Sunday 18 August 2013

No one is innocent

Melbourne Football Club how do you disappoint me, let me count the ways. Or let's not, because nobody's got enough time to go through a list of over 5000 real-life examples, hateful rants and conspiracy theories. Besides, if you go back through the archives you can read it all again, and again, and again.

I'm flat out for unique ways to describe the shame that this club brings upon me on a weekly basis, especially ways which haven't already been covered ad bloody nauseum over the last couple of seasons. There's every possible chance that by mid next year I'll be welding bits of old posts together to explain our next wooden spoon campaign.

So why then, having sat through another classic disaster, halfway through the last quarter as we slid towards the whirring blades of yet another 100 point loss did I sit there and think to myself how I still enjoy dragging myself out of the house in all sorts of filthy weather conditions and watching this incredible dross live. Over the last two years we've played some of the most boring, hopeless football known to history but my desire to be the last person to go down with the sinking ship grows on a weekly basis. Football's equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome continues to have its way with me on a weekly basis.

I even found myself feeling sad when the fans were on the ground being presented with jerseys for going to every home game this year. Last year that was me (no really, it was, I got Tapscott's) and I suppose I could have - and should have - rorted the system and got somebody to scan me in for the Collingwood game but it wouldn't have been the same. What really irked me, in a perfectly irrational way, was that I'd not only missed that game by also the Essendon and Hawthorn away matches. Why would anyone in their right mind feel bad at having missed more than 300 points worth of losses? Should that sort of good luck not be celebrated? Not if you're a sick individual like me. In the last two years it's gone from mere obsession to panic buying supplies at Safeway before a nuclear holocaust wipes all life off the face of the planet.

I'm not aware of the AFL's cheque having actually cleared yet (though we must have pocketed at least one payment of $600,000 to be on-traded to Mark Neeld for racking off) but we're hardly charging towards a brave new era in the history of this club. Don't you want to kick the TV in watching the Bulldogs having a tremendous bash to end the season? Now there's a team that deserves to go into 2014 with hope in their hearts. We will finish last next year; it's just a matter of how violently we're kicked to death on the way. Give me the mercy of a spoon with no 90 point losses and I'll be happy.

Obviously nobody was going to show up to watch us get flogged today, but it wasn't just sitting amongst 87,000 empty seats watching our club cop another limp, lifeless belting. It wasn't the fact that you could yell pretty much anything you liked out and every player on the field would hear it. More shame heaped upon this club, which is already noticeably sagging in the middle underneath all the horror that it's already been subjected to recently. It's not 1979, you can't hide the fact that even your own fans have abandoned you when the game's being shown live on TV.

The malaise started earlier than that. About one minute into the first quarter of Round 19 2011 to be precise, but Thursday night saw another hand grenade tossed into our midst. Sure, Jack Watts did exactly what every other player who is going to dick his club did and rolled out the "I love the boys, I'd love to stay" lines in his appearance on The Footy Show - but to come out and basically say that he doesn't want to stay unless we can show him we're going to improve was the biggest spit in the eyes to all the fans who have stood behind him in the last few years. The same people who pretended that we wouldn't at least have had significantly more fun watching Nic Nat (until, presumably, he screwed us as well) get a re-run of comments he'd already made a few weeks before. They didn't go down well the first time, so who's the dickhead who arranged for him to go on the Footy Show and repeat them? Try leaving graciously instead of acting like a wounded messiah.

I couldn't give a rats if he leaves, and I'd have even copped the same unconvincing "I want to stay" lines that Moloney and $cully fed us, because I know it's not the NRL and players don't just come out and announce they're leaving halfway through a year - but to put it on everyone else to lift and prove why he should deign to give us the benefit of his signature is an insult. Fair enough our player development has been a disgrace of the last few years, and our on-field leadership is up there with that of the Washington Generals but if you're J. Watts it's time to ask yourself what you've done to contribute. He hasn't exactly been known for his manic competitive efforts over the last few years, or for being a ruthless on-field leader (except for a bit of waving his hands around and directing other people). Have a good hard look at your own efforts before you start pointing fingers at everyone else - if you haven't got the balls for the fight and want to hide amongst a better team that's fine, just don't bullshit us on the way through.

