Wednesday 17 September 2014

2014 End of Year 'Spectacular'

Comrades, fellow sufferers and disaster tourists. I come to you with the unfortunate news that the 2014 End of Year Spectacular has been cancelled due to time restraints caused by the impending relocation of Demonblog Towers.

It's a pain in the neck because I'd already hired Schapelle Corby to broadcast live to the in-flight entertainment system of a China Southern Airlines flight over the disputed Senkaku Islands AND put a deposit down on the Solid Brown Dancers, but that's the way it goes.

And so then, for the austerity edition of the end of year wrap-up it's over to your host... err... me.

2014 Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance

I don't want to say that I forget what's been written about 12 minutes later but for the entire season I thought this award had been won by Nathan Jones. Apparently not. 

So congratulations then to 2011 Jeff Hilton medallist Jeremy Howe for lifting the award that fails to forsee that you'll spend the entire season in defence.

10 - Jeremy Howe
8 - Daniel Cross  
7 - Dom Tyson 
6 - Jay Kennedy-Harris
5 - Jack Trengove 
4 - Jimmy Toumpas, Bernie Vince
3 - Rohan Bail, Sam Blease, Lynden Dunn
2 - Jesse Hogan, Nathan Jones
1 - Jack Fitzpatrick, Alex Georgiou, Dean Kent

Previous winners
2008 - Aaron Davey 
2009 - Cameron Bruce 
2010 - Brad Green 
2011 - Colin Sylvia 
2012 - Nathan Jones 
2013 - Nathan Jones [2]

2014 Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year 

And now, the award for the best ruckman or player who is supposed to be a ruckman yet ends up playing elsewhere. That's how Fitzpatrick won it last year, but for 

For only the second time since pre-season odds were first offered in 2010 we've had a favourite take the title home. Congratulations to Mark Jamar for equalling Jeff White as the only three times winners of the award. Can he make it four in 2015, or will Maximum Gawn finally break through then celebrate by flying to Sydney and unloading his #31 with blackbean sauce over Turncoat Tom.

9 - Mark Jamar
4 - Max Gawn
3 - Jack Fitzpatrick
0 - Mitch Clark, Max King, Jake Spencer
DQ - Cameron Pedersen

Previous winners (note: this award was known as the Strawbs O'Dwyer until 2010)
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) ($12) 
2013 - Jack Fitzpatrick ($50) and Max Gawn ($45)

Demonbracket III

February, a month that bridges January and March like no other. And now better known for the business end of our last Demon standing knockout battle than for Valentine's Day. 

And so, after a brutal pre-season hit-out which started on 27 January with an all-recruit battle between Bernie Vince and Daniel Cross ended with a thrilling finale on 12 February. 

After two seasons where he made the final and semi final Jones finally scaled the mountain and added another award to a trophy cabinet that is starting to look like Scrooge McDuck's bank vault.

Congratulations to the Robbie Flower of our generation, and we look forward to seeing whether the people will make him the first ever two time champion next year.
Honour roll
2012 - James Frawley d. Nathan Jones
2013 - Tom McDonald d. Mitch Clark
2014 - Nathan Jones d. Jack Watts

Demonbracket IV
Look out for a preview and news on which players will be battling through the preliminary rounds in December, the first round draw in January and the kick-off on the tournament in early February depending on the date of our first pre-season game.

The seedings shall be as follows. As per last year the reigning champion is ranked #1 followed by the top seven players (or emergencies) in the best and fairest. Luckily both honours went to the same man this year so...

1 - Nathan Jones
2 - Dom Tyson
3 - Bernie Vince
4 - Lynden Dunn
5 - Daniel Cross
6 - Jeremy Howe
7 - Tom McDonald
8 - James Frawley
1st emergency - Neville Jetta
2nd emergency - Jack Watts
3rd emergency - Jack Viney

2014 Aaron Davey Medal for Goal of the Year 

How very MFC to introduce an award for the best goal in a season where we scored less of them than at any time since 1967, but who was to know this was how it was going to turn out? Anyway, it seemed like a reasonable idea at the time and I look forward to having many hundreds more contenders in following seasons.

And so for 21 weeks of the season they strutted their stuff like beauty pageant contestants, hoping that they would be the first man to take home an award named in honour of one of the great goalsneaks of our time.

In the end it was a rookie who got the nod, bucking the trend of most other recent first round MFC draft picks by ending the season with an award in his pocket rather than people chasing them down the street with a pitchfork.

But Christian Salem couldn't have done it alone. His iron nerved set shot in the dying minutes of the Essendon win lifted the fragile spirits of a nation, but he couldn't have done it without the help of his teammates. For a few brief weeks I even considered giving them all a share of the trophy too, but we don't have the budget to get 10 medals done.

Nevertheless let the record forever show that without:

  • Bernie Vince's tackle
  • Cameron Pedersen's matrix style manoeuvre to avoid being tackled
  • Nathan Jones' kick reaching James Frawley
  • Jordie McKenzie's gather, evade and handball
  • Frawley's quick handball back to him
  • Tom McDonald's run through the middle and handball
  • Jack Viney's handball
  • Daniel Cross' kick
  • ... and Chris Dawes telling Salem to hold up, go back and kick it
That this magic moment would never have happened and we'd have probably finished the season on an 11 game losing streak rather than 10. And that would be tragic. Congratulations to all involved and to our weekly nominees.

