Saturday 30 July 2011

'In the dark times, will there also be singing? Yes, there will also be singing. About the dark times.'

In psychology, Stockholm syndrome is a term used to describe a real paradoxical psychological phenomenon wherein hostages express empathy and have positive feelings towards their captors; sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors as an act of kindness

Football is a bloody stupid thing to get into. I didn't need to watch the second worst loss in 114 years of league football to realise that, but the angst from following a club either not quite good enough or going nowhere for my entire life has always been tempered with the fact that it could "always be worse". Now we are the worst. Not on the premiership ladder, but in the record books, and that's what will be remembered many years after who came 13th or 14th in any given year.

We mock St Kilda and Bulldogs fans for never winning anything ever, we laugh at Richmond for getting trounced then losing to Gold Coast, and remember Fitzroy as nothing more than punching bags for the rest of the competition. None of those teams have ever done what we did on Saturday. St Kilda and Sydney won eight wooden spoons between them in the 80s and 90s, and put in a lot of absolute stinkers but it was never this bad. We've won four wooden spoons in the last thirty years, and today's result was nine goals worse than any single performance of that entire timeframe. This is what rock bottom looks like and it's so ugly I could almost cry/smash the keyboard via furious mashing of buttons.

We've just dished up the most sickening, vile, embarrassing performance of the national league era and I was there. Never has a worse game been played since all 12 teams were based in Victoria. Retrospectively I'm glad I was there, because at least I saw it with my own eyes. One day many years down the track when we're hoisting a premiership cup (!?) we'll look back at Saturday 30 July 2011 and laugh heartily at what happened. I'll bet they said that in 1979, and right now we're as close to winning a flag as the day 12,000 people watched the Lions slaughter us at Waverley.

All week I attempted to justify to myself why it wasn't completely stupid to catch a train to Geelong and pay $20 to stand on a cold terrace watching us get spanked. When I woke up with a killer headache on Saturday morning the idea of chucking a sickie and watching the debacle on television started to appeal even more. But no, I hooked into the hardcore pain relief (and packed some for later, which proved handy) and pushed on. 11am train, a surprisingly amount of MFC fans onboard, and a one-way ticket to the greatest farce I've ever seen in my life.

I must have some sort of workplace reputation as the sort of idiot who would attend a game like this without hesitation, because all week people asked me if I was, not out of genuine interest but more like "are you REALLY going?". Well, why not. I was there in Round 3, 2008 when we came off the canvas with a terrible team to put in a creditable performance against the defending premier so why not? Who would have foreseen that just when you thought we'd never trouble record books for the wrong reasons again, that the epic beating we should have suffered in 2008 would finally arrive three and a half years later? I'm glad they also managed to fit this in during the second last game of my twenties so that I may start the new decade with a clean slate.

For every person who cocked an eyebrow in mock surprise and asked "Why?" (up to an including workmates, close friends, family and one significant other), I tried to come up with a different horseshit excuse. Sense of adventure! Belief in an encouraging performance! Something memorable might happen! The last one was right, but I was thinking more along the lines of a Goal of the Year contender, not the apocalypse.

I'm glad that I ran into someone from work both before the game and at the train station after because the first thing I'm going to do on Monday is ask him for a description of what my face looked like walking up the platform at South Geelong station at 5.05pm having capped off a huge day by missing the first train by 10 seconds. Things went even further into overdrive by having an argument with some goose who wouldn't shut up for two hours as I was watching a film I'd made a previous commitment to go. Don't know why it mattered, I couldn't concentrate anyway due to the horrible flashbacks from earlier. Antisocial rants against ill-manned scum are a story for another day - or for my own radio talkback show - for the sake of catharsis and history I need to write about what I saw at this game or I'll never come to terms with the feeling of sporting violation.

In a way, what happened should almost be comforting. I have looked into the void and seen true sporting evil, the likes of which will (presumably) never be seen again. The lowest moment that this club has ever had short of voting ourselves out of existence in '96. Surely it can never, ever be this bad again? We'll lose close ones and we'll get thrashed but surely you or I will never experience this again. I'll bet they said that in 1979 too.

