Sunday 27 December 2015

Demonbracket 2016 preview

It's nearly that time of the year, where we gather to decide the fans' choice for the #1 Demon. If you're joining us for the first time you might want to run through the four previous competitions to get an idea of what's going on...

Honour Roll

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

2014 - Nathan Jones d. Jack Watts
2015 - Nathan Jones d. Dom Tyson

This year's tournament will kick-off with the Preliminary Round starting Monday 1 February, and playing through to the exciting conclusion on Tuesday 16 February where the latest name will be engraved on the Demonbracket trophy.

Nathan Jones has enjoyed the championship feeling for almost 24 months, but this year faces his stiffest competition yet. The draw will be revealed live in a glittering ceremony starting 9am on Monday 25 January for those of you who are still sober enough from the previous day to operate an internet connected device by that point.

For now, please welcome competitors from all over the globe.

  • The voting criteria for each match-up is your personal business. It need not having anything to do with football if you don't want it to, but if you do then good luck to you. We won't ask questions, and nor should anyone else
  • Voting will be conducted between 7am and 7pm AEDST unless otherwise noted
  • You must cast a valid vote for every match that day or none of your votes on that day's matches will count (I'll try and remind you where possible by there are no guarantees).
  • You must pick a winner in every match up. No half votes, no "I can't split them". Yes you can, and you must.
  • Non-MFC fans are more than welcome to vote as long as you follow all other rules
  • Players are more than welcome to use social media, real media or paid advertising to promote themselves. Outright bribery, however, is not permitted.
  • Players may vote for themselves as long as they also vote in the other matchups of the day as per the above rules
  • In the event of a tie both players will advance to the next round, except in the case of the Grand Final where a replay will be held the following day.
  • If a match features three or more players and two or more tie for the most votes they will advance with all other players eliminated.
  • We reserve the right to refuse an excessive number of multiple votes from the same person using multiple accounts
  • Voting will once again be conducted in an open format (Twitter, BigFooty. and Facebook) to keep it interesting but if you're really keen on your privacy or have an intense hatred of social media you can email me daily via demonblogger AT
  • The decision of the Demonbracket Organising Committee is final. Unless somebody takes us to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lucerne.
  • Speaking of the Court of Arbitration we're not a signatory to WADA, so Jake Melksham remains eligible to compete in the bracket despite being banned for a year.
The stars

Last year's champion is automatically #1 seed, followed by the top seven surviving finishers in the 2015 Best and Fairest.

1. Nathan Jones

2. Bernie Vince
3. Jack Viney
4. Tom McDonald
5. Jesse Hogan
6. Colin Garland
7. Jeff Garlett
8. Lynden Dunn

Non-seeded players with a bye to Round 1

The 12 byes into the first round are awarded based on the most games played by the remaining combatants.

9. Jack Watts

10. Jack Grimes
11. Jack Trengove
12. Neville Jetta
13. Matt Jones
14. Chris Dawes
15. Max Gawn
16. Dom Tyson
17. Jake Spencer
18. Dean Kent
19. Cameron Pedersen
20. Dean Terlich

Players entered in the Preliminary Round (11 regular matches and one triple threat)

21. Christian Salem
22. Jay Kennedy-Harris
23. Angus Brayshaw
24. Heritier Lumumba
25. Viv Michie
26. Aaron vandenBerg
27. Ben Newton
28. Billy Stretch
29. Alex Neal-Bullen
30. James Harmes
31. Sam Frost
32. Oscar McDonald
33. Mitch White
34. Jayden Hunt
35. Max King
36. Christian Petracca
37. Jake Melksham
38. Ben Kennedy
39. Tomas Bugg
40. Clayton Oliver
41. Sam Weideman
42. Mitch King
43. Liam Hulett
44. Josh Wagner
45. Joel Smith

The Draw

Preliminary Round

Monday 1 February (7am to 1pm)

[1] vs
[2] vs
[3] vs

Monday 1 February (1pm to 7pm)

[4] vs
[5] vs
[6] vs

Tuesday 2 February (7am to 1pm)

[7] vs
[8] vs
[9] vs

Tuesday 2 February (1pm to 7pm)