Round 1 - Bernie Vince
Round 2 - No nominee (idea not fully thought out yet obviously)
Round 3 - Matt Jones
Round 4 - Cameron Pedersen
Round 5 - Chris Dawes
Round 6 - Christian Salem
Round 7 - Jay Kennedy-Harris
Round 8 - Mark Jamar
Round 9 - Bernie Vince (2)
Round 11 - Dom Tyson
Round 12 - Nathan Jones
Round 13 - Christian Salem (2)
Round 14 - Bernie Vince (3)
Round 15 - Bernie Vince (4)
Round 16 - Dean Kent
Round 17 - Bernie Vince (5)
Round 18 - Sam Blease 
Round 19 - Nathan Jones
Round 20 - Aidan Riley
Round 21 - Jack Watts
Round 22 - Jack Fitzpatrick
Round 23 - Dean Kent (2)

2014 Year in review - part one

Round 1 vs St Kilda
In which we started as favourites against a popular tip for the wooden spoon, and you know how well that goes in Round 1. We'd probably have beaten them at any time after Round 4, but it was too bloody late by then because we didn't play them again. Could we please have one of Hawthorn or Sydney to open next season?

Round 2 vs West Coast
Mo Slurry, Mo Problems
In which we served up an old time 2013 style slopfest and got thrashed, leaving Paul Roos to wonder if it was worth the millions of dollars we were paying him to try and mould a lump of shite into something useable.

Round 3 vs Greater Western Sydney
Don't cry for me, I'm already dead
In which we returned to what would be the twin themes of the season, losing to our fellow shit clubs and 'almost' winning games. It was after this game that the first "OMG! TYSON AND SALEM FOR JOSH KELLY LOL AT THE DEES!" articles were written, and the Herald Sun also opted for the scare story that we were going to get picks 1, 2 and 3 in the draft once priority picks and Frawley compo had been thrown in.

In which we surprised the world by laying the boots into the Blues. During the fourth quarter a wedding party spontaneously turned up in the Ponsford Stand and started having photos taken. When Pedersen kicked the sealer I nearly leapt on the bride. The next day I would suffer a serious headache.

Round 5 vs Gold Coast
Love In The Time Of Ineptitude
In which being a 19th rate internet figure finally paid off as I was kindly invited into a Corporate Box that probably had more people in it than were in the stands outside.

In which we, the Melbourne fanbase, were still so horrifically battered and scarred from our experiences during 2012/13 that we watched our side kick a puny score and celebrated it as a victory because it was against a good team.

Round 7 vs Adelaide
In which we invited the "19th Man" to sit down, shut the fuck up and leave well before the final siren. Somebody left a comment suggesting they were trying to beat the traffic and much hilarity was had at this person's expense. Brenton Sanderson would later get the sack, and I'd like to think this game started the process.

Round 8 vs Footscray
Temporary respectability adjustment
In which hopes momentarily bubbled over into belief as we looked like doing something practically every other football team in the country has done recently and win two games in a row. Didn't happen, never did.

Round 9 vs Richmond
The sweet sound of mid-table mediocrity
In which we did the next big thing and won two games out of three, spoiling Richmond's tribute to Tom Hafey by taking advantage of their suicidal kicking on goal to register a popular victory.

Round 11 vs Port Adelaide
A Town Called Malice
In which we returned from a week spent comfortably sitting in the middle of the table and nearly topple the league leading Power. In Alice Springs. I'd like to say I've got no idea why, but I think we all know. There appeared to be a Subway in the ground, which is at least better than the slop (non-Kaiser division) that you're served up at games here.

2014 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year

With four time champion James Frawley disqualified due to spending most of the season at the other end of the ground it was up to Lynden Dunn to go the other way and deliver victory at 25-1.

He had given us a taste of his defensive work late in 2013, but in the first half of 2014 he came into his own - with a career best performance in the win over Essendon. Midway through the year he was in contention to win the overall award before failing to land any votes late, but he still had a fantastic year. In another positive his mum never rang SEN to call for any of our coaches to be shot. Which was nice.

22 - Lynden Dunn
17 - Tom McDonald
13 - Jeremy Howe
3 - Dean Terlich
2 - Colin Garland, Jack Grimes
0 - Clisby, Georgiou, Strauss, Tapscott
DQ - Cross, Frawley, Pedersen, Watts

Previous winners
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)

2014 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year

For a team which has highly valued recruits oozing out like the Ebola virus this award disappointed. We almost had no eligible players nominated for the first time since 2005, but at least then we had the twin excuses of a) young players not getting a look-in because we were good and b) good players taking up votes in front of the rookies who did get a run.

Though let these circumstances not detract from the achievement of Jay Kennedy-Harris, whose victory sets him on the path for a glorious MFC career like past winners Matthew Bate, Michael Newton and Cale Morton. Congratulations Jay, who only polled in one game but that was one more than any of his competitors.

Harmes, Hogan, Hunt and King remain eligible in 2015.

2 - Jay Kennedy-Harris
0 - Dom Barry, Alex Georgiou, James Harmes, Jesse Hogan, Jayden Hunt, Max King, Christian Salem

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

2014 Year in review - part two 

Round 12 vs Collingwood
Damn Yankees
In which we kicked the first goal within 30 seconds, then two more for the entire day. The Pies weren't much chop either, so nobody should have been surprised when they went tits up a few weeks later.

Round 13 vs Essendon
Rope a dope fiend
In which we put out a putrid performance until 10 minutes into the third quarter before the Bombers totally fell into a hole and allowed us to mount one of the great comebacks. In the last few minutes it looked as if we might have it cruelly snatched away from us before the goal of the year (see above) put us in front. Then we almost had it cruelly snatched away again in the last seconds. Somewhere in France a Mr. J Hird kicked his TV in. Also featured Dunn playing one of the great games in the defence.

