Sep 04, 2020
AFL Mad Scramble Two: Day Nine
A column every day, as we get more football than we even asked for.
Occasionally, this column will even mention football but rarely sensibly.
Sydney v Melbourne
If there’s a bigger joke of a club in the AFL than Melbourne, I’m not aware of it.
With finals very much on the line, Melbourne’s players seemed alarmingly disinterested in this game, and you could tell within minutes of the ball being bounced.
There was no real fight, no pressure and certainly no sense they wanted to win.
Sydney to their enormous credit, playing for nothing but pride, showed the difference between caring and not caring.
They gave it their all, probably buoyed by the fact that every team in the league knows that if they give it a red-hot crack against the Demons, they are a real chance.
A victory against Melbourne is one of the most attainable things in the world, right up there with my friend Geoff.
Like Geoff, a heady mixture of self-doubt, laziness and giving up when things are hard, lie at the heart of Melbourne.
Losing games like this are the closest thing Melbourne has to a brand.
And now Melbourne will call for their fans to stick fat and support the boys.
Well, the fans aren’t the problem, the fact there are still fans is one of the great miracles of history.
This club doesn’t deserve the fans it has, we’ve given it everything, very few within the club can honestly say the same thing.
Greater Western Sydney (48) v Carlton (39)
For a moment, it appeared the Giants had watched the Melbourne game for inspiration.
Leon Cameron said after the game ‘that’s not great footy’, which is just a slight understatement.
This was painful to watch for everyone involved. Giants supporters because their team couldn’t kick straight and Carlton fans because they just knew they would lose this in the end.
Patrick Cripps looked tired after carrying his entire team for years, and the fact he finished with just 13 disposals makes you wonder if he should have been playing at all.
Not that the Blues seem to ever worry about overloading him, partly because at times he is their entire team, remove him and you’ve got Sam Walsh and some spectators.
The Giants, however, managed to snatch victory from the jaws of their own incompetence, and with Melbourne deciding things were a bit hard against the Swans, they are now in the eight and have a real chance to play finals.
They’d want to get better though.
Brisbane v Collingwood (G) 7:50 pm Seven
The Lions should get a real boost from the announcement that the Grand Final will be at the Gabba.
All the Queensland Government had to do to secure it was fling open the borders to 400 AFL types.
It seems a high price to pay.
The Lions biggest issue in recent times is goalkicking accuracy. They’ve been more wayward than my youth.
It almost cost them against St Kilda and did cost them against Richmond.
Goalkicking accuracy is one of the most important things in footy because it’s connected to the most important stat in football, the score.
You can take all the stats in the world, but nothing correlates stronger than the score with victory or defeat.
I’ve analysed decades of results to prove this and am happy to share my workings. They're written on a napkin that I think is in the pocket of my jeans that I wore the other day.
I’m kidding of course. As if I’d bother getting into jeans in lockdown.
Collingwood continues to have an interesting season. Nathan Buckley had to declare his life wasn’t empty because he hadn’t won a Premiership.
Imagine having to announce to the media that you're not empty inside? Do was all have to do that now? I'd be lying.
But can you live a full life if you haven’t won an AFL premiership?
I don’t think you can. Obviously, anyone who hasn’t won a premiership at the highest level is dead inside.
It’s like Socrates once said, ‘An unexamined life is not worth living unless you’ve won a premiership. Even an examined one without a premiership is hollow.’
Socrates also said, ‘Why do Collingwood have so many injuries every season? It’s ridiculous.”
He knew his footy.
Lions to win.
My new book Cheat: The Not-so-subtle Art of Conning Your Way to Sporting Glory is now available for pre-order and will be released November 3.
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