[10] vs
[11] vs
[12] vs - vs 

Round 1

Wednesday 3 February

1. Nathan Jones vs

vs 8. Lynden Dunn

Thursday 4 February

5. Jesse Hogan vs

vs 4. Tom McDonald

Friday 5 February

3. Jack Viney vs

vs 6. Colin Garland

Monday 8 February

7. Jeff Garlett vs

vs 2. Bernie Vince

Round 2

Tuesday 9 February



Wednesday 10 February



Quarter Finals

Thursday 11 February



Friday 12 February



Semi Final

Monday 15 February




Tuesday 16 February


Thursday 26 November 2015

One is the loneliest number - Draft night 2015 reviewed

If you ignore every advance in the field of entertainment since the introduction of talking pictures there’s nothing more exciting than a sporting draft.
Other than a brief, farcical attempt by hapless Rugby Leaguists to join in the fun 25 years ago the AFL has stood alone as the only national sporting competition in this country willing to subject its best and brightest young talents to a grim, dystopian future at the lowliest of clubs.
The only country to ever successfully turn this modern day slave market into a televised extravaganza is the United States, and considering the number of junkets the AFL executive has been there on it’s no wonder they’ve got a sick obsession with introducing unnecessary razzle dazzle to the event. It’s a noble idea, after all Channel 7 has turned Brownlow night into a spectacular of frocks and baffled international singers collecting enormous paychecks, but to paraphrase “Dirty” Harry Callahan (who was drafted by the Brisbane Bears in 1988 but opted to stay at Norwood) “a league’s got to know its  limitations.”
Unlike the Brownlow there is no way to jazz up the National Draft. Gil McLachlan can storm through five rounds of voting without a breath to ensure there’s enough time for a Mick Molloy stand-up set (need not have bothered), but he can’t intervene to force sides into picking quicker so Fox Sports can introduce a Wolfmother concert can he? Perhaps as the defacto owner of GWS he can have a say there, but as we discovered last night even clubs bidding on their own academy players now causes the drafting process to grind to a halt as if there’s been a general strike by the Recruiters Union.
Considering how many clubs treat draft night as their grand final it seemed a shame they didn’t open with the national anthem, but as the night went on we discovered that any time saved during the coverage was to be savoured.
The draft is not entertainment television, and nor does it need to be. A decade ago I was driving to Albury on draft day with only radio coverage available, and was forced to slow down to dangerously low speeds on the highway to retain SEN’s signal long enough to hear the top 20 picks. Fortunately in those days they opened up at #1 and rifled through the next 70 names in about 45 minutes so we could get on with our lives instead of stretching proceedings out over 150 minutes for the sake of a handful of lunatics who felt that what the draft needed was more ‘drama’.
The first attempt at artificially injecting excitement to the process was when the first 10 selections were made behind closed doors before the players were introduced on stage in reverse order. This was supposed to add mystery about who would be picked first but foundered because a) the top 10 is the most predictable phase of the whole draft and b) most of the picks belonged to GWS and/or Gold Coast anyway.
Fortunately this idea was soon shelved in favour of having each of the top 10 draftees shaking hands and posing for pictures with the man who will be their senior coach for at least half of 2016. It almost seems unnecessary, after all as much as fans of some clubs would disagree it’s not like the kids are never going to be seen again, but I suppose you’d have to have the hardest heart to deny them that awkward moment of glory. And won’t that investment portfolio bestowed on Jacob Weitering for being picked first come in handy in a few years when he’s searching for change down the back of his couch?
This year the draftees were provided with the bonus of a live crowd of ticketholders hollering indecipherably as picks were made. It was a great introduction to being an AFL football, where you’re guaranteed to having red-faced, sweating lunatics hanging over the race yelling at you almost every week. Opposition fans will probably abuse them as well.
The main criticism of the night was that it took place at such glacial speed that there was enough spare time for a side draft where ranked everyone’s phantom draft. It’s not that they did everything wrong with the coverage, after all we tuned into to find out who our side was picking and got there eventually without the coverage crapping out after pick 11 once everyone had switched over to the golf.
One positive change was to give each side their own booth and hire multiple cameraman to cover them. A few years ago one poor bastard was dropped into the middle of 18 tables and expected to focus on the right group as picks were made. This worked fine in the genteel early stages of the draft, but when selections started to fly in at a rapid pace (remember when they flew in at a rapid pace? If last night was your first draft the answer is NO) he ended up spinning around like a whirling dervish trying to find the right shot and more often than not located the right table after they’d just finished their pick.
This year the coverage got through the first 10 picks without significant drama. It was like Fox Sports expected that 75% of the audience would tune out after pick 11. It was after the pomp and circumstance that things started to go south at a rapid rate, and the host broadcaster need not shoulder all the blame. The quick decline in the quality of viewing was the only thing rapid about the night, and from there the process plodded along so slowly that by the end of the first round only the keenest draft enthusiasts and Geelong fans were interested in bolters, shifters or smokies. The rest of us sat mouth agape in front of our TV enjoying the spectacle of a live broadcast going – as the kids would say – “tits up”.
On the main channel they wrapped things up and moved to cliché laden interviews after the first round, but where else would you have been but on the full coverage channel when the picks started dropping at the rate of one every three minutes and an increasingly hostile Gil was forced to continually rush on and off stage as if he was doing a beep test? Somewhere in all of this carnage Adelaide drafted somebody with the surname Doedee as if to deliberately ensure that the swimming pool scene from Caddyshack would live forever.
The league CEO started the night doing his best Elliot Goblet impersonation and gradually turned into Patrick Bateman as he realised that whenever a team passed he would have to walk up to the microphone and announce it. Several weeks ago the clubs were reported to have met for a test draft to make sure all the new bidding system equipment was working, but obviously nobody thought to hold a dress rehearsal of the television coverage while they were at it.
Who could have thought that after the top 10 was done it and each was going to add anything to proceedings to have Gil announce every single pick – and if he had to why couldn’t he just stay at the lectern instead of rushing on and office 45 times? The process of clubs locking in bids, sitting around for a few seconds twiddling with their laptop and G-Money walking on stage to read it was in no way an advance on the old method of a craggy recruiter self-consciously leaning over the microphone and reading out “Player number…” before moving onto the next selection. If you like endless shots of tables full of middle-aged men (and always men) looking longingly at computers this was the night for you.
At times it seemed that the coverage had been rigged to make picks seem like they were taking longer than they actually were. When Essendon trolled Steven Silvagni by forcing him to match their bid for his son in a storyline far more exciting than the last Liam Neeson movie it took 30 seconds for the match to be publicly acknowledged, and acted upon as if the process couldn’t have been wrapped up in five if it had been done verbally.
Other highlights included Gil’s eyes doing the full 360 at one point as he stood on stage in silence trying to work out whether he was supposed to be speaking or not, and the vigilante activities of Luke Beveridge who came dressed like somebody you’d avoid on public transport then proceeded to storm the stage for an announcement that the Bulldogs had drafted Josh Dunkley before it had even been confirmed that he was officially theirs. The microphone cut out on him, so he exited stage left only for Gil to come on and say exactly the same thing he had been trying to a few seconds earlier.
We should be thankful the draft is televised, but what would we have really missed out on if it had been done over the radio in the old way. Ross Lyon looking like he wanted to kill somebody, wondering why there was only three people left in the GWS booth by the end of the night and not a great deal else. For this we paid the price of the coverage being strung out for hours like footy’s equivalent of Apocalypse Now Redux. Fortunately rookie elevations were removed from the evening; otherwise the National Draft would have still been going on by the time the Pre-Season draft started.
It was slower than [insert a well-known freeway in your state or territory], but fantastic viewing for fans of desperately unhinged television. The 1983 Magarey Medal telecast still remains the gold standard for baffling coverage of a major Australian rules football event, but this battled hard to be considered a contender. Meanwhile while all of this was happening Turkey was shooting down a Russian fighter jet, leaving open the possibility that if World War III erupts we’ll be having televised drafts a lot more often. Let’s see how people like it when the armed forces stretch their version out to three hours.
The far from breakneck pace of the evening proved a winner for one group at least, people who enjoy exploiting the disinterest of teenagers in their own privacy to turn up social media ‘scandals’ involving draftees. Last night they had a win that in the new scandal bidding system was equivalent to pick 153.
For Melbourne fans the escape hatch opened after pick 46, but I was having such a good time that it felt compelling to see what happened next. We were eventually rewarded with a Richmond selecting a character called Oleg Markov who appears to be a cinema villain from 1913, and an improbably named fellow called Wylie Buzza who must have been recruited directly from the WWE. Sadly there was nothing for Didymus Blanket fans, but after missing out on Freddie Clutterbuck a few years ago I’m desperately hoping that he winds up at the Dees in the rookie draft. Can he play football? Does it matter?
The great survivors of the draft were Geelong, who by the time they were called on to have a pick had been trapped longer than those Chilean coal miners. If there was an explanation of why Chris Scott was replaced by Someone Else when their first selection was read out I missed it. Maybe he ducked out for a milkshake and didn’t make it back in time?
Geelong would ultimately use the last pick of the draft on somebody so obscure that Fox Sports didn’t have a photo of him handy, and without fanfare or an announcement of any sort it was over. The commentators (who had done a fantastic job padding through 90 minutes of landfill television) were left unnecessarily trying to keep things upbeat and interesting. It only became clear that the evening was over when Neil Balme was shown picking up his briefcase and going home.
I expect Gil didn’t come on and tell everyone to go home like Ferris Bueller because he was already quaffing a crate of champers at the after-party and trying to forget what he’d just been involved with.
It was a fitting ending to a night that was gloriously shambolic. You wouldn’t have it any other way would you? An AFL draft night without technical mishaps would be like a Formula One race where nobody crashes into a wall, it wouldn’t be right. We live in hope that the players our side picked will turn out to be good, but no matter how badly it goes you know we’ll be right back in the same place again next year hoping for a better result. We all live in hope of better drafting, but if the coverage could continue being presented as a comedy that would be ace thanks Gil.