Forget our players, forget the horror that you're going through, the saddest people today are Gary Baker, Ray Biffin, Michael Byrne, Cameron Clayton, Barry Denny, Anthony Dullard, Jim Durnan, Glenn Elliott, Robert Elliott, Laurie Fowler, Graham Gaunt, Peter Giles, Gerard Healy, Greg Hutchison, Tony Martyn, Phil Seaton, Steven Smith, Peter Thorne, Greg Wells, Don Whitford and Carl Ditterich - because today they went within a whisker of having the weight of the worst performance in league history lifted off their shoulders. In true Melbourne fashion two went on to win premierships and one a Brownlow after leaving, which as Tom Scully will probably be keen to tell you is the smartest thing you can do if lumped with the misfortune of playing for this club.

Remember the excitement when Port Adelaide played that stinking 2007 Grand Final and shed us of the record for the biggest loss? Maybe this was karma for the perverse pleasure we took in them losing by 20 goals that day? Maybe it's because of my abusive class warfare style behaviour towards their fans after we beat them by a point in 2005? Maybe karma is a load of old balls and it was just a shattered team broken into a million pieces, destroyed by a side who, to their credit, went on with it instead of doing what so many sides have done before and pulling up to a gentle 20 goal win.

What you saw was probably the closest any team will ever get to that magic 190 point margin ever again, and indeed they had one last inside fifty which might have seen them beat it. I'm confident in saying that there will never be anything like it ever again - it's the team equivalent of Dunstall's 17 against Richmond or Lockett's 16 straight against Fitzroy, the last go at a cherished league record that fell agonisingly short, and is unlikely to ever be seriously challenged again.

Must be nice to be where the Cats are at right now. Even the Geelong Advertiser, obviously bored of winning all the time, took time out for a rare feature on an opposition team when they put a picture of Frawley pumping iron on their back cover with a taunt for us to "have a crack". Good thing nobody will ever remember that. Especially for Chip who looked a right tit.

If you were a believer in omens you'd have turned around and walked out when you arrived to find Casey 70 points down at half time. Didn't really matter though, do you really care how they get on as long as none of our players blow a knee? The moment they signed Fev I lost any interest in how well they do as a club. Unfortunately, we've got neither the money nor the testicular fortitude to tell them to stick the alignment in their clacker and start our own reserves side so we'll have to put up with this for a couple of years yet.

One thing I'm sure of is that Fev himself won't be there much longer, and unless Kevin Sheedy finally gives in to senility and accidentally signs him for GWS while writing his shopping list, he won't be playing for any other AFL side. Apparently, he kicked a couple of goals in the first half, but by the time I turned up he was standing inside fifty on his own without a player within a hundred yards and the ball at the other end. His opponent was down there contributing to Geelong pouring on goals while Fev stood leaning against a goalpost or walking around in a 10sqm radius trying to look busy despite the fact that everyone in the ground knew he just couldn't be arsed chasing with his side a hundred points down.

They'd kick a goal, the forward line would set up, Geelong would win it out of the middle and the next thing there he was again standing around on his own. At one point I'm sure Maximum Gawn was even yelling at him to go and pick somebody up. He got dragged late in the quarter and walked, not even with the lightest of jogs or Olympic style fast walks, to the bench. Rumour has it that he declined/refused to return to the field in the last quarter, but I'd like to think that he was actually told to pack his bags and piss off up the highway. Somebody make my night by telling me you saw him filling his tank and buying softcore pornography at Little River services even before the seniors had started.

Sure he kicked ten against Frankston but they're a village team and Casey deserve beatings for signing him - but they knew as well as anyone that we need them too much to do anything about it. If we're really too poor to field Melbourne Reserves then can we call Frankston and sign them up instead? They're a standalone club who have been absolute junk for years so surely they'll jump at the chance to get some AFL players. We might even be able to rort them into changing their name to Frankston Demons or similar. You might lose access to Casey Fields, which is not exactly a fatal issue now that we've got AAMI Park, but it shouldn't be too hard to continue the community programs in the southeast suburbs simply by moving them across to a different train terminus. Let Casey sign all the broken down ex-AFL hacks they want and we'll concentrate on creating some more on our own terms.

