Saturday 30 September 2006


Pike, Bishop, Jolly, Armstrong

What do these people have in common that pretty much everyone else who has played for us in the last thirty years doesn't?

Yeah.... I hate sports.

Monday 25 September 2006

Carnival Atmosphere?

Sandringham win the Grand Final? Yeah, but none of our players did their knees or anything right? That's pretty much all that it counts for.

Hold on? What do you mean Philthy won the BOG Award?


Wednesday 20 September 2006

The 2006 Every Day Is Like Sunday Season Review (Part One)

I'll do the player bit sometime when it's not quarter to three in the morning.

Pre-Season Rd. 1
vs Footscray
I thought the game was tomorrow night. I really did. But even with our gimmick lineup we won.

Pre-Season Rd .2
vs Brisbane
For The Tip
And the penalty for losing is a trip to Morwell to see half your team do their knees on a ground that until Friday 5pm was a primary school carpark.

Sanity prevailed and the man we will NEVER EVER REFER TO AS JACK (apart from this time) was given the arse and replaced with the increasingly capable Nathan Carroll.

Pre-Season Rd. 3
vs Adelaide
No Respect
A colossal "fuck you" to whoever is in charge of the mobile phone version of the AFL website. Not only did they decide that tonight's NAB Cup semi-final was between Adelaide and Hawthorn rather than Adelaide and Melbourne, but they then gave the score of the home team to the away team (Hawthorn) thus fooling me briefly, without any access to a tv or radio, into believing we were pissing it in.

Round 1
vs Carlton
No Future
The first quarter was probably the worst game you'll ever see in your life

We, on the other hand, are living in a cycle of recycled players who are past their use-by date, club legends on their last legs and workhorse players whose best days passed them two or three years ago.

Round 2
vs Footscray
Death of A Salesman
As I entered the stadium this afternoon there was a distinct smell of vomit hanging over the place.

Ferguson, however, went off injured with what looked like a broken hand or wrist and that means that if Jared Rivers isn't fit next week then lock up your grandmother because IT'S NICHO TIME

Miller did very little - either he's lost the plot or the opposition have figured him out. One way or the other if he's our captain next year then I'm General Douglas MacArthur and I shall return in about five years when things have really bottomed out.

Round 3
vs Adelaide
I Can Hear The Grass Grow
I live right next door to AFL House and you'd expect that in these circumstances there'd be a repeat of the game where Fitzroy got robbed against Adelaide and their fans spraypainted the place with slogans but I'm just not that concerned.

I'm increasing impressed with Pickett. He's obviously on the big downward slide from his peak but he's still throwing himself in like a madman.

Round 4
vs Sydney
Everybody Is A Star
Jared Rivers gives away a free-kick, throws the ball back to some cheat who extends his hand about 3 centimetres in an "attempt" to catch it. Naturally due to this pissweak effort it flies over his head and the umpire is sucked in like the biggest moron ever to have been born and pays a 50 that ties the scores.

Not newborn fuckwits who jumped on five years ago, wonder when Tony Lockett is coming back and who were only there because the Fox Sports replay of some rubbish Super 12 game between The Highlanders and the Rotorua Rug Rats didn't start until 6pm.

Round 5
vs North Melbourne
Take It To The Limit
We were equally as bad in the first, but they were a different class of slop in the second quarter. Get your "Best of Fitzroy 1996" video out and have a close look because that's probably the only time you'll ever see anything as bad. Kicking backwards, kicking sideways, back and forth they went.

You may have seen some suggestion in this space before the season began that Byron Pickett would be a dud this season. I heartily apologise, as his performances in the last month have shown that he's still got a shitload left in him. Another top performance today. I love the man

Round 6
vs Geelong
Don't Turn Around. Der Koroner's In Town
Is it growing maturity, the realisation that sports really mean fuck all in the grand scheme of things, resignation to a life of being let down by Melbourne or the result of a slow degeneration of my central nervous system.

The critics who would claim I have lost passion (I don't think there any, but it helps me make a point) would do well to get the CCTV footage of when Aaron Davey kicked goal of the year from 8 cars deep in the carpark in the last quarter.

Being a cheer squad official is already like being head spaz - there's no need to make things worse by drawing attention to yourself

Round 7
vs Fremantle
Never Go On Holidays (by Johnny Knoxville)
Aaron Davey had appeared on the front of the Herald Sun sports section dressed, for some reason, as Fred Astaire, down to but not including his shoes (which appeared to be 2003 model Bata Scouts), thus ensuring he would not get a kick

Armed with a pen, sober (ish) and, for the first time this season, clutching a Footy Record, I was taking my duties as Demonblog supersub seriously and was determined to document any and all purple buffoonery for your reading pleasure.

Round 8
vs Hawthorn
Brock and Roll
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.

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.

"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.

Round 9
vs West Coast
Demonblog's Super Sunday Slopfest Special
Even though we were running them off the park in the early going it became apparent that you simply cannot stop Chris Judd. Short of tying him up and hacking him to pieces with a chainsaw a'la Scarface there is no way you're going to prevent him wrecking you through the centre.

