Monday 1 April 2013

Cleanup in Aisle 666

Welcome to another huge week of following the Melbourne Football Club. When I saw this (part one, part two) posted on Twitter a couple of weeks ago I thought "by christ, that rings a few bells", now I'm convinced that somebody has worked out the rest of my life story and committed it to cartoon - right down to Demonblog Jr showing gratitude for the gift of life by turning around and claiming he's a GWS fan just before they win nine flags in a row.

Oh yes, we're back here again. Goodbye optimism, hello the sort of despair best expressed by the late My Chemical Romance doing Sylvia Plath covers down a coal mine. Even as I start writing this about seven hours after the final siren you can still hear the unmistakeable, deafening sound of expectations deflating and community confidence plummeting to earth like a fucked hot air balloon.

After last year's first round let-down and subsequent tailspin into horror I'm not sure anybody who doesn't reside in 'a home' could have had all that great a set of expectations for us anyway, but even those in the black veiled "the quicker everyone is sacked the better" ultra-pessimist faction surely wouldn't have dared dream of anything more than a 10 goal loss to a side who it was assumed resided firmly in the same "wounded battlers" category as us. You'd have been keelhauled at dawn for openly suggesting a nearly 80 point loss to them but here we are, back to the bottom of the laughing stock league with an anvil tied to our collective ankles.

As ballooning metaphors are clearly the next big thing in 'sports' 'writing' I didn't even think we'd get the thing more than a few metres higher off the ground than our last go anyway, which is what gives the sudden impact of stacking into some power lines (see what I... forget about it) and dying en masse even more disheartening. When expectations are set to practically rock bottom (yay, let's fight for the right to finish 15th) and you STILL come out of the first real game of the year feeling like you've been absolutely swindled something is horribly wrong.

Losing to Port alone is not worthy of a massive outbreak of self-harm, they had won two in a row against us before this don't forget, but the nature of that performance will be hard to push out of your memory for a long time. If we'd done the usual and kicked one goal in the first quarter, copped seven in a row at the start of the third and banged through a few pointless consolations at the end to keep the margin respectable pretty much everyone would have shrugged, gone "well, here we go again" and gotten on with their lives. Instead after months and months of waffle about how we've turned the club around under the new regime, how everything's heading in the right direction etc.. etc.. they come out and serve up this shit sandwich. Somewhere Dean Bailey is filling in his newly found spare time absolutely pissing himself laughing at us right now.

Minor setback it may eventually turn out to be, but damn right everyone gets to crack the shits now, because deep in their heart all footy fans are fuelled by hope. It's what gets you through the 15 games a year in which you consider yourself no chance in hell of winning, it's what the clubs prey upon to get you to hand over money for a membership this year even though every sane judge of the game and non-lunatic on the planet knows that we have only the remotest miracle chance of doing what it is footy teams are put on the park for - win the premiership.

You're talking to the goose who pays for a premium membership which guarantees me a Grand Final ticket if we're in it. I rarely sit in the seat, we're not going to make the Grand Final unless there's so few teams left in business that winning it would not actually mean anything so why do I keep doing it, and why do many others throw in more and more dollars every year knowing they're probably going to get garbage in return? Because we hope that we're contributing to something which will eventually put us in a position to be good. Because some of us want to say we were there and stuck with the team through thick and thin, and in my case because if this team eventually limps to their death like Fitzroy it'll leave a gigantic hole in my sad, black heart. Any more performances like this and they'll have to convert the Foundation Heroes dinner into an "Everyday People" BBQ where instead of standing up and giving $5k we throw our loose change at somebody carrying a blanket.

I'm not giving up, but I can see why you would after today. I'd say it was my third worst day at the footy of my adult life. First as it will hopefully be forever, never to be topped, is obviously 186. Second also belongs to Geelong, the night we were 53 points down before even scoring (via a charity point when a Geelong defender felt sorry for us and dropped a mark over the line to a huge cheer) and now welcome to the podium Port Adelaide who have just knocked Round 1, 2008 into fourth place. That's some sort of company to be in - and it says a lot about the shock value of this defeat, and the way it came about that an 80 point loss can push a 104 point out of the bronze medal spot.

