Tuesday 26 June 2012

Fear and Loathing in the Olympic Stand

This post is dedicated to Mitch Clark's foot, news of which came through during its preparation. Only we could find a full forward who is also our best crumber and then lose him for half the year anyway. Now we've got two spots for replacements to fail in.

Additionally this post is very much unedited and as such may contain foul spelling, appalling grammar and the now traditional randomly ending paragraphs. List errors in the comments, on Twitter or via email and I'll fix them eventually.

And now, a massage from the Swedish Prime Minister...

What were the odds that the one day in over 20 years of watching this wretched club on which invective (great word) and outright hatred (of a sporting nature, which is far more gentle - in this country at least) were going to 'distract' me from the game even more so than usual that I would end up suffering a debacle with contact lenses that would render most of the game beyond the forward 50 at the Punt Road end so much of a blur that to properly make out what was going on I had to follow it on the big screen. I imagine that's what it's like to be one of these people to show up pissed off their nut after sampling every pub in Richmond before the game but it wasn't for me - even if I spent most of the day yelling out any sort of random shit as if I was actually some cheap wino in an SME jumper.

Usually I listen to the radio, but given the choice between trying to follow exactly what was happening or just concentrating on hurling mostly unjustified abuse at a 20-year-old I opted for the latter. God forbid the grandkids ever read this (or have it read to them? Hey kids, want to hear a bedtime story about Round 19 2011? You'll NEVER guess how it ends) I would like to stress to them that as a responsible adult that the futility of it all is quite clear. But as a significantly less responsible 30-year-old it was one of the great days out.

To be entirely honest instead of trying to follow what was actually happening I just yelled out the word FILTH a lot, heard some kids swear far more than I did and went spaz whenever we kicked a goal. For that reason this may end up as the most disappointing Demonblog post since the day Jamar kicked five, causing me to enter a state of shock and just post a photo of him alongside the photes BUT does anybody really give half a toss about the method of victory? I'm prepared to sit down at some point when I have a couple of hours free and enjoy the replay for analytical and crowd shenanigan purposes but the overwhelming emotion is relief that we got the four points and avoided adding yet another moment of shame to the long, terrifyingly bleak history of the Melbourne Football Club (including pretty much everything from the 1880's to now with the exception of the 25 years between 1939 and 1964).

It could very well have ended in disaster though. I'll freely admit that when they kicked those first two goals I was not so quietly shitting it about the prospect of people called Whiley (who?), Darley (WHO?) and Hombsch (you're taking the piss) chairing $cully off the ground as he triumphantly turned the tables on fans by stuffing money down their throats and laughing heartily like he was Ted DiBiase and/or Scrooge McDuck.

But they'd done this before, and as previous identified they'd put in their two worst performances of the year against sides well down the ladder. Mind you if there's any club standing ready, willing and able to botch it against a makeshift side it's us. Nevertheless with that in mind, and the fact that their second halves are scientifically proven to be even worse than ours (and whisper it quietly we've still only won one final term this year), I could handle running away with it in the second half after giving them a start. If I absolutely had to. Thank christ then for Mitch Clark (*sob*) and Rivers who kicked a full house between and almost single handedly broke their resistance.

For this was not just a matter of winning or avoiding an epic debacle my friends, but it was a life and death struggle to avoid giving that two faced turncoat the chance to run a lap of honour at the end of the game waving two fingers above his head and crying with laughter as he hands over $1500 for a $900 fine and tells Demetriou to keep the change before they join their respective fortunes together in order to buy a controlling share in The Age.

Sadly when there's a guy going home with $6 million in the bank (and guess what AFL members, you're helping pay that) then it doesn't really matter what the result on the scoreboard is because he's beaten us all. But at least we can delay the inevitable rubbing of our nose in the pile of shit he's left behind for a few more weeks/years.

