Monday 15 August 2022

Pickett pocket

It's times like this where I'm tempted to go back and rearrange old headlines so they can be used for games that suit them better. For instance, using 'Blue ROFL' on them nearly blowing a huge lead against us in a meaningless practice match now seems like a colossal waste. 'Funny/Piss Funny' would also apply to the most chaotic finish since Tom McSizzle desperately chucked the ball at his boot in Perth five years ago.

We're world famous for being involved in weird things, but this was the most baffling win in a long time. From the first bounce we did everything right except convert chances into scores and still had to rely on an all-time great pack mark, the crumb of a lifetime, and the opposition melting under pressure to win with two goals in the last two minutes. My vow to never take footy as seriously again post-flag went out the window, by the end I was about to expire. 

Let's not get entirely distracted by the bonkers finish, this was another in a long line of games where we gave suckers an even break and it almost came back to haunt us. The only MFC 2022 cliche missing was not having gone four goals in front before collapsing. That it ended with the very non-2022 scenario of actually winning a close one was the ultimate bonus. In fact, it was our first win by under a goal in front of a crowd since late 2020 - and as that came in front of a family and friends audience of 1204 it doesn't really count. So it's all the way back to 2019 for anything comparable - also against the Blues. Given beat them by a point in an early empty stadium match they must be thoroughly sick of us. by now.

Winning is great, winning thrillers is even better, but as a trial for finals it felt like taking a Melbourne Cup horse to Warburton and having it fall over the line in a photo finish. Maybe it'll be the psychological boost they need to get moving and mow down everyone in the way again but I still wouldn't be arranging to have your front fence painted red and blue in late September just yet. We're not going to get away with flinging the door open for the opposition half a dozen times like this. Eventually it swung back and smacked Carlton in the face, but as wonderous a finish it was we got a huge assist from their suicidal efforts at shutting the game down.

Ironically we probably played better against superior opposition last week and lost, so maybe there is hope yet. I'm just terrified that we're not going to kick big enough scores to beat top sides. Melksham was fantastic here, and we had 20 more inside 50 tackles than against the Dogs (e.g. 20), but at this stage I can't imagine kicking winning scores in multiple finals. Last year turned out ok from roughly this spot but the multiple explosions in the Prelim and Grand Final were once in a lifetime incidents. Another avenue to goal would help, we might have got back in the game courtesy of a hopeful long bomb, but when you do 57 a week it's going to come off eventually.

Unless there's some deep state conspiracy about lulling everyone into a false sense of security on Ben Brown then freeing him up in September I guess we're going with 1x key forward and 1x roaming ruckman from here. Weideman has all but been written off, they're not going to roll the dice on van Rooyen, McDonald's not coming back in time and Mitch Brown is so break in case of emergency that he should play behind a plastic window.

I don't know how to take the incumbent Brown at the moment. Half the time he looks to have one foot in the grave, then you see him halving contests from absymal forward 50 entries and wonder if it's entirely his fault. His stats aren't much different to last year, but considering how halfway through Round 1 he looked likely to challenge for the Coleman things haven't gone ideally. I would argue that he'd thrive with a permanent second tall, but when you review the list of other options I know where we're going to find one short of wrapping McSizzle's foot in the Shroud of Turin during the bye week. Whether you like it or not, Brown will be the focal point we're going to live and die by in September - everyone else can feel free to use him as a decoy and go Grand Final Fritsch style crazy instead.

While we continued to struggle forward, and there's no doubt 'connection' would have had a run in Goodwin's press conference is the game was 16 seconds shorter, you couldn't ask for much more from the rest of the side other than ruthlessly crushing top eight opposition. Which brings us awkwardly to Patrick Cripps, who was allowed to play after overturning a two match ban via the longest court case since OJ Simpson.

