Monday 26 February 2007

Are We The Real Deal?

by Demonblog's newest recruit - Bartram_Class

As I sat through the agony of Lance Franklin flogging Chopper like a dead horse in the last quarter of the supposed meaningless NAB Cup, it felt like a big case of déjà vu.

2004 – Great start to the year, tailed off and a first round exit in the finals to an Essendon side going downhill faster than Jonathan Hay’s career.

2005 – Great start to the year, tailed off before scraping into the finals before getting flogged by the Cats, who we had beat in that 1 point thriller a few weeks earlier.

2006 – Great start to the year, tailed off before beating a St. Kilda side that was running on extras in the Elim. Final. Went to Perth and soundly beaten by the purplepuffs.

Now some would say that timeline shows improvement. Now I’d love to think of myself as an optimist, but surely you would have to have Lawrence Angwin on speed dial to be happy with our results in previous years with the list at our disposal.

However, as 2007 came upon us, we were flooded with forecasts of a Demon resurgence in ’07. Daniher was pumping us up like only he can, the boys were cutting it up on the track and everything seemed rosy. Now call me a pessimistic fan, most of us are, but there were so many gaps in our performance against the Hawks that you can’t be confident about our chances this year. Forget we were missing the best player, the best kick and the fastest player in the competition. Its other areas that are of more worry. Namely the ruck, White is 30 and has never been the same since the centre circle rule came in, the Russian is big and can win a tap but that is about it, once the ball hits the deck, hes as useful as tits on a bull. Paul Johnson is a 200cm giant that plays like Tony Liberatore in his prime. All credit to him but he needs a shitload of work before he becomes a decent ruck prospect. Merge them together and we’d be unstoppable, sadly we can’t afford to have one of them in the ruck at the moment, let alone both.

Of course it was only the first round of the NAB Cup and Hawthorn had almost their best side out on the park. However, we had three quarters of ours out there also and we failed to beat a team most expect to be down near the bottom for the 4th successive year. Go figure.

I am not ready to throw in the towel yet for Season ’07, not by a long shot, but to think we are going to march into the top 4 and stay there would be profoundly inaccurate. Never forget, we do support the Melbourne Football Club, capable of anything on a given day.

Sunday 25 February 2007

Pre-Season Panic (the other PSP)

Ahh if there was one thing that was going to get me back posting it was a match. Let's be entirely frank the day to day goings on in the world of football are interesting but nothing causes the venom to spew from my fingertips like four quarters of hot AFL action.

Usually pre-season matches go right over my head. Even a few years back when we had a habit of going out there full of confidence and coming back a hundred points worse off it didn't make much of an impact. And to be honest I'm not actually that affected by tonight's game but there are two matters that desperately need to be cleared up before we can possibly go any further;

a) Adem Yze should give back every cent of his match fee for tonight. If you're not interested in going out there and doing what you're paid to do then piss off home and spend your Sunday night watching CSI: Las Vegas or something. The fact that he will probably one day hold the record for the most games for our club despite having gone along at 25% for the last two years is criminal.

b) Brad Miller will never EVER be the CHF or FF of an AFL team. I don't give two shits how many marks he took against Fremantle in the finals last year (especially as they were all on the wing) he has absolutely no idea what he's doing out there.

I feel that you'll be hearing a lot more on issues (a) and (b) throughout the season. Especially after last year's pre-season campaigns against Pickett and Green spurred them on to decent seasons. FACT.

As for the rest of tonight I wouldn't take it so seriously if it wasn't for two of our alleged senior players being completely shit. We were without McLean, Davey, Whelan, Moloney, Johnstone and god knows who else (Holland? Philthy?) against a pretty much full strength side who have had about 720 top ten picks in the draft in the last two years and are looking like a half decent team this year. Therefore conventional wisdom says a four goal loss means nothing. I do, however, question the intensity shown in the last quarter - it's one thing to lose but another to roll over and die like a mangy dog in the streets.

There were positives. Chris Johnson was excellent, and both Buckley and Frawley looked handy in their first real hitouts in senior company. Of the senior players Bruce, McDonald and Brown were good and Jamar did some nice work in the centre. Yet again Daniel Ward (with surprisingly little "ZOMG U BET ON SOMETHING! LOL! LOL!" from the crowd) wandered around for four quarters like he had leprosy and occasionally did the sort of good looking things that it's easy to do when you haven't gone near a direct opponent since Rd 13, 2001.

On other matters we have an addition to the "I hate Telstra Dome" file. The honeymoon period I had from practically living next door to the place for two years and being able to walk in my front door before the winners song had been played twice is OVER and I'm back on the "burn the m'fing place down" bandwagon. They now have a "no pass out" policy - which basically means that once you walk in the door you're trapped.

Why would you do this? It wouldn't have anything at all to do with the fact that there's a Nandos/Subway/Souvalki/Pizza shop lineup right outside the gates and that thousands of people flock out there at half time for food rather than paying the overinflated and frankly ludicrous prices for what they sell inside the ground. This is the most cynical move of recent times and people should be up in arms against it - don't believe any of the shit they tell you about it involving smoking or people kicking the footy outside. It's 100% bullshit. The Corporate Dome and it's caterers are bending you over and giving you what for so they can make a few extra dollars. Disgraceful - I'd willingly never set foot in that place again.

Anyway - now for the "these mean nothing but let's give 'em anyway" Todd McHardy Pre-Season Player of the Year competition votes.

5 - Chris Johnson
4 - James McDonald
3 - Cameron Bruce
2 - Nathan Brown
1 - Mark Jamar

Positives: More players to come back. Roll on Rd. 1 - as much as football frustrates the fuck out of me I miss it when it's away.

Negatives: The combined effect on my body of two nights of heroic alcohol consumption, the tension of a football match, 36 minutes of indoor soccer death and the prospect of having 72.5 million things to do at work. Nurse, hand me the needle.

Next week: Essendon Adelaide in Mt. Gambier. I sure as hell won't be there but if you will feel free to send a report to supermercado AT DEMONBLOG dot com and/or seek psychological treatment.

Thursday 8 February 2007

Holy shit, they're back

Hi. Remember us? Of course you do. Unless you're one of the 4250 spammers a day who are using the Demonblog comments as target practice.

Remember when I promised a "season in review" post in about September last year? Yeah well I couldn't be bothered. Let's put it all in one sentence "Yet again we didn't win anything". Is there any danger of it being different this season? Of course there isn't. We'll be on top in Round 15 and then fall apart like a Russian satellite.

What we will be having this year is guest writers aplenty. You handle the news and views and I'll handle the ball tearing but cathartic match reports. If you want to write for DB email the usual address (SUPERMERCADO at DEMONBLOG dot com) and we'll fix you up.

Roll on '07? Why not, we're only a month and a half into it.