Wednesday 11 September 2013

2013 Demonblog End of Year Spectacular

LIVE from the Self Harm Auditorium in the Thomas Embling Hospital for the Criminally Insane, it's the fifth annual Demonblog End Of Year Spectacular - celebrating everything there is to celebrate about the Melbourne Football Club and filling the other 59 minutes of the hour with pointless conspiracies and self-loathing.

Unfortunately the Opel Australia Demonblog Solid Brown Dancers are not available to perform this year due to their withdrawal of their major sponsor, so instead please be upstanding for the national anthem.

And now, would you please welcome the guy who watches it all through his fingers so you can spend more time in the bar - Adam 1.0.

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Demonblog's night of nights. A night where we look back at an often pointless year in review and wonder where it all went wrong. The votes have been counted, you already know who wins everything and everyone knows we're a smouldering wreck of a football side.

At first we were unable to secure a proper celebrity to host night's event, as they were all off MCing the end-of-season events of proper teams (or in the case of our 2010 glory era host have died), but then just as we were about to cancel the bulk order of rat meat in rancid water that you'll soon be served for dinner I had a phone call from Peter Jackson.

After he issued me with several orders to cease and or desist Peter informed me that he had arranged for a special guest to take charge, and so ladies and gentlemen I ask you to charge your glasses and replace your resigned bitterness and disgust for sports and/or life in general with good cheer as we welcome to the stage the NEW coach of the Melbourne Football Club, Mr. Paul Roos.

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, my name's Paul, I'm from Sydney and I'm here to help."

(*two hour long standing ovation*)

"Please, please, you're too kind. It's great to be here and to follow on from so many legends who have hosted this night in the past. If you need to catch up the 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions are all online and make fascinating reading if you've lost the will to live.

I deliberately avoided appearing at the MFC best and fairest because it was supposed to be a celebration of the season, but when I was asked to make myself available for Demonblog's cut-rate Taiwanese manufactured equivalent it was easy to accept as I knew full well that there would be nothing remotely approaching a celebration taking place.

Now, without further ado let's kick the night off with an award named for a legend which will tonight be presented by one of the icons of this club in the 1980's. When he wasn't getting suspended he was being traded to Richmond then suing them and he probably biffed me and most of my teammates at some point, ladies and gentlemen the man who originally lent his name to your Ruckman of the Year award, Mr. Steven "Strawbs" O'Dwyer.

2013 Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year

It was a tough year for ruckmen, they were usually battered from pillar to post, unable to locate anything approaching a league standard midfield to tap to, injured or unjustly being dropped to the Reserves for large swathes of the season. For these reasons this award was nearly relegated to the pre-show, like those technical awards at the Oscars that nobody really cares about.

However, just like the much maligned sound technicians of Hollywood and other people reduced to having their life's greatest accomplishments scroll down the bottom of the page as the host throws to a commercial break our ruckmen are artists in their field and deserve to be treated with dignity.

Congratulations also to Jake Spencer who wins a Blogger's Choice award for having the highest size to effort chasing and shepherding ratio on the list. Also congratulations to the Spencil on winning the unofficial Strawbs Choice trophy for getting suspended. It's not pretty reading, but without further ado your scoreboard is:

Final votes
5 - Jack Fitzpatrick, Max Gawn
2 - Mark Jamar, Jake Spencer
DQ - Mitch Clark, Chris Dawes, Cameron Pedersen

Honour Roll (pre-season starting price in brackets)
2005 - Jeff White
2006 - Jeff White (2)
2007 - Jeff White (3)
2008 - Paul Johnson
2009 - Mark Jamar ($3)
2010 - Mark Jamar (2) ($1.50 fav)
2011 - Stefan Martin ($30)
2012 - Stefan Martin (2) ($9)
2013 - Jack Fitzpatrick ($50) and Max Gawn ($45)

"Oh hi, Paul Roos here. Just having a casual kick in my Melbourne polo.