Tuesday 3 November 2015

Demonbracket Classic 2015

Welcome to the 2015 Demonbracket Classic, your off-season distraction from fawning over draft previews and pretending to be interested in other things. As usual the main event with the 2016 list will be played in February, but for the second year in a row we keep you warmed up with an alternative fiesta of democracy.

Last season we looked at the greatest players of the modern era. This time we look further adrift to the 65 senior players who have appeared in the fewest

Some were unlucky, some shouldn't have been there in the first place, one turned out to be a hardened criminal but they've all played at least one AFL game which is more than you can say for me. They were the adequate, the forgettable, the occasionally regrettable, caretaker players of the MFC.

Now we need to find out which of these often lost players that the people prefer best.

Tournament rules
  • Vote on whatever criteria you see fit. If there's ever been a time that career success need not be a key factor in your decision this has to be it
  • Voting is to be exclusively conducted via TypeForm
  • TypeForm is mostly anonymous but don't be a nonce and vote 5000 times in what is otherwise a novelty competition
  • In the event of a draw both players will advance, except for the final where there will be a replay 
  • A short summary of the individual careers will be provided on the voting page, but for more in-depth research the links below point to their Demonwiki page
  • The decision of the committee (e.g. me) is final
  • May the most fondly remembered man win

Qualifying Round - 3 November (Top two qualify)
Craig Smoker - 36 (QUALIFIED)
Troy Longmuir - 34 (QUALIFIED)
Andy Goodwin - 33 (DID NOT QUALIFY)

Round 1 - 9 to 12 November
Gary Moorcroft d. Shane Burgmann 69-47
Alex Georgiou d. Michael Pickering 91-25
Craig Ellis d. Troy Davis 89-27
Tom Couch d. Wayne Henwood 80-36
Brian Stynes d. Michael Evans 70-46
Nick Carter d. Matthew Mahoney 62-54
Kyle Cheney d. Todd McHardy 93-23
Shane Valenti d. Stephen Wearne 101-15

Jace Bode d. Wayne Lamb 55-43
Ross Funcke d. Brad Campbell 85-13
Mark Bradly d. Michael Clark 52-46
Grant Williams d. Andrew Ford 63-35
Clay Sampson d. Michael Polley 78-20
Hayden Lamaro d. Scott Simister 55-43
Daniel Hughes d. Mitch Clark 75-23
Luke Ottens d. David Grant 77-21

Troy Longmuir d. Tom McNamara 87-19
Adrian Campbell d. Tom Gillies 65-41
Aidan Riley d. Nick Pesch 86-20
Rod Owen d. Martin Heppell 89-17
Craig Turley d. John Meesen 78-28
Shannon Motlop d. Stuart Cameron 82-24
Nick Smith d. Isaac Weetra 61-45
Trent Ormond-Allen d. Cameron Hunter 59-47

David Rodan d. Fabian Francis 92-23
Dom Barry d. Phil Egan 69-46
James Cook d. Luke Norman 80-35
Leigh Newton d. Steven Pitt 79-36
Brent Heaver d. Donald Cockatoo-Collins 68-47
Craig Smoker d. Mitch Clisby 81-34
David Cockatoo-Collins d. Josh Tynan 66-49
Robert Hickmott d. Trevor Spencer 72-43

Round 2 - Friday 13 November and Monday 16 November
Alex Georgiou d. Gary Moorcroft 79-24
Craig Ellis d. Tom Couch 67-36
Brian Stynes d. Nick Carter 78-25
Shane Valenti d. Kyle Cheney 61-42
Ross Funcke d. Jace Bode 67-36
Mark Bradly d. Grant Williams 64-39
Clay Sampson d. Hayden Lamaro 66-37
Daniel Hughes d. Luke Ottens 70-33