If Carlton could afford lawyers to tease out so many technicalities that the AFL will probably have to change the rules to avoid a precedent that's their good fortune, I don't know why any of our fans should care. This didn't stop thousands of them exuding loser Collingwood fan energy by booing him. At least they could - in a roundabout way - find offence at Langdon's comments, this was the most mystifying crowd participation since Blues fans hooted James Hird for calling the umpire a disgrace. As you can see, Carltonians (in Slipknot beanies?) are still keen on protecting the good name of umps to this day.

It's one thing to be theatrical about an opposition player escaping suspension (and as if we wouldn't gone into full #freetrengove mode if one of our players was rubbed out in similar fashion?), but almost everything is a moral step-up above the peanuts who thought the best way to seek justice for their captain was to racially abuse the player who was clobbered while innocently trying to win the ball. 

Considering that, you can guess the response when the Blues were legitimately dicked by an indigenous player at the end of this game. Ultimately we're all massive saddos for whinging about and/or holding grudges against people with the good fortune to be paid shitloads for kicking a footy, but it's nice to think how Pickett, Betts, Walters etc... etc... will still be cherished by fans in 50 years while the bloke dropping racial gear because his multi was ruined will be scouring the floor of their local TAB looking for winning tickets. Don't go too hard in trying to make this an issue about other clubs, there will be a time when some filthy human purporting to support us does similar. May they all have infinitely shitter lives than the people they're targeting.

As good as Cripps is, it's probably best that he played to ensure some random on the verge of delisting didn't show up and put on the performance of their life. Never forget that the last time we lost to Carlton, Dylan Buckley and Nick Graham kicked five between them, so it's probably better to deal with a known factor than wildcards. The counter to them getting their captain back was the late withdrawal of Adam Cerra. I'd like to think he's still sad about not getting to join us at the end of last year and pulled out in respect for his favourite side.

Six years since we blew any minute chance of playing finals by losing to the Blues, our next Round 22 clash with them had a bit more on the line. We were clinging by our fingernails to a double chance, while they were simply trying to make finals for the first time since Bradburying their way in when Essendon were disqualified. Cue what started as a defensive arm-wrestle, went within 15 seconds of being sourer than the Footscray and Collingwood losses combined, and ended in the sort of "remember when" highlight you'll be boring the kids talking about in the nursing home at 86-years-old.

The most frustrating thing about the first half, and indeed much of the second, was that we did everything right except converting. Midfield fine, backline delightful as always, forwards having a go but not looking likely. After moaning about the breakneck speed at the start of our last two losses it would be hypocritical to complain about playing a trench warfare game, but you've still got to score something or face the escalating risk of losing despite keeping the other side to bugger all.

I stand by the anti-fun claim that I'd rather win 60-40 than 160-140, but that doesn't mean games where every goal takes on soccer match level importance aren't stressful. I've got veins pulsating in my forehead just thinking about this game many hours after it finished. Double your panic when trying to win a low-scoring sludge against the side with the last, and likely next Coleman Medal winners. Harry McKay and Charlie Curnow aren't exactly Lockett and Dunstall, and we do have a handy backline, but the longer you go without killing inferior opposition the more vulnerable you are. And don't we know all about that.

Appropriately for what might have been his best game for us, the party started with a Melksham goal. Considering what happened next I won't hold his other rancid set shot in the first quarter against him. Unlike last week we didn't look like simultaneously kicking and conceding 10 goals before half time. Our forwards were so impotent they needed the sort of spray Ian Turpie used to market, but the backline were easily turning back everything Carlton tried. Not that we didn't have chances, but our contentious ruck cameo strategy looked suspect when both Gawn and Jackson both missed shots. 

Then all my pro-Brayshaw in defence propaganda went down the toilet when he was run down in a tackle for their first goal. Otherwise, and allowing for the usual handful of suspect kicks that's he's contractually allowed, Gus was good in the midfield again. Still don't know if we need him there, and think that better sides than Carlton will benefit from him not pulling down intercepts in defence. I know Salem is warming up into that role, and that he's hardly a liability in the midfield so I suppose I'll just cop it. 