You know, there's something to be said for taking on a job where the previous incumbent has totally stuffed up. Whether that's due to bad luck or management it doesn't matter, you can't fail to look like a champ when you're mopping up a total disaster.

I wouldn't be unprofessional enough to pass comment on Mark Neeld's tenure as the coach of this great club, but from what I've heard he's been accused everything short of kidnapping players in the middle of the night and waterboarding them, so I'm hoping we're about to start an era that will remembered slightly more fondly than the Pinochet dictatorship.

On that note, what better time to pay tribute to the soldiers who have kept the Demons from even greater humiliation over the last few years. The men who have risked Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on a weekly basis to repel thousands of attacks - our defenders. To honour their contribution to keeping their teammates afloat, would you welcome a man that any of us would have been honoured to go into battle with - the most criminally underrated player of the 2000's and the 2008 winner of this very award, Mr. Matthew Whelan

2013 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year

Despite having our lowest percentage since pretty much the dawn of human civilisation how can you imagine a life without these gentlemen? Like the victims of a human wave attack there was only so many times they could defend us against relentless pressure before collapsing in a bloodied heap, but the men who have topped this list for the past few years will find themselves on every wall of honour possible at this club one day in the future.

On that note I give you your champion, and a number of runners-up who can hold their head high no matter what horrific crimes against humanity were carried out around them.

After a rocky start the winner bounced back to show just why he's one of the most pivotal pieces of our revival. He battled injury, but that didn't stop him from turning in a number of quality games to just pip the people's choice winner - Colin Garland. I've been instructed to tell Colin that everybody at Demonblog loves him dearly and that they're a bit sad they had too much integrity to rort the votes a bit to get him to win. Chin up Col, there's no shame in losing to the man who has dominated this contest since 2009.

Final votes
22 - James Frawley
20 - Colin Garland
18 - Dean Terlich
17 - Lynden Dunn
14 - Tom McDonald
13 - Jack Grimes
5 - Mitch Clisby
2 - Cameron Pedersen
0 - Tom Gillies, Joel Macdonald, James Sellar
DQ: Troy Davis, Luke Tapscott, Jack Watts

Honour Roll
2005 - Nathan Carroll and Ryan Ferguson (shared)
2006 - Jared Rivers
2007 - Paul Wheatley
2008 - Matthew Whelan
2009 - James Frawley ($22)
2010 - James Frawley (2) ($3.50)
2011 - James Frawley (3) ($4)
2012 - Jack Grimes ($7)
2013 - James Frawley (4) ($2.80)

2013 Year in Review - Part One

Pre-Season Preview
In which for the second straight year 13th seemed to be an unreasonably gloomy prediction.

NAB Cup Round 1 vs North Melbourne and Richmond
Casual Friday
An evening that began with promise, featured a Jesse Hogan goal that made knickers fly off everywhere a year in advance, and ended with disappointment and a walk-out in the middle of the match between two clubs I couldn't give a toss about.

Practice Match vs St Kilda
Hotter Than Hell II: Endless Summer
Where I was trapped in the carpark at Casey Fields after having sensibly decided to stand in roasting heat all day. Just in case you hadn't been convinced by the NAB Cup that we weren't very good we decided to lose the game in traditional Demon fashion - by playing a good first quarter then copping a million goals in a row during the second. Because we're an arsehole of a club and continued to be for the next six months.

Round 1 vs Port Adelaide
Cleanup in Aisle 666
A day in which all the hopes and dreams we'd unfairly built up over an otherwise crap pre-season were harpooned in amazing fashion. Nobody knew Port were any good at the time, but the effect on the club was roughly the same as that of opening the emergency door of a jet aeroplane at cruising altitude.

Round 2 vs Essendon
Minus five stars
A night which I steadfastly avoided scores while at a wedding and failed to read the body language of an Essendon supporting guest, only to come home and find out we were utter toilet to a record degree and that we might not make Round 23 with the same coach. It's a good thing I wasn't actually there or I may now be on remand for murder.

