Monday 30 April 2007

Road Trip Rage

Thanks to our guest reporter, and intrepid football tourist Tom M for his report from live on the ground in Sydney

Round 5 vs Sydney ‘our supporters are mute fuckwits’ Swans.

The “I’m officially on suicide watch, where is my portable noose? Maintain the rage” cup.

Lesson 1: Don’t book tickets for an away trip before the season has actually started. It was a stupid idea and a complete waste of money.

When our flight was delayed an hour (Virgin Blue, fuck you) our tendencies towards extreme negativity (Melbourne supporters) kicked in. It was decided that we should launch a pre emptive strike on the pending disappointment that the trip promised and begin a two day bender leading up to the game. Blind drunk in a nameless, shameless Bondi pub we stumbled across none other than a Febey brother (note: take a sherrin with you wherever u go, that way you can have a kick with Febes and find out whether it is Matt or Steve. He was drinking with his right, but what does that really tell us?). Febes (as he was known for the whole night) was in town for a golf trip, oblivious to the fact that his beloved Dees were in town to get fucked on by the Swans. As if this news wasn’t bad enough, Febes gave us nothing when we suggested that we should ‘talk Demons’. When we laid down the law and some idiot mentioned Darren Kowal and Steven Tingay in the same sentence Febes blew up. Thus ends lesson one: be wary of your idols, for they may be chain smoking piss heads, just like yourself.

Lesson 2: an 18th century scientist hypothesised that optimism and idiocracy run parallel and directly correspond. Hence a highly optimistic person is extremely mentally ill, and should be assigned to a padded cell down at Junction Oval.

Tired, bitter, homeless, disillusioned, angry and ashamed: our dreams ruined by the Febes episode last night (never to be spoken of again), we found ourselves in a state of blissful optimism. What the fuck??? This could be our weekend. Donning the dees number 16, (I bought some black tape and turned the 16 to a 15 after the game: go ricky, fuck off trav) there was a tangible feeling of solidarity as we strutted the hostile streets of the enemy. The captain Cook hotel was the nominated demons safehouse, and many a steely dees supporter snacked nervously on an $8 dollar steak, cautious that we could be eating our last, poisoned meal before following our boys into the abyss. The gaggle of good natured fucked in the head moron Sydney fans eating the same steak made us all the more wary. Did they poison half the cow????

Lesson 3: No matter how close your back is to the wall, a smart enemy can still drill through it and fuck you in the arse.

Scouring the causeway of the SCG we spotted an ally in the distance, who was midway through an unprovoked, unnecessary verbal spray aimed at some fuckwit wearing an Adelaide jumper to the match. Our recruiting sensors kicked in, and we adopted this mateless demons supporter (who lived in Brisbane, on the run from something no doubt) to our cause. His first pre game comment was: “It stinks of going to jail tonight”. And it did, as a diatribe of mindless, senseless, hilarious vitriol was launched in the direction of anyone stupid enough to listen. Some pricks listening were the crowd security, who issued the first of many warnings regarding bad language, manners, behaviour, body odour etc. We were in the family section, and so asked the location of the non family section where we could use such language in its appropriate context. The wanker looked perplexed and walked away to find his supervisor. The first mental battle had been won by the Demons, in convincing fashion. Unfortunately, the physical battle on the field, significantly more important, was being won by the Swans. And so the game went.

Lesson 4: The Simon Godfrey Law: Effort is temporary, shitness is forever.

Now I am not a Daniher hater. But Neale’s match ups in the Sydney forward line to start the game illustrated 2 points: one, we were fucked, two, Daniher is fucked. Miller on Hall (he played one good game on him and has been a shit defender in all other attempts to play there). You can lead a Queenslander to the ball, but you can’t make him punch. Godfrey on Goodes (perhaps no other options there, thank god Goodes was injured most of the match). Carroll on O’Loughlin. Rivers on O’Keefe, and the mighty Paul Johnson on Everitt. When Hall went nuts on Miller, Daniher made the changes to positions he should have begun with. Miller moved forward, where the wet footy gave him an excuse for dropping marks. Rivers moved to O’Loughlin and thrashed him. Carroll moved to Hall and held his ground admirably. Johnson stayed on Everitt and they cancelled each other out with shitness. After the initial fuck up, the defence performed well. But my issue with Daniher is not his coaching so much as his selection. Where the fuck, Neale, is Bizzell??????? Three years ago, in a season much like this, he was our only shining light. Floating across defence, diving into packs, clearing, tagging, hassling, running. He was our best player at ours (and yours Neale) lowest ebb. Two years of cruel injuries later, when he is ready to resume his stilted carrer, he must wait in line behind: Ricky Petterd and Col Garland (0 games between them), Paul Johnson and Simon Godfrey (0 brain between them) and other hacks that litter our team. Does Neale have any respect for skill. And if he doesn’t, doesn’t he realise that with more good nicknames like ‘the biz’ our membership would rise significantly? Well Clint gave up a promising modelling and acting career in Hollywood to play at Sandy, and it’s a fuckin shame. And when Neale Daniher cops the arse at the end of the season, this small little fact will stop me from feeling sorry for him.

