Friday 15 July 2005

No appropriate headline available

Remember '98 and '00? We got slaughtered in consecutive weeks and bounced back to make a Prelim Final and get flogged in a Grand Final retrospectively. Alas, despite all the available evidence regarding the up/down season trend, these sorts of things mean absolutely nothing. At all. The fact that we've had a good season followed by a shit one for the last seven years is nothing more than coincidence - there's no voodoo curse attached to it. We are not forever doomed to wade in mediocrity because somebody shagged a witch in the MCG change rooms in 1976.

Sadly this isn't a full scale essay about the world of the occult and it's connection to VFL/AFL football. It's a preview of Saturday night's game against Sydney at Telstra Dome. There's a very good reason that I'm stalling instead of talking about this game. I'm scared to death of what it means in the context of the season.

Nothing I typed in for a post title seemed appropriate. I know we can beat Sydney, and we've already done it once this year, but I also know that they're winning all over the place and we've been bent over and violated by Brisbane and Port in the last fortnight. Does that really mean anything? After all they are last year's Grand Finallists and have hit form in the last few weeks. I feel that we will find out the answer to that question at approximately 10pm on Saturday night on Harbour Esplanade, Docklands, Victoria, 3008.

That's about as far as the good news goes. Take a look at these changes,

Out: Miller (*sob*), Nicholson (meh..), Heffernan (no great loss), Jamar (likewise)
In: Holland (predictable), Ferguson (getting better), Williams (WTF!), Carroll (WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?)

Now, we all know why Nathan Carroll is there - his claim to fame is having wrecked Barry Hall in the last round of 2003, and presumably with Nicholson/Miller out and Ferguson/Rivers required elsewhere they've decided to bring him back for a crack at repeating history. The only downside to this plan is that he's never done anything else EVER and was last seen being destroyed at Football Park last season. Bold visionary gamble or desperate last roll of the dice guaranteed to backfire in spectacular fashion? We shall see.

Williams on the other hand almost brought tears to my eyes when I saw it. I always feel terrible about hammering listed AFL players because clearly they're finer athletes than I'll ever be, earn thousands of dollars a year more than me and score hot women for no good reason BUT I just can't cope with another game featuring Williams. I'm sure he's a lovely guy and all that shit but let's be entirely frank, he's rubbish. He is to the world of football what this page is to the world of blogging - superior to most of the garden variety bogans going around but so far off world class that it's not funny.

You'll note that by playing on Saturday he'll have played one more game this year, by round 16, than he did in all of last season. Does this mean he's getting better? Does it f**k. It means we're struggling royally. Prove me wrong and have 35 touches. Go on.

Speaking of Luke, you might remember him from the last time we played the Swans at Telstra Dome. Actually you might not, because that was the worst game of football I've seen in my life and any sane person would have wiped the memories of that night out of their mind minutes after the final siren. In fact I looked back on my notes from that game and the match was so violently dull that the fact my tram on the way home had coathangers on the floor was worthy of a mention. All I remember is the Swans playing the most unattractive brand of football ever, and won. So good for them - if we played 17 men in the backline and won 1.8.14 to 1.1.7 every week I'd support it - but hardly likely to feature on anyone's "Name a Game" most wanted list anytime soon.

I'm not even taking the balaclava. I'm just going to sit there for four quarters and silently weep at the fact that, as a seven year old child, I chose to support a club who were destined never to win anything more important than a pub raffle ever again.

The Demonblog verdict: The Craig Nettlebeck cup is going back to Sydney by 25 and our season out the window. Roll on '06 and/or death. I'd like to say I hate football, but I realise that now the NSL is dead there's no decent sport to watch during summer so it's a necessary evil.

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