Since I’ve got no time to write up a bunch of crap about this week’s games, here’s a collection of classic moments from every matchup this weekend!
WEDNESDAY – ANZAC Eve
Richmond vs Melbourne @ The MCG, 7:35pm AEST
“Viney, how’s your arm feeling?”
“Good, take this note over to Razor Ray.”
Nothing like a classic AFL related Simpsons Quote.
Anyway, time cast your minds back to Round 18 in the year 2009, and the game which became legendary due to its prominence in the Melbourne Tanking Investigation, due to the Dees’ strange player positioning, as Jordy McMahon marked right on the final siren, went back and slotted a goal after the siren to give the Tigers a 4 point win, giving them the draft pick that ultimately turned into Dustin Martin!
Neville Jetta out for a while, Steven May out until July.. Well may we say God Save The Queen, because NOTHING WILL SAVE THE MELBOURNE FOOTBALL CLUB.
THURSDAY- ANZAC DAY
Essendon vs Collingwood @ The MCG, 3:20pm AEST
This year will mark the 25th edition of the biggest annual home and away game of the season, at least in terms of crowds, with another 90,000+ crowd forecast for Thursday, and both teams are coming in hot!
Cast your minds back to the first Anzac Day game between the Pies and Bombers back on a Tuesday in 1995, the brainchild of Kevin Sheedy, which featured a 94,825 strong crowd at the MCG (Still the 2nd largest Home & Away crowd in history), and apparently as many as 20,000 people were locked out of the ground and forced away by the Police.
Featuring moments like Dermott in a Pies jumper, and Big Sav dominating with 9 goals, the game ended in a thrilling 17.9 (111) to 16.15 (111) draw, one of the most memorable home & away games ever seen, and one which cemented a tradition.
Amazing that Thursday will mark a full decade since ‘ZAHARAKIS!’ as well!
Port Adelaide vs North Melbourne @ The Adelaide Oval, 7:20pm ACST
Port Adelaide are a team that not even Port Adelaide understands.
They lose to the Richmond Skeleton Crew one week at the AO, then the next they fly over to Perth and smack three shades of crap out of the Eagles, who hadn’t lost with Kennedy and Darling in the team for some 16 games on end.
Back in the day, Port used to struggle badly against North, and didn’t actually defeat the Roos until 2003 on their 10th attempt- Things have become a bit easier now that North have further devolved into ‘Norf’ status.
Now this flashback goes back to the year 2004, the year that the 1996 Edition of Port Adelaide won their only premiership, although in Round 8, they looked a touch more like the wooden spooners, as North kicked 16 consecutive goals between the 2nd and 4th quarters, at one stage cracking the century margin, before winning by a ridiculous 92 points- 21.14 (140) to 7.6 (48)-
Boomer recored 25 disposals, kicked 4 goals, and earned 3 votes, and it remains the 3rd heaviest defeat for an eventual premier in league history.
Capping off the weirdness of the result, North ended up finishing in 10th with a 10-12 record.
Speaking of players from that time, I’m pretty sure the great Warren Tredrea’s weird phone celebration was also against the Roos in 2005.
Gold Coast vs Brisbane Lions @ Metricon Stadium, 1:45pm AEST
The Dews and The Faganists were both destroyed on the Holy Weekend, and now they have the chance to atone in the Q-Clash.
Since I can’t actually remember many Q-Clashes, here’s that one from Round 4 2016, when Steven May got the red mist, knocked out Stefan Martin, and earned a 5-match ban.
The winless Lions sprung an upset against the unbeaten Suns, winning by 13 behinds- 14.23 (107) to 14.10 (94), and robbing Aaron Hall of the lead in the Brownlow.
I’m not kidding, he was on 9 votes after Round 3.
St Kilda vs Adelaide @ Marvel Stadium, 4:35pm AEST
My goodness, it’s Round 5 and the Saints still haven’t managed to fall into a ditch and burn horribly, defying the expectations of the unholy trinity of history, fate and logic, while the Crows managed to celebrate Eddie’s 300th game by not burning down the City of Churches in celebration.