For there is no doubt that the GWS Giants will eventually go supernova. Even if Cameron, Coniglio et al don't turn out to be capable of getting the job done and commentators whopping off over the chance to scream "THE GENERAL!!!1!1!" every time Patton walks within 50km of an AFL venue becomes a distant memory there's not much chance the league are going to let their prized investment flounder without giving it every possible to succeed via every loophole and rort in the book. If it's too remarkable a plan to pull off without looking shonky they'll put it to the clubs and strongarm them into voting for it or be given 11 home games at 2.20 on Wednesday afternoons. In Cambodia. Democracy will get the Giants over the line one way or another.

Somebody's going to have to take the role of responsibility of slaying this dragon, so who better than us? After all Sheedy and one of their marquee players already hate us so why not introduce some element of success into it, even if by then Sheeds will realise his headset isn't plugged in and Choco will be revealed to be the man pulling the strings the whole time while the ex-'coach' is carted off to an asylum for people who were famous in the last century.

What it will take for this to occur is for us to break the habit of a lifetime and draft some quality with the - admittedly over the top - compo that we've been given c/o that kid who everyone hates. At least if they turn up and are actually good we'll have something tangible to see as the result of wasting two years and a bunch of medical bills on that kid when he had NO INTEREST. He'll always be filth but while his wallet is keeping him warm at night the best revenge we can have is to live well.

It's a shame they had to give over half the league to these new teams because usually I'd much rather see some interstate club was no local fans winning flags so I don't have to hear about it. I don't hold the $cully debacle against them personally because it was very much the obvious thing to do but I really think either giving them half the draft + all these 'mini draft' scam inventions would have sufficed without opening up the uncontracted player smorgasboard as well. So stuff them, until which time they're the Canberra Giants and the Tasmanian Suns I will consider it a grave insult to the club to lose to them at any time.

So basically if we'd have been done over yesterday I'd have spent the next hour with my head on the seat in front of me openly crying like the MFC supporting, apparently private school tie wearing ponce that I am. So yes, thank the good lord for Clark (*sigh*) and Rivers (!) who made up the most bizarre but successful forward combination in history. Admittedly they were playing against the team who let Harry Taylor kick six so maybe Riv was a bit under par but after four goals in eight and a half seasons (one of them last week) I'll take it.

When it was looking decidedly ropey early on it was no surprise that you know who was playing out of his skin. As you would in that scenario with the best part of 20,000 people questioning your parentage (as in "haven't you had enough to eat sir?" #obligatoryfatgag) and no house mic to grab and remind everyone in attendance that he could have us all killed and still buy half of West Sydney. He wasn't alone either, once we got the ball into their backline they had absolutely no bloody idea how to cope with it but it was a matter of getting it down there in the first place.

The cruellest aspect of the Clark injury (and where in the name of dutch buggery did the foot go?) was that the way he was going he'd have kicked at least, AT LEAST, eight or nine. We have been denied a decent bag for so long (and correct me if I'm wrong but has anyone kicked even six since Neitz got eight against St Kilda in '06? Certainly not seven. And eight is just a pipe dream around these parts. CORRECTION DULY MADE - I forgot about Robbo kicking 7 against the Pies on QB 2007 and having a beer can piffed at him from the crowd at the final siren) that it wouldn't have mattered if it came with a gigantic asterix that directs you to a footnote reading AGAINST A TEAM WITH NO INTEREST IN WINNING. It would still have been glorious. Now all of a sudden he's finished for the year and we're left with the prospect of Garland and Rivers as our 'experienced' key position forwards for the rest of the season. No doubt they'll have a good old fashioned bash but it's hardly Franklin/Roughead '08 is it? It's barely Miller/Wonaeamirri '08.

At this point in the chronological order of the game though Clark was still wandering free and smashing down defenders like Godzilla rampaging through Tokyo - and thank christ we eventually started getting it down there enough to make a difference. After kindly letting Mr X wander around and do as he liked for most of the first quarter he finally copped the J. McKenzie treatment and was - to glorious catcalls - forced to spend the rest of the game doing dinky little handballs and never standing still long enough to give the crowd the chance to call him a scumbag en masse.

