“One game season and Gold Coast still finish last” – /u/Doss95
This season was officially shorter than Frank Forde’s Prime Ministership.
All because some gronk ate a bat with tomato sauce, and then a bunch of dickheads went to Bondi.
If there was a positive from Round 1, Steve Hocking and his cronies have gathered crucial scientific research on how to improve goal kicking, and by extension, scoring.
Just lock out every heckling floggo and jerk (Like me) from games.
The other effect of no crowds is that the martians felt free to pay an inordinate number of holding free kicks Inside 50, at rates that would be enough to cause Eagles fans to jump the fence at Optus.
Another thing I learned is that because of having SFA to do, the Seppos have cottoned on to Australian Rules, thanks in part to esteemed former NFL All-Pro punter Pat McAfee (By the way Pat, 5678 days since a finals win is not dominant), and I believe our friend Mr Brian Barrish at the USAFL was happier than apig in crap.
Like most of the umpiring fraternity, the Seppos have no idea about the concept of the game – So here’s Eric Bana to explain.
So on that note, let’s go through the 9 games that compromised season 2020.
Richmond (16.9-105) defeated Carlton (12.9-81) @ The MCG
The first game of the brief, weird new normal, and there was still some familiar constants – For the 3rd consecutive season, the season opener started with a team kicking 5 consecutive goals.
That, and the Tiges once again handled their old rivals for the 6th year (And 10th game) running.
Due to a pre-game bungle, David Teague’s game plan was mixed up with the government’s guidelines on social distancing, explaining why no Carlton players bothered putting a finger on anything wearing Yellow & Black in the 1st Half, and the lead blew out to 46 points.
It wasn’t noticed until after Half Time, because after that, Carlton stopped playing like Carlton, and followed David Teague’s flow chart.
4 goals in the 3rd Quarter alone for Jacky on his Blues debut, the most by anyone on the ground, and given who ‘they’ had out, pretty much anyone could’ve ended up as Carlton’s best forward.
A 50 point deficit whittled down to 16 points halfway through the last quarter on the back of a massive run, but the Tigers never seriously looked to be shitting themselves, and a couple of goals late in the game made it a ‘stock standard’ 4 goal win.
Capping off the night, the Blues lost Matty Kreuzer to another bad foot injury (On the bright side, he’ll only miss 8 games) in the 1st Half, Mitch McGovern managed to hurt himself elevating above the ground, and we barely had a chance to say hello to Nic Newman before he popped his elbow – He eventually returned, and we said “Hello, Newman.”
And to cap things off, we saw the hilarious distancing post-game interviews, which looked like footy and Meet The Press got together.
If only Jack Riewoldt had replied to one of those extremely easy questions with a random reply of “You’re a terrible reporter” to Richo.
Collingwood (13.8-86) defeated Western Bulldogs (5.3-33) @ Marvel Stadium
Top work everyone, we have successfully Melbourne’d the Bulldogs.
Before the game, a question that many (Including myself) were wondering was officially answered – Would the AFL have to keep the roof open so Docklands would qualify as an outdoor venue under the Government’s 500 person limit.
The answer – A hilarious yes.
I wonder how Brad Scott would’ve reacted if he were still at North….
Anyway, it wouldn’t have made Jacques Merde of a difference if it was shut, because the Pies absolutely creamed the Doggies from the opening bounce (It was 54-6 in the 2nd Quarter), with their dominance best summed up by Brodie Grundy methodically cleaning up Tim English in the ruck… again.
The Saturday headlines should’ve said ‘Grundy Teaches English Lesson.’
Last year the hitout counts were a lopsided 58-6 in Round 4 and 50-16 in Round 14 in favour of Grundy., who was named best afield in both games.
This time around it was only 37-11 in favour of Grundy, and he also racked up 19 disposals, approximately 7 holding free kicks Inside 50, and a somewhat disappointing 1.3…. Which should still be enough to get him best afield.
Another highlight for Collingwood was the debut of Tyler Brown alongside brother Callum (With Gavin watching on), and they used their sibling instincts to get Callum a highlight reel goal to end the 1st Quarter.
Dane Swan did say that the Brown boys are going to be a problem.
Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get his opinion on Callum & Tyler.
Channel 7 also had some strange moments – The commentators made mention of Duck now looking like he’s commuted in from Tracy Island;
And Richo turned into Michael Palin, and filmed a new series called “Around The Docklands In 80 Days.”
Lastly, the Pies followed the League’s instructions and didn’t link up, resulting in them forming a massive song and dance rendition of Good Old Collingwood Forever.
What good is getting a beat going during the club song if you aren’t banging on an esky… or smashing a bin against the wall?