The kick-in fiascos continued as Brad Miller (#4 option for the day) walked over the line, got away with it, and dropped his kick on an Eagles player who kicked a goal anyway to bring the margin back to three points.

Round 10
vs St. Kilda
The first quarter was notable for Melbourne suddenly introducing the dinky "chip it around like twats in the backline" thing that makes even hardened supporters boo their own team

Backline Dink was the still the word of the day but when we finally took the ball outside of the defensive 50 - sometimes even in less time than it took to win the Second World War - we were on fire everywhere.

In fact the wildest scenes were reserved for the time clock on the scoreboard which didn't start for three minutes, then went straight to 2.00, then reset again, went back to 2.00, started counting down, changed to 99.00 and then shut down for the rest of the game.

Round 11
vs Collingwood
Birth of a Legend
Yes. Phil Read, the angriest man alive, returned and everything is alright with the world again.

A steel-trap style Melbourne defence? Has the world gone mad?
Sadly nobody else observed the standing ovation for Philthy that I demanded pre-match

Time-On was spent talking up Philthy Phil and unsuccessfully trying to start a "WE LOVE YOU FILTHY WE DO" chant in an overwhelmingly hostile section.

Round 12
vs Essendon
For those of you who missed it the St. George Bank Dragon beat the Nando's chicken by two lengths with a giant slice of bread third.

And what else is there to be said about Jared Rivers that hasn't been said before? If he ever threatens to go back to Adelaide I suggest an abduction, drugging and cult-like reprogramming to ensure he stays.

Incidentally was I the only one who'd forgotten that Chris Heffernan went back there? How would you feel having being sacked by a team who retained Simon Godfrey?

Johnstone (who's game everyone else seems to getting a semi-lob on about but I didn't fancy that highly)

Round 13/14
vs Port Adelaide and Brisbane
Congratulations I have (re)Arrived
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.

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?

Round 15
vs Richmond
Friday Night Slops
Having confidently declared the game against Essendon a few weeks ago to be the worst game I have seen in years I come before you tonight to acclaim a new winner.

The Next Big Thing OUT, Godfrey IN. WHY? If I had righteous indignation at Philthy's exclusion in the first place it was apoplectic rage when it turned out that he'd been considered inferior as a replacement to a man who is almost worse than Scott Chisholm.

Never before has anybody spent so much time screaming out their stream of conciousness ramblings to absolutely no response.

Round 16
vs Fremantle
Slop On Tap
If you're the sort of nutbag who believes that sport can be accurately predicted using omens then you surely would have questioned whether or not it was entirely sensible to go into a game with a six week winning streak wearing a replica of a jumper originally seen in the late 70's/early 80's when we won precisely fuck all and were belted on a weekly basis by everyone other than St. Kilda.

How they could miss a mention of Colin Sylvia sporting a mullet in honor of Heritage Week is a mystery to me though.

Sadly I missed the brawl at halftime because I'd gone outside to ponder the future of the Middle East the moment the siren had gone.

I'm not charging the Panic-O-Meter 1000 yet but Jebus H Christ if we play like that next week we'll get smashed.

Round 17
vs Footscray
Search And Destroy
Of course it's not all roses. When it comes to Melbourne is it ever?

But before we go back to the game a moment please for one of the worst attempts at crowd humor ever. One wag in the bottom of the Ponsford Stand, as Brad Johnson marked in front of Cameron Bruce in the first quarter was heard to yell "Hey Bruce! You're Loose!" as if it were the most cutting insult ever delivered.

Round 18
vs Carlton
What the fuck was that?
Afterall Essendon and Richmond almost managed to beat us by dragging us down to their level and performing the biggest flood since New Orleans.

Everyone knows that I don't play well with others and need to sit away from the crowds for the sake of my own sanity.

Credit to the people who joined in the concerted campaign against the guy and spent four quarters giving it to him every time he opened his mouth and tried to distribute another cracking gag. Credit also for Daniel Ward who gave it back to him

Roll on season 2007 because what happened yesterday screams out to me that we can't win the flag.

Round 19
vs Sydney
Born To Lose
Personally I was as sick as a dog and sat there for four (well, three and a half) quarters looking emo, coughing my lungs out and trying not to throw up before dramatically storming out at the 10 minute mark of the last.

Round 20
vs North Melbourne
Second Half Blitz (by Rowdy)
In the first half I was sitting in my seat, feeling suicidal at the prospect of missing the finals due to another late season collapse.

Had a bogan Roos supporter behind who was talking such drivel, his own family were looking embarrassed

Round 21
vs Geelong
Love Thy Bogan (by Sideshow Bob)
The motivation for my trip to Geelong was wholly and solely based on last year’s miracle win. I can still hear the roar of the Geelong fans fading as Egan’s kick turns to the left, and hugging complete strangers wearing red and blue as if they were my best mates.
Be aware of local customs. This means that when a Melbourne player has his head lopped off or has a Geelong player land square in his back, local custom is to yell the word "Ball" at the top of your voice.