The honeymoon for Team Neeld is now officially over. For some it was over about 45 minutes into Round 1 last year and hasn't let up, but for those of us who weren't dropped on our head shortly after birth we were prepared to sit back and give them the chance to belatedly swing the axe and put the players through a proper pre-season before we passed any sort of serious judgement. I'm not here to say anybody should be sacked, right now that would not only be counterproductive but also kind of insane, but that should be the wake-up call for everybody involved either front and back of house of the football department. We could finish last this year and I wouldn't even necessarily want to press reset on the coach and support staff yet again IF there were a series of strong performances and we happened to find ourselves last because everybody below us last year improved, but if that's the sort of slop that's going to be dished up on a regular basis there will be a lot very keen to rip the cables out and reboot. I can't say I won't be joining them at some point, but what are you going to do - go out and find another untried senior coach from a good club? Or are you going to wheel in Brett Ratten for a go? Unless the players are going to come to the party you might as well get Ken Judge to come in and do Hitler gags because the outlook isn't going to get any brighter.

This lot aren't a lost cause, but they don't do themselves any favours going into press conferences and talking about how shocking it is that all the good work that's done at training doesn't translate into a proper match. Maybe it came out badly, and god knows we still can't hear the questions being asked because a billion dollar industry is too cheap to buy a boom mic, but surely nobody expects that a player who puts in the same effort when faced with a) a teammate loosely defending against him in an orange vest or b) a highly paid opposition team is going to look anything other than a goose when he runs into option b? Reminds me of an indoor soccer team I used to play for - our pre-match 'training' consisted of all five players hoofing shots straight at the keeper without anybody playing as a defender. How good it felt to crack shots at this numptie with all the time in the world, watching them slam into all four corners of the net as if we were actually good. Not surprisingly when the game started and we were forced to fashion chances with several players standing between us and the keeper we weren't so good.

We - and let's include ourselves in this in the spirit of everyone shouldering the blame - stuffed it up, and you didn't need to wait any further than the first five minutes for any feel good factor (based almost entirely on one win by half our team over half Port's team and the assumption that it can't go on like this forever) to evaporate. When the 17th best centre clearance team plays the 18th you know there's unlikely to be a great deal of midfield excitement but it was obvious to all that something very bad was going to happen when we conceded two goals before even having a proper kick. Let the good times roll.

Suddenly everything that seemed like a relatively good idea until about 1.09pm Sunday has now got cartoon style comedy stinklines coming off it. Even the same people who were furiously beating themselves off over the performances of Watts in the backline last year are now storming to their phones to ring up SEN and scream "who's running this place?" etc... etc...

What went wrong? You don't have to wait for the black box to be picked out of the wreckage on this one, we got ambushed by a side who properly wanted it while we ran around like it was an intra-club game. Look at Footscray, Gold Coast and even GWS yesterday - that's how you come out with your backs against the wall in round one based on ok but not great pre-seasons and fight your heart out. The last two have got about 15 fans between them but every one of them would have been pleased with the performances of kids even if the Suns had lost in the end. They've probably got even lower expectations than we do at the moment but it shows that you don't have to go meekly to your grave every week. I thought we'd replaced all the fancyboys and people who just couldn't be stuffed with hardened professionals? When are more than a handful of them going to turn up then?

The strange thing is that in the first half, despite that period at the start where they were just teeing off on us without anybody in red/blue being able to touch the ball, we weren't all that bad up front. Seven goals in a half is actually a half decent return for us, it's just that when we didn't kick a score or win it out of the middle we were splattered. How often in the last few years have we bemoaned the ease with which opposition players break free and find themselves alone? Nothing's changed, except today it looked even worse than usual. It started to get worse as the second quarter wore on, to the point where Mitch Clark started abusing everyone who wouldn't kick it to him properly. And good luck to him, he should be able to tell anyone he likes that they're rubbish because he's a god amongst lesser men.

So many lesser men. How many times did two players run to one Port opponent and leave another alone? How many times did the Power have the chance to kick 30m into the middle of ground to a free man? Pressure was, on the whole, not existant and even when we did get the ball back either nobody would run hard to make space or the player with the ball would assume nobody was going to and take five hours of thinking just to kick it to a contest. You would hate to think that players didn't care, and that it just seemed like that because they were being run off their feet but today it looked like most of them weren't all that keen. I still have a sick fascination for the idea of Wayne Carey as a coach (though no doubt if there's anything that would drive somebody back on the gear...) and he absolutely nailed it when he said this. You can understand players looking for the finish line late in the year - and we've seen that a few times - but when it's happening in Round 1 something is rancid.

