Thursday, 17 May 2012

Death by a thousand cuts

We all had a good laugh at this guy's expense last year, but it turns out that he was actually right.

They are "fucking shit", they do "fuck it up" and they do stand there not "doing fucking anything". If he was like that in August 2011 I expect he's dead now but his memory will live on forever.

Should you have stumbled upon this page since the start of 2012 it might be hard to believe but there was actually a Demonblog era where even when we were "fucking shit" that not every single post started with a blow-by-blow commentary about how all light at the end of the tunnel has been extinguished and how half our list should be deregistered by the league for the good of the game. Start here for instance. Look at how rosy the future seemed, that night was our Woodstock. The Winter of Love didn't last much longer, and other than a few random moments of magic it's been like the aftermath of a nuclear war ever since.

There may very well be a time when it's no longer necessary to commit the keyboard equivalent of a primal scream after every game just so I can sleep at night, but this isn't it. Just when you thought rock bottom had been successfully achieved and it couldn't get any worse we've managed to outdo ourselves again.

I can't have been the only one who thought the process of this club changing from a 'work-in-progress' (downgraded from 'next big thing' in approximately Round 16 2011) into the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald couldn't reach another terrifyingly low milestone until at least the GWS game. The generally accepted wisdom was that if we managed to avoid apocalyptic beltings against Geelong and Hawthorn then we could at least wobble through to the bye without suffering another one.

If there was another nightmare on the cards most of us, unfortunately including yours truly, thought that it couldn't possibly happen against the Swans - a side so historically boring that they spawned the Ross Lyon method of coaching. Carlton, Essendon or Collingwood you could almost understand, if not accept, but it's hard to comprehend when you're ransacked by a team that's had just one hundred point win in the last decade despite playing finals eight of ten times.

Even we've had one in that time, (no really) that's how unimpressive their record of torching teams has been over the last decade. Sure they've opened up a bit since Paul Roos moved into his new job as a passive aggressive special comments man but they're still not exactly 186 era Geelong.

Obviously nobody likes losing by a hundred points, that goes without saying, but when it not only comes against a team renowned for boring the world to death, coming off two losses and without two of the best players the psychological impact is doubled/tripled/whatever you like. Any way you cut it the ramifications are ugly.

Not that it ends there, we've become roadkill so spectacularly that teams can afford to 'experiment' with their lineup against us. No Goodes or Mumford? Why not throw in a Canadian and a first game Irishman, it's only Melbourne. Remember when everyone got a little bit too excited about beating Collingwood in the NAB Cup when they were fielding two Irishmen and a guy from Milwaukee? This result was a smaller outbreak of karma amongst the larger cosmic retribution for tanking.

Honest to god there were Melbourne fans taunting Collingwood supporters that night and if I was a Pies fan I'd be going back into the archives of every footy forum and adding to the posts from that night with a simple LOL. You have been warned, there's still time to go back and delete any posts that make you look stupid.

The bad news is that the queue to join in on making us look stupid stretches from Brunton Avenue to Bendigo. It's not just amateur crackpots either, the footy media hasn't shown this much joy in sinking the slipper for years. Serves us right for presenting a wide target but it's got to the point where any journo can say or write anything and the public - not to mention our fans - will believe it. Even the most obviously fraudlent Twitter account ever is roping people in left, right and centre.

It's not often that something written on here turns out 100% correct but as predicted we managed to ride out the wave of sympathy after Jim's passing and come out just as unpopular as ever before.

There's no surprise that the moment the first drops of blood hit the water the media swarmed (again). Not just because as both club and fans we generally roll over and take whatever's dished out to us, and not just because we'd lost a universally respected figurehead but because the real walkers of the coaching plank are all located outside of Victoria.

The absolute overwhelming majority of people consuming footy media couldn't give half a toss what happens to Guy McKenna, Michael Voss or Matthew Primus so it'll just have to be us that cops it. There's certainly no newspaper sales or radio ratings to be had from piling in on the Gold Coast or Brisbane coaches so as the Victorian representative on Mt. Shitmore they'll just keep hammering us.

Speaking of the AFL's future Division Two clubs how good was it to see Port Adelaide fight to the death and steal that win against North? There's a team that's undergone their own local version of our season from hell and who have a coach who everyone knows is well down the conveyor belt at the abbatoir.

