Saturday 2 June 2012

Reunited (and it feels so good)

This post is dedicated to the Kew Junction Dancing Man who quite correctly told me "we're still no good" in the 2010 pre-season while he was wearing a Melbourne hat

The only thing to do in the wake of the final siren last night was to sit in my seat and wait for everyone else to leave before attempting to do the same. Mainly because my nerves were so shredded I was shaking like a leaf and had lost to ability to walk properly. Which must seem odd to anybody who doesn't 'get' sports (and in that case you have no reason to be here. Wrong way, go back) but makes perfect sense to me, and I didn't fancy celebrating the match in the Alfred emergency room after ending up in a crumpled heap at the bottom of an MCG staircase.

The predictament was much of my own making, on my own and already in the foulest mood in history (not helped by the thumping we were to be inevitably be dealt) I had, not for the first time, rejected the human race and deliberately sat in the "Scully's Mates" section of the Ponsford Stand - in the very last row with nobody for 30 metres. Not only was it a good overview of the absolute freaks sitting in front (including the guy who stood up and did the double armed humping gesture whenever we kicked a point) but for swearing on carrying on like a twat without being "that guy who shows up on his own and carries on like a twat".

Being in the remotest outpost of the ground also provided comfort in being able to follow through with my threat of kicking the shit out of stadium infrastructure if we copped an early goal in the third quarter without being reported to security but I didn't take into account the possibility of an incredible, once in a lifetime thriller which would mean forgetting how to walk down steps. Good thing Neeld didn't have to do the same because whatever I was feeling he must have had x5000 on the boundary line in those last few moments and would probably have gone down headfirst if he'd been forced to deal with any staircases at that point.

So in the end I just stayed up there for a good 20 minutes as the wild scenes erupted below me, trying to regain the use of my legs in a meaningful fashion to would allow exiting the ground in some state of dignity. Pretty much everyone else had left the arena by this point other than a few tourists taking happy snaps of themselves inside an empty MCG and security guards ringing the boundary line just in case one lone drunkard leapt the fence and made a mad dash for the centre.

Eventually I managed to regain my composure and get out of there before they shut the place up and trapped me for three days like that poor woman inside Etihad Stadium a few years ago. Next thing I'm wandering through the Fitzroy Gardens and upon reaching the same spot where I had a brief lie down at about 3.30am on January 1 2009 I looked around to make sure nobody was watching, did a little dance and punched the air like old mate at the end of The Breakfast Club. It was that kind of night.

Great wins should be considered great wins for the fact that they deliver you flags or at least the chance to play for a flag, but we're not all fortunate enough to be in that situation. Some hack journo or broken down ex-player will undoubtedly notice that the rest of the media are treating our win like the good news story of the year and will try to make a name for themselves by writing articles about what a disgrace it was that we acted as if we'd won a Grand Final. We'll just assume it'll be David King or Mark Maclure because they tick both boxes, so may I be the first to say that if they do write such slop I hope the next thing they hear is a Range Rover 4WD crashing through their office wall before they're beaten to death by a tartan rug clad family wielding ski poles and yelling "come on #9".

People who aren't utter twats realise that any team would go off in the same circumstances after having been battered by the entire world for the last three months. You don't even have to suffer the media frenzy to make it worthwhile, nobody cares about the Gold Coast here, there or anywhere but when they do finally win a game this year they'll go off chops and as long as it's not against us we'll watch Gary Ablett leaping onto Matthew Warnock's shoulders and say "ahh that's nice!", not scream "WHY ARE YOU SO HAPPY YOU PRICKS YOU WERE 0-15?".

On the replay it seems even Luke Darcy, the man who says no to a casual wave at the camera when not even playing, was taking it in the intended spirit. If he goes back to hating us next week that's fine, we'll probably deserve it, but at least he gets why we're happy this time. Anyone who doesn't like it can line up en masse to slurp our royal plums.