The Dees put up a good fight. But the match had a sense of inevitability about it. Rivers dominated O’Loughlin and he regularly dropped into the space in front of Hall to help out Carroll. Seeing Jared run stupidly into instant death contests warms the heart. Incidentally, our watching companion revealed that Barry Hall’s mum drives a taxi…at night. We thought it was a silly, irrelevant fact, but turned to see the shapely, heavily aged Craig Hutchison scribbling in his notebook. Those journos… Ricky Petterd gets the Brent Heaver medal for debut of the season. He had 20 touches, most of them good (take note Nathan brown, quality not quantity) and kicked a nice last quarter goal. Davey kicked 3 and how great it is to see his confidence back. After watching Alwyn on Anzac day I’m sure the Dees recruiters are targeting brother Theodore in next years draft. Can’t the cheap pricks at AFL house introduce a brother brother rule???? Miller was excellent after being dragged off Hall. His confidence was no doubt low when he went forward but he presented and contested all night. Worked tirelessly, provided an option and smashed Leo Barry in the last quarter. Moloney and Bruce were good also. White is down on confidence but will come back and Travis Johnstone was just atrocious. Is he the definition of receiver? Were he a racehorse he would be in a truck on his way to the glue factory. Either he is seriously injured or just seriously shit. We need him back in form for when Time to Brock returns and we lead a charge to the finals from 0 and 8.

5 Rivers
4 Petterd (anointed thus: NNNBT)
3 Davey
2 Miller
1 McDonald

Honourable mentions: Bruce, Moloney, Carroll, Bell
Brent Heaver award for debut of the year: The Rickster Petterd
Kent Kingsley award for Melbourne specialist: Teddy Richards. Negotiate your new contract NOW.

Crowd Watch: What the fuck??? Have you ever lost a game and had an opposition supporter say bad luck and smile and just want to smash their face so they never smile again??? Have you ever gone wild over a disgraceful free kick and had an opposition supporter turn and nod in agreement? This is what Sydney supporters do. And they don’t cheer. And they don’t even do a “ball……….yeah.” In Melbourne there is 10 a quarter. Here they don’t even bother. Maybe they don’t want to bias the umpires’ decision. Well we fuckin do. And we told them so in no uncertain terms. Sydney supporters are friendly, objective, harmless and fuckin annoying. It’s a cunt of a place. On the other hand the Dees fans were solid, louder than the Swans dorks who outnumbered us 24 to 1. Swans fans only started cheering when they were 8 goals up with 5 minutes to go.

Ripping the soul out of Football:
Families don’t win flags. The SCG groundstaff can go and get fucked. We stood in front of a pylon missing 30% of the action, we waited for 15 minutes for a beer. We will support. We will heckle, we will offend, we will jibe, irritate, abuse, complain, piss and moan. And we will swear. And we will not be silenced. Or we will go to Sandy and watch the Biz. Go the mighty Dees.

2006 Allen Jakovich Medal Leaderboard

12 - McDonald
11 - Bruce
8 - Green
8 - Miller
5 - Neitz
5 - Yze
5 - Rivers (Leader: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
4 - Jones
4 - Petterd (Leader: Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
3 - Davey
2 - Moloney
2 - Dunn
1 - Pickett
1 - Bate
1 - Jones

Sunday 29 April 2007

Mark Jamar – The Season That Was

Bartram_Class, possibly the last Melbourne fan left who hasn't cut his wrists, reports in with the latest chapter in our ruck dilemma.

A season that promised so much has so far returned very little for the Big Russian. With Jeff White skiing rather fast downhill, the time was ripe for the Big (and incredibly ugly) Russian to step up and make a name for himself as the Demons marched onwards to September.

