“Gonna cost a side a premiership” is the chorus after those one in a million events. Like the Crows getting a cheap one after three quarter time because the Adelaide crowd is so loud no bastard can hear the siren. Pies take the gas in the last quarter in any event. This cheap phrase gets rolled out as a megaphone to action! It screams DO SOMETHING in case it screws a team out of it’s just rewards!!! So far the following have been cited with the potential to cost a side a premiership:
- The introduction of the sub
- Cameras on goal umpires heads
- Runners on the ground filling defensive spaces
- The abolition of the goal umpires ties and dust jacket
- The fashion of tight shorts
- The cancellation of the keg at Sunday morning training
- Boundary umpires who can’t throw in very far
- Eddie McGuire
- Fox Footy
- The Goal review system
- The price of pies at the MCG
- The political crisis in Thailand
Eddie “You ol C**t” McGuire is aghast over a Crow goal allowed after the game clock has ticked past zero at three quarter time. Ed moves on from things pretty fast and can generally walk away from such gaffes without any collateral damage to himself. This quality is shared by and another Adelaide boy who sledges back in Federal Parliament with his own c**t rebuke to the Opposition leader during the budget debate.
Sirengate is invoked after Eddie rages. Oh the injustice! The disgrace! The lack of professionalism! Not Ed or course, the AFL. Sirengate is the game back in 2006 when St Kilda tied a game up in Launceston after the final siren which was not heard by the umpires. The result was overturned after stringent AFL analysis and awarded to opponents Fremantle. Why do we put “gate” after every scandal in footy or in life? Wasn’t scandal a perfectly good word both before and after Watergate? – Siren Scandal V Siren Gate?
3 rounds of 6 games with teams having byes every week a third into the season is driving me batty. The inanity of the current split round along with the staggered start to the season feels like footy hasn’t really got going this season, a bit like my life after 42 I guess.
Gold Coast torch St Kilda in the first term or two and looks like the Saints will be marchin in with a boot up the Seaford bypass. Saints hold tough in second half to avoid a meltdown and Riewoldts goal running into the forward fifty getting the jump on his opponent as the angle diminishes yet still unleashes a deft ground curvy astro physics influenced major curling in an arc through the middle.
Freo’s Hayden Ballantyne’s Goal in the west is on another plane – again one on his against his Cat rival , the ball falls in almost the identical spot to Reiwoldts and he gets the bounce to collect. He sidesteps through a dummy one to put Rivers offside and goal side onto his right. Rivers is fooled but recovers to close the gap til Ballantyne sells again and gets clear for a shot from 35. Magnificent goal. Steve Johnson’s ongoing duel with Freo’s Ryan Crowley continues with pushing, shoving, wacking, dragging into other players and a headbutt that earns Johnson a suspension for a week. He gets under the skin, does Crowley.
Gotta feel for the Cats (not) – they are the Dockers bunny. Last game they took a wacking from em in a home final sending them into the arms of a Hawk come from behind defeat in the preliminary final. This time its at Subiaco and legend “Pav” is celebrating his 300th game. Gotta quieten the crowd early. Not so as he goals 45 seconds in from the boundary to a standing ovation then gets another when he kicks his 600 goal later on. Another one when he’s chaired from the ground and a final ovation when he emerges from the showers.
Booing the umpire during the game regardless of his justification in paying or ignoring a free kick for your side is one of the time honoured principles of AFL supportership. The boos get taken to a new level at Ethihad after during the Sydney V Essendon slice and dice after the umpire gets wacked out cold as a collision with Swan Nick Malceski. Umpires used to getting a boo(s) but this is a new innovation going after one who is slowly coming too under the watchful eye of the Dons Doctor because he is holding up the game.
Buddy rips apart Essendon again. He loves em. Kicks a bag. Averages 5 against em a game. Then the bump is back as Hannebury takes out Hurley. In the head, knocks him on his arse. Hannebury gets off. The game patriotics breathe a sigh of relief – the bump lives for now but appears on the endangered list.
The new Federal Budget emerges as metaphor for where footy has got to in the relationship between league and fans. Hard hearted and punishing the average fans for the swingers uptown attuned to subscription TV. Both surplus and crowds are down. Inequities in the contribution to the nation’s funds and choice of seat in the allocation of A Grade games short circuiting what little popularity remains. Not to mention the transport co payment required of remote taxpayers punished under the AFL game scheduling late Sundays, Mondays and Thursday nights. Voters and members alike looking for a tax system that’s easy to live by and understand just like a 2.10 game on a Saturday arvo.
Roos’s bungle on banner against Lions reading: “RIP Tom Hafey. One week Lions, Nek Minnit Bears, As long as North wins, No one really cares.” Doh! Cheer squad blame Club. Club says don’t mention Tommy. Cheer squard wont to pay homage. Club says dont mention Tommy. Cheer squad fails to put line under RIP Tom Hafey. Bannergate has begun! Almost breaks the unwritten rule too of not mentioning the opposition to give em free whack and that extra bit of American mustard on the hotdog of motivation. Brisbane – besieged by new coach, new game plan, board instability, retirements and injuries are destroyed in any event.
Richmond fold on the biggest day. No one at the club knows why. The stats seem to suggesting the club is crap at most key indicators. Listening today to a replay of the minute long standing ovation set in my mind the depth of memories from those who Tom touched in many ways. Melbourne Coach Paul Roos reverses the psychology by suggesting the Dees play as if honouring the Tom Hafey way of football. They do and while Richmond shank their way to defeat, Dee whipping boy Jack Watts stands up in the last for a couple of gut running goals to bring him closer to the faithful and those also outside the tent.
However with the reflections upon Tommy, one question has been puzzling me, a question of forgiveness. Years ago I was holidaying with my Collingwood loving mate. We chanced upon a Pie insider from the ’77 Grand Final. That’s the season where Tommy Hafey took em from the bottom to a tied Grand Final and then a 27 point defeat in the replay. Mate keen to know what went wrong. Inside knowledge from him alleges that “Tommy flogged em on the track” in between Grand Finals and the Pies run out of gas in the replay. Never been able to get a secondary source to attest this rumours veracity. No mention in the literature. This is scripture and verse to Mate who takes it to heart. Today I text him to see if he’s ready to bury the hatchet. “Can you forgive Tommy now for ‘flogging them on the track’ before the ’77 replay” I gently proffer. His response is quick and cold “Vendetta stands. No forgiveness.”. He’s relentless my mate, still cant forgive Josh Fraser for alleged misdemeanors in those Grand Finals against Brisbane at the start of this century. Don’t get him started on Bucks and Mick! Thankfully Dr Geoffry Edelstein his one time boss when Tom was coach of the Sydney Swans adds some decorum to this situation at Tom’s memorial service at the MCG.
Incidentally, for trivia nutters this was the first Grand Final telecast live. Channel 7 paid the princely sum of $500,000 for both games and ratings blew through the roof in both games. The start of where we are today where TV rules the fixture.