It feels like I’ve been admitting to a lot of stuff on this blog lately, so why not drop another bomb? In the words of Dave Grohl – I’ve got another confession to make.
So, word filtered my way late last week that the boys from my favourite American history podcast The Dollop had been guests on another of my favourite podcasts The Little Dum Dum Club.
Well. Here it is. Everyone’s second favourite team (pffft – yeah right.) versus the team everyone’s just about sick of. First of all – let’s debunk the everyone’s second favourite team thing. First – if you have a second favourite team, you’re doing it wrong. Second – the only reason nobody really hates the Bulldogs is because the last time they won the flag was 1954. That’s 62 years ago. We didn’t even have television until 1956. On top of that, only 81,000 were actually at the G that day. And the majority of those would now be 6 foot under. And the third layer on all of this is that the Dogs beat Melbourne in that Grand Final. Melbourne. They have even less fans than Footscray. So without putting too fine a point on it – there’d be approximately three-fifths of bugger all people who have ever seen the Dogs be successful. It’s hard to hate losers.
You can’t help but wonder… what if Port Adelaide had finished 8th and we had a Showdown Elimination Final? Doubtlessly, it would have given us a more compelling game of football than the one served up at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night. The Roos were outclassed by the ruthless Crows – and while they hung in until half time, the class of the Crows stepped up after half time – an 8 goal third quarter emphasising the gulf in talent between these two teams, and just for good measure – the Crows booted another 7 goals in the last quarter to turn a 12 point half time lead into a 62 point victory.
I took notes for the first time this year, so I thought I’d share with you all my general “stream of consciousness” while I watch a game of footy. Beware – not for everyone.
Thursday night footy from Domain Stadium in Perth, and it was a shock upset, as the unfancied Western Bulldogs gave the West Coast Eagles an absolute flogging and finals “football lesson”. The Bulldogs trademark footspeed, run, carry, and pressure football was evident from early on, as they took risks and moved the ball through the corridor whenever possible.
Eagles 100 def Crows 71
This one was a shock. With Naitanui out injured, I didn’t expect the Eagles to be able to put one over on the Crows – who had a top 2 spot and home final to play for. Adelaide’s much vaunted forward line really didn’t fire a shot, as their midfield couldn’t provide them the service they needed – out worked by the likes of Priddis, Gaff, and Shuey – while journeyman ruckman Jonathan Giles, in just his third game for the season, gave big Sam Jacobs a touch up in the ruck. The Crows will now have to win 4 games in a row to win the flag – slipping to fifth, and an elimination final against the Kangaroos. The Crows have been the form team of the comp – but maybe they’ve had us all fooled. The Crows record against top 8 teams this season is not great. They’ve won 4 and lost 6 – and conceded more points against top 8 teams than all the other finalists except North Melbourne. There will be some who say this is the loss they needed to have before the finals – but I disagree. You would much prefer finishing second to fifth.
Just a quick review from me this week, as I start tapering for finals action. The 8 should now be set – with just final positions to be determined, though there is one Mathematically Possible chance remaining. I’ve done a few quick sums, and if North lose to the Giants by around 150 points and the Saints beat the Lions by about the same, the Saints can leapfrog the Roos into 8th spot.
Just two home and away games to go, and the clustermuck at the top of the ladder is still no closer to sorting itself out. As we’ve postulated for weeks here at Holding Steadfast – percentage looks ever more likely to be the difference between your side having a double chance, or potentially having to take on the Eagles in Perth in an elimination final. An intriguing couple of weeks await us, and the big names of the competition are starting to really dial in – match winners like Franklin, Betts and Rioli are really starting to hit peak form, and we’re going to get a good look at some of the young GWS stars in a finals atmosphere. I’m looking forward to the finals this year – even if my team looks desperately unlucky to make the cut despite winning on the weekend. Just percentage and 10 wins short… there’s always next year I guess. But more on Essendon later.
I’m back from my 2 week self imposed sanction – and after a relaxing ten days in the South Pacific, isn’t it great to be back in the beautiful state of Victoria enjoying cold weather and footy? That’s rhetorical – I really don’t need you to answer that.