Sunday 28 September 2008

Grand Final Day Review

Pre Match
The entertainment - If Powderfinger aren't the dullest band ever to be declared 'popular' then I'm not here. Even Coldplay and Radiohead look charismatic in comparison. The entire concept was far from the worst ever (Kath and fucking Kim in a hovercraft anyone?) but it was nothing special. What the buggery was up with people swinging around with giant poles up their clacker? Looked more like an artistic BDSM installation than a grand final.

The crowd
Looks like a few legitimate fans managed to sneak their way in amongst the glory hunters and corporate swine. I'm sure the AFL are working on ways to try and stamp out this offensive practice in time for next year.

I had Tom Lonergan for first goalkicker on the basis that having his kidney destroyed by Brad Miller practically made him a Melbourne player. And in the absence of any actual ex-Melbourne players giving it the Steve Armstrong "You sacked me and I've won more flags than you have in 40 years so fuck you" routine that was close enough for me. Good enough for first goalkicker anyway, I was sort of going for Hawthorn due to the fact that Clarkson played two pretty much forgettable seasons for us at the arse end of his career and Todd Viney is one of their assistant coaches. So I got the cash for Lonergan AND the Hawks by 25-42. Which was nice. Would have got the quarter quad if it had been two points closer. Which would have been nicer.

Oh, the actual game? Who cares - somebody won, somebody lost. We'd all laugh at Geelong if Melbourne had been capable of winning anything ever, but as it stands they're still a shitload better than us so good luck to them. Surely my theory that a Premiership buys a decade of stress relief must count for something. I can't see myself being THAT shattered if I was a Geelong fan - sure you lost after one of the best seasons ever but last year's win MUST be consolation enough. Throw a bread roll at Luke Hodge when you see him if you want, but at least acknowledge the fact that you're doing a lot better than anyone who follows Footscray, Melbourne, St. Kilda, Richmond or Freo. Actually Freo fans deserve whatever they get.

Who gives a rats about analysis? We were too busy watching the Top 40 allegedly "Banned Videos" on VH1 in the breaks. In what jurisdiction was Baby Got Back banned? A country who didn't like big butts? I may have had far too much to drink but I recall turning the volume up to maximum when Killing In The Name Of came on and yelling "Fuck you I won't do what you tell me!" a few times. Would make a great theme song - take notes GC17 and the West Sydney Farce.

If I hadn't rebelled against the suburb of my birth at seven years of age and decided that I would go for whoever played Hawthorn in the '88 Grand Final then I'd be face down a pool of my own emissions in celebration at Glenferrie Oval right now rather than trying to find some joy in the performance of Stef Martin in the Grand Final sprint.

Monday 22 September 2008

Random Brownlow Thoughts

* What good is Kate Ceberano without Russell Robertson? Nil I say. Did we really need her singing "Let Me Entertain You"? The response from the assembled crowd of pissed footballers and blondes when she tried to get them to clap along said it all really.

* Surely somebody could have stopped Demetriou straight away when he somehow started reading the Round 2 votes instead of Round 1. Perhaps if they didn't try and belt through the first half of the season in 25 seconds in order to cram a few more ads in they wouldn't cock it up? No damage done - except to the reputation of anyone who thinks the AFL have half an idea what they're doing.

* But if we're going to have 3hrs of speed reading and gurning footy players on prime time network television is there ANY DANGER that we might get the AFL National Draft on as well? Surely even if Channel 10 don't want to bump a highly rating Elvis movie at midday on a Sunday then Fox Sports could take a camera in and film it. For gods sake I'll do it with a handycam.

* About round 6 every year is the bit where I start to realise that I'm not as into it as I thought I was before the evening started. Cue eight rounds of moderate despair before getting interested again. Doesn't help when your team is an unreconstructed slopfest who rarely, if ever, made the round-by-round highlights packages.

* Speaking of - is there any chance they might try and find a highlight or an interesting tidbit from all eight games across the week? Cut out a bit of Kate and a few ads and give us some decent packages. At least this year it meant we didn't have to see Melbourne lose every week - or at all for the first two months of the season.

* Non-footy people may not understand why it's so important to watch people read the names of drafted players out rather than listen to it on the radio. But it is - get used to it. Just be thankful it's not like the NFL with a two day draft.

* Was I the only one to almost fall off the couch in celebration when Jamie Shanahan was mysteriously wheeled out for Robert Harvey's tribute? When Harvs said how he shared a beer with those on stage when they got knocked out of the '98 finals he probably wasn't referring to the bloke who was lined up for the team that put them out. As the one and only person to ever wear a Shanahan #1 MFC jumper I'll take any excuse to see him in action, even if it is standing around looking a bit confused.