In 2011 he was on the verge of something special, and he had a purple patch for a couple of games in the middle of last year before deciding it was all too hard and giving up at the end of the year, now he's acting like he's Gary Ablett. If you're going to leave just do it, clubs will still queue up in the hope that they can put the beast in him and turn him from a decent player on his day into a superstar, just don't act like you're Lebron James and are preparing to declare which club you're going to play for in a live television special. It can't have been a coincidence that the next day the club put a story on the website about how Jack Viney bleeds red and blue - because that's the sort of guy that I'm prepared to get behind for the next few years. I can take the club being no good, as long as the players go down fighting instead of lightly jogging.

If I were a conspiracy theorist I'd say that the Footy Show appearances was a deliberate move by Jack and his management to get our fans to turn on him so that he'd have an excuse for walking at the end of the year without looking like too much of a heel. Not a great tactic I'd have thought, it's not like we'd have been thrilled for him to go (especially if he walks for stuff all) but the majority of people would have at least understood the decision - now he's made himself look silly to everyone including potential suitors, and if it is a giant conspiracy then a lot of us have fallen right into the trap and decided that we'd be better off without. You can also be sure a lot of other clubs were looking on and slicing a few thousand off their contract offer having seen him delivering rubbish like that with a grin like a Cheshire Cat.

You'd also be forgiven for thinking that for five minutes during the second quarter he started being 'competitive' in a way he never has before - lightly whacking a player in a marking dual, crunching a player with his head over the ball - in a cynical attempt to get suspended for the last couple of games and not having to be involved in any more debacles which make him look less attractive (and less expensive to sign). I'm sure this isn't the case, but it seemed an odd time to start trying to belt people. I'll be interested to see if anything comes out of them. Hope he gets off and is forced to traipse around with us for the next fortnight whether he likes it or not.

Not that we're all that blameless, having played him in the backline for 3/4 of the last fortnight despite Davis - a defender by trade - struggling to make any impact up forward. Perhaps Craig's working on a masterplan where his trade value increases by getting a kick as opposed to standing around inside 50 waiting for somebody else to do all the hard work to get the ball to him in the first place? I can understand the thinking about putting him down there when we were getting hammered in the first quarter, but why was he still there an hour later? The same thing happened last week, and if that was the sort of stuff that he cited as his reason to pissing us off then I'd shake his hand and wish him well next year. Instead we get all this other "what about me" rubbish and I've got no sympathy whatsoever.

Just like I always feared with $cully in those last few weeks where we pretended to ourselves that he hadn't already signed with GWS I'd hate to be roped into the conspiracy and have this post held up as an example of why he should leave the club, but I've had enough. He played a reasonable enough game, when it didn't involved tackling of chasing, but when I saw him issuing orders to Colin Garland I was hoping Col would do a Graham Le Saux and twat him. Don't treat the club and its fans with contempt on TV then go around pretending you're a leader for the first time in your life until you've proven your commitment.

I'm sure we'll go to the ends of the earth to try and placate him, and there's nothing that would fill me with more joy than to have him turn around, sign and then stick it up me by playing bloody good football but right now I can't see myself missing Jack more than I might miss Jordan Gysberts, Cale Morton or any of the other fancyboys who we've drafted and ruined. Let's just see what happens if he goes elsewhere and it doesn't work - if he bombs at a better club do you back him to do a Brock McLean and fight his way back from the verge of death to become a useful player again?

Like Mitch Clark ditching the Lions - and unlike the aforementioned filthy traitor - at least he gave us a few years before deciding that it wasn't for him. It's not a palatable situation by any means, and he will look like a tremendous heel after we spent years pretending we'd rather have him than Nic Nat, but as long as he does the right thing and arranges a trade where we get compo instead of just pissing off in the PSD draft for nothing a'la Kurt Tippett then go into the night and try and prove that it was just us that stifled your career all these years.

Just like all our 'fans' who have done it over the last couple of years, let the rats exit the sinking ship and we'll concentrate on those who want to stay and be part of the struggle.