Round 14 vs North Melbourne
Flattened like a tack
In which Bernie Vince racked up a possession count that made our eyes water but we still crashed back to earth against a side clearly better than us even without switching into second gear.

Round 15 vs Footscray
Life education
In which we mounted another furious comeback to snatch the lead but sadly didn't leave it until the last 20 seconds and therefore failed to hold on in the last quarter. We ended up losing to what should win goal of the year but won't.

Round 16 vs Fremantle
A return to traditional values
In which I missed most of the last quarter because I thought it was more prudent to hang out with my newborn child than watch Anthony Morabito slap us around.

Round 17 vs Geelong
5.6.36 - The number of the beast
In which I sat there for the whole first half cursing towards the heavens and shaking my fist only to turn around and realise that I had an entire corporate box full of Melbourne players behind me and that the Spencil had a direct view of my breakdown.

Round 18 vs Port Adelaide
Quicksand Incorporated
In which we nearly achieved the unthinkable, winning in Adelaide twice in a season. Alas it was not to be, and we bookended Port's lost few weeks by falling narrowly to them both times. Slamming Sam Blease returned for the first time all year and played what I thought was a reasonable enough game only to achieve the even rarer than the SA double feat of receiving zero best and fairest votes for his efforts.

Round 19 vs Brisbane Lions
Eat, sleep, prolong the streak
In which simmering angst over our performances in recent weeks exploded as the Docklands losing streak hit 19. We turned a nine point final term lead into a four goal loss in the space of 15 minutes, everyone went troppo and Roos unconvincingly blamed 2009's alleged tankfest for it.

Round 20 vs Hawthorn
Long walk meets short pier
In which Hawthorn's only interest was getting through the game without a raft of serious injuries, which they achieved quite nicely while simultaneously giving us a bit of a slap.

Round 21 vs Greater Western Sydney
Home is where the hatred is
In which we hit the 2014 version of rock bottom by letting a side who played three short for the second half canter away to a 10 goal victory while we scored three for the day. The only consolation was that $cully was at home counting his cash instead of joining in.

Round 22 vs West Coast
Young, Dumb and Full of Glum
In which we rather pointlessly travelled to Perth when we probably should just have conceded. What looked like it was heading for a prison yard shanking in the first quarter was eventually confined to merely the light beating that we're so used to now that we shrug off and get on with our lives.

Round 23 vs North Melbourne
The last act of defiance
In which North rested several players and we kicked our highest score of the season yet still lost comfortably. Chris Dawes endeared himself to all by getting himself meaninglessly suspended for Round 1 2015 by biffing somebody when there was nothing left to play for. Then we all went home.

2014 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year

And now, for the big one. The 10th anniversary edition of the most prestigious award in football. Unlike the Brownlow our players are eligible to compete, but unlike the Best and Fairest only five men per week can score a vote.

Like most awards it's traditionally been dominated by midfielders, and this year is no different with centremen, wingers and ruck-rovers taking up four of the first five spots.

Only one man can be king though, and for an unprecedented fourth time that man is the artist also known as 'Chunk', who turned back a determined challenge by first year Demon Dom Tyson and again risked a serious Jesse Hogan-esque back injury by carrying so many teammates.

He started $3.50 favourite, he saluted. He is your 2014 Allen Jakovich Medallist, Mr Nathan Jones.

And ladies and gentlemen, your final leaderboard. With the audited figures revealing I'd previously left one vote off Neville Jetta and assigned two to Rohan Bail that were meant to be for Dean Kent. And so here we are:

54 - Nathan Jones
42 - Dom Tyson
27 - Lynden Dunn
22 - Daniel Cross, Bernie Vince
21 - Neville Jetta
17 - Tom McDonald
16 - Chris Dawes, Jack Viney
13 - Jeremy Howe
12 - James Frawley
11 - Dean Kent
9 - Mark Jamar, Cameron Pedersen
7 - Matt Jones
6 - Jack Watts
5 - Aidan Riley
4 - Max Gawn
3 - Jack Fitzpatrick, Dean Terlich
2 - Rohan Bail, Colin Garland, Jack Grimes, Jay Kennedy-Harris
1 - Jordie McKenzie, Viv Michie, Jake Spencer

Previous winners
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)

For history buffs here's the running tally of all votes cast over the last 10 years, and on that nerdly note we reach the end of the ceremony.

What of the football? Well, it was a better year, but only in comparison to the rubbish which came before it. There's almost no other side in the last few years other than the expansion teams who would have accepted this as anything less than a disaster. At the time of writing Adelaide has just sacked a coach who had a record only marginally worse than Norm Smith so that makes us look a bit shambolic in comparison.

So we look towards 2015 knowing that things should continue to slowly improve. We should kick some decent scores, we should see some reasonable forward play again for the first time since the glory days of early Mitch Clark and god help us all we should actually win some matches.

Thanks again for your support this year, and for the last decade, I look forward to going into battle alongside/against you again next year.

Adam Mercado
Demonblog Towers VIII

Wednesday 10 September 2014

The #fistedforever files

Update: If you've got too much time on your hands why not enjoy this list in book form? It weighs a lot so when you get upset and throw the thing in the river it will make a satisfying noise.

Below is a list of all the bad luck, self-inflicted misfortune, embarrassing, frightening and depressing things that have happened to Melbourne fans since the last team we played a final. Opposition fans who are keen to tell us how badly they've got it are invited to print it out, put it up on the wall and attempt to reach even 50% of the same debacles.

A reminder before you keep reading - the management of is not responsible for any psychological trauma that you may suffer, I'm not saying I necessarily agree with the stuff that's in here but it has all aggrieved our fans at one time or another.

...and remember we are supposed to be watching football for fun.

