This weekend marks 10 years since one of the funniest incidents in the recent history of Footy’s Fourth Estate- RICEGATE.
In short, Jason ‘The Chief’ Dunstall threw a tray of nasi goreng at Stephen Quartermain live on air during the Triple M pre-game, after Quarters asked a question about Trent Croad’s recovery from a broken foot.
The greatest moment in Triple M footy, aside from Purple reading ‘The Cool Breeze’.
North Melbourne vs Richmond @ Marvel Stadium, 7:50pm AEST
Is it just me, or does Rhyce Shaw look like the bald dude from Eiffel 65?
I bet in his press conference he’ll declare that he’s blue, da ba dee da ba daa.
Anyway, I’ve got no actual analysis of the game, I just wanted to point out that Rhyce Shaw was probably an Italian musician before he was recruited by Collingwood in 1999.
Collingwood vs Fremantle @ The MCG, 1:45pm AEST
What a fantastic shared history the Pies and Dockers have.
Jimmy Clement, Brodie ‘Dutchy’ Holland, Paul Medhurst, Chris Tarrant, and Chris Mayne.
All fantastic players, and Brodie Holland.
Back to the present, and it’s a testament to Collingwood’s list management and Nathan Buckley’s coaching that the Pies are 8-2 with half their team missing, the latest effort being that 7 point comeback win in Sydney, thanks to Daniel Wells making his yearly appearance with 3 goals in the 1st Half, Brodie Grundy being tall, and Dane Rampe proving himself as the AFL’s answer to Forrest Gump.
This was all despite them suffering the emotional devastation of losing an opening quarter for the first time this season, ironically, to the worst opening quarter team in the league.
Meanwhile, Michael Walters became the 5th Fremantle player to win a game after the siren, with that low rocket against the Lions, and he could be the first player in the history of league footy to win a game by hitting the post after the siren, sending Freo from 11th to 8th in the span of 10 seconds.
Funnily enough, the first time Freo won a game after the siren was via the immortal Quenton Leach back in 1997… against the Lions.
After the win on Sunday, Ross The Boss declared he wants to stay at Freo for the long haul, but I can see that being a tall order, especially after Kim Hagdorn from The Sunday Times marked him for death last weekend.
If you’re wondering what a ‘Kim Hagdorn’ is, I believe scientists best describe it as a disease that eats away at your brain and turns you insane.
All things considered, if the Pies get the likes of De Goey & Moore back, then Freo will probably have their backs to the wall.
GWS vs Gold Coast @ GIANTS Stadium, 1:45pm AEST
If it were possible for a team to start at the odds of exactly one cent, It’d be the Giants at home against this Suns team.
My reasons being; 1) The ladder, and 2) The Suns have had their arses branded with a red-hot iron in every visit they’ve made to the old Showground, and that would be putting it lightly.
Their lowest losing margin at the ground is a mere 91 points back in 2016, and their last two visits have been a 102 point loss, and a 108 point loss, the latter of which was notable because it was the first time in the history of recorded statistics that a team went an entire game without taking a mark Inside 50.
I wouldn’t be shocked at all if the United Nations saw this game, and declared it a war crime.
Geelong vs Sydney Swans @ GMHBA Stadium, 4:35pm AEST
After a tough loss on the road against Collingwood at the SCG, the Swans return to their home ground of Kardinia Park, where they’ve won their past 3 games, for some reason, all against Geelong.
I can’t figure out why that would be the case.
There’s two consistent themes about the Catters this season- Winning, and Gaz hitting people in the face.
Ultimately, as if we were playing baseball, Gaz was out on his third strike in 2019, and ‘accepted’ the first suspension in his 331 game career, although Cats will dismiss it and tell you it was about time he was rested.
It all distracted us from Geelong coasting to a relatively easy 4th Quarter win against the Suns, who did challenge them for three quarters, but I’d say that was the result 99.94% of the universe predicted.
Meanwhile, Sydney are in a rebuilding phase, but at the very least, they’re being competitive, although their loss to Collingwood exposed their achilles heel to opposition teams- Just score at least 78 points.
In addition, Dane Rampe’s latest act of randomness probably helped mask the fact that they kicked 1.5 (2 behinds were rushed) in the final quarter, compared to 4.2 from the Pies, which generally doesn’t help you win games of footy.
Given the precedent, the Swans will probably be competitive, and Geelong will probably end up winning again, whoop dee doo, on we go.
Brisbane Lions vs Hawthorn @ The Gabba, 7:25pm AEST
I didn’t realise that the Lions’ last two games had both been decided by a point, until after Michael Walters launched that rocket after the siren straight into the post, to ensure the Lions were beaten by a point in Perth.
As a result, they’re marooned on some strange island of their own making- The only team in the league currently sitting at 6-4.
Hawthorn are odds-on to take out the 2019 crown for being ‘consistently inconsistent’- One week, they’re losing to Melbourne, the next they’re choking GWS to death, and in the last fortnight they’ve been crunched by Richmond, and then used Port Adelaide to play Jack Gunston back into form in Tassie.
