It wouldn't be a match against Carlton unless somebody ended up waving the white flag at some point during it. They've blown five goal leads in the last quarter twice, suffered the indignity of being the last team to lose to us by a hundred points and 'managed' their way to the #1 pick in such shameless fashion that it made several MFC administrators and thousands of fans sit up and say "ahh, there's an idea!".
Happy memories from a simpler time. Hands up if you walked out of that Round 22, 2007 game convinced that the season had been an abberation and we'd be back better than ever under a new coach? Just me then? Fair enough.
At least we've been charitable enough to lend Carlton a hand up when they most needed it. Forget the 98 point belting when they were good, J**d playing one quarter and getting three votes, or Bailey debuting the controversial new 18-0-0 formation in front of a nationwide audience - how about the time we provided two of their three wins for the year and still made the finals? I guess we should have known then that the good times were about to come to a screaming halt.
That sort of dual upset could never happen these days, not to us anyway. Certainly not the bit about making the finals, but what about any danger of pulling off two wins against finals bound teams let alone the same team unless it's Gold Coast. It's getting to the point where we're last start losers against every other team competition that isn't staffed almost entirely by 15-year-olds. It's down to Adelaide, Essendon and Fremantle and our two match winning streak against the Bombers will almost certainly be over by this time next week.
When you follow a team who has kicked eight and a half goals a week this season or have read this page more than once you probably don't need another reason why we're rubbish but indulge me with one more obscurity for now - drumroll please - since 2008 there have been five occassions that we've won consecutive matches in a row and out of those 12 wins just one of them - first, second or third in the 'streak' - has been against a team that ended up in the finals. And that was Sydney at the MCG, a performance so far out of the ordinary that it deserves to be officially declared the exception that proves the rule about what a shipwreck we've been.
Exactly half of those wins (three each) were against Richmond or Brisbane, one of whom is the hottest property since us after we beat Sydney and one who has already beaten us - neither of who have been any good for the vast majority of the last five years.
The way I see it as a Melbourne fan at the moment you've got the same range of options as when Ned Flanders committed himself to the Calmwood Mental Hospital, you can either go calmly or be taken kicking and screaming. In the immediate aftermath of the Sydney debacle I vowed that I'd well and truly opt for the latter and spend the whole week defending our honour with abusive phone calls to SEN and even more abusive forum posts to our own fans who were failing to stay the course, but as negativity gave way to people acting as if they'd been involved in a world war I lost heart for the fight.
Teams who have just suffered their second hundred point loss of the year don't exactly deserve peace and quiet, but good god was there any exposed part of the already battered carcass of the Melbourne Football Club that didn't have a journalist busily sinking the boots in under the guise of 'tough love' during the week? Some of it was deserved and some of it came from Fox Footy's Chief Plonker David King but when even Mike Sheahan is coming out of retirement to admit he's a Melbourne fan and still manages to kick the shit out of us you know that everyone's getting a little bit overexcited.
I'm not sure what the main contention of Mike's article was other than to tell us pretty much everything we already knew, take the same pot shots at Garry Lyon that Mark McClure did a month ago and continue the tired "why didn't they get Ross Lyon?" argument. Now that he's put his hand up and admitted to feeling the pain as "somebody with an emotion connection to the Demons" I expect he'll be putting his hand up to help us elsewhere. If he does then we can do business, if not he's just as bad as the rest of them. Maybe he's the one who's going to have a wildcard run at the presidency instead of Derryn Hinch? Forget players donning the MFC blazer they'll all be forced to adopt one of his Alan Partridge style jumpers.
So in the light of Mike's wet lettuce style slapping (unfairly promoted to the front page teaser of the Herald Sun), a similarly pissweak effort by Caroline Wilson and the King debacle I was planning a gigantic list of everyone in the media who has taken a shot at us and why I hope they catch herpes off each other during the Monday morning AFL Media Association hot-tub circle jerk but in true MFC tradition I started out strongly and lost heart for the fight. Not to mention paranoia about being sued for more than the approximately $15 p/a that I've made out of this site since 2005.
Luckily then this post came along and said pretty much everything which needed to be said without as many abusive comments about David King.
