Thursday, 15 June 2006

Birth of a Legend

Believe it or not Demonblog lives. Still no internet connection at home until, presumably, about three minutes before this was posted. An absolute debacle I'm sure you'll agree, and had Melbourne gone out and got done at the MCG on Monday it would have been even worse. But they didn't. HAH! In fact we pissed it in. However did that happen? Well I'll give you a hint on what clearly influenced the result,

THE RETURN OF THE PHILTHY PHIL PHACTION!

Yes. Phil Read, the angriest man alive, returned and everything is alright with the world again. Of course the bad news was that it took a two week injury to the Next Big Thing to get him back into the side, but somehow we got away with it. Not only that but we also survived Godfrey and Ward (late for Whelan) being on the field at the same time and still had a big win against an alleged Premiership contender. Ladies and Gentlemen; are we watching the new flag favourites? Not quite - West Coast are falling apart like a house of cards but you'll do well to nobble Adelaide this year - but things are looking good at the moment. It could have gone wrong after kncoking over St. Kilda last week; afterall I can't have been the only one to cringe when I saw Ben Holland going to Anthony Rocca. Sure he demolished Fraser Gehrig last week but surely it couldn't happen two weeks in a row could it? Balls to that, he was ON FIRE. He took the supposedly "form of his life" Rocca to school for four quarters, and were it not for a cheap free kick in the last quarter from 20m out directly in front he would have kept him goalless for the whole day. Carroll and Rivers were also on fire again. A steel-trap style Melbourne defence? Has the world gone mad? Indeed it has, for Jared Rivers even managed to take time out from his gun defensive duties to kick his first two goals in league football. Granted it can all go wrong at the slightest provocation - and probably will - but I think it's fair to say that we're currently lining up our best backline since the Ingerson/Shanahan/Seecamp combination of '98 - and these two are a lot younger.

The match started well enough. Sadly nobody else observed the standing ovation for Philthy that I demanded pre-match, and Leon Davis kicked the first goal but after that it was all one way traffic. Despite Clement wrecking Robertson, and with the delivery to Neitz being more often rotten than note we still went in with a 9pt lead and both key forwards had goals. At the other end Holland was already making Rocca his bitch and Chris Tarrant was busy being Chris Tarrant and running around like a headless chicken doing nothing and inviting the question of "who decided he was a superstar of the game and why haven't they been shot". By halftime the Collingwood wagon had been derailed and the 25000 people who were on board it for their first game since the '03 Grand Final were spilling out everywhere. Laugh? We almost died. Of course nothing was certain from there on as our third quarters this year have abysmal and theirs have been spectacular. Indeed they added four goals in the third quarter - but unfortunately for the assembled masses who were rapidly becoming more feral as the game went on and their one day out at the footy a year was being ruined we kicked seven. Most notably these included an Aaron Davey effort which required him to duck out of about fifteen (admittedly half-hearted) tackles before slotting it through over his shoulder, an Adem Yze kick off the ground that must have led to 75% of the audience cracking a spontaneous and "hillarious" joke about The World Cup and, hot on the heels from his goal of the career effort last week, a David Neitz snap from the pocket which he should have absolutely no right to legally kick. The captain had three at the last change, Yze had four and it was getting ugly. And rightly so too. 5.2 apiece in the last and it was over. Time-On was spent talking up Philthy Phil and unsuccessfully trying to start a "WE LOVE YOU FILTHY WE DO" chant in an overwhelmingly hostile section. One day I vow to make a sign that says nothing else but PHILTHY and wave it around in the audience everytime he gets a touch. Sing the song if you must (as you may remember I'm waiting for us to win a final) because we'd stitched them up.

Classic scenes from the neutral we dragged along who took serious exception to the kid shouting out slogans behind us ("Don't kick it out of bounds!" "Don't hold him!" "Kick more goals" etc..") and posed the time honored question of "Why are children so stupid?" It's a fair enough query but when Dale Thomas kicked a goal for the Pies in the last quarter with his second kick in the game and some fully grown idiot behind us goes "Geez, Thomas has been good today" I think the case is made clear that it's football fans who are clowns no matter who they are. Same goes for the tosser who bailed up one of the Pies fans in our group for a dissection about how "we were playing against two teams out there" and how they had been systematically rorted for four quarters by the umpiring fraternities. To his credit the ever pragmatic AMUL laughed at him and admitted that Collingwood were simply shit.

Votes

5 - Cameron Bruce (All class - all the time)
4 - Brad Green (28 touches AND game high tackling stats. The sort of stats that the term WTF was coined to describe)
3 - Aaron Davey (Was the King of Klang with 5 of them but ran around like a man possessed all day. For all his breakneck running, tackling and chasing he was off the ground for two minutes all day. Possibly made from the same material as Robocop)
2 - Ben Holland (Two weeks in a row. This cannot last. My skitzophrenic love/hate relationship with him is suddenly back to love)
1 - Matthew Bate (Sure 15 of his 23 touches were handballs but throw in 4 inside 50's, 3 clearances, 6 marks, 4 tackles and a goal and you're talking TOTAL PACKAGE FOOTBALL)

Apologies to Philthy (obviously), Johnstone, Carroll, Pickett, White, McDonald, Rivers, Yze and Bartram

No apologies to Ward and Godfrey who, it must be said, should never be let near the same team. Apparently I'm the only person in the world who thought Ward was absolute mince against Didak on the day. I stand by this one - he's no Matthew Whelan. In fact he's no Daniel Ward circa 2001/2.

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal Leaderboard

In the abscence of the NBT Cam Bruce reasserts his previously faltering lead at the top of the charts with another BOG performance.

30 - Cameron Bruce
20 - Brock McLean
16 - Aaron Davey
16 - Byron Pickett
12 - Travis Johnstone
12 - James McDonald
11 - David Neitz
10 - Jared Rivers (2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal leader for defender of the year)
7 - Colin Sylvia
7 - Brad Green
4 - Nathan Carroll
4 - Chris Johnson
3 - Russell Robertson
3 - Ben Holland
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Adem Yze
2 - Brad Miller
1 - Daniel Ward
1 - Nathan Brown
1 - Jeff White
1 - Matthew Bate (2006 Darren Cuthbertson Medal Leader for Rookie Of The Year)

Next week: What's the point? My internet company will probably cock us up again and cause you not to read this until two weeks after we've won the Grand Final and I've died of acute alcohol poisoning. We've got Essendon - we should win by 200, instead we will probably get dragged down to their level and win by 2 instead. Or, god forbid, lose.

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