It might be the fact that 12 hours later I'm still buzzing like Ben Cousins haggling for a better deal at an Esperance knocking shop but I'm comfortably ranking this win well above the other two great drought busters of our time. The 0-9 win against Adelaide in '07 was great, but it involved opening up a five goal lead before almost blowing it and despite the sheer epic scale of the comeback against Freo it still required us to go nearly nine goals down in a half against a travelling team who were rubbish anyway. Both times we went into the match having played a sustained period of shite football (though to be fair to Daniher 2007 was more bad luck than the abject skill failure which was following shortly behind) and suffering a kicking from the media (which to be fair to them for once we did deserve in '07) but neither can compare to the black cloud of doom that has hung over us this year and the torrent of hate we've been on the end of from people who are meant to be objective.

Also importantly what neither of those games provided was the opportunity to see 70% of the crowd in shock while everyone else pretended we'd just qualified for the World Cup. It's nice to see somebody else's fans on the verge of bursting into tears for once. Would be nice if we did it against a Victorian club not called Essendon or Richmond but a drowning man does not complain about what colour life preserver he's thrown.

What this game also had over and above the Adelaide and Freo wins was that it was against a 'good team'. The Crows would eventually play finals that year but they were hardly screaming for next big thing status like the Bombers were before this week (still not sure why) or playing on a ground that they held a good record on. All that on top of a ballsy defensive performance in the last minute would have already made it an instant classic (CLICHE) even if we hadn't been $12 outsiders staring down the barrel of a 0-10 start and the prospect of getting turned over by GWS in a fortnight. Put all the elements together and go directly to the non-existant MFC Hall of Fame (located next to the club psychologist office) as one of the great wins of our many years as cannon fodder.

Having said all that it might sound strange but I'm only slightly more confident of beating the franchise now than I was at 7.39pm Saturday and it's still no sure thing. At least we're not playing them next week, that could have ended in overconfidence and a terrific disaster, but still even after we presumably lose to Collingwood they cannot be taken lightly. Not every team is intent on providing charity by missing easy shots all night.

Still, I remain convinced that for all their 'brave efforts' this year they're still very happy to cheer us and the Suns on to victories which will keep them moored to the bottom of the table. But if you're keen on conspiracy (which I know so many of you are) they could very easily sneak a morale boosting victory at the 'G before conceding the second meeting later in the year when all the kids have been wheeled out Tom McNamara style. And Sheedy does seem to have a chip on his shoulder about us snubbing him for Bailey so you never know what wacky shenanigans he might be up to.

The good news is that while he's standing around on the boundary line directly imaginary traffic into a headset that isn't connected to anything the real coach Mark Williams will be sitting in the box safe in the knowledge that if he can engineer a Jordan McMahon scenario it'll be better for him when he's officially coach in 2014, at which time if there's any justice in the world the Giants will be have been relocated to Tasmania and/or merged with the Newtown Jets.

Of course like all good conspiracies there's the small flaw in the plan that involves Gold Coast needing to win at some point to make all this happen, but the way this season is going they'll probably beat West Coast at Subiaco at some point. Either way I still say we win but let's not get too far ahead of ourselves based solely on the Bombers delivering one of the great hari kari performances of the modern era.

Oh yes we'll take the four points and run with them like crazed looters after a natural disaster but has a team ever botched so many opportunities to 'do the right thing' and put away their underlings? Ironically just a week after lamenting on this very page how there's no way we could pull off the same sort of upset Carlton did against us in '06 (x2) I've discovered that anything is possible when your players turn up with the intent to fight and the opposition turn up semi-interested having skipped goalkicking practice for the week.

They've got form though Essendon. For all their big wins (Carlton/Richmond/West Coast) and a brave loss against premiership contenders (Collingwood) they also had to battle to beat North (who are taking the media heat for us this week, thanks Brad), Port (better than expected but still..) and Gold Coast. Even a ten goal win against GWS came out of a lacklustre four quarters of taking the piss because they knew they were going to win no matter what. I'm sure they will feature very prominently in September, and certainly never expected us to get even remotely close, but they were ripe to get done over in the right circumstances and they all came together for us in glorious fashion.