Still, didn't stop them from hanging on for three quarters before showing some pride in themselves and interest in keeping their coach out of the firing line by mounting a brave comeback. They were lucky enough to fall over the line and win the match but even if they hadn't at least they HAD A GO. They're still no good but at least they've won two more games than we have. It might not save Primus in the long run but at least the players could look him in the eye the next morning.

Any chance that the vast majority of Melbourne players could do the same at the moment? I doubt it, something is seriously rotten somewhere in this organisation. The club isn't so much a shipwreck at the moment as a space shuttle disaster - a multi-million dollar machine, allegedly manned by highly trained personnel and prepared by the finest engineers going pop 20 seconds after launch and plummeting to earth in a ball of fire, leaving wreckage spread over a wide portion of the country and 30,000 odd people standing around in disbelief.

Nobody needs another run-down of the last two month's activities other than the overall summation that it's been about as much fun as catching the Ebola virus. Despite the toxic gas of doom which is picking off our supporters one at a time I've tried my hardest to remain at least respectful if not positive.

It might be hard to believe if you've managed to make it all the way through any post since midway through 2007 but I'm not the sort of person to spaz out, call for everyone to be sacked and hang over the race screaming blue murder at players. There's something in me that recognises the difference between a fat bastard in the stands who thinks he knows everything (hi) and professional sports people which makes me of the silent fuming type with a few random outbursts but I've reached the end of my tether.

In the five stages of footy grief I've passed through "incredible sadness and regret" into "fear and loathing" on the express train to "outright embarassing levels of taking sports too seriously". The last one is kept behind glass marked BREAK IN CASE OF LOSS TO GWS. There's only step past that, and you'll know we've hit it when some tossbag shames himself and the whole club by gobbing at the players or coaches a'la that famous Richmond fan. It will most certainly not be me, the worst I can see myself ever doing is piffing my jumper at the bench and telling them all to fuck off and die.

In my adult supporting life absolute Chernobyl "I hate this club" meltdowns of that level have only happened three times - when we lost to Geelong on a Friday in '03, the ten goal loss against Richmond in '07 and to a lesser extent 186 where to be fair I was more in shock than anything else. Oh there were other outbursts but they were all situational (McDonald + Port Adelaide + 'deliberate' comes to mind) not explosive decompression directed at the club itself.

All three times involved a tremendous turn on the coach (including twice on Daniher, sorry about that Neale) and in the case of the Richmond game one of our own supporters, but never before until now has it been directed at the players themselves. I dare say the way it's going other fans are going to be in the firing line as well before too long because my patience has run out.

Along with "spread" and commanding you to "get around" somebody the media have an obsession with the idea of coaches "losing" players. What they rarely talk about, until somebody's seen throwing something from the stands, is when players "lose" the fans. That, along with an unhealthy dose of sporting sadness, is where I've come to in my relationship with this incarnation of Melbourne Football Club after Saturday night.

I'll never throw my membership under the 5.28 to Glen Waverley but I can't think of a time where there are so few players that I actually like. Even the ones I do are usually out of the side because they don't meet the criteria for getting picked every week no matter what of being ex-superstars or high draft picks.

I refuse to believe that they don't care, and I'm not expecting them to try and crucify themselves a'la Neil from The Young Ones to try and prove to us how much they're hurting but it all just seems to be too hard for some of them at the moment. It's never been so difficult to fill the votes from week to week. Every single match since Demonblog began in 2005, yes even 186, has had five people awarded votes but it's getting to the point where I have to cut out the ten players who were shit and take the handful of average performers above them and make an arbitrary judgement about who was less terrible than the rest.

Votes will continue to be awarded as seen fit but don't think just because somebody's on that leaderboard that I wish he was my best mate. There are perhaps five who sit above it all in my book and the rest have either never been seen in the senior team, can't get a game or fall somewhere between deep suspicion and active dislike.

