In the spirit of the Election, here’s Paul Keating embracing being a Pies supporter and stealing a jumper from Lou Richards in 1991.
Now, here’s a few short previews, with political puns like ‘The Power Will Win In A Landslide’.
West Coast Eagles vs Melbourne @ Optus Stadium, 6:10pm AWST (8:10)
The first Friday night game at Optus Stadium since the last first Friday night game at Optus Stadium, and Melbourne return to Perth for the first time since they were mutilated from ‘Theon’ back to their ‘Reek’ personality in the Preliminary Final by the Eagles, a personality they haven’t snapped out of since.
Then again, the Eagles are only going slightly better than mediocre, sitting at 5-3 with the worst percentage in the Top 8 following two wins against the Suns and Saints, meaning they’re still one screw-up away from falling from 7th to 11th, such is the evenness of 2019.
As for Melbourne… they’ve won their last two games, and that win against the Suns was the most Melbourne win to ever happen to Melbourne.
Kick a goal to tie the scores with 20 seconds to go, win the clearance, James Harmes then shanks a kick at goal, which ends up in the lap of Tom McDonald, who spills the mark, can’t pick up the ball, and just soccers the ball straight into the post with a second to go, and the Dees win by a point.
With the way both teams have played this year, the Eagles could win this by a score of 30 to 1, with Melbourne winning the Inside 50 count 60 to 35.
Collingwood vs St Kilda @ The MCG, 1:45pm AEST
It took Collingwood 32 years to finally defeat the Colliwobbles, but now, in Round 9 of the year 2019, they face a far greater curse than repeatedly choking when it matters.
Overcoming the Carlton Curse.
With the Roos losing to Geelong last weekend, no team has won the week after playing Carlton- Richmond, Port, Sydney, Gold Coast, Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn, and now North.
It’s one of world sport’s great curses, like the curse in Japan where Colonel Sanders had his revenge on the Hanshin Tigers.
But the Pies do take on a Saints team slowly facing the reality that they’re just St Kilda, and that nothing good will ever happen to them, no matter how hard they try.
For all I know, a Collingwood win will probably be the best chance that Bill Shorten has of tasting victory on Saturday.
Brisbane Lions vs Adelaide @ The Gabba, 2:10pm AEST
The Lions have already ended two long losing streaks this year (West Coast & Sydney), and they now take on the Crows, who they haven’t beaten since Round 21, 2012- Kurt Tippett was still playing for the Crows and on his way to the Lions, and nobody knew what a COLA was.
If there’s one way to get Brisbane sports fans to go to a game at the Gabba, it’s putting it on at 2:10 on a Saturday.
I can’t recall the last time the Lions actually drew anything that resembled people attending a footy game on a Saturday afternoon, probably because it’s never happened before.
But they might get a few people in on Saturday, because for the first time since the 2003 Semi-Final, the Lions take on the Crows with both teams being in decent positions on the ladder, which is funny to think about for Adelaide, given it was a month ago they were in the halcyon days of getting kicked to the kerb by a winless North Melbourne.
One Josh Jenkins dumping and four consecutive wins later, the worm has turned.
This could be the sleeper hit of the weekend.
Geelong vs Western Bulldogs @ GMHBA Stadium, 4:35pm AEST
It’s the Battle of the House Pets at Kardinia Park, as the Cats and Dogs take on each other to honour a player who gave some good years for both clubs.
Sorry, I meant Detective Senior Constable Peter Street.
The Cats write themselves with their 7-1 record, as they rampage towards the May Premiership, their biggest achievement since the 2011 Flag, and Gary Ablett’s continued hits off the ball have broken Michael Christian’s brain to the point that Chrisso can’t even recognise the rules anymore.
The Hot Dogs have won back-to-back games, and it’s been the emergence of Aaron Naughton (The so-called Astro-Naught) that looks particularly good, not only kicking goals, but proving a marking option as well, and then there was the triumphant return of Fletcher Roberts for his 50th game to inspire the Dogs to a tough win against the Lions in the fabled Frozen Tundra of Mars Stadium.
I’d suggest the Dogs will get a rise out of getting a win in Fletch’s 51st game, but he’ll probably get dropped for Tim English.
Essendon vs Fremantle @ Marvel Stadium, 7:25pm AEST
Essendon’s season is once again looking as shaky as an SCG goalpost, sitting at 3-5, which is slightly better than the 2-6 record they had last season, after a loss to the last-placed team in Round 8, which derailed their season.
The more things change, they stay the same.
Although, after bad umpiring supposedly cost them victory in two of their past three games, the Bombers record should read 3-3 with 2 ‘Moral Victories’.
Apparently the reason David Myers couldn’t kick that torp is because he managed to slice off one of his fingers as a kid, affecting his grip on the ball, which is only slightly better than Dane Rampe, who is being punished by the AFL for being born without a brain.
And speaking of injuries, Devon Smith is now facing knee surgery, and Orazio Fantasia has been sidelined with one of the worst cases of Surname Confusion ever seen… and a quad injury.