Next week it’s Crows in Adelaide. Collectively, demon fans have marked this down for a loss as of about ten minutes into Round 1

Round 22
vs Adelaide
Suicide Saturday II
And you thought I'd necked myself didn't you?

I would like to think that it had more to do with a sense of self-preservation than sheer incompetence but you just can't tell in these situations. Especially when you've played 0 games and sit on your couch commenting like me.

Elimination Final
vs St. Kilda
Finals (uh!) What are they good for?
Next week we're lambs to the slaughter but right now it feels so good to be in the finals mixer.

Do they drive past speed cameras at 150kmh and go ballistic when they get pinged but sit there at the lights screaming out for the cops to nick people who are doing the limit?

Sad news about Peter Brock and all - and how could you forget with a Holden blimp showing RIP's as it flew around - but the good news is that there's another Brock waiting to become an Australian sporting legend

At which point I jumped up, turned around and delivered the biggest spray I've ever given at a game.

Qualifying Final
vs Fremantle
Weekdays and Bleakdays
Another season flushed down the crapper with little more than a teasing glimpse at Premiership glory.

Then you can run a bus over me, give me ass cancer, send me off with a gun to die on some godforsaken foreign beach - whatever I don't care.

If you want to call cricket then go to Punt Road in December and talk to fifteen people about how Victoria have been forced to follow on or something

Friday 15 September 2006

Weekdays and Bleakdays

So yeah. That's it. Another season flushed down the crapper with little more than a teasing glimpse at Premiership glory. Depending on how you look at it our year either peaked at 3/4 time against Richmond when we'd held them to three goals or five minutes into the Round 18 game against Carlton when we were winning. After that it was pretty clear that this year was going to be just like the one before it, and the one before that, and every fucking one before that right back to 1965. If it's any consolation, though, it was a better year than 1981. We won more games anyway. Don't ask me I wasn't born until Round 20.

I don't know about any of you but I live for this football club and it hurts to end every year with any aspirations for success crushed beyond recognition. Is one flag too much to ask for? Just one. Then you can run a bus over me, give me ass cancer, send me off with a gun to die on some godforsaken foreign beach - whatever I don't care. All I want is that moment where the siren goes and we've won the bloody thing. Gah. It's never going to happen. Or if it is I'm destined to have been in a plane crash two months beforehand - which is good for you but an absolute debacle for me.

And yes, one year we certainly know it won't happen in is 2006. For a quarter and a half we were in it against the Dockers tonight. Tough efforts all over the field and pressure everywhere. Sadly, as has been the key in most of our losses this year, the amount of effort expended to kick a goal (usually via a free kick or a fluke snap) was completely disproportiante to that which we conceded them. Fifteen minutes of guts and all toil would almost always be rewarded with a goal that was cancelled out thirty seconds later by a cheap clearance from center and a man standing on his own inside fifty. How are you supposed to win anything like that? Might come off nicely against slop sides but it's never going to work in the finals.

Jeff White was slaughtered in the middle by Sandilands. As you'd probably have expected Nick Smith wasn't much of a second option. Romantic notions of him coming in and running riot aside we must not have expected much more out of a guy who was until this week playing against Frankston. He tried hard but in the face of an opponent in superb form somebody who hasn't played a game in three years - and who wasn't very good then - is going to get smashed like a guitar. At least if nothing else we saw Smith play another game and will always know the answer to the cheap trivia question about the player who missed three years and then played a final. Which is, I suppose, some consolation. And if you're into the sort of trivia night where they're likely to ask a stupid and obscure queston like that then I want in immediately.

The second half was abysmal even if we did somehow stay within touch and threaten early in the last term. All credit to the Dockers they turned the flamethrower up to a million and roasted us alive. Even Jeff Farmer decided to stop throwing girly hissy fits and start playing the sort of football we remember him playing a few years back. The lack of pressure around the ground that we've suffered for years reared it's ugly head again, a few unlucky bounces went against us and it was over. Had the Dockers kicked more accurately and not hit the post every five seconds we would have been wiped off the face of the planet in the last five minutes of the first half so I suppose it was a triumph just to be in it for that long.

A word, if we may, on the performance of Brad Miller. I've been critical of him throughout the year - and a lot of what I've said still stands - but tonight was one of his best performances yet. It wasn't just the marks but the fact that he had the balls to back himself when he got it and not turn around and handball it to the first person who'd take responsibility. Still lacks the killer edge when it comes to delivering a ball inside 50 after marking it but there's an entire off-season to work on that. His performance tonight has saved him from even being considered as trade bait. Six months of work on decision making and kicking to leads and he can be a key player next year.

