Friday, 16 March 2012

Nervous sweating and adjustment of the upper collar

What's the best way to end a week where you've been ill and had a generally shit time of everything? Certainly not spending your Friday evening listening to radio coverage of a match against Port Adelaide. Damn it all to hell that this match wasn't played in Norfolk Island to save me from being obliged to 'enjoy' the rural radio coverage provided by shrieking idiots.

Didn't expect much better to be honest but there's no doubt that coverage is the worst crime against Australian radio since $10m was spent launching MTR. Arguably it was even worse than listening to K-Rock, and that's something that nobody should ever have to do more than once. "NOW YOU KNOW HOW WE FEEL!" scream the locals whenever you slander their precious local coverage, because apparently when they listen to Victorian radio it's exactly the same. Bollocks it is, at least our commentators - for all their other crimes - are polite enough to at least know who the players are even if they spend the whole day confusing them and calling the wrong person.

The first classic 5AA moment of many was how Jack Watts being out is not 'rested', it's 'dropped' because "why would they rest him when they have the bye next week?" then when Alipate Carlisle is 'rested' they're thrilled because why risk him in a meaningless match? Circus music.

They later suggested a player had received his "fifth consecutive 50" and would be kicking from 45. I suggest if you got five consecutive fifties you'd either be kicking from the goal line or from the food court of the Westlakes shopping centre. Never mind that it was only his second consecutive 50, nobody bothered with that fact. At least when you're listening in Victoria you can generally change the channel when you realise you hate the callers.

Of course what made the call seem even worse than it was, and that's a difficult task when you're dealing with something this bad, was the fact that we were absolutely stinking the joint up and getting flogged. If we'd been tonking them by ten goals then it would have been harmless buffoonery but as it was they were the worst non-community radio team since the Gladiators Of Sport on SEN.

So it's not exactly been the ideal pre-season has it? Starting with the Patron Saint of Off-Season Farce Col Sylvia's midnight shenanigans and ending with the Patron Saint of Off-Season Farce Col Sylvia having seven shades of shit knocked out of him by a buffoon for the second time in three years we've managed to swing collectively from optimism to complete despair of the future about 15 times.

Not being able to get your hands on the ball is one thing against everyone's presumed premiers Hawthorn but when you end the first term against Port ends about 90 disposals in arrears then it's only fair to nudge the hand towards the panic button. After all did I not spend all of last week blaming the farcical rules for all our troubles? Still, don't hit it yet - if you're a firm believer in pre-season form then at least we'll end up in a three-way dance with St Kilda and Carlton for the spoon and Port's 80 point win over Geelong in the corresponding fixture means that via Footy Maths they're actually the defending premier.

With all disclaimers about the importance of the match still valid it's got to be a bit concerning at least that we seemingly dominated the hitouts all over the ground yet still never appeared to get the thing away from the clearances. It's 2011 all over again - except this time we get to be poleaxed by Geelong earlier in the year and get it out of the way.

It never got any better, from what I could tell through the excited random Andrew Jarman-esque hollerin g of the commentators and their insistence of waffling on about teams nobody cares about like Woodville-West Torrens was that yet again we couldn't put together passages of play long enough to get the ball forward cleanly and even when we did the forward line was basically non-existent.

I'm all for Mitch Clark so far and he was trying hard as usual, perhaps too much when he collected cult hero Jeremy Howe in the first quarter and forced him off the field with a cut to the head, but who else is down there? None of the other options they've tried down there so far has had anything more than a token impact and it's a bit premature to expect Clark (career high goals in a season - 27) to carry the line single handedly a'la Fev at Carlton. There are a few goals coming out of the midfield but they're going to have to find something more out of Green, Martin, Petterd, Dunn etc.. if we're going to get anywhere near winning scores regularly. Of course you've got to get it to them first, and in that we're right back at 2011 all over again.

Maths gurus and fans of numerology would have been thrilled to see/hear/read that after Howe was floored by Clark he returned to the field wearing #62. The question must be asked, why of all numbers do we have a spare #62 floating around? Why not carry a spare #99 and make it interesting?

On the upside it was Football Park, and you don't need me to tell you what our record is like there, and there's a week for Neeld to get around to each player (not to be confused with 'get around' which is the most offensive addition to the football dictionary since 'up and about') and paintbrush them until his hand swells up.

Also Aaron Davey apparently CRUMBED a goal. Can we please see more of the same for the rest of the year? God knows if he's not doing the crumbing then nobody else will be.

Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance votes
Not even trying to hand out votes based on listening on the radio so these are shamelessly nicked from the article on the AFL website - so if you don't like them there's something else you can add to your log of claims against the league.

5 - Mark Jamar
4 - Nathan Jones
3 - Aaron Davey
2 - James Frawley
1 - Brent Moloney

Leaderboard
Congratulations to Jones for continuing his good form from the end of last year and becoming the fifth man in five years to lift the plate. The 2007 Allen Jakovich Medallist was sixth favourite for this year's award in the opening betting markets but will sure to start shorter in the final market thanks to his pre-season form and the fact that Sylvia is crocked. With seven winners in the last seven years can he be the first man to repeat? And will Brent Moloney see his career go tits up immediately after winning it like Johnstone, McLean, Davey, Bruce and Green all did.

11 - Nathan Jones
10 - James Magner
9 - Jeremy Howe
8 - Mitch Clark
7 - Matthew Bate
6 - Mark Jamar
4 - Brent Moloney, Ricky Petterd
3 - Lynden Dunn, Aaron Davey
2 - Jack Grimes, Colin Garland, James Frawley
1 - Rohan Bail, Josh Tynan, Colin Sylvia

Crowd Watch
Just 2500 in attendance but I did enjoy their rendition of Pordalaide! *clap*! *clap*! *clap*! after a goal. It's cruel to name a footy side which doesn't fit that time honoured piece of crowd involvement but I'm not sure why they don't just chant for Power instead.

Not entirely sure why they even played it at Football Park considering that was the sort of crowd on offer. Especially when the NAB Cup Grand Final being played there a day later - what a waste of a (admittedly shit) stadium. Surely there's another ground somewhere in Adelaide with lights they could have played at? What happened to Port's beloved Alberton, did they have to sell it to keep the club afloat?

Either way we'd probably have drawn about 500 to the same match but at least it would have been played at a venue befitting such a dinky crowd like Princes Park or Casey Fields.

Captain's Corner
As happy as I am for GRIMGOVE to be in the job I'm still not convinced that it's the right choice. I'll stand by what I said at the time that I'd have stuck with Green for another year to give GRIM the chance to play some uninterrupted football (whoops) and GOVE the chance to emerge as a footy player before making such a drastic promotion.

Not that having a symbolic title and being the man who tosses the coin should mean anything once the ball is bounced but it would have at least taken one element of pressure off their shoulders. Sadly keeping Green didn't fit into the Pol Pot style Year Zero philosophies of the new coaching staff and he got to be the scapegoat for everyone's failings last year.

MFC Facebook comment of the week

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Where a disappointing pre-season performance completely wipes out five years of financial gains and an increasingly strong asset position. We all want them to shut the doors at some point but it's going to take a lot longer than three years to get us back into the same shit as we were pre-Stynes.

Still, he/she makes a fair point before that and the cheapshot at the public service is a popular comedy move. To be fair they did try and start a fight at the end of the game when Butcher killed Sylvia but where was that for the preceding 3.75 quarters? I just want somebody to go off their nut and start decking people. For god's sake can we draft a legitimate psycho at some point?

Sadly we have to completely ignore the guy who suggests things are so bad Emo Maric might win the Brownlow because in a late breaking contender even the ex-players have taken to Facebook to highlight what a disaster we've become.

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I'm not one to panic this early in the season, but I am going to get behind any man who was sacked from the Brisbane Bears for punching Warwick Capper. This is the sort of anger we're so desperately lacking at the moment.

Next Week
Angst and panic from the MFC fanbase and media scrutiny which somehow ends in Jack Watts being blamed for this result. Hopefully it ends in $cully's cheek injury somehow transferring to his knee and ruining his career.

Also I'll be back with the final Demonblog betting markets and an updated half arsed pre-season 'preview' sometime before Friday. Keep an eye out on here, Twitter or subscribe to all new posts via email in the top right hand corner of the screen - we promise not to sell your email address to Nigerians, but I can't promise you Google won't.

Final thoughts
Enthusiasm about the season waning, let's just get on with the real stuff already so I can decide whether or not to spaz out properly or not.

3 comments:

  1. Great read! The agony of the fire hard footy fan writ large.
    Must. Read. Regularly.

    Thanks also for the link to the FootyMaths blog, but hopefully we at the FootyMaths Institute* have a fraction more sense than to put Port as defending premiers.... Well, not after 1 win at least!

    *No longer affiliated with the Ponds Institute.

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  2. That link above is to the wrong Fidge brother.

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