One thing I'll say for the Scorpions is that at least they played Morton in the middle. He hardly set the world on fire (and who does in a result like that?) but at least he was more 'influential' - relatively speaking - on the contest than he has been in two months of combined matches floating around the back in the seniors. There were a couple of moments where he took on and beat an opponent in 2008 style, but there were also more than a handful of attempted tackles which Geelong players waltzed through with the greatest of ease. Baby steps. I'm not saying bring him straight back in next week and put him on J**d but at least it proved he could play on the ball without being snapped in two.

So, given that I didn't actually care how much they lost by there was a sick interest in seeing just how bad it could get. I've got a habit of walking in halfway through a lopsided sporting event, expecting to see something historic and being disappointed when the victims stem the bleeding. Turn on with Gold Coast fifteen goals in arrears at quarter time and they win the second, flick on a cricket match with the score 4/3 and somebody will make a plucky middle order hundred etc... Naturally, I expected the same thing to happen to the Scorpions. Maybe it would end at just over three figures, maybe under. Nuh, they were poleaxed and if right then you'd told me that they would turn out to be ten goals BETTER than our senior side I'd have killed us both.

So, my knack of not stopping historical results merely by watching hadn't worked for the Scorpions, but let's face it 130 points is almost an average margin over the life of the VFA/VFL. Seems like I spent my whole childhood watching the Sunday Scoreboard on Channel Nine news reporting on Camberwell losing by 250 points with the opening bars of The Way It Is by Bruce Hornsby and The Range playing in the background. Could never happen in the AFL could it? Not in this era anyway. Surely Richmond played as badly as any team possibly could when they lost by 150 in 2007? See also Fitzroy vs Richmond 1996, though they had a good excuse. Well, come quarter time, with the scores multiplied by four pointing towards a 240 point loss, the fact that I'd seen the same thing happen a million times (and only a couple of them to us) but nobody had ever seriously threatened THAT record was all I had to comfort me.

Before the match, Bailey was on the radio spruiking how important it was that we didn't get jumped by them like we usually do in Geelong. Then from the first bounce they did exactly that. And how. Last week we were five goals down before you could blink but there were at least faint signs of life under the rubble - this was satanic. There's no point even going through it, we were massacred in the middle, the defence was all at sea and the forwards did exactly what the forwards do when we play badly - wander the back flank.

Geelong's 31.6 in the reserves seems overly accurate, but they got at least ten in the second half from simple goalsquare tap-ins and the seniors were obviously taking notice. Not that they were missing many set-shots either, and had enough of them due to the fact that the ball would rocket out of the centre and straight into the loving arms of one of their forwards with an opponent, as per usual, trailing breathlessly and losing the will to live. We gave the first goal away courtesy of two dumb free kicks and it was all over from there. How all over nobody could have guessed. Kick your cat, divorce your wife and move to a shack in Nimbin to take up 'alternative living' over.

The worst thing is that the end story is going to be the massive margin and not the numerous cockups which laid the platform for it. Did the club know Moloney wasn't right before the game and played him anyway? If so both parties are dickheads, Brent as much as the coaching staff for going along with it - that's if it's even true and they're not just covering up something else. Tom McDonald was warming up with the senior side at half time of the Casey match, and as much as I'm thrilled for him that he didn't have to debut in the Abortion Clinic Cup surely he'd have offered better value than an allegedly half dead Moloney.

Even starting Davey as sub would at least cover for the fact that he's not at peak fitness - surely everybody knew that the game would be shot by three-quarter time anyway so who cares if he doesn't come on and star? Instead, Bate wore the vest. This is a guy who is fighting for his career (with us at least), who played a pretty good game last week, has a track record for taking a while to get into matches and already turned in one shithouse performance as sub this year. He's also hardly blessed with blistering pace so it's not like he's going to burst into the game at the start of the last quarter and light up the joint, even if the opposition have slowed to a crawl.