So anyway, now that's off my chest and his manager is pumping the air at having yet another fan on record saying they're Jack of him I can get back to my core business of trying to write 'reviews' of matches where we score five or less goals. Dandy. The only reason I keep bothering is because otherwise I'll be forced to write stupid posts on forums instead to get it off my chest.

If it wasn't bad enough already, today's tone of depression and bleakness was set when 45 minutes before the first bounce. After 95,000 empty seats witnessed the Robbo's Hangers segment the great man himself judged the winner by saying "not enough people are here to ask who was best, so I'm just going to make my own decision". Even our own pre-match entertainment has started to rub in what a lost cause we are. Creative accountancy managed to find 13,768 people there in the end (slightly more than the Gold Coast game) but it's still a horrible figure.

Having said that, safe in the knowledge that we would be very likely to lose by a large margin and not kick all that many goals I'm surprised so many people did show up. Peter Jackson and Glen Bartlett, who must feel like he's taking on the presidency of the Weimar Republic, should have walked every occupied inch of the stadium (which would have saved them from traipsing across 75% of it) and personally thanked every Demon who showed up. At least Neil Craig was seen saying thanks to all the people getting jumpers for turning up each week, that's a start.

It's not like we were ever going to win or give ourselves a reasonable chance anyway, but those of us did bother to leave their house with the threat of a big bastard storm engulfing the stadium at least got to exercise their persecution complex courtesy of a series of wacky/nigh on criminal decisions by the clowns umpiring. Obviously safe in the knowledge that nobody was there and that it would rate about 15,000 viewers this game either ended up with the umpires who went closest to being dropped at the end of last week or some work experience kids but Jesus H Christ what were these clowns doing?

It didn't stop there (the Blease 'in the back', Garland having his hand kicked off, god knows what else) but at one point early in the first quarter we'd conceded more dodgy free kicks than we'd had actual kicks. We do not need the help of umpires trying to get their head on TV to be a horrible, ugly football club that nobody wants to watch.

I've had enough this year, and do not propose to go into any depth about what happened today. As usual it's hard to write anything about a match from your club's perspective when they barely ever touch the ball. We should have been further behind at quarter time, and when that's the second best thing about a quarter of football then you're rooted.

The best thing, of course, was Jack Viney. Now there's a Jack you can point out to your kids and say 'he cares' (admittedly you could do the same to Jack Grimes with a straight face). With Nathan Jones being sat on and totally blanketed by Ryan Crowley for the second time in a row it was left to a 19-year-old kid to fight like buggery against insurmountable odds. He's hardly got the silkiest skills going around, but at least he fights every inch of the way - and that's the sort of man I want in my army as it trudges off to near certain violent defeat.

Unfortunately for Jack he was surrounded by total garbage. We couldn't get it forward in the first place (zero inside 50's for half the first quarter) but even when we did Davis and Fitzpatrick were average at best. Not their fault, they shouldn't be expected to be the first scoring options - but if we were insistent on having Watts hanging around down back trying to plug the gaps instead of being an option in attack of course we were going to struggle getting the ball inside 50 or doing anything with it once we got there. It was a true return to the days before Dawes got into the side where we didn't bother playing with a centre half-forward either because a) nobody was capable or b) it just didn't seem like a good idea.

So surprise, surprise then that the early season MFC inside 50 trampoline returned. In it went, and boing back out it went again at 1000mph. The only reason we weren't further behind in the first quarter is because we didn't get the ball down there - when we did they were back inside 50 and attacking within 10 seconds. When we managed to bottle the ball up in the middle of the ground or on their half-forward line they weren't all that dangerous considering the opposition. For the second week in a row we were half decent in centre clearances, and didn't get too badly beaten in clearances from stoppages - and we weren't any more awful than usual moving the ball it's just that we couldn't stop them running in waves up and down the ground.

There was a brief period of interest in the second quarter when we improbably got to within four goals after the only decent period of the whole game. Apart from poor Jeremy Howe who saw two absolutely gilt-edged chances go past him via inability to get ball to boot quickly and one bastard of a bounce, we had a 10 minute period where we looked like stemming the bleeding and kicking a half decent score which would trouble the week's required '97 Watch average. If Shannon Byrnes (NOT a fan favourite at the moment - and surely not insane enough to want to go on in this environment for another year) had kicked his goal on the siren we'd have won the quarter and had some sort of platform to go into half time with. He missed, we got thrashed. Thanks for coming.

