Sunday, 31 August 2008

Three Retirements and a Funeral

You know if we'd won by five goals today we'd have avoided the humiliation of finishing last. Then there was the fact that we were saying goodbye to two club legends and some other guy. Surely the combination of the two would be enough to make a team have something resembling an honest crack at the game? Well, obviously nobody bothered to tell our players because apart from Holland, White and Yze who were - as you'd expect - running around like it was their last match, nobody really bothered to turn up today.

Surprisingly one group that showed up today was our notoriously fickle fans. I suppose the once a year Queen's Birthday crowd managed to drag themselves out to pay tribute to Yze for wrecking the pies in that game so often over the years. Sure, we were still well outnumbered by Richmond fans but at least it compared favourably to the absolutely disgraceful turnout for Neitz's tribute game. Maybe everyone just wanted to see us play once more this year so they could rub their eyes and try and work out if we were really as bad as it seemed.

Short answer - yes we were. The moment the ball was bounced Richmond blew us off the park today. We broke even on the scoreboard early on, and even poked our noses in front at one point, due to the fact that their delivery inside 50 was abysmal but it was never going to last. Late in the first quarter when Hurricane Katrina suddenly hit the MCG, and left us in near total darkness due to nobody bothering to turn the lights on, Richmond must have suddenly realised "Hold on, how shit are these guys?", got out of first gear and smashed us. Cue three quarters of us holding the ball, handballing it to people with three men on them and bombing kicks forward that absolutely no chance of going to anybody. The joy of it all.

Basically we got smashed. Miller may have spat at somebody, and Cale Morton failed to give us all a laugh by trying to take his much larger brother on in a punch-up a'la the Selwood brothers the day before. Jack Grimes debuted with little fanfare given that he was tagging Cotchin, Petterd was average until he did his hammy, the defence weren't TOO bad given the circumstances (especially Whelan - a great man) and the midfield did what it does every week and pretty much got smashed. The rain abated, Richmond continued to rain goals on us and I proceeded to become very depressed in the stands. I have a feeling that the only way I'm going to get through next year is by having an anti-depressant drip stationed next to me for six months.

Eventually it was over and we got to wash our hands of this abortion of a year and get on with our lives. For all the wild celebrations by Richmond fans it needed to be pointed out that they'll be doing exactly the same thing we will be next week, and that their players will be scouting chicks in nightclubs not opponents in tactics sessions this week. Might be a different story if we play them in R22 next year though.

Crowd Watch
Lucky it was the Berry Street cup, because the only people more depressed than orphans are Melbourne fans. Incidentally my great, great grandfather lived in that house - is there any danger of pulling some sort of dubious native title claim and kicking the kids out into the street so I can have a house in a prime location? Didn't think so.

2008 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Matthew Whelan
4 - Cameron Bruce
3 - Adem Yze
2 - Brad Green
1 - Simon Buckley

Apologies to Bell, Carroll (first half only), Sylvia and Warnock.

Final Leaderboard

So, that's it. Congrats to Cam Bruce for somehow managing to win the lot despite being nothing more than consistent throughout the year. Commiserations to Brad Green who wins the People's Choice Award (which sadly for him means bugger all). With Johnson and Morton already having won their respective categories, it was down to Whelan to come from nowhere and grab Defender of the Year. Well done to all our winners, and look out for an awards special post coming your way soon.

29 - Cameron Bruce (WINNER: 2008 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player Of the Year)
27 - Brad Green
24 - Nathan Jones, James McDonald
21 - Brock McLean
18 - Matthew Bate
17 - Brad Miller
17 - Cale Morton (WINNER: 2008 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
14 - Lynden Dunn
14 - Matthew Whelan (WINNER: 2008 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
13 - Paul Johnson (WINNER: 2008 Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
12 - Colin Garland, Chris Johnson, Shane Valenti
11 - Aaron Davey, Simon Buckley
10 - Austin Wonaeamirri
6 - Jared Rivers
5 - Brent Moloney
4 - Clint Bartram, Stefan Martin, Paul Wheatley, Adem Yze
3 - Nathan Carroll, Matthew Warnock, Jeff White
3 - Colin Sylvia
2 - Russell Robertson, Addam Maric
1 - Mark Jamar

Post Match Mass Suicide Session
Went to Olympic Park for the post match function, saw a bunch of kids riding ponies, heard none of the players were fronting until 6.15 and came home. I heard they were going to have donkey rides, but that Mark Jamar refused to take part - boom boom. Apparently they're unveiling the new clash jumper at some point - though the "public vote" is proving a bit of a shambles given that I can still vote on it now 45 minutes after it was supposed to have closed. Was hoping to be around long enough to boo loudly and call for the silver monstrosity to be brought back if they picked that horrible one with the winking Batman on it.

Wasn't really the place to be for me. Felt like a cheersquad meeting, with the requisite amount of freaks. I'd like them to have lined up 15 voodoo dolls and invited people to have a go at stabbing them before calling some sort of priest away from his important child touching duties to perform an exorcism on the club. Who says you can't mix religions together?

Draft Analysis
Rich, Watts, Naitanui. Who cares? Start looking at next year's draft because we'd be farked even if we drafted Robocop, Spiderman and Captain America.

We do need a forward. But then again we also need a midfielder and a ruckman. Just pick somebody already and let's get on with ruining the poor kid's career. I'm 27 and have two training sessions of competitive football in the worst team in the worst division of the amateurs to my name - any danger of a mature age rookie listing?

Journalism Central
Now, I know the real Age journalists are on strike.. but did they get the work experience kid to do this report?

Adem Yze, Jeff White and Ben Holland played their last games for the Demons and Greg Tivendale kicked a 60m goal in his final AFL match for Richmond.

Only Yze has confirmed his retirement from football.


That news will come as a shock to Yze - not to mention Holland.

Appreciation Corner
Thanks to everyone who has managed to follow Demonblog all the way through the season. I've suffered the terror along with you across three countries. Thanks for all the kind words on the comments, Facebook, BigFooty and via email. We'll be back next year - if I didn't have some sort of post-match outlet I'd probably get arrested for attempted murder after Round 1. Bigger and better? No need to get excited, let's just aim for 'the same' shall we?

Pot 'o Gold Corner
As I walked down Batman Avenue (Olympic Boulevard my arse) there was a rainbow. Was it an omen? No, it just meant the sun had come out.

Well, that was the 2008 AFL Premiership season. May we never see the likes of it again.. until next year. If there's any consolation this means that we're now free of having our weekends dictated by football for a few months. Let's go to art galleries, have picnics and crack on to members of the same/opposite sex (delete as applicable). No, you're right - I'm still looking forward to next year. Roll on the delistings, trade week, draft, NAB Cup and Slopfest '09.

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