Then, when you've already banished one of your forwards to the bench, what makes you think that taking your leading goalkicker who is still a raw project player in many ways and putting him on a wing against Brownlow Medallist and renowned destroyer of men James Bartel is a sane and sensible idea? Then, when it's clear to everybody after a minute that it's not going to work you leave him there. This is what passes for tactical innovation at this club and that's why we're the proud owners of the worst performance in 30 years.

As far as I'm concerned it rates far worse than the Fitzroy game in 1979. Sure, due to being unborn for another two years I wasn't able to make it that day, but considering how the wider expanses of Waverley were more conducive to running a rubbish side into the ground this is so much worse. They weren't just kicking around us on Kardinia Park, they were running straight down the middle and taking the piss.

What a week to fall hook, line and sinker for an epic performance. At one end of town you've got Rodney Eade in the gun and his players respond by winding back a 50 point margin for a brave loss against a top four contender, while against the backdrop of the utterly ludicrous suggestion of offering Bailey a one year extension just because we can't get anybody else, his side turns in that sort of garbage performance. Whether or not it's the "coach killer" that the media, and quite a few fans, are dying for is anybody's guess but if that isn't I'm not sure what else could push them over the edge.

If I was him I'd forge Stynes' signature now and take whatever he can get, because one year is better than winding up coaching Xavier like Matthew Knights, but what an absolute unprofessional joke of an outfit we are if we even offer it. That sort of bush league shit would make me microwave my membership more than anything that happened today.

At the risk of being that guy I've totally lost faith in the Baileyball experiment now. The violent relationship has hurt me for the last time, I'm going to live at the football refuge. Don't know which experienced coach you're expecting to replace him with though - Malthouse and Roos are all but out, Clarkson will be, as much as I love psychos like Laidley and Mark Williams that's not going to happen, and for reasons discussed last week Neil Craig is required to hit a vigilance button every thirty seconds to confirm he is still in the state of South Australia. Surely there's no way they're going to go back to an untried coach now, even if it's got some merit as long as you pick the right man and not a cut-price "will work for food" option.

So, with all of the above either unavailable, unwilling or not to be considered we're left in this bizarre scenario where they were (at least until about 3.30pm Saturday) going to give him a one year extension with the clear message to the world that he was warming the seat just in case Malthouse fancied it after next season. What a magnificent, honourable way to run a club that would be. Then what's the pass mark for him to keep his job? If he makes the finals do we still show him the door for Mick's hostile takeover?

It's been four years, and even though we've arguably gone backwards this year, with more wins (perhaps) in a less even competition it's time to either back him or sack him. For all the ego-driven bluster by Eddie McGuire about Mick's contract surely if he was legitimately interested they wouldn't be such incredible arseholes to block a premiership coach - possibly two times - from going to a side that is absolutely no short term threat. I still don't see it happening, and as much I'd welcome an Eade, Roos, Williams or god forbid Laidley with welcome arms I doubt it's going to happen.

Malthouse or not, you either ditch Bailey now and go with somebody else (and if it's some sort of one year scam to warm the seat I'll spew) or you say "ok, we've got more holes than swiss cheese but we're going to give you two years to get this right", risking full Danny Frawley Phlegm Factor from the fans next year as well as the prospect of having to pay him out if we're really stuffed in twelve months. Maybe stack the second season with performance clauses which means he practically has to win the flag to keep his job, at least he'll collect a paycheck for a while longer.

Maric won't have to worry about the man who called him a cheat suddenly turning up as his senior coach, because by the time Mick has arrived to be the Allan Jeans-to-Richmond style failed messiah the emo will be back playing for Greenvale. What was an endearing hangdog expression suddenly annoys me more than Dunn's facial hair, and now that he's played two absolute shockers in a row and is sitting at about three good games out of 21 I'm not sure he's going anywhere. At least if we get rid of him he can devote himself to his real dream of running Melbourne's top goth club. He can take his sunny disposition and ability to put in good performances against shit teams from South Australia elsewhere and it will serve him well - as long as it's a competition with South Australian teams.

There was actually a period for about five minutes in the first quarter when we looked capable of not losing by 30 goals. Unfortunately due to having our leading goalkicker on the wing, another forward on the bench, Howe taking grabs on the other wing and Jack Watts at half-back most of the time there was scant chance of actually kicking a goal. So we didn't, and all of those of us who had forked over $21.75 (or more if you wanted a seat) to get in were treated with a SUPER BAILEYQUARTER while at the other end they kicked eight without raising so much as a sweat. The longest afternoon had begun.