Usually the backline are innocent victims of everyone else being no good and put in a heroic shift under constant fire before eventually collapsing under the sheer weight of attacks, but even they were all at sea today. Dunn played one of the all time shocking milestone games, Watts didn't seem to be interested in anything other than arguing with his teammates after a goal, Frawley was running around like he couldn't wait for his turn at free agency to roll around at the end of next year and Gillies - with respect to Rohan Bail blowing a hammy 30 seconds into his first game - had the worst debut of any MFC player since Isaac Weetra. Unlike the Weet, who has rapidly become an icon of our time, he got a few kicks because he didn't have to find his own ball but bloody hell he appeared to have no idea otherwise. Not writing him off forever, but hoping we haven't been sucked in Nathan Djerrkura style into thinking that he must have been good if he couldn't get a game at a top side.

I'd love to say 'no Rivers, no defence' but even when he wasn't down there most weeks in the second half of last year they were beaten up by weight of numbers rather than the fact that they were running around like headless chickens. No 'King of Sizzle' Tom McDonald, no defence? He might be responsible for some comedy kicking at times, but at least he knows how to get within a kilometre of an opponent.

But really, when it comes down to this guy almost had it right, "it's the midfield stupid". On a handful of occassions during the first quarter, mainly thanks to Dreamboat Mitch Clark (bless that man), it looked like we were about to get our heads together and make a contest of it but only to turn around and cop a goal straight away. At least in the second quarter after we'd kicked two in a row to 'make it interesting' we waited a good five minutes before conceding two in a row. The brief flashes of good, honest football were just that - and once you've conceded a 20 point start you're not going to fluke your way to a win without turning the SS Wonky around and sailing it away from the rocks.

The collective bar/ladybar which everyone has cracked over Jack Viney is absolutely justified based on today's performance (he had our worst disposal efficiency AND WE DO NOT GIVE A TOSS), but other than him and the usual workhorse cameo appearance of McKenzie what have we got? Nothing and Port knew it - sit on Jones and we had no other real options. The reigning Allen Jakovich Medallist wasn't too bad, but he didn't have half the impact he did most games last year. I'm not going to go all Facebook and start crying about Moloney not being there, but as shite as he was for most of 2012 he hasn't been replaced. For all of the good guy traits that Byrnes, Rodan etc.. bring to the party other clubs aren't going to lose too much sleep about them and we can't rest it all on Viney's shoulders yet - even though he seems to be the type who would actually enjoy the challenge.

What were we supposed to do though? Keeping Moloney might have been an option, but without knowing the full behind the scenes circumstances I don't think it's a realistic one. And good luck going out and finding a ready made, experienced inside midfielder who is willing to join a bottom of the harbour team and doesn't cost a fortune in cash or picks (though to be fair others have found them for free in shitbox leagues). You've got to at least pretend you've got options though, or Jones will just get butchered every week. If we're not going to do it with skill I'm happy to roll in the grafters like Magner who will at least compete.

I'm not as down on Byrnes and Rodan as everyone else seems to be, obviously neither of them are going to play finals for us but it's as much of a gamble playing them as it would be throwing another kid to the slaughter or going out and getting yet another VFL player and hoping that we crack some sort of Michael Barlow style miracle eventually. Yes we should be using high draft picks in these roles and yes we did stuff up a lot of the picks but that can't be undone. No doubt now we're finishing in the bottom four again this year, and no doubt they'll draft another midfielder in the never ending quest to finally get it right. Might happen one day. They would both know that when it gets to Round 16 and we're completely shit that if the coaches want to see a kid they will play them even if it means pitching one or both of those two off to Point Gellibrand to play against Williamstown.

