Monday 24 August 2015

Instant asset write-offs

Students of the Melbourne Football club would surely have woken up on Sunday morning expecting to watch the game through their hands. The week of self-deprecating "we might lose" comments made as Carlton lurched from on-field to off-field crisis betrayed actual terror at the prospect of losing yet another game when starting favourite. No matter how hard you tried to spin it in your own mind you knew we were every possible chance of throwing this away. And we did. Sucked in us.

The Farce Alarm had been slowly beeping away all week, starting with the Blues plummeting to the bottom of the ladder with a disinterested performance against Brisbane last week. Without automatic priority picks on the agenda, and with two standout draftees on offer the chances of suspect activities and a subsequent $500k fine were low so they still had plenty to play for.

Then, in a week where St Kilda rolled out an American just because, it was expected that Carlton's surprise midweek selection change of OUT: Henderson (CBF) would lead to the Blues picking some kid from Transylvania to tear us to shreds then never play another good game in his life.

Shambles Detectors across the South Pacific started ringing when Roos implied he and his team were having a difficult time motivating players to get through the last few weeks, and they went into overdrive when the 'embattled' Blues couldn't even get to the first bounce without having to dip into their wafer-thin reserves due to a late change. The further the deck is stacked in our favour the less likely we are to take advantage of it. Because we are mental. For extra points in the ARIA Top 40 #fistedforever chart the late replacement was a mid-range player who had been unable to cement a regular spot - and as history has shown that's practically a gold pass to the Kingsley-Wilkes Club.

What a rich tapestry our history with Carlton is. Remember 2006 when they were total filth yet managed to beat us twice in a season where they only won three games? I certainly do. Even though we won a final for the first time since 2002 that should have been fair warning that everything was going to go tits up shortly after. Since then we've had the original tankfest, the game where Judd did nothing for three quarters and still got three Brownlow votes, the night we got banned from Friday night footy because Bailey tried to play for a nil-all draw and several other moments of high farce before finally toppling them again last year.

All things considered we should have done it again. I know it must be hard to plod through the last couple of weeks when you've been battering your body since late October, but was one last huge effort in a winnable game too much to ask for? As it turns out, yes. As long as we kept it fragrant in the last couple of games nobody would have minded a pair of losses but this was crucial to prove beyond any doubt that we'd spiritually as well as physically moved out of the top four. Now I just feel like we're living in a slightly extended bottom bracket instead of towering above the really poxy sides while simultaneously cowering in fear at the sight of the top four.

It was clear from the train full of Carlton fans that they knew full well the opposition were just the sort of side to run into an open goal and fall flat on their face. Perhaps they attempted to boost attendance by sending an email out with a link to that list. There was also something about a lap honour to say thanks to Chris Judd for briefly getting them into the mid-table, but most of the crowd showed up to see if the AFL's version of an ice addict trying to scratch away imaginary bugs would provide them a memorable afternoon. You're welcome.

It wasn't a great turnout for a champion (should have joined us, would have won just as much and I'm sure we could have found a fake job for him as well. If we didn't churn through sponsors at a rapid rate.), probably second only to when barely any of our fans turned up to say farewell to Neitz and I won a $100 booze voucher off the radio for ringing up and abusing them for it.

The idea that we'd show up and they'd just step aside for us to win was absurd. There's plenty of examples of suspect activity by teams in the last few weeks of seasons over the last 15 years, but the common thread between is off-field shenanigans leading to questionable selection or positional decisions rather than the players doing something outrageous like - just say - only landing two tackles in the first 20 minutes of a match while the other side run riot.

Any administrators who tinkered with the idea of casually moving themselves back to the bottom of the ladder might have calculated that the players would have scant interest in shenanigans but they would have also had to weight up playing against a side prematurely burnt out both mentally and physically before deciding to just get on with it and give their fans something memorable to go into the off-season with.