* The Channel 10 late news was being advertised as coming on at 11.21pm. What a random time.

* At least we didn't have to sit through some sort of ridiculous "family man" bollocks where they let kids be cute like James Hird and family last year. Funniest Home Videos is on Sunday night, that's where you do the "aww" and "ahh" work. Brownlow Night is for giant excel spreadsheets.

* Speaking of stats, interesting that Ten used every opportunity they had to show the top 10 on the leaderboard but never once did a team-by-team leaders count throughout the night. Nor did they persist with roping in the likes of Robert Walls for 'expert' comments. In fact at the very same time the count was on Robby W was appearing on what must surely have been the lowest rating episode of Fox Sports' "On The Couch" ever.

* How the buggery did Jeff White a vote against Freo, Yze against Collingwood and Wheatley against West Coast? Nothing at all to do with being bitter about Brad Green not winning our count. Not at all. P.S - For god's sake can Brock McLean please play 22 rounds next season? He'll win the bloody thing if we can avoid losing every game by 200 points.

* Didn't expect much from Cooney's speech, but he was quite entertaining. Half cut perhaps? If not he will be soon.

* Roll on trade week, the draft(s) and next freaking season already. Cricket is clearly a fictional sport.

* Grand Final? I'll be offbeat and say Hawthorn by 5 goals. However I'm sure we're all hoping for the same thing to happen. Geelong by 2pts, Franklin marks 30m out directly in front and the siren goes. How's THAT going to be for tension - the golden boy either delivers or costs them a flag. Wild.

Tuesday 9 September 2008

Demonblog's Season In Review

NAB Cup - vs Geelong
or "(Geelong) Road To Nowhere)
We could be a contender! This season, however, we are going to be flotsam. Get used to it.

Pre Season Game #1 - vs Richmond
or "Twat's Entertainment"
When you're reduced to reading forums where people are posting information that they're getting from somebody at the ground who is sending them text messages, then you've got to start wondering what sort of competition you're actually following.

Pre Season Game #2 - vs Footscray
or "The Night The Lights Went Out In Bendigo"
Then, all of a sudden and against all odds, the Sexy Football Machine went into overdrive and we started slaughtering the dogs all over the ground.

Then the Dogs remembered what they were paid to be doing and decided to put some pressure on. Sexy football machine OFF, slop machine ON.

Pre Season Game #3 vs North Melbourne
or "Southern Suburbs Suicide Saturday Special"
Basically the entire last quarter was junk time. You could tell by the clouds of dust kicking up from the carpark during the final term that everyone had given up. Can't blame them really - even with the ground announcer desperately trying to get people to stay for the Scorpions/Sandy game.

Round 1 vs Hawthorn
or "The Winter Of Our Discontent"
You knew we'd hit rock bottom when some tart in a Carlton scarf in front of me said "this is embarassing". When they can see it you know it's all over. Speaking of Carlton, I wonder why exactly Chris "DO YOUR KNEE YOU TRAITOROUS DOG" Judd didn't want to come to us? The crunt is obviously a fortune teller.
BOG: Jones

Round 2 vs Footscray
or "I Hate You So Much Right Now"
Next Week
Geelong in Geelong. Ahahahahahha go and get fucked. I'll be there - do you think there will be more than thirteen other Demon fans present? Basically this shit is going to go down like Gallipoli - we're going in knowing that we're going to be massacred. Here's to heroic defeat, rather than the disgraceful slop that we're likely to be served up.

Next Life
I will be a French aristocrat who spends every cent of the family fortune on whores, brandy and having underlings ripped apart by horses. It will be spectacular.

BOG: Jones again

Round 3 vs Geelong
or "Highway To Hell"
Incidentally, on Hawkins, welcome to the Kent Kingsley Klub. A moderate player who will show up once a year and play a decent game against us. May as well get fitted for your Richmond jumper now son.