If this were Bomberblog there'd be a trail of destruction from here to Windy Hill caused by their abject failure to put us away about ten times when we handed them the opportunity on a platter. I feel infuriated on behalf of their fans because we have all been there - some more often than others and it's the worst feeling, especially when you end up getting done largely thanks to somebody who had previously kicked four goals in 68 matches.

For all the plaudits on the way to Garland for his two goals (we won so we'll forget the two horrific shanks) he should never have had the opportunity to win it anyway. Not only had they had multiple players who were woefully inept at goalkicking on the night but how many times did they go forward in numbers only to botch the kick or run over a ball on the ground when they had the numbers? We've all been there but from 20 odd rows behind the nearest citizen I could definitely smell The Fear that comes with going into a match as overwhelming favourites and stuffing it up. We still had to win it ourselves but they're the minority shareholders of at least 49% of the blame.

Still, nobody's suggesting a rematch or playing best of three. We got the points by any means necessary but Essendon will eventually play finals football so in the context of 2012 they're in front. It might burn now but unlike some others who have been us this year and acted like they're flag favourites we won't be sitting next to you on the couch come week one of the finals series.

That's the reality of this, temporary euphoria is the best thing ever but we've still got half wince when we look at the league ladder and see just two teams staffed almost entirely by schoolkids below us. I was willing to sit in the bunker alongside Neeld last week, now I'm getting on the reality bus with his as well. There's still a lot wrong with this team but at least they can start to play with some confidence now.

The most important thing is the small manner of having to consistently kick decent scores if we want to win more than one in ten but to get to that point they've got to correct some of the nearly criminal disposal errors that neck us all the time. I've got no problem with throwing disposal efficiency stats out the window if the player has to kick to a contest or lets loose a wild handball under pressure (well, I do but let's be realistic about what we've watched for five years) but at the same time let's delete dinky one metre handballs from the equation as well and get a real picture of where we're at. Imagine how much better we'd have been if every second easy pass to a stationary target didn't get to them on the bounce or fly straight out of bounds? It will come. Either that or the coach will go out and get players who can do it.

I hope Sam Blease and Daniel Nicholson are a prime example of the 'it will come' camp, because the way they take the game on is fantastic but their kicking makes me tremendously nervous. They weren't alone last night though, everyone had their go and botching one, or taking a blooper reel worthy shot on goal. Just luckily for us this week the opposition turned up with the same problems. It will not happen every week, and while there's a lot to be said for the pressure that our guys were putting on there were still a lot of times that it was just blatantly shit football by the Bombers which saved us.

How were we supposed to know that after they got the first goal 30 seconds into the opening quarter that it would take another 50 odd minutes for another? Of course they could have had more, they could have had plenty if they'd been able to kick straight and even though we managed to scramble our way to quarter time just three points behind the difference in the inside 50's seemed to indicate that they were primed to kick us to death from there. Stupid errors were killing us and apart from Howe's speculative hoof that went in the forward line was looking as threatening as an Auskick team.

It's more getting killed at the start of a third quarter which hurts us than the second, but still we managed to hold them out for five minutes without scoring - another shocking missed opportunity - before the rub your eyes, this can't be happening trifecta of goals opened up a handy lead. Looked like it was going to be Q1 against Carlton all over again when they got their second goal and almost a third, but thanks to the gigantic mitts of one M. Jamar we preserved a respectable enough lead and went in at half time in front for the first time all year.