The above post was written before Garry Lyon's limp retort of Mike's allegations on the Footy Show (no time for serious issues, they had to get back to him faking being unhappy about being called hairy while Brayshaw did a force 10 fake laugh) so there wasn't the deserved declaration of David Schwarz as the MFC's winner of the week. He said exactly what Neeld and McLardy would probably have loved to say but didn't want to end up on the front and middle pages as well as the back. On a list where the depth has been cruelly exposed there are a lot of players who aren't earning their chop and who should either have a crack or put their hand up, say I'll be off now and sign up to be a Channel 7 boundary rider for the rest of the season. I've been critical of the Ox before, especially his unhelpful nosing into the $cully saga, but at least he can speak from previous experience as a man who realised halfway through a season that he was absolutely buggered and pulled the pin gracefully instead of tumbling down the hill until the end of the year and ruining his legacy.
My one contribution was a talkback call to SEN where I was so intent on not letting Kevin Bartlett and/or Greg Denham get a word in so they could wrap the call up that I ended up just yelling for about three minutes in a voice only a couple of octaves lower than the aforementioned legend of the airways Chris from Camberwell or that guy who cried on-air with a dog barking in the background after we lost to Richmond last year.
The only sensible point I managed to make in all this chaos whilst hiding in a utility closet at work was that for all the hand wringing and potential self-harm about us soon being 0-9 and how we've gone 'backwards' that we haven't had a winning record at this point of the season since we've been shit and that in the combined last year of Daniher and first two of Bailey we were 2-25 at this point of the year. Didn't even manage to mention the cliched stat of the week about Richmond being 0-9 two seasons ago before recruiting Emo Maric and instantly becoming the darlings of the media.
I'm not sure what relevance if any the goings on of six, five and four years ago have to today other than to reassure me that going troppo now is not in anybody's best interests. Ok we're doing a rebuild² and nobody's happy about that, and a few players might have got their sook on because they were told the truth about being average but as much as I reserve the right to crack the shits about individual coaching decisions I'm still willing to sit in the bunker alongside Neeld for another year before chowing down on the Webjet/Opel branded cyanide pill that I bought from the MFC Megastore.
The call to SEN should never have been made, I'm too emotionally fritzed out to make any sense with the pressure of live radio and the compulsion to call Greg Denham a cockhead (and Greg, I know like Ricky Nixon, Tim Gossage and Hamish McLachlan you are the sort of guy to Google yourself so yes you're a cockhead) but after hearing people ringing in floating the usual nutbag theories I felt like somebody should represent my views - and as I'm the only person who shares them who better?
The media siege has finally broken me. I've got no idea how North fans manage to keep their persecution complex alive so successfully day in and day out because after a couple of months of it I'm ready to roll into the foetal position and start sobbing. I suppose they've still got the moral highground of not finishing last since 1972 to cling to.
Even giggling at panicky fools on forums couldn't get me going in the morning, and there's so many of them that it's almost harder to find a sensible post than it is an insane one where two or more people are physically threatening each other. If the MFC aren't interested in hiring a shrink to work on the players they could at least provide one to some of the people who post on Demonland and have to preface every statement with I'VE BEEN FOLLOWING THIS CLUB FOR 50 YEARS as if they've survived on eating rats for breakfast in a North Korean dungeon since 1962. Mind you they have seen six spoons in the time that North have had none, and no premierships in the time they've had four so maybe they've got a point. That's me in a few years. That might be me by the end of the season.
So, instead of lengthy essays about why we're shit and how everyone should be put into a sack and cast out into the ocean why don't we try discussing footy instead? This is a stupid idea because I've also lost interest in using catch-phrases like SPREAD! GAMEPLAN! CORRIDOR! and PRESS! so any coverage of the match itself will be reduced to the same level of sophistication as that suspicious looking middle aged guy in Transitions lenses who sits next to you and just screams "KICK THE BLOODY THING!" not realising that at the moment every possession is sacred and he should be cherishing it.
The upside of having Something Better™ to do on Sunday night is that what you're currently reading has been written with more than 24 hours in which to digest the fact that for the second time this year something credible at three-quarter time has been ruined by the remainder being absolute toss. A rare good news story at 0.01 of the last quarter ended with us stuck to the bottom rung of the Laughing Stock League by default because nobody who hasn't won a premiership in the last five years disgraced themselves.
To set the scene a typical night after a game at Demonblog Towers VIII (in fact every bloody night considering we've not won a game since I moved here) consists of me sitting here listening to us get flayed on radio talkback - usually quite correctly - reading newspaper match reports in one browser and forums in another two. The obvious result of this is a loss of interest in life so severe that only some grandslam keyboard mashing can mentally free me enough to get on with my life, especially after a Sunday game where there's the additional issue of facing the prospect of having to turn up for work the next day.
