Monday, 14 April 2008

Saturday Depression Session

Hands up if you still care? Well, me for starters. I can't help it, I just can't. With the travel record standing at Geelong twice, Bendigo, Cranbourne and the MCG three times I have seen Melbourne fire a shot just once or twice. That's probably 2 quarters total (first quarter in Bendigo and about 30 minutes total last week) out of 28 that have been anywhere near acceptable. God help us all, we are living in some very dark times my friends.

For the second time this year I had a speculative $5 on Lynden Dunn kicking the first goal @ 28-1. Hence the first quarter was spent punting him home to make big runs out of defence and get down forward to take a mark. Alas the first 20 minutes were spent with North botching chance after chance without us even getting it near 50. You could tell right there and then that the game was well beyond us. At one point, as North sat on something ridiculous like 0.5 LD drifted forward and was on his own inside 50. Naturally they couldn't hit him. He did end up kicking our first goal, but unfortunately North had already booted four.

We actually went within a minute and a half of not scoring at all in the first quarter. Unfortunately AFL Stats doesn't have any records on low scores in quarters (which is a surprise because they have pretty much every other stat ever), but our all time lowest scores contained a 0.0 or two. Most notably the 1899 shambles at the Brunswick Oval where we racked up 0.2 all day. Sadly I missed it, but I expect that it was almost as painful to watch as the abortion we were served up today.

We are a team without skill. It's official. How do you get a job as an AFL footballer if you can't actually kick or handpass a ball? Draft me next year, I can't play for shit but at least with the 120+ rotations a game off the bench I might even have a chance of getting 20 good minutes before having a coronary. In the first quarter Brad Green, Dunn, Jared Rivers and Aaron Davey were the only players who looked as though they were playing with any confidence.

Brad Miller did his bit for keeping the season entertaining by cleaning some bloke up with a big, and seriously illegal, hit and getting reported. I suggested a life ban, but to be entirely serious he wasn't bad today. Shame that after a rare run of two straight decent games that he'll be spending a couple of weeks on the sideline.

Thank god for North's inaccuracy. If they could kick straight we would have been dead and buried within the first few minutes. As it was we were within striking distance (pending a miracle comeback) at quarter time. Then within a few minutes of the 2nd quarter beginning we, err, weren't. At the twenty minute mark we were down by more than 40 and it was looking very ugly. A minor rally made things look a bit more respectable but everyone could see how it was going to go.

Third quarter? More mince. Everyone is talking up Davey as our best on ground and there's no doubt he was good but I was impressed with the way Brad Green showed leadership around the ground and never stopped running. While all the other peanuts stood around doing nothing he was necking himself to get into space. I'd put him alongside Davey and Rivers in our most important players at the moment.

The backline wasn't too bad. Given that the thing was coming down there every ten seconds they weren't disgraced. Whelan wasn't spectacular upon return, but he's an important player and will get better. Carroll and Rivers lowered their colors a bit in the second half but it certainly wasn't their fault that we were complete trash. What's the point of rebounding successfully if it's just going to come back over your head again? Bell was meh and I would suggest that he's never allowed to kick in again but that would mean more Wheatley action so he may as well stay.

We gained some scoreboard respectability in the 4th quarter when Josh Gibson had exited with an injury and North had lost the will to play. They were still potting goals with the greatest of ease but at least we nailed a couple as well. Robbo, the new junktime specialist, kicked 3 in the last few minutes when it meant absolutely nothing. Having said that I'm sure he's supposed to be a goalkicker and not a playmaker. So how come he ended up having to deliver it inside 50 (or even in extreme circumstances out of defensive 50) so many times? Is this all part of the mystery gameplan or has he just lost the plot?

The umpiring will get flogged, and to a certain degree rightly so (the free against Bartram in the last quarter? W - T - F?) but did it really matter? With all the rorts in the world we still would have been competitive today if we could hit a target or find more than a handful of players who get themselves into space. It's also no umpire's fault that we can't kick-in after a behind to save ourselves, but at the same time let opposition teams advance up the field without any pressure whatsoever. We're shit - even if the dodgy decisions had been going our way we wouldn't have taken advantage of them.

Crowd Watch
Apparently North have 31,000 members. Bullshit they do. 31,000 names on forms but how many of them are the same people twice or three times? Nothing wrong with that of course - if I had the money I'd probably buy ten memberships - but don't go around trumpeting it like it's a great moment in AFL football. Taking into account the 10k (maybe) of our fans that were there, I'd say the Roos are running at a 3 memberships for every person ratio.

On the other hand we've got 10,000 pricks who claim to be Melbourne fans and sit in the MCC members smoking cigars and playing the stock market. The only upside to this is that at least we know that when we finally financially die in the arse that there's a bunch of fat, rich, corporate pricks who will probably put their hand in their pockets for the first time to help save us. If the club get more money when more people show up why wouldn't you go out and come back in again on every membership you own? Could have got another 2k on the door.