5 rounds later, Jamar is being lambasted left, right and centre as the Demons sit rightfully on the bottom of the ladder with the wins column untouched apart from the weekly fucking over it gets from whoever we are playing.

Ah well hes only young I hear you say. Well actually hes 24 and has been in the system for 5/6 years and has pretty much nothing to show for it. His disposal is questionable at best, he has racked up 26 possessions so far this year (Sandilands is averaging 15-20 a game) and has failed to register 10 hit outs in a game.

On Saturday Night, Jamar had a stormer by his 2007 standards, 2 kicks, 1 mark and 1 hit-out in half a game of football. He also stamped his mark in the 3rd quarter when the Demons had a run on and the Russian was paid a free kick 30m out with no angle to speak of. Most will know all too well where the kick ended up but it was a shank Ben Holland would have been proud of.

Why persist with him? If only we knew, to be fair to Daniher, the alternatives aren’t much better. White is looking decidedly greyer with each game and has lost the mobility and leap that made him an All-Australian not too long ago. Paul Johnson is pre-historic in his movement and resorts to crumbing off the taller players, despite being 200cm and 100kg. White is now 30 and will move on either this year or next and leave us rooted unless one of the two come on and come on quick. With 17 losses left this year, I’m not holding out much hope for B1 and B2.

I think its time, Bring Back the Shrek.

Thursday 26 April 2007

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse

0-4 (0-5 in all but name) and Even Rebel Sport don't know we exist anymore.

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Somebody hold me.

(and NO I was not actually trying to buy a "Rib Knit Surf Beanie" when I found that. In fact I wasn't buying anything - support you club and buy direct from them you dogs!)

P.S - Garland and Petterd to debut? Why the fark not. Can't see why they dropped Bizzell and Ward though.

Sunday 22 April 2007

Dia De Los Muertos

(This post simulcast on The Supermercado Project)

What are you supposed to say? With half the squad already suffering from the black death we show up to find out that Johnstone and Moloney are out as well. So obviously we knew we were going to lose before the game even started - the question was by how much. In the balance of things I'm actually not too depressed about the result given that the boys ran and tackled their hearts out today. They were outgunned and outmanned (especially after Whelan/Bell/Jones necked themselves) but at times they fought like their lives depended on it.

First I'd like to address the attendance. Every one of our fans who stayed home and watched the game on TV because they knew we were going to lose should be ashamed of themselves. Of the (very generous) 16,000 crowd we were almost outnumbered by Fremantle fans. This is the biggest embarassment yet - when we start winning again one day I'm sure all the rats will pour back onto the sinking ship in huge numbers. Was also good to see the MCC section almost deserted - you have to prise money out of those bastards with a crowbar anyway and then the moment we start losing they piss off and pretend we don't exist. Fuck them - come the day of the football revolution I hope they're the first people lined up against a wall and shot. I'm aware that being an MFC fan who is against elitism is like being a communist who owns a multi-national corporation but somebody has to be the left-wing faction of our fanbase and I'm putting my hand up to be it. Towards the end of the season look out for the specially commissioned "BURN THE MCC MEMBERS DOWN" banner to get a run high in the Southern Stand.

As I said I'm proud of the way the team carried themselves today in a complete lamb-to-the-slaughter situation. I doubt there has ever been a more obvious winner in a match between two 0-3 teams, and when the question of who would play on the red hot Pavlich was left to either Nathan Carroll (who is having an absolute Nicholson of a season) or Paul Johnson (who is barely a ruckman/forward at the best of times) you started to wonder whether Pav could extend the record for the Dockers goals in a game. And guess who that was set against?

Speaking of Nicho he was spotted today sitting in the injuries enclosure with TJ, Moloney, Rivers and for some reason Ben Holland (too shit for Sandy?). I know Carroll is a better disposer of the ball but some of his cack handed attempts at spoiling today almost made you wish for the days of Big Jack. In fact let's go even further back - I wonder what Seecamp and Ingerson are doing these days?

We were second best - nothing more, nothing less BUT there were signs. Adem Yze got a million touches - only half of them were any good or made anything but he was a million times harder at it and more interested than he has been for many games. On top of it he kicked what could very well be the goal of the year (were there not a massive conspiracy against us in competitions such as this) with an indescribable shot from Row ZZ of the bottom deck of the Ponsford Stand. Davey also improved significantly from the first three weeks. Pickett added toughness and the chase/tackle across the whole squad was heartening. The least they can do is go out there and fight their hearts out even if we're going to get massacred.