Conceding five goals in a quarter to this lot was a worry, but the proof was there that even after giving them the start we could still manage six - and any team who cops six goals from us in a quarter without it a) being junktime or b) the prelude to them running over the top of us out of revenge is not going to hang around long enough to make things interesting. Of course nothing ever happens around these parts easily though, so once we had settled the nerves and re-taken the lead our glorious rampaging victory was again thrown into question by conceding the next three goals.

And what easily scored goals they were too. Shit marking inside forward 50 didn't help, nor did the fact that nobody could hit the target by hand to save themselves while they were running around with all the enthusiasm of a bunch of kids let loose on the MCG for a casual kickaround - which is a pretty accurate summary of what they're good for at the moment.

My theory that they had/have absolutely no interest in winning this week/finishing above us was starting to look shaky, even after it had been made absolutely bloody clear via the move of 'resting' Cornes and starting Power as the sub. Were we about to cop the same sort of treatment as when Gary Ablett doesn't play for Gold Coast and they almost win only for him to come back and have the team get flogged? Hardly, nerves at the prospect of being involved in a sad, shameful moment aside the whole thing was so well scripted that Vince McMahon should have been made their inaugural chairman.

Not playing two 'older' players is obviously a perfectly sensible move if you're looking five years down the track, as they should, but it's football suicide when you're in a very much winnable game against a team who are psychologically just holding on most of the time. Any interest in taking advantage of our wayward nature to open up a two game break on the Suns? I seriously doubt it when they could roll on through the next few weeks, get to Round 20 against the (surely not) winless Suns and suffer a shock loss them which drops them to the bottom on percentage and delivers the #1 pick. It would hard for a Melbourne fan to point the finger at anybody else for draft tampering so good luck to them if that's the plan - it helped us get a morale boosting four points and with any luck they'll accidentally draft some total mental case who causes the whole place to cave in via his insane, possibly drug induced antics.

Anyway, back to the present. Which is to say back to late Sunday afternoon, in a timeslot beloved by none other than TV executives. It reminded me of another poorly scheduled Sunday game ruined by Channel 7, when we played our first game against Gold Coast at the Gabba. Luckily I was there and didn't have to wait for the delayed telecast (nevertheless, you're all bastards) but it was a lot like what we were served up at the MCG. The order of which quarter they ran the white flag up in might have been different but the overall concept was generally the same - "Plucky" young team gives plenty early, we all panic prematurely, before the good guys ease away to a 'huge' win which is nice at the time but you know you'd never have gotten against the 15 real teams in the competition. You take it and move on while the media are frantically trying to spin new ways in which to tell us about the coming of the glorious AFL approved franchise era.

We still weren't operating much better than one park team beating another but thanks to Jamar getting on top and the midfield finally managing to get some clearances two goals in the first three minutes of the second quarter pretty much did it. All of a sudden they're the ones playing like Melbourne and shitting themselves whenever the ball goes inside their defensive 50, and for once we were taking advantage of it. How very much like us to bully a team down on their luck before presumably being smacked upside the head next week.

While it appeared that the now traditional 2012 GWS third quarter collapse had come early it was no time to start taking the piss. At least until we'd crossed the fabled Chris Sullivan Line, but try telling that to Garland and Jamar who botched near certainties by playing on after marks in the square. Surely even they can kick it from there? At least the umpire absolutely lost his mind in almost criminal fashion and failed to call play on after the Russian turned around and took an air swing so vicious it was heard from here to Vladivostok. If that had happened against us the internet would have melted. He's got form too, I remember him trying to play on from a foot out against Hawthorn once in the same goal-square and stuffing it up.

