With Round 19 ahead of us, the new trend of tanking has caught on like Indie haircuts on West Coast players. The AFL, the Olympics and even in civil wars in countries you couldn’t even find on a map; it’s a surreal sight to behold, watching a group of athletes failing on purpose.
Considering the team in question is now trying hard but still failing, it makes me feel for them.
The Melbourne Football Club Disaster Bingo Card must surely have everything crossed off of it by now.
I assume the only things left are ‘Mark Neeld being eaten by a shark’, ‘Cameron Schwab getting a contract extension’ and ‘Jack Watts getting traded and winning a Brownlow’.
Times are tough out at Demonland, but surely a reprise will come soon to the red and blue faithful, a supporter base that deserve so much more.
Our reprise from our tough weekdays comes in the shape of a monster weekend of football.
Hawthorn vs. Geelong
By a fair bit, this has to be the game of the round. To put this into a bit of context, the song that was atop the Australian music charts the last time the Hawks beat the Cats was Pink’s ‘So What’.
Considering chart-topping music hasn’t gotten that much better than that since then (not aiming that high to begin with), the Hawks have got back to their old heights. Consider a line-up that has numerous goal kicking options, an army of raking left-foot kicks, a rebounding and desperate defence and a midfield most would kill for. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Very 2008 familiar, you might say.
The funny thing is no one would confidently tip them. It’s been in Geelong’s nature to steal games away from Hawthorn when they have absolutely no right to. If the Cats can turn it into a slog, they might get the job done. But the Hawks are too hot for that, and they’ve got some travelling back to 2008 to do.
Hawks by 31.
Western Bulldogs vs. North Melbourne
The reversal of fortunes since Round 7 has been immense for both these clubs. After this game, it was apparent the Dogs weren’t going to go quietly into the rebuilding phase. For North, apparently they were one-paced, useless without Harvey and Brad Scott was dubbed ‘the laptop coach’ by the fine armchair critics of the internet. Well, we’ve just about had everything flipped on its head since then.
North has won 6 of their last 7 games and the Dogs seem as if they’re being forced to play out a season they want to erase from memory.
The running Roos can’t afford to stuff up before their next three difficult games. A win should see them firmly in the top eight on percentage come Sunday night, or even a clear game inside if results go their way. For the Dogs, they’ll miss the services of Daniel Cross, who helped lead the midfield charge against the Roos in May. This time, the results should be reversed.
North by 25.
Greater Western Sydney vs. Port Adelaide
Speaking of bingo and the sense of humour of the Adelaide Crows fans, let’s play some ‘Power crowd bingo. I’m thinking 4,512. There’s not going be too many folks tuning into this one, but it does have bigger repercussions than what many may think.
The fate of Lachie Whitfield is seemingly going to go with whoever gets pick 1. I assume if Sheedy’s toddler army put in one last effort for 2012, young Lachie may have to book a flight to the Gold Coast instead. However, getting that done is a different story, so stick with the Power.
Port by 14.
Fremantle vs. West Coast
Considering how much Derbies are undersold on the eastern seaboard, a majority of footy fans miss out on a pretty cracking football contest. The Eagles will be missing Rosa and Glass, leaving the door ajar for the Dockers to climb into the eight if results go their way at the end of the round. The Eagles cannot afford a loss here with crucial games against the Pies, Cats and Hawks to come. The top four spot the Eagles are looking for could be in serious jeopardy if they can’t seal the deal on Saturday, so they’ll be on guard for heated battle against their cross-town rivals.
Eagles by 2.
Collingwood vs. St. Kilda
Now that we’ve stopped talking about Cloke, it looks like Collingwood have fallen off the radar completely. I’m sure nobody watched their 20-goal demolition of GWS either, which doesn’t help. The Saints dismantled a hapless Dogs outfit and will look to hunting big game this week. The Saints haven’t beaten the Pies in their last five meetings, so it would take something special from the Seaford boys to get a win. Considering the Pies are fielding their strongest team for the year, they should be good enough.
Pies by 39.
Brisbane vs. Richmond
Brock Mclean described pretty well on ‘On the Couch’ what the Tigers last three weeks have been like. Dimma Hardwick’s pleas to blow the siren have fallen on deaf ears and his boys keep getting pipped at the post.
The Lions looked helpless as the Eagles banged on goal after goal, and their minds are starting to look toward 2013. Another untoward result for Vossy on Saturday night may have the Brisbane faithful turn sour, but they will be too good on their home patch.
Lions by 18.
Melbourne vs. Gold Coast
Alongside the GWS/Port game, most people will watch this for the wrong reasons. If Cale Morton moves to full back and we see Sam Blease in the ruck, Adrian Anderson will be looking a dumber man than usual. But seriously, this has to be the game the Dees win. Expect the more mild-mannered and subdued Dees supporters during this horrific year to start flipping tables and punching holes in walls if they drop this. Fortunately, that won’t be the case.
Dees by 33.
Carlton vs. Sydney
Speaking of Brock Mclean, hasn’t the cult of personality surrounding this man grown over the last week. Two months ago, he man was a list clogger. Now he’s B&F material and the king of Lygon Street.
Plenty of big ins for the Blues, but still without the hard-headed Mitch Robinson. The Swans, on the other hand, bring Mitch Morton into the team. He’s kicked 64 goals in 13 games in the Swans magoos, and his senior call-up coincides with the injury of Ben Reid. If the Swans create another target up forward before finals, they may just be setting themselves up for September glory.
Swans by 20.
Adelaide vs. Essendon
The Dons are starting to look like a scene out of M.A.S.H. Injured bodies everywhere, Bomber no longer popping drinks in the box; it seems the soft tissue crisis is no laughing matter. The Crows were out-classed by a Cats outfit that had all the answers last week. If the Crows want to be seen as a serious considers, they need to do a number on the Bombers. They’re certainly in the box seat to do so.
Crows by 45.