I've still got no regrets about playing our best 22 throughout the pre-season, but a bit of 'management' along the way wouldn't have gone astray. Gawn has been playing reasonably, but he's clearly been struggling ever since Goldstein ran him to a standstill at MCG a few weeks ago and there's absolutely no interest in giving him a hand. And what is there left for Brayshaw to prove? It's staggering that he's still playing full games when he's been slowing down ever since cutting Geelong to ribbons at Kardinia Park. Let him put his feet up for the last two weeks and roll in somebody we need to know more about. That's not tanking it's good sense.

Football is cruel. More accurately following Melbourne is cruel, when we beat a nothing team it turns into a relentless slog but when the shoe is on the other foot we concede nine goals in a row and the game is over at half time. When was the last time we ended a game against any opposition by half time? It could have been against Brisbane earlier this year before we turned into pumpkins in the second half. By my count the last time we did it against a non-expansion team was against Sydney in 2010. Now consider how many times we've been out of a game in the same time-frame and tip your coffee table over in frustration.

What a depressing, grim existence it is to be a Melbourne fan. Good luck getting the kids on board when much of the advice given before a nuclear attack is also relevant for following the Dees.

On AFL 360 tonight Roos spoke about his bemusement at a fan sending him an email saying he knew we were going to lose, and I can understand that it might seem odd to somebody who previously coached a moderately successful side that nobody cared about but this is the reality of the Melbourne experience. You can't blame on-field performance on the sins of the past, but you certainly can see why fans are dangling their Black and Decker over the bathtub. Yesterday morning I was so tense about what was going to happen that a regulation garden weeding session ended with me spraying anything that fluttered in the breeze with herbicide using a double-handed action that Dirty Harry would have been proud of. God knows how much innocent plant-life was caught in the crossfire and will needlessly die but I was shitting bricks. Wrap your head around that Roosy, many of us have completely lost our minds since 2007.

Like Barassi in the 1980's Roos' legacy will be determined by what he leaves behind and what happens after he leaves, but I submit that after living his football life pre-mass media saturation and in Sydney and is surprised that people are going off their nut he's lucky he doesn't coach Carlton or Collingwood.

All the warning signs seemed to be confirmed when we got smashed out of the first centre clearance and conceded a goal within 40 seconds. Unfortunately for Garland the unnecessary bear-hug he slapped on Andrew Walker for the free kick didn't appear in the tackle count or we'd have had three in the first 20 minutes.

It was hardly the ideal start against a side who needed to be strangled at birth before they could get their confidence up. I love Garland and will wish him well when he replaces Rivers at Geelong but he's gone. His body language gives away far more than his face ever will, he's had enough playing in a train-wreck side and is going to leg it somewhere else. Like Frawley I can't hold it against him because he's given us years of service first, and as long as he doesn't go to GWS or Hawthorn like everyone else I hope he wins a flag.

We were given the chance to redeem ourselves after equalising through Grimes (!) after he had led for a mark inside 50. I'm assuming like McDonald vs Essendon the opposition had no idea he was there because the idea was so unusual, but he got free so easily that it seemed any early nerves were going to be wiped away as we plundered the hapless Blues for a morale boosting victory. That worked well. Grimes didn't play much of a game as a defender but when he got the ball he was reasonable enough considering the circumstances - remember when we all expected him to roll straight into the midfield after his apprenticeship? Then he ran into injury and made the horrible mistake of demonstrating leadership just as the powers that be were loading the guns to mow down all our senior players and he's been exhibiting a Thousand Yard Stare ever since.

His goal came from Salem's pass, but as he worked himself back into the game after so long out he didn't do much in the forward line other than give us warm memories of Essendon 2014 when he initially lined up for goal. It was only when he returned to the back-line in the second half that he proved really useful, which was lucky because Daniel Cross was playing like he was in the middle of having a stroke. Unfortunately by the time they got Salem down there and he started to deliver reminders of why we loved him earlier in the year the damage had been done - and much like last week the situation spiralled out of control too quickly for us to apply the brakes before the margin went beyond sane and sensible comeback territory.