Giving the usual routing nothing on Sunday night was hardly by choice, I'd agreed to take in the utter MFC-esque slop of Eurovision knowing full well that I'd much rather be listening to rambling ten minute long discussions of obscure topics and people complaining about umpires on Finey's Final Siren. Turns out that hurling abuse at the best in 80's europop and Englebert Humperdinck was actually the best thing I did all week because it means I heard none of the pre-match inquests, read none of the match reports (still haven't, not going to until at least Wednesday) and only briefly checked in to BigFooty and Demonland to make sure nobody had necked themselves in despair.
Good result too, by this morning I'd returned to the same zen like calm that I had before the Sydney debacle and unless I missed a Chris from Camberwell cracker there's surely nothing that could have been gained from listening to SEN on Monday that I didn't already know myself. We're no good? Well bugger me there's something I had no idea of, thanks for that.
To be entirely honest as much as I'd like to metaphorically kick the cat (if it were real the poor beast would have died in the Demonblog Towers V era when I lived so close to the MCG I'd be home after the final siren before my blood pressure had the chance to get back below dangerous levels AND we were winning dual spoons) the end result was exactly what I'd expected. So much so that I broke my ban on the TAB and had a pansy $5 on a Melbourne/Carlton/Carlton/Carlton quarter bet at 8-1 just because I was so sure that I knew that's what was going to happen.
Ok so I expected that it would be either the second or third quarters where we'd snap in two but the general concept was always that after the week they've had our players would come out like Apollo Creed and leave like Apollo Creed. Carlton might have been coming off two losses in a row but so were Sydney and they quickly reverted to type this week after flogging us. The jaw dropping shock victory was never going to happen but I'm impressed at how close we got before bundles were dropped en masse.
The moment the siren went at quarter time you might as well have packed up and gone home because it wasn't going to get much better. Our ability to hold teams out for the first ten minutes of the game and then cop scores in the first two minutes of the next three quarters is remarkable, you can almost set your watch by it. Forget listening to hear a siren while you're hooking into a Kaiser's Sausage hot krainer hold the onion outside the Ponsford Stand, just wait for the roar of the team with more fans and you'll know that we've just conceded a goal.
How come we can (more often than not) hold a team from the very first bounce but get sliced up at every other one? Not to mention the grand tradition of struggling grimly for minutes/hours to kick a single goal and then conceding one 30 seconds later because we got murdered in the clearance. In fact we looked half decent in the first few seconds of the first quarter, and if Jeremy Howe could kick a set shot to save his life (7.11 this year compared to 18.8 last year) we'd have even had the first goal. Mind you if 2006 Allen Jakovich Medallist Brock McLean hadn't missed one of the great sitters they'd have had it. The difference is that like a man in his 40's shaving his head we can't afford to mess around because we might never get another chance.
Still, thanks in part to a new found willingness to kick the ball into the middle of the ground, quick players like Blease and Nicholson willing to take their opponents on, Carlton not being entirely serious and Mitch Clark being our best recruit since god knows when we managed to open up a two goal lead. It couldn't, wouldn't and didn't last but at least until we shat ourselves at the prospect of putting together a start-to-finish decent quarter (and decent is about the best you can hope for right now) it looked like we'd hold onto it. Credit also to Brad Green who got himself killed to allow Clark to kick the second goal and will miss his second block of games for the year because of it.
Then our players decided to contribute to the Make Mark Neeld Look Stupid fund and stuff it up, leaving him to hate life more than ever before. We got away with Grimes shanking one straight out of bounds on the full before Bail's rank attempt at a switch and Watts' rank attempt at getting to it combined to cost us the first goal. Then with seconds left Frawley gets sucked into giving away a dopey free kick to hand them the other one and undo all the good work. The projected lead held by a solitary point but any sense of momentum we had was stuffed and we only just doubled our score over the next three quarters.
You can present as many theories as you like on why everything that has gone wrong since the start of the year, up to and including the Energy Watch affair and the Jurrahcane's ill-fated trip to the territory, Neeld's fault (and I will gleefully ignore them) but what's he supposed to when his players can't even kick to a target 20m away without putting the thing half a metre out of bounds? Part of the journo beating was complaints that he loses the plot too much in the box but tell me you wouldn't have bashed the table, punched the window and visibly screamed obscenities in Leigh Brown's ear if that was you? Especially when you come into the game as popular as the Manson Family and get a surprise jump on a vulnerable team only to cock it all up with shit disposal.