As for Pedersen I'd still prefer The Experience and his magnificent quiff (even though he's hardly setting the world alight at Brisbane), but I would say that wouldn't I? At least Pedo got to have one dizzying high (screamer + goal, surely paid as a mark only to square up the Jay Schultz one which was about a metre over the line) and one terrifying low (looking like a dickhead opting to punch instead of marking), so he's officially a Demon now. Prepared to give him more chances, but he's got to be in direct competition for a spot with Sellar if Dawes and Clark are ever in the same team. Sellar went backwards today (by about three time zones) but it's drawn them level after Pedersen didn't do anything pre-season.

Spoiler alert on the votes, I thought Viney was our best even if he rushed a few of his kicks and directly cost us a goal with one blind hoof out of a pack. At least he had a go, and looked capable of winning a few clearances here and there. He also crumbed a goal, and the quickest way to my heart is via crumbs. The only other two I can even confidently fit in without pushing my luck are Grimes (the only decent thing to come out of the third quarter) and Matt Jones who I wasn't all that keen on to start with but played a pretty good game given the circumstances.

Apart from one belter tackle Sylvia just went through the motions, and if we're going to accept this year as another shambles I will be ropeable if we spend half of it bending over backwards in the hope that he won't walk as a free agent at the end of the year. Unlike Jared Rivers who was always a company man even when he was sitting out contract talks waiting to see who came calling I'm not sure Col would even toss up whether to stay or go. He doesn't come across as the sort to give a toss about being the one to drag us off our knees. He's tried it a few times and nothing's come of it, so maybe he's decide that's enough but if he's not committed to the cause as the year goes on then drop him and let him go elsewhere. I don't want us to be held over a barrel but somebody whose highs are spectacular but the other 95% of the time is pure frustration. Fit in or fuck off. I hear Brisbane is nice at this time of year.

Call it tanking, if you're an arsehole, but I'd rather play Tom Couch trying to save his career than somebody trying to whore themselves out to a top four team by putting in a couple of token top flight games a year. Save the money from he and Davey and use it to try and hold Frawley when the entire league tries to sign him at the end of 2014. Any danger that Hawthorn wouldn't want him for when Lake goes?
As for the others there were a handful of good news stories, Jamar got plenty of taps (some even to our players) and took big marks, Jordie tried hard as usual even if he did kick one straight up in the air and wouldn't get within two miles of a premiership contender side and not much else. Sellar was the poster child for pre-season expectations burst violently, Nicholson wasn't much chop compared to his good form in the second half of last year and I'm not entirely sure what Tapscott's role is supposed to be - or indeed if he even has one.
Toumpas hardly blew the lid off the place, but that's ok because it's not his job to walk in and dominate straight away. He probably shouldn't even be playing seniors yet, but we may as well give him a few weeks to get his feet wet no matter how nervy he is. Then a bit of mix and match between resting, playing for Casey and back into the seniors for the rest of the season before he unloads in 2014 and demands a trade to the Crows in 2015.
By the time Blease came on the damage had well and truly been done but at least he had some run in him, even if he was playing on Planet Blease as usual and showing no interest in anybody other than himself. That's why we love him, insane individualism can be a problem if left unchecked but I just like the idea of SOMEBODY backing themselves rather than running around looking terrified. More of the same please, hopefully with the fitness to go for a full four quarters next week.

You may have your own favourite moment of the game, but quite frankly I'd like to stop thinking about it as soon as possible thanks. How about the bit where it looked like Mitch Clark had either done his knee or broken his ankle? I was sitting right above that, and when his hand hovered between knee and ankle while he stood there looking gone for all money I honestly almost had a tear in my eye at the injustice of it all. That he first managed to get up and hobble off and then actually come back on in the fourth quarter

Not entirely sure what bringing him back on proved when the emphasis of the match at that point was not getting thrashed (FAIL) rather than kicking goals, but if it proved something and somebody got to do a resurrection gag somewhere then whatever. On the other hand if we find out that whatever he's done has been aggravated by that pointless cameo then I'll piff a brick through the Megastore window.

Just so many classic moments to look back on. Find a mate who follows Port and ask him to borrow the tape sometime. Download a dodgy torrent of it just because you can. Abuse Dwayne Russell for his commentary even though you didn't hear a second of it. Just don't forgive one of the saddest, most pissweak performances of recent times. And now, we drink a toast to the future - Hemlock Gatorade for all.
Stats Corner
It might have gone wrong almost everywhere else, but at least we got a quarter of our goals via crumb AND were only outscored by a point in the first five minutes of the third quarter. Shame about the rest.