By half time it was, thankfully, all but over and we could relax. We might never beat them again so you've got to enjoy it, and the only silver lining to the Clark injury was that Blease was forced to come on which negated any chance of him pulling off the heel turn of the millenium by tearing the green vest off without permission, charging into the middle of the ground and calling for a head count before taking his MFC jumper off to reveal a GWS one underneath before warmly embracing $cully as the MCC Members collapses under the weight of people charging to the fence to throw things at them.

Not only did he resist the urge to 'go early' on his projected GWS turn but he also decided to up his asking price by a few bucks by kicking the third in his career trilogy of outrageous goals on the run from the boundary line. Before he goes (and no doubt that you're reading, so may I say you are more than welcome to stay) let's just have one normal goal? Imagine if Nic Nat had kicked those three, they'd be erecting statues down the streets of every major city in Australia. Unheralded Melbourne players, on the other hand, can boot them out of their arse at a 100% career strike rate and it's TS for them.

It might have taken us more than five minutes to score, thus not adding to our frankly shithouse 2.4.16 in the opening minutes of Q3 this year (but at least we didn't concede either..) but from there on it was party time. Old mate with the bulging bank balance was absolutely nowhere to be seen, Junior McDonald kept running past us and receiving deservedly warm applause and for the first time since R8, 2006 (which is not quite as historically impressive a gap as I'd hoped) we kept a team scoreless for an entire quarter. At least $cully hasn't lost that one trait that is burnt into the soul of almost every Melbourne player of the last five years, going completely missing when the team starts to fall apart.

Let's not be too harsh though, you'd hate to judge a top draft pick in his first fifty games would you you? Unless you're the media or any other living organism (yes I've been involved. ONCE OR TWICE) and the subject is Jack Watts. In that case swing for the fences. He was good again, and this time it looked like it was more than just floating around the back picking up cheap ones. On a day where even Lynden freaking Dunn was taking kick-ins (and what a kick in it was) we didn't even need him to get us out of jail after a point. Mainly because they didn't kick any for about an hour. How good were his contested marks? He just knows where to go, and while I hope he can go forward and kick a few goals again at some point I'd be equally happy if he just became a contested mark wrecking machine across half-back with above average ability (adjusted for MFC players) to be able to find targets. How good was the kick to Trengove? It's all got the AGAINST SHIT TEAM asterix against it still but I'll take it for now - one wonky performance against Collingwood aside he's done it well against good teams too.

Speaking of Dunn it was nice to see both he and Bate freed from the horrors of wearing the green vest 'o doom and given the chance to play four quarters. Neither of them may do anything against decent sides but at least they were given the chance and delivered on the day. This is what I loathe about the sub rule - how can we properly assess these fringe players if they're either coming on or going off halfway through games every week. Either that or running around desperately trying to save themselves so they're not the next ones subbed out and on their way to Casey.

I don't give a toss about heavily massaged injury figures or the league's desire to sell every last aspect of the game to sponsors - I want to see the players who are selected play. Sadly it's here to stay, and we'll be lucky if it's not greatly expanded just to give them more opportunities to sell advertising, but for better or worse I'll go to my grave despising it and the people who forced it upon us.

There might be an upside though, and that's when the sub has been completed and guys like Bate and Dunn are no longer looking over to the bench every twenty seconds to see if the red vest is being prepared they can play fearlessly. I really enjoyed Bate's game - he doesn't really do anything that damaging with the ball when he gets it but I just love the way he's always in there trying to make something happen. Of course he might be doing it because he's fully aware that he'll be off at the end of the season and is trying to build up a nice highlights package for other clubs but even if it just benefits us in the short term I'll take it - and I'll be legitimately sad when he leaves and there's no longer a dead ringer for the Demonblog mascot in our team.