Brock McLean was, again, great. His performance fell apart in the second half but then again didn't everyone's? I've said it before (pretty much every week) and I'll say it again - put your house on him to win the Brownlow next year. Barring injury or suspension he's a huge chance at presumably decent ($50 or over) odds. If you can find somebody who'll take bets on our B&F put somebody else's house on him as well becuase he'll win by a thousand.

On the other side of the coin we have Adem Yze. Now, he's done a lot of good stuff in the 250+ games he's played for us but aren't you slightly concerned that he's poised to pass Neitz and become our games record holder in a few years time? I don't know if he's playing injured or what but he has been absolutely awful for the last month. Just doesn't seem concerned with what's happening unless it involves him being on the end of a handball into an open goalsquare. If this were Round 17 and he'd played like he had for the last month you'd drop him. Unless you're sucked into the whole "consecutive games" thing. The fact that he will probably pass Jim Stynes - a man who went at full throttle for four quarters every week in many sides with substantially less talent than we have now - for that record is the biggest farce of them all. You'll excuse Cameron Bruce for having a shocker this week because he's hard at it, has had a great year and will bleed about his performance but there's no excuses for Yze. Presumably somebody will come on here and go ballistic at me for questioning him but I know I'm not the only one who at the end of his tether.

Hard to give votes given that the first half performance was so much better than the second but here we go anyway.

5 - Brad Miller
4 - Brock McLean
3 - Nathan Brown
2 - Colin Sylvia
1 - Daniel Ward

Apologies to Bell, Carroll, Davey, Green, Johnstone, Neitz, Pickett and Rivers who tried hard.

Apologies for Cam Bruce who saved his worst game of the year for tonight, Rookie of the Year Matthew Bate who was disappointing but shows a lot of promise and Jeff White who had to try and contend with a flipping giraffe in the middle of the ground almost single handedly.

No apologies for Yze who can at least hand back some of his salary if he's not going to bother to make an effort.

And a big "shut the fuck up" to Tim Lane for his gimmick commentary. If you want to call cricket then go to Punt Road in December and talk to fifteen people about how Victoria have been forced to follow on or something. Don't do it on the call of a game that people actually care about. Idiot. Robert Walls, as always, trod the precipice between enlightenment and annoyance but made sense more often than note. On the other hand I thought Luke Darcy was excellent. His spot in the commentary box is ready and waiting for him when his career is over. And my mum thinks he's hot too (go on, admit it) so he's got that key demographic all sewn up.

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal FINAL TALLY

47 - Brock McLean
45 - Cameron Bruce
40 - James McDonald
29 - David Neitz
23 - Brad Green
20 - Aaron Davey
19 - Jared Rivers (WINNER 2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal for defender of the year)
17 - Travis Johnstone
16 - Byron Pickett
14 - Colin Sylvia
13 - Nathan Carroll
12 - Matthew Whelan
11 - Daniel Ward
10 - Matthew Bate
7 - Adem Yze
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Russell Robertson
4 - Chris Johnson
4 - Ben Holland
4 - Nathan Jones
4 - Nathan Brown
4 - Jeff White
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Clint Bartram

Congratulations to Matthew Bate for winning the Darren Cuthbertson Award for Rookie of the Year (previously known as the Craig Smoker Rising Star Award when won by Colin Sylvia in 2005) and to Jared Rivers for taking out the Marcus Seecamp Medal for best defender. We didn't hand out that award last year but looking back at the votes we're retrospectively giving the 2005 award to Nathan Carroll and Ryan Ferguson who polled the same amount of votes. And if you need to know who won the Darren Kowal Award for Cult Hero Status then you haven't been reading closely enough. It's Philthy first to ninth and a token 10th for Smith because I was hanging out all season just for him to play one more game.

Next week: Who cares? Freo may as well win the whole competition for all I care now. Them, Fitzroy, Northcote Park - I don't care anymore. Sports are for the tip. Demonblog may very well be back for cameo posting throughout the off-season (and surely more than last year when I went overseas and forgot my login details for six months) but it will be sporadic at best. Check back if anything interesting happens. Or just catch up on everything come February next year - you're the reader it's your choice.

Next season: If the mystical Premiership clock isn't passing 11pm with a bullet then I'd be surprised. Neitz has two seasons maximum left in him and unless we trade for one I can't see anybody else on our list who's going to be able to go to FF and kick the 50+ goals a year that he adds. I know our midfield kicks a few but unless you've got one the quality of West Coast then try scoring enough to win a flag with it. They've got the ultimate in luxury midfields and they still couldn't kick a winning score in a grand final. Next year is the time to go for it. Sit Miller down in the off-season and show him every videotape of Wayne Carey that you can. Ring Akermanis up and offer to shower the road from Brisbane to Melbourne with rose petals and have him and his family carried here on somebody's back if he'll ditch the Dogs and go for us instead.

Contrary to what the prawn sandwiches brigade might think that I believe I know there's promise in this list. McLean is set to explode next year and Sylvia has showed his worth on the big stage in the last fortnight. Bate/Dunn/Jones etc.. It's almost enough to make you become aroused. But I know it and you know it that they'll tease us again and in twelve months I'll be writing exactly this same post again after we're knocked out of the finals by Sydney or Collingwood. I don't believe in curses and all that ye olde shit but if anything's going to make me start it'll be AFL football.