Now, third quarters. These have been vile. This is the opening five minutes of every Q3 this year. As you can see we've hardly been blown away, and have managed to stem the tide in three of the last four weeks but it troubles me greatly that overall it's a score of 6.11.47 to 0.0.4

R1: 0.0 to 1.1 (goal at 2.55)
R2: 0.0 to 1.1 (goal at 1.59)
R3: 0.0 to 1.0 (goal at 1.07)
R4: 0.1 to 1.0 (goal at 0.28, at least we scored!?)
R5: 0.0 to 1.1 (goal at 1.17)
R6: 0.1 to 0.0 (SUCCESS!)
R7: 0.0 to 1.4 (goal at 2.58)
R8: 0.1 to 0.2 (shame about the rest of it)
R9: 0.1 to 0.2 (getting better...)

Ironically after all that, and considering what happened, this was our first opening to a Q3 yet conceding 2.0 to 0.0. Needless to say as somebody who has been all over this trend all year I half expected to see the famous MFC flagpole being wheeled out onto the ground with a white flag attached but thank god we got our heads together at that point and battled back because I don't know if I could have survived another roll over easy death without self-harming.

Once again they did us the honour of missing some sitters, but we weren't far behind. Garland might have eventually turned out to be the hero but his first kick on goal was a disaster. See also Morton's attempt at a running torp from 40m out which had a similar result. And Tapscott. You get the idea. At least we were getting it down there occasionally even if it was ending in disaster, but it still looked as if it was going to be yet another goalless quarter until Mitch Clark - the beast from the, err, west - shamelessly milked a free and banged the last goal of the quarter through to keep us alive. I love that guy, even when he was only kicking one goal the stuff he was doing off the ball was great. Long may he reign over us, and one day may we give him some decent backup.

Back to Morton I thought he was really good, he did some stupid things but who didn't? Unfortunately for him he's reached the level where he could do ten good but unspectacular things and one terrible thing and half the crowd will be fashioning nooses BUT for all my panic when he was announced as the replacement for Bail I was pleasantly surprised at how he went. There's still time to lock yourself in KFC and pork up son, forget all that rubbish about them cooking it in good old Aussie canola oil you will still end up looking like me if you have enough upsized three piece feeds.

On the topic of 'unpopular' players how good was Sellar? When he stuffed up a couple of times early on I thought oh god here we go again, but from then on he played what must have been the game of his life (who cares what he did at the Crows). That's why we drafted him to cover our defence and not to play as a pinch-hitting forward. After thinking he was in significant trouble in the first quarter he was nearly flawless - at least as close to flawless as you get in this team. I'm printing out a copy of last week's post where I wrote him off so that should he continue to be good I shall eat it. They might have let him into the middle of the circle for the song though...

Less paper eatage required on the topic of Lynden Dunn but at least he made seven tackles in a half, including that cracking one for holding the ball. More chance of me being there next year than him but at least he went 100%, and I respected the attempt to whack the ball through for a point when we were six up a'la Robbo at the city end against Hawthorn at the dying moments of the one point win in '99.

It was only eight points at three quarter time so we were (obviously) well and truly in it but doesn't eight always seems like 800 when we're playing? Even though we managed to avoid doing one of our great third quarter style chokes in the first couple of minutes I was still pessimistic about our chances of winning based on the fact that nobody bothered to go and rough up Fletcher after he piffed Tapscott into the fence.

I know Fletch is up there with Lenny Hayes in the list of people that it's illegal not to love but we're not here to make friends, somebody at least give him a bump and let him know that Tapscott's teammates care. I'm not saying that the lack of response to the fence incident was necessarily connected but they did go straight down the other end from the boundary throw in and have a shot about thirty seconds later which, yet again, they should have kicked and which would almost certainly have put us away.

Instead we go down the other end and Sylvia, having done three fifths of bugger all for the whole day, brings the house down by somehow pulling the ball out of a scrum and snapping it through to get us within a goal. More importantly after struggling to the death to kick that goal we actually won the next centre clearance and went forward again instead of bleeding straight back into their forward line and demoralising everyone. And from then on we were bloody good.