I was pleased with the way we held the Dockers out for the first 10 minutes of the third quarter. It's not like we were threatening to score ourselves, but I suppose Craig had done the maths that we'd already got four goals and avoided breaking his own low score record for the second time all year so he may as well try and avoid a massacre - which half worked given how much more we probably deserved to lose by. Thank god to the timekeeper for declaring "that's enough" and hitting the button as the last goal went through to save us from another triple digit defeat.

The rot started to set in from there. Other than Howe's quality finish for the only goal of the quarter Freo were as dominant as you'd expect them to be. You can mount some sort of argument that there was no way we were going to keep it reasonable in the last quarter with one man left on the bench - and having spent the entire second half with two out after Blease and Strauss went down - and Freo are a pretty good team, so it wasn't so much that we lost or even the nature of the loss this time, it was just another mouldy cherry on top an already horrible season.

My mum, who had delivered the earliest verdict on the Mark Neeld era by standing up five minutes into the third quarter of R1, 2012 saying "I'm leaving, this is boring" and never coming back again even after Chris Dawes' dad ringing her up and trying to get her to buy a membership (she had no idea who Chris Dawes was, which didn't help the process), at least managed to get halfway through the last quarter before giving up this time. Despite not knowing who 3/4 of the players were she conceded that we were far more boring than we were that day, but that she was happy to go to one game a year and confirm that the club was still alive.

At least these days nobody is patronising us by going on about what furious trainers we are. For the first half of the season we were the footy equivalent of that cartoon frog who did a full song and dance routine to an empty room then did nothing when a crowd showed up. Even though I will desperately miss footy (in a way) during summer the best thing is for us to get to the end of the year and smash the buggery out of the big red reset button again then begin the last roll of the dice era.

Pedant's Corner
This is probably the worst thing I've ever whinged about, but leaving at the end of the game I walked past the non-playing lot trudging towards the lifts towards the change rooms. It struck me that we can't even get the team to dress in a similar fashion - compare Michael Evans, looking comfortable and re-signed in a jumper/shorts combo, with the soon to be no-longer with us James Sellar and the actually no longer with us Joel Macdonald in suits.

People outside of football clubs love to crap on about culture as if they know how it works, so I don't propose to do that, but surely you set a standard and hold everyone to it. Fair enough if Evans was on standby in the rooms until five minutes before the bounce, but we all know he wasn't. It's not a knock on him, I don't care if he wears a chicken suit (in fact I'd encourage it) but at the risk of sounding like the worst type of armchair 'internet fan' wanker it strike me as an issue that we can't even achieve consistent standards of dress.

'97 Watch
Total score - 189.182.1316
Score to beat - 203.235.1477
Averaged score required - 80.5ppg
Prospects of achieving the average - vs Adelaide, almost nil, vs Bulldogs, practically none
Prognosis - Roughly as much chance as world peace breaking out. Get ready MFC '97 and everyone involved, the monkey's about to be off your back.

2013 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes
5 - Jack Viney
Several layers of the earth's crust and a couple of time zones
4 - Lynden Dunn
3 - Tom McDonald
2 - Jack Trengove
 Another area code
1 - Dean Terlich

Apologies to nil

45 - Nathan Jones (WINNER: 2013 Allen Jakovich Medal)
27 - Jack Viney (LEADER: Jeff Hilton Rising Star Award)
22 - James Frawley (LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
21 - Colin Sylvia
20 - Colin Garland, Matt Jones
18 - Jeremy Howe, Dean Terlich

14 - Tom McDonald
12 - Lynden Dunn

10 - Shannon Byrnes
8 - Jack Watts
7 - Jack Trengove
6 - Michael Evans, Jordie McKenzie
5 - Mitch Clisby, Aaron Davey, Chris Dawes, Jack Fitzpatrick (CO-LEADER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Max Gawn (CO-LEADER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Jack Grimes, James Magner
2 - Rohan Bail, Mark Jamar, Cameron Pedersen
1 - Mitch Clark, Jake Spencer, Luke Tapscott

Crowd Watch
The "Member Appreciation Round" major prize pack draw said everything you need to know about this club at the moment. The guy who won wasn't even there and Robbo - clearly sick to death of playing to empty crowds and saying anything that came to mind - said "we'll have to call him and tell him he's won". Stuff that, give it out to somebody who was actually there (i.e. me).

