Round 17 AFL Preview
Last Week 7/9 Season Total 94/135
I’ll be honest. I sat down at the start of the week and wrote many pages for this pre-amble, all about the Bairstow incident and the subsequent reactions on each side. I have decided to leave it out though. I had a nice holiday and don’t want to spoil it with sports politics. But perhaps a conspiracy cricket theory…?
There is footage out there, also known as the Zapruder Film that shows both umpires. If you go to Frame 313, you will see both the square leg umpire and the controlling umpire had started to walk towards their alternate spots when the stumps were broken. Had they considered it over? Ultimately, it was left to a mysterious third umpire, positioned on a grassy knoll to make the final decision. In all of this, no one has confronted the umpires. Like footy, the umpires cannot be questioned for their role.
Luckily, the AFL is on during the day…mostly. It’s becoming hard in our house with footy, The Ashes, Wimbledon, the Tour de France, the US Women’s Open Golf and the John Deere Classic PGA match all competing for eyeball time. The Missus has flatly refused the purchasing of 6 televisions and the creation of a “sports wall” in the living room. It’s a shame and dents my plans for a bar, TAB and Casino in the adjoining rooms. To be fair, she didn’t flatly refuse, but she spelled out very clearly the consequences. I for one enjoy my marriage…and my testicles, so will keep the number of TVs to a reasonable quota.
The Tigers had seemed to turn a corner and
then last week they took a tumble against the all-conquering Brisbane Lions at
the Gabba. It wasn’t that they lost,
most teams do up there. It was that they
lost so convincingly. Then
Footscray vs Collingwood Marvel Stadium Friday Night
I hear a lot about Collingwood being a
“prime time” attraction. I also hear a
lot about Friday Night being the “Prime Time” for Footy on TV. So why is this Collingwood’s first match on
Friday Night since Round 3? AFL
Scheduling is best associated with things like string theory, tensor theory,
children’s emotions and other things it is impossible to understand. Collingwood had a solid win against Gold
Coast last week and this week will welcome back Jordan DeGoey. While in
Finally, The Eagles showed some
spirit. Not the kind of spirit that is
used to determine the fairness of a cricket dismissal, but the kind that picks
up a team and its supporters to give impetus for the remainder of the
season. I’ve been rather kind to West
Coast and its plight, so it feels strange that I choose the week after their
best match of the year to tee off on them, but here we are. Footy clubs will often tell you they are a
business. When they make a decision that
supporters don’t like (say, getting rid of Brent Harvey, your best and most
faithful player) they tell you it is a business. Part of running a business, and doubly so for
a footy team business, is to maintain status quo production despite any market
pressures or staffing issues. This is
something that West Coast has failed at, and it is not through unlucky injury
crises, it is through poor management.
Heads do need to roll or the board needs to be spilled but it won’t
happen because it is a business, and despite an average points against for the
year of 20 goals and their WAFL side having an average losing margin of 18
goals, there is still a long queue of people waiting to be members and a long
queue of companies wanting to be sponsors.
Business is just dandy.
Unfortunately for them, after such a great showing of spirit, they will
now come up against
If you ask Thor (the actual mythical god, not the Marvel creation), he will tell you to beware of the Giants, they are a bit tricksy. In the myth I’m speaking of, Thor, like Hawthorn travelled to the land of the Giants. Here, they put him and his travelling companions through a series of trials of which Thor was confident of success, but ultimately failed. Much the same will happen to Hawthorn here but instead of trying to outrun a thought, Hawthorn will be done for speed of ball movement. Rather than out-consume wildfire, Hawthorn forwards will be starved of inside 50’s. And rather than wrestle the world serpent, Hawthorn will not escape the fierce tackling pressure of the Giants. Make no mistake, GWS are a very good side and with a pretty favourable run home, they are a smoky for finals. GWS by 37 points.
Saint Kilda vs
I bet Ross Lyon is breathing a sigh of
relief. To continue his golfing
analogies, it was almost like losing the Open to an amateur. Luckily, they righted the ship in time for
the final siren.
Ken Hinkley’s contract talks are fast
approaching. By all accounts, a single
loss could see him immediately terminated as he feels the wrath of Kochie who
has stepped back from his TV commitments to keep a more watchful eye on
Hinkley’s lousy coaching efforts to date.
There is some kind of Squid Game going on here at Port Adelaide with
some next level consequences. But life
is good at Port Adelaide. Come from
behind, after the siren heroics puts them in the same league as Collingwood and
with a travel record of almost 60% home games over the last two years, they are
certainly starting to be more like Collingwood than ever. If Kochie can just get them wearing the
prison bars and adopting the original Magpies name…hangon, is this some kind of
reverse takeover underway? Another
conspiracy theory to add to the list.
I’m going to need another roll of Alfoil! Poor Gold Coast, who were badly swooped by
The Magpies last week, will be experiencing déjà vu this week…although Port are
sneakily referring to themselves as The Power…for now. Mwaah ha ha ha. In a sidenote, Rowley will get his first
taste of Adelaide Oval this week. Port
After a dreary looking match last week up at
the SCG, The Cats will be glad to be back at the more cigar-shaped
The Crows could be excused for coming into
this match with a bit of trepidation.
Another away game against a team who are not too shabby.
Probably the biggest game of the round, or
more appropriately the season for both of these teams. Both Freo and the Blues are clinging to slim
hopes of finals and a win here will keep that dream alive. A loss will certainly spell the end of the
2023 campaign and planning for 2024 can begin in earnest. To say there is a lot riding on this is an
understatement. This is great news for
the general riffraff that gets to watch it.
I’ll be doing my best to sink so low into the couch that my family will
call in a missing person’s report so I can watch it. However, I may need to rope the kids into the
plan to bring a steady supply of snacks and beer. Ok, ok, getting your kids to provide you with
the ingredients for intoxication doesn’t put one at the top of the parenting
tree so maybe I’ll rethink that. Time to
get the Engel out. I digress…this match
will be a humdinger.