Not bloody good in the manner of a team who will be making a contribution in September - and one who could very well get tonked next week - but one playing fearlessly for once. Magner gave one back to the 'home' side by missing an easy snap but all of a sudden The Fear was not only in the Bombers fans but their players as well.

It could have been even better had Nicholson not been (possibly) rorted out of a goal. Would have been nice if they'd at least used the rule so hastily introduced and gone to the video to prove the goal umpire's hunch that it didn't go over, especially considering some of the RUBBISH they've gone to the video on this year. Having said that if it had been paid a goal we might have gone on and lost by 50 so take the point and run - especially after Garland got his second opportunity right and put us in front.

I still felt like there was far too much time left at that point, and the Bombers could easily have wrested the lead back twice within a couple of minutes. First Hurley ran over the top of the ball when all he had to do was pick it up to kick into an open goal, then Dempsey (who even I as somebody who takes no notice of opposition players knew was having a RANCID game) burnt Hurley on a lead and failed to make the distance. By this point things were going so uncharacteristically right for us that even when Watts dropped Dempsey's kick in the goal square it bounced right back up to him and he cleared it.

He was good again Watts, I'd rather that he didn't have to be stereotyped for the rest of his life as a loose man in defence but at least if he has to be he can (most of the time) kick it to a target and (most of the time) take overhead grabs. Either way at least he's earning his spot now instead of having it handed to him. Not surprisingly he appeared significantly more interested in being interviewed after the match than when Phil Cleary was annoying him in the wake of Casey's win over Box Hill a few weeks back.

Even when things were going ridiculously right it seemed like we were being set up for the biggest screwjob of the modern era (right up there with Port '07 featuring the McDonald 'deliberate') when Garland's second goal put us 11 in front. It's almost the most terrifying, nerve wracking score you can be on in that situation because at least if you're under a goal up you can justify stuffing things in one moment of madness - but to cop two goals in seven minutes could very easily be labelled an epic choke. And had we not put in a last few minutes of defence for the ages it may very well have been.

What I loved was that they didn't shit themselves and start trying to save it too early. And nor should they considering it would have been suicidal based on their inability to hit a target by foot half the time. Perhaps I may have gone bit more defensive in that last minute or so when we were the full goal up but they way we were playing it would probably have backfired so let's just call it a genius move and give the coach some credit for once. I do know if it had gone badly and Essendon had snatched a draw there'd have been a queue of cockdusters a mile long putting their hand up to write the articles slagging him. But it didn't so **** ******* and ***** **** can go fuck themselves.

My favourite bit of the celebration apart from not spewing one of the Kaiser's finest Vienna sausages everywhere was Neeld leaping on Blease with no concern for the young man's groin injury. Bad luck Sam, you've got plenty of time to have your cruet region stitched together so the chance for the coach to unload what must have been the most tension in the history of THE WORLD was far more important.

Neeld is the guy I'm happiest for in all of this. I've had my questions about some of the things he's done but what sort of clueless armchair internet critic would I be if I didn't? You don't have to agree with everything but at least give some time for the overall plan to come together and don't act like one of those clowns who are convinced Obama can't be president because he was born in Colac.

The coach certainly didn't look to me like a guy who had 'lost the players', certainly not the ones who count at least. For obvious reasons they seemed happy, and nobody who is rumoured to be nicking off elsewhere snuck out under the flimsy excuse of a 'sore knee' so he didn't have to be seen singing the song so everyone who disgraced themselves writing and saying stupid things about his relationship with the players can form a collective bargaining agreement between their fist and their arse - and that goes double for Gerard Healy who avoided any proper scrutiny for his absolutely ludicrious comments that none of our young players would re-sign. Fancy that, taking advice on retaining young players from the guy who was taking huge bags of money to leave us in the lurch and run away to Sydney six years before $cully was even born.