2013 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
Struggling after the first two. Grimes leads the Seecamp but watch for a midfield related DQ in coming weeks. Sucked in to anybody who took the NO ELIGIBLE PLAYER option in any of the minority awards, you have officially done your fictional cash. Unless Grimes gets DQed, because the way they're going nobody else in the backline is likely to pocket a vote anytime soon.

5 - Jack Viney (LEADER: Jeff Hilton Rising Star Award)
4 - Jack Grimes (LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
3 - Matt Jones
2 - Mark Jamar (LEADER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
1 - Jordie McKenzie

Apologies to N. Jones, Howe and Clark. That'll do.

MFC Facebook Comment of the Week
It's back by popular demand, for as many weeks as I can bear to trawl through the self-loathing and shambolic spelling of player names before it all becomes too much to bear.

Considering that there's - at the time of writing - 1014 comments on the game thread, another 269 on the Neeld/Grimes press conference and god knows how many in the quarter-by-quarter updates you will forgive me if I miss some solid gold. There should be a five comment limit, because some people are ruining it for everyone (i.e me) but treating it like they're in a live chat and somebody is actually listening to them.

Showing every one where somebody made a horrible spelling mistake (and yes, there are probably 2000 in this post alone. Start your own blog and whinge about it) would take about five years but here's my favourite - making his second of what's sure to be many appearances...

Then there's that old chestnut, the opposition fan who tries to crack a gag but ends up coming off like a 14-year-old wanker. There is a special place reserved in hell for fuckwits who think they're elite members of society because they can troll other team Facebook pages.

Also note about 500 people doing the "Give us the 500k back, we obviously weren't tanking" gag as if they were the first. It's clearly become the new calling umpires yellow/green/orange maggots. And snow jokes are really bringing the house down.
I have the feeling that there will be a lot of material to pick through this year, and I haven't got the time to go through all these clowns arguing with each other to find them so if you happen to see a belter feel free to send it to me via Twitter and I'll try to include it.

Crowd Watch
For want of anywhere else to write this can we please, please, for god's sake end this horrific audio/visual experiment with the trumpet player? I'm sure he's a top bloke and all, and like Cale Morton he probably teaches kids to read in his spare time but unfortunately like Cale Morton we've also got a shithouse record when he's played.

To be entirely fair if he's appeared at every MCG home game since Round 1, 2009 it would give him a record of 14-2-24, which at 35% is a better career winning percentage than all of Matthew Warnock (MFC portion of career only), Morton, the SME, Grimes, Petterd (RIP), Bate (RIP), Jones, Garland, Bennell, McKenzie, Frawley, Dunn, Watts and the list of worst records runs out at 30.91% so god knows who else.
I don't need those helpful stats to know that brass band warbling doesn't have even the slightest effect on the actual football played, but his mere presence just seems to be taking the piss now. Yes, I'm interested in 'match day experience' (not really, but I suspect other people are), but what's this contributing to it? Being stereotyped at posh ponces is great considering some of the alternatives you could get, but at some point in the next few years our membership/support base is going to contract severely when all the people who were roped in by the 50's and 60's 'move on' and there's only so many wedded for life losers like me left. When You Jr. refuses to participate because we're shit then the whole place will sadly ebb away. It's time to thank Captain Trumpet for his loyal service, give him a life membership if that's what it takes and send him on his way. There's only so much on-field humilation I can take without adding to it off-field.

On the other hand I enjoyed the gimmick where our team refused to run out until all the good bits of Enter Sandman had played. I was hoping this guy might turn up and clean house, but alas it was not to be.

Considering the moderately wild scenes at the end (by our standards) the crowd where I was were pretty well behaved during the actual abortion. There was the odd exasperated cry and indecent remark, and I apologise for calling the umpire all sorts of names for 'pointing the wrong way' only to learn that we'd actually given away a 50 for stuffing up the interchange like a bunch of rank amateurs, but it was mostly stunned silence and laughter. To any MFC players reading this you should forget the abuse and realise that when your own fans start laughing as we're being thrashed (by Port) that's when things have gone too far and grudging resignation has set in.

