Tuesday, 11 July 2006

Congratulations I have (re)arrived

Farcical scenes at Demonblog in the last couple of weeks. An interstate jaunt directly after the Port game, lasting all the way through the Brisbane game and until now. Not that I was in Brisbane (observant readers will remember that I've vowed never to go near the state of Queensland again) but I was certainly in the heart of another state where they don't give a rats about AFL and replays of certain Saturday night games aren't on until 10.30pm.

So - we beat Port. It was quite comfortable in the end after some dubious times early on. I can't remember what the hell happened to be honest other than firing up the mask gimmick in the 4th quarter and getting absolutely NO POP from the crowd in the bottom desk of the Ponsford Stand. No respect for the Philthy Phil Phaction amongst those people.

Round 13 Votes

5 - McLean
4 - Bruce
3 - Neitz
2 - Carroll
1 - Whelan

Then a week later there was Brisbane. A venue we've been porked in for the last three years. Thankfully this year's Lions aren't a patch on the previous editions (though fark me they've got promise) and we managed to fall over the line against them despite Bradshaw taking his total in the last two games against us to 17 and Nathan Carroll being destroyed for the first time in ages. I have confidence that he'll bounce back but is there any doubt now that Brad Miller's career has gone off the road, plummeted into a ravine and exploded in flames? His confidence looks at an all-time low - see the mystery tap down to Akermanis in the 3rd quarter - and he doesn't appear to have a role anymore. I'm not suggesting we'll give him the bullet but after 60/70 games it's make or break time for him. Could be the next Brent Grgic - all promise for the first 50 games and then complete disinterest for the rest until we flog him to Geelong and he plays his best game ever against us. His decision making is absolutely abysmal, always has been and you can't think that there's much more improvement to come at this stage of his career. What to do? Go to advanced kicking school and try and be a full-forward? Then all he has to do is mark it and kick it rather than trying to dish off pissy handballs to anyone who runs past. Watch this space.

On the upside Sylvia played his best game yet and marked everything that came near him. Green played another great game in a rapidly expanding midfield role (Demonblog sez - "We were wrong") and the Whelan/Rivers portion of THE JURASSIC PACK (I won't stop flogging that name until it actually gets over) were on fire even if Carroll was being ripped to shreds by Bradshaw. I thought, with a few celebrated exceptions, that it was more a case of the Lions playing well than us playing terribly and we still took the 4pts so grab what you can and run like buggery I say.

Neitz was ace again. Whoever said he was finished (and it certainly can't have been me can it?) was at least one year out. Even Ward was killing it - notwithstanding the fact that he usually gets possessions because he's a mile away from the guy he's supposed to be on.

Look, I'll admit that I'm biased (and indeed to paraphrase Nick Cave - and later the Screaming Jets if you're into that kind of thing - "the sound of his name sends a permanent shiver down my spine") but even though you wouldn't stake your life on him to hit a target when he's got the ball tell me you don't become moderately aroused at least when he flies into a pack like a WW2 kamikaze pilot and buries somebody. At least don't lie and pretend you'd rather Godfrey playing in the midfield scragger role. Every team needs one - we have Philthy. Enough said.

As for the television coverage when I finally did see it I couldn't help but be simultaneously amused and terrified by Malcolm Blight's "stream of conciousness" commentary where he just says whatever comes to head. Never before has somebody who is obviously knowledgable (think of the two flags and pretend the St. Kilda thing never happened) sounded so much like they're absolutely nuts. Best enjoyed when you're not watching your own team.

Round 14 Votes

5 - Whelan
4 - Green
3 - Neitz
2 - Sylvia
1 - Yze

Apologies to Bruce, Johnstone, McDonald, McLean, Pickett, Philthy, Rivers, Ward and White

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal Leaderboard

35 - Cameron Bruce
25 - Brock McLean
18 - David Neitz
16 - Aaron Davey
16 - Byron Pickett
16 - James McDonald
16 - Brad Green
12 - Travis Johnstone
12 - Jared Rivers (Leader: 2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal for defender of the year)
9 - Nathan Carroll
9 - Colin Sylvia
6 - Matthew Whelan
4 - Chris Johnson
3 - Russell Robertson
3 - Ben Holland
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Adem Yze
2 - Brad Miller
1 - Daniel Ward
1 - Nathan Brown
1 - Jeff White
1 - Matthew Bate (Leader: 2006 Darren Cuthbertson Medal for Rookie Of The Year)

Next week: Richmond at the MCG on Friday night. We should win but they're in the best form that any team called Richmond has the right to be in. To make up for the shambolic scenes of the last couple of weeks I'll actually deliver a preview AND a match report this week. Quelle Surprise!

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