I suppose they're all on Twitter 'apologising' profusely before shrugging and going back to playing FIFA, getting blind and chasing chicks or conspiring with agents to increase their value as free agents. Not interested, shut your bloody Twitter accounts down, stop LOLing and telling us how much you're pumped for Anchorman II. "We've got to try harder, stick together, #demonblood" wank, wank, wank. Then when somebody gets a bit excited and sends them some abuse they come out like martyrs

Guess what, if you start a Twitter account and apply your real name to it you're encouraging people to follow you - and to interact with you. A lot of what gets sent might be crap but what did you expect? This isn't Stef Martin casually waving to the camera, this is 'celebrities' opening accounts under their own names in order to take the plaudits. Alright when it's going well but accept the risk that the payoff for your opportunity to post shots of your FIFA tournament is that you're providing a simple outlet for people to rightly or wrongly send abuse directly to you.

Imagine a player publicising a phone line where you can ring up and tell him how he went, it wouldn't happen so how is this different? Obviously they read all the negatives. One player who will not be named was even busted searching Twitter for mentions of his own name and replying. This is madness. It's one thing to be Joel Selwood, sitting there pissing himself laughing at offensive comments with three premiership medallions around his neck, but don't tell me that in the current climate of crushing self doubt and depression at Melbourne that there's not at least a marginal contribution from being teed off on by every man and his dog online. It's certainly not doing anything to help, I can tell you that without the benefit of a psychology degree.

I'm still not convinced that Neeld was running his 'own' account anyway but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that it wasn't ghostwriten and give him credit for putting the cue in the rack and giving up on it 23 days before we lost in Round 1. If it was him he should never have been there in the first place, especially doing chummy messages to players but ok he gave it a go, one thing I'm sure of is that he's not sitting down for a coffee this morning, pulling his phone out and pressing refresh to see the advice of those who haven't coached an Auskick team.

He should go in and delete the whole account (if he even knows it exists) then get Neil Craig, Don McLardy and his rotating cast of assistant coaches together before marching into a team meeting and tell them that they don't deserve to be acting like celebrities online until we win a game. Anybody who posts under his real name is dropped, anyone who admits to reading the bullshit we write "at" them is dropped. If they want to continue to play the "fuck me I'm famous" game they can do it from Casey Fields.

There'd probably be a player revolt and the AFLPA would be called in to mediate on our 'disgraceful' suppression of free speech. What a load of shit, it's well within the rights of the club to remove negative mental influences on their players - and if they can't stop them from pissing on in nightclubs and shafting groupies in car parks then at least remove one distraction. Whatever excuse Sylvia has for being seen yukking it up after the game (and he might have just been caught at a bad angle for all I know) I'd rather that his coaches and teammates are the ones who bail him up for it after the heat has died down and not the fans instantly while they're still bleeding.

Realistically what the players do on Twitter is small bananas considering the many and varied disasters which are befalling us at the moment but it just seems symptomatic of the wider issues. Give me some players who wouldn't spit on Twitter users. Dare I say it I'd almost rather stack the list with a bunch of dead eyed Billy No Mates straight edge types like $cully than even more fancyboys who are just happy to be there or mental cases who need to be drip-fed anti depressants.

I've had enough, and while I'm not bitter and twisted enough (yet) to expect that the players spend the week between games openly weeping for the cameras like a North Korean funeral at least give us something other than the usual rubbish about trying harder. Even better, give us nothing off-field and present a unified front on-field instead.

Of course none of this would be an issue if we'd put in an even remotely credible performance at the SCG. Anything under a six goal loss would have probably led to "it's slowly getting better" credit and ten goals would have left us in pretty much exactly the same position but they rolled over and died and deserve to cop it.

Yeah we were virulently pox against Hawthorn for three quarters but there was - surprisingly - some hope of improvement this week. It was, after all, our 'best team' of the year on paper - if you suspended disbelief and pretended Green is the same player he used to be and conveniently ignored the fact that Jurrah probably had some more important stuff on his mind this week and must know that every time he runs out that he could be playing his last game before doing a stretch.

Blease and Watts also added value 'on paper' despite neither having done a great deal so far this year or having absolutely set the VFL alight while dropped.
Ironically they ended up being our best but that was like going one/two in a Wednesday afternoon greyhound barrier trial in Traralgon considering how rank most of the other 20 were.

So, our 'best team' of the year against a side who had lost two in a row and were without both their most iconic player and dominant ruckman. What could go wrong? The SCG is even a ground that - unlike say Football Park or Subiaco - some of our players had appeared in a win at (Bartram, Davey, Green, Jamar, Rivers and Sylvia if you're in any way interested). Must seem like a million years ago, and considering what's happened since it may as well be.