Good thing I've saved my ticket, so if you want to do the honourable thing Melbourne (and I know you're reading) you'll refund my $21.75 and donate it directly to the Reach Foundation. I'll send you a copy if you need proof that I was there, as well as my psychologist bills. Sad thing was I could have got in free. Unfortunately, it was on a donated Geelong AFL Membership and I couldn't be bothered covering up my colours before I went in so I paid instead. Money well spent in these difficult economic times. What did I care if they busted me for using the membership? I could have just thrown it up in the air, done a runner and let the guy who lent it to me answer questions ("oh it must have been stolen, terrible crime around these parts, you don't expect that in Geelong" etc) from the authorities.

So you'd think that after an opening quarter where the coach's tactical gambits were exposed as shithouse, we would have been lucky to get one centre clearance, our alleged best player had not had a stat and even the players who were left in the right positions were bowel clenchingly awful that we'd at least see somebody have a go. We conceded 12 goals. Never before have I been witness to a worse quarter of football.

It was pure humiliation, with not an ounce of fight other than whatever Dunn did to make Chapman lose the plot. It's a sad state of affairs that the man with a twirly little mo which has been neither funny nor ironic since Round 1, 2010 is the closest we've got to a toughman. What also spoke volumes was how when half the Geelong side spent the next ten minutes belting buggery out of him for whatever he'd done, and it must have been good, none of his teammates jumped in to lend a hand, much less take one for the team and belt somebody. Nobody cares if you get suspended at this point of the year, just whack a bloke.

Chris Scott was so confident in his team's casual attitude to dismembering us that he even found time to abandon his coaching post to sit with Chappy and tell him not to do anything stupid like getting suspended. I suspect his instructions were exactly the same as the old bird behind me who at one point in the last quarter screeched "LOOK AT THE SCOREBOARD!" as if nobody knew they were 180 points in front. The message is clear, if you're going to belt somebody when your side is on the way to a 30 goal loss make it count. Somewhere in the middle of all this controversy Dunn managed to kick our only goal of the half. He's been far from our worst over the last fortnight so it'd be a shame if he got rubbed out now, but at least he was having a crack. Now shave that ridiculous bumfluff off, you're bringing us all down.

You know you're in trouble when the Tomahawk starts looking like a world-beater and not a manchild in a girly bra. Throw in the fact that Cameron Mooney, all but shot of knee and entering the match with a season goal tally of zero, had five by half time and it was deservedly ugly. I can handle being slaughtered by Steve Johnson, but the other two are just an insult. The Stop Stevie J campaign was hardly helped in the second by the baffling decision to send Watts down there to play on him. He was, unsurprisingly, thrashed but suddenly like the new Brad Miller he's the first person to end up at the other end of the ground when something's going wrong. To paraphrase Dwayne Russell "THAT'S CRAZY STUPID!"

But who wasn't thrashed in the second quarter? Stats show that the possession count was 147-43, with none of those 43 to Moloney. He must really have been sick (and again, why was he playing if that was the case? Unless it came on at 2.11pm, in that case I apologise to all) because surely if somebody's being tagged to buggery and they're not hurt or ill you at least try to do something to break it - run him through the forward line etc.. instead of persisting with the same thing for the entire fruitless half. Bate replaced him and did pretty well considering, but with much of his contribution coming in the third quarter which we 'only' lost by four goals how much can you draw about his future from it?

Let none of this detract from Geelong's performance. For every murder there is a murderee, and while we played right into their hands with our lifeless squibby 'performance' you can't deny that they were absolutely slashing. A 19 goal lead at half time, the second largest in history, was no more than they deserved for the way they'd cut us up all over the ground. I'd like to say god help the Gold Coast when they play down there next week but everyone knows they'll put in a far more competitive and committed performance - and even if they lose by a hundred they'll be far more value for your money than we were.