Any additions (please don't get me sued, remove names if it's a truly scandalous allegation) welcome in the comments or via Twitter.

  • Go into the season touted as Victoria's big hope for the flag, nearly finish last
  • Brock McLean enters 2007 in career best form then breaks his foot in the first quarter of Round 1
  • The trumpeteer makes his debut
  • Byron Pickett chucks a sickie from being an emergency via SMS because he's too hungover to turn up
  • Coming back from five goals down in the last quarter against North after eight straight losses, briefly getting in front then losing in the last 30 seconds
  • Nine losses in a row to start the season after being considered a premiership contender before the start of the season
  • Our kick-ins
  • 3rd straight year of losing every game at Subiaco
  • 6th straight year of season of losing every game at Football Park
  • Club puts out a fake press release before Queen's Birthday from the 'Victorian Ski Slopes Authority' saying that Melbourne fans would be turned away from the ski-fields that week because "We usually get so many Melbourne supporters up here for the Queen’s Birthday weekend that no one else can find a decent piece of ski space, and you can't get a car park amongst all those Volvos and four wheel drives for love nor money."
  • Neale Daniher quits after being told he would have to apply for his own job
  • Losing Daniher's farewell game to a goal with 11 seconds left.
  • Ricky Petterd suffers serious, briefly life-threatening injury in on-field incident
  • Daniel Bell severely injured by Ben Johnson. Never the same again.
  • Carlton openly tanks in Round 22, nobody cares
  • Jace Bode
  • Colin Sylvia is ejected from Spearmint Rhino, leaving his mate Alan Didak to accept a lift with a bikie/future killer
  • Nobody tells Daniel Ward he's going to be delisted so he doesn't get chaired off the ground after the last game
  • Rumours swirl that Judd is going to announce he’s joining us on the Grand Final Footy Show. We all sit there waiting for any mention of this but get nothing.
  • After teasing for weeks that we were ‘on his shortlist’ and telling us about how he grew up a Melbourne fan Judd turns us down and joins Carlton instead.
  • No players in the 40 man All-Australian shortlist
  • Cale Morton over Dangerfield, Rioli etc..
  • Dean Bailey appointed as coach after answering an ad in the paper then presenting with a Powerpoint put together by his son
  • Chris Connolly appointed as GM Football Ops weeks after losing to Bailey in the race for the senior coaching job

  • CEO Steve Harris leaves in acrimonious circumstances
  • Paul McNamee selected as the replacement CEO over Geelong's Stuart Fox. McNamee sacked after 106 days, Fox goes to Hawthorn and presides over three premierships.
  • Introduction of the silver away jumper
  • Pre-season match against the Bulldogs in Bendigo called off halfway through the last quarter when the lighting fails. In the darkness a man with a microphone tells us it's over but Jason Akermanis was voted BOG.
  • TEAMelbourne
  • Jack Grimes on the long term injury list with a back injury before he'd even played one game
  • Lose Bailey’s first game by 104 points and his second by 95
  • Isaac Weetra
  • Club champions Jeff White and Adem Yze fall out of favour and spend time in the 2’s
  • David Neitz forced to retire due to injury and hardly any MFC fans turn up for his farewell
  • Paul McNamee sacked as CEO four months into the job
  • Jeff Kennett calls on us to move to the Gold Coast
  • Andrew Demetriou lends a hand as league CEO by labelling the Melboune 'brand' as "meaningless"
  • Our kick-ins
  • Russell Robertson blows his Achilles against St Kilda
  • Matthew Lloyd takes mark of the year and kicks eight against us
  • 116 point loss to Geelong after being 53-0 down at quarter time. Cats fans give a warm round of applause when our first score is one of their players fumbling a mark over the line.
  • Paul Gardner resigns as President with the club under a mountain of debt
  • Brock McLean donates $10k to Debt Demolition, then leaves in disgust two years later
  • Cameron Schwab hired as CEO despite previously chequered history at Melbourne and bad reviews from people connected to Fremantle
  • Schwab apparently buys an expensive desk
  • Thrashed in White and Yze’s last game
  • First wooden spoon since 1997
  • Dean Bailey says 'competitive' every week
  • 4th straight season of losing every game at Subiaco
  • 7th straight season of losing every game at Football Park
  • Nathan Carroll decks Ben Holland on Mad Monday, gets the sack
  • Powerpoint presentation by players (including his brother) fails to lure Robert Warnock to Melbourne
  • Major sponsorship with Mission Foods lost due to last minute demands by MFC, they go to the Bulldogs instead and remain a solid sponsor for years
  • No players in the 40 man All-Australian shortlist (2nd straight year)
  • Craig Cameron walks out and joins Richmond even though he has 12 months left on his contract (whether this is actually a bad thing is up to you to decide)