Round 3 vs West Coast
In which a promising first half was destroyed in a matter of minutes by a characteristically awful third term where we were absolutely pummelled. In stark contrast to the Port game nobody was certain yet that the Eagles were shit, so we pretended going in 10 points behind at the half actually meant something. Somewhere in the midst of this latest embarassment a great catchphrase which got me through the rest of the year was accidentally born.

Round 4 vs Greater Western Sydney
Where somehow Mark Neeld, despite not being responsible for one other positive stat from his time in charge, somehow ended up presiding over the greatest quarter in the club's history. It saved an early season push for his head, but looking back now as much fun as it was at the time in reality it was the equivalent of a grown adult beating up a defenceless child. By the time they'd grown up later in the season they would have revenge on their abuser.

Round 5 vs Brisbane
Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?
And how. Normal service rapidly resumed after half-time, and we were back in football jail again. For some brave souls who deserve a trophy, a cup and a medallion it represented their first of every interstate trip for the year. For the rest of us it was a good excuse to swear openly at the television.

Round 6 vs Carlton
Last Exit To Brunton Avenue
An afternoon on which our ineptitude and incompetence was laid bare, and which remains almost completely forgettable to me except for the fact that during the fourth quarter a bird skillfully evaded the MCG's anti-avian defence devices (were they even there at this point?) to unload one of the most offensive possible sprays on my hand. Still stayed to the end though, because I'm stupid.

Round 7 vs Gold Coast
Black Sunday
By this point we were fairly certain that Gold Coast weren't too bad, but it still didn't mean we had licence to go out and get porked to the tune of 10 goals. Poor old Chris Dawes must have wondered what he'd signed up for, running out for his first game in front of nobody and being tonked by the biggest collection of nobodies since.. well since us to be honest. We expected it would be the death of Neeld, but as it turns out he survived another month until we 'found' some money to chop him. Also gave us the comic sight of the guy waving the white flag, which in any other year would have him shot for cowardice - but in 2013 just seemed apt.

Round 8 vs Richmond
An orderly retreat
Neeld pulled himself back from the brink with an 'honourable loss' but little did he know that somewhere Peter Jackson was preparing handcuffs and a chainsaw to fix him up at the earliest available opportunity.

Round 9 vs Fremantle
Air Farce One
A Sunday where I ruined the day after my wedding (no really) watching us scrape the bottom of football's barrel yet again, this time on an iPad in a hotel room with my beloved frantically trying to organise an annulment in the other room. It wasn't as bad as that guy who used to get around in a homemade jumper and who cut short his wedding reception at Pizza Hut to go to the MCG, but it was close.

Round 10 vs Hawthorn
The long, dark tea-time of the soul (by @R3mm3t)
Where I excused myself from writing the review, but still watched from a hotel room in Broome, as Neeld again had one hand on his P45 when the margin tipped over 100 points only to ever so slightly recover. He probably thought this was a good thing, but he missed the tell-tale sign that something was wrong when he didn't see Jackson filling up a vat of acid.

Round 11 vs Collingwood
Women on the verge of a nervous breakdown (by @maesy5)
With my tour of regional Western Australia now finding me in Margaret River we took, for the first time, the female perspective of an MFC match. The results were strikingly similar to most other times, we briefly showed a glimpse of being competitive, it fell over at the slightest gust of wind and we were thrashed again. The coach trudged off the field one last time, not knowing the fate which was about to befall him...

We'll be back with the second half of the look back at season 2013 (yes we do have to) later.

For now, to present our next award please welcome to the stage a man who was reprimanded for abusive language, suspended two weeks for more language, three weeks for striking and four for throwing his mouthguard at an umpire before he'd even left the Under 19's and was subsequently punished by being sent to complete his career at Fitzroy - Mr. Wayne Lamb. 

2013 Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance

There's nothing more disappointing than a team which promises everything in the pre-season then fails to deliver, and as a man who played 21 games in his career for one draw on debut and 20 straight losses I can tell you something about disappointment.