Even Moloney, public enemy #1 in these parts since that Herald Sun fiasco, looked like he wanted to be there for the first time in weeks. It started the moment he practically led the side through the banner, doing exactly what I've wanted from him all year and acting like the uncrowned captain of the club. He may still dick us, one win doesn't cure everything, but as long as he goes out at 100% then I can bring myself to wish him well wherever he winds up.

Alternatively he could become one of the greatest heroes in history by running through $cully at the first bounce of the GWS match with the most criminal, illegal, classic Byron Pickett-esque hit of the modern era and then while the traitor is being carted off by paramedics Don McLardy wheels a table out into the centre square where Beamer sits down and proudly signs a contract to stay with for the rest of his career before enjoying the well earned month's break for the obscene hit. Just a small fantasy I've been having.

Being dragged into the press conference after the match would have been a good excuse for him to get a bit over-excited and announce he was staying, but it's not like anybody asked him so I suppose he didn't have to. Mind you none of them really had any interest in talking to him at all until Neeld basically had to suggest they ask him something, and I'm not surprised considering that journos can easily get access to players after the matches so obviously it's the coaches they want to hear from. Besides what's the point of adding a second person to the press conference, it's just another person who we can't make out the questions to because nobody will invest in a few boom mic operators around the country. Surely the two gratuitously placed Powerade bottles that neither player or coach has the slightest interest in would pay for us to hear the questions? Maybe next year. Maybe in 2023 when you're watching it on an iToaster perched precariously over iBathtub.

Did you notice Neeld giving it back to the media in the press conference? Telling them how they weren't interested in writing about 'boring' things like GPS results and recovery. I like it. Followed on nicely from his pre-match interview on the radio where he said that there was a list of journos who he didn't even bother taking notice of anymore. Good man, let the shitkickers swing now and then when the time is right we'll turn the tables and lay the boots into them.

2012 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
5 - Nathan Jones
4 - Jack Watts
3 - Jack Grimes
2 - Brent Moloney
1 - James Sellar

After weeks (months?) where there didn't deserve to be five vote getters there should have been about 15 tonight. In no particular order Garland, Nicholson, Trengove, McKenzie and god help us all even Morton deserve some kind of compensation. Poor Cale should have realised full well by now that the best way to rack up a decent career tally is to save your best games for the days when every other bastard puts in a stinker.

There should be a separate award where points are given based on the player who you want to go up and put in a big, possibly homoerotic, bearhug every week. Jordie McKenzie would probably get it 21 weeks of the year but last night it was straight to Jack Trengove who has been pox for weeks but put in a gutsy performance that means I might be getting two for one on eating last week's post if both Sellar keeps playing well and GRIMGOVE eventually turn out to be a captaincy masterstroke.

Shut the door on this one before the halfway mark of the season. Three full BOG's clear if you don't mind. Maybe if they start kicking it to Clark so that he doesn't have to kick from Row Z every week he might starting delivering bags and storming home but with all integrity in the compilation of votes intact if Jones hasn't sewn this up by Round 23 I'll let Basil Zempelis teabag me live in front of #thankskirky on the last 'Saturday Arvo Footy' of the home and away season.

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

Crowd Watch
The spirit of the old Ponsford Stand was well and truly alive tonight. Where insane bastards used to go to neck smuggled alcohol, skin up and walk around screaming anything that came into their head there are now unfortunately rows and rows usually completely empty seats - but that didn't stop this guy from putting in a magnificent tribute performance in honour of the Kew Dancing Man.

Photobucket He disappeared after half-time, but for the first two quarters he just walked back and forth across the row, occassionally yelling something out. God knows who he was going for but if it was us then I demand every single stereotype about our fans being posh is immediately cancelled and the football world issue us an apology.

Must be something about Essendon games, flash back to 2008 and I was also posting candid camera shots of a nutbar making a fool of himself. Admittedly he was following the Dees so god knows what asylum he ended up in.