The seemingly permanent Gus-to-Guts move doesn't bode well for perfectly capable midfielders like Sparrow and Harmes, who have each dropped one level on the pecking order. In Harmes' case all the way into the Chandler/Bedford Memorial tracksuit. Lifelong Melbourne fan or not, he'd have to be eyeing off opportunities elsewhere. Contract until 2024 or not, he wouldn't want to sit on the bench for the next two years while the richest men in football occupy all the good midfield spots.

If we're not careful Brayshaw might be required to take his premiership winning spot on the wing back, as every sensible coach in the competition has realised that you should tag Langdon into the ground. He kicked a vital goal on Saturday night but is not having nearly the same impact as last year. I know bounces are about as relevant to 2022 as the Model T Ford, but it's still telling that he's only had three all season. It reminds me of the career trajectory of early Jayden Hunt, who thrilled us with his 100km/h turbo runs from defence until everyone realised that the best way to stop them was just stand in his path. Likewise, Ed isn't getting nearly as much space to bolt down the wing like he's on rails. He's still a valuable contributor, just one of many stars from last year who have plateaued since other teams had to start paying attention to us.

It was more of the same in the second quarter, where we had them under control but couldn't land any sort of killer blow. Pickett gave us the forward pressure we've been crying out for with a tackle and well taken set shot, but we were getting nada from the obvious marking targets. Ben Brown's game was like that dress nobody could agree on the colour of. Some people saw him flailing about behind defenders not impacting contests, some saw him making the best of shit delivery. I'll have a bit each way, and as we're going to play him until the death this year will just go on with it and hope for the best.

In a reverse of last week's excessively high scoring first half, I'm sure neutrals were enjoying a tough, contested game. I'll save my enjoyment until the next time we're several goals up in the last quarter of a final, because this was traumatic. Especially when all our good defence was undone by allowing one of them to wander onto a snap with nobody in the same postcode and level scores. This really gave me the shits, I know it's silly to look forward to going into halftime three goals to two in front but we'd done so well to hold them it felt like an unnecessary goal to concede.

Fortunately there was one more squeeze in the bottle before half time and it went in our favour. Technically it came from a downfield free kick for the most pissweak of contact (until about an hour later when it was barely in the top three), but given that Fritsch marked anyway Carlton fans can pack away their Supreme Court injunctions and cop it. In scenes reminiscent of Tom McDonald trying to kick after the siren in the Grand Final with a human pyramid developing nearby, Bayley was not distracted by the manly jostling happening behind him. The highlight of the 'stoush' was undoubtedly Gawn with arms stretched wide, reminding Mark Internet of his place in the AFL's ruck hierarchy. This continued Fritsch's run as the last player in the competition to kick a goal in every start for the year but was about all he did. There was one chance to try and snap a goal out of his arse but he had another flashback to internet bullying, tried to handball and nothing came of it.

Suffice to say the late goal was little comfort, and by the time they hit the front during the third quarter I was about to do my block. We should know what we're getting by now, but it felt - dare I say it - unfair to have played so well without putting them away. Melksham's third recovered a narrow lead at the final change but considering our recent history of a) dying in the arse in the last quarter, and b) losing thrillers because of it, I didn't think much of our chances of overcoming a team playing for their season.

Cue a final term so absurdly ludicrous that I used almost all my limited spare time to watch it again.  This was also necessary becuase I was going through various tension-related out of body experiences so couldn't remember most of what happened until the end. This proves that there's no way I'd have survived close finals last year, so thank you again to all involved for winning in a canter.

Life would have been simple if we'd just plowed through them like an out of control freight train, but the platform was set for a villain if we lost by Brown being beaten all ends up from the first inside 50. I didn't know who Lewis Young was before this but if he was going to play like Steven May then thank christ the Bulldogs left him in the stands on Grand Final day. Probably helps when your entire defence knows exactly where long kicks are going and can migrate four or five on one to Brown the moment the ball launched towards him.