All the times I've said "at least that's never happened to us" flashed before my eyes when the siren went for half time with the margin at a casual 114 points and my mobile going off like New Year's Eve with messages mostly reading some variety of "WTF!". There's not a great deal I remember about 1999 due to excessive consumption of prescription medication but I do recall listening to Brisbane rack up a 113 point half time lead against Fremantle. That was one of the few times I've ever thought our old friend the 190 point win was going to be bettered. They only won by 114 in the end so there was hope for us yet. Docker fanatics will be pleased to know that thanks to us they're now only the holders of the third worst half in history.

Even the record holders, the 1993 Sydney Swans who went to half time in a game against Brisbane behind 124-4 and were out to 161 points behind at the last change managed to lose by 'just' 162. That game should have extended the record margin so far that today was merely an outrageous shambles rather than an episode of Seconds From Disaster, yet somehow only one team has managed to really seriously push it. We deserve to spend the rest of the season rooted to the bottom of the Laughing Stock League (back for the first time in two years!) for it.

It's great when all you've got to hope for is that the other side will give up, start resting players and do with merely bashing you by 'just' 20 goals. It looked for a while like the swine were going to do just that, and after Bate kicked his goal, we were at least not complete and utter filth for the next few minutes. Just in the general vicinity. If somebody had messaged me to say that Dwayne had applied the FIRESTARTER tag to that goal I would have bricked the Fox Sports commentary box.

We even kicked two in a row at one point, which was just madness given the context of the game. But just when you thought that the slightest bit of respectability was going to be earned Geelong remembered that they were a thousand times better and booted the last four to extend the lead to nearly 150 at the last change. Heartbreaking. The dreadlocked hippy sitting in front me (why was she at a footy game not leading a picket line of the Israeli Embassy?) responded to my anguished wailings at half time (and invitations to our side to keep walking) by saying with exasperation "It's only the first half!" as if there was something stupid about being unhappy with the second worst first half ever. Needless to say she didn't offer a similar opinion on either football or the crisis in the Gaza Strip at three quarter time when it was four goals worse.

I don't know whether to be happy or sad that we didn't stack the backline with 18 players in the last quarter. Especially by the time Geelong had five goals to one and the score was creeping worryingly towards the magic mark. Not sure it would have helped the way they were carving through us like a hot knife into butter but if there's ever been a time for all out defence that was it, not before the first bounce against Carlton last (and probably next) time.

The final quarter was just horrifying. Statistically speaking it wasn't a patch on the second, but watching the score slowly tick upwards, first over 200, then higher, and the margin creep towards what might have become known as the Tom Hawkins Bra Line it was becoming psychologically damaging. I'm well aware that there are a trillion things worse going on in the world than some dinky football game, but all the kids in the Congo could piss off (or come and play on a half forward flank) as far as I was concerned for that half an hour. Only children are not usually known for their sense of perspective.

I'll admit that as horrified as I was at the end, watching with my head in my hands and arms shaking so badly I could barely hold my phone there was a part of me that wanted them to get that last goal and take the record. After all, it's not like we have been taking somebody else's record loss. It would have been harsh to steal the last thing Fitzroy has as a club, but no doubt Geelong deserved it. How many times does a team take the foot off the throat and enter self-preservation mode in that situation? They could have started dinking around the backline or allowing the ball to run out of bounds but they kept going to the end and were rewarded handsomely. When ran the ball out of bounds at 170 points down the umpire did us for deliberate. Thanks for that.

In the end they fell just short of 190. I was in some sort of shock but at the same time it was so awful you almost had to laugh. But I didn't. There wasn't much anger though, it was like when you've had so much to drink that your blood alcohol is 10 times over the limit but you feel sober again. That's what it was like with my stress level as I walked to the station, the blood pressure was probably 37.11 over 7.5 (that's deadly for those of you who aren't medically minded) but outwardly I felt calm. Clearly shock.This explains why I casually walked over the road and let the first train go even though I'd almost reached the door as it was ready to take off. At least that gave me 20 minutes to listen to a cavalcade of people called Adam (none of them me) ringing SEN and threatening to do various things to their memberships. Seconded, except I can't do anything to my membership because like a total moron I want to go next week.