There was another guy who couldn't sit down a few rows to the left of where the tracksuit prancer had been doing his best work. This one was clearly in the red and black camp because halfway through the first verse of our song The Fear became too much for him and he hurled a packet of chips - loaded with a half full beer inside - across ten rows into some empty seats where it splattered across some seats which will presumably never be cleaned again a'la that wall where the kid spewed during 2010.

The fun started before the match when I saw a young man impressing his lady by using a 600ml Coke Zero bottle to imitate his flange (she found it hilarious) then went into the TAB where some old mate with the worst wig of all time was trying to engage everyone in conversation about the Adelaide vs Freo game. One guy tried to run away to the other end of the place and was followed so he eventually just gave up and left. Thankfully I had headphones to casually put in so even though there was nothing coming through them he didn't bother to try and engage me in stupid conversation about how the Crows were going to play "loop the loop" (aka backline dink) just to stick it up Ross Lyon (sure they were) and how Damian Drum had been robbed to be sacked as Dockers coach (sure he was).

Insane crowd behaviour is almost as welcome a return to these pages as writing about a win. Long live the freaks. No doubt there will be hundreds of them next week, hold onto your valuables outside the ground.

Stat My Bitch Up
It may end up on our permanent record that this year's lineup were the 38th team in league history to start a season 0-9 but the good news is that we are now amongst the seven who snapped the streak a week later and avoided bringing up perfect tens (or worse). Stand up and hurl ye tomatoes at the following list of doomed sides:

St Kilda - 1897/1898/1899/1901/1902/1910/1948/1949/1955/1986 (they are taking the piss surely)
North Melbourne - 1926/1929/1931/1934/1935/1972
Hawthorn - 1927/1928/1950
University - 1913/1914
Fitzroy - 1964/1966
Footscray - 1939/1980
Geelong - 1944/1972
South Melbourne/Sydney - 1973/1993
Melbourne - 1919
Fremantle - 2001

... and taking the spot in the historical Laughing Stock League that had our name pencilled in for this year please welcome Gold Coast 2012 to the list (assuming they have been beaten by the Pies by the time you read this, otherwise the old EDIT button is going to get a workout).

Also one other thing I'd like to point out is that for once Jamar was well beaten in the hitouts but played much better around the ground AND we were better out of the centre. How does this work? I do not compute.

MFC Facebook Comment of the Week
Luckily this week's result means that the dreaded 0-11 video that had been created JUST IN CASE (a month ago) will never be shown. Maybe on the Director's Cut of the End of Season Review? But here's one we prepared earlier to break open in the unlikely event of a victory.

The chances of seeing anything suitably insane after that performance are a million to one (and in fact I'm not even bothering looking because it will just bring the mood down) so it's a good thing I was alerted to this gem on the Thursday night selection post.
With respect to the Bennell family I think we've discovered that his best position is anywhere as long as it's in a Casey Scorpions jumper.

Runner up to the worst conspiracy theory since the one I read on Demonland about Cameron Schwab being responsible for September 11. Sadly the limitations of Facebook meant nobody could reply to this with a NOT SURE IF SERIOUS graphic.
Even if we'd lost that would still be a stupid post, now it's in the Hall of Fame.

Next Week
May I be the first to get in and point out that the last time we snapped a 0-9 start with a surprise win against an eventual finalist that we also rolled the Pies a week later? What a great day that was, including Robbo kicking seven with a can thrown at him on the final siren and Ben Holland putting in the cheating performance of the century against Anthony Rocca.

Then after that we got rumbled by a filthy rotten Tigers team, Daniher got sacked and I called one of our own fans a crunt so if we win next week (HAH!) feel free to draw parallels between Richmond 2007 and GWS. Richmond now, on the other hand, have assumed next big thing status in such spectacular fashion that I almost feel bad for suggesting that their fans have ended up under trains to every location on the Metro network over the last few years. We'll do the dramatic leaping from here on gents, just not this week.