I'm pleased to report that the first walk-outs of the season, in our section at least, came at the 24 minute mark of the third quarter. Made sense, you can't put a premium on beating the crowds on the train or getting your car out of the carpark even when there's just (allegedly) 23,000 people there. It certainly made more sense than those who stayed until the end of the third quarter, sat through the entire 3/4 time break then upped and left when Port kicked the first goal of the last quarter 30 seconds in. Did you feel as if some sort of belting Essendon '92 Chris Sullivan Line style comeback had been thwarted by that goal? At least you got to see the ad about recruiting people to become members one more time before it's banned for being unrealistic.

As for the end of game antics I can't see myself ever being the sort of person to haul off and yell abuse down the race, mainly because I'd be going "YOU'RE ALL FUCKED, except you did well, and you tried hard, and you were played out of position" but it's about time our fans unloaded some good old fashioned feral. To my shame I did even indulge in some passive aggressive booing, not because I thought it would change anything but because it felt like the best way to join in the mass register of dissent.

There's nothing like some open feral action to split the fans, and to nobody's surprise a civil war soon broke out between the "we've had enough, let's have a riot" and "support everybody no matter what" factions. I've got a foot in either camp (but not the far-right "let's ring the club up and abuse the receptionist" faction populated solely by dickheads who live in Josef Fritzl style basements) but don't you find it interesting that the same outsiders (and some of our own) who love to gag about how we're all Scotch College graduates with engraved thermos flasks are quick to jump on "Disgrace! Shame! Terror in the Grandstands!" bandwagon?

According to the Herald Sun we could "boo for Australia", which is something to remember the next time they do some AMUSING snow gag. The quicker they shut the gaping hole in their paywall so I'm not even tempted to click on their articles (and replace 'heraldsun' with 'news') the better. Mind you, the link above does get absolutely everything else right.

Next Week
To open the Big Book o' Footy Cliches for the first time this season it's not so much what they did this week (i.e stuffed it up) but how they respond on Saturday night against a side who a) had a good first up win and b) had a week off. There's no way the Bombers will play like the Jamaican Bobled Team again like last year, so while I'm not expecting a win (EVER AGAIN) if they can't put together some sort of cohesive performance where it looks like more than six or seven players can be bothered then coaches, players and administrators alike can slurp my plums.

Not that I will see any of this live considering I'll be at a wedding while it's on. The upside to that is that I won't have to watch the Bombers take their horrible revenge for ruining their 2012 season live, the downside is that even if the result isn't ruined by some poon grabbing the microphone and doing a celebratory rendition of "See the Bombers Fly Up" I'll have to wait until after midnight to even start viewing it.

It's almost pure stupidity to believe that in this day and age I can make it through the night without having the scores blown to me even if I turn my phone off entirely and stay away from televisions (unless I can get away with watching it from first bounce to last, emerging only at the end of every quarter to cut cake, do the Nutbush and whatever else it is that one does at a wedding), but the only other alternative is to be the shittest guest ever and keep ducking out to listen on the radio so I'll try my hardest to avoid having my night ruined until I get home and start watching live on delay.

Either way I'm sure I'll still be moved to mash my keyboard in some way. It will be an interesting experience if I watch already knowing the result, because it's not something I've ever done before. Not once in the Demonblog era or before. In the meantime feel free to fashion your own home version of Demonblog by writing something featuring the words 'farce', 'shambles', 'farce shambles', 'deestress' and 'get stuffed'.

Anyway, how are we going to get out of this hole? I'll assume that the posted injury list is relatively accurate:

IN: Dawes, Magner, McDonald, Trengove
OUT: Sellar, Gillies, Dunn, Tapscott

If McDonald isn't fit substitute for Macdonald (which is in no way confusing), and if Clark doesn't play I'll throw Sellar an enthusiasm free lifeline based on his pre-season and that tap to Jordie.

Will we win? We will not, and nor will we against West Coast a week later but if we don't get it right by Round 4 and somehow manage to lose Carnival of Hate II: Hate Harder to GWS and $cully on the MCG then the gates of hell are going to tear open.

Was it worth it?
Even when you follow a pox team the world is still a better place during footy season.