Essendon (9.9-63) defeated Fremantle (8.9-57) @ Marvel Stadium
I AM NOT AN ANIMAL, I AM A HUMAN BEING!
WHO HAPPENS TO BE A TWO-TIME BROWNLOW MEDALIST!
If that didn’t look weird enough, what about Essendon trying out meditation, and strangely looking like followers of Jim Jones.
What good is meditating without the most annoying meditation song of all time:
Freo still had a chance to take a mark with 10 seconds left and pinch a draw after the siren, and yet, the bloke best qualified to kick a goal after the siren was the one coaching them.
Speaking of coaches, a certain 4x Premiership coach not named Kevin Sheedy was discreetly watching the game from a box, preparing for a game next week that won’t even happen.
All I see in that photo is Freo’s father watching his team.
Now on to his 3rd club, Jacob Townsend played well in his Bombers debut (Kicked 3 goals in a low scoring game), and a few were surprised to see him be so prominent, but you have to remember some important context.
In his first game of 2017 for Richmond (Round 22), they played Freo at Subiaco Oval.
He kicked 6 goals.
Clearly Jacob has some fetish for humiliating dock workers.
As Nat Fyfe was hideously deformed in to the Elephant Man and Quasimodo, Freo looked to new avenues at goal, mainly in the form of Sam Sturt on debut, who finished with 3 goals – His first was a ripper from 50.
Sam then survived an attempted assassination from Michael Hurley late in the game (Which led to a simple goal), and I imagine Hurls will be in the firing line for a 1-week ban… with another 10 tacked on.
Just quietly, I hope Sturt’s nickname at Freo is ‘Double Blues’….. Or, after this week, ‘Rising Star’.
Still, Freo found another way to shoot themselves in the foot, but, if you thought they had it tough yesterday, just think for their Women’s team.
The first unbeaten team in AFLW history, a monster 70 point win on Saturday afternoon…. And they won’t get a crack at a flag.
Sydney Swans (11.8-74) defeated Adelaide (11.5-71) @ The Adelaide Oval
There’s another effect of the crowd ban – You can’t get heart palpitations watching thrillers.
In Rory Sloane’s 200th game, Jarrad McVeigh’s first official game as Swans midfield coach, and by contrast, the first game as Crows senior coach for his former Swans teammate Matty Nicks, the Swannies had a clearance sale.
46-25 in the clearance battle, and a whopping 20-5 rout in the centre clearances.
The fact that the Crows even got as close they did was a testament to them, but the damage was well and truly done in the midfield, given they were on the back foot at basically every centre bounce.
Up forward, with Buddy still on the sidelines, Isaac Heeney was an absolute bull, with 16 disposals, 5 marks and 4 goals, making him a clear pick for BOG.
The last goal was a real cracker – He knocked debutant Fischer McAsey off the ball like a stiff breeze, stopped the ball from going over for a behind by inches (Confirmed on replay), and as everyone stopped, he snapped the goal.
It turned out to be the Swans’ last goal of the game.
The Crows made a huge comeback in the final minutes (Cutting the gap from 20 points with 5 minutes left to 4 with a minute left), and he may not be captain anymore, but it was good to see Tex reconfirm himself as the Antichrist, by missing that extremely difficult game-winning kick at goal (That only he had a realistic shot of kicking) with 20 seconds remaining.
Apparently the Crows losing in such agonising fashion hasn’t gone down well with Steven Marshall and the South Australian Government.
You know it’s getting bleak when South Australia has to shut their borders… Before everyone does the same to them.
GWS (17.3-105) defeated Geelong (11.7-73) @ GIANTS Stadium
In a massive emotional pre-game blow for the visitors, AFL historian (And diehard Geelong fan) Colin Hutchison missed his first Cats game since Round 9, 1963, unofficially ending a 1294 game attendance streak (The club have said they won’t count this as a missed game, for obvious reasons).
So that also means Col started going to Cats games in a premiership year.
What a bandwagoner.
I think the Cats could’ve used Col, or possibly even Teach or Catman, to provide a distraction behind the goals at both ends, because bloody oath, the Giants took the absolute piss in front of the sticks.
17.3 for the night, and I recall Mark Blicavs (Or someone who looked like Mark) rushing a behind, so they actually kicked 2 behinds in 4 Quarters (Josh Kelly & Toby Greene kicked 1 each).
Of all the teams who found it a crapload easier in front of goal with the crowds dressed up as mute seats, the Giants were No.1.
As a result, despite the reduction to 16 minute quarters, Geelong conceded 100 points for the first time since Round 17, 2018.
Oddly enough, the team that managed it then was a Crows team slowly collapsing like a flan in a cupboard.
Toby Greene reinforced his status as the best Green or Greene in the GWS lineup, with 16 disposals, 4.1 and 2 goal assists to the Jeremies, and the big standout was Harry Perryman, who played more on the wing, and finished up with 20 disposals and a perfect 4 goals.