Thankfully this is not a phenomenon that has affected Melbourne in recent years. They start badly, they don't get any better. Nobody is prosecuted under the Fair Trading Act for misrepresenting themselves. Nor do they usually win any pre-season matches and..

"And that's not going to change anytime soon"

Ha ha, thanks Roosy. We'll probably go back and delete all those references to people being told not to kick goals in NAB Cup matches fairly soon.

Anyway, as much as you know what you're going to get with the Demons there is still a class of man who still brings quality performances whether he's playing under Kanga Kricket rules at Etihad Stadium or in a forward pocket on Norfolk Island.

And this year the award for being the most dominant player in our pre-season goes to somebody who would have to build another wing on his house to fit all the awards he's won off us over the years if they weren't all completely fictional. It's Nathan Jones... 

Final votes
15 - Nathan Jones
9 - Jack Watts
8 - James Magner
7 - James Sellar
5 - Shannon Byrnes, David Rodan
4 - Jack Grimes, Jordie McKenzie
3 - Aaron Davey, Jesse Hogan, Mark Jamar, Dean Terlich, Jimmy Toumpas
2 - Jack Grimes, Josh Tynan
1 - Troy Davis, Lynden Dunn, Jeremy Howe 

Honour roll
2008 - Aaron Davey
2009 - Cameron Bruce
2010 - Brad Green
2011 - Colin Sylvia
2012 - Nathan Jones
2013 - Nathan Jones

MFC Facebook Comment of the Year

After a disappointing year I'm officially cancelling this feature in 2014. Remember the good times with all the intro videos in one handy playlist.

Dishonourable mention: for unnecessarily bringing race into it and still getting five 'likes'

5. Celebrity contributor

4. Poetry for the differently talented

3. Opposition supporter attempts gag. Fails to impress.

2. The $30,000 outburst. Did he ever get the footage? We can only hope so.

And finally, an unbeatable number 1 to put this feature to rest for good. Hand him the gas, because just like MFC Facebook Comment of the Week he's had enough.

Demonbracket II

In early 2012 we thieved a concept from 'the Americans' (and more precisely Grantland) who love putting random things into tournament structures (or 'brackets') if you will to match the national obsession for picking winners in some college basketball tournament that means absolutely nothing to me.

To inject some sort of interest into that otherwise tedious part of the off-season where the list is settled but there are no games on we began taking votes on the inaugural Demonbracket on 7 March 2012. Somehow, despite marquee preliminary round matchups like Jordan Gysberts vs Leigh Williams, it took off to a reasonable degree and the first tournament came to a conclusion with James Frawley defeating Nathan Jones to lift the title.

2013's edition, neatly timed to end the day before our first match in the seemingly now defunct NAB Cup, proved even more successful with up to 97 votes cast in the final (wow, 97 votes, let the good times roll we're practically Google) and was ultimately won in a tremendous boilover by Tom McDonald who rode the wave of a blockbuster social media campaign all the way to the final where he defeated Dreamboat Mitch Clark.

Congratulations to Tom on riding a wave of preferences that a dubious minor party running for the Senate would kill to get their hands on. We look forward to seeing what he's got in store for 'the internet' next season - and whether or not the other Dees players on Twitter will take the opportunity to do their own publicity and go for gold.

Honour roll
2012 - James Frawley d. Nathan Jones
2013 - Tom McDonald d. Mitch Clark

2013 Seedings
One major change in the 2014 bracket is that seedings will now be determined based on the previous winner and the Best and Fairest. This means that with many of the leadership group now forced to fend for themselves right from Round 1 (the preliminary round will remain the domain of rookies and new additions to our list) we're guaranteed marquee matchups from day one. Your seeds:

1. Tom McDonald
2. Nathan Jones
3. Colin Garland
4. Dean Terlich
5. Matt Jones
6. Colin Sylvia
7. Lynden Dunn
8. James Frawley

The dates for Demonbracket 2014 will be decided when the fixture comes out - but no doubt it will be taking place over about three weeks at some point between mid-January and the start of March. As for the voting system the big question is does it continue to run via Twitter and BigFooty or do we petition the club to somehow add it to the website or run a daily poll on Facebook (yeah right, like we'd let the Facebook people vote on anything). Your thoughts bracket fans?