So yeah. Do whatever you want to amuse yourself for the next few months. If anyone's left that hasn't stuck their head in the oven yet (tip: that doesn't work anymore) I'll be back in a few days with the end of season review and an awards special. Then it's delistings, trade week, the draft and the inevitable news that the entire club has been wound up and sold to Russian businessmen for scrap.

Cheerio. It's been a top year. Thanks to everyone who has sat through my ramblings and who has commented or contributed. One day we shall meet as one and leap off the Westgate Bridge together whilst holding hands and singing the theme song.

With love until next time.

Adam S. Mercado

Thursday 14 September 2006

Enter The Dragon

This is it. Season on the line (again) and sporting oblivion staring us directly in the face. This time, however, we're not playing a bunch of powderpuffs with a marked for death coach at a ground where we'd won 10 of 11 for the year. This is Subiaco in front of 40000 Western mutants who are terrified by the prospect of going out of the finals in straight sets. This is war.

And the big news for fans of outrageous gimmickery is that Nick Smith will play his first game since a sparkling 1 mark, 2 handball performance against Sydney in Round 22, 2003. Doesn't sound like so long ago? Consider the fact that the only reason we got Brock McLean is because we lost that game. That's how long ago it was.

Also in, to replace the irreplaceable Matthew Whelan, is Nathan Brown. Preferred, surely on strength of experience only, to Chris Johnson, Matthew Warnock and Philthy. Indeed the Philth didn't even make the emergencies despite making the trip which tells how just how much love the coaching staff have got for him at the moment. Are my #28 jumper and framed/signed trading cards going to rendered useless already? How depressing.

Prediction: Fremantle by 20pts. You know by now I'm a negative crunt and that I know nothing about sports so make of that what you will.

But if we win this then it's stacks on the Virgin Blue and (god help us all) Jetstar websites to get flights to Sydney for next week. I'm sure we can roll them. Absolutely convinced. Suffice to say that tomorrow is going to be spent making me sick as a dog.

Monday 11 September 2006

Surprise Midweek Update Corner

Bet you'd never see one of these eh?

First things first we play Fremantle in Perth on Friday night at 8.30. It's the best draw possible in my book because it doesn't force us to confront our wonky record at Football Park, and we get the Dockers on the back of a potentially slump starting first loss in ten weeks. Make no mistake we can take them. Chances are that we won't but it's much more likely than it would have been if we'd drawn the Crows.

And thanks to Sydney doing West Coast the dream prelim final scenario is on for the next week. The prospect of going north rather than to the west will have to give the boys extra motivation. In my sixteen odd years of following this sport (and yes I am older than that..) I've had my hopes crushed so many times that I can't imagine Melbourne winning a flag but in the era of interstate club dominance we'll very rarely get as sweet a run as we have this year. As we always say stay tuned.

Before that is the All-Australian team tonight. We're used to seeing our players shafted when it comes to this award (see for instance Robertson last year) but surely there's at least one in there this year. The contenders are as follows,

McDonald, James
Morally a lock. Despite being written off by several expert commentators (and me) in the last couple of seasons has had a huge year. Should at least sneak in for a place on the bench.

Davey, Aaron
Easily one of our most important players. And if you got in for kicking goal of the year contenders then he'd be the captain/coach but will almost certainly miss out tonight as his statistics alone don't show what an important player he is to our side. Next year. Will probably get rolled by Jeff Farmer.

Bruce, Cameron
Has had a good year but "good" isn't enough to force your way into a midfield featuring the likes of Judd/West/Cousins etc.. I'd expect him to go close if they had a second squad but is, in my book, no chance of cracking it for this one.

Whelan, Matthew
Desperately underrated. Won't crack the squad but deserves a mention for being one of the best small defenders in the game.

Rivers, Jared
Personally I think he should be a lock, having saved our arse in defence more times this year than is healthy. Without him the rest of our backline would have been left dangerously exposed. Fearless backing into packs for marks and found his way forward to kick a few goals as well. Apparently I'm the only person, Melbourne fans included, calling for his inclusion so don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen. But if it does I'll be right here giving it to anyone within range about how I was right for the first time ever.

Carroll, Nathan
Sadly not. Has had a wonderful year for us, but sadly not enough to crack it for a spot amongst the best 22 in the country. Just console yourself in the knowledge that he's got nine or ten years left in him and you'll probably not see Nicholson again.

Johnstone, Travis
Surely you jest? Has been nowhere near good enough.

Smith, Nick
Now you're taking the gimmick too far..

Friday 8 September 2006


I know I don't post much anymore but this is ridiculous,

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Mind you their idea of a "blog" is just writing one paragraph and then expecting the readers to provide all the content for them. So basically it's as loose a concept as this page and equally as shit.

