The reviews are in for today's match;
Margaret - ****1/2 ("A true classic. Adversity, triumph, heroes, villains. This one had it all")
David - ** ("A late season slopfest enlightened only by a handful of last quarter heroics in an otherwise brutally dull and plodding brick on the road to hell")
Unfortunately to his detriment David Stratton has never actually used the word 'slopfest'.
Of course I missed all the fun today. Like an idiot I agreed to go to the Inglorious Basterds Australian premiere instead meaning I had to pull the pin at half time. There was already some seriously dodgy behaviour going on - Morton out for Spencer was a classic. Did Cale fall out of bed this morning or something? Whatever it was it was conveniently late enough to allow Sylvia to play in the 2's yesterday. Then Bartram lined up on Jack Riewoldt who was a head taller and had just come off a six goal game. Welcome to bizarro world.
And a truly awful game it was too. We had half our side out (legitimately or not), what was Richmond's excuse? I refuse to believe that's the same side that beat Essendon last week because they were right down at our level. They're destined for mid-table mediocrity, but anyone who thinks they're going places next year is off their nut. At least the only way is up for us.
My first half highlights were Davey hitting Cousins with a perfect bump then ripping King's jumper off, Valenti's sleeperhold tackle on whoever and another quality bump by Jetta. Apart from that... any goal by Dunn is welcomed, and Newton botching a soccer and missing the lot from 5m out was worth another look. The rest was epic gash.
And so I left thinking that nothing interesting could possibly happen. How wrong one can be. Halfway through the third quarter we got ushered down the red carpet (people were taking pictures of us for god's sake. Not in this sort of setup though.) and ordered to turn over our mobiles and 'all other electrical items'. I handed over the phone but kept my radio in pocket so I could at least sneak a listen to how things were going in the hour we were expected to be there before the thing actually kicked off. The bloke waved his metal detector over me and got nothing because - not surprisingly - radios (or phones for that matter) aren't made of metal. I should have gone with Plan A and stashed my phone into the double-sock combo I'd worn for the day for that very purpose.
So I get in there and, sitting on an aisle for maximum potential exposure, break out the radio. No coverage. Fucksticks. By the time the film started the game would have been over but I had no idea. First time that I'd had absolutely no idea what was going on in a game and no access to find out for many, many years and I DIDN'T LIKE IT. Even an end of year slopdown deserves to be followed. SEN's Andy Maher came in just before the film started, which was interesting because he was calling it the last time I heard anything, and I heard him say that Melbourne were ahead but "it'll be over now". Well that's terrific.
Also seen inside Chris Judd who unfortunately didn't fall down the stairs and do his knee. That bloke out of Underbelly was sat right in front of me as well. Lucky they took my phone so I couldn't photograph his bald spot.
So, for two and a half hours we sat there and watched some of the most quality carnage ever seen on a big screen. I'd lost interest in the film beforehand but I'll admit that in the end it was worth seeing. Still, being a sick freak the result of the game was still troubling me. We got out and I charged to get my phone - two messages on it about a thrilling loss. Fair enough I suppose, then a closer look at what had happened showed what I'd missed.
Now, in the spirit of the tremendously violent film that I was watching when all this was taking place, I'll tell you how I feel about what happened today. If I'd been there it would have been like having your family drive off a clif in front of you, as it was I had the equivalent of getting a knock on the door from the police. Shocking but not the sort of thing that's going to haunt me forever as it would if I'd seen it in person. Don't write in and complain, it's just an example.
I don't think I could have stood to be there for the end with our own fans cheering McMahon on to kick the goal. Even if somewhere deep inside my sick black heart I would have been thinking the same thing.
So, we got done again and let the tank debate rage. Not only was Newton deployed as a loose man in defence in the first quarter but I hear Brad Miller was given a wildcard run in the ruck for the first time in his life. Not to mention the gun forward line combo of Warnock (1 career goal) and Frawley (1 career goal). Yet somehow we almost won - what does that say about the Tigers? Their reaction - thanks to the AFL website for eventually letting me watch it - was understandable at the time but tomorrow they're going to have to sit down and go "Jesus Christ how bad are we going?"
Strange isn't it. I'm not saying anyone deliberately threw the game - because we don't have a legal department - but there was a serious level of experimentation going on and we still could have won but for one wild kick in the last seconds. Good signs, or the sign of a sick mind?
2009 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
From the average result of the BigFooty votes thread at the very moment that I finished writing the above bollocks.
5 - James McDonald
4 - Jack Grimes
3 - Ricky Petterd
2 - Nathan Jones
1 - Matthew Bate
It's down to three now you'd think. With a maximum of 20 votes on offer plenty could still win it but the top three are the only realistic chances now. Who knows if Moloney will be back this year, or if Davey will be this week's "mystery illness" winner. Either way Sylvia will be back next week with no doubts and could nick in and steal it.
Jamar and Grimes have got their respective awards all but sewn up, but the Seecamp is an absolute belter with any of Frawley, Warnock or Rivers a chance to grab it.
27 - Brent Moloney
23 - Aaron Davey
18 - Colin Sylvia
16 - Brad Green
15 - Nathan Jones, Cameron Bruce
14 - Matthew Bate
13 - Cale Morton
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Jack Grimes (LEADER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
10 - James Frawley (LEADER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year), Ricky Petterd
9 - Jared Rivers
8 - Matthew Warnock
7 - James McDonald, Liam Jurrah, Brad Miller
5 - Kyle Cheney, Russell Robertson
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn
North @ Docklands. Darren Crocker must already be celebrating his first - and last - win as a coach. I scored free tickets to the Medallion Club so we'll see how long they take to kick us out of there for using foul and offensive language to describe Newton's goalkicking.
Your weekly DemonWiki update - for Nowicki Carbone Lawyers: Call 1300 Injured if you're on the MFC senior list. All player pages are now uploaded and almost every season. There's also a fair bit of tit in the ads as well just quietly.
Has it escaped everyone's attention that we're actually only on 3 wins? We're putting a lot of emotional investment into beating Freo in two weeks time. I'm not, I'm not even showing up. As per usual write in (supermercado - demonblog - .com) if you want to do the report. Failing that the votes will be averaged out from Big Footy again and we'll look back in future years and wonder wtf I was doing that day which could possibly have been better than a Round 20 wooden spoon decider against the Dockers in front of 5,000 people. Answer = anything.