For reasons as unclear as their policy of not letting you hear the questions at their press conferences the AFL only shows total disposal efficiency instead of kicks and handballs on their website so everyone's stats get padded by dinky two metre handballs BUT the radio gave away the truth halfway through the second quarter when they revealed that we were 50% by foot against Carlton's 79%. That's nigh on outrageous, especially considering that Neeld has clearly realised he's coaching slop and has started to move away from slavishly going around the boundary every time. After watching some of the kicks by Grimes, Nicholson and Bail he'll be even less keen to stick with his goalsquare via Jolimont Railway Station plan - if those three are kicking it anyway.
At least Bail did the right thing and piffed Mitch Robinson into the fence during the first quarter. Shame he didn't knock him out considering the man who had half a facelift and then forgot to go back and get the job done spent the rest of the day tormenting us. Bail himself was tormenting me in the first quarter, leading me to deliver some crowd behaviour hotline worthy comments about him, especially after the Robinson goal but to his credit - and the detriment of the rest of our side - he ended up one of the better players. Which is not saying much considering if giving out votes were optional I'd probably be handing them out to one person only.
Mind you for all the balls performances and the fact that we had about five players who couldn't get a kick to stuff up in the first place, when this 50% stat was being bandied about we were still very much in the game, which says to me that the Blues were taking after Geelong and Hawthorn before them and pissfarting around against us to their own detriment. It is almost certain that if any of the three had kicked straight in the first quarter our much vaunted 'competitive efforts' would have turned out more like the Sydney debacle.
We were hardly good value for our lead but at least we had one. For all of 25 seconds before the President of the Chernobyl Survivor's Association kicked another one. Our poor downtrodden defenders were doing their best to keep the Blues out, and if he didn't do anything else worthy of a #1 pick Jack Watts was delivering our best sequence of kick-ins for years, but there's only so long you can hold out and it looked as if the familiar landslide was on the way before god knows how we spun it around to spend the last five minutes in control and at least make it interesting at half time.
It was only 13 points which is by no means insurmountable if you're a side who kicks more than six goals a week, but for us that's like being 40 points down. It was Kardinia Park again, a misleadingly close score where we may as well have been ten goals down there and then for all the chance we had of actually winning based on five or six minutes of good football and nearly an hour of being battered around the head.
It's very, very rare to take that sort of a beating and recover to land a knockout blow in any sport where you can't win with one lucky punch. That's why they made a movie about Ali vs Foreman and nobody except Brock McLean will ever watch this terrible match twice. He will watch it around a table with Brent Grgic, Sean Charles, Jeff Farmer and Brad Miller as they all heartily laugh about the time they played their best games for their new clubs against us.
Restricting them to 1.6 in the third quarter should have been our cue to launch a final, desperate counter-attack but it looked like they were all out on their feet and from midway through the third quarter there was very little in the way of interest for anybody in red and blue - including the players - as no shots were fired en route to copping seven goals to nil in the last quarter after being 16 points down (which is about 61 points when adjusted for this team) to start it. It surely didn't come as a shock to anybody when they got the first goal after 90 seconds. Can somebody please run the stat of goals scored/conceded in the first two minutes of each quarter? If we're not 'winning' the conceded in at least two of the last three terms then I'd be absolutely gobsmacked.
Didn't help that we were being caned in the middle of the ground again. Jamar was having 40 taps to nobody, Moloney couldn't get near it and Jones wasn't much better than ok. The only one who came out with any credit was McKenzie who furthered his status as the most popular tagger we've ever had (apologies to Simon Godfrey fans) by bringing J**d to a standstill for most of the day. He can't be expected to do that and win you the game, it's all well and good to scrag an environmental ambassador out of the game but unless you've got some winners going your way it's not going to end well.
Moloney is undoubtedly part of the problem at the moment, and as I'm still waiting for him to come out and refute those comments by his manager I'll comfortably point the finger. If you're not fit don't play, if you're not interested don't play, if you need a week off to get your head together/do a dodgy deal with another club just take it and at least give us the benefit of your best football for a few more weeks before the inevitable split and tell all MY DEMON HELL headlines.
He's an odd case, you can understand Jamie Bennell not getting kicks because he's had ten in a game against a Victorian team once in his career (and not many against interstate sides either), but Beamer is better than this. It would be easy to assume that he's decided that he's going to leave and has mentally checked out already but surely there are larger issues at play. Unless some sort of dodgy deal has been done elsewhere you'd expect that even if he had zero remaining interest in playing for us that he'd at least be going hammer and tongs to try and maximise his contract value somewhere else wouldn't he? If I was [club] and had signed a big money under the table deal for him I'd be tearing up the secret contract and denying all at the moment. I'd say it was karma for the Herald Sun incident but if there was a thing $cully would have been bitten by a rabid dog by now.