Also whoever replaces Opel Australia as major sponsor had better be more forthcoming with a prize than they were. We want a novelty item which can be retrospectively awarded to Chip and the King of Sizzle, and which can be passed on to the next lucky winner. Maybe one of them will pocket a second title, maybe we'll see a non-defender triumph for the first time? There's only one way to find out and that's with your votes, next year.

2013 Year in Review - Part Two

Round 13 vs St Kilda
Return of the Human Centipede
With the blood of a coach still over all their hands Neil Craig's blue and red army put in a surprisingly reasonable performance by our standards. By usual first game under a new coach standards it was still wank, but at least we weren't being thrashed for once. It didn't seem to matter at the time that the Saints were a horrid side - it felt good not to be beaten senseless. Funnily enough Cameron Pedersen, the man who had less metaphorical blood on his hands than most of his teammates, was the one who played as if he'd dipped his hands in the carcass of a dog before entering the field of play.

Round 14 vs Footscray
Neil Craig: Our Mastermind
One blessed win, and a bloody enjoyable night out until halfway through the last quarter when all of our players remembered that they played for a shit team and decided to die in the arse - almost ruining an otherwise glorious night which featured Jack Watts coming of age as a forward and Puttin' On The Fitz bringing the house down with his goals. In the end we won, and ironically it was Watts who saved the day with his best effort inside defensive 50 all season. Sadly for him this would lead to Neil Craig throwing him down there every five seconds for the rest of the year.

Round 15 vs Sydney
Signs of life
Looking back they weren't really trying, and did have an injury about five seconds in, but let's not hold that against the game - because by our standards it was a ripper. Make no mistake we might have gained some confidence after the Footscray win, but the white flag of surrender was well and truly flying by this point of the year. If nothing else at least we got to see Fitz ascend to cult stardom status.

Round 16 vs Geelong
Theme from Cannibal Holocaust
An afternoon where despite kicking just four goals for the day - a mark that was to briefly stand as the lowest I'd ever seen us kick in person - we left fairly happy, albeit soaked from standing in the rain all day. Also the post that finally saw an opposition fan show up and take offence for probably the first time in seven years.

Round 17 vs Brisbane
More from the Pointless Manifesto Department
It seemed hard to come to grips with the fact that were still six matches to go after this, such was the obvious disdain for going on from most of our list. Oddly enough we were actually tipped by many people to win this game, yet somehow Brisbane (aided by Essendon's shenanigans) almost ended up  making the finals. Needless to say we were beaten comfortably, at least morally if not on the scoreboard.

Round 18 vs North Melbourne
A day where I walked from Demonblog Towers to Docklands in an attempt to raise awareness for the (now defunct) #chokeyourselfwithatie campaign only for the Demons to gob in my face by setting another record low score - this time in perfect conditions. I maintain that the sheer magnitude of this slaughter was as much down to the team being totally stuffed after two weeks in tough conditions rather than anything else. Sadly by this point Craig was being positively compared to Neeld for keeping the side together instead of making a million changes a week and kept the same side who could barely move. Result - fisting.

Round 19 vs Greater Western Sydney
Abandon ship
Where an 0-18 side started favourite against us, and we duly saluted as the gormless losers. It was tight for a while, but class and organisation won out over total anarchy in the end and another layer of dirt was shovelled over our coffin of shame. By this point I was convinced the club was going to fold.

Round 20 vs Gold Coast
National Lampoon's Queensland Vacation
Another dagger in advance for my marriage, where Mrs. Demonblog organised a lovely night in a hotel for my birthday only to discover that she'd have to watch me yelling at the TV all night. She went and had a bath for two hours and we have made it to the end of the season without a Decree Nisi being required.