You suspected things weren't going to turn out well when Hunt's chasedown tackle on Jack Martin slipped to his ankles and conceded a free/goal. It was a no win situation for Hunt so we should just be pleased that he got so close. Overall it was a good night for Mr. Owl Energy, who has probably fixed up old 17-0 Bowey for the time being. For once there was an instant reply. Gawn cannoned a kick inside 50 that Brown nearly pulled down, then regathered to snap for Langdon to snatch it off hands and toe-poke through. An unnecessary video review confirmed it and we were back in front.

It was nearly a combined Mad Minute, when they missed a chance to go back in front straight out of the middle. Oliver provided the dinkiest possible contact to a player as he disposed of the ball, he went flying, and the free was transferred down the ground to McKay. He missed but our efforts at clearing it were agricultural at best, and the pressure was on both at the MCG and inside my skull. Even after a shizen forward pass landed straight on Hunt's teet we were left struggling to find any avenue to the other end. Brayshaw and Salem combined for a turnover and we were only saved by Petty's slight touch as their kick sailed through. 

Even though it was reviewed to all buggery and the player on the line immediately put his hands to heads, Carlton fans thought they'd been rorted. For the enjoyment of viewers everywhere, Channel 7 used one of the boxes on the replay screen to focus on one doing his block. I'd like a director's cut with footage of the same guy reacting across the next 15 minutes. 

At this point I'm sure guest commentator Phil Davis called Charlie Curnow "Curnover", and as we continued to make transitioning from one end to the other look near impossible they pulled a goal out of their arse. It was made by a brave mark, then finished with Lever hanging off the back of Jack Martin for dear life and two players occupying the square. Lever's reward for trying his best to save a goal was to go off wearing the crimson mask after copping a back heel during the chase.

Since we haven't been in one since 2004, I can't remember what a close finals atmosphere is like but I imagine it was quite like this. Now that we've won I'm absolutely gutted not to have been there, because this is the sort of win you turn up every week to see. Instead I get to go when we fall over aginst Freo, fall over against Collingwood and fall over against the Dogs. 

Forced to watch at [redacted], I could hear a Blues fan in the distance having the time of his life and didn't like it. I don't care if they make the eight now, next year, or never again but if somebody's going to have a great, replayable moment in their club's history I don't want it to happen against us. Say it under your breath but I've even got a little bit of sympathy for their position. Carlton's woes post-2013 have nothing on the #fistedforever years, but the outpouring of elation when we finally confirmed our return to the finals was so good that secretly you know society would be better if more people felt it. Better luck next time.

With everything to play for Brown pulled down a long kick to the pocket, increasing our seasonal success rate on that move to 1.6%. We immediately let them take the ball back down their end, where they would probably have done a Collingwood and kept it for the rest of the game. Instead, it was nearly razorblade time when Curnover won a rare one-on-one against Petty. After kicking 0.4 until then, obviously this was the time when the league's leading forward decided to kick straight. 

I'm sure many of our fans developed a yellow streak and snuck out at this point. They deserved to miss the grandstand finish for being cowards. I just slumped with resignation into a chair, thinking that there was no way we could find two goals in three minutes. Crucially we got a centre break that stopped the ball being locked in their forward 50. That would have been curtains, now even when Brown missed a hurried snap we had them penned in. If there was ever a time for our defensive system to kick in and stop them from breaking clear this was it - even if I'd still have bet my life against us.

In the best bit of confusion in recent times, Gawn didn't know whether to contest a throw-in inside 50, let Brown do it, and found himself in perfect position to run onto a loose ball and hammer the shit out of a kick to the top of the square. "That'll easily be rushed through", you thought in the moment, only for your friend, my friend, and yes even Steven May's friend, Jake Milkshake to pull down a contested mark at the back of four (FOUR, 4, IV) Carlton defenders. Hilariously two of them were there because the Blues had dropped defenders back to try and save the game. 