In a way it's sad that we failed to really ram home our superiority in the last quarter and bring up a triple digit win (I suspect the calls for 187 around me at three-quarter time weren't obscure rap references) but it wasn't for want of trying. Nobody really took their foot off the gas any more than you'd expect and we kept getting it down there only for foul kicking and the absence of somebody guaranteed to skittle everybody in a pack en route to a mark stopping us from belting them.

Speaking of wasted chances can somebody sit Jeremy Howe down and show him a video of the set shots in his first few games? Because since halfway through the West Coast McGinnity vs Petterd match at Docklands he's had the ghost of Earl Spalding hovering over his head. He's come ahead in leaps and bounds in every other aspect of his game this year but he's got to get that right, we can afford to scrub chances in rubbish games like this but one day it's going to come in crucial.

All in all a good day out. The players were chummy with you know who after the match but that was all to be expected so it couldn't ruin my enjoyment of the day. Also the sight of $cully smiling broadly (no really) with Sylvia after losing by 78 points would have sent Luke Darcy running off down the street in tears so that's a good thing as well.

What a shame then that the day was tainted by such foul and disgusting crowd behaviour. Which brings us neatly to a segment that has been promoted above the votes for the first time in history:

Crowd Watch
Forget everything that happened above, that was just contractual obligation stuff, the real action was off field and can I say that was absolutely proud as punch at the amount of effort our lot put into the theatre of the Carnival of Hatred. There's not much time before free agency ushers in an era where we'll expect players to lie to our collective faces so at least we got to give it to one treacherous dog before everybody becomes one.

Given that the target of the Carnival probably didn't even know it was taking place at least we proved in a small, insignificant way that not every Melbourne fan is a pip-pip style Scotch Old Boy (in fact there's been no sign of that stereotype being true since we wheeled their band out at Queen's Birthday) and that there are actually, god forbid, passionate people who care about the club and want to make a statement. It was, however, a nice touch that they did get some teenage hooligans waving legitimate 50's around so that it is perfectly clear to everyone else that we're supported by future captains of industry.

Also let it be noted that nobody visibly went over the top and disgraced themselves or the club. A couple of banners got the arse, old mate with the cash stapled to his jacket got harassed by security and more than a few people probably swore like a sailor for the first time in their life. The Giants coach (road, actual or Sheedy) didn't get bricked, nobody ran on the field and tried to crash tackle the star of the show and none of the banners just flat out called him a crunt. Also despite the best efforts of SEN caller 'Harro' to try and discredit us by claiming that he'd seen somebody gobbing on the Giants players in the race nobody was seen by the million cameras hocking a giant loogie at them. And rightly so too, we might have been having our big day out but there's no need to cede the moral highground of not being a bunch of scumbags just yet. Save some up in case you need it later.

If I missed anyone's antics let me know, but for the historical record there was at least the following

- "Tom Scully #1 PRICK"
- The one about him saying he hadn't signed
- YOU LIED TO JIM over the race at the end
- Old mate and his dollar bill suit
- Custom money being piffed around
- Legitimate money being waved about

and last but not least all sorts of foul abuse - often delivered by children which was heartwarming. What a huge week it must have been for manchester sales. There were a couple of signs being hoisted in the outer too but I couldn't read anything unless it was written in large font on a bedsheet.

In the interests of fairness the MCG were good enough to zoom right in on a kid holding up an "I HEART TOM SCULLY" sign before the match just to try and make us look bad for slaughtering a little kid's idol. Shame the kid was probably handed it two seconds before the cameras were turned on.

Oh, and there was also this.

Mum will be so proud, it's taken a decade but I've finally beaten my record for closest to a Herald Sun front page (record previously set at page 14). At least this time the family name wasn't disgraced with me being named as responsible for writing something scandalous online (no really. Nothing to do with footy either). If you remember me for nothing else once I'm gone - presumably stone dead in my seat after we lose a Grand Final by a point - let that picture frame your mental image of me, caught doing what I loved best, abusing $cully while paying silent tribute to obscure 90's wrestlers and holding up the end of somebody else's banner while a poor baffled man and his kid wonder why the photographer is taking shots of them. I'm glad for his sake they cropped him out in the paper so he didn't get banned by the wife from ever taking the kid to a game again.