Social Media Watch
I have great empathy with whoever does the MFC Twitter, because while we'd all love to work in or around a footy club they do have to answer questions all-day from clowns who think they're addressing the entire selection committee at once. So, it is with the greatest respect that I highlight the tremendous cock-up which occurred on Thursday night.

Everyone who has ever posted a link to a business has had that moment when you've hit SEND and thought you'd sent the wrong link - and admittedly there are FAR WORSE things you could accidentally send out - but instead of pointing to the intended website story this tweet:

Sent you to this page...

Which is perfectly fine of course, it's not like they accidentally sent 23,000 followers to Dildo Warehouse - though it would have been a more apt political comment. Sadly this season has been such a torrent of unpleasantly coloured water of dubious origin that it probably ranks in my top five highlights. I would make some gag about how they're similar, but the only similarity I can find with the BESTÃ… BURS ("May be completed with INREDA interior fittings") and the Melbourne Football Club is that in both cases "this product requires assembly" and neither of them can tackle.

Next Week
I simply refuse to believe that next week is our final chance to bury the Football Park curse once and for all before they bulldoze it back to the stone age (insert Adelaide joke here). Shutting the place is obviously one way to end our horrific run of outs at the place (15 losses in a row fact fans) but I'd much rather that we waved farewell to the place with a modicum of dignity - winning a NAB Cup novelty game does not count - by winning.

It's about as likely as winning Powerball, but I'd like it used as a motivational factor (well, nothing else has worked has it?) in the lead up. Since Andrew Leoncelli's 2001 miracle goal we've had the following players all play in losing matches at the ground (including players who had won there before we lost the plot). Take a deep breath... and live the dream with these 73 men:

Armstrong, Bail, Bartram, Bate, Bell, Bennell, Bizzell, Broadbridge, Brown, Bruce, Buckley, Carroll, Cheney, Davey, Dunn, Ellis, S. Febey, Ferguson, Frawley, Garland, Godfrey, Green, Grgic, Grimes, Heffernan, Ingerson, Jamar, Jetta, C. Johnson, P. Johnson, Johnstone, Jolly, Jones, Jurrah, Lamb, Leoncelli, Macdonald, Martin, A. McDonald, J. McDonald, McKenzie, McLean, Meesen, Miller, Moloney, Motlop, Morton, Neitz, Newton, A. Nicholson, Petterd, Read, Rigoni, Rivers, Robertson, Schwarz, *****, Sylvia, Thompson, Trengove, Valenti, Vardy, Walsh, Ward, Warnock, Watts, Wheatley, Whelan, White, Williams, Woewodin, Wonaeamirri, Yze

So basically everyone who was on our list from 2001 to 2010 except Isaac Weetra and Michael Clark. We've had two years away from the place, it's time to go out on a high. I insist that in the minutes before the match those names scroll down a screen like the tribute to dead people at the Oscars before Leoncelli himself comes out and delivers a pep talk before charging out onto the field and taking a pish along the boundary line to lift the curse. It shouldn't be too hard for the club to find him, his mobile number's stuck up on the outside of a property development on William Street. And while they've got him on the phone ask him to come back and sit on the board.

Fat lot of good any of that will do though, you could get the Pope in to perform an exorcism and it's still not going to help this group win on this ground with the mental state they're in. The upside when it comes to changes is that we've got a Saturday VFL match to go on, the downside is that beating Bendigo by 120 points is like an AFL side beating us by the same margin - is it that the players conducting the massacre were doing well, or were they just against such putrid opposition that it was hard not to run riot?

I've seen us make enough midcard strugglers look like superstars in the last few years to know that it's more likely the latter, but still the Internet's Own James Magner had 51 touches and considering that we're such tremendous filth you've got to reward effort don't you?