  • Holding a press conference to announce Watts getting #4
  • Rookie Sam Blease breaks his leg in a schoolyard kick around
  • Colin Sylvia being publicly mocked on radio by Neil Mitchell for not knowing who the current PM was during a membership telethon call. Neil conveniently let his membership lapse after a wooden spoon season.
  • Garland suffers mystery season ending injury in R1
  • Nathan Jones’ dad attacked by Collingwood fans outside the ground
  • John Meesen finally debuts after a year out with injury then gets injured again a few weeks later and never plays again
  • Cale Morton seemingly does a runner from a fight against Port Adelaide at Football Park
  • In front of a tiny MCG crowd we kick no goals until the third quarter and only four for the game against Adelaide
  • Fan spends time and money buying and framing 50’s premiership WEG posters signed by Ron Barassi for the purposes of raffling only to see one of them end up in an administrators house
  • Jack Watts debuts prematurely in an attempt to boost the Queen’s Birthday attendance
  • Pre QB speech by Nick McCallum where he was talking up the players who will be the pillar of our glorious premiership future and his voice cracked as he said Warnock.
  • Jim Stynes diagnosed with cancer
  • Our kick-ins
  • The assorted ‘dubious’ coaching moves in the Richmond game, leading to Jordan McMahon’s goal which was cheered by most of the Melbourne fans in the crowd
  • A member of the football department telling a sponsors meeting that we were tanking
  • Chris Connolly’s tanking “gag” which eventually backfired and formed a key part of the Tankquiry
  • Rohan Bail’s blows his quad 30 seconds into his debut, after being injured in the warm-up but still starting the game on the field.
  • Jake Spencer dropping the ball to the ground in the middle of his run-up to goal the same day
  • Only 13,000 people showing up for a win against Freo WITH the crowd having been boosted by a ‘Kick on the G’ promotion
  • Hot rumours before the Freo game that there would be a donated $1m prize under a seat at the ground presumably turned out to be false, but given that there were 87,000 seats free who knows?
  • The ACT government refusing to pay for us to play there anymore after only 7000 show up for game against Sydney
  • The Red and Blue Print
  • 5th straight season of losing every game at Subiaco
  • 8th straight season of losing every game at Football Park
  • 3rd straight season of losing every game at Docklands
  • 3rd straight season of losing every game to Hawthorn and North
  • Dean Bailey’s sporting a horrible Movember moustache on draft night despite the knowledge that he would be all over the media due to us having the first two picks
  • Picking all of Trengove/Scully/Tapscott/Gysberts in the top 25 and not making any trades for experienced players
  • Holding a function on draft night to celebrate having picks 1 and 2
  • A second straight wooden spoon
  • In our first year of alignment with Casey we withdraw almost all senior players from their finals team and they lose by 115 points
  • Turned down by Shaun Burgoyne after being ‘on his shortlist’
  • No players in the 40 man All-Australian shortlist (3rd straight year)
  • Neville Jetta’s mum recommends Lewis to recruiters and is roundly ignored
  • The great Watts vs NicNat debate
  • Brent Moloney takes a thinly veiled swipe at the departing Brock McLean in his Best and Fairest runners-up speech, only to walk out himself three years later

  • Liam Jurrah injures his shoulder in a pre-season game and misses14 weeks
  • This photo
  • Cale Morton injured in a pre-season game at Princes Park and is never the same again
  • Ex-Demon Nathan Carroll arrested in Perth for headbutting a bouncer and spitting blood at police
  • Ex-Demon Simon Buckley arrested for keying his ex-girlfriend’s car
  • Colin Sylvia suffers a broken jaw from a practice match cheapshot by a West Coast player. No action taken.
  • Lose by a point to Collingwood after Ricky Petterd drops the mark in the goalsquare at the end of his best ever game
  • Our kick-ins
  • Petterd suffers a season ending shoulder injury while in career best form. Never the same again.
  • Schwab borrows $140,000 from the club for a property transaction
  • Lost to West Coast who hadn't won at the MCG since 2007 and were 1-24 in their last 25 games outside of WA
  • Fined $15,000 for bringing Matthew Warnock into the side late against Carlton when he hadn't been named as an emergency
  • Opening day of operations at AAMI Park spoiled by players and staff being forced into lockdown due to reports of a mad bastard running around with a gun outside
  • Director Peter Szental passes away after a lengthy illness
  • Whiteboard Wednesday
  • Players forced to drive around in a car with "Yes I play for the Dees" painted down the side as 'punishment' from leadership group. Car is later sold on Ebay at a starting price of $500.
  • Brad Miller chooses to play with Casey instead of a farewell game with the Dees
  • Captain James McDonald forced out the door prematurely
  • Lynden Dunn's moustache
  • 6th straight season of losing every game at Subiaco
  • 9th straight season of losing every game at Football Park
  • 4th straight season of losing every game at Docklands
  • 3rd straight season of losing every game to Hawthorn and North
  • Expensive, long China trip which alienated some players
  • Teetotal Tom $cully allegedly leaves China trip early because Max Gawn threw up on him at the end of a drunken night out
  • Jurrah alleged to have developed drinking problem on China trip
  • MFC blows sponsorship extension with Kaspersky because we wanted more money at the last minute
  • MFC holds a function at the MCG to celebrate our indigenous players only for them to almost all leave within two years.
  • Picking Lucas Cook over Jack Darling
  • Rookie draftee Kelvin Lawrence almost leaves club immediately after arriving. Never plays a senior game anyway.
  • Austin Wonaeamirri's father passes away in car accident

