Saturday 20 May 2006

Brock and Roll

I've never had anything against Hawthorn. Having grown up there when I was a kid and originally tied to them in my early years for geographical reasons I've always enjoyed their jaunty theme song and recognise the obvious point regarding how it was their members voting against the merger that saved us in 1996. Couldn't take those colors though but that's irrelevant. Having said all that I'm glad we gave them a class A porking tonight.

It appears we are 'back'. A 75 point win for the fifth win in a row is impressive by anyone's standards, even if you are playing a team generally regarded as bottom of the harbour material. Lest we forget that after impressive wins early in the year they were gutted by the equally dodgy Lions last week. All will be revealed when we run into West Coast (Judd, Cousins et al) in Perth next week but for now you can enjoy the fact that we're on fire. I'm aware that a month ago I was demanding public crucifixtions and sackings all around but it looks like they've pulled something out of the hat in the last few weeks.

Interesting sort of game tonight. Early on we looked sloppy and were smashed out of the centre for the first half. The difference between the first few minutes and the rest of the game was that our defence got on top of the Hawks forwards and our attacking line began to rip the shambles masquerading as a Hawthorn defence to shreds. Another big help was the fact that they lost the plot and gave away a truckload of free kicks and 50m penalties by indulging in the kind of macho chest beating soft violence bullshit that we attempted against St. Kilda late last year with similar results. If nobody's scared of you it doesn't work. Take notes Campbell Brown - opposition players probably don't even know who you are let alone whether or not you're actually as unhinged as you behave. You're a cock.

On a more important note David Neitz broke the all-time Melbourne FC goalkicking record with his third for the night. It's not much of a record considering that you need a lazy 1000+ to be the best at Collingwood or Hawthorn and 671 to top Wayne Carey at North but it's our record so fuck it I'm in anyway. Imagine if he hadn't played so much in defence in his early years? Good work, and congratulations to the great man. I've had my doubts this year but there's no doubt that he's killed it in the games we've won this year and the game where we were ripped off against the Crows in Queensland.

The third quarter proceeded much like every other third quarter we've had this year, and the Hawks took advantage by kicking the first couple of goals before we steadied to break even for the term and take a five goal lead into the last quarter. I've never trusted Melbourne in that situation because they have, and will in the future, botched a game from that position but it was blatantly obvious just a few minutes into the 4th quarter that the Hawks had fallen apart like Michael Jackson's face and that it was going to be procession football for the last quarter. And it duly was - featuring one passage of play where we basically took the piss out of them for two minutes before kicking a point. Lovely stuff.

Most exciting was Aaron Davey's rubbing of Brown's head into the ground after kicking his first goal. Reminded me of when Jeff Farmer took a mark against Essendon and stuck the ball in his opponent's face. 'Twas a thing of beauty. I love that guy - he and Pickett are such a lethal defensive combination.

Byron Watch
Failed to murder anyone tonight - which is a bonus given that they'll be out to even up after letting him off during the week - but did more excellent work chasing, tackling and winning the ball. Every week I'm going to apologise for my pre-season comments because he's rapidly becoming one of our most important players and has proven to be an inspired buy. Whoever sat there at trade week and went "Why don't we get Pickett?" should be given a raise and the keys to the city.

Stat My Bitch Up
According to the Channel Nine coverage, which I could see on the TV screen in the bottom of the Ponsford, we haven't won five in a row since rounds 3-7 2004. Now think about how often teams 5 straight and how it's only two years since we last did it and then wonder if that's the worst allegedly interesting stat you've ever heard in your life.

Farcical Fan of the Week
I stood at the back of the Ponsford 1st floor, where only lunatics and extreme drunks dare to tread. And luckily for reporting purposes some guy who fit both was standing next to me for the first half despairing over Hawthorn's performance while knocking back a selection of Bourbon and Coke's that were magically appearing every few minutes. He did that thing that crazy people always do at the football of muttering under their breath and starting to have huge whinges about players before realising that they're talking to themselves and stopping. An example,

"Crawford you fuck. God he's such a...." and suddenly realises that there's nobody there to concur with him. His wild anti-Crawford agenda was puzzling to me but as he was clearly both off his nut and an a-grade nutter it wasn't surprising. He may also have racially abused Aaron Davey but sadly it was under the breath so I couldn't be sure and make a scene as I've always wanted to do. Further proof that you're a complete moron - firing off indiscriminate anti-black abuse when your own side is loaded with indigenous players. It's usually a favourite tactic of Richmond fans so I'm prepared to give Danny Dumbfuck the benefit of the doubt and believe he was saying something else.

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Travis Johnstone (31 touches. Quality one and all)
4 - David Neitz (6 straight. Against slop players I know but still stood up and did good work even when he didn't get it)
3 - Brock McLean (An absolute superstar. Has added so much to our previously creampuff midfield)
2 - Byron Pickett (See Byronwatch for more information)
1 - Jared Rivers (Marks anything that comes near him)

Apologies to White, Carroll, McDonald, Green, Dunn, Davey, Moloney, Bruce and Yze


25 - Cameron Bruce
16 - Byron Pickett
13 - Aaron Davey
13 - Brock McLean
12 - Travis Johnstone
8 - Jared Rivers (2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal leader)
7 - Colin Sylvia
7 - David Neitz
4 - Nathan Carroll
4 - James McDonald
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Adem Yze
2 - Brad Miller
2 - Brad Green
1 - Daniel Ward
1 - Nathan Brown
1 - Jeff White

Next week: Yes, it's West Coast at Subiaco. Everything says we'll lose. And we probably will, but it's a matter of giving it everything against them, making a big splash against a Premiership favourite and all that horseshit. God knows we're playing well enough that we'll probably beat them. Then I will begin to sweat.

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