Bate was good in getting it but he's from the Brad Miller school of delivery and has absolutely no idea what to do once he does. I will say that it heartened me to see his reaction when he kicked that goal in the third quarter. I love to see a player lose the plot in celebration after he's booted one - this is the kind of guy I'm willing to persist with even if he is frustrating at (most) times. Obviously he cares which is exactly what I want to see in my players. Lynden Dunn was great on the ground up front and provided a much needed target which, though not spectacuarly successful, allowed Brad Green to roam further up field and play a good game.

The good news for Freo fans was that during the third quarter even though young Jeffrey is suspended (possibly for life - who knows when he's coming back) we were still dealt our traditional beating by the Farmer family when the umpire of the same name felt the need to make some of the worst decisions since that Brad Green free-kick last week.

Thanks also to Chris Tarrant. The most overrated and overpayed player in the competition was nice enough to do his bit to keep us in it with some stereotypically rotten kicking. In fact after murdering Daniel Bell (and then kicking a soft goal while Bell was being helped off field) he was completely shit. But then again anyone who has watched pretty much any game he ever played other than Queens Birthday '03 would have seen this coming. There aren't many players who would cause me to protest if we signed them - I'd rather have Luke Williams back in the forward line than pay $2.50 for this clown. Whatever Freo are paying him it's ten times too much.

Then to top it all off Whelan, Jones and Brown have all necked themselves as well and will miss next week. Godfrey broke his nose and Bell was knocked goofy but both will play next week. Did you ever thought you'd see the moment when we were so crippled by injury that you'd actually be happy that Godfrey was available? It's a milestone. If only they'd retained the Philth he'd probably be in the leadership group by now - but hey what does two months in a row of BOG's in the seconds get you at this club anyway? You've just got to have compromising photos of the coach and a horse as certain players seem to and you'll make a career of it.

Then there's that epic sook Headland. I don't know why you'd boo him - it's not like he's done anything to us - but I'm not entirely sure why he should be treated with any reverence either just because he was (allegedly) wronged last week. Fair enough he shouldn't have played today, and appears to fit the perfect stereotype of brainless footballers, but what's he supposed to do about the tribunal being gutless swine? Of course there's the wider issue of why people spaz out when others say blatantly untrue things about their families but Des wouldn't be the first person to (allegedly) fall headfirst for the oldest un-nerving technique in the book. If you really have to belt somebody for saying something about your kid, mum, sister whoever then good for you but don't try and use it as an excuse to get off. Imagine beating somebody down in a pub, making a threat to kill and then going into court and telling the judge that he said he'd done X, Y, Z to your kid. You'd be convicted and fined before you even finished talking, but in the twilight world of the AFL somehow it makes everything worthwhile. Farcical.

Crowd Watch
What farking crowd?

Byron Watch
I love that guy.

Coaches Box Watch
What's the poor bastard supposed to do? Even the staunchest critics - in which I often rank - have to admit that there's nothing that can be done when the entire squad are falling apart in unison. I feel like I should go up and hug the guy - imagine if you work in, let's say I.T, and your job was rapidly going down the tubes. You've got a few months to save your arse and suddenly the mother of all viruses rips your computer network to shreds and leaves you trying to run your business on an Atari ST. You'd probably drink a bottle of scotch and jump off the Westgate - this guy has to front up to the media and 'supporters' (though if you weren't there today and don't have a good reason then feel free to shut the fuck up) and explain himself. It's not enough to get him another year at the helm but christ you've got to feel for him don't you? The question is now does he throw himself on the live grenade and play kids in the next few weeks or try to save his own skin with the allegedly tried and true likes of Holland/Ferguson. Should be interesting and/or depressing to find out.


5 - Yze (Wins by default really. A lot of his touches were cheap and/or botched but his endeavour was a million times increased on anything we've seen recently. And that goal? PWAH! Better than Davey from the same spot last year)
4 - Green (showed great leadership despite dealing with a generally headless unit)
3 - Miller (still has no idea what he's doing but goes at it hard, and if he can bob up for 2 goals a week he'll cover his position)
2 - Dunn (ran hard, showed enthusiasm, threw it about a bit. A vital cog in the side)
1 - Pickett (fired us up in the first half. Showed how much his gutsy approach has been missed in the opening three weeks of the season. Not fit enough to run out a great 4 quarters but his mere presence is enough to inspire me at least)

Apologies to Bruce, McDonald and Davey who were serviceable. All three remain CRUCIAL to any chance we have of avoiding a complete apocalypse this season.