One way or the other it's a trademark infringement (if I had a trademark...) Bigfooty lawyers - I urge you to strike at Telstra and bring down their empire of wanky pro-forma AFL club sites. Either that or Telstra could hire me away (*HINT*) to provide mediocre kwality kontent for them instead. Either way. As long as I get paid at the end of the day.

Finals (uh!) What are they good for?

Absolutely nothing. Unless you count dangerous elevated blood pressure levels, random outpourings of emotion and near brawls with total strangers. And scenes of unbridled joy for people who haven't seen a finals win in four years and a close finals win for six. Next week we're lambs to the slaughter but right now it feels so good to be in the finals mixer.

To be entirely honest I'd privately conceded defeat. For all the "oh I think we can win" throughout the week I'd already half compiled the Demonblog year in review ready to be posted right after this report. And after an early flourish in the first quarter it started to unfold as I'd expected. St. Kilda were simply a class above in the early stages and pressure from Melbourne was absolutely non-existent. Every time the Saints kicked the ball inside 50 there was a loose man to mark and, thankfully, more often than not botch the shot. With Gehrig tearing Holland apart (admittedly on the end of kicks that were pressure-less and piss easy to deliver) early for three goals it looked like a long, long night ahead.

A moments interruption, please, for the ultimate in farcical crowd behaviour. Sitting two rows behind us were a pair of my favourite people in the world. Fat bastards swigging beers and eating hotdogs who spend four quarters accusing opposition players of varying degrees of cowardice whilst sitting a comfortable 26 rows back having never done anything more courageous than mowing the lawn barefoot. You know the type. We've met them before. Let's not get moral here because I know very well that we produce our fair share of the same but there are some people who just need to be told how stupid they are lest they go through life thinking that they are actually witty. More on Captain Spazzer later.

So part two and suddenly the Demons showed up. Given that they didn't leave the field during the quarter time break we can confirm that the same team did take the field for the second stanza and weren't secretly replaced with some advanced Robocop style clones. Perhaps Daniher unleashed another one of the great sprays of modern times (see for instance the North game)? Perhaps they realised that another Elimination Final loss would mean we've tread water for the last three years with one of our best player crops in years? Perhaps they cut the throat of a lamb (not Chris fortunately) and smeared themselves in it out of view of the cameras? Who knows but it worked.

And did anyone else who was there notice the farcical scenes in the first quarter whenever somebody's career stats were put on the screen? Everyone had been given ludicrous tallies (Steven Milne - 270 games. David Neitz - 560 games, 1100 goals) and nobody seemed to notice. For the next three quarters they didn't show anybody's stats. What went wrong? I need to know. It was just too ludicrous to have been completely accidental.

Admittedly the comeback of the millenium (© Nobody) didn't start straight away and the quarter was more one of shoring up the defence, getting the matchups right and chipping away at the Saints. The good news was that not only did they start to panic more under pressure but that injuries started to take their toll as well. You wouldn't write a script with that as the turning point but given the situation I'll take it thanks very much. The dysfunctional forward line of the first quarter was replaced with a much neater model (i.e Robertson IN, the underperforming Yze OUT) and despite only producing the solitary goal for the quarter it was ready to benefit from the moment that our midfield started to get on top.

Back to our friend the crowd spaz. By this time everything was a conspiracy against the Saints from the umpires. The most blatant free kicks in history were signs of a wider plot to hand Melbourne the game. The logical flaw in this plan - that we weren't even winning and they'd botched at least 5 gettable shots on goal - didn't even need to be pointed out because every man and their dog, other than his fellow stooge, knew it. One point to the full moon was all it took to explain. Surely these people aren't such complete morons from Monday to Thursday? Do they drive past speed cameras at 150kmh and go ballistic when they get pinged but sit there at the lights screaming out for the cops to nick people who are doing the limit? Is it only sport that makes them irrational twats? What's wrong with admitting that occasionally your team are ill-disciplined and do stupid things? See, for instance, the performance of Aaron Davey tonight. He was dumb. He got punished for it. Fair enough. If it had been Hamill doing the same thing the entire bottom deck of the Ponsford would have been treated to a monologue about how the umpires are scum and should be burnt at the stake.

Come the third quarter and suddenly we were ALIVE. McDonald kicks one from 50, Bruce adds another and then Robertson marks a Sylvia kick on the line and we're only two points down. Credit to two of the most maligned players on our list both Miller and Sylvia were good today. BM still has an unpleasant fetish for handballing at any opportunity (and it went horribly wrong at least once today) but if somebody sits him down in the off-season and shows him videos of what CHF's are actually supposed to do then he may be worth persisting with yet. Sylvia, on the other hand, looked the real deal tonight. He played with confidence and his aggressive running was one of the major forces behind our comeback. Despite what I've attempted to claim in the past he won't make a forward - but on the strength of tonight's performance he won't need to.