One thing you can say for Bailey is that at least he treated the absolutely farcical question in the press conference about whether it was his worst loss ever with the contempt it deserved. Further proof, as if you needed it, that most journos are just like any drunkard on the terraces but with a warm, comfy seat at each game and their name at the top of an article. And yes, I would very much like them to offer me a job despite my criminal disinterest in correct spelling, punctuation or a snappy word count.

We might have at least made the margin 180 so the guy from the darts could announce it in a charismatic fashion.

2011 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
Not a solitary vote deserves to be handed out today, and please do not in any way take the following five numbers - often handed out in an arbitrary and random fashion based on some arcane judging method which I just came up with - as an endorsement that any of these players were actually good yesterday. It's just that they were the 22nd to 18th worst.

When looking at future 'all time' Jakovich Medal leaderboards feel free to subtract the following scores from each man's lifetime total.

5 - Jordie McKenzie
4 - Jeremy Howe
3 - Lynden Dunn
2 - Stefan Martin
1 - Matthew Bate

Apologies to nobody - the last three don't even deserve to be in there let alone anybody else.

27 - Colin Sylvia
24 - Stefan Martin (OMFG LEADER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
23 - Brent Moloney, Jordie McKenzie
19 - Jack Watts
16 - Mark Jamar
13 - James Frawley (LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
11 - Ricky Petterd, Jared Rivers
10 - Jordan Gysberts
9 - Jack Trengove, Joel Macdonald
8 - Jeremy Howe (LEADER: Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year), Brad Green
7 - Colin Garland
6 - Luke Tapscott
5 - Rohan Bail
4 - Michael Evans, Tom Scully
3 - Jack Grimes, Liam Jurrah, Nathan Jones, Lynden Dunn
2 - Clint Bartram, Neville Jetta
1 - Addam Maric, Matthew Bate

Crowd Watch
I was offered a gigantic inflatable red finger on the way in, and had to politely decline three times in the face of an Amway strength sales pitch ("BUT YOU CAN WIN AN INTERSTATE TRIP" she screeched. Yes, to watch Geelong) before finally walking off on the girl still trying to thrust this inflatable piece of crap in my hand. The finger did however provide one of the few moments of entertainment all day when at South Geelong station one of our fans ignored the TAC safety message that it was intended to convey and instead pointed it earthwards while yelling "DOWN DOWN, PRICES ARE DOWN" at somebody walking down the road. So apt.

Moderate amusement was had in the first half with the group of MFC fans on the terrace ironically pretending we were good and acting the goat accordingly. Not surprisingly they were unheard of again from about halfway through the second quarter. Still, it helped the tension for a while.

It was so bad that at half time a woman actually walked up to me, put her hand on my shoulder and said "I'm so sorry". I was too stunned at the scores and the absurdity of getting personal sympathy for it that all I could offer in a return was a half-hearted nervous laugh. Seemed sincere too, rather than a case of "I'll bet you a case of Lemon Ruski [local drink of choice] that you won't go and tell some poor shellshocked bastard you're sorry". If it was sincere then I think I was gracious in accepting it, if not I hope she wrapped her car around a tree on the way home AND catches herpes from a footy player while recovering in hospital.

Next Week
Bailey might have presided over the longest suicide note in history today but I'm still not convinced he won't at least coach out the year. Believe what you want on the rumour mill, and between the time that this is posted and you read it something enormous might have happened, but I've got the feeling he'll be there next week - but it could get ugly if we're even half as bad again - and we hardly covered ourselves in glory against Carlton last time. If he goes on I've got no doubt that for all our fans who refuse to go next week in protest there will be some who will turn up specifically to go mental out at everyone.

So, assuming that DB is still coach I expect "Coaching Self-Preservation Mode" to kick-in and all the senior players to be recalled along with the debuting T.Mc Mk2 who we hope will be more successful than the first model and not spend the next two years playing for Casey. Davey and Bartram did very little in the second half but this is no time for a coach to thinking two weeks ahead.