Given that we could barely get hands on the ball or lay a tackle I'm almost tempted to watch a replay to see what we were doing in the first few minutes, but even when they opened up a three goal lead I still felt like if we could get the ball forward enough we'd win out through sheer weight of numbers. As it turns out this was right in the middle of them racking up six goals from 12 inside 50's while beating their recent average score by half time.

Meanwhile in the odd opportunities we did get past centre we were panic bombing into a forward line where nobody looked remotely capable of generating a big score. A week before a trip home and two weeks before the opportunity to slip out the side door and demand a trade was poor timing for Hogan to have his worst game yet. He was handicapped by shithouse delivery and teammates violating his airspace, but a random outbreak of Dawes Hands didn't help him either. At one point he became so frustrated that after failing to grasp a mark he looked at his hands as if they were cursed.

Somehow despite all this at three-quarter time it was revealed that we'd had more marks inside 50 than them, a staggering stat which caused me to openly and shamelessly shout abuse at the big screen. But as this point our blood pressure was only bubbling over towards dangerous levels, and even at three goals down we could still have cracked them if we'd managed to snatch a goal or two. 

To prove that it wasn't anybody's day Watts missed what would usually have been a sitter of a set shot for him. Hogan also missed one that he'd probably have kicked most other weeks, and the few minutes that we'd managed to slow the wooden-spooners elect down came to nowt. Then they kicked two goals in a row, I swore extremely loudly and the guy three rows in front temporarily walked out in disgust. He came back at the start of the second quarter but didn't even make it to half time before cracking the shits again and was not seen for the rest of the day. 

After being battered from pillar-to-post for the entire first quarter we managed to hold them at bay for the first 10 minutes of the second quarter. With the superstar duo of Jones and Vince having fallen off the face of the planet, replaced ably enough by the non-union Mexican equivalents Newton and Michie, it was one thing to keep them scoreless but we failed to add any score of our own and once Carlton realised that we were an easy kill then soon opened up a nine goals lead. Shithouse.

It took until the last couple of minutes to kick our second goal of the day against a side that had previously conceded an average of 108 points a game, which just compounded the embarrassment. It was one thing to put out an effort like this against a good side, but against unloveable losers it was vile. To add to the general carnival atmosphere as Dawes kicked what was probably the best set shot he's ever done in his time at the club he simultaneously collapsed to the ground due to an injured ankle. With Harry O already on crutches we were effectively two players down as well as eight goals.

There were some dubious umpiring decisions, and Hogan was unlucky to be declined a goal let alone conceding a 50m penalty for kicking it after the free had been paid, but we were playing like such arseholes that it's hard to mount a case that even if the decisions had been going in our favour that we'd have done very much with them.

Meanwhile Garlett must have been unaware that you're supposed to play a blinder against your old side and instead failed to register a stat in the first half. For some reason he got booed when he finally won a possession as if the Blues hadn't willingly traded him for pick 200, and in a sign of just how well our day was going he didn't even get to dispose of it before the siren beat him.

The inevitable death-or-glory comeback came in the third quarter after the players had shouted "I am not a number, I am a free man" and thrown the regulation gameplan out the window. It helped when Marc Murphy blew his shoulder out and the rest of his side joined him in sympathy. Once more it was our destiny to give up an big lead before mounting a fruitless comeback.

If you take the loose definition of a comeback to start at four goals down that leaves us with the following since Round 1, 2014.