IN: Dawes, Frawley, Gawn, Magner, Taggert
OUT: Blease, Strauss, Byrnes (inj), Spencer (inj or omit), Davis (omit)
LUCKY: Davey (two games to go), Tapscott, Watts (fit in or fuck off)

Next Year
For once we've had a week where nobody has unloaded a rumour/started unfounded speculation about our coaching job. Not that it was all quiet though, with the sniper's bullet cutting down Michael Voss as he least expected it in mid stride towards the 2013 finish line the assumption was that they had 'somebody else' already signed up. And these days there is no 'somebody else' unless it's Paul Roos, so the natural assumption is that the candidate we hold so dear is out of our hands in a way that his 5000 other frantic denials didn't confirm.

Football is a sick industry, and we are a sick people, so I won't rule out some sort of cash/share offer in the club to lure him into the job, but obviously if you were Paul Roos and both Brisbane and Melbourne were pursuing you like horny teenagers you'd choose the Lions. Of course you would, if similar coin was on offer and you weren't keen on martyring yourself for a cause as obscure as ours why wouldn't you pick the one that has been (not so comfortably) mid-table for a couple of years? They've even got a shiny new training base on the way. By the weekend he was suddenly claiming to have no interest in either job, but there's no doubt that if he does 'develop a passion' (receive an enormous cheque) it won't be for looking after a club currently holding a percentage of 53.4.

So really, after saying I'm not writing him off I actually am - even more so than last week. I'm left with NFI other the same rumours and innuendo to go on. Pick who you want really, we're still going to be horse shit for another couple of years. Nobody has had to shovel a comparable load of manure since Hercules cleaned the Augean Stables, they're going to need years to get this place right.

Unfortunately for us the surprise success of Port Adelaide has meant that every week we're going to have to hear about how they managed to recover from a terrible position to make finals. Good news for Port, but it's the equivalent of Jamar coming good after seven seasons and every ruckman being given 500 years to get it right just because he finally put in a good couple of seasons after years of being no good. We're in nowhere near as good a position as Port were last year - and that's saying something. This is a rebuild of a rebuild of a rebuild. It will take a special kind of lunatic to take on this role, and if we're speaking about Port Adelaide that's why I'm so keen on you know who taking over.

Either way at least we're a week closer to finding out who's going to be driving the excavator in 2014.

The proposed length of the Rebuild³ is why I'm open to trading pick two. We know there's another top 5 pick coming next year and probably the one after - the only question is whether it's pick 1 (disaster!) or pick 5 (triumph! gradual improvement!) Still can't help but feel if we trade pick 2 for your Rory Sloane's or David Swallow's of the world that they'll end up catching the Ebola virus while James Aish (whoever he actually is) turns out win several Brownlows.

On Monday 6 May after we got done by Carlton I advanced the following list of possible 'leavers' at the end of the year.

Sylvia (Will fancy one last roll of the dice at a non-spaz club who can carry him being on and off like a tap)

Frawley (Hawthorn's first pick if we're lucky. Will 100% leave)
Watts (Whatever we can get to avoid losing him for nowt in the PSD, no way he'll want to stay).

Couch, Davis, Fitzpatrick, Gillies (may survive as cover if we lose Frawley), Jetta, Macdonald, Sellar, Taggert

Davey, Rodan

With plenty more water under the bridge I'd like to make the following changes. Apart from moving Frawley into the 'stay' category, writing Gillies off as any chances of staying as cover and moving Macdonald from Delist to Retire the only change I'll make is to remove Fitzpatrick from the chop (though he still hasn't signed a new deal). Unfortunately Fitz is replaced by Magner who we clearly have no interest in - and who will be pushed even further down the pecking order if and when we recruit or buy more midfielders. That leaves us with 13 off the list with some additional trade bait action with the likes of Jamar and Tapscott. Watch us draft a one armed man to replace them.

Was it worth it?
If the trumpeter had turned been there I'd probably have copped the $8700 fine and run onto the ground in order to pummel him to death. So, thanks to the ruthless efficiency regime of Peter  Jackson for having him rolled up in carpet and buried under cement somewhere. Other than that, and the sick buzz I still get from watching this club (while I still can), no not really.