More importantly in our recent history with the Swans is the ultimate monkey on the back of the Bailey era, and the day that must give him even more sleepless nights than 186, that one remarkable day when we massacred them at the MCG. Unfortunately for Neeld it's also the standard that this squad will be held to and the reason that he's already being pounded into hamburger meat.

The past really shouldn't mean anything but it's recent enough to point out that 14 of the players who disgraced themselves and the jumper this week were also in the team that day and three others are still on our list. The ones who have moved on are Bruce, Johnson, Emo Maric, Scumbag $cully and THE EX-CELEBRATOR - and other than maybe $cully if you're being generous I seriously doubt any of them would have influenced us positively this time around.

God knows what happened to that team that Bruce McAvaney boldly and breathlessly declared were "going to be something". To be fair to him, as overly excitable as he is, it certainly looked that way on the day - and he didn't explicitly state what the 'something' was. He should claim that what he meant was "a shambling bunch of wrecks who play like escaped mental patients". Even the world's most hardened masochist would have trouble becoming aroused over the trail of blood and guts that we've left behind since.

To say it hasn't turned out as we might have hoped would be one of the great understatements, but it was hard not to cast your mind back to that day before this week's game. Even the draw in Round 1 last year seemed to indicate that we were 'on the up' shortly before it turned out we weren't.

With their allegedly 'diminished' lineup and a ground so short even we should be able to get an inside 50 every once in a while I'll admit that I was ever so slightly - and whisper it quietly - confident. Not confident of a win mind you, I'd not have had a cent on them to win, but at least that they could put in a respectable performance.

Unfortunately respectability lasted about a minute and a half before everyone went into self preservation mode and got stomped. Again. For the millionth time in recent memory the phrase "ever get the feeling you've been cheated?" came to mind. I don't expect to win but how do you end up in the position where the fundamentals of football are so wilfully ignored that forwards wouldn't go to the goal line when their teammates were kicking for goal and the defenders wouldn't do it when the opposition were. The first cost us any chance of a goal, and the second cost us a goal full stop. These are not the sort of things teams losing 21 goals to five and who are left with a percentage of 52.49% can afford to be casual about.

If you're a zen master you might be able to forgive a few targets missed but those goal-line debacles were pretty much it for me. You can't blame Neeld for that. You can blame him for not grabbing the players involved by the throat and screaming bloody murder at them for doing it but it's not like his game plan involves wandering off towards the middle while opposition players are having shots on goal.

It might have been at least marginally different if Howe had kicked that absolute sitter in the first couple of minutes. It would have at least avoided another goalless quarter. Can somebody with access to a more robust database than I tell me what the record is for the most goalless quarters in one season since 1990? We'd have to be on at least top ten pace at the moment wouldn't we?

Howe has been great this year but no doubt last night was his worst performance of the season. Remember when he first came into the side and was kicking goals from everywhere? Why am I not surprised that as the noose has tightened on us this year his accuracy has gone completely out the window? At least kicking goals isn't the be all and end all of his game now and he's been good around the ground.

Also takes a fair mark but forgive me for showing absolutely not one bit of interest in his 'mark of the year' considering that a) we were 70 points down at the time and b) he totally stuffed it up by panicking at and throwing a dinky handball to Morton that was never on. Why Morton called for it I'm not sure but you can add that to the 50 page log of questions about his career, Howe needs to learn that you don't have to give off just because somebody calls for it. It was a shambolic piece of play and I hope he doesn't win the award for it.

Morton on the other hand has reached the point where it's really not fair to anybody to keep him at the end of the year. He's absolutely shot as an MFC player and continuing the fantasy that he's going to somehow achievement superstardom is just that. If we get a third round pick for him and he suddenly turns up at Fremantle as the next big thing under the Ross Lyon regime then good luck to him - I wish him all the best but it's just not going to work with us and it's no good for anybody's mental health (especially his) to carry on pretending that it is.

It would be cruel to single him out though. Green and Davey have hit the wall, which is sad but surely we're used to that at this club (just the solitary 300 game player? Sure, why not). As long as they're man enough to put their hand up at the end of the year and say that enough is enough then they'll go out of the club with some respect. There might be a few recriminations on the way out but eventually they'll be welcomed back as heroes.

