Sunday 27 September 2009

End of year thoughts

So the season is officially over then. Could have fooled me, I thought it was done a month ago. Observations from Grand Final Day

* Obviously nobody bothered to check how "Cup Cam" would look on Mark Ricciuto.
* The 'entertainment' was rubbish as usual. Has anyone noticed that other than the title of the song Holy Grail has nothing in common with footy and everything to do with people dying horrifically? Even Mark Seymour was singing it in a half-assed fashion.
* Should we make a Grand Final I'll quite happily sit in Hurricane Katrina-esque conditions to get a seat without paying $5000.
* I'll be having Colin Sylvia for the Brownlow next year but he probably won't be back in the Grand Final Sprint
* But at least he didn't almost go tits up on the starting line like Mike Pyke.
* I take back everything I've ever said on here about Tom Hawkins after I bet on him to kick the first goal of the last quarter.
* Sucked in St. Kilda

And what of Brock McLean? Even though there had been some internet whispers about the deal I've learned that 99% of those are usually total bollocks. It was certainly still a shock when I got in my car and heard it.

I'm not too concerned. Brock is a good player, and will be very handy for Carlton but if we're going to draft one - probably two - of the best midfielders in the country somebody's going to have to shift. McDonald is almost certainly in his last year, but I wouldn't be messing with Moloney, Jones or Sylvia anytime soon so something had to give. He was ordinary this year but with a full pre-season and some class players around him he'll kill it at Carlton. Wouldn't you rather be kicking it at Fev (off the sauce variety) rather than our dog's breakfast forward line? Of course I said the same things about Chris Johnson and he continued to be ordinary but this time we've been compensated. Don't ask me to give you any phantom drafts or wishlists but here's hoping there's a KPF/ruckman around there that we can use the pick on. Everybody - hopefully - wins.

Of course this having come true means that the next 99 rumors you hear (Davey, Jurrah etc..) will be utterly false.

P.S - Demon Wiki is now more than 4100 pages strong. Check it out - I know what I'll be working on in the off-season.

Tuesday 15 September 2009

Demonblog's end of season spectacular

Whoa, I almost forgot to do this. Spending too much time working on Demon Wiki. I've been concentrating on the 70's for the last few days. My god if you're like me and weren't even alive that decade then kindly join my in shutting the fark up about having three (four? five?) poor years in a row, because some of the heartbreakers people (you know who you are, and you're hardy souls) had to put up with back then was RIDICULOUS.

Witness for instance Round 22, 1976. Having not played in the finals since 1964 all they needed was to beat bottom placed Collingwood and have minor premiers Carlton rumble Footscray at Princes Park. The Pies were duly dispatched but the Dogs held a lead all day and everyone gets miserable. Carlton fight back and things start getting interesting - they level the scores and... the game ends. A draw and the Dogs are into the five and Melbourne out. Some measure of a reverse was effected in 1987, but Jesus H Christ 9 years and spoons galore are a tough price to pay for some muppets from Parkville not being able to get the job done.

ANYWAY, back to the present. The format for today is as follows. First - links to all the matches this season. Secondly a recap of the awards and full awards history, and finally the "The Good, the Bad and the Neither Here Nor There" awards. And here's your host, TV's Ugly Dave Gray;

And tonight he's joined by the Blankety Blanks Choir. Entertainment truly befitting a spectacular like this I'm sure you'll agree.

PART ONE - That was the season that was
Pre-Season Preview Spectacular - where Ray's Tent City failed to be named major sponsor at 1000-1.

NAB Cup Round 1 vs Hawthorn - "New Year, Same Team" - Where we almost won a meaningless pre-season match against the premiers but threw it away like clowns before losing to a goal kicked from an obvious hand in the back. Little were we to know that the hands in the back rule would get as much respect from the AFL umpiring fraternity in 2009 as Porkys got from Oscar voters in the 80's

Practice Match vs Sydney - "50 Ways to Lose A Match - Where I refused to go to a family reunion so I could attend Princes Park and find out whether or not John Meesen actually existed.

Practice Match vs Brisbane - "Mystery Match Mania" - where I didn't go to Cairns but somehow still managed to come up with votes for the Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance.