Also saw Guy Rigoni there in MFC hat. Come back Riggers.

Staff Watch
Anyone in the Ponsford Stand during the first half would have been treated to the ludicrous sight of the security guard behind the goals attempting to crack on to the female goal umpire. He had "Chubb" on his back, she had "Playstation", perhaps he thought it was an absolute lock. The filthy prick was even chatting her up when she was trying to write in her tiny notebook. May as well have written his phone number under Melbourne's score - they both started with a 0.

Not surprisingly the 'chatter' dropped off noticeably when the goal umpires swapped at half time and he was left with a male.

Web Watch
The AFL website continues to amaze. A few weeks ago it was a link to the press conference that didn't work for a day, and now..

THE KANGAROOS have bounced back in style with a thumping XX point victory over a disappointing Melbourne in their round four clash at the MCG.

How do you know it's thumping when you write it before the game ends you pricks?

2008 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Brad Green
4 - Aaron Davey
3 - Lynden Dunn
2 - James McDonald
1 - Jeff White

Apologies to Bruce (just), Miller (not too bad early), Rivers (good in the first half), Carroll (likewise), Sylvia (great junktime quarter down back), Wheatley (still just thumps it forward to nobody, but then again so does everyone else) and Wonaeamirri (has showed a lot already. Somebody MUST be delisted to keep him on the list when Grimes comes back)

No apologies to Jones (all good to go in and get the thing but you have to be able to use it), Neitz (see "next week" for my tips on his career), Robertson (king of junk time), McLean (very average) and Johnson (not up to it).

Jamar seemed alright around the ground, but apparently he had 0 kicks and 8 handballs. Didn't even consider dropping it on the boot once just for statistical purposes?

Leaderboard
10 - Nathan Jones
6 - Cameron Bruce
6 - Brock McLean
6 - Paul Johnson
6 - Cale Morton (Leader: 2008 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
6 - Brad Green
4 - Brent Moloney
4 - James McDonald
4 - Aaron Davey
3 - Nathan Carroll (Leader: 2008 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
3 - Lynden Dunn
1 - Jared Rivers
1 - Jeff White

Next Week
Carlton - probably having just cracked their all-time record for consecutive losses. Think they're not going to be fired up? Even better news is that their undoubted weakness, a shithouse backline, won't even be exploited due to our rubbish forward line. Cue Fev kicking 19 and that sell-out dog J**d running riot. Now is the time for Neita to do his last great act in a storied career - to run out, push J**d over and drop a flying knee right on his head, yell "ENJOY THE FACILTIES AT THE EPWORTH YOU COCK" into his shattered face and then be carried off the ground by a thousand fans as a hero while the Ponsford Stand burns like buggery, the match is called off and we're kicked out of the competition. Beautiful.

Next Season
Bailey and Connolly said they'd wait until Round 6 before delivering their verdict on who will and won't be with us next year. Why wait another fortnight? I'm here to tell them now,

Jace Bode - GONE.
Simon Buckley - Gets another chance due to the substantial turnover elsewhere.
Colin Garland - Likewise.
Ben Holland - GONE. Even he's know that. Good luck in the Supreme Court.
Mark Jamar - GONE. Especially if Paul Johnson comes on and we finish last with an allegedly gun ruckman in line to be picked first.
Chris Johnson - GONE. The best father son selection since Shane Burgmann.
Brock McLean - Could we get a late first rounder for him?
Brad Miller - Stays I suppose. We should have traded him out last year, but next year in a presumably inexperienced team at least he'll be somebody with experience.
Brent Moloney - I like the man, but he's got to fire soon. If we had a good list he'd be in all sorts of trouble.
David Neitz - GONE. Can't positively contribute any more in this awful team - may as well play the kids.
Juice Newton - Will last next year, but he'd better fire up and show more than he did in Round 1.
Russell Robertson - I doubt we'll sack him after handing over a 2 year contract, but hopefully there's some chance of pulling off a dodgy Steven King like trading manoeuvre to move him on or convince him to pull the pin. Still has something left in him but we have to rebuild.
Colin Sylvia - See McLean, Brock.
Matthew Warnock - GONE. If you can't get a game in this backline just give up.
Isaac Weetra - On the strength of his first two games he'd want to have a dip pretty soon or he'll be the new Hayden Lamaro (look it up)
Paul Wheatley - Survives undeservedly due to the clearout.
Jeff White - One more year maybe.
Adem Yze - GONE. In 6 weeks when Grimes is off the long term injury list, ooze had may as well do something selfless and pull the pin so Wonaeamirri can stay on the list.

At the risk of losing any chance I have of being headhunted by the Herald Sun to boost their currently awful Melbourne "blog" may I just say FUCK I AM DEPRESSED.

Goodnight and thankyou.

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