2007 Allen Jakovich Medal Leaderboard

11 - McDonald
11 - Bruce
8 - Green
6 - Miller
5 - Neitz
5 - Yze
4 - Jones
2 - Moloney
2 - Dunn
1 - Pickett
1 - Bate
1 - Jones

Next week: Sydney at the SCG. Surely you jest?

Next season: Bollocks to Chris Judd is there some way we can prise Pav away from Perth? Never say no to the best player in the competition but has the last two weeks not proved that we are going to need somebody to kick goals once Neitz is gone? He's a freak.

P.S - Know what's sad? I've just written 1500 words on this game and I'll wake up tomorrow and remember a whole bunch of shit that I didn't put in. Expect updates.

Saturday 21 April 2007

Worse than heroin

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Those Collingwood bastards did us by a point
The day mother died.
When they told dad he shook his head and said,
"Makes you wanna cry."
Winmar, you're a football genius, and, oh,
Let me tell you son,
Remember my old man 'cos he wasn't
Referring to mum."
- Father and Son by TISM

According to the fucked in the head ever helpful AFL website it's just 37.5 hours until Melbourne plays Fremantle. And I've officially never been less enthused by a game in my life. So why will I be there anyway? Because I'm ill - so seriously ill.

Let's get into classical theatre instead. Then we can write abusive things about the Bell Shakespeare Company on the internet and sit in the audience of amateur theatre and heckle poor casting choices. "YOU'RE NOT A JET'S ARSEHOLE YOU CRUNT - GET OFF" @ the Ringwood SC Year 8 production of West Side Story etc..

Actually I think, shamefully (Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket), that I secretly love it. When you can rationalise your whole week being ruined by a directionless forward line and talentless backline just days after god knows how many people were either shot or blown up all around the world then you're probably onto something.

God forbid Melbourne ever win a flag I'd like to request that the elusive extinction level event comet give me a few days of glory and then blow us all to buggery. This turn of events may not sit well with the rest of you but at this point I'd like to remind you that I'm an only child and care not for others.

Until then raise a glass to slops and ask yourself just why so many allegedly normal people lose it at the sight of 44 idiots chasing a red ball around in front of 30,000 morons.

Thursday 19 April 2007

Danners Diary '07

As exclusively revealed* to our own Bartram_Class during the week. Who said Demonblog never gets the big names?

Week Three – v. Geelong @ the MCG

Friday – Team had to be announced, decided to go with Brown, Paul Johnson and Holland. Brown will be useful running the ball out of defence, I do query his use of the ball, kicks the ball a tad bit much but that can be trained out of him. We got 11 holding the ball decisions last week, so its key we arrest that this week, so the inclusion of the three above will help no-end, PJ and I-Robot have got footy brains written all over them and won’t get run down whilst I cant recall the last time Browny has been run down, always seems to have hours when he gets the ball. They have named 4 mobile talls in their forward line, so I’ve balanced that by including 4 immobile talls in our backline, should be a good contest.

Sunday – Good news early on, Nathan Ablett has pulled up in the warm-up, with him gone I see no reason why we can’t win this, until I heard they could replace him with another player, some Selwood kid is in, my sources assure me he is no good. I decided to go in with the three pronged forward line to throw off Bomber and the boys from down south. Jamar will go the square and take Scarlett away from the play, Godfrey will lead out from full-forward, hopefully using his pace and two-footed ability to put some scoreboard pressure on them early. Davey will crumb at their feet, I had Alwyn call him during the week for some advice on how to get himself out of the form slump, hopefully it all works out.

Down back, I’ve instructed the boys to handball at all costs, preferably to a player under a bit of pressure or at worst, kick it to Chopper who will know what to do. We will employ the zonal attack from kick-ins, with 15 players stationary at different parts of the ground, Wheatley will take all kick-ins and has been instructed to touch it to himself, thus allowing him an extra stat, and then handball to the nearest player. Statistics showed West Coast averaged 150 handballs a game last year, using that info, if we can get 100 or so handballs a quarter going, we’ll be three times the team the Eagles are. Worst comes to worse, PJ’s had his contacts from the west bring some ice over so a trip at half time if we happen to be down is on the cards.