Practice Match vs Footscray - "How 'bout That Drought?" - where somehow I managed to not be able to go but Jane, Andy and Gabrielle bravely submitted a match report from conditions not seen since Hurricane Katrina.

Round 1 vs North Melbourne - "One Is The Loneliest Number" - Where a moderately negative tone caused some cockhead to devote a whole thread on BigFooty to whinging about it.
BOG - Kyle Cheney on debut.

Round 2 vs Collingwood - "In the event of a major disaster the season management plan will swing into immediate action" - Where a Pies fan took genuine offence to over-use of the term 'spastic' shortly before one of their spastic fans belted Nathan Jones' dad.
BOG - Aaron Davey

Round 3 vs Port Adelaide - "Chasing AAMI" - Where I went out on the pish in Adelaide alone the night before, had two hours sleep, watched us get thrashed, sat in Adelaide airport for five hours in a depressed state and considered turning Every Day Is Like Sunday into a fringe festival show.
BOG - Brad Green

Round 4 vs Richmond - "Bring Your Quarter To The Slaughter" - where we won, we really did. And the guy sitting next to me was so depressed about being a Richmond fan that it almost made me feel better.
BOG - Brock McLean

Have you ever wondered why I always write players names out in full? I have. Don't want to confuse you with all the other Cheneys, Daveys, Greens and McLeans in our side afterall. It's a legacy from the Febey/Febey, Lovett/Lovett, Viney/Viney era of the early 90's.

Round 5 vs Adelaide - "The Truth is Out There" - where we scored three goals could have won. The government are still investigating the tapes as we speak to work out WHAT THE HELL WAS GOING ON.
BOG - Brent Moloney

The next Saturday I almost ran over Brad Miller who was fanging a BMX around the back streets of St. Kilda. Don't say anything, my mum loves him.

Round 6 vs Geelong - "The Foregone Conclusion Cup" - where we avoided being flogged by a massive margin despite Gary Ablett kicking a goal after 9 seconds. The first sign that Geelong weren't as good as the last couple of years.
BOG - Davey (2)

Round 7 vs West Coast - "Go West. Lose. Come Back. Lose Again" - where we could very well have won our first game west of Victoria for years but botched it. Also where I watched dodgy internet live streaming for the first time and sat there for four quarters wondering what the hell was going on.
BOG - Nathan Jones

Round 8 vs Footscray - "Dog Day Afternoon" - where we pushed the second straight flag contender to a close game and suddenly started to think we weren't so bad after all despite being 1-7.
BOG - Moloney (2)

Round 9 vs Hawthorn - "Armpit vs Deodorant" - where I debuted the #34 Stefan Martin Experience jumper just in time for him to snap one from the pocket. Also the night where Russell Robertson effectively ended his Melbourne career with one of the most ludicrous attempts at playing on in front of goal EVER.
BOG - Colin Sylvia

Round 10 vs St. Kilda - "Golden Showers" - where I pulled out of going because of a lack of money, and thank christ for that too because watching St. Kilda keep us goalless in the second half would have being depressing. First threat of the season to fill my pockets with rocks and walk into the sea. Offered the chance for somebody to write a guest report and for the first time ever nobody wanted to - smart people.
BOG - Jared Rivers

Round 11 vs Collingwood - "Crusty Demons of Shite" - where we shamefully debuted Jack Watts for nothing more than financial gain and were rewarded by being flogged. In a mystic vision of the future I declared that West Coast, Port, Richmond and Fremantle were the only teams we could possibly beat. Three correct and one moral victory. I also won a "Name a Game" DVD off SEN which almost four months later I've still not received.
BOG - Sylvia (2)

Round 12 vs Essendon - "The Royal Shaft" - where Watts kicked his first goal, the Jurrahcane lit the Dome up and we still got belted. Our only Friday night game of the year and rightly so too.
BOG - Sylvia (3)

Round 13 vs Brisbane - "Northern Exposure" - where I was suckered into providing a preview which accurately predicted we'd lose. Spookily accurate. Demonlogy's George_From_The_Outer came through with the guest report and votes but unfortunately for him had to sit through the game to give them. I went to a trivia night and managed to win whilst simultaneously swearing under my breath while listening to the radio.
BOG - Stefan Martin

Then there was a mid-season review which came about three weeks after the middle of the season. It appears that I got so excited writing about Mark Jamar at one point that I completely forgot to finish a sentence.