Finally can we please have a steward's enquiry into what's going on with Trengove? I'm going early with the call that he'll be uncaptained at the end of the year to 'concentrate on playing footy' as if that's not what he should have been doing this season. I've got every confidence in the world that he'll achieve great things but for god's sake can we wheel in the nonexistant psychologist already and make sure that he's not freaking out at the prospect of co-captaining a slopfest?
2012 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
Realistically Jordie deseres about three and nobody else should get a cracker but rule 1.1 of the AJ Medal rulebook says that votes must be awarded consistently in every game so the rest get in by default, ranked by my own whims. McDonald was good though, he didn't even scare me to death with his disposal this week - has a big future ahead in playing cannon fodder for our failing midfield.
Bail only sneaks in front of Blease because Slamming Sam played a great first quarter and then pretty much went missing for the other three. Still, he's showing great signs and the injection of pace (CLICHE) is much appreciated.
5 - Jordie McKenzie
4 - Tom McDonald
3 - Jared Rivers
2 - Nathan Jones
1 - Rohan Bail
Apologies only because they all could have contended for 3, 2 or 1 in alphabetical order to Blease, Clark, Frawley, Garland, Grimes, Nicholson and Watts.
I will not be held responsible if it happens but Jones would practically have to fall over to lose from here. Certainly nobody under Howe/McKenzie on the board has the slightest chance unless they produce a fittingly Jakovichesque second half of the season from a minimum for four BOGs performances off 1st place.
The Hilton has come down to a one-on-one Magner vs Tom McDonald (eligible for debuting in the last month of 2011) stoush, but the real action is in the Seecamp where both McDonald and Rivers have leapt Frawley and Bartram to take the joint lead. Less exciting is the Stynes where the SME hasn't qualified as a ruckman yet and Jamar has only had one vote getting game so there's still time for The Spencil to salute.
27 - Nathan Jones
17 - Mitch Clark
13 - James Magner (LEADER: Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
11 - Jeremy Howe, Jordie McKenzie
7 - Matthew Bate, Jack Watts
6 - Tom McDonald (CO-LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year), Jared Rivers (CO-LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
5 - Clint Bartram, James Frawley, Sam Blease
4 - Jack Trengove
3 - Stefan Martin, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
2 - Brent Moloney, Jack Grimes
1 - Rohan Bail
MFC Facebook Comment of the Week
When I was sent this I expect it to be the worst thing ever, but it's actually quite apt and 50 times better than any of the rubbish that I've done so I'm going with it instead. Enjoy the gimmick before one gets done for every team and it becomes more annoying than Hitler. You can add the ending jingle yourself if you're keen.
The extra time to select a winner allows to choose one from the "get well Brad Green" thread, in which everyone declares their love after most have probably spent the last two years whinging about him. Well, almost everyone declares their love..
Sorry lady, couldn't be arsed covering your name up. Contact us via the lawyers. Runner-up is the bizarrely named Emma Malcolm Raymond who interrupts the love-in to demand we win a game. We'll win a game when you stop having a man's middle name.
And for balance because everyone knows Twitter is ten times more nutbag friendly than Facebook will ever be here's the MFC Tweet of the Week. It runs the risk that somebody featured will actually be reading but oh well, don't say stupid things then.
I have so much hate for that comment. Hold firm you coward.
This year's version being the 'most important ever' is set to become an even bigger cliche than pointing out how many times we've cocked up the other ones but no doubt there's some truth in both statements. Obviously the main event is all about Jack Viney + some other poor kids who will visibly shed a tear when we read their name out but I've come up with a plan for the rookie draft that will at least keep me entertained. We're going to draft the following. One of them must be a quick small forward but I'm not concerned which:
* Somebody with Mike Tyson style facial tatts who wasn't invited to draft camp or even the TAC Cup because he either looked he should be in prison or was in prison. There was a time (2011) where I was acting like a true Melbourne fan and saying I didn't want any players with neck tatts. I was wrong, and so wrong that I'd like to drastically overcorrect and get an absolutely unstable nutter in.
* Somebody whose main attribute is his ability to, a'la Josh Gibson, cut his teammates in for a leg-over at a world class rate. This will instantly raise morale, especially amongst the younger players. If he can actually play this will be a bonus.