Changes? God, I really don't want to make any but you have to don't you? If Frawley is right to come back and Bartram isn't it makes it hard to replace Blease and his faulty groin. Jai Sheahan was BOG for Casey but correct me if I'm wrong we don't get another free rookie upgrade for a couple of weeks so I certainly don't expect to see him next week. Demonblog's Own Troy Davis was in the best too but at least for this week we're well stocked for defenders so don't like his chances either. For me it comes down a toss-up between Bail and Davey. Neither really makes me want to call for a street parade in celebration but for now I'll go with the one who wasn't dropped and hope Davey can put in another good performance at Casey and actually earn his recall.

I'll drop the two usual names that appear on here every week and concede that firstly The SME is still battling injury and needs to play at least one full game for Casey before being considered and secondly that Petterd might be the people's champion but like Kevin Rudd doesn't have the numbers where it counts to be selected.

So, based on that it's:

IN: Frawley, Bail
OUT: Macdonald, Blease (inj)

... and let's hope there's no Rivers vs Cloke fiascos like last year. Trav is doing a good job of taking himself out of the game at the moment but there's nothing we do better than play somebody back into form so watch out. Imagine if Sellar rolls him Ben Holland 2007 style? He'll go from being the biggest heel ever a fortnight ago to a cult figure.

Oh and Lucas Cook kicked three for the Scorpions. It must be cautioned that the Preston/Northern Bullants/Blues are 1-6 so whether or not it counts for anything is debatable BUT it proves that he's alive and capable of doing it. Whatever flesh eating virus Morton has that means he can only put on weight in his hair has ruined my faith that all players will eventually bulk up BUT with any luck Cook will get a few token games at the end of this year and undergo a Herculean training program in the off-season in preparation for total unleashment in 2013.

Final Thoughts
I honestly hope that was a once in a lifetime experience. Seemed like one but even if we have been 0-9 twice in five years I'm keen to avoid it ever happening again if possible. Can you just buy a quarter off Name A Game?


  1. Every single mumbo jumbo obsessive compulsive superstition returned to me last night. I was a wreck. Phone had to be zipped in pocket or essendon go forward, mumbling 'dribble' meant it wouldn't bounce for essendon, mumbling 'bounce' meant either it would bounce for us or the tackle would stick, depending. I had to yell 'punch' and 'contest' every time like I was at Moorabin in 1985 freezing in a flanno...after which I was certified as a 12 year old. I even brought back my 'bone pointing' method of picking the correct side they were going to spray it near and pointing and flicking it off to finish the job. ie I was directing the ball mid air. And it appeared no one thought I was nuts. I even cut a deal with an essendon supporter in heaven ('heaven' had to be revisited as a possible place in order to cut the deal...I won't say what I now owe in return. oh shit!) When we got 11 points up I felt compression on my vision and time stopped in the movies. My ears stopped carrying sound to my brain. I was standing and I grabbed the rail and was about to let someone know I was having a stroke or a faint but after what seemed like 5 or 6 seconds it passed. The ball was still in the same spot. It continued sailing through the posts. I heard the crowd. I ventured to yell. I was still alive. I YELLED! And now, its like a liquid. The cure! No more convalesence. The drug has been administered at last. TC
    (and Nicholson shall nay be dropped ever again! B.O.G!)

  2. THAT was one of the most amazing experiences of the year. Up there with my horse winning his maiden at Geelong on St Pat's Day. I wept. I paced the lounge room. I punched cushions. I wept some more. Especially when Neeld threw his arms up in premature celebration. Ah, the ecstasy. The sheer unadulterated pleasure from watching the boys pull off an unexpected win against a team that is fast becoming our biatch. Thanks for the thrill, lads. And thanks DB for this great blog. I've only recently been introduced, but it's now a staple. Cheers, The Doctor, Research.


Crack the sads here... (to keep out nuffies, comments will show after approval by the Demonblog ARC)