Troy Longmuir d. Adrian Campbell 95-16
Rod Owen d. Aidan Riley 62-49
Craig Turley d. Shannon Motlop 78-33
Nick Smith d. Trent Ormond-Allen 66-45
David Rodan d. Dom Barry 86-25
Leigh Newton d. James Cook 59-52
Craig Smoker d. Brent Heaver 69-42
David Cockatoo-Collins d. Robert Hickmott 61-50

Round 3 - Tuesday 17 November

Alex Georgiou d. Craig Ellis 69-43
Shane Valenti d. Brian Stynes 72-40
Ross Funcke d. Mark Bradly 70-42
Daniel Hughes d. Clay Sampson 62-50
Troy Longmuir d. Rod Owen 68-44
Craig Turley d. Nick Smith 59-53
Leigh Newton d. David Rodan 62-50
Craig Smoker d. David Cockatoo-Collins 84-28

Quarter Finals - Wednesday 18 November

Alex Georgiou d. Shane Valenti 58-42
Ross Funcke d. Daniel Hughes 61-39
Craig Turley d. Troy Longmuir 55-45
Craig Smoker d. Leigh Newton 56-44

Semi Final - Thursday 19 November

Ross Funcke d. Alex Georgiou 61-52
Craig Smoker d. Craig Turley 61-52

- Friday 20 November
Craig Smoker - 63
Ross Funcke - 49

Sunday 4 October 2015

Demonblog's 2015 End of Year 'Spectacular'

Yes! It's that time of year where we tie it all together. Where an entire year of self-indulgent posts are summarised in one last public wafflefest.

This was meant to be completed on the first weekend of the finals, then I got ill. Next I was going to be obscure and drop it one minute before the first bounce of the Grand Final but guess what - sick again. What is it with Hawthorn vs West Coast matches that gives me the immune system of an AIDS patient?

What an un-Australian scene it was to subvert Grand Final day traditions by going the vom on the morning of the game and not that night. Lucky it wasn't a draw yesterday or I'd have been dead by next weekend.

So, before they announce a rematch and I catch the deadly Ebola virus cross to football's night of nights (depending on your timezone). Guests from around the footballing world have congregated in the world famous Matthew Bate Ballroom on the scenic Falkland Islands to find out who has lifted several of Australian football's most prestigious awards. Hopefully by now you've forgotten the Round 23 post (or just didn't bother reading it to start with) so some of this may be a surprise to you.

Regrettably the Solid Brown Dancers have been rounded up by the Australian Border Force, so this year our entertainment will be provided by the 1989 Brisbane Bears cheersquad.

Now, if you got high and mighty about Kate Ceberano forgetting one word of the national anthem you'll definitely want to stand for this.

That's fantastic stuff Ricky, now let's meet tonight's host. Our first choice was Sam Blease, but then he threatened to sue us if we took the opportunity to accompany the post with pictures of him doing funny things, so we've had to crack in and have a crack elsewhere. Our talent spotters look long and hard for a suitable candidate, and we think we've found him. He's pale, he's depressed, he eats from cans, it's a man who has been in a bunker since late 2010.

"Good evening sports fans, and what a pleasure it is to be invited to rejoin society on this important evening.

As a Dees man from way back I was tremendously disappointed to have to go underground just as the Dees were threatening to explode like the civil unrest I was hoping to avoid.

The last time I saw natural daylight was just after the highly sought after Michael Voss - a future premiership coach you know - labelled the Demons the "next powerhouse" of the competition. It was a great time to be alive. What about young Scully and Trengove threatening to become superstars? And how funny was it when Carlton gave us pick 11 for Brock McLean and we turned it into two time Rising Star nominee Jordan Gysberts? How good was that.

So, which year did we win the flag? 2013 or 2014? How's the exciting Liam Jurrah doing these days? Who won a Brownlow first out of Moloney and Sylvia? And did either of them survive the after party? Why, somebody has helpfully provided a copy of History of the Melbourne Football Club 2011-2015. Talk amongst yourselves, I'm going to familiarise myself with what's happened over the last few years.

[Picks up some papers at the lectern and shuffles through them for a few minutes, with his face becoming increasingly longer]

"Oh, I see. Things didn't go exactly as expected. All the time when I was sustaining myself on recycled bodily emissions you were also eating shit sandwiches. Well bugger this, get on with the awards if you want I'm going back in the bunker. Call me when we finish in the top 12."

2015 Paul Prymke Plate for Pre-Season Performance

He came, he saw, Heretier managed to avoid using the MCG public address system to promote the works of Leon Trotsky. He also won an award at his first go, picking up 13 votes in a dominant practice match campaign.
The weight of winning the PPPfPSP seemed to hang over him during the season and he barely pocketed a vote once the real stuff started, but at least he's got the Prymke to comfort himself with while undergoing off-season ankle surgery.

13 - Heritier Lumumba
11 - Jeff Garlett
8 - Christian Salem
5 - Daniel Cross, Jesse Hogan
4 - Nathan Jones, Dom Tyson
3 - Aaron vandenBerg
2 - Sam Frost, Ben Newton,
1 - Dean Kent, Tom McDonald, Billy Stretch

Honour roll
2008 - Aaron Davey
2009 - Cameron Bruce
2010 - Brad Green
2011 - Colin Sylvia
2012 - Nathan Jones
2013 - Nathan Jones (2)
2014 - Jeremy Howe
2015 - Heritier Lumumba

2015 Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year

The future has arrived, and it's in the shape of a giraffe-like man who takes screaming contested marks and collects a more than reasonable number of possessions every week.

In a year where a 10 hitout per-game minimum was required to be eligible for the award we were spared another farce like 2013 where the late Jack Fitzpatrick won a share of the award solely for his performances as a forward.