John Barnes is lucky that Andrew Jarman is still allowed near a microphone, because Jarman is the only person between JB and the title of "worst commentator in sports"
BOG: Bruce

Round 4 vs North Melbourne
or "Saturday Depression Session"
We are a team without skill. It's official. How do you get a job as an AFL footballer if you can't actually kick or handpass a ball? Draft me next year, I can't play for shit but at least with the 120+ rotations a game off the bench I might even have a chance of getting 20 good minutes before having a coronary
BOG: Green

Round 5 vs Carlton
or "Crazy For Feeling So Blue"
Rotations are all the rage this year, but now it's spread to the crowd as well. 10 girls showed up and sat in the same row as us, then spent the entire game getting up and leaving 3 times a quarter - including a minute into the 3rd quarter. What were you doing for half time? Watching Little League? Peanuts. At least they weren't wandering back with beers every five seconds like your typically drunken and stupid footy fan.

Round 6 vs Brisbane
or "It's Grim Up North"
Most of the time it looked as if Bailey was on his own in the coaches box. I'm surprised he didn't just walk out himself.
BOG: Bruce

Round 7 vs Fremantle
or "I Feel Love"
Meanwhile, in a special Demonblog message to Jeff Farmer I'd simply like to say. COP THAT YOU PRICK. I was looking straight at your lips when you said "look at the scoreboard to one of our guys during that last quarter". Well, for your benefit lets take another look at that scoreboard now. If you're waiting for the replay, look away now...

Round 8 vs Adelaide
or "Normal Service Has Been Resumed: Melbourne Football Club Apologises For Any Inconvenience"
Speaking of the rules everyone would have seen what a complete brothel the new interchange rule was. To recap you now need to fill in a slip, post it to the AFL c/o PO Box 2342 in your capital city, wait three weeks for a response, write a 2000 word essay on the influence of Marxist-Leninist thinking on Australian Politics and watch the entire first series of Birds Of A Feather twice before you can make any interchanges.
BOG: Davey

Round 9 vs Hawthorn
or "Someday This War's Gonna End"
What home crowd? Where was everybody. We were only farewelling one of our greatest ever players at a home game - what else did people need to get to the ground? Yet we would have been lucky to have 15,000 of the 40k crowd. It was an absolute disgrace. It's no wonder that when peanuts like Jeff Kennett say stupid things about clubs moving that a good deal of people think it's not such a bad idea.
BOG: Miller

Round 10 vs St. Kilda or "The Stephen Powell Memorial Shield" (special report by CaptainDavey)
At this point in time I would like to make mention of our ridiculously ridiculous looking clash kit. It has a design that looks as though it belonged on a netball kit. It actually made it difficult to determine which players were from which teams at some points, particularly in marking contests…But as soon as either Riewoldt, Koschitzke or the much heralded Matthew Ferguson emerged with the pill from marking contests it became painfully apparent which players were posing as AFL footballers and which players actually had any hand/eye coordination.
BOG: Bate

Round 11 vs Collingwood
or "Super Happy Fun Asia Report"
The only other guy in there who really cared was a Collingwood fan who, from his comments, was clearly only living there so that he could hit some serious ass. Make of that what you will - I thought he was disgrace but at least he admitted it.
BOG: Jones

Round 12 vs Richmond
or "Despair In The Dome" (special report by DaveyMagik)
Bar a great goal by Frosty to start the 2nd term we well and truly dropped the soap. We got shat on in midfield, whoever the fuck was on Deledio was doing a shit job and the Tigers were kicking goals at will. I'll just take a little time here to highlight the stupidity of some of their supporters. Not even Collingwood supporters are dumb enough to shout 'BALLLLLLLLL' when the opposition player is tackled as soon as they touch the ball, but the Tigers sure are.
BOG: Bruce

Round 13 vs Sydney
or "I See Red Hair" (Special report by McLean_4_Captain)
Not only did Bate come alive in the second quarter, the moisturising pair of Johnson & Johnson, both showed what we’ve been hoping to see from them all year.
BOG: Bate

Round 14 vs Brisbane
or "It's Miller Time"
23k. Looked like about 4500 at the first bounce but they came from somewhere. Again we were almost outdrawn by the away fans. And in case you were wondering, that was THE CELEBRATOR's dad sitting with Jim Stynes and not the exiled Zimbabwean opposition leader. Sorry Mr. CELEBRATOR.

Congratulations to the guy in front of me who insisted on calling Brisbane "the Roys" all day. Keep the dream alive sir - it certainly looked like a Fitzroy game crowd. Shame that he had to be an unsufferable crunt in the last quarter when Bradshaw kicked the 'winning' goal. Respect lost, sucked in hard.