Monday – Devastating loss yesterday, despite staging a stirring last quarter comeback, we couldn’t chase down the 11 goal deficit. Was really happy with the running of the ball down back, Holland was fantastic on Hawkins early on and Fergy ran his ass off, I’m worried about his fitness though so I took him off for the next three quarters, he may require a week or two at Sandy before hes back to 100%. Jamar did a great job on Scarlett, keeping him almost touchless. Our handball count was a bit disappointing; Moloney in particular didn’t follow instructions, two times in the first quarter he shot long for goal when there was an easy handball back into traffic available, he was also taken off to think about what he had done. After a stirring half time trip, I told Godders to head to CHF and see what he could do, TJ was in a bit of trouble with a sore hand from the handballing but he decided to play through the pain, just the kind of commitment we are looking for. Recovery down at St. Kilda beach, good turn-out, spirits were nice and high, looking forward to this weekend’s crunch game against fellow premiership candidates Fremantle.

Danner’s Votes

5. Ben Holland
4. Mark Jamar
3. Nathan Brown
2. Ryan Ferguson
1. Jeff White

Handball Watch

18 – Bruce
10 – Godfrey
9 – TJ, Whelan, Yze, Carroll

0 – Moloney (dropped), Ferguson (dropped), Bate (dropped), Bell (no available replacement but would have been dropped)

Thursday – Did the normal round of media interviews, spoke of our determination to improve on last week, there were some pleasing signs but the senior players aren’t leading the way. Miller is terrific with his leading and marking, but we really need him to get back to the Miller circa 2006 where he handballed off to the player running past. Team selection was a tough job, Mark Williams spoke of Bizzell and Petterds good form at Sandy, handball counts were in, Garland wasn’t on the sheet and thus wasn’t considered for selection, the selfish cunt. There were good reviews of Michael Newtons game and after a quick review of who he actually was for my benefit, we decided to let him develop in the VFL for another couple of seasons at least. Byron Pickett should return this week, there was some discussion over whether his weight may be a problem, but the kit man assured me a new jumper would arrive in time and he was in.

(* - Not in the slightest. Don't sue - just win a game you bastards)

Sunday 15 April 2007

My brain hurts

Today Gumby Theatre came live to you from the MCG.

This is actually a clever satire on our gameplan. If the Gumby is Daniher, the flowers are the players and the vase is the field that's pretty much what they tried on against Geelong. Take 22 players and just stuff them awkwardly on and hope for the best. And given that I fully expected us to lose by triple figures for the first time in a decade we probably did get 'the best'. Having said that I think it should be blatantly obvious to anyone that the Cats pulled the pin fifteen minutes in the third quarter and cruised home on the lead that they'd already built up - despite showing 25% interest and rarely slipping out of first gear they still had about five set shots in the last quarter that they should have kicked and buried us by even more. We thank them for their charitable donations.

Now like I said I knew we were going to lose. There didn't seem to be any doubt about it. Even when Nathan Ablett necked himself in the warmup it only offered us the highlight of having one less tall forward to torment our rank backline. At one point it appeared that the only person in our defensive 50 with a functioning brain was Matthew Whelan. The first two goals we conceded were Ben Holland specials that had to be seen to be believed, Ferguson offered nothing but service as a witches hat and Nathan Carroll spent the first half being bent over and spanked by a 12-year-old playing his second game. Imagine if they still had Kent "I only play against Melbourne" Kingsley? He would have kicked ten. In fact at one point I thought Hawkins was going to bag double figures. The fact that he didn't owed more to the Cats not actually trying for most of the second half rather than any great tactical genius on our behalf.

Surely you can see that something is wrong with the state of our club when the forward line suddenly features a piece of play where S. Godfrey hoofs the ball over to B. Holland. What are these two doing anywhere near the forward 50 and/or an AFL field? It can be said that they never stop trying but picking people on effort alone is like lining up with the Chippendales on Brendan Fevola just because they look good - it's not going to get you anywhere.

I'm aware that losing the two best goalkickers you've had for five years is going to stick the knife in a bit but surely we have to have somebody else in reserve to go down there when the unthinkable happens. Miller has shown more in the past two weeks than he has in the past two seasons but he has neither the skills nor the smarts to deliver us any meaningful success. Brad Green did well to fill in up front but where was the support? Davey never stopped harassing and chasing but on a possession basis he can't get near the thing. We used to be able to rely on our midfield, and even the defence, to chip in with goals as well but it just doesn't happen anymore. Remember Bruce kicking 7 against Carlton and 6 against North a few years back? What chance is there of seeing that now even if he is consistently our best player (albeit by default in an awful side).