  • Casey recruit Brendan Fevola despite Melbourne’s wishes
  • “Fev to Melbourne” speculation for the whole season
  • The flag raising ceremony before games and after wins being added to the trumpeter
  • Going five goals down against West Coast at quarter time with a record low number inside 50’s.
  • Jack Watts’ Energy Watch ad
  • Brent Moloney quits leadership group after unsubstantiated allegations about urinating on bar from a man who admitted he had to look Moloney up on Google Images to make sure it was him
  • In an interview Colin Garland tries to crack a gag about Jack Grimes becoming a mortician and says: "The only thing stiffer than the bodies would be Jack himself!" 
  • Our kick-ins
  • Jack Trengove suspended for three games for ‘sling tackle’ on Dangerfield
  • Players given 'please explain' by AFL for commenting about the Trengove decision on Twitter
  • Jamar comes off career best year then suffers a serious injury. Never the same again.
  • Jack Grimes' season ending foot injury. Never the same again
  • The Spencil does his knee in a VFL game.
  • The Andrews Report
  • Daniel Bell sues us
  • Juice Newton plays like Jonathan Brown for the first quarter of the game against North then never does anything ever again
  • Austin Wonaeamirri retires midway through the year
  • Schwab/Connolly vs Bailey feud
  • "Bruise free footy"
  • Mick Malthouse accuses Addam Maric of cheating live on the radio.
  • Get 76,000 to Queen’s Birthday (second highest non-finals crowd against Collingwood since 1971), then lose by 88
  • Players cancel a training run because they don’t feel like it
  • Go into a Friday night game against the struggling Bulldogs inside the top eight and lose by 10 goals
  • $cully disappears during win over Port in Darwin. Not seen during the singing of the song and never plays for us again due to ‘injury’
  • Casey losing to Geelong by 128 points. Fev seen leaning against a goalpost with the ball at the other end
  • Melbourne losing to Geelong by 186 immediately after
  • Moloney playing 186 despite being sick then not getting a touch
  • Claims that Bailey had to use his credit card to pay for the team to stay in Geelong the night before because the club wouldn’t pay for it
  • Bailey sacked and Schwab contract extended the day after 186 when the opposite was scheduled to happen
  • Garry Lyon’s alleged role in helping save Schwab and sack Bailey
  • Club makes a last gasp attempt to keep Scully by offering to sack Schwab
  • Sponsor signs behind removed before Bailey spoke at his post-sacking press conference
  • An extremely ill looking Jim Stynes dealing with the 186 fallout
  • Garry Lyon as Football Director
  • Sean Wight dies from lung cancer despite never having been a smoker
  • James Strauss suffers a horrific broken leg
  • Liam Jurrah breaks wrist, only plays one more game in his career
  • West Coast's McGinnity threatens to molest Ricky Petterd’s mum
  • Captain Brad Green starts as sub against Richmond
  • This guy
  • Todd Viney reverses position on interest in coaching job only to lose to bottom placed Port Adelaide in the last game, costing him any chance of getting the job
  • 7th straight season of losing every game at Subiaco
  • 5th straight season of losing every game at Docklands
  • 4th straight season of losing every game to Hawthorn and North
  • $cully messes us around all year then signs for GWS after ‘going to tour the facilities’
  • It's then revealed $cully's dad was already on a lucrative contract at the Giants. Turncoat Tom claims he didn't know.
  • Ex-Demon Scott Thompson wins Adelaide Best and Fairest
  • Hankook walks out as a sponsor, citing the current administration as their major issue
  • No players in the 40 man All-Australian shortlist (4th year out of five)
  • David Schwarz, Daniel Ward and Travis Johnstone are revealed to have had major gambling issues during their career
  • Coaching offers to Alastair Clarkson and Mick Malthouse who both turn us down
  • Coaching selection committee (Schwab, Lyon, McLardy) interview Ken Hinkley and he never hears from them again.
  • Not even getting a crack at Ross Lyon before he is spirited away to Fremantle during the night
  • In his first speech Neeld says he wants us to be "the toughest club to play against", a philosophy which holds up until roughly the end of the speech
  • Neeld sacks player welfare manager after joining the club
  • Sam Blease picked to run for Melbourne in the Grand Final Sprint then realises he had a family function on so couldn't turn up.
  • Colin Sylvia gets picked to play for Australia and is then dumped after drinking the night before the training session then doing a runner when his friend tipped their car over on Kings Way
  • MFC sued by a builder who claimed he was hit with a stray football during a training run
  • MFC announces they're supporting a team in China called the Tianjin Demons with jumpers and training gear. A $1.5 million oval is built (not from on our money surprisingly) only for it to be revealed in 2014 that the ground has fallen into disrepair and the Tianjin Demons never actually formed
  • The christmas video with naked players cavorting around in the shower covered only by placards that read 40,000