Then it looked like after they'd teased us by cutting the margin to two that the Demons were going to fall apart again and crush us. Three goals in a row were probably more flattering than they looked at the time with one coming from Milne cracking a speculative soccer that landed in Koschitzke's arms, and one from the first Davey brain-explosion 50. Luckily Neitz goaled (from a free kick - cue another chorus of Greek tragedy proportions from behind us..) and then Pickett snapped one to drag the margin back to 9 at the last change. When Davey gave away ANOTHER 50 for the first goal of the 4th it again looked grim. Flash is anything but a September specialist on his showings over the past couple of seasons and tonight he was quite awful. Still a top player though - and at least unlike some other people who we won't name (unless we're name them and they're called YZE) he had a go and looked interested even if things weren't going his way. He'll be back with a freaking vengeance.

Matthew Bate converted from 50m out just in front with one of his trademark "Wonky but Accurate" set shots to give us hope, and then the Brock McLean show which had been brewing up all half suddenly exploded and resulted in a goal that cut the margin to under 6pts at the 15m mark. Sad news about Peter Brock and all - and how could you forget with a Holden blimp showing RIP's as it flew around - but the good news is that there's another Brock waiting to become an Australian sporting legend. When Davey redeemed himself somewhat by hitting Neitz for the goal which put us in front it was beginning to look a lot like Christmas. If Christmas involved not actually knowing whether or not you were going to get presents or have your parents hit you with a cricket bat. Brock was then decked with one of the shittest attempts at a shepherd you'll ever see in your life and converted the free-kick to put us 9

Back to the Spazmeister General. Suddenly it was all "THE UMPIRES GAVE YOU THE GAME" and even the random guy sitting next to me started to get into laughing at him. It really was too easy. We pushed forward again and a chorus of "IT'S OH SO QUIET! IT'S ALL SO STILL!" was delivered at our friends (possibly the first recorded example of Bjork being used as a weapon in an AFL related argument), leading to half-hearted calls for me to come up there and brawl with him or something. Now correct me if I'm wrong but if you're that keen to start something aren't you at least duty bound to go to the person you're trying to start? How the fuck should I know? I'm an admittedly shit fighter. Which was probably best kept a secret when Yze finally showed up and kicked the sealing goal at which point I jumped up, turned around and delivered the biggest spray I've ever given at a game. You don't understand - I don't lose the plot often but this time it was justified. I won't get into what was said but suffice to say I was again offered to come up for a brawl. Sadly I didn't deviate from message and just continued the stream of abuse before calmly sitting down and going back to the game. It really was an invitation to cop a king hit or at least an empty beer cup in the head but all he could manage was a crack at my mum. Err, nice work Rambo. Now, I'm not proud of getting involved in all of this. And I'm certainly aware that such behaviour is likely to get you involved in a serious belting someday but as I said there are people who need to be exposed for their lunacy. You can't have them walking around thinking that they're normal.

I really hate people. Want to chip in for me to get a corporate box next year? Everyone who gives over $1000 can come and sit in it for a game with me.

The only downside to the night was Whelan's shoulder injury. The man must have some sort of curse that only comes on in August or September. I've never seen somebody get injured in one section of the year so consistently. Not sure who this means will replace him next week if he doesn't come up. Bartram in a straight swap perhaps? And I like Jones but they may want to think about injecting some experience into the side instead. Brown perhaps? Or, whisper it quietly, Philthy? Doubt it'll happen but it's something to think about.

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Cameron Bruce
4 - Brock McLean
3 - Colin Sylvia
2 - Jeff White
1 - David Neitz

Big apologies to Green, Bate, Carroll, Holland (after the first quarter), McDonald, Rivers, Ward (with qualifications - when the ball goes near his opponent he is NEVER with them but I respect his willingness to run with it)


45 - Cameron Bruce
43 - Brock McLean
40 - James McDonald
29 - David Neitz
23 - Brad Green
20 - Aaron Davey
19 - Jared Rivers (Leader: 2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal for defender of the year)
17 - Travis Johnstone
16 - Byron Pickett
13 - Nathan Carroll
12 - Matthew Whelan
12 - Colin Sylvia
10 - Matthew Bate (WINNER: 2006 Darren Cuthbertson Medal for Rookie of the Year)
10 - Daniel Ward
7 - Adem Yze
6 - Russell Robertson
4 - Chris Johnson
4 - Ben Holland
4 - Nathan Jones
4 - Jeff White
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Brad Miller
2 - Clint Bartram
1 - Nathan Brown

Next Week: Who the hell knows? Either to Adelaide or Perth for what must surely be the end of the line. Realistically you never know - perhaps Freo will get rumbled by the Crows and fall apart? Then we somehow manage to land in Sydney for the prelim. Cue a repeat of the day we turned the season around and a trip to the MCG against Adelaide where you'd have us a chance. Unlikely but stupider things have happened. Cross your fingers, sacrifice something to an altar and stay tuned for more. Team Destiny '06 or the ultimate in sporting cockteases? You decide.