Where to from here? Certainly not a recovery job like we saw last year. Put the white screen up on this year kids, we'll be lucky to win five games at this rate. As much as I like Daniher he may as well start scouring the job pages now because short of plunging off Niagra Falls in a barrel there is no way he could ever pull off a greater magical feat than conjuring up any sort of performance that could save his job. Regardless of injuries or suspensions (which surely must be on the way) his time is up. I don't think anyone wishes him badly, and there's hardly likely to be wild Danny Frawley-esque scenes anytime soon, but it's time to admit that we need a fresh approach. Personally, as I've always said, I'd like to see somebody who is a complete Malthouse-esque psychopath in charge - somebody who is not afraid to bollock the players or the league and has the testicles to debut three rookies in one freaking game.

Crowd watch
What crowd? If there were more than 10k of our fans in the alleged 35,000 I'll be shocked and appalled. The only highlight came from the feral woman sitting at the other end of the same row as me who spent four quarters ripping out high pitched wails and abuse at the umpires. Granted that as we did get three of the worst freekicks in VFL/AFL history she had a point but her delivery represented unbridled passion at it's finest. Stupid old tart.


You are hereby bound by reading these votes not to abuse me for anything below 4 because somebody has to fill them. As you would be aware being the 4th best of 22 in a performance like that doesn't count for much but somebody's got to be it.

5 - Bruce
4 - Green
3 - McDonald
2 - Moloney (Still prone to cockups)
1 - Yze (Split this one between any of the rest really - at least he showed more concern for the game than he has any other time recently)

I suppose if you're going to be charitable you could have fitted in any of Ward, Davey (at least he chased), Johnstone, Miller or Whelan in for the last spot. Though I'm not quite sure how the 'official' match report has Carroll listed amongst the the best when he spent the entire first half being towelled up by the pre-pubescent Hawkins.

2007 Allen Jakovich Medal Leaderboard

11 - McDonald
11 - Bruce
5 - Neitz
4 - Jones
4 - Green
3 - Miller
2 - Moloney
1 - Bate
1 - Jones

Next week: It's a bottom of the table/harbour clash with the Dockers at the MCG. While playing a winless Freo is nothing new they are clearly a better side than they have shown so far this year and should be expected to pulverise us in a fashion not seen since the infamous Tony "Hey Tone, don't kick ten tonight" Modra rampage of 1999. There is every possible chance of a crowd under 20,000 once Freo bring their 17 fans and 15,000 of ours jump off.

I fking hate sports. Yet I'll still be there next week - what does that say? It's as good enough reason as any not to have kids, you might actually be tempted to expose them to this sort of slop and wreck them for life. Every time I see some kid wearing a Melbourne jumper I'm tempted to give them a big lecture about not gettting too involved because it'll only break their heart like it's been doing to the rest of us all these years. Maybe we should have merged with Hawthorn? Then I would have gladly walked away from the game and found something more productive to do with my weekends.

If I were some dinky singer/songwriter type I'd write an entire concept album about the Melbourne experience with song titles like "Jeff Hilton Hair", "When Nicho kicked 2 against the Cats" and "Round 17, 2000 (The Night I Almost Broke My Hand)". But I'm not, so all the colossal whinging will have to be confined to this page alone. Time to go and drop a toaster in the bathtub I believe.

Monday 9 April 2007

Marjorie Wilson Appreciation Day

Who is Marjorie Wilson? Exactly the same question I was asking when they spent the entire first half trying to locate her by the scoreboard and PA system. And frankly I'd rather write a thousand word post about Marjorie and why exactly they wanted to speak to her than mention ten words about the game, but as ground announcements died for me the day they shut the Bay 6 administration office in the ground floor of the Olympic Stand I may as well rant like a mofo and get it off my chest.

First, some random thoughts;

a) How much does the guy in the "protect yourself against criminals" ad they play on the big screen look like Mark Jamar?
b) Apart from his goals how criminal was the performance of Mark Jamar?
c) Does the clown in our cheersquad with the #69 jumper actually believe that it's an amusing gag? The closest to a 69 he's ever likely to be involved in is the fact that he's clearly a cock.