Round 21 vs Fremantle
No one is innocent
A second Sex Pistols referring title for the season showed that anarchic nihilism was alive and well at the Towers. In a sick way I was still enjoying footy season, but realistically if we'd just conceded the last three games would anybody have actually noticed?

Round 22 vs Adelaide
Lifestyles Of The Broke And Irrelevant
In which we briefly threatened to ruin Adelaide's farewell to Football Park by doing something uncharacteristic by winning there, before coming to the party and allowing them to slaughter us. In the tradition of Beau Wilkes/Maister and Kent Kingsley we were put the sword by a forward who nobody will ever hear from again - all of this while the 'Saturday Arvo' idiots did Tom Berenger references.

Round 23 vs Footscray
The Call of the Void
Where it ended pretty much as it had started, a decent performance destroyed by one horrific lapse of 20 minutes where we were used as a pinata. Did we learn anything since the St Kilda game? It wouldn't seem so. At least by this point nobody cared other than to farewell Aaron Davey for at least making following this team interesting for a short while in the context of our entire lives.

Thank christ that's over, somebody burn ALL the tapes.

Now, to honour the best and brightest please welcome a man whose star burned brightly through the first half of that magnificent 1998 season, before the fickle finger of footballing fate poked him eye. Next thing he was winning flags at Williamstown, and even qualifies for a career highlights package on YouTube. Please be upstanding for Craig Smoker.

2013 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rising Star of the Year

Well, it's great to be back where it all started - if you ignore my stints at West Perth and the Eagles. Being a league footballer is a curious thing, many players have found themselves riding high in April only to be shot down in May - but at least unlike the porkies who complain about us on the internet we've done it, and even if it was only for a few bright shining moments we're better than them.

Sometimes a bright start leads to a great career, sometimes it ends abruptly. Whether that's because of injury, suspension or just the coaches hating your guts for some inexplicable bloody reason (James Magner stands up and walks out) on behalf of the owners of Every Day Is Like Sunday (trading as Demonblog) I'd like to salute everyone who has the guts and determination to do what most of the population can't.

But today we pay tribute to those who are on the rise, constantly running in a zig-zag pattern so fate can't train its sniper rifle on them. Some who took their time making it to the big game, with plenty of toil and struggle, some who were born into greatness. Friends, these are your rookies of the year.

Final votes
27 - Jack Viney
20 - Matt Jones
18 - Dean Terlich
5 - Mitch Clisby
2 - Jimmy Toumpas
1 - Dean Kent
DNP - Dominic Barry, Nathan Stark, Rory Taggert

Please note that along with those who haven't yet debuted, should he remain on the list in 2014 Troy Davis will be eligible for this award, having made his league debut within the last four matches of the season.

Honour roll
2005 - No players eligible.
2006 - Matthew Bate
2007 - Michael Newton
2008 - Cale Morton
2009 - Jack Grimes ($4 fav)
2010 - [REVOKED] ($5)
2011 - Jeremy Howe ($30)
2012 - Tom McDonald ($8) 
2013 - Jack Viney ($5)

"Sorry, I've just come out of a list management meeting. Give me a minute to compose myself."

(Paul has a sit in the corner for a few minutes and is heard to audibly mutter "what have I got myself into?" before Peter Jackson is seen consoling him and slipping a cheque into his pocket.)

"Alright, I'm starting to feel a bit better now. So it's time to present one final award for the evening - the biggest of them all. An award that makes the Brownlow Medal look like the equivalent of winning a meat tray at the Eltham RSL. Only three votes a game? Get some balls umpires. To present the award there is only one man worthy. Tonight, in his once a year trip to the big smoke we welcome back a man who I would hire as my senior assistant in a minute if he wasn't busy with his commitments to the tuna fishing industry. Please be upstanding to welcome the only and only Mr. Allen Jakovich."