  • Round 5 2014 vs Gold Coast - 26 down in the third quarter, lost by eight
  • Round 11 2014 vs Port - 26-0 behind in the first quarter, got in front in the last and lost
  • Round 13 2014 vs Essendon - 33 down in the third quarter and WON 
  • Round 14 2014 vs North - 24 down in the second quarter, back to seven in the same quarter, lost by 41
  • Round 15 2014 vs Bulldogs - 35 down in the second quarter, in front in the last and lost
  • Round 18 2014 vs Port - 30 down in the second quarter, in front in the last and lost
  • Round 6 2015 vs Sydney - 59 down in the second quarter, kicked five of the last six goals and lose by 38
  • Round 10 2015 vs Collingwood - 30 down in the first quarter, got in front, went 24 down in the third quarter, got level then conceded the last four goals and lost by 25
  • Round 11 2015 vs St Kilda - 24 down in second quarter, got in front in the last 40 seconds, fucked it up in the last 20 seconds
  • Round 19 2015 vs North Melbourne - 34 down at quarter time, back to within two points in the third quarter before falling apart
  • Round 20 2015 vs Footscray - 65 down in the second quarter, kicked five goals to nil in the third quarter before suffering the biggest pounding by a dog since Linda Lovelace
  • ... and the latest wankfest
So that's 1-11 in these circumstances under Roos. Given that half the side were playing like they'd just been exposed in the Ashley Madison database it might also be worth checking to see if they can find whether the Melbourne Football Club is listed as enjoying comebacks from hopeless positions and being cuckolded by out of contract players.

If they'd lost from there the AFL would have to launch another inquest, so fortunately for fans of probity we followed 30 minutes of domination by clamming up and reverting to playing as if we'd just seen a ghost the moment we got within three goals with 15 minutes left. You could argue that they ran out of gas in launching the comeback, but given that most of them hadn't started playing until midway through the third quarter that would be incredible spin. More like there's only so far carefree swashbuckling football can take you - and once they got within striking distance they revert to playing normally and that's what got them into trouble in the first place.

When we had them wobbling in the first few minutes of the last quarter, despite most of our best players still being well held, I'm convinced that one more goal would have caused them to crumble and we'd have been looking at a cheap and nasty version of the 2013 fourth quarter avalanche against GWS, but minutes of domination came to nowt.

In the middle of a shocker Garlett marked on the boundary and had an hour to play on, run around and kick to his strengths rather than trying to take a set shot but declined the opportunity and instead tried to convert with a drop punt from an outrageous angle despite the fact that he's no good at set shots when he's got the entire goal face at his disposal let alone hard on the boundary with barely daylight between the posts. It was a great example of how our comebacks are launched when people aren't thinking what they're doing, but when they have a second to stop you can see the gears turning above their heads.

Even after that ill-advised effort there was plenty of time to left to pinch what would have been the worst win of all time and cause Carlton to be the victim of all sorts of insinuations, but we had another promising attack almost immediately after which foundered when nobody wanted to take a shot and ended up over-possessing to the point where we didn't even get a point out of it and that was it, after 10 minutes of arm-wrestle we handed them another goal and when it was clear that we were too far behind to challenge an unconscious agreement swept across the ground that it was junk-time and everyone should just get through to full time then piss off to the pub.

Any finger pointing accusations towards Carlton had to be replaced with vigorous North Korean style self-denunciation for leaving our homes to watch this shit. One man not prone to such self-indulgence is the coach, who said "Out best is very good" in the press conference. I suppose you have to say that sort of stuff or otherwise you'll get the same loonies who are slagging off Pendlebury for admitting he played in a nothing game writing emails to complain about a lack of passion.

It's still bollocks, our best is average league standard which can occasionally knock over a dud side and if we get lucky they can beat a mid-table team having a bad day. I do feel like there's at least average times in our future if we can stop all the promising youngsters from being depressed but these days you're just expecting something to go wrong.

Just think, if they introduced the 666 fixture we could have had two more weeks of this sort of thing. Maybe if we hadn't been beaten to death against finals sides over the last fortnight we might have tackled this match with something more than half-interest. Nevertheless it's killed the season off for me, even after last week I still felt like it would be nice for the season to go on a bit to see more of the kids and enjoy the weekly tension of the lose - post mortem - mid-week whinging - Jamar gets picked on the extended bench - Jamar doesn't get picked in the senior side - lose - repeat cycle but now it can get stuffed. Until September 18 when I'm bored and would very much like to subject myself to the horror of the AFL Premiership Season once again.