Since the Saints are equal top, instead of going back to Darren Jarman and the ’97 Grand Final, I’ll cast the line back to the year 2005, when they went to Football Park as underdogs against Minor Premiers Adelaide in the Qualifying Final, who were minus captain Mark Ricciuto thanks to suspension, although a (twice) Brownlow Medalist was the star of this night- Robert Harvey.
The G Train had 2 disposals that night, and the Sainters still won.
Sydney Swans vs GWS @ The SCG, 7:25pm AEST
The first battle of the Bridge for 2019, contested between Lesser Eastern Sydney, and Greater Western Sydney, and my word, are both teams going poorly- The Giants get smacked silly by Fremantle in their remote base in Canberra, and the Swans can’t win full stop.
It’s funny to think the Swans and Giants, in just 7 previous seasons, have played more finals against each other than West Coast & Fremantle have in the previous 24…. which helps, since there’s never been a Derby final.
Anyway, this classic moment comes from last year’s Elimination Final, as the Giants yet again smacked the Swans in the finals, and all I have to add is, like Mr Martin once said, ain’t that a kick in the head?
A shame that they can’t recreate it this year- Newman is now
working for the US Postal Service at Carlton and Greene still on the sidelines.
Fremantle vs Western Bulldogs @ Optus Stadium, 6:10pm AWST
Freo and the Doggies have played each other several times on the ANZAC Round in the annual ‘Len Hall Game’, named after WA’s last known Gallipoli survivor.
It’s remarkable to think that Len Hall rode alongside T.E Lawrence, aka Lawrence of Arabia in Damascus in 1918… Peter O’Toole could’ve played him in some kind of movie depicting the event.
There has been some classic moments between both teams- When the goal umpire self-diagnosed his own knee injury when Liam Picken crashed into his legs, Pav’s last game in 2016, Freo’s first win in 2017, but this game comes from the Len Hall Game of Round 5, 2011.
The Dogs led by a point with 2 minutes to go, until Nick Lower made a hero of himself with 18 seconds to go.
Ironically, Nick ended up being traded to the Bulldogs, and played 13 games in 2013.
Ryan Griffen, Shaun Higgins, Brian Lake and Callan Ward all playing for the Dogs… What a blast from the past.
Hawthorn vs Carlton @ Whatever They Call York Park Now, 3:20pm AEST
Congratulations Carlton, you finally won a game, and you passed 100 points!
As for your reward… Go to Tasmania to play Hawthorn.
Usually that’s a fate reserved for league heavyweights like St Kilda, Fremantle, GWS, Gold Coast and Brisbane, supposedly because the AFL want Hawthorn out of Tasmania and they intentionally give them a low-drawing interstate teams as revenge.
Alright, here’s my piece of history for Hawthorn & Carlton- We could have Buddy and Fev each trying to reach 100 goals in 2008, but screw that, I’m going back EVEN FURTHER.
Let’s just say, it’s after the 1987 Grand Final, and Sticks is belting out his greatest hit. To my good friend Nunz, I think you know the words!
Geelong vs West Coast @ Party Drug Stadium, 4:40pm AEST
Geelong sitting on top of the league alongside St Kilda, West Coast reduced to a Bottom Rung Rabble after a big loss at home- It’s 2009 all over again!
As for this somewhat storied rivalry, I would choose the 1992 Grand Final, just to remind everyone that Geelong are the club responsible for the Premiership Cup leaving Victoria for the first time, but instead, here’s the time Bomber Thompson ate a sandwich in the coaches box while the Cats demolished the Eagles in 2008 by 135 points.
And there was also another epic moment: The day the Eagles came back from 54 points down halfway through the 3rd quarter at Skilled Stadium in Round 10, 2006.
On this particular day, the Eagles were minus an injured Chris Judd, the Cats really needed a win to save their dying season, and when the feces hit the fan in the 3rd quarter, John Worsfold hit the magic button- get Adam Hunter into the forward line, despite the fact he’d been thrown into the Cats dugout by Cameron Mooney.
This remains the last time that the Eagles have won at Kardinia Park, and the only time in the past 20 years.
The year before, the Cats smashed the Eagles by 72 points in Round 21, which contributed to West Coast blowing a 4 game lead at the top of the ladder (After Round 16), sealed with a loss the next week to the Crows.
Hunter into the forward line- It literally won West Coast a flag.
Now, let’s see if I can squeeze in some Tuesday Tithbits.