* A trio of violent brothers from the Iron League.
If nothing else at least things will become interesting again. If we're going to kick six goals a week let's at least get some true novelty players and eccentrics involved instead of picking more fancyboys.
Essendon, where we'll presumably be thumped again. The fact that they're actually a good side makes about as much sense to me as the fact that we've ransacked the draft for years and turned out terrible but there you go. We do hold a two match winning streak against them for now..
Ahh yes, Dean Bailey punching the roof of the dugout in a sexually arousing fashion, Max Gawn missing sitters from the square, Watts taking screamers and me whopping off over $cully in a fashion that betrays my attempts to pretend now that I always thought he was shit.
It was the best of times, it was far from the worst of times. It was a Friday to remember, one that left you alone to enjoy your weekend without watching footy review shows through your fingers. Get your fingers ready, you'll be watching through them next Sunday morning.
Changes based on Casey not playing:
IN: Martin, Petterd, Bartram, ? (I've got nothing, this has never happened before)
OUT: Green (inj), Sellar, Dunn, Bennell
I know everyone wants Tom Couch because we've all developed some ridiculously high expectations that he's the next big thing but the fact of the matter is that he hasn't played a match for three weeks so I can't justify picking him. Start your 'internet humour' about how he'll still do better than Moloney but I'm prepared to give them one more week to convince Beamer not to be such a Maric style emo before I scrapheap him alongside the Sellar, Dunn and Bennell trio who I could quite frankly do without ever seeing again.
Other than the two I call for the return of every week and the return of Bartram who has been alright this year (in context) I'm stuffed for finding anybody else who deserves a game. What are you supposed to do when the VFL gives your seconds side a fortnight off? I'm almost tempted to give Couch the call-up anyway, because there's no way any of Davey, Sylvia or Morton deserve to get back in without playing at least one match at Casey and other than that what have we got? If it has to be one of them I'll opt for Morton who at least looks like he cares when he's stinking it up.
Even though Trengove is even more in need of a 'mystery injury' and a rest than he was last week it's not like we're flush with other options at the moment so I'm going to keep him based on a slightly better second half. If Frawley doesn't make it after his injury then I suppose they'll pick Joel Macdonald but given that we're going to get rumbled anyway how about a run for Demonblog's Own Troy Davis?
Anyone for a first quarter lead and ten goal loss?
The week after that
Bad news not getting Collingwood in the few weeks where the media declared them to be terrible, now they're good again and will presumably whip us even without the half of their best team who are injured and the other half who will be mysteriously rested that week. This is really the game to pick Couch, Davis etc.. just to confuse the shit out of the once a year fans.
The week after the week after that
I've come to the conclusion that no matter how awful our situation seems at the moment that there's no way GWS are going to let us get pick 1 AND Jack Viney at a bargain basement price. Just look at what happened after they beat Gold Coast and were presented with a realistic chance of winning against Brisbane, they 'rested' (wait, they actually admitted it so there's no need to be sarcastic) several players and lost by 90 something points.
They know how the league works, which is no surprise considering that they're run by it, and now that they've got the win on the board which means avoiding being the equal worst team ever who cares if they finish 1-21 just to get the first pick and spike our draft rorts? The paymasters at AFL HQ have no concern for the feelings of a cheersquad full of idiots dressed like V/Line conductors, they're working on a strategy to build a huge fanbase that involves children who haven't even been born yet. They've also just relocated the team from West Sydney which is strange.
So bad luck if you're keen on 'winning' the dignity free race to the bottom because they won't let it happen. Come Round 13 there will be a Sherman Tank going around the MCG (nb: not rhyming slang) and for once it won't be driven by us. By the time we get to Manuka Oval for Round 19 they'll be doing farcical moves like Junior McDonald to full-forward and Billy No Mates Scully as Captain if it'll stop us finishing below them.
Of course the big question then is if we finish second last (AIM HIGH KIDS!) do they nominate Viney to make us pay Pick 2 for him? Of course they do, knowing that it would be the screwjob of the millenium to ditch the kid at that point having already spent the season suffering from worse publicity than the Khmer Rouge. I'm comfortable with that considering we just stuff picks up anyway so let's at least give ourselves an out on this one by the fact that we were 'forced' to take him so high.
Now watch them come out and tonk us on June 24. Just wait for it, then I really will slip my mental mooring and be dragged out kicking and screaming.
If we'd signed Ross Lyon and this was happening people would be comforting themselves that kicking six goals a week was all part of the plan.