I take it Davey is on so much money that even if we explicitly state that he's dropped for good he'll just keep showing up a'la George Costanza style to collect a paycheck, but really it's time for somebody from outside the club to sit him down and ask how he wants to be remembered. In ten years I'd like to think of him as a freakish crumber or Best and Fairest winner and not as somebody who showed up for his last two years just to pick up a check. Green has probably got one more year if he's interested but if there are any lingering doubts about whether or not he should go on he might want to look at how Davey is going.

Sylvia has been equally as bad recently but at least if anything he's just come back from a serious injury. Bennell might not have played a properly good game since his rookie season and if there's not something wrong with Trengove I'd be surprised. It's almost time for the co-captain to be on the end of a 'mystery injury' which gives him a couple of weeks to get away and clear his head plus anything else which might be ailing him. Also can somebody have a word to him (and the SME does it too) that his 'on the mark' technique of doing twinkletoed starjumps makes him look like he's playing in the Under 12's. It's not putting anybody off, it's just making you look like a teat.

Frankly the early returns on GRIMGOVE show that its been a mistake. Grimes has been good enough given the context of the team he's in charge of but Trengove has barely fired a shot all year. Not suggesting the captaincy has anything to do with it but the fact that the team is crap is an added burden that he doesn't need on his shoulders. If we had to go for multiple captains - and I reckon it's the biggest wank around - it should have been one young/one old so at least if everything went bosoms up we could put the experienced player in front of the media.

When serial MFC hater Greg Denham (appears on a low rating slot on SEN, writes for a low circulation paper) suggested making Mitch Clark captain before the start of the season how we laughed. Not that he was being serious of course, it was just an excuse to take the piss out of the fact that we were otherwise rudderless when it came to senior leaders. Accidentally and against the odds he might actually have been right. Nobody could have forseen it though, fancy somebody who only came for the money turning out to be one of the few who it seems gives the proverbial flying rat's clackbag about how we're doing?

I suppose if you've forced me to opt for an old/new combo before the season began I've chosen Moloney/Grimes so that's why it pains me so much that now it looks like Beamer is going to walk out on us at the end of the year. Maybe if we'd made him captain he'd have felt obliged to leave rather than whoring himself around to the rest of the competition via the pages of the Herald Sun.

Maybe it's all a great big misunderstanding but until he comes out and refutes what his manager said then I'll just assume that he's in furious agreement and if anybody else will have him he'll be off. There are others in the same boat - most notably Jamar - but at least he's polite enough to get on with playing footy instead of trying to bignote himself through the press.

I'd love to give Beamer the benefit of the doubt but we pussyfooted around impending treachery last year and got screwed so I'm not falling for it again. Even $cully played the game publicly, so when you're a chance of finishing behind him in the credibility stakes you know things have gone badly. Prove me wrong Beamer, make me ashamed of this post when I look back on it in a couple of years. Until then you deserve to be the prime suspect. I just hope that if he wants to go then he does and it's not a case of ending up staying reluctantly because there are no other suitors.

He wasn't alone in doing nothing this week, but there's a difference between players who you know are committed to the cause and doing nothing and those whose commitment you're deeply suspicious of.

There's clearly mental issues at play across the board, and when even the handful who have given everything in every match they've played this year start to hoist the white flag we're going to be entering scary new territory. When you're suddenly striving to best the 1996 Fitzroy side's record then you know something is very wrong. They didn't have gun recruits, a raft of top draft picks, top training facilities and a legion of support staff - they had a tin shed and were probably reusing tape every week because the bank was about to foreclose on them. This is not the sort of comparison that we should be allowing ourselves to be involved in.

Last year I was half joking about the club needing to roll in a sports psychologist if they didn't already, but now I'm deadly serious. The majority of this playing group are clearly and obviously mentally shattered so if we're relying on casual chats and an arm around the shoulder from the assistant coach then it's no wonder everyone's about to get wheeled off in a straight jacket or walk out on us. It's either a psychologist or an exorcist because if we keep going like this the downward spiral will get more and more intense, the pressure will grow to an unbearable level and elastic bands inside footy player brains are going to be snapping like hammies.

