-season are usually complete morons anyway, so who cares what they think. Right sports fans?

By half time we were two goals up and Sylvia was still cutting sick. Throwing tackles everywhere, chasing, bumping and harassing. Davey was also killing it and Robertson was coming into the game as well. The captain was absolutely nowhere to be seen and I do worry about his contribution this season, I think he's really starting to lose the plot. We definately looked better with the more mobile Robbo at FF, and when Miller started to dominate across CHF it started to tip in our favour. Midway through the third we were 5 goals up and my "never bet your own team, except this time" 25-42 bet was looking very much in the mix. Then young lion Mitchell Clark (not to be confused with the Michael Clark who played 1 game for us in 2001 for 1 goal and was never seen again) decided to tear the increasingly lost Nicholson to shreds and within a few minutes we had surrendered the lead. Sanity prevailed and the man we will NEVER EVER REFER TO AS JACK (apart from this time) was given the arse and replaced with the increasingly capable Nathan Carroll. The tide stemmed from then on and Sylvia got back into it, goals from Robertson and Davey giving us a 9pt lead. Then, with absolutely nobody expecting it, the siren went and we won. How exciting. Why do they play the song for the pre-season cup? Why does anyone sing it? WHY DO THE PLAYERS SING IT? If my left-wing support group gets it's way the players will be banned from doing one line of it in the regular season. The only time you'll see people linking arms and belting it out will be in the finals.

The Lions were without half their squad but consider what's going to happen when we add Bruce/McLean/Moloney/Bell/Yze (if he can be bothered and is not half crippled) and Bizzell back into the squad. This is a top team. In Sylvia, Bargearse Pickett, Neitz, Miller, Moloney, Read and McLean they've finally assembled a lineup of hardmen. No more will we need to rely on the plastic gangster faction of Green and Bruce to try and intimidate people. In an ideal world the Psychopath Group will do all the murderous rage stuff, leaving the ultra-talented but ultimately soft core to clean up and kick us towards victory. It's the perfect scenario. You might read that as a critiscm but I think it's perfectly valid, you have to admit that some players might be as skillful as anyone else going around but they'll never be hardmen. Thus you bring some world class thugs in as well to complement them.

Votes - in the abridged "Sean Charles Flash In The Pan Pre-Season Medal"

5 - Colin Sylvia
4 - Russell Robertson
3 - Aaron Davey
2 - Chris Johnson
1 - Brad Green

Hard luck to everyone who played well when I completely forgot to watch last weeks game. Sylvia must now be the overwhelming favourite to take this coveted trophy, and go into the regular season as a raging hot Jakovich Medal favourite.

Apologies to Whelan, Miller and Johnstone. I'm sure they'll be shattered to miss out. Bartram was good too, especially in throwing tackles around. There is also no doubt that Rex Hunt will refer to Matthew Bate as "Master" and cause thousands of red hot Aussie bogans to piss themselves laughing. You heard it here first.

No apologies to Pickett and his sweet hockey body or Nicholson for being the highest paid witches hat in the country.

Adoption Watch: Demonblog's own Paul Wheatley had 9 touches, didn't do much of interest but didn't do much wrong either. I think people were expecting him to rock up and start smashing 9pt goals in with ease. Idiots.

Next Friday night: Melbourne vs Hawthorn OR Adelaide. Where I have no idea, but I'm praying it's not Hawthorn because as we all know - and it's a phenomenon we've all participated in before - people who follow rotten clubs treat the pre-season competition like it's actually meaningful. This is the first time we've given it the contempt it deserves in year and we're into the semi's. I'm for that angle. Against Adelaide (providing it's here) gives us a smaller crowd and less "OMG WE MUST WIN THIS. IT'S IMPERATIVE FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR CLUB" angst.

Meanwhile according to the book on the front of the Football Record (which I sure as hell didn't pay for) we're going to finish 12th this year. Apparently Essendon will finish above us for no better reason than the fact that they signed Chris Heffernan. AH + HA + HA. Fuck the Football Record and fuck the AFL. Let's get this pre-season trash over with and start the real season.

No comments:

Post a Comment