Monday, 28 August 2006

Love Thy Bogan

Right up until the moment my lunch break finished I was tempted to cut the second half of work and go to Geelong. It's a good thing I didn't because a game like this would have seen me arrested. As it was I ended up having to try and listen to the game on the radio and almost having a coronary in the last few minutes. Somebody who was there was Sideshow Bob (not the original we believe) and he provides us with the following report

The motivation for my trip to Geelong was wholly and solely based on last year’s miracle win. I can still hear the roar of the Geelong fans fading as Egan’s kick turns to the left, and hugging complete strangers wearing red and blue as if they were my best mates. I’d arranged some time ago with a Geelong supporting mate that we should go to this week’s match, and he was quick to agree claiming he wanted revenge, conveniently forgetting the pasting they gave us in the finals and Steven-king-related acts of violence. It was also convenient that his girlfriend would drive allowing the two of us to have a few beverages.

Travel tip no.1: Make the trip down the Geelong Road more exciting by playing the “spot the fixed speed camera” game.

Being a “home games only” MFC member, I entered using a Geelong membership borrowed from a different Geelong supporting mate who was so devastated by their season of lost promise he went off to Tasmania this weekend. This of course means I had $18 extra beer money. Upon arrival at the ground we heard the news that Kent Kingsley was in the team in place of Mackie and were happy, but then when the sides warmed up and Colin Sylvia was out there in place of Neitz we were sad. When the game itself started, it was crap footy, but then Yze decided his car wasn't good enough for him and a new Toyota would be a good thing.

Crowdwatch: The crowd were generally as biased and as feral as expected, but one bloke decided that i was personally responsible for every free kick that went against Geelong. When the umps let us get away with something and i laughed, his head began to turn a distinct shade of beetroot and he turned to drop a string of F-words at me. As we tore away in the first quarter, we had a glimpse of things to come as a Davey chip kick for Bell was intercepted by Chapman. As Chapman ran into the 50, Nobody chased him. Hmmm... Our friend turns to me and says "Fuck Davey". Ok, whatever. Which leads us to travel tip no.2: Be aware of local customs. This means that when a Melbourne player has his head lopped off or has a Geelong player land square in his back, local custom is to yell the word "Ball" at the top of your voice. (n.b. the umpiring was generally crap, but was sometimes in our favour such as the 65m penalty we got in the 1st quarter, but according to the Cat fans ALL of the decisions were in our favour. Some of the centre bounces were pathetic). Injury to Matt Whelan in the first quarter didn't help the cause.

In the second quarter we had an excellent view from the Northern terraces as a Geelong player (Rooke?) took a clean catch to intercept a Davey snap at goal. We thought he was across the line, meaning it was a goal. The Geelong fans thought it was a clear mark. The goal umpire clearly had no intention of getting out alive and decided he'd piss everyone off by saying that it was a point. The ump somehow believed that he'd taken 2 grabs at it and juggled it across the line, which was not true. Then, just to make sure this goal ump was never going to see his family again, Jamar took a mark with his body behind the line between the goal post and point post, and his arms outstretched in the field of play. He plays on and snaps a goal. The ump nods as if to say "Nice one Russian!" but then gets talked out of his decision by the lowest form of footy life form, the boundary umpire.

That's ok, we all said, we're still in front.

Not for long. In the 3rd quarter Geelong started running, and kicked 5 goals in a row. They made us pay for unaccountable play and loose men were everywhere. The most selfish player in AFL football, Gary Ablett Jr, turned up to play and was instrumental in a massive comeback. Between the early part of the 3rd quarter and mid-way through the final quarter Geelong eroded our 38 point lead. Travis Johnstone walked the ball back across Geelong's goal for a point and some clown said "You'll regret that if its a draw". Then, Ben Holland was hip and shouldered in the head as he leant over for the ball, in an incident that would have drawn Byron Pickett a 10 week suspension. The ball spilled out and Scarlett kicked the goal to put the Cats in front. If only the schmuck who was with us in the first half was still with us, because I’d love to see him explain that one. Perhaps surprisingly, Jamar levelled the scores with a crunch goal and as the final siren went, Nathan Carroll breathed a sigh of relief as he dropped the ball which was then, after the siren, punched through the goals by Bartel. A very unsatisfying result and a hollow feeling as there were no theme songs, no celebrations over a game both teams should have claimed as a win and neither team deserved to claim as a win,.

Travel tip no.3: Put some music on the radio as you return to Melbourne, because post-game football commentary is crap.

So now it’s time for some votes.

5: Daniel Ward. One of a small few who put in a four quarter effort. One of the better games I’ve seen him play and has been in good form over the last month or so.

4: James McDonald. Great goals and another tough tacking effort. My smoky for most Melbourne votes at the Brownlow and a possible top 5 finish.

3: Cameron Bruce. Awesome 2nd quarter, may have been the hero had he ran into the 50 and went for goal instead of trying to go to the top of the square.

2: Travis Johnstone. Faded a bit but was crucial in establishing the lead.

1: Adem Yze. While I wanted to give one vote to some others, Yze did do some crucial things, including a crunch goal in the final quarter. Would have got more had he chased down his man a few times in the 3rd quarter.

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal Leaderboard

40 - Cameron Bruce
38 - James McDonald
34 - Brock McLean
24 - David Neitz
20 - Brad Green
20 - Aaron Davey
19 - Jared Rivers (Leader: 2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal for defender of the year)
17 - Travis Johnstone
16 - Byron Pickett
13 - Nathan Carroll
12 - Matthew Whelan
10 - Matthew Bate
9 - Colin Sylvia
9 - Daniel Ward
7 - Adem Yze
6 - Russell Robertson
4 - Chris Johnson
4 - Ben Holland
4 - Nathan Jones
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Brad Miller
2 - Clint Bartram
2 - Jeff White
1 - Nathan Brown

On review I’m annoyed I’ve given all the votes to our top possession getters.

Next week it’s Crows in Adelaide. Collectively, demon fans have marked this down for a loss as of about ten minutes into Round 1 but there remains a flickering hope that if we show the heart that the pseudo-Sandringham team did for three quarters in last year’s game we might be a chance. Adelaide has suffered some injuries which may affect them, and hopefully we’ll get Neitz and Bate back.

I won't be travelling next week. Geelong fans may be feral but at least they're not from Adelaide.

Editor Watch
Mercado here again. I might be a negative piece of shit but I think our season is farked. Sure Adelaide have a million injuries and have lost four of the last five but I don't think there's anything more than the slightest chance that we can roll them next week. And even if we do the reward is probably going back there again the next week. Thrillsville. Sometimes I'd like to be a Richmond fan and have no long term goals other than making one finals series. Bah.

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