It was such a tremendous grab that the shit McGovern immediately fell to the ground dead.

George's brother realised that umpires were red hot on light illegal contact, but in the heat of the moment failed to put any craft into his acting. As far as staging goes, if Pickett had to pay $1000 for pretending to fall over against Port this peanut should be charged double and be forced to spend off-season on the theatre restaurant circuit. You'd like to think Melk would have kicked it from point blank range anyway but after one of them invaded the mark so severely that the United Nations were nearly called he was able to smash it through from the square, and things were very much ON.

As we got a good look at Michael Voss' growing bald patch, I could only stretch my imagination to us shambling through a point, and getting a draw that did nothing for us but left the Blues confirmed finalists. That would have been as good as a win for them so I most certainly did not want it. In fact now that we know what happened I can safely say I'd rather have lost. Apparently so did the Blues, who were about to put on the worst attempt at saving a game since we forgot how time worked in the dying seconds at Docklands

We had a go at slapstick too, with Viney ignoring the Anal-Bullet standing on his own 40 metres out directly in front and kicking straight to a defender instead. This guy was so surprised that he dropped the mark, but they recovered, and when Curnow wandered down the ground for a mark with 90 seconds left I thought we were cooked. 

Obviously they were just going to dink the ball hither and yon for long enough that we'd have no chance of scoring again. So Carlton fans, don't blame us (or umpires) for what happened next. Blame the guy who flubbed his time-wasting pass towards Adam Saad, or Saad for pointlessly roosting it forward when he could have killed another 20 seconds. "Woof!" cried Carlton fans, incredibly still having time for juvenile crowd participation while their season hung by a thread. I'd have been unable to participate due to chewing my right hand off.

The Blues kept the party atmosphere alive by getting in the way of each other and ruining what would have been the decisive mark. Another three defender pack that could have finished the game ended in one of them heading the ball out of play, and after a few more seconds were wasted in a ball up, Lever did the combined weirdest and smartest kick of all time into the middle, where it took a ripper of a bounce, May had enough plausible deniability to get away with bulldozing the nearest Carlton player, and landed with Hunt to thump into the square. Brown brought it to ground, Melksham dug the ball off the ground like he was playing rugby union, and with two defenders right up his clacker Pickett crumbed the bejesus out of the ball to put us ahead and cue absolute PANDEMONIUM.

As it gently carried through the air and towards the line I was in the sort of state you usually only get from eating psychedelic mushrooms so in the heat of the moment couldn't decide whether it was going to make it or not. The idiot on commentary shouting "is it a point or a goal?" didn't help when it was clearly going straight through the middle. Now that I've survived winning a flag, this is the kind of moment that will kill me one day.

The post-goal animosity towards his opponent was good for football (though, as it turns out, shithouse for race relations). I don't know why he was so upset with the poor bastard who'd just failed to effectively tackle him, but that should give Blues fans something to get upset about when playing us for the next decade. If we'd lost under similar circumstances I'd absolutely hate an opposition player for doing that, so as long as everyone keeps their animosity above the belt then there should be more of it.

This was all well and good but there were 11 seconds left, and that was more than enough to get the ball forward to one of their two pillars for a shot. Or more likely knowing us, some jabroni who'd had two kicks all night. Suffice to say I nearly filled my pants when they went got a hopeful kick out of the middle. As it dropped in the middle of everyone with a couple of seconds left we were probably always going to be ok, but try pausing time right then and telling me that there was no possible way we could lose. I'd have throttled you. Salem thumped a bouncing ball as far away from goal as possible and we were safe. Good thing it didn't go any longer, they had the ball in hand at the siren and were about to go forward again.