After putting in such a good first quarter last week before folding it was even more offensive that after two or three decent minutes and Howe missing the sitter we then rolled over and died. There was a few minutes when we recovered from copping the early goals and seemed to be stabilising before the Swans kicked those three right at the end to totally blow it to the shithouse. You could hear Melbourne fans everyone throwing remote controls at the TV and walking out. Good thinking, wish I'd followed suit.

You know as well as I do that it didn't get much better from there and even on the rare occasions when we actually did go forward there was absolutely nobody to kick it to. Jurrah was trying hard but he was well off the pace, Green could hardly get near it and only once did anyone kick to Clark's advantage and that was when he was 50m out on the fence. It took Nathan Jones x2 to kick two legitimate goals and try to put some respectability into it. Sylvia got one, but that was all he did, and the other two goals were from 50m penalties.

So really, in four quarters we got three legitimate goals on the shortest ground in the league. In fact it was the second lowest score any team has ever kicked at the SCG. At least that's one record we won't be claiming but 5.7.37 is not really the kind of score that you want to be putting out too often if you want any kids to take an interest in supporting us. It's just boring, boring, BORING football and I can see why people aren't bothering. There will be a disgracefully small amount of our fans there next week but I can see why you wouldn't turn up if that's what you can expect to see.

Not sure what they said to them at three quarter time but I'm guessing it wasn't that we should try and lose by a hundred again. I presume they asked them to at least play with some pride in themselves in the jumper but it's one thing to ask and another for them to take any notice or have the ability to do it.

I wish Bennell had at least tried to have a shot after the siren. Who cares that he was on the wing and hasn't had an effective kick all season, at least show that you care enough about not losing by more than a hundred to fire a torp in. By this point nobody would have held it against him if it had gone two metres forward and twenty to the right and into the crowd - at least try, don't give up and accept defeat in every aspect of the game. No way he would have kicked it, and he'd probably have looked foolish to the Swans fans and handful of neutrals watching on TV but surely the fans would have appreciated it. I certainly would have.

2012 Allen Jakovich Medal votes
I bet Watts is named across the board as our 'best' but while I liked his game he really was just standing there on his own waiting for the ball to come to him. What I did like were his kickouts, in the midst of the debacle unfolding around him I've not often seen one player hit so many consecutive targets while kicking-in. More please but let's not pigeon hole him into playing as a loose man in defence for the rest of his life.

I much preferred Blease who might have been dirty with his disposal but at least he was winning contested possessions and having a go at taking his opponents on. Absolutely must have a lengthy run in this side. The other three are really just the best of a bad bunch. Clark might not have kicked a goal (mainly because nobody gave him a decent chance to) but I feel like his 14 taps were far more useful than most of Jamar's 46.

The idea of paying a mil to Travis Cloke makes me want to spew but if Jamar does repay our faith in him when he was shit by going elsewhere then maybe it's not such a bad idea. Either way I hope they've got a ruckman contingency plan in the back of their minds somewhere because Martin is a capable #2, Fitzpatrick and Spencer are questionable and Gawn is going to be coming off a year out. Maybe they've realised that even when we win the taps it doesn't help and don't care if we stop winning them?

5 - Sam Blease
4 - Jack Watts
3 - Nathan Jones (RELATIVELY UNDESERVED)
2 - Mitch Clark (FILLING A SPOT)
1 - Jack Grimes (WORTH EVEN LESS THAN LAST WEEK'S ONE VOTE)

Leaderboard
25 - Nathan Jones
17 - Mitch Clark
13 - James Magner (LEADER: Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
11 - Jeremy Howe
7 - Matthew Bate, Jack Watts
6 - Jordie McKenzie
5 - Clint Bartram (CO-LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year), James Frawley (CO-LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year), Sam Blease
4 - Jack Trengove
3 - Stefan Martin, Jared Rivers, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
2 - Brent Moloney, Tom McDonald, Jack Grimes

MFC Facebook Comment of the Week
Almost seems like taking the piss to post this video now, but I made it before it became apparent that we'd all given up and won't be topical for much longer so here it is anyway.

I've almost given up on covering people's names, but the last thing I want is for them to start writing in having a cry that their shithouse comments have been archived forever so I'll keep doing it for now unless somebody unleashes a statement so outrageous that they deserve to have their name shown.

I do wonder if the censors are working overtime though because amongst all the impassioned wailing there's a severe lack of outright obscenity and slanderous comments. Maybe from next week it will have to expand to the social media comment of the week so that classics like this can be preserved in the archives.