  • Members asked to avoid asking questions about 186 at the AGM
  • New coaching team tempt fate by publicly talking up the poor training standards of the past
  • Allegations that the coaches had set the players an off-season training regime and when they came back only two of them had completed it
  • Eddie McGuire threatens us with financial ramifications if we poach their recruiter
  • The blazers
  • The new logo
  • Collars and stars on jumper
  • Max Gawn does knee, misses entire season
  • Liam Jurrah arrested for machete attack in Northern Territory
  • Jurrah then fined $5000 by the club for drinking during recovery
  • Colin Sylvia suffers fractured back in final practice match
  • China Southern Airlines rumoured as sponsor, do not actually sign for another two years
  • Jim Stynes passes away
  • Mitch Clark’s Ultratune ad
  • Shock loss to Brisbane in Round 1, including Neeld spraying the players at half time when they were four points behind
  • Neeld's press conference later used in AFL media training as an example of how not to do it
  • Grant Thomas leaks story given to him by Jason Mifsud about an Aaron Davey complaint re: Neeld's treatment of indigenous players...
  • ... the next day Energy Watch sacked as sponsor after their founder posts racist Facebook messages. We had to put sticky tape over their logo but in the right sunlight you could see right through...
  • ... the next day after that Jordan Gysberts suffers a six week injury and Daniel Nicholson is fined for drinking while in injury rehab...
  • ... then we lost to West Coast by 108 points 
  • Playing without a major paying sponsor for the first few rounds of the season
  • Losing the Jim Stynes tribute game to the fellow struggler Bulldogs
  • Losing a fifth straight game after failing to score in the last quarter against St Kilda
  • Our kick-ins
  • Losing by 101 points to Sydney after scoring 5.7.37 with the otherwise hapless Tommy Walsh playing like John Coleman
  • The impact of Jeremy Howe’s mark of the year ruined by constant replays showing we were 80 points down at the time
  • Ex-Demon Daniel Hughes (the second one) pots us on Facebook
  • "Play Tom Couch" an even more popular Facebook whinge than "draft Fev" was a year earlier. Tom is finally picked, does nothing and is delisted the next year
  • FoxSports falling for the Carowhine Wilson Twitter account and reporting ‘breaking news’ that Neeld was about to be sacked
  • Allegations that a star player was asked to do extra boxing training, told the coach it was going well, then got rolled when the rang up the boxing instructor who revealed the player hadn't been to one extra session
  • "Members Information Night"/crisis meetings held. Mark Neeld's laptop revealed to have a folder on the desktop called TRUE BLOOD.
  • At the information night Neeld says there's no need for a club psychologist because we've got coaches the players can speak to
  • Leigh Williams goes down with viral encephalitis
  • Jamie Bennell does knee, never plays for us again.
  • Moloney feuds with Neeld
  • Hiring the Scotch College Marching Band to play before Queen’s Birthday
  • Morton’s kick on Queen’s Birthday
  • Mitch Clark injured after four first quarter goals against GWS, out for the rest of the season
  • Brock McLean’s comments launch the Tankquiry when he was only on because Nathan Jones pulled out
  • Dunn reported for staging in Round 21
  • Two time rising star nominee Jordan Gysberts only plays one match in 2012 then leaves, never to play another senior game
  • Score of 5.10.40 in Round 22
  • Brad Green allegedly forced out the door
  • Rivers leaves, takes a pot shot at Neeld after he goes
  • Free of MFC, Dean Bailey goes within seconds of a Grand Final in his first year with the Crows
  • Ex-Demon Scott Thompson wins Adelaide Best and Fairest for a second time
  • Not having a recruiter in the 2012 draft and allowing a board member to give advice on selections
  • Jimmy Toumpas over Ollie Wines
  • Schwab gets a three year contract extension
  • Watts vs Neeld feud
  • 13 straight losses at Subiaco
  • 14 straight losses at Docklands
  • 9 straight losses to Hawthorn
  • 10 straight losses to North
  • No players on the 40 man All-Australian shortlist (5th year out of 6)
  • Trading former #4 draft pick Cale Morton to West Coast for pick 88
  • Jurrah quits playing with Melbourne and moves to Adelaide
  • Howe, Frawley, Dunn, Rivers and Petterd pictured at the Boxing Day test making a giant beer snake, then getting into a fight with other patrons and being kicked out. All listed as Melbourne players in the press even though Rivers and Petterd had left.

  • Official 2013 calendar produced so early that about a quarter of the months featured players who had left. Stick that on your wall.
  • The Tankquiry finally wraps up, and while we’re found not guilty we get fined $500k fine anyway
  • Connolly and Bailey suspended for allegedly being involved in the non-tanking
  • Connolly then receives a two year contract extension in May only to be sacked in October
  • New recruiter Jason Taylor alleged to have been in a fight on an AIS tour of Europe.
  • Liam Jurrah arrested for drink driving and attacking a woman in the street
  • Three year contract for Pedersen, two years for Rodan and Byrnes
  • Brad Green dumped as captain after one year and senior players sacked from leadership group
  • Trengove made youngest captain in league history, has skinfold targets changed halfway through pre-season and injures his foot over-exerting himself to try and meet them
  • Jack Grimes changes to #31 to try and take some of the $cully curse off it
  • Constant and misleading references to the book/film Moneyball to describe our recruiting
  • The Harlem Shake
  • Sylvia allegedly pulls out time trial with ‘injury’ only for nothing to be found wrong with him
  • Being implicated in the Essendon drug scandal on the 7:30 Report
  • Round 1, 2013 – lose heavily to Port with fans going bananas over the race after an insipid thrashing. Man with red face becomes internet sensation. Neeld spazzes out at the press conference - not without some justification but it probably didn't help.
  • Our kick-ins
  • Neeld inviting the cameras in for his speech before Round 2 2013, only for it to be broadcast at half time when the team was being thrashed where it showed half the players struggling to remain interested
  • Losing by 148 to Essendon after a score of 5.6.36. Fans seen openly crying in stands
    • Schwab sacked and paid out despite having his contract extended for three years in August 2012
    • Lynden Dunn’s mum rings up SEN and says the coaches should be shot
    • Tom Gillies walks into the worst defence of all time, goes out with an average losing margin of +100 points
  • Constant talk about how we're great trainers
  • The beard growing contest
  • Neil Mitchell making a rare appearance as an MFC 'fan' to declare the club had a 'smell of death' about it
  • One of the Fidge brothers pots us on Facebook
  • Standing ovation for only being 10 points down the next week against West Coast, lost by 94 after conceding 11 goals in the third quarter
  • Being 19 points down at ¾ to GWS
  • Losing by 10 goals to Gold Coast in their first ever MCG win after having 106 missed tackles
  • Reason cited for the 106 missed tackles was that "Gold Coast were stronger"
  • Don McLardy resigns
  • 6.4.40 against Fremantle in a 90 point loss after kicking the first goal
    • Garland and Dunn attempt to mark the same ball with no Fremantle players in sight with James Sellar trying to spoil them
    • The phone lines to the coaching box break down, forcing Neeld to do the job from the bench with some bloke relaying stats on a mobile phone. Already seven goals down at the time so it makes no difference
  • Neeld expected to be sacked at a board meeting before Queen’s Birthday but surviving..
  • … only to be sacked the next week anyway after losing to Collingwood by 83 points on a score of 5.9.39
  • Racial abuse towards Neville Jetta on the MFC Facebook page
  • Brent Moloney makes snarky Instagram “karma is a bitch” post about Neeld getting the sack
  • Tim Harrington sacked
  • Lost $3.1m and had to receive a bailout financial package from the AFL
  • Rampant leaking from board members to the press
  • Three different board members resign
  • Geoff Freeman anointed as the next President then never heard from again
  • Jeff Kennett for President
  • Alan Stockdale leads Melbourne Matters to nowhere
  • Things getting so bad that Mike Brady wrote yet another Up There Cazaly knock off to 'pump us up'. The inspiring song is called "Get out and have a go"
  • Setting a world record for lowest inside 50 count as we kicked 4.6.30 against Geelong
  • Losing by 122 points to North in a ‘home’ game at Docklands where we only kicked 4.4.28
  • Giving GWS their only win of the season
  • Jesse Hogan ‘does knee’ for Casey, sparking panic before he’s passed fit
  • 10 straight losses against Hawthorn
  • 11 straight losses against North Melbourne
  • Streak of 16 straight losses at Football Park only ends because the place is shut down
  • 14 straight losses at Subiaco
  • 16 straight losses at Docklands
  • Rodan does his knee and kindly retires instead of staying around for the second year of his contract
  • Aaron Davey used as the sub seven times in his last sesaon
  • Colin Sylvia leaves as a free agent
  • After Stewart Dew is initially blocked by Sydney from becoming our coaching successor so he signs a long term deal with the Swans instead
  • 2 wins for the year, worst season since 1981
  • 9 game losing streak to end the year, would stretch to 12 into 2014
  • Percentage of 54.1% with an average score against of more than 120 points
  • The delisted Ricky Petterd plays finals for Richmond (and good luck to him)
  • Refused a priority pick
  • No players in the 40 man All-Australian shortlist (6th year out of 7)
  • Dean Bailey diagnosed with cancer
  • Nathan Carroll arrested for street violence, revealed he had been abusing alcohol and ‘other substances’
  • Ex-President Don McLardy falls victim to a Punters Club scam.