BOG: Green

Round 15 vs Footscray
or "Stormy Weather"
When we first met the Dogs this season, in that farce of a practice match at Bendigo where the lights went out, I was convinced that they were a bottom three side. This is why I never claim to be a real analyst of football, but at least I can't be accused of bias considering I had us in there as well. Anyway, as we've all seen - to devestating effect in Round 2 - they are quite good actually and have only dropped 1.5 games this year. Well slap my ass and call me a bitch, I didn't see that one coming.
BOG: Garland

Round 16 vs Fremantle
or "Deathbed Football"
Five minutes into the second quarter Mark Jamar used one of his four kicks for the day to slot our sixth straight, and given that he's never had more than five kicks in a match it was surely an omen of good times to come. Bollocks it was. From that moment on it was a full scale mid-air emergency as Air Melbourne plummetted towards the ground at a million miles an hour, and all the deployed oxygen masks in the world weren't going to save us.
BOG: Johnson

Round 17 vs North Melbourne
or "Blue Sunday"
Simon Buckley is giving me the shits. Is there any danger that he might actually dispose of a ball one day instead of dancing about trying beat everyone like he's in a 1970's disco. You can't tell me that other clubs don't sit down, watch the video of us play and identify the fact that whenever he gets it he'll try and step his way out of it EVERY FREAKING TIME.
BOG: Valenti

Round 18 vs Essendon
or "And The Crowd Goes Absolutely Mild"
Cometh the second quarter, cometh some of the worst umpiring you are ever likely to see in your life. Get the tape of this one before the AFL go back and wipe it from the official record to spare themselves, and the family of the gentleman involved (one Mr. Fila I believe) shame and embarassment at having been connected to it. So, Cam Bruce takes a mark 50m out hard on the boundary line and his opponent holds onto him. Fifty! Err no apparently not. So he keeps holding onto him and dragging him forward. Any minute now they're going to pay the 50 or at least tell the Essendon player to piss off onto his mark and behave himself. Well, that didn't happen. Eventually Bruce was thrown free, at which point the other guy hit the ground and tackled him around the ankles. Play on! Get fucked!

Round 19 vs Geelong
or "Friday Night Follies"
From 0-0 at 4.22 of Q1, to 0-53 at 0.00 of Q2 I have rarely seen a more demoralising 25 minutes of football. We've had our share of last quarter fadeouts over the years, and the odd opening quarter of doom but never before have we looked so massively inept. Sure you're playing the best team in the land, but they're not making you handball it to the guy 25cm from you with two players almost already tackling him.
BOG: Whelan

Round 20 vs West Coast
or "Welcome to the Blunderdome"
The game was delayed for a couple of minutes after Beau Wilkes (who? Sounds like a sitcom character) pinballed off Maric (where pinball = was shoved by) into Jamar and was knocked into next week. Special J did absolutely nothing wrong but will probably get pinged for it anyway knowing the corrupt nature of the tribunal. After they'd dragged the lifeless carcass of Wilkes off (well, he was moving his hand..), we did our best to let the Eagles back into the game by allowing them to pepper the goals for the first fifteen minutes of the quarter.
BOG: Morton

Round 21 vs Port Adelaide
or "Another Victim of South Australian Serial Killers"
Blah, blah, blah we were shit. Blah, blah, blah maybe we'll be good in 2015. We lost, badly, it was a slopfest and thank christ next week we can wash our hands of this whole shithouse season and find something more important to do during summer.
BOG: Buckley

Round 22 vs Richmond
or "Three Retirements and a Funeral"
Eventually it was over and we got to wash our hands of this abortion of a year and get on with our lives. For all the wild celebrations by Richmond fans it needed to be pointed out that they'll be doing exactly the same thing we will be next week, and that their players will be scouting chicks in nightclubs not opponents in tactics sessions this week.
BOG: Whelan

29 - Cameron Bruce (WINNER: 2008 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player Of the Year)
27 - Brad Green
24 - Nathan Jones, James McDonald
21 - Brock McLean
18 - Matthew Bate
17 - Brad Miller
17 - Cale Morton (WINNER: 2008 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
14 - Lynden Dunn
14 - Matthew Whelan (WINNER: 2008 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
13 - Paul Johnson (WINNER: 2008 Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
12 - Colin Garland, Chris Johnson, Shane Valenti
11 - Aaron Davey, Simon Buckley
10 - Austin Wonaeamirri
6 - Jared Rivers
5 - Brent Moloney
4 - Clint Bartram, Stefan Martin, Paul Wheatley, Adem Yze
3 - Nathan Carroll, Matthew Warnock, Jeff White
3 - Colin Sylvia
2 - Russell Robertson, Addam Maric
1 - Mark Jamar