Sep 08, 2020
AFL Mad Scramble Two: Day Thirteen
A column every day, as we get more football than we even asked for.
Occasionally, this column will even mention football but rarely sensibly.
Melbourne (33) v Fremantle (47)
If someone stuck their hand into a fire and screamed out in pain, you’d feel sorry for them, wouldn’t you?
But if that person did it on a weekly basis for eight months of the year, for decades, you think ‘this person is completely bonkers and should be locked up for their own sanity, never allowed near a fire again’.
This is the position I find myself in.
Why do I keep doing this to myself? Why do I keep thinking it will be different each time I stick my hand in the fire?
Even worse, I pay for the pleasure. I spend my hard-earned on a membership, even though I can’t even go see a game.
And how do the players reward me? They burn me every time and then complain that Melbourne fans are too harsh on them.
Paul Roos famously said there was a "veil of negativity" around Melbourne, but to blame the fans is ridiculous. I’ve never seen a bunch of people who have committed, repeatedly and with enthusiasm, to such a hopeless cause.
Each time we get positive, the club pulls up that veil higher than ever before.
The fans can only do so much, it rests with those within the club to fix this, there’s no cavalry coming, no saviour.
Imagine the fans gave up as the players did? They’d be no members at all, and there wouldn’t have been for decades.
Last night, Fremantle came wanting to win and with an actual game plan.
The Dees in stark contrast seemed astoundingly disinterested. They played stupid footy and they even did this half-heartedly.
A few, like Christian Petracca, gave it their all, but as they worked at the coalface, they couldn’t help but notice their teammates watched on confused as to why someone would work so hard.
The Dockers weren’t great at times, but they were focused and trusted their coach’s plan and each other, and when it did matter, they took their opportunities. They have a future.
Simon Goodwin is a man without answers, it’s not all his fault, but it’s obvious he can’t get anything more out of this team.
Isn’t it lucky the board have extended him for so long? They can’t afford to sack him, but they’re entering territory where they can’t afford not to.
The fire still burns, and not in a good way.
Adelaide v Greater Western Sydney (AO) 5:40 pm Foxtel
Not a great night of footy ahead of us with only potential finalist involved.
The Crows at least come into this match with an electrifying one-game winning streak.
Can this juggernaut of momentum be stopped? Almost certainly.
The Crows are still the Crows, and you can’t play Hawthorn all the time. Winning though at least makes people realise they can win, something that seemed impossible for Adelaide just a few weeks ago.
The Giants now have finals well in their sights, with Melbourne’s recent results helping them immensely.
Despite this, the Giants aren’t exactly up and firing on all cylinders, they almost lost to Carlton last week.
The Giants still have injury troubles too, but they’re one team you could see pulling it together at the right time.
I’m sorry I said that Giants fans, I’m sure to have damned them to nothing but losses for the rest of the year.
I’m sorry for this too, Giants to win.
Carlton v Sydney (Metricon) 8:10 pm
Probably the main reason to watch this is if you’re a Blues fans who likes being hurt.
They could win this; you have to win occasionally if you’re going to build up the hopes you’ve been designed to dash later on.
The Swans beat Melbourne last week by being smarter and harder, but this is not hard to do, it’s like stealing candy off a baby, a lazy, uncoordinated baby.
But that victory just shows them that winning, especially against sides like Melbourne and Carlton is possible.
Make it hard for them and wait for them to wilt. You know it’s coming; you just have to not go away.
With the Blues still a mathematical chance, you’d expect them to give their all in this, which is why I’m tipping Sydney. My new book Cheat: The Not-so-subtle Art of Conning Your Way to Sporting Glory is now available for pre-order.
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