Thank god for the countdown clock. With respect to those of you who were suffering at the ground, you can stick spectacle up your arse if you think not knowing how long was left would have been good here. Apparently the goal came at the 34:59 mark of the final term, by which point I'd have been bleeding from the ears. You can't even get help from the radio these days, most callers pretend not to know how long there is left while looking straight at screens telling them. I caught the Tobins call of the end of Footscray/GWS earlier in the day and while one commentator did his best to pretend that he had no idea when the game was going to end, the other blew the lid off the scam by yelling "there's only 11 seconds left!" Let players guess time via somebody holding placards on the bench, I don't want to be surprised. This is the most important reason - other than their cheque probably bouncing - to stop Channel 10 getting the next TV rights.

I didn't know what else to do at the siren so picked up the chair I'd been hovering over all night and triumphantly hoisted it in the air like the premiership cup. The freedom to celebrate in a riotous manner was the only positive about not being there. I could easily have been thrilled at avoiding my fourth loss in a row, but instead found myself shafted out of one of the most exciting modern MFC wins. 

Based on the criteria for mad results set three years ago, this rated highly on the 'insane finish' metric, and here I was watching on TV - just like West Coast 2017, Gold Coast 2019, Geelong 2021 etc... In fact, the last coco bananas all-time thrilling win I was present for might have been Salem vs Essendon 2014 - which was very exciting but loses context points for coming while we were SHIT. 

Like the 2021 Grand Final, I didn't need to see it happen, I'm just pleased that it did. What it means long term I have no earthly idea but avoiding - however narrowly - looking like buffoons will do me for now.

2022 Allen Jakovich Medal votes
5 - Jake Melksham
4 - Clayton Oliver
3 - Harrison Petty
2 - Angus Brayshaw
1 - Steven May

Major apologies to Gawn, Hibberd, Hunt,, Jackson, Salem and Viney.

If it didn't almost guarantee him going down with a crippling injury I'd declare Oliver the provisional winner now. Even if - god help us all - he does fall over it will take a huge effort by Petracca to run him down. Viney remains the only other contender, but he'll need to rip out five straight BOGs as we take the scenic route through the finals. Probably unlikely, but if it happens it means we'll have played in a Grand Final so I'm pulling for him.

There is significant news elsewhere, where the committee has determined that Brayshaw is no longer eligible for the Seecamp. If he'd gone into the midfield and stopped collecting votes perhaps he'd be a chance, but it's just not right when May has got all his points in defense. Gus fans please send complaints on a postcard to PO Box 666 in your capital city.

58 - Clayton Oliver
--- Can't win without three finals ---
42 - Christian Petracca
--- Can't win without four finals ---
35 - Jack Viney
--- Can't win full stop ---
27 - Max Gawn (PROVISIONAL WINNER: Jim Stynes Medal for Ruckman of the Year)
25 - Angus Brayshaw
24 - Steven May (LEADER: Marcus Seecamp Medal for Defender of the Year)
21 - Ed Langdon
10 - Harrison Petty
9 - Jake Bowey
8 - Kysaiah Pickett
7 - Bayley Fritsch
6 - Jake Lever, Alex Neal-Bullen
5 - James Harmes, Luke Jackson, James Jordon, Jake Melksham
4 - Tom Sparrow
3 - Ben Brown, Michael Hibberd, Christian Salem
2 - Adam Tomlinson
1 - Toby Bedford (LEADER: Jeff Hilton Rising Star Medal), Tom McDonald, Charlie Spargo, Sam Weideman

Aaron Davey Medal for Goal of the Year
The history of this award shows that game-winners get a massive bonus. It doesn't hurt that Pickett's goal would have been a ripper at any time, but under the circumstances, it's hard not to consider it the best of the year. Apologies to Langdon's reverse banana sealer against Essendon which is relegated to the silver medal.

For the weekly prize, Kysaiah wins a spot in every highlights package before Melbourne/Carlton games until the day he retires.