Meanwhile, Freo didn’t go much better last weekend, suffering a slight relapse of their old ways in a bad loss to the injury riddled Richmond at Perth Stadium, and their history against the Bombers in Melbourne is nothing short of outstanding, if you replace the word ‘outstanding’ with ‘downright crap’.
One win (in 2010) in some 14 attempts.
What a fantastic shared history the Dons and Dockers have with each other- Adam McPhee, Dean Solomon, and then there’s the two injury plagued cult heroes in Scotty Gumbleton (Who never actually played a game at Freo) and Kepler Bradley.
Speaking of Kepler, here’s his finest moment- Streaking into 50, giving Chris Judd an ankle breaker, and kicking a goal.
What a unit.
North Melbourne vs Sydney Swans @ Blundstone Arena, Hobart, 7:25pm AEST
The biggest Blue Team vs Red Team battle in Australia on Saturday evening, as the Roos and Swans face off in the frozen south for the Wayne ‘Schwatta’ Schwass Shield.
I want to hear Kenny Callender try and spit that one out.
The Roos have gone ‘alright’ in the past fortnight, smacking Carlton (Who apparently overlooked them, hahahahahaha) and then not being disgraced against Geelong in the Scott Bowl, but it shouldn’t surprise any of us that the Cats were the better team by the end.
Sam Durdin was on the receiving end of the latest outcome-based suspension from the MRO, when he earned a week off for a bump on Gary Rohan that left the Ginger Prince in all-styles.
If Sam had his time again, he’d go for the elbow off the ball, wear a Brownlow around his neck and get off.
On the flip side, congratulations Sydney, you gave things a real shake against the Bombers, and you’re now off the bottom of the ladder after just one week!
Your reward? Freeze to death in sunny Hobart!
Buddy’s hamstring will see him miss another game, which doesn’t affect that fact that we’ll have the rare feature of a Blakey playing against North Melbourne.
But then again, the Swans have a Dunkley playing against them.
Port Adelaide vs Gold Coast @ The Adelaide Oval, 12:40pm ACST
Ah, the latest edition of the Shanghai game, and I’m sure the Chinese will be flocking to the gates to cheer on their national team, the Gold Coast-
Oh wait it’s in Adelaide, Port in a landslide.
Richmond vs Hawthorn @ The MCG, 3:20pm AEST
We have the team in 9th place, against Richmond.
When I die many years from now, I want to be buried on a day and time that I knew my beloved Hawks.
3:20pm on a Sunday afternoon.
After calling the Hawks a middle of the road team, Clarko decided to completely embrace being a boring team in an effort to get results, something Ross Lyon was very good at doing for 9 years.
And it worked immediately, as the Hawks completely bored GWS to death by denying them the ball for 4 quarters, restricting the Orange Comrades to just 5 goals and defeating them for the first time since 2014.
There was some weird stat back several years ago that the Hawks were pretty much unbeatable when they had 100+ uncontested marks in a game- On Sunday, they racked up 119.
Now, after beating one bogey team, the Hawks get to face another in Richmond, who have lost two premiership ruckmen in the span of a few days- Toby Nankervis to injury, and Shaun Grigg to retirement, and Tigers fans are experiencing what it’s like to have a Rioli go down with repeated injuries.
The Tiges were very good in bulldozing Freo last weekend in Perth, with essentially what was a team compromised of Dustin Martin, Tom Lynch and Mick Molloy playing as a key defender.
Nankervis, Cotchin, Riewoldt, Rance, and something called a ‘Jack Ross’ are all gone with injuries- Which means the Tigers will only have to apply the slightest hint of physical pressure on the Hawks to win by 7 goals.
GWS vs Carlton @ GIANTS Stadium, 4:40pm AEST
Remember the good old days when GWS playing Carlton was basically GWS vs the GWS Seconds?
What fun times they were.
Both teams are coming in off disappointing losses- the Giants came into Round 8 in 3rd and holding pace with Geelong & Collingwood, only to not bother to show up at the MCG yet again and get bored off the park by Hawthorn to the tune of kicking 5 goals in an afternoon, as Jeremy Cameron went goalless for the first time this season, destroying his 100 goal season.
The Giants’ record at the MCG is now 2-14, and for some idea on how bad that is, even the Gold Coast have won 3 games at the MCG.
Meanwhile, Carlton really came to play against the old enemy in Collingwood, grabbing a 10 point lead with 8 minutes to go, but apparently the 19 point loss was totally caused by a lopsided free kick count in the Magpies’ favour (24-8), not the Magpies kicking 5 goals in the last 5 minutes.
All that free kick count says to me is that Carlton are nothing more than a pack of thugs who are being punished for foul play by the umpires.
Fix it up, Brendan!
The Giants are back in the confines of Olympic Park for the first time in 6 weeks, they’ve been mocked and ridiculed for losing to a lowly team like Hawthorn, which means the Bluebaggers better start rubbing the rosary beads.
But on the bright side, they’re not the worst Blue team that are up against it this weekend.