Sunday, 28 June 2009

Northern Exposure

(Hello friends, I'd rather have stabbed myself in the face with a fork than backed up to write about this game. Thankfully George_on_the_outer from Demonology stepped up and gave us this straight from the game. Thanks George! And sorry for making you relive it all again - Mercado)

Supermercado came up with the literary version of the Hospital handpass by sending yours truly off to watch the Brisbane annual slaughter of the Demons. That, and some pathetic babble about having to take in more of the CUB version of Prozac, convinced the ghost writer that there was no way he could escape the trip up North.

Front up at the ground (which is appropriately on Vulture street) and the place is full of ferals just willing the locals to inflict some pain on the visitors. Good thing none of them can remember last year and how the CELEBRATOR got his nickname...

You want a cultural experience? Forget anthropological studies about the Collingwood cheer-squad, there is a whole city here ( maybe a whole state) that's the subject matter for the Charles Darwin of the 21st century.

Where else could you find designated non-drinking areas surrounded by miles of bars? More green shirted crowd controllers than MCG car park attendants? It’s all for good reason folks. On the TV you might wonder why the crowd looks so small.. Truth is that everyone is out the back loading up on any number of alcohol based options. And not only the beer, beer or more beer option, but have you ever seen litre bottles of Bundy laid out on tap at the Footy?

Still for the Demons supporters, the back room options should have been the more palatable than the garbage shown on the field.

Been doing this gig for a couple of years now, and one can be forgiven for having much in the way of expectations when we were playing against a side that won 3 Premierships in a row but that was when Voss, Black, Brown, Bradshaw, Akermanis and Power were running around... Bugger me most of them are still on the ground or coaching the side. And the expectations were fulfilled.

One match a couple of years ago was over 17 seconds in, when Black went to Power to Aker to Brown and the first goal was on the board. Take out Aker and the team has fallen. It only took 34 seconds this time. Proof that we ARE going somewhere because Geelong only took 7 seconds. Now we knew why the bars were nearby and headed there with the match already over…

Didn’t miss much over the next 2 quarters either. We certainly had them straining as the first goal in the 2nd only took 50 seconds and by ¾ time they were so buggered that it took fully 11 minutes! Trouble was that while the alcohol levels in the crowd slowly marched toward whatever the legal limit is in QLD, the Demons had only kicked 1 more themselves. And that was at 0.005.

Start focusing on something positive. It certainly ain't the scoreboard which the locals had given up pointing to. The Walpiri Warrior showed snippets including a strong overhead mark against Merritt when he shouldn’t have got his hands to the ball at all. His job and success would have been even better if Robertson hadn't kept getting in the way before he went back to his agricultural studies while lying on the ground.

The Messiah also shows some real class. Best thing about being at the match is that you can see what doesn't happen off the ball. The kid is only just shy of 2 metres, blonde hair and standing 25 yards out directly in front on his own. No future there kid when you have visually challenged team-mates in possession of the ball. Let's kick it to Robbo leading to the boundary line 50 metres out. He was still standing there as RR lined up for the kick and point.

Col Sylvia finally woke up in the final quarter and put some fire into the game. Again you wouldn’t have seen the off the ball work on the box, but 2 goals out of a team total of 8 was a fair return. Make it 4 quarters next time and the side can have a chance of being competitive.

Aaron Davey ran and ran and ran. All on his own. No-one else to help, no-one else cared. He would be defending at one point and then trying to kick a goal in the same play sequence. In the interim he passed all manner of players, with hands on hips or doing their agricultural homework, in anticipation of their 2010 careers. A couple of times he had friends in Bennell and Jetta which just gets the juices running for the day when the CELEBRATOR joins them.

But the best effort for the night was the Stef Martin Experience. Absolute shoe in for the Brownlow if points were awarded for efforts in each area of the ground. Rucked as a relief for Paul Johnson, who never got a touch all night against Mitchell Clark (not a bad fast bowler as well. Don’t know how he does it). While stats mean nothing except for Dream Team fans, the SME had more hitouts in 15 minutes of ruck play than PJ did for the match. Played full back, played full forward and took the only overhead marks around the ground for the whole team.

At 0.25 the final quarter started, but it was 13 minutes and 0.29 before the Lions got their first. And whatever was put into the drink bottles at the final change it worked. Maybe they were re-charged at the Bundy pumps behind the interchange gates. Goals started raining and in what is now a 2009 tradition the Demons outscored their opponents in the final quarter.

The levels dropped of with the long 150m walk but were soon recharged at the QLD Demons aftermatch at the appropriately named Pineapple Hotel. By the time we were all thrown out, we were convinced that we had some sort of chance against WCE next week. Somebody said they beat Hawthorn? No.. that means Scully and either Butcher or Trengove will be in the Red and Blue next year and we can afford to win. Pity is we just don’t look like being able to pull it off.

Supermercado doesn’t know what he is missing out on, so next year there can be no excuses for the original reporter on-site.

Krowd Watch.
Got off to a good start when you arrive at a Brisbane-Melbourne match and you see a fat balding 40 year old decked out in a Collingwood jumper and waving a Melbourne flag!! Just doesn’t add up..

Even more confused at the Hawthorn jumpers on similar types of individual, especially when they were purchased when the owners were 5 sizes smaller! If anyone can tell me why please?

All right, the local intellectually disadvantaged kids were having a night out to watch their team. And their commentary about the game started to get a little boring after the Lions were 10 goals up and Brown and Bradshaw had long kicked their bags for the night. But when one proudly announces they are feeling sick after eating too many hot-dogs, pies and fizzy drinks, you know it is time to move.

Problem was those kids knew more about the game than the rest of the 23K who rolled up. Even an intellectually challenged Collingwood crowd know when to call "ball" or "dropped it". The QLD crowd have to wait for the umpire to tell them. That’s if they’re watching in the first place or are more interested in their 10th Bundy and coke for the night. But then the AFL game probably attracted the States intellectuals on the night, since the All-Blacks were playing against Italy down the road.

Allen Jakovich Medal Points

5. The SME.
4. Aaron Davey
3. Cam Bruce….just because he got more kicks than the rest of them
2. Frawley and Warnock, for holding two of the games monsters to only 9 goals when they could have kicked 15 each!
1. Liam Jurrah for providing some hope and excitement.

(Editors note - no shared points, so unfortunately the Jurrahcane misses out for Warnock to move down a spot)

Leaderboard

23 - Aaron Davey
18 - Brent Moloney, Colin Sylvia
13 - Nathan Jones
14 - Brad Green
12 - Stefan Martin
10 - Cameron Bruce, James Frawley (LEADER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
9 - Matthew Bate
8 - Brock McLean, Jared Rivers, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Cale Morton
5 - Matthew Warnock, Kyle Cheney (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Ricky Petterd, Russell Robertson, Matthew Whelan
2 - James McDonald, Jack Grimes, Paul Johnson
1 - Lynden Dunn, Liam Jurrah

Next Week
Oh hi, Mercado here again. Stay tuned sometime mid-week for our slightly late Demonblog half-year in review post. Should be uplifting and exciting reading. Don't forget if you cbf checking the site to find new updates you can always sign up to the Twitter feed. The kids are into it, and 23 followers can't be wrong.

Thanks for the fill-in George. Unfortunately I'll be back for next week.

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