IN: Davey, Bartram, Macdonald, McDonald.
OUT: Maric, Nicholson, Strauss, Gysberts (omit)

Funny thing is that I'm actually struggling for outs. The first two are solid gold certainties, Strauss goes just because of who I'm bringing back and Gysberts because he's been balls for weeks. There's a lot of older players who I'd like to give the boot to, but self-preservation mode doesn't lend itself to such grandiose moves when the replacements have just played in a 22 goal loss of their own.

I almost had to suspend Dunn to get Warnock in just because I ran out of kids to drop but we hardly need another tall defender against Carlton when it'll be Betts/Yarran etc.. who are running around taking the piss out of us. Mind you it seems silly not to drop any of Frawley/Garland/Rivers/Tapscott after a day when we conceded 37 goals. THIRTY FUCKING SEVEN GOALS. None of them was any good but Garland was probably worst by a nose.

I'd also love to find room for Gawn who was alongside Macdonald as the only half decent performers in the second half, but unless they're going to adopt my controversial Jamar at FF plan it's not going to happen.

Was it worth it?
You know, it almost was and if you're not a Melbourne fan you can have great fun in the office on Monday morning at our expense. Find your local Demons supporter (they'll be the one trying to shred their own face), walk up to them with all sincerity and say "I'm sorry you lost by 136 points on Saturday". They will be forced to admit it was actually 186 and you will piss yourself laughing. Please note - will not be responsible if you're stabbed to death for doing this - and if you work with me don't even think about if or I'll brain you with my chair.

Final Thoughts
Don't be the dickhead who rings the club up on Monday morning and yells at a receptionist.

Take one more look before you go;
Maintain the rage.


  1. Bruise-free, brain-free, bottle-free and ball-free footy. Insipid is an apt word. I feel for all MFC supporters who went along.

    However, I guess we didn't expect to win anyway. Geelong still only get 4 pts and we didn't have any deducted (although you could mount an argument for that). Can the group look at this as "rock bottom" and commit that it's only upwards from here?

    On another note; Green is not a leader and needs to be replaced by Beamer (despite his bladder control issues). DB can stay until the end of the season and lets see where we get to.

  2. Well there goes that theory- Bail's has been dumped. I guess there had to be consequences. Hopefully Green will be replaced as captain as well. Let's move on.

  3. As one of the faithful who saw the worst ever and gave away his footy record, they didn't get rid of big carl why does bails have to go when he broke a record? If you want to be laughed at and enjoy it visit Ceara Lynch's website or give all your cash to spoiledprincess2000 on YouTube, when are we going to learn how to be humiliated and enjoy it?

  4. Bailey is gone, next we just need a real captain so Green can go back to focusing on playing a decent game more than once in every 10 matches.

    Thrilled that Viney got the job, gives me a small hope of a decent finish to the year.

    I'd love to learn more about the apparent intervention mentioned in the age implies that the playing group approached the board as they had basically lost faith in the back of house staff and then proceeded to turn in a performance like that, which they surely knew would get the coach axed.
    I look on the bright side of this and see unity from the team, at least.

  5. What can I say? I am completely devastated. I took advantage of the fact the MFC membership came with a Casey FC membership and using it, despite the early start, to get a cheap ticket and guaranteed entry. First mistake of the day. Casey was meant to have some form being higher on the ladder than Geelong. As the saying goes you can't always go on form. Casey was demolished.

    Oh well, the Ds surely wouldn't suffer the same fate. OK, they were unlikely to win but then they would acquit themselves well and go down honourably. How wrong that proved to be. The nightmare continued. It was plainly obvious during the 1st quarter that the Ds were in trouble. They were against the wind so perhaps they could turn it around in the 2nd quarter. Surely they could reduce the 8 goal margin. No there was nothing. Geelong just did what they wanted. Half time and the lead had blown out to 18 goals. Well there was always the 2nd half. No,no, no! They just went further behind with the margin becoming academic. It was entering record book territory. By now, the MSDS was really causing some pain and was calling out for relief by the amber fluid. And so the rest of the day was spent in the bar and with each roar of the crowd, checking the score on the TV monitors to see how the margin was growing. It was depressing.

    And oh yes the Geelong people were very condescending. We must have looked very morose because they did have genuine sympathy for us.


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