There were no questions this time, it was a well deserved victory. It took Maximum 10 weeks to break into the side, but when he did he hit a rich vein of form that lasted until the day we had Todd Goldstein run him into the ground because nobody was interested in giving Jamar one last game to say goodbye (not like he's a life member or anything you heartless bastards) or bringing back The Spencil for anything more than a token appearance.

Max looked like he was about to die for the last month of the season, before a late reward for effort came in the form of GWS playing without a ruckman in Round 23, letting him dominate with minimal effort. We remain cautious about his future after so many injuries, but I'm cautiously optimistic that as we improve the midfield he's going to become one of the best ruckmen in the competition and win this award several times.

Speaking of multiple winners of the Stynes, we say farewell to three time champion Jamar. Other than 2010 he never had a massive impact on the rest of the competition, but he battled his heart out for years through some ordinary times so he's alright in my book. But he's no Maximum Gawn.

11 - Max Gawn
1 - Mark Jamar
1 - Jake Spencer
0 - Max King
DQ - Chris Dawes, Jack Fitzpatrick, Cameron Pedersen

Previous winners
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)
2014 - Mark Jamar (3) ($5)
2015 - Max Gawn (2) ($10)

Demonbracket IV

How could you not love this man? He's carried the club to such an unhealthy level over the last three years that he's had to have off-season neck surgery. That's commitment.

If Demonblog awards were anything but fictional Jones would have enough to fill his house with the things, and his second Demonbracket title (in his third final) was lifted at the end of a dominant campaign.

Toumpas and Jamar were dismissed comfortably in the first two rounds, before Gawn and Viney put up token resistance. He then took an eight vote win over future second year blues victim Dom Tyson in the final, and the title was his.

Can he do it again next year? With Hogan, Vince and Viney all coming into the picture plus social media superstars McDonald and Gawn threatening to sizzle things up at any minute it's going to be the most competitive field ever. Don't write him off yet, he's Demon royalty.

Honour Roll
2012 - James Frawley d. Nathan Jones
2013 - Tom McDonald d. Mitch Clark
2014 - Nathan Jones d. Jack Watts
2015 - Nathan Jones d. Dom Tyson

Demonbracket V
Exact dates for next year's competition will be determined when the 2016 fixture is released, but after the Best and Fairest we now know what order the players will be seeded in.

As is now tradition the previous year's winner goes in at #1 followed by the top seven surviving finishers in the Best and Fairest award. Which is great news for Hogan, whose low game tally would have otherwise seen him start in the preliminary round  - or more accurately, great news for the poor rookie he would have beaten the snot out of.

You'd have thought that not writing this post until now would provided some clarity on the status of Howe and Garland, but for now we'll have to assume they're still going to be there. If they both go that'll be a result for Angus Brayshaw who will also vault out of the qualifiers and into the first round proper. Elsewhere we'll have a better indicator of who will start in the first round and who'll have to battle through the qualifying rounds once the list is finalised.

Demonbracket V seeds
1 - Nathan Jones
2 - Bernie Vince
3 - Jack Viney
4 - Tom McDonald
5 - Jesse Hogan
6 - Colin Garland
7 - Jeff Garlett
8 - Jeremy Howe
1st emergency - Lynden Dunn
2nd emergency- Angus Brayshaw

Keep an eye on the usual channels for updates, but before that we've got another knockout tournament to get through...

Demonbracket Classic
As you would have no doubt read in any number of quality publications we're holding an off-season 64 player knockout competition between the players who debuted for the club after Round 1 1990 and played the least games. Dates for the tournament have now been confirmed.

Round 1 (32 games) - Monday 9, Tuesday 10, Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 November
Round 2 (16 games) - Friday 13 November and Monday 16 November
Round 3 (8 games) - Tuesday 17 November
Quarter Finals - Wednesday 18 November
Semi Finals - Thursday 19 November
Final - Friday 20 November

Last year the people voting Robert Flower their favourite legend, this time we're asking for your favourite obscurity. There will be no seedings and no obvious favourites, so anything could happen. Voting will once again be conducted using Typeform, so don't be a wanker and try and vote 150 times because the Australian Electoral Commission will be observing closely.

The current field is as following. There's 65 players in contention - which will become 66 if Viv Michie happens gets the Tijuana. At the moment (until I realise there's somebody else I've left out) a playoff battle royale will be necessary to decide which two 17 gamers qualify for the main draw. If required this will take place alongside the Monday 9 November first round games.

Your contenders:

17 games (3) - Craig Smoker, Andy Goodwin, Troy Longmuir
16 games (3) - Luke Norman, Michael Evans, Craig Turley
15 games (4) - Mitch Clark, Craig Ellis, Michael Pickering, Shane Valenti
14 games (1) - Kyle Cheney
13 games (4) - Clay Sampson, Leigh Newton, Ross Funcke, Aidan Riley
12 games (1) - Brent Heaver
10 games (1) - Shannon Motlop
9 games (4) - Donald Cockatoo-Collins, Jace Bode, David Rodan, Rod Owen
8 games (3) - Trent Ormond-Allen, Andrew Ford, Mitch Clisby
7 games (2) - David Grant, Alex Georgiou
6 games (1) - Mathew Mahoney
5 games (5) - Stephen Pitt, Todd McHardy, Stuart Cameron, Dom Barry, Michael Polley
4 games (7) - Nick Smith, Luke Ottens, Mark Bradly, Nick Pesch, Grant Williams, John Meesen, Tom McNamara
3 games (7) - Nick Carter, Trevor Spencer, James Cook, Scott Simister, Gary Moorcroft, Tom Couch, Stephen Wearne
2 games (13) - Hayden Lamaro, Cameron Hunter, David Cockatoo-Collins, Isaac Weetra, Martin Heppell, Troy Davis, Brian Stynes, Tom Gillies, Robert Hickmott, Josh Tynan, Wayne Lamb, Daniel Hughes, Adrian Campbell
1 game (6) - Brad Campbell, Phil Egan, Michael Clark, Shane Burgmann, Fabian Francis, Wayne Henwood

Good luck to everyone except Fabian Francis who later turned out to be a bit of a shit bloke in real life.