Having said that a sensible man would go away and forget footy existed for the next two weeks but as an addict I'll be watching bitterly. The final joke for the season will be on me for rearranging my life so I could make it to the Empty Arena Match in Round 23 only to show up and find they've locked all the gates. I'm legitimately worried about the crowd figure now for that game now, especially if we get thrashed next week. Unless they can convince Jakovich himself to come out of the woodwork for a lap of honour there's no way we're beating the all-time record low at the ground of 12,542 - and depending on the severity of the beating it will be lucky to reach five figures.

It's sad when a six win season is considered a positive, but we've been such a disgrace the last few years that you still have to take it. Doesn't mean you can't be bitter about individual moments though. Following Melbourne continues to be like passionately supporting a terrible political party, but with the added bonus of being able to lose every week instead of once every three years. Like the Australian Democrats we've done nothing since the mid 2000's and you wouldn't admit to a stranger that you were a supporter.

2015 Allen Jakovich Medal votes
For the second game in a row nobody really deserves votes, but like the AFL we're all about integrity. Last week I gave Matt Jones a vote and he got the arse so that says pretty much everything you need to know about this award and the person handing it out.

---- Taking full advantage of a poor field  ----
5 - Tom McDonald
---- ???? ----
4 - Ben Newton
3 - Viv Michie
---- By default ----
2 - Jack Grimes
---- The rare "where were you when we were shit?" vote for the substitute who played a reasonable game when everyone else was shite ----
1 - Alex Neal-Bullen

Gawn would probably have came out looking better if his teammates had ever got to a tap, if he wasn't set to keel over and die from exhaustion or if he could have gotten out of Jesse Hogan's way.

It's jaw-dropping scenes as the top of the table where Tom McSizzle hits the lead going into the last fortnight courtesy of others falling over in front of him in a way that would make that speed skating bloke stand up and applaud. He was probably lucky to get votes at all last week, but this time around he really did deserve it. This leaves us with just three potential first-time winners, as after three straight victories (and four overall) the era of Jones has temporarily come to an end.

Despite not polling both Hogan and Gawn effectively locked away their awards, and can both justifiably be labelled as provisional winners. Maximum is in the rare position where he can confirm victory on Thursday night if neither Jamar or Spencer are selected - and as we all know Fremantle don't have any decent ruckmen why would we pick them?

38 - Tom McDonald (WINNER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
35 - Bernie Vince, Jack Viney
27 - Nathan Jones
25 - Jesse Hogan (PROVISIONAL WINNER: Jeff Hilton Rising Star Award)
17 - Angus Brayshaw, Jack Watts
15 - Daniel Cross, Max Gawn (PROVISIONAL WINNER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
11 - Cameron Pedersen
10 - Aaron vandenBerg
8 - Jeff Garlett
7 - Chris Dawes, Dom Tyson
6 - Viv Michie, Christian Salem
5 - Colin Garland, Ben Newton
2 - Jack Fitzpatrick, Jack Grimes, James Harmes, Jeremy Howe, Heritier Lumumba
1 - Lynden Dunn, Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Alex Neal-Bullen, Jake Spencer

Carlton were instantly disqualified for including the largest curtain you'll ever see. It was such an overwhelming slit that the tribute to Chris Judd had to be forced into the top third of the crepe paper to accommodate it. Worse still nobody in the cheersquad thought to uncouple the curtain, leaving Marc Murphy to have to reach down and fiddle with the switch with 21 players close behind him. He got it eventually but I wouldn't be surprised if that's what set his shoulder off on the wrong course.

Ours was solid and businesslike considering the Demon Army must have just about had enough by this point of the season. It also included a provocative shot about the "sad winter Blues" which will be great fodder for media dickheads and the eight other people who think teams take motivation from what the other side's banner says.