Meanwhile in a complete break from tradition there will be a lot of posting this week. I pledge daily DB updates on our progress. Keep watching.

Tuesday 5 September 2006

Suicide Saturday II

And you thought I'd necked myself didn't you? Close enough. I was actually away from a computer in that well known bastion of all things AFL related, Sydney. Thanks to the soon to be rooted Fox Footy I did see the game though - and what a painful experience that was.

Surely somebody somewhere put their hand up and made the point that when Whelan and Pickett went out and were replaced with Neitz and Bate that the team had gone in too tall? And who did they have in the emergencies? Shannon Motlop, who is obviously finished as a top level player. So when Ben Holland goes out late in comes the Mot and instantly we're left one short down the back AND without two running defenders. Shouldn't it have been obvious from that point that things were going to go wrong? And thus they did.

To be fair we were in it early on but everything we did the Crows returned with interest. After Davey kicked a ripper out of the pack in the first minute to open the scoring they were just one step beyond. Which was funny given that they were gutted by injuries and playing with a new look forward line. This problem was solved merely by harassing the fuck out of our defenders so they'd cock it up and allow an easy ping from distance into an empty goalsquare. It was EXTREMELY frustrating. One of those days where your side works their arses off for ten minutes to kick one goal and then turns around and concedes one (or two.. or three..) at the other end with seemingly no effort whatsoever. Not good enough.

A moment please, if you will, for Clint Bartram. Sit through 60 picks in the draft wondering if you're ever going to get a game in the AFL. Get drafted. Play your first game. Turn out to be quite good. Play every game for the regular season. Then when the finals come you do your ankle and miss out. What a fiasco. If it's any consolation this surely means that Philthy will come back after his duel BOG's for Sandringham in recent weeks. Hopefully he gets a crack at finals footy next week.

You knew we were going to get done when Miller gave away the pointless 50 just before half time. The fact that the Adelaide stooge missed it from the goalsquare (in a way that even Ben Holland could never imagine) was the only thing that saved me from smashing the tv right there and then. Or did he kick that one? I can't remember. I really have tried to erase the memories of that afternoon from my mind already. At the risk of starting another comments box firestorm and assorted wild scenes I really can't take him in our side. He just doesn't seem to be football smart. Sure he can do a few good jobs here and there but his decision making is absolutely abysmal. If they can get anything for him in trade week then I'm IN. I'm aware that we don't have a readymade CHF or anyone else to fill in down back when required but I really think that a change of clubs is probably best for both parties in this situation.

Third quarter and we were still in it. Neitz got the first two and the intensity level went up a bit. Then the Crows matched that and raised it by a million degrees celcius. Somehow early in the 4th we were a chance. Then it seemed as if the players resigned themselves to their fate of being outside the top 4 and pulled the pin allowing Adelaide to run riot and destroy them. It was all too easy. I would like to think that it had more to do with a sense of self-preservation than sheer incompetence but you just can't tell in these situations. Especially when you've played 0 games and sit on your couch commenting like me.

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal Votes

5 - Brock McLean (Should lose points for the bump but there's nobody else to take his spot)
4 - David Neitz
3 - Brad Green
2 - James McDonald
1 - Daniel Ward (at least showed some run and willingness to take them on...)


40 - Cameron Bruce
40 - James McDonald
39 - Brock McLean
28 - David Neitz
23 - Brad Green
20 - Aaron Davey
19 - Jared Rivers (Leader: 2006 Marcus Seecamp Medal for defender of the year)
17 - Travis Johnstone
16 - Byron Pickett
13 - Nathan Carroll
12 - Matthew Whelan
10 - Matthew Bate
10 - Daniel Ward
9 - Colin Sylvia
7 - Adem Yze
6 - Russell Robertson
4 - Chris Johnson
4 - Ben Holland
4 - Nathan Jones
2 - Brent Moloney
2 - Brad Miller
2 - Clint Bartram
2 - Jeff White
1 - Nathan Brown

And yes, finals games do count so this isn't over yet. Though I am prepared to announce officially that Matthew Bate's late season form has won him the Darren Cuthbertson Medal for Rookie of the Year. Bartram second, Dunn third, Jones fourth, Warnock fifth. Sadly no showing for Andre Gianfagna.

Next (this..) week: St. Kilda at the MCG on Friday Night. I'll be there against my better judgement. God knows why but I think we're every possible chance of winning. Last time we did them over it was the moment that I thought we might actually have a chance of winning the whole thing. Neitz kicked 8, Holland wrecked Gehrig ,the NBT had about 3000 touches and we were sublime in victory despite a late comeback. Since then we've lost to Carlton (again..), beaten the shithouse North Melbourne on the back of a second half rampage, fallen into a draw against the sloppy Cats and been beaten senseless by a crippled Adelaide. There's no good reason to pick us this time BUT if everything goes right there's no reason we can't get up. Then we get to lose the next week anyway but it'd be nice to see anyway.

St. Kilda by 30. Prove me wrong boys. PROVE ME WRONG.