2015 Year in review - part one

Round 1 vs Gold Coast
On the same day a group of 'concerned' citizens (e.g. furious racists) took over the streets of Melbourne, the football club of the same name finally managed to open the season with a victory again. Highlights included Jack Viney tagging Gary Ablett into the ground (aided by Ablett being about 8% fit, though he still nearly won them the game) and all the new players having great games at the same time.

Round 2 vs Greater Western Sydney
Division Required
Where we went to Canberra hoping to win two games in a row for the first time since Kevin Rudd's first reign as PM but played more like Tony Abbott. We started extremely well then fell into a sinkhole of death which caused me to become extremely morose about the future of the club and later that night throw an object across my kitchen in despair.

Round 3 vs Adelaide
Malaise Forever
The intense deepression lasted all week, leading to match 'review' preamble where I had a massive sook about having to find something better to do on weekends in winter when the club goes tits up. At least I can get another shiftwork job without missing a game - because technically I'll be missing every game.

We did what we do best and lost, but spirits were temporarily lifted by the unsociable tagging job Bernie Vince did on Patrick Dangerfield. It was a masterclass of scrag, and yes thanks for asking I do now feel bad about hanging shit on Phil Walsh for his reaction.

Round 4 vs Richmond
Strange Rumblings on Brunton Avenue
Where we engaged in memorial pomp and ceremony and our first Friday night game in years at the same time, then gave the Tigers a much needed kick up the arse and a reminder to start playing football. They later made the finals and should probably send us some sort of greeting card as well as taking another one of our unwanted players in after we've delisted them. I suggest Riley so they too can enjoy the feeling that you get from having a player with a similar name to the man who directed 2015's Analmals.

Jesse Hogan was quite good too.

Round 5 vs Fremantle
You can't play Richmond every week
And in our case that's a good thing, because it seems that they're actually quite good as long as they're not playing against us or in the Elimination Final.

The exciting feeling of being 2-2 after the first month of the season (god we are losers) was set to come to a screaming halt with a nightmare three weeks of games against premiership contenders and to nobody's surprise the unbeaten Dockers polished us off while remaining in first gear. It was sadly proven that we weren't going to win the flag.

Round 6 vs Sydney
Bloods d. Crips
In which another contender took us to the cleaners but were kind enough to give up in the second half so we could at least make it respectable. It was sadly proven that we weren't going to finish in the top four. And plenty of our fans booed Adam Goodes then claimed it was because he's whacked Simon Godfrey once as if they aren't the same people who whop their chop (or lady chop) to highlight videos of Rod Grinter elbowing people in the face.

Round 7 vs Hawthorn
Absentee vote
Family drama meant having to miss one game in Victoria all year, and good god what a great day it was to be watching on the couch. Otherwise I'd have been ejected from the MCG and charged by Victoria Police with using indecent language in a public place. It's not that a thrashing at the hands of the two time defending premiers was unexpected but it was a sad reminder after avoiding beltings all 2014 (because every game was a score of 30-70) that we're still nowhere the best. Sadly it was proven that we weren't going to make the finals. Ever again.

Round 8 vs Western Bulldogs
Love Theme From Melbourne Football Club
What a story the Bulldogs were. Being the expert tipster I am they were predicted to finish last, yet in the final few weeks of the season they were flirting with the top four. Good on us for slapping some much needed sense into them like we usually do to Richmond.

After three weeks being tonked by the real premiership contenders we temporarily climbed out of the sludge pit. In the midst of all this we enjoyed the sight of Jack Fitzpatrick having his greatest moment by destroying million dollar man Tom Boyd. Later in the year they would wreak a terrible revenge on us, but for now it was thrilling even if you did incorrectly expect this result to cause the Dogs to plummet back to our level within a few weeks.

Round 9 vs Port Adelaide
Strange medicine in the desert
Our third interstate trip for the season, and the third time we'd opened up a lead then copped a thumping. We'd got 78 points in front and lost by 131 in total. What an arsehole of a club. In a bizarre adjunct to the Goodes war dance controversy Harry O did an unsuccessful cover version after kicking a rare goal.

Round 10 vs Collingwood
Fear of a Black and White Planet
Celebrities of grades between B and [not rated] went down a giant slide for charity. They'd have raised more money if it had seen them land in a vat of acid, but much good money was raised in the name of our last decent coach Neale Daniher. On-field we were shit, then temporarily we were Brisbane 2001-2002, then we were shit again, then we were ok again, then Jack Fitzpatrick did a weird tunnelball thing and ended both our chances of winning and his AFL career.

It didn't help that Travis Cloke decided to kick straight for the first and last time in his life. At least nobody's dad got king hit afterwards.

Round 11 vs St Kilda
Defensive Indifference
The night that our best chance at winning at the dreaded stadium for the first time since 2007 was destroyed by a moment of insanity where not one of our 250 coaches or matchday staff could tell the time and inform the entire team to defend. Then Jimmy Toumpas' greatest game ever (in a reasonably soft field) ended with a bastard of a bounce that landed in Leigh Montagna's arms and next thing you knew he was back in the Cale Morton Wing of the Home for Talent Players Who Have Been Melbourned.  

2015 Aaron Davey Medal for Goal of the Year 

It's that man Jones again. In a game otherwise dripping with slurry and sludge the captain provided a rare highlight in our limp late season loss to St Kilda will this top shelf finish.

Credit also to the much maligned Chris Dawes for the role he played, and to the St Kilda defender who had obviously read The Melbourne FC Guide To Kicking In before the match.