I'm more than aware that I ended up looking like an absolute plonker, including to the TV audience apparently, but it's better than having everybody you know tell you that they saw your on television making an arse of yourself. Happy to admit it was me, happy for you to see my face any other time if you're particuarly keen but let's keep it off of the historical record for now shall we?

Thanks to the great Biffinator off BigFooty for providing said banner, and for allowing me to claim it as the new crown jewel in the burgeoning Demonblog Hall of Fame and memorabilia collection. I also came home with this one, which I assume was just abusing his dad for being a fat porky. Which is ok because I'm one too, and us people should stick together - possibly at Sizzler.

I didn't even know what it said when I hoisted it so thank god it wasn't tremendously abusive. Either way both are safe with me in the Towers and they'll be ready to be dragged out and looked at in the future. God knows what I'll do with it until then but maybe if we win something someday we can get them out and have a good laugh. Maybe $cully will sign it once he's come out and apologised and we're all friends? Don't hold your breath.

It was truly a joyous day, but the irony can't have been lost on many that the AFL - on the day where heartless capitalism was firmly annointed as the norm in their code - booted the Auskick kids off the ground at half time for a 'demonstration' of the modified nine-a-side game that they've invented to try and flog the sport to Concerned Of Campbelltown who is terrified that little Jimmy will have his ears torn off in a rugby scrum.

Unfortunately I missed most of this exciting exhibition due to being in the bathroom trying to take a whizz while being told off for it having no meaning by a guy in a comedy red and blue dreadlock wig. Hardly the sort who should be pointing figures at pointless fashion gestures I'd have thought.

Sadly if the kids sitting next to us were anything to go by, the payoff for cancelling the Little League was to buy three rows for the jilted children, load them up with sugar and tell them to go wild for the Giants. Good for them, I'd probably have done the same at that age if you'd offered me a free Cornetto, but somebody at the AFL should have sent a memo to the parents to make sure the kids - conveniently parked next to the TV cameras - didn't all turn up wearing Carlton and Collingwood hats which made it look even more contrived than it actually was.

The antics of the children were understandable enough, at least kids don't know what dignity is so they're more than happy to throw it away for a couple of choc-tops and a seat on the fence. Anything they got up to wasn't even half as contrived as the peanuts masquerading as the GWS cheersquad. Here's the ultimate in a picture telling a thousand words:

Not the guy at the front who is probably the only legitimate supporter the Giants have and is quite aware that his team is 70 points down. Upon closer inspection it might actually be Joel Macdonald.

Now, I am WELL aware of the irony of claiming others had forfeited their dignity when I was sitting on the other side of the ground in a Mexican wrestling mask but let's treat that like a political statement just to suit our own needs. Besides, you can be damn sure that if we'd been 70 points down there would have been no such shenanigans - let alone carting an entire street threatre dickhead patrol around to every Giants match in Melbourne.

I'm not against fun at the footy (for instance on Sunday I had plenty) and in my old age I've come to terms with the cheersquad as a concept but if that lot are in any way legitimate fans and not either a paid troupe of performing buffoons or idiots who follow other clubs and have just decided to turn up and be wacky due to the assumption that the Giants will have no other fans then I'm not here.

I was surprised at how many Giants fans were there. Not that there were many but I expected perhaps two on top of these fuckheads. Good for them, if they can live with the shame of switching sides for no good reason as a grown adult that's their business - just don't come around swinging champagne bottles at my place when 'you' win a flag. People who saw which way the wind was blowing and followed it shamelessly are one thing - and would make good politicians - is one thing, because in a way I can almost understand the assumption that they're an absolute cert to win a flag sooner rather than later but I refuse hide my disgust at that cheersquad.