Round 14 vs West Coast - "One for the Boss" - where we all got a bit teary about Jimmy, and where I managed to scab my way into two corporate boxes at two different games in the same day. End result = blind but that was all at the second game. Yelling "go home you bastards" out the window now seems futile given that there was nobody down there.
BOG - Jack Grimes

Round 15 vs Port Adelaide - "Here I am! Rock You Like A Jurrahcane!" - when Port proved themselves to be the flakiest bunch of slops ever born and the lost man Lynden Dunn managed to rort the worst 50/free-kick of all time out of Chad Cornes. Somehow Port still almost made the 8.
BOG - Cameron Bruce

Round 16 vs Geelong - "Back to Life, Back to Reality" - where the antics of the Geelong based commentary team made me want to commit felonious homicide, but where we learnt that Geelong has a different husband/wife team of idiots advertising Wombat Gully Plant Farms. Also when I left ludicrously early for the first time since 1990.
BOG - Davey (3)

Round 17 vs Sydney - "Capital Punishment" - where nobody watched us at the game, and after quarter time nobody watched us in the pub I was at. We almost won but it took noted goalkicker Matthew Whelan to float forward and boot one to do it. Take note forwards.
BOG - Cale Morton

Round 18 vs Richmond - "2009 Melbourne International Tank Festival" - where I made the most inspired decision in history to leave at half time for a star studded movie premiere and somehow missed the most potentially soul destroying finish in the history of footy.
BOG - James McDonald

Round 19 vs North Melbourne - "You Can't Stop The Horror" - where Rohan Bail had the shortest AFL career in history (30 seconds), Lynden Dunn continued to get shafted in stupid matchups and Darren Crocker actually won a match. Nobody was there, it was shit.
BOG - Matthew Bate

Round 20 vs Fremantle - "Interstate visitors, Melbourne welcomes you" - where I made a last minute decision to ditch a lucrative day of work and join 13,000 other idiots in getting wet and cold. Thank christ too because we played our most slashing football in years, I wouldn't have wanted to miss that.
BOG - Davey (4)

Round 21 vs Carlton - "Monumental Moments in History" - where we suffered one of the better big losses over the past few years and Jamar finally had 6 kicks in a game. Not to mention five goals. MAIGOD!
BOG - Mark "The Beast" Jamar of course

Round 22 vs St. Kilda - "It was all a dream" - where we scared everyone, including our own fans, into thinking we were going to win for a quarter before falling to pieces and winning at the draft. Jamar upped his PB to 7 kicks and I fell in love. Then we got all a bit teary again about Robbo, Wheats and Wheels leaving.
BOG - Sylvia (3)

And that was that. Let's take a moment to look at those we've lost this year.

PART TWO - The Awards Ceremony
Welcome back, and welcome our special guest host for this part of the night. The Dancing Man of Kew Junction.


Who is, coincidentally, a massive Melbourne fan. No wonder he lost the plot. Now, a recap of the leaderboard.

30 - Aaron Davey (WINNER: 2009 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year)
27 - Brent Moloney
25 - Colin Sylvia
23 - Matthew Bate
20 - Mark Jamar (WINNER: Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
19 - Nathan Jones
17 - Cale Morton
16 - Brad Green
15 - Cameron Bruce
12 - Stefan Martin, Brock McLean, Jack Grimes (WINNER: 2009 Jeff Hilton Rising Star Award)
11 - Ricky Petterd, James Frawley (WINNER: 2009 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
10 - Liam Jurrah, James McDonald
9 - Jared Rivers, Russell Robertson
8 - Matthew Warnock
7 - Brad Miller
6 - Shane Valenti
5 - Kyle Cheney
4 - Jamie Bennell
3 - Matthew Whelan, Neville Jetta
2 - Paul Johnson, Clint Bartram
1 - Lynden Dunn

The honour boards are therefore as follows (brackets indicate opening price)

Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year
2005 - Travis Johnstone
2006 - Brock McLean
2007 - Nathan Jones
2008 - Cameron Bruce
2009 - Aaron Davey ($8)

Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year
2005 - Nathan Carroll and Ryan Ferguson (shared)
2006 - Jared Rivers
2007 - Paul Wheatley
2008 - Matthew Whelan
2009 - James Frawley ($22)

Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year
2005 - No players eligible.
2006 - Matthew Bate
2007 - Ricky Petterd and Michael Newton (shared)
2008 - Cale Morton
2009 - Jack Grimes ($4 fav)

Strawbs O'Dwyer Medal for Ruckman of the Year
2005 - Jeff White
2006 - Jeff White [2]
2007 - Jeff White [3]
2008 - Paul Johnson
2009 - Mark Jamar ($3)

Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance
2008 - Aaron Davey
2009 - Cameron Bruce

The All-Time Leaderboard is as follows,

125 - Cameron Bruce
121 - Brad Green
109 - James McDonald
104 - Brock McLean
81 - Nathan Jones
80 - Aaron Davey
72 - Travis Johnstone
68 - Matthew Bate
66 - Brent Moloney
64 - Russell Robertson
59 - Colin Sylvia
49 - Jared Rivers
43 - Brad Miller, David Neitz
35 - Jeff White
34 - Cale Morton, Adem Yze
31 - Nathan Carroll, Matthew Whelan
24 - Nathan Brown
23 - Paul Wheatley
21 - Mark Jamar
18 - Shane Valenti
17 - Lynden Dunn and Byron Pickett
16 - Chris Johnson (ineligible for anything due to being a ****) and Ricky Petterd
15 - Ben Holland, Stefan Martin, Daniel Ward, Paul Johnson
12 - Clint Bizzell, James Frawley, Colin Garland, Jack Grimes
11 - Simon Buckley, Ryan Ferguson, Matthew Warnock
10 - Daniel Bell, Austin Wonaeamirri, Liam Jurrah
8 - Clint Bartram, Simon Godfrey
6 - Shannon Motlop
5 - Michael Newton, Kyle Cheney
4 - Alistair Nicholson, Phil Read (oh philthy, why did I mark you so harshly?), Jamie Bennell
3 - Neville Jetta
2 - Addam Maric, Guy Rigoni

Thanks Dancing Man, we'll be back after these ads.

"Buy a membership you clowns"

PART THREE - The other awards

- The Stynes Administration
Goes for him, McLardy, Schwab etc.. Finally everyone is on the same page behind a universally respected figure. Record membership and making in-roads into debts. Hopefully he's recovered and back in the drivers sooner rather than latter. If you're a Twitterer make sure to follow the great man @jimstynes . Then follow us @demonblog

- Matthew Bate
Already a key member of the side. Takes a good mark, kicks a good set shot and brings other players into the game. Does all the things I dreamed one B. Miller would do. Completely unknown to opposition fans but threatening to break out and do all sorts of crazy shit next year.

- Aaron Davey
Had a bad run when opposition teams worked out what was up to but is still one of our most reliable players. Still, I miss his freakish goalkicking. Can I not dream of a Jurrah/Wonaeamirri/Davey forward setup?

- James Frawley
Great year. Developing into one of our better defenders and threatening to become part of a new Jurassic Pack in the backline when Garland returns next year.

- Brad Green
Part of him is probably wondering why he didn't go to Collingwood, where he'd rightfully be regarded as one of the mid-range stars of the comp. With us he gets nothing but deserves plenty of credit for a good year.

- Jack Grimes
A mid-range hit who promises to go absolutely triple-platinum supernova if he can stay fit. West Coast game was a revelation.

- Mark Jamar
Never in one season have I gone from wanting to get rid of somebody to wanting to get their number on my jumper. Consider the fact that he only played a handful of games as well. Got his disposal right (i.e handball everything), got more of it, had some killer performances in the centre and provided one of the moments of the season when his 5th went in against the Blues.

- Liam Jurrah
What more can we say? Here's hoping he doesn't suffer a second year comedown in a forward line without Robbo to take the best defender.

- Brent Moloney
The biggest hit since the Beatles. Finally played the best part of a full season and showed some of what we were given a taste of in '05. Potential captain material.

- Ricky Petterd
His best season to date. Not hard considering that the others have been destroyed by injury, but a good year nonetheless. WE WANT MORE!