Round 1 - Dom Tyson
Round 2 - Mark Jamar (the actual only thing he got from his association with Melbourne this year other than the cold shoulder)
Round 3 - Ben Newton
Round 4 - Jesse Hogan
Round 5 - Jeff Garlett
Round 6 - Jeff Garlett (2)
Round 7 - Jeff Garlett (3)
Round 8 - Jeff Garlett (4)
Round 9 - Heritier Lumumba
Round 10 - Jeff Garlett (5)
Round 11 - Tom McDonald
Round 12 - Jeff Garlett (6)
Round 14 - Jack Viney
Round 15 - Jeff Garlett (7)
Round 16 - Tom McDonald (2)
Round 17 - Nathan Jones
Round 18 - Jesse Hogan (2)
Round 19 - Angus Brayshaw
Round 20 - Chris Dawes
Round 21 - Chris Dawes (2)
Round 22 - Jack Watts
Round 23 - Jesse Hogan (3)

Honour Roll
2014 - Christian Salem
2015 - Nathan Jones

Most nominations 2014-2015
7 - Jeff Garlett
5 - Bernie Vince
3 - Chris Dawes, Jesse Hogan, Nathan Jones

2015 Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year

Backmen, don't you love them? Well not if you're handing out the votes in a media award or the Brownlow.

We're always here for the backmen, but in 2015 if your name wasn't Tom McSizzle then get to the back of the line. Defenders are awesome but not so much that like midfielders we're ever likely to have multiple Jakovich contenders from the same position.

This season there weren't even multiple contenders in the Seecamp, because McDonald shot out to an early lead and was never troubled again. Early in the season he was even comfortably leading the overall competition, before Travis Cloke temporarily sent him off the rails.

Unlike Nathan Carroll's half season of glory in 2006 Tom recovered (and presumably won't eventually have to front the County Court later) and nearly nicked the overall title again with a surprise end of season run of form. Instead he had to settle for winning the first of what he hopes will be many Seecamps.

Speaking of backmen it would be remiss not to take this opportunity to discuss the fact that four time winner, and inaugural Demonbracket champion, James Frawley is now a premiership player. I've got no personal animosity towards the guy because he did plenty of years in the trenches - and we were well compensated for his departure - but it still hurts. My issue is mainly with the team, if he'd inexplicably gone to West Coast and made the Grand Final I would have been 100% behind him, but it just seems rude that you can trot off to the two time defending premiers and pinch a flag straight away.

He had legitimate refugee status but for my own sanity I'd have at least liked him to spend a couple of years on football's equivalent of Manus Island before achieving success. But, bad luck to me he's got more flags than the Dees since 1965 and like $cully with his millions of dollars is a winner while we're happy just to out of the bottom four.

40 - Tom McDonald
5 - Colin Garland
4 - Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta
2 - Jack Grimes, Jeremy Howe, Heritier Lumumba
0 - Sam Frost, Oscar McDonald, Dean Terlich
DQ - Cameron Pedersen, Jack 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 - Lynden Dunn ($25)
2015 - Tom McDonald ($14)

2015 Jeff Hilton Medal for Rookie of the Year

After the absolute disaster that this award turned out to be in 2014 it was refreshing to have some solid contenders again.

Given that Hogan started as a red hot favourite it was no surprise to see him lift the medal (and I'm sure it will look lovely on his mantelpiece in whichever suburb Fremantle players on $10m contracts live), but Brayshaw didn't waste his one shot at rookie glory and pushed Hulk for most of the season.

Aaron vandenBerg also put in a strong first year campaign and polled heavily, but we'd been waiting two full years to see Hogan in action and he didn't disappoint. He monstered Alex Rance, he took contested marks at a rapid rate, he was quite accurate with his set shots despite a kooky kicking style. He was everything you wanted him to be an more. I still shat myself whenever he changed directions because I'm waiting for something horrendously Melbournesque to happen.

Administrative note - Mitch White and Oscar McDonald remain eligible for next year's award due to making their debuts in the last month of the season.

25 - Jesse Hogan
17 - Angus Brayshaw
10 - Aaron vandenBerg
3 - James Harmes
1 - Alex Neal-Bullen
0 - Jayden Hunt, Max King, Oscar McDonald, Christian Petracca, Billy Stretch, Mitch White

Previous winners
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)
2014 - Jay Kennedy-Harris ($15)
2015 - Jesse Hogan ($4.50)

2015 Year in review - part two 

Round 12 vs Geelong
Road Warriors
In the midst of all the depressing incidents we've been through over the last few years this was something memorable. Standing in the very spot where I watched the 31 goal loss which practically killed off the club, I saw our best win since 2011. Geelong weren't much this year, right in the middle of a tough rebuilding phase you know, but the task of going to Kardinia Park seemed even more pointless when Hogan was a late withdrawal.

Then Max Gawn turned up and started taking screamers over everyone, Brayshaw pulled off the epic smother and when challenged in the last quarter we stayed strong instead of crumbling like a house of cards. It was magnificent, and given that we can't win two games in a row having a bye the next week was the closest thing.

Round 14 vs West Coast
Unity and Struggle
Nobody was really feeling it in the week of the Phil Walsh incident, and we got nothing out of this game other than $600k from the Northern Territory government just for showing up. Nobody really expected to beat the Eagles, but it was such a flat performance that you did start to wonder whether we were going to have another shithouse second half of the season like 2014. Collars were nervously adjusted at the idea of not winning another game for the year.

Round 15 vs Essendon
Down with this sort of thing
Suspicions of a second half of the season fiasco were heightened when we contrived to give James Hird the last highlight of his thwarted coaching career. Essendon had lost by 110 points the week before, and with Gawn dominating the ruck everything was set up in our favour. Except our goalkicking at important moments was a handy preview of West Coast in the Grand Final and down the other end Joe Daniher had his own Travis Cloke moment by deciding to kick straight for the first and last time in his life. The next week he would practically miss from the goalsquare with his first shot on goal. Of course.