2013 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year

Thanks everyone, that is a touching welcome. It's always good to come home again. As usual it's a great honour to have one of the most prestigious awards in football named after me.

It was a tough year for the voting panel to award votes, with many weeks where an optional preferential system would have seen just one or two (if that) handed out. But the integrity of the award remains intact, with votes handed out for every game since Round 1, 2005.
All that's left is for me to congratulate the 31 players who received votes this year, and to encourage the rest of you to strive hard to be more like them next year.

Ladies and gentlemen, your winner. For an unprecedented third time, the first man ever to defend the title, and on his way straight to the recently rebooted MFC Hall of Fame I give you Mr. Nathan Jones.

Final votes
48 - Nathan Jones
27 - Jack Viney
22 - James Frawley
20 - Colin Garland, Matt Jones, Colin Sylvia
18 - Jeremy Howe, Dean Terlich
17 - Lynden Dunn
14 - Tom McDonald, Jack Watts
13 - Jack Grimes
10 - Shannon Byrnes, Jordie McKenzie
8 - Aaron Davey
7 - Jack Trengove
6 - Michael Evans
5 - Mitch Clisby, Chris Dawes, Jack Fitzpatrick, Max Gawn, James Magner
2 - Rohan Bail, Mark Jamar, Cameron Pedersen, Jake Spencer, Jimmy Toumpas
1 - Mitch Clark, Dean Kent, Luke Tapscott
0 -  Sam Blease, Troy Davis, Tom Gillies, Neville Jetta, Joel Macdonald, Daniel Nicholson, David Rodan, James Sellar, James Strauss
DNP - Dominic Barry, Tom Couch, Nathan Stark, Rory Taggert, Josh Tynan

Note - the above table has been updated on a game-by-game recount of votes. Aaron Davey up from five to eight and Colin Sylvia down from 21 to 20. Next year I will either do intermediate recounts to make sure the table is correct or go back to school and learn how to count.

Honour roll

2005 - Travis Johnstone
2006 - Brock McLean
2007 - Nathan Jones
2008 - Cameron Bruce
2009 - Aaron Davey ($8)
2010 - Brad Green ($4)
2011 - Brent Moloney ($9)
2012 - Nathan Jones (2) ($3.50)
2013 - Nathan Jones (3) ($2)

"Hi, I'm Paul Roos and to close tonight's proceedings I've been joined by my good friends Peter Jackson and Glenn Bartlett.

Firstly congratulations to Nathan Jones, who has now taken the all-time lead in Demonblog votes (198) in front of Brad Green (182). We'd also like to pay tribute to Colin Sylvia who remains the only player to poll in every season, and of course to all 81 players who have registered votes since Round 1, 2005.

Now, I know some of you have been blind enough to follow coaches before - often straight off a cliff - but I ask you to give it one more go before every last Demon turns into a lifelong cynic of every decision who tries to sack coaches after Round 2.

There's an enormous mess to be cleaned up, and everyone's got to accept that it could take three years at a minimum to put in place conditions which even see us play finals - but stay the course because there’s no point building a side that busts its ringpiece to finish eighth one year (though it would be nice to be involved) then plummets back down the ladder again as a spent force.

Buy your membership, put money in where you can, advocate for the club and verbally abuse people who try to run us down. This is the dawn of a new era but we need all the support we can get, a great club is not built on the coach alone. As we embark on Rebuild III: Rebuild Harder cowards will flinch and traitors will sneer, but stick together and we'll keep the red (and blue) flag flying here. Thank you and goodnight, see you in trade week*"

(Roos exits the stage to the greatest scenes of joy and optimism since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Several people try to hold on to his helicopter as it takes off, before plummeting back to earth with a thud and then storming the membership tent with their credit card out)

* The Demonblog legal department would like to point out that the views contained above are not representative of any of the people portrayed, and that all comments are a simulation of what that person would say if I was totally making up to enliven what would otherwise be a drab post.

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