The Perryman got GWS to the other side, and they payed him accordingly.
It was a very strange 32 point win – Geelong weren’t exactly terrible (Mitch Duncan and Gary Ablett were pretty good by their standards) – Indeed, they won most of the major statistical categories, but it ultimately came down to efficiency.
Hawkins missed a couple of shots, Gazza missed a couple, and then GWS would pull off things like Perryman toe poking a loose through the hands of Jordan Clark, and then forcing a turnover 30 seconds before the half, and Steve Coniglio scrambling through a goal to stuff the Cats’ momentum.
Another sickening moment was when Matthew Richardson declared that you’d “Put your house” on Gazza kicking a set shot goal from 45 out in the pocket in the 2nd Quarter.
Thousands of people are now homeless because you you, Richo.
Port Adelaide (10.16-76) defeated Gold Coast (4.5-29) @ Carrara
Well Port Adelaide, I guess you’re the minor premier by default.
The Suns (And Port) only managed to kick 1 goal in the 2nd Half.
It was still one more than their Women’s team managed after Quarter Time in Fremantle.
North Melbourne (8.8-56) defeated St Kilda (7.12-54) @ Marvel Stadium
Geez, didn’t North corner the market on 2 point wins this weekend:
It was only fitting that it rained at Docklands with the roof open during a North game.
Brad would’ve been turning in his coaching grave.
The Roos looked absolutely insipid in the opening half, not helped at all by Jared Polec impersonating Shannon Grant and slamming a shot into the post from straight in front.
Thankfully, Jared atoned for that shank with a giant last quarter.
Still, it wasn’t even the worst thing I saw at Marvel.
After racing out to a 31 point lead and keeping North to a mere 2 goals to the Half, the Saints apparently got the message that the state of Victoria was shutting down, and decided to do the same, completely undoing 5 months worth of pumping their own tyres and sniffing their own farts.
And the kicker to it all – North played most of the game with 1 fit player on the bench – Josh Walker creamed himself in a marking contest, skipper Jack Ziebell tweaked his knee, and Paul Ahern pinged his hamstring.
I’ve also completely ignored St Kilda losing Gresham and Long for the purposes of my own argument, but bloody hell, you might think happiness is just around the corner at Moorabbin, but then, you remember.
It’s St Kilda.
Hawthorn (14.6-90) defeated Brisbane Lions (9.8-62) @ The MCG
Ladies and gentlemen, the oldest player in the AFL:
Well, all that build-up about Grant Birchall playing the Hawks….
Aaaaaaand he’s a late out with hamstring soreness.
On the subject of Brisbane legends who played for Hawthorn, it’s abundantly clear based on this game that:
NO HODGE – NO BRISABNE.
He was to Lord Fagan what St Paul was to Christ.
To be honest, as the news filtered through about the season suspension, I honestly didn’t feel a thing.
No frustration at watching James Sicily continually overkick a target, no joy at seeing Tommy Mitchell back and firing alongside The Worpedo, at a fully fit Chad Wingard cleaning up like we’d always expect, at Shaun Burgoyne looking like he was 27, and no joy at finally managing to knock off Brisbane after 4 attempts.
Time to lock down for 10 bloody weeks.
Oh well, the joys of being a Hawks fan – You can watch 13 Premierships on a continuously looping DVD.
West Coast Eagles (12.6-78) defeated Melbourne (7.9-51) @ Optus Stadium
The last AFL game for some time, quite fittingly, in a city that will soon become the last bastion of humanity in Australia.
And to think we were going to make Albany the capital of WA.
The Dees shared a charter plane to Perth with Freo on Saturday evening, and they seemed to contract the ‘Crap 1st half Virus’ from the Dockers.
Either that, or Goody told them to play this game like it was the last of 2020, obviously forgetting how the last final game of the season the Dees played in Perth ended up.
After the Eagles kicked the opening 5 goals and the Dees couldn’t hit the side of a barn door, this match was as good as done.
Even though the Redlegs got soundly beaten, but they did give us one good highlight.
Kozzie Pickett on debut!
Good to see his uncle Big Bad Byron managed to get into the stands and watch on.
Here’s one last interesting note about how the no crowd would apparently affect West Coast’s hometown umpiring advantage.
IT DEFINITELY DID.
Apparently Elliot Yeo gave away 7 of them – I’m not kidding.
How appropriate that it finished 9-11, because this current situation is one giant frikkin’ disaster.
ENJOY THE DOWNTIME EVERYONE, STAY SAFE, THE LEAP YEAR PATTERN HAS SPOKEN.
CONGRATULATIONS, PORT ADELAIDE.