Imagine deliberately leaving the house dressed like the Dalai Lama and then proceeding to dance around like a Hare Krishna on national television with your face exposed. You would have to be either self employed or unemployable to let yourself be seen either dressed like that. Not to mention that whether they're supposed to be Buddhists, Hare Krishnas or what it's the equivalent of turning up dressed like Mahatma Cote and doing jokes about eating a curry. Thank god the Giants didn't opt for black in the uniform or they might have turned up in blackface a'la Al Jolson.

I don't remember the nine Brisbane Bears fans in Victoria throwing inflatable bananas around the crowd while our fans were holding their banner up at the MCG in the late 80's, and at least the handful of Gold Coast fans who turned up when they almost rolled us last year were polite enough to follow tradition, act properly and stick to (team name) *clap* *clap* *clap* style chantage. This is just an insult to actual footy fans who bleed for their team both physically and mentally week in week out. Get serious about your team's plight or fuck off back to watching club rugby. I take it they have real cheersquad members who must feel the shame of being associated with these clowns - my respect for the whole club will rise tenfold if one of the real ones is pictured telling these tourists to piss off.

Anyway, enough hypocrisy from me over acting the goat - let's get back to the Carnival Of Hate. And what a magnificent carnival it was - the only downside being that none of the action in the crowd got the reception it deserved in the ground. How #1 PRICK didn't get the reception of the millenium is a mystery to me.

At least, having not yet watched the replay, it seems that the TV stations couldn't help themselves. I suspect they treated it the same way as when there's a soccer riot and the commentators fall over themselves to condemn the horror of it all while simultaneously pumping their fist in the air at the chance to run the footage 20 times plus reverse angles and slow motion.

It was marvellous. It annoyed commentators, it annoyed opposition fans, it even annoyed some of our own fans. The person it was intended to annoy remained stony faced throughout like the emotionless robot that he is, but we'll meet him again - and while you may very well be over it I am not. CUE DRAMATIC MUSIC.

2012 Allen Jakovich Medal votes
This is harder than it should be because there weren't really any standouts this time. If it was an Under 10's game - and parts of it certainly deserved to be - they'd write TEAM EFFORT and move on. But somebody has to get votes, and in a draw just conducted at Demonblog Towers the top four came out in the following order.

5 - Jack Watts
4 - Jared Rivers
3 - Tom McDonald
2 - Nathan Jones
1 - Matthew Bate

Bate just in front of Clark who was unlucky to have only played one and a half quarters, but what a one and a half quarters. Could almost have snuck in for a vote based on that alone. The only man ever to get a vote for playing half a game was when Bate got one at 186 because there really wasn't anyone else left.

Funnily enough when you look at the stats every touch Clark had which wasn't a score was a clanger. Does he have some kind of gourmet injury which still allows him to roost goals from 50m out on the boundary but not hit any other targets? If so give him a walking frame and put him in the square because we're rooted without.

Also unlucky in no particular order Dunn, Garland, Jamar, Macdonald, McKenzie, Nicholson, Sellar and Sylvia. Most others not terrible either.

With Clark not to feature again this season Jones extends his lead to just under five BOGs over the next contender Watts, and with the Jakovich all but in his keeping for the second time we now turn to his race to top Brock McLean's 47 vote record set in 2006. He's already got the sixth most votes ever in a season with just under half of it left so I dare say that the record is a formality at this point barring a fiasco.

Garland is officially suspended from the Seecamp now after three in a row up forward (not that he's scored any votes in it anyway..) and Rivers is one game away from being banned too despite having just tied for the lead. Clearly I never thought we'd have a coach who would put key position players in different spots and therefore never came up with a rule to cover what happens in the case of a defender getting votes for kicking goals. Jamar still winning the Stynes by default - whither the Stefan Martin Experience and another shock victory?