  • No Friday night games for the third straight year
  • James Magner writes a snarky tweet about Mark Neeld getting a job at an U18’s club. Quickly deleted.
  • Dean Bailey passes away
  • Mitch Clark retires during pre-season. Later makes a comeback with Geelong.
  • Jesse Hogan does back in meaningless NAB Cup game, misses entire season
  • Good VFL players abandon Casey, leaving our reserves to play in a largely uncompetitive team
  • Kicking 4.6.30 against West Coast in Round 2
  • Jack Trengove gets dropped then suffers a season ending injury
  • Jack Viney initially suspended for bump against Adelaide
  • Kicking 5.8.38 against Sydney in Round 6 and actually being happy about our performance
  • Melbourne Future Fund and Melbourne Business Community seemingly become defunct
  • Our kick-ins
  • Long-term MFC regular Sylvia turns out to be no more than a fringe player at Fremantle
  • Racial abuse towards Neville Jetta from a Western Bulldogs fan
  • President Bartlett says he wants us to be like the New York Yankees
  • Kicking 3.10.28 against Collingwood on Queens Birthday after getting the first goal within 30 seconds
  • Neale Daniher diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease
  • 4.10.34 against Fremantle
  • 5.3.36 against Geelong
  • Stefan Martin dominant in second half of year at Brisbane after being discarded for next to nothing by Melbourne
  • Frawley revealed to be an unrestricted free agent only because of the way we'd structured his contract
  • Rolling over and dying in the last quarter against Brisbane
  • Roos blames our current issues on tanking
  • Losing by 10 goals to GWS in their first ever MCG win despite them being three players down for the whole second half. Total score of 3.16.34.
  • Losing 10 in a row to end the year
  • Jurrah arrested for assault again
  • The 1948 premiership flag that we didn't even know was missing turns up on Ebay
  • Lowest average score since 1920
  • Failed to win a home game all year
  • Lowest top goalkicker tally since the 1960's
  • First time a team didn't kick 100 points in a game at least once in a year since the 1970s
  • Second worst total score ever in a 22 game season
  • First time we didn't have a player kick at least four goals in a game since 1919
  • 11 straight losses against Hawthorn
  • 13 straight losses against North Melbourne
  • 15 straight losses at Subiaco
  • 20 straight losses at Docklands – our worst run at any venue ever
  • Richmond wins one less game in a row than we have in three full seasons
  • Hawthorn fill in coach Brendan Bolton wins one more game in five weeks than we did all year
  • No Rising Star nominees in all of 2014
  • No players in the 40 man All-Australian shortlist (7th year out of 8)
  • Terlich/Georgiou Mad Monday fiasco
  • All back episodes of Whiteboard Wednesday still being on our YouTube channel years later
  • Frawley (presumably) teases us for a whole year then leaves
  • Mitch Clark’s ‘fresh start’, where he is linked to every club but us
  • Refused a priority pick again
Update 9.02pm: I wish I'd had the time to write a proper outro to this post instead of just leaving it hanging in a fashion which made it look like I'd pressed enter for the last time and checked myself into state care. It should be noted for the record that despite everything that has happened in the last few years I will never give up on this club, and if you're an MFC fan neither should you. 

With every bit of sincere respect to Fitzroy fans a similar list for them would be a blank page - because if your club is taken away you might be freed from the bad times, but you also miss out on the chance to ever see good times again. Stay stong, buy a membership and fight for your right to exercise a siege mentality while the experts behind the scenes plot out the changes that will one day give us what we crave - glorious mid-table mediocrity.