Round 16 vs Brisbane
It's lonely at the top (of the bottom four)
... or the day where we learned to win ugly again. Finally for the first time in years we had a win that wasn't Event TV. In fact it was so sludgy that many of our fans were actually disappointed at how we played instead of doing cartwheels down Brunton Avenue. Proof undeniable that expectations have risen and people aren't just happy with wins anymore they want quality. Not me, I still treat every victory like it's made of gold.

Round 17 vs St Kilda
Throwing deckchairs off the Titanic
After a much needed but lacklustre victory over the last placed Lions the week before we had another top chance to get that elusive second win in a row and totally stuffed it up. At least this time it wasn't due to faulty timekeeping, rather being second rate all day (other than Jones' award winning goal). It was a much deserved loss. This was the point where a noticeable shift against the Roos era rippled through our supporters, which would ultimately come to a head with the 'veil of negativity' debacle.

Round 18 vs Collingwood
Take off your pants and jacket
Then just as everyone was ready to Express Post their membership card to Snowtown we beat Collingwood. Not that they were much chop this year but considering how badly we'd played against rock bottom shitbox sides for the previous three weeks it seemed unlikely that we'd able to do over a marginally better, lower midcard team playing to keep their finals hopes alive but there you go. Like Geelong I'm still not sure how much of it was to do with them playing terribly, but the way we ran away in the last quarter when half the team looked like they were about to collapse at the end of the third demonstrated that it was a deserved victory.

Round 19 vs North Melbourne
Tales from the Script
After the glory of the Collingwood win normal service quickly resumed. Our month of horrible first quarters started with a vengeance, including the farcical scene of full-forward Jack Watts somehow finding himself kicking out then belting it straight at the smallest man on the field and conceding a goal. With Gawn thrown to the wolves and expected to take Todd Goldstein on single handedly the poor bastard was about to die by the end of the day. Somehow despite all this we got back to within a kick in the third quarter, and were well in it early in the last before hitting the wall in spectacular fashion.

Round 20 vs Western Bulldogs
Complaining to a tree
Just your traditional Docklands Disaster. With most of our side looking like they were well over 2015 they collided with a Footscray side who were at the peak of their powers and results were disappointing. We were 70 points down in the second quarter, it momentarily got better when we inexplicably held them goalless in the third quarter, then we nearly lost by 100 anyway. Toxic...

Round 21 vs Carlton
Instant asset write-offs
... but at least there was no way we could lose this game was there? During the week the Blues had learned Lachie Henderson was going to leave at the end of the year and told him to do one, they had late changes, last place was still on offer if they were keen on it and they'd been playing like shit. Sadly our morale had been squashed flat by this point and once we let them get off to a good start they went on with it. We launched one of those bullshit fruitless comebacks and got close enough to do damage during the last quarter, but alas the end of season drizzling shits were upon us and Carlton proved to certain other clubs that tanking is optional.

Round 22 vs Fremantle
The Rainbow Connection Meets The Reality Bus Uptown
In a week where everyone verballed Paul Roos and decided that he'd said the club was shit because of the fans we travelled to Perth for the great Nathan Jones' 200th game. It didn't go particularly well, Jones got injured, we played like shite, and Fremantle trotted around in 1st gear to confirm themselves as minor premiers. Not that it did them any good in the end, they ended up doing the same thing as us on Grand Final day.

Time is rapidly running out for us to win a game at Subiaco before they bulldoze it. What shame if it joins Football Park as a ground where our long losing streak is only halted because it gets shut down.

Round 23 vs Greater Western Sydney
Lifting the Veil
Where the dreaded Docklands Death Match finally ended, but nobody was there to see it. A highly agreeable end of season slopfest where half the players are only interested in self preservation so they can maximise their trade value in a few weeks and/or stay healthy to get neck deep on the piss for Mad Monday. Speaking of Mad Monday did ours get any publicity this year? After the Terlich/Georgiou incident in 2014 it's probably a good thing if it was held in secret.

2015 Allen Jakovich Medal for Player of the Year

I was in a work training course the day it was announced that nobody else was going to make a serious bid for Jack Viney and that we'd get him for next to nothing. Stuff training, I was on the phone all day refreshing my Twitter feed then had to leave the room and do a little dance when it became official.

He came in at the wrong time, making his debut during the awful 2013 season but stamped himself as a future star by taking home that year's Hilton. Since then he's battled injury and dodgy suspensions but has rapidly become one of our most useful players, and unlike some others you can see that he quite clearly cares about the club and wants to be one of the men who drag it up off its knees.

His dad never got the opportunity to take the Jako home, because if I knew what 'blogging' was in 1999 or earlier I'd be too rich to bother with trivial matters such as football, but this year Junior made sure the family name would appear on our honour roll.

Tom McDonald and Bernie Vince battled hard, taking the contest all the way to the last game of the season but Jack did enough. He stood tall in a second half of the year where others lost interest and remained mighty until the last to lift his first championship. He's the longest priced winner since odds were introduced in 2009, but nobody can argue that it was well deserved. Congratulations Jack.

44 - Jack Viney
40 - Tom McDonald, Bernie Vince
30 - Nathan Jones
25 - Jesse Hogan
17 - Angus Brayshaw, Jack Watts
16 - Daniel Cross
11 - Max Gawn (WINNER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year), Cameron Pedersen
10 - Jeff Garlett, Aaron vandenBerg
7 - Chris Dawes, Dom Tyson
6 - Viv Michie, Christian Salem
5 - Colin Garland, Ben Newton
4 - Lynden Dunn, Neville Jetta
3 - James Harmes
2 - Jack Fitzpatrick, Jack Grimes, Jeremy Howe, Heritier Lumumba
1 - Mark Jamar, Matt Jones, Alex Neal-Bullen, 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)
2014 - Nathan Jones [4] ($3.50)
2015 - Jack Viney ($15)

And with that we say farewell for another year, once more thanks for showing an interest. Don't forget to take your vitamins, buy your memberships and sacrifice some sort of creature to the future success of our club. Now, let the best time of the year to be a Melbourne fan begin