38 - Nathan Jones
19 - Mitch Clark
16 - Jack Watts
14 - Jeremy Howe
13 - James Magner (LEADER: Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year)
12 - Jordie McKenzie
10 - Jack Grimes, Jared Rivers (CO-LEADERS: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
9 - Tom McDonald
8 - Matthew Bate
5 - Clint Bartram, James Frawley, Sam Blease
4 - Jack Trengove, Brent Moloney
3 - Stefan Martin, Mark Jamar (LEADER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
1 - Rohan Bail, James Sellar

MFC Facebook Comment of the Week
I didn't bother making more than one about us winning so for the second week in a row there's no video to be had. So first enjoy one last look at some fantastic lying...

Then listen to this slice of genius (not mine sadly) and wonder why it didn't go #1 in the ARIA singles chart this week while you steel yourself for some world class nutterism.

Or not as the case may be, considering that as usual everyone is (relatively) happy about the win and that the MFC social media team have gone through and done a forensic sweep of stupid comments by opposition fans. There were a couple of people crying over the Carnival of Hate but that's Melbourne fans for you, always somebody ready to fit the stereotype of being a group of tremendous softcocks. It was to be expected I suppose, but what I never thought I'd see is this outrageous statement:


Nah, our fans never 'barrack'. They just sat there for the first eight weeks of the season stone silent. Hey everyone, listen to NAME DELETED we should all take absolutely no interest in the fortunes of the club we allegedly support and instead cavort around the stands like a bunch of escaped mental patients no matter what the score in order to support the game. I really hope people don't read this sort of stuff and associate all Melbourne fans with it.

Facebook are really missing the chance to fire things up by allowing a reply to function on these comments. It's no good trying to pot somebody 500 comments later, you just end up looking like an even bigger nutbag than you do for posting on there in the first place.

Next Week
Given that the Gabba is just about the only place outside of Victoria that we can win it's a shame that the Lions are not entirely terrible anymore. Not that they're much good either but certainly better than us - and have proved it once already this year.

Clark out is a disaster for the rest of the season, and in the short term I'm not sure how we're going to cover him effectively. He was the only reason we didn't win by 150 this week, and by sheer weight of numbers the job was finally done but Rivers and Garland aren't going to combine for seven every week - especially against good sides - and neither Howe or Jamar can kick straight enough any more to be match winners - so unless there's at least one dangerous aerial option down there for the full four quarters we'll be back to scoring 6.8.44 again if we're not careful.

Nobody really banged the door down to come back at Casey (though I must admit I only watched the first quarter and relied on second hand information for the rest) so why make any non-enforced changes at all? The NO CHANGE sign was ready until the Clark debacle was confirmed so instead I'll have the Experience who is no 60-a-year goalkicker but can at least cause some trouble in marking contests.

IN: Martin
OUT: Clark (inj)

Some are going to want to dump Moloney because he did nothing but you can't afford to machine gun senior players coming back into matches against real teams. At least he forces them to think about him.

I wouldn't be surprised if Lucas Cook got a run soon. He didn't do as much for the Scorpions as he had done in the previous two matches but after having proven that he exists he's got to be getting close to a "why not?" debut. I did absolutely love one lead he made in the quarter of Saturday's game that I watched. He botched the kick but it was a beautifully natural lead of the sort that we do about once a fortnight at the moment. Perhaps just one more in the twos to make sure and then in he comes in to either look silly against Richmond or lead us to a famous victory over Emo Maric

Oh and any danger Ricky Petterd before we all die of old age?

Was it worth it?
Yeah he got $6 mil.

1 comment:

  1. Two things.

    One. Still loving the obscure WWF references from 80s/90s. Thought the Fabulous Moolah might have got a mention but.

    Two. Highlight of the day was our French exchange student (in the country for a week, first ever AFL game) booing Scully all afternoon.


Crack the sads here... (to keep out nuffies, comments will show after approval by the Demonblog ARC)