Final Thoughts
When footy gets me down and I can't handle being around opposition (or indeed our own) fans I walk home. Takes an hour but at least it leaves some time for thought collection and kicking of inanimate objects. Ironically the only year since 2008 that I've lived too far away from the G to walk was the year that was, compared to most, a bloody glory era (2010). Perhaps it's time to pack up and shift 'the Towers' to Melton and see what happens.


  1. Nice work Adam. I thought there's no way it could be as tough as last year for us Dees supporters. Maybe they'll find a way!

    - Bill

  2. Too late to swap Toumpas for Wines?


    1. I still don't understand why we grabbed Toumpas over Wines. We want mature bodies to help speed up the clubs development, and skip over man-child #2 in order to pick up a scrawny injury riddled kid.

      Granted, Toumpas could end up being a superstar but he's a long way off that at the moment and Wines was obviously ready to play at league level from day 1 even if he isn't as good. Surely his relationship with Viney would have been positive for the club culture that the Dee's are so desperate to reinvent, too...

    2. Absobloodyexactly. Under the new Moneyball regime I thought we had given up pinning hopes on dinky little kids destined to be the Next Big Thing in favour of Nate Jones doppelgangers who live on raw meat. In which case, Wines was obvs choice, especially when he's best mates with new demigod Viney. When we are (if we ever become) a team that competes it'd be nice to have polite silky blokes with funny names, until then it'd be nice to have players who compete. Cue Toumpas tearing the place apart in 2015 and me eating my beanie.


    3. Toumpas will absolutely be killing it in 2015-2016, but the problem is he'll be doing it in a GWS jumper as they push toward a flag.

      Meanwhile Melbourne, in our lust for all things historic and ground breaking, will become the first ever AFL club to be relegated to the VFL. While there, we'll probably be beaten by Casey.

  3. That bloody trumpeter. I can handle the losses but the trumpeter is what really makes me feel alienated from the club. I'm happy to support a team that consistently plays like shit but I genuinely hate being associated with the stuck-up, private school, upper class attitude that comes with these "traditions that celebrate our history". It just doesn't work.

    - Rob

  4. I forgot to actually write anything to do with your great post in my previous little rant. But nice write-up. Maintain the passion and maintain the trumpet rage!


  5. It's not the trumpet's fault. But it is everything else. That was no different to 186 except we didn't play Geelong. Port are half as good as Geelong. Well let's share around the green vest I don't ever want to see the same guy in it all year. Blease in for a month.
    #7 forever

  6. Also, both of those comic links go to the same strip. I assume from your comments it's part 2 that didn't work correctly.

  7. Have updated the link to the cartoon.

    I see the point regarding Wines and being a brutish individual but call me when he dominates a team who aren't playing like the Northcote Park Under 9's.

    1. Fair call, but I don't really give a stuff if he dominates - I just want someone who goes in and competes.

      When you need to look at drafting 18 year olds to lead by example, it says a bit about the club culture (buzz phrase!) but that's where we're at.

      I agree with the changes with the exception of dropping Toumpas instead of Tapscott. Let Jimmy go back to the seconds and play in a real team to delay adopting the MFC losing attitude. No need to ruin his AFL experience with consecutive thumpings.

      Viney on the other hand can stick around because he's Jack Viney thus along with Clark, Frawley & N. Jones gets a free pass to play if he's able to stand (unassisted preferably).

  8. Agree with you that we need to get Dawes, McDonald and Trengove in. However, unless there is a long term injury in the next couple of days we can't promote Magner from the rookie list

  9. Really? I thought you got one freebie even if nobody was injured? Maybe not, I can't (won't) keep up with the rules.

  10. Lyall St Kilda3 April 2013 at 19:26

    "We didn't see that one coming" - Mark Neeld 31 Mar 2013 post match press conference. A six month off season and what has the man done? Obviously not much! Preparation, what preparation? "Didn't see that one coming." Never have I witnessed a coach so strategically inept and so unwilling, so incapable of changing a game plan to at least try to salvage a game. And with Mitch Clark, the keystone to what is obviously an outmoded and obsolete game plan, with suspect fitness what is the man going to do? There is no plan B! I am just waiting for the reports quoting Don Mclardy that "Mark Neeld has the full confidence and the complete backing of the MFC board."

  11. And that's numberwang.

    - Martin


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