Your new leaderboard: 

1st - Pickett vs Carlton
2nd - Langdon vs Essendon
3rd - Pickett vs Port (this one)

A lot of people were upset that Hamish McLachlan treated the winning goal like the worst thing ever to happen to the Carlton Football Club rather than concentrating on us. I didn't mind it, anything that reminds opposition fans that they're having a shit time is a winner in my book.

I was more concerned late in the second quarter, when he switched from regulation footy chat to one of the weirdest anecdotes/I know successful people humblebrags of all time. Quoth 'Hame':

"The Demons have been in the top four all year. Desperate to stay there. Text messages coming from all around the world tonight as the game unfolds. Doctors in Bali and lawyers in Rome. All watching on, all wanting different outcomes. Demons. Blues Who gets home tonight?"

After that I was worried about how he'd be getting home. It was like he was going to mention a celebrity but lost interest halfway so when the rest of the callers didn't join in it just dropped dead. Like the Eddie McGuire/King Kong fiasco, you know you've done something NQR when Luke Darcy refuses to participate.

This didn't have the iconic quality of Brett Kirk telling us about the Saturday afternoon team engaging with their minds and hearts or GEE! GOD! BOY! WOW!, but was still one of the more baffling things ever broadcast on Channel 7. Think about how much ground that covers.

Next Week
Like a higher stakes Round 22, 1995, we go to Brisbane seriously needing a win. Hopefully it's not a full repeat of '95 where somebody takes Mark of the Century and every time it's shown is a reminder that we lost. Regardless of the result we're probably no hope of flag #14, but there's a better margin of error if we go into the finals with two chances.

I can't see a repeat of the pulverisation we inflicted on the Lions last time around. We can win, but it will be via much toil and struggle. I've got major internal conflict about changes. Harmes went bananas with 35 touches for Casey but if they're not going to play him in the middle what's the point? I note The Spencil made his comeback, warming up nicely to be redrafted as a 33-year-old rookie at the end of the season and claim the life membership he so richly deserves.

Otherwise, my 'Chandler for the seniors' campaign was destroyed by him not playing, and Bedford wasn't there either so it's hard to see any alteration to the forward mix. The Weid had lots of possessions, and we'll forgive zero goals in a game where only 11 were kicked due to shit weather, but the stakes are too high to play him now. So, even though I was outraged about how badly our forward line went against the Pies, and they were only marginally better here it's going to have to be the old...

LUCKY: Neal-Bullen, Spargo
UNLUCKY: Bowey, Harmes

The All New Bradbury Plan

Thanks to being the first game of the week the equation is simple - win and make everything else irrelevant. Then it's just a matter of waiting to find out we play. In the event of defeat you'll be wanting some combination of:

GWS d. Freo
Carlton d. Collingwood
St. Kilda d. Sydney

There's no way Freo or Sydney will lose, so if we win it's almost certainly off to the SCG. Otherwise  everything depends on Carlton/Collingwood - Blues win and we probably play them again, Pies win and it will be Richmond. I don't like any of these options but complaining about who you're facing in the finals is a far better postseason outcome than scouring phantom drafts and wondering if you should have gotten into the arts instead of footy.

Final thoughts
If we win the flag I'll not only go hee, I'll buy a house and raise my family there. Nice to be in the mix though.

1 comment:

  1. A fantastic game from Milkshake. Chest marks, contested marks, marks taken on his backside. He kicked 4, should have been 5 if you count the one disallowed for Brown stepping over the boundary line.
    My seat was in line with the City end goal line. All I saw of Pickett’s last gasp kick was the ball hang in the air for an eternity without knowing if it was headed towards goals or points. Watching the replay a few days later I’m still amazed how he kept the ball on target while being slung.
    At 7 points down it felt like the Collingwood game all over again. The opposition far enough ahead to just start chipping the ball around. Surely we weren’t going to kick two scores to level at best?


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