- Jared Rivers
Like Moloney he finally played an almost full year and we benefited greatly. When he went off on the stretcher against the Eagles I'm sure everyone threw their hands up in the air and swore loudly but somehow the porcelain man survived and thrived.

- Colin Sylvia
The second half of his season was 10 times better than the first five years of it. Potential to go ape-shit crazy and do terrific things over the next couple of years. If I'd said to you two years ago that he really would be the better pick from the '03 draft you would have kicked me in the cruetts.

- Matthew Warnock
The final member of the Jurassic Pack. Angry, angry man. One of my favourites.

- Our Bandwagon Fans
I know the people reading this are true. I know most of the people posting on Big Footy, the 'ology and the 'land are legit. But I also know that there are thousands of people out there who will jump straight back on when we start winning again. Knobs. WE DID THE HARD YARDS.

- Daniel Bell
Has never been the same since Ben Johnson killed him. Our attempts to put him in the shop window against Port failed miserably when he gifted them a goal and then necked himself.

- Paul Johnson
Lost the plot in epic fashion compared to last year. Bizarrely saved his best performances for clashes with Cox and Sandilands.

- Brock McLean
Only because I've got high standards for him. Deserves a full pre-season to come back next year and cause some chaos.

- Brad Miller
Like Johnson he got worse in a team that got better. Has the attributes to dominate but we're just not getting it. Trade bait perhaps?

- Michael Newton
I want to love him, but alas I cannot. Why in god's name did we sign him to a 2 year contract last season?

- The Trumpeteer
Embarassing and dresses like a goose. Get rid of him immediately.

- Dean Bailey
Ok, we've lived through the slop. The list has been turned over and now it's time to fire up. If we're pox come Queen's Birthday next year I expect the drums will start beating. As long as it doesn't just lead to Garry Lyon waltzing in and taking over after all the hard work has been done.

- Nick McCallum
Great enthusiasm, and obviously does a lot of free work for the club but lost the plot with his speech on Queen's Birthday. It's a bloody hard job to pump up a meagre crowd who think they're going to lose but may I suggest that doing it from the middle of the ground facing the members stand is not the way to go about it? And having to introduce the cockhead with the trumpet can't help.

- Simon Buckley
There were questions that were going to be resolved this year, but due to early injury we never found out. Telling that he didn't even sneak in for a novelty game at the end of the year despite being back at Casey.

- Lynden Dunn
One of my favourite players but rarely given any sort of opportunity to show what he's made of. If I was him and any other club showed interest I'd tell Melbourne to get stuffed and walk out. The matchup vs Todd Goldstein against North was a farce, and leaving him in the 2's for half of the season was beyond belief.

- Neville Jetta and Jamie Bennell
One showed some good signs at the start of the season, and the other at the end but god knows where they'll play in the future. If he was a stock I'd say HOLD.

- Addam Maric
Second season and suffered injuries but hasn't done much yet. Has just signed a new two year contract so we've got faith in him. Roll on '10. Could almost have been a miss if I was in a harsh marking mood.

- The Stefan Martin Experience.
Better than average as a ruckman, and still good as a backman but seemingly destined for a future up forward. Doesn't look comfortable there yet but I have faith in the power of the SME.

- John Meesen
Proved he existed and then looked good in his first few games before dropping out for the year with stress fractures. Is g-a-w-n GAWN next year if he doesn't have a good season so needs to come back all guns blazing.

- Cale Morton
Good at what he did, but was what he did particuarly useful? I like him as a player but we've got to throw him into a more damaging role next year.

- James Strauss and Sam Blease
Next year please.

- Jack Watts
Given that he's young enough to be an 18th century chimney sweep he did enough in limited time to stamp himself as a good player in the making. Criticised only by drug addicts, internet spastics and senile ex-coaches.

- Austin Wonaeamirri
Liam Jurrah watch out - the second year curse ran rampant on THE CELEBRATOR this year.

- The Rookies
Valenti played some decent football and deserves an upgrade, Spencer was very ordinary and it's too early to tell with McKenzie. Danny Hughes has one more year to get a game, Rhys Healey was injured too often and Trent Zomer is the biggest monty for delisting since Isaac Weetra.

And that's it for this year. See you all again in the pre-season. We'll go out tonight with a production number created by A. Random

See you in trade week!