As for some unknown bloody reason In The Air Tonight by Phil Collins blared out despite it being 3.20pm a guard of honour began forming for Judd. They stood far too close to the pyro towers (which is a nice touch that we should rip-off, kids will love it before deciding they're Hawthorn fans at quarter time) and it took an MCG attendant sensibly hustling them away before they all burned like buggery. Mind you we might have come out with a technical a draw on an abandoned game if they'd all been torched.

Result - Demons win and 22-1-0 for the season, with Freo representing the only reasonable chance of ruining the perfect season as we know GWS and their 0's instead of O's will provide about as much competitions as we will on-field.

Matchday Experience Watch
For a fallen club they put on reasonable show. Sadly there was no sign of the famous hovercraft - especially if it had Judd in it - but what they did have was two characters dressed as Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men supervising a long kicking competition. This would have been bloody genius if anybody with foresight had realised that the two characters had their 'arms' permanently stuck in the air and that good fun could be had by putting them in the drop zone and waiting for somebody to deck them with a footy. It would have been like the golf driving range when the ball-retrieval cart comes out, provoking everyone to forget about their swing technique and instead start hitting balls at it.

The Judd tribute was fine, if a sign of the sort of hard times that Carlton have fallen on in the last few years. On the digital screens around the ground he was thanked for 'giving us hope', which says it all about where they were at when he showed up and where they're at as he leaves. Forget individuals, playing Melbourne is what gives you hope. The screens then announced that they were kicking towards the "Legends Stand" in the first quarter, which was technically correct if not a few suburbs short but an unwelcome call-back to the decrepit, dying days of Princes Park when they'd blown all their money building said stand. When that end works for you like it did yesterday call it whatever you damn well please. We could do similar and name the two ends the "FISTED END" and the "FOREVER END".

Also as far as pre-replay animations go theirs was about a third the length of Collingwood's, and thank god for that considering how many times we had to see it in the first half.

The fun factor was later ramped up to 11 when 'Bongo Cam' superimposing a pair of digital bongos on the big screen then putting the camera on kids who pretended to play them. Ridiculous stuff, and another unwelcome addition to the gimmick 'cam' genre along with Kiss Cam, Cuddle Cam and Dance Cam.

It was certainly a step above their three-quarter time gimmick of catching people unaware on their phones, broadcasting it on the big screen and suggested the 'humorous' texts they might have been making. The 'texts' must have been pre-planned because all of them were about people spilling mustard on themselves not of Carlton fans writing  "LOL @ MELBOURNE" to their mates. It was uninspiring stuff, but regular readers would know my first rule of Fan Engagement is that as long as you make a buck out of it you've had a win, and this came courtesy of some obscure phone company so no harm done.

Crowd Watch
Due to sitting there all day with headphones in and the volume right up I didn't know there was a kid sitting behind me when I went on a rampage of filth as we threw it away in the last quarter. Sorry child and parents, but while last week it was almost laughable how easily the Dogs were doing it this time I felt sick and angry because it seemed like an unnecessary capitulation. Good on Carlton, they wanted it more and as you very well know fans of shithouse clubs sometimes need to be reminded that it's worse persisting.

Aaron Davey Medal for Goal of the Year
I'm going for Dawes at the end of the second quarter because I'm so impressed at him converting fluently despite his failing leg. Garlett still leads overall, with time rapidly running out for anyone to pinch it considering we're not going to kick any goals next week.

Stat My Bitch Up
Another masterclass of attacking football sees us down to 70.8ppg for the season with 12 out 20 scores of 60 or less. We're still 12 goals and about eight percent better off than all of 2014, so we're marginally better than our lowest scoring season in anybody's lifetime if that's any comfort. Alas in the backwards race to be the most boring side in the competition we're now below all of Essendon, Carlton and Gold Coast - and only 51 in front of Brisbane. We can still achieve something this year, boring our supporters to a standstill.