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Anyway sticking with Facebook for the moment first place is awarded for a complete lack of perspective and/or understanding of the history of football and runner-up for an awesome commitment to refusing to use any form of punctuation - the sort of consistency that the football team are so sorely lacking.
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Third place (not shown due to lack of interest on my behalf) to the person who called for the return of "Jackovitchz", which in an era where we've got McClean, Pettard, Maloney, Clarke, Jarrah and McClardy going around must be the most spectacular attempt at spelling an AFL identity's name ever.

There's still time for YOU to make a fool of yourself and see your name whited out. Get in quick though because I doubt this feature will return next year, it's far too depressing going through it all.

Speaking of all things online if you've managed to avoid being sucked into the black hole that is one of the MFC forums then now is probably time to get in before they're made world famous by lazy journalists looking for "DEMON FANS LOSE PLOT" stories. There really are some incredible conspiracies that need to be seen to be believed, and the fans are turning on each other like Lord of the Flies.

One thing there needs to be a moratorium on though is threads by old people outlining our tragic history since Norm Smith was sacked. It is your democratic right as a supporter to do as I do and smash out whatever stupidity takes your fancy but there is no 'curse', and nothing that happened in 1965 has a remotely influential impact on what we're going through now.

We've had just about as many posts analysing our drafting follies but at least that's relevant to what we're going through - Ron Barassi playing Robbie Flower on a wing and Jim Stynes running across the mark do not and will not ever explain 20m kicks in May 2012 finding their targets on the bounce. If you believe it does please provide me with a flowchart which shows your working.

I'm beginning to understand how many years of thwarted ambition might make you grow extremely bitter but the best thing for it is probably trying to draw parallels between a 20 something year era of death and where we're at 31 years later. We understand your pain but opening another thread will not make you feel any better about what you're watching now.

Pulp Faction
The worse it gets on-field, the worse it's going to get off-field. I'd love to see a chart of who likes who and who hates who within the club, stick that in the Herald Sun centre-spread on a Saturday and I'd pay $1.50 to read it.

As a paid up member you deserve to know what's going on but I doubt we'll know the full story for a while so it'll be pieced together based on rumour and gossip.

Tell you what though, if it turns out to be a coach vs players issue then despite my misgivings about certain things Neeld has done until somebody can prove why I should think otherwise I'm backing the coach. Hopefully he can engineer the cleanout of the millennium at the end of the year and start building his own list free of mental wrecks and people playing for themselves.

Then there's the black cloud that hangs over the administrators and their alleged role in the pre-186 debacle. I'm not as keen on putting Cameron Schwab up against the wall as some, mainly because it will not help players put boot to ball and hit target any more than throwing firecrackers at them during training, but with a new coach in place (and it's not 1978, he will survive whether you like it or not) and no way to sack half the list McLardy is going to have to sure up his position as a leader by making some drastic change - and every day of the week it's Schwab who is going to cop it. Whether he makes it to the end of the year or is given the Paul McNamee treatment is anybody's guess.

Next Week
Carlton. Pumped. Can't wait. Things to look out for include 18 of their players running free 20m in front of an opponent about to have a heart attack in the chase and J**d being held for three quarters and still receiving maximum Brownlow votes.

It was his performance against us a couple of years ago when Junior McDonald (remember him?) thrashed him for most of the day before J**d ran riot in the last which practically created the 3 Votes - C. J**d meme. Sadly now they've got more than one good player so they'll be queuing up to play kick-to-kick in front of the umpires and get themselves a vote or three.

Apparently Jurrah has successfully managed to put himself out for two months at least, so that's that "comeback player of the year" campaign thwarted. Could be the last game he ever plays for us if his trial doesn't go well. Here's to him getting off on a technicality and coming back to kick big fat bags.

Hard to decide who comes back considering Casey had the bye this week but based on past experience I'll opt for the following:

IN: Couch, Martin, Petterd, Bate, Nicholson
OUT: Jurrah (inj), Trengove ('inj'), Davey, Sylvia, Morton (omit)

Green and Bennell survive because I really can't find anybody else to come in without ensuring another 100 point loss. The only other realistic options are Dunn, Joel Mac, Sellar, Taggert, Davis, Bail and Fitzpatrick - none of whom fill me with a great deal of confidence.