And now some not so random whinging. We're shit. I'm aware that I spazzed out in the same fashion at this time last year but this time I mean it. We won't make the 8 this year - the way we are playing we will be luckily to make the final 15. If Neitz and Robertson are out who is supposed to kick our goals? Green has tried and failed in that role, Dunn is simultaneously injured and too young, Holland just can't kick straight. It's looking very VERY grim. And who does Clint Bizzell have to root to get a game? The poor bastard may as well just pull the pin and retire if he can't get in in front of Bell, Johnson, Brown and Godfrey.

No doubt about it Hawthorn are an emerging side, and obviously they watched the video last week's game a hundred times because they did the exact same thing to us that St. Kilda did last week. We kick a few goals at the start, things are looking positive and then they clamp down on the midfield and strangle us out of it. Cue mass panic as targets start being missed, wild handballs are thrown around, free kicks are needlessly given away and Jamar starts dropping pinpoint passes on the chests of opposition players just outside their own 50. They're not a final 8 side yet but neither, it seems, are we. In nearly 20 years of this shit I don't think I've felt a season go from expectation to depression this quick - last year was bad enough but this has been a heartbreakingly shite fortnight and I don't see any way back given the upcoming fixtures.

Davey has done nothing in two weeks and while I appreciate the fact that he never stops chasing and is always at it somebody needs to address the problem ASAP, and the next person to tell me all about Travis Johnstone and his laser like disposal can fuck off.

What else is there to say? We played soft, unaccountable football again. Somehow despite being softer than butter we managed to give away a tonne of free kicks as well for stupid things like falling on top of people when they'd already gone to ground. We were smashed like guitars in the centre of the ground by players with infinitely less experience, and the kicking inside 50 was comically rubbish even before Robertson went off and left us completely without a target to kick to. At one point they were 40pts clear and it was starting to look ugly before they ran out of gas and allowed us to be cockteased all the way back to 7pts before they started playing again and put the game away. Doesn't matter who you put on Mark Williams he'll wreck us every time - same as Jeff Farmer in that he always runs riot against us and you may as well just lay back, cop it and hope that the rest of the side can get the job done. Today they couldn't - quelle surprise!

And a note to the clowns at the back chanting during the third quarter,

a) To be in a grog squad you should at least be legal drinking age
b) Just because you've been to three V***ory games doesn't mean every sport would be enhanced with pre-pubescent voiced bullshit
c) At least get more than three generic chants
d) "Can you hear the Demons sing" makes absolutely no sense when the ground isn't segregated or carved up between the supporters in the slightest.
e) Fuck off and die you little cunts.

I like Neale Daniher, I really do - but I'm dying to see what somebody else would do with this list. Who they'd sack, who they'd pick, who they'd drop. I guess I just want somebody who'll go off his tits when we lose and throw plates of chicken at people. No more Mr. Nice Guy, let's get some nutbag Ivan Milat style figure like Dean Laidley (but not Dean Laidley) in to go apeshit at people.


Must we?

5 - Bruce
4 - McDonald
3 - Miller (Still does stupid things every second time he touches the ball but today took TWO (!) CONTESTED (!!) MARKS (!!!) and slotted three goals. It's a step forward at least)
2 - Jones (Ran hard. Tackled hard. Enthusiastic at least)
1 - Bate (Yes, he was the king of klang and dropped a sitter right in front but at least he presented and ran his heart out all day. Sadly that's all that it takes to gets you a vote in this abortion of a side)

I am aware that Nathan Brown had about 30 touches but I deducted the total of times they came to absolutely nothing and he came out with no votes. He runs his heart out but he's losing touch fast.

2007 A.J Medal Leaderboard

8 - McDonald
6 - Bruce
5 - Neitz
4 - Jones
3 - Miller
2 - Moloney
1 - Bate
1 - Jones

Next week: If there's any justice in the football world Geelong will beat us by three figures. Having said this just when you think you know the answers Melbourne usually change the questions so expect them to go in without Neitz or Robertson and win by ten goals with Simon Godfrey and Daniel Bell sharing 13 between them.

Initial instinct is to move interstate/overseas to get away from this slop, but somehow it has a hold of me and I'll be trapped here forever aimlessly wandering around and waiting for them to win something more farking prestigious than the Eastern Football League Division Four.

And that's all the analysis you're going to get out of me today. This is me reporting, live from the top of MCG light tower #4 about to jump out.