The only consistent thing about the Hawkers this year is the form of Ricky Henderson, who is a moral lock to be the All-Australian wingman, to go with the record 1,406 stolen bases and 2,295 runs he racked up during his epic Hall of Fame career in Major League Baseball.
An amazing dual-code sportsman, alongside Bo Jackson.
If the Hawks can get defenestrated by an 0-8 Lions team at the Gabba in 2018, then the chances are they’re probably going to get absolutely discombobulated by a 6-4 Lions team in 2019.
Melbourne vs Adelaide @ TIO Stadium, Darwin, 7:10pm ACST
Also known as JAKE LEVER: CIVIL WAR.
If there’s a place in the universe that represents the polar opposite of Mt Buller at this time of year, it could very well be Darwin.
It was yet another horrible loss for Melbourne in 2019, being completely shut down by GWS to three quarter time, and 7 goals in a junktime 4th Quarter papered over what probably should’ve been at least a 50 point loss.
The Demons are ranked 2nd for Inside 50s, the only problem with that being their most popular forward target this season is whoever’s playing at full-back for the opposition.
As for Adelaide, they’ve now lost 2 straight games after blowing a 33 point lead to the Eagles, which means it’s time once again for everyone to fire up the ‘Tex is a softcock’ and ‘Tex is a crap captain’ takes.
The more I look at it, it looks like a win-win for everyone- Either the Dees lose again and the circus rolls on, or the Crows pull off the impossible and lose to this Dees team, sending The Advertiser into meltdown.
St Kilda vs Port Adelaide @ Transplanted Adelaide Stadium in Shanghai, 2:20pm AEST
For the third straight year, the Australians are getting back at the Chinese by sending defective products to the PRC, in the form of St Kilda and Port Adelaide.
As it stands right now, Port are up to their neck lines in ‘averageness’- They preferred to take a tour of the Boag’s Brewery instead of playing the Hawks at York Park (Who can blame them), and as a result, they went goalless (This time scoreless) in an opening quarter for the third time in four games.
But, there’s nothing like a trip to Shanghai to make you forget that you just played in Tasmania.
The Saints ended their losing run by beating Carlton last Sunday (The key word being Carlton), and they now get to experience the painful treatment that the Suns experienced for two years.
Of course, the Saints already have pretty much every historical mark for ineptitude in football- The most losses in history (1431), the most consecutive defeats (48), the most wooden spoons (27), but in Shanghai, they’ll have the chance to add to that list.
The first team to lose in three different countries (Thanks for pointing that out /u/ominouz), when you force yourself to remember that they used to play ANZAC Day games in New Zealand, and lost every single time.
If the AFL are really that worried about the Chinese not buying in and staying away from the game, why don’t they just disguise it as a firesale for baby formula?
Essendon vs Carlton @ The MCG, 3:20pm AEST
This is it ladies and gents- The Lol Bowl, where the only guarantee is that you’ll be left laughing at the comically bad quality of play from both teams.
It’s become a recurring gag that Bombers players drop stone dead when they see the boys in navy blue, like Indiana Jones staring at that cobra when he fell into the Well of the Souls.
This year is a particularly ‘Lol’ worthy anniversary, because it’s 20 years since the 1999 Preliminary Final, when Dean Wallis thought Fraser Brown was an optical illusion, and paid the price for it, with Essendon managing to lose a Prelim final by a point for the second time in four years.
Dale Thomas has already been dropped by the Blues, after apparently drinking three wines at a fundraiser night, which “contradicted the elite standards of the football club and what is expected of himself and his teammates.”
Forget about “Drinking because he plays for Carlton” gags, that statement could be the only time we hear ‘Carlton’ and ‘Elite’ used in close proximity for the next 25 years.
As for Essendon, The Package has been ruled as defective and won’t play, although in good news for the Blues, Dylan Shiel will play, and as is the case with a ‘Lol Bowl’, one of these teams may be a loser, but just by watching, you’ll be a winner.
Actually, it turns out Dylan Shiel won’t play- The pendulum swings back to the ‘Bombres’.
West Coast vs Western Bulldogs @ Optus Stadium, 3:20pm AWST
A fantastic way to warm up for the WA Day public holiday, by celebrating a game between two out of the three teams with a ‘West’ in their name.
The Eagles have reached Round 11 at 7-3 and a percentage of barely over 100, after winning their past four games, but not Charlie Sheen ‘winning’ them.
Last week was particularly good, as they spotted the Crows a 33 point lead, sat back and watched them play a game of ‘Kick the Ball to Andrew Gaff’, which they used to come back and win by 12 points.
Sure, they haven’t looked anything like a premiership team since Round 3, but they’re still 7-3 and look to have plenty of upside with players to come in.
On the flip side, the Dogs are now 4-6, after suffering the second most embarrassing loss of their season- Being the only team to concede 100 points in Round 10… to a North Melbourne team about to cark Brad Scott.
I say second most embarrassing, because this happened.
It’s desperation stations at the Whitten Oval, and just to show how much they mean it, Ryan Gardner was picked up by the Dogs in the mid-season draft on Monday (From the Scraggers VFL team), and he’ll be playing on Sunday.
That said, they’ll probably keep things close, given the Eagles aren’t ‘killing’ teams.