Apparently the SME played in the Casey Reserves, which is surely just for match fitness before he comes back into the senior side for good. Mind you if that was the case at Tom Couch was fit surely he'd have played too considering he missed the game last week. Seriously doubt they're going to bring him in off two weeks break but I've given up trying to accurately predict selection and have just started picking based on personal prejudice.

Unfortunately there'll be less Melbourne fans there than who read this so just yell something out and I'll scream back.

Final Thoughts
The GWS game is rapidly becoming our version of a low stakes Russian Roulette match. Either win and gain basically nothing or our brains end up in the bottom deck of the Olympic Stand. Can't wait.

8 comments:

  1. Let's get on board Jack Viney for pick 23.

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  2. Norm Smith couldn't have written it better!

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  3. The night is darkest before the dawn... or something like that. How stunned did the boys look at the final siren? The switch has to flick on soon. It has to.

    Thank Christ for Demonblog - its the only thing thats kept me interested as a Dees supporter in recent years. Thanks Adam.

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  4. Scary, getting a bit 1996 scary.
    Lets beat carlton. Its so crazy, it might work.
    No game plan. No talking. No training, just have a beer and pizza night cos we are past all that. And just go fwd and beat them like at princes park that time by a point. we can.
    TC

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  5. Walking up the aisle after the siren, I was passed by Cameron Schwab as he headed towards the fence (post-siren kick to kick at the SCG too good to pass up?). I was too stunned by the game to say anything, and what would I say anyway? Just another punter looking in from the outside. I have no idea what the bloody hell is going on with our club, but it's obvious something is seriously wrong. Caroline Wilson seems to be the only journo who's had a crack at it: http://www.theage.com.au/afl/afl-news/date-with-disaster-20120504-1y4ky.html

    Yeah the players are playing like they couldn't give a rat's about the jumper, and Neeld's gameplans may be questionable but until we find out what's happening behind the scenes, it's impossible to wholly apportion blame.

    Brad Green said of his demotion from captain: "The way the whole place ran last year was all-encompassing and everything needed to be changed and I have no doubt 'Neeldy' felt everything needed to be changed as well." But everything hasn't been changed. We've sacked a coach who, granted served up some slop, delivered some massive wins with a bunch of kids. Bar Chunk, we've demoted our genuine on-field leaders like Green, Davey, Rivers and Beamer (the group who also spoke to McLardy before #186) and are then expecting them to bleed for such a trainwreck?

    Who honestly believes after watching the Bailey sacking press conference that he was the one to shoulder ALL the blame? If so, then how do we explain this year and the fact none of the players seem to care? There must be more to the divisions that existed before #186 that haven't been resolved.

    Apologies for the rant, Adam. And disregard everything above when a win against Carlton starts the big comeback (I'll apologise and eat my 2009 scarf). But I can't be the only one being driven crazy when all eyes are on the club, and everyone in the media seems to be pointing fingers, but none of it seems to make any sense. #mfctilidie

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  6. With some thanks I read this from Rome and although I'm reading this as the missus shops it up im very thankful to be about as far as physically possible from seeing this fiasco continue to unfold.

    I have also tried to hold out hope as you have Adam, but a pretty weak letter from Don McLardy stating that "he has utter faith in Neeld" and that the current situation is unacceptable" (I paraphrase as I'm doing this from iPad and don't have the email in front of me) seem at odds with each other...... Which is it Don? Either this is the right path and you should have anticipated how pissweek we may have been, or it's not acceptable and you have no fucking clue where we are, just like every other prick out there.

    Gratefully we are back just as the pies no doubt arsehole us on QDB game....hopefully we don't make a complete sham of that as well....but I'm not confident.

    Best of luck to you poor bastards watching Carlton play back into form this week......CJudd - 3 votes indeed.

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  7. I'm not concerned about the letter from McLardy - it was just a stunt to try and stop people from necking themselves and so that the media wouldn't be able to accuse him of doing nothing.

    I don't think having complete faith in MN is completely at odds with describing the situation as unacceptable.

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  8. That Fremantle game that you linked is scary.

    Efficient disposal, Morton hitting targets, clearances, massive tackling pressure, players making space and CRUMB.

    Look how far we have come....

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