Next Week
Fremantle's loss to North Melbourne yesterday afternoon might be a blow to their status as a premiership contender but it's an even bigger blow to our hopes of leaving Western Australia with anything approaching an 'honourable' loss. If all they needed to sew up top spot was a win they could put out their seconds and rely on their seconds players wanting to put their hands up for the finals to do enough to win comfortable without it getting ugly. What a shame Fyfe avoided suspension, that's ruined any chance we had of surviving unscathed.

Now even though they'll still be able to stay in first gear and win comfortably the best case scenario for us is that once they've scooted away to a 10 goal lead they'll relax and let us get to quarter time without further damage before going into self-preservation/Harlem Globetrotters mode for the rest of the afternoon/evening/I actually have no idea when this game is.

It feels harsh to pluck players out of Casey's elimination final to fly them across the country so they can act as cannon fodder for a rapidly fading finals contender but here we are. Usually I'd say stiff shit, you're getting paid to play in the seniors not the suburban leagues but in this case I'm not entirely sure. Still, if we make one enforced change just to try and get to the next round of the Reserves finals I'll punch on. The only ground I'll give is to not pick any first gamers so they can have a taste of finals of some sort before we ruin them in the seniors.

IN: Jamar, Riley, Fitzpatrick, Jetta, Tyson, Terlich
OUT: Lumumba, Dawes (inj), Brayshaw (rested), Garland, Howe (if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem)
LUCKY: Garlett (shite for the last month but always good for a goal or two, and we're going to need every opportunity we can get next week), Harmes (not a great day but happy to bust him down to sub for the last couple of weeks and keep him playing seniors)
UNLUCKY: Kent (has barely played so give him another week in the seconds to get up some fitness) and any fit Melbourne player who is not selected (though it saves them a six hour round trip and a flogging, so define 'unlucky').

Almost forgotten in our downhill run to an early grave is that it will be Nathan Jones' 200th game, and what better way to celebrate than by hoisting the team atop his shoulders for a completely unwinnable game one more time. I have a suspicion that he's playing injured so I wouldn't be surprised if he missed this game and came back for the milestone in the last week at a ground that must have given him so much joy to play at over the years. His first 100 and a bit games were good, but the last four years have been mighty while all crumbled around him. I do hope he will attend in person when we unveil the statue of him in 2020.

Off-season action
In case you missed the press release which briefly set social media alight, we announced during the week that the long and boring period between the end of trading and the National Draft will be filled by the second annual Demonbracket Classic.

It's the vote on a matter of public importance that you don't need to wait until the next term of Federal Parliament to have, but this time instead of selecting from the greatest MFC players we're going right to the other end of the spectrum in order to find your favourite of the 64 ex-Demons with the least senior games played for the club since 1990. This will be an interesting one considering there's no obvious winners, if you want to start formulating your strategy it's expected that players up to around 19 games will qualify.

The final field will be confirmed after this year's delistings, and the tournament will conclude on our grand final eve - the last day before the National Draft. More information on the classic and next year's regular tournament will be available on the usual channels as soon as possible.

Was it worth it?
Promotional consideration has been paid for by the following:
The Social Lounge

I am certainly doing my bit.

Final Thoughts
This is usually the point where I'd say something like "I'll miss this club when it's gone", but thanks to the new megabucks broadcast rights deal it seems we'll have to work extra hard to avoid surviving until at least 2022 or beyond. Which is probably a good thing ultimately, as losing the club would rip my heart out, but at times like this you do start to wonder...


  1. Vote 1 Andy Goodwin #Demonbracket

  2. I've decided to forgo the annual Subiaco shellacking and attend a charity football match instead (actual charity, not MFC). Fully expect Hogan to kick 18 and Dees to win, now that I won't be there.

  3. Pretty sure there's still a round of the VFL home and away season to go and no matter what the result on the weekend Casey can't move out of 8th. That said I'm not sure a shellacking on the other side of the country will be great preparation for anyone playing the elimination final in a fortnight.


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