Aug 05, 2020
AFL Mad Scramble: Day Eight
A column every day for twenty days, as we get more football than we even asked for.
Occasionally, this column will even mention football but rarely sensibly.
Richmond (82) v Brisbane (41)
Look, we’ve all been a bit frustrated with 2020 but that’s no reason to take it out on everyone around you.
Last night, Tom Lynch acted like a customer refusing to wear a mask in Bunnings. There was niggle, pushing and shoving and an incident where he shoved Alex Witherden’s head while he was lying on the ground.
Tigers fans won’t care, Lynch and their entire side was back. No longer appearing as interested in this season as a parent at a school concert, they seemed keen to win.
You could sense the relief on social media amongst Richmond supporters, who had started to wonder if their recent success had been a fever dream.
Brisbane fans will be gutted at their team’s performance. It was so bad Chris Fagan showed us his angry side, yelling at his own bench from down on the ground.
“I’m angry and disappointed!”
He had reason to be angry as the Lions kicked 4.17. Yes! That’s not a misprint, I checked it several times.
It’s an extraordinary result. Flip that and they’d have scored 106 points.
It was almost funny watching them conjure behinds out of goal opportunities.
If I was the AFL Integrity Unit, I’d be checking for any strange betting plunges on the Lions.
If I was a Brisbane fan, I’d hope the Integrity Unit found the players had taken bribes to fix the game because that would at least mean they’re not this incompetent, just corrupt, which is often easier to fix.
It was a huge step back for the Lions who are meant to be on the rise, while the Tigers were meant to be struggling; this game reversed those thoughts in just four short quarters.
Geelong v North Melbourne (G) 5:40pm Foxtel
Who doesn’t like a 5:40pm Wednesday timeslot?
I have such fond memories of the family gathering around the TV to listen to the Wednesday twilight game as a kid.
North Melbourne made some tough selection decisions last week that either paid off in spades, or they were just playing Adelaide.
I tend to think they were just playing Adelaide, North still have a lot of problems to sort out, problems that don’t matter against the Crows, but will against Geelong, like ‘not having a forward line.’
The Cats are coming off a disappointing loss to the Eagles, but not in terms of effort, they were right in it until getting run over late.
It reinforces the belief that Geelong are good, not great. Their effort keeps them in a lot of games against top teams, but they can’t match the talent level of the top teams.
The good news for the Cats is Joel Selwood is back, but there’s a few outs as clubs start trying to juggle players to get through the condensed schedule and not have every single player out with hamstring injuries.
Geelong to win.
Melbourne v Adelaide (AO) 8:10pm Foxtel
Not since Melbourne took on an Essendon team filled with top up players (a game Melbourne of course lost), have I seen a game so clearly stamped with ‘danger’ all over it.
Melbourne’s unacceptable performance against Port Adelaide has heaped all sorts of pressure on the team, and now they get the football equivalent of a tap in. You can just feel it going wrong.
It really shouldn’t, Melbourne should win this and comfortably, a result that if it happens, will be celebrated like a Grand Final, like something’s been achieved, when really, this team should not be happy to get past the worst them in the competitions.
But that’s Melbourne, celebrating pointless victories because meaningful ones rarely happen.
A win here makes no difference to the fact that this team are in real trouble, and that’s based on the past eighteen months. It will be no vindication of the coach and players, something they often portray these wins as.
And it’s not impossible for them to lose this too, every team knows there a sneaky chance against the Dees I they keep the pressure on.
A loss here would place enormous pressure on Goodwin and the Board that ticked off on his contract extension.
Perhaps the most confusing thing has been the news that Melbourne can’t afford to sack Goodwin.
I’ve had dozens of Demons supporters call me to ask what does ‘can’t afford to’ mean. It’s a phrase they’ve never encountered before.
Melbourne to win (because the alternative scenario destroys my heart.)
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