It should have been the last airing for Aaron Davey at the MCG. He's just past it. We'll be so paranoid about forcing experienced players out the door having copped so much hell for the Junior McDonald debacle that he'll probably get another year but there's nothing to be gained from playing him. He should have announced he was pulling the pin at the end of the year and gone out on the MCG today - sure it wasn't a fitting crowd to farewell somebody who's been a bloody good player over the years but it's better to die with dignity than clutch on until the last breath.

Final Thoughts
For those of you who aren't silly enough to go to the Killing Fields next week, and who (unlike fools such as I) refuse to set foot on Docklands Stadium again unless standing triumphant on a huge pile of rubble that's the season finished. I'm not sure how it can get worse considering that it's arguably been our worse season since going winless in 1919 with the excuse of the Great War having torn the club apart (there are one win seasons in 1951 and 1981 but at least we had percentages 17 and 10% higher respectively), but with this group you never know where the next fisting will come from.

On Saturday it was Jesse Hogan 'doing his knee' (not seriously thank christ), on Sunday it was playing three quarters of the most boring football known to man. On Monday it'll be us announcing we've paid $3mil to sign Sylvia to a five year contract extension. On Tuesday every other reasonable player on our list will hear that and walk out. On Wednesday Kevin Sheedy will be announced as our new coach. On Thursday the AFL will decide not to bail us out because we're un-rescueable. On Friday we'll go into liquidation and on Saturday a skeleton side consisting of Sylvia, Tom Couch, 15 locals plucked from the Adelaide Amateurs competition, and five Romanian orphans will lose to the Crows by 321 points before the whole club is shut down on Sunday.

Good times.


  1. Decided a few weeks ago that I don't need to watch any more games; I'll just head over to Demonblog on Sunday evening for some actual (though teeth-clenchingly brutal) enjoyment. So, thanks!

    I lost the stomach for experiencing the beltings in person after R11. The last game I went to was the near-death experience of the Footscray game -- I arrived at the beginning of Q4 in time to see Dahlhaus snap the first in a run of umpteen goals. Happy to "finish" this season on a win, albeit with more of a feeling of staved-off heart attack than joyous celebration. That said, if I'd known about the jumpers...

    Anyway, one thing about the club getting down with the real-talk and not spinning elite training fairytales: hearing Jackson and the new Prez talk about the club is kind of like listening to administrators grimly discuss a company being put into liquidation. It's starting to feel like they're preparing us for the worst, just like the AFL is coaching the public into accepting/expecting Essendon's now inevitable loss of points. Am I crazy for thinking this? That they're lowering our expectations to the point where, when it's explained to us in November that they're shutting the whole thing down, we're half relieved?

    Riddle me this: is there really anything left to barrack for at Melbourne? I ask this as a member, as someone who has stuck by through the worst (and then the actual worst, and then the no-this-time-it's-for-really-real worst). I know I'm a horrible person for asking this, but barracking for this club is making me feel dead inside.

    Is it still called "jumping ship" if the vessel has already sunk?

  2. There is a tenuous silver lining. If the club was called "North" melbourne instead of Melbourne, you'd be fighting off the Relocation mongers as well!

  3. Jmac's talk of liquidation , Adam's continued tirades on the club, it's all just hyperbole. Right?....isn't it?.....just hyperbole? Please guys, tell me it's just hyperbole...for the love of God please tell me it's not this bad....please....someone...anyone!!!

  4. It's all done in the best possible taste

    1. Yes it is and I love you for it. God I love you for it. Demonblog is the only thing that has kept me sane this year and in answer to Jmac's riddle - Demonblog is worth barracking for.

      But after the weekend I'm a little more broken than usual. I've been "manning-up", going to the games, taking the pain but I feel like I'm now (as Homer Simpson put it) "girling-down". I need someone to tell me its all just a bad dream and everything will be all right no matter how fictitious. I guess I'll just go and watch Glen Bartlett's speech again. Maybe that will help.

  5. Could we not entice Joel Mac out of retirement for the last two games as I'm 99% sure that he's the answer. Not quite sure what the question is but you can't have everything.

  6. Only thing consistently good about this season is your reports Adam, keep up the good work fella.

    p.s - Think it was bloody stiff that Joel Mac didn't get a game or two this year. Surely he's not that bad, right?



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