Sports

The Spew Round 4: Sucking Marrow, Mind Melds, and Non-Ironic Moustaches

Wrapping up the weekend in footy with David "The Iron Sock" Latham
April 18, 2016, 5:54am
Mr Wolf inspects the crime scene

Previously on The Spew:
Round 3 Round 2

It was retro night at Domain Stadium and the Eagles came dressed as lego men as they paid homage to 1987, the year they entered the VFL. And indeed everything was awesome by the close of the first quarter for West Coast. Vickery got more boos than Nikolai Volkov wiping his bum with an American flag and this contest looked like one between Volkov and the Iron Sheikh versus Dave Barbie and the lamentable 'Mr X' as all sorts of furniture was bought down on Richmond's head. In quarter 2 Astbury burnt the ball in Richmond's defensive 50 resulting in an Eagles goal. By halfway through the second quarter West Coast were already sucking the marrow out.

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At half-time Channel 7 introduced us to King-esque graphics with twisting cogs, moving sticks and whirly birds that made you feel part of a pinball machine, signifying nothing but nausea. Like the 1st quarter the 3rd started for Richmond up like a rocket, but not down like a brown sticky thing just yet. Rioli provided a pinhole of light in a bleak evening with a lairy goal. West Coast all night were kicking the ball flat and low like coat-hangers. By the end of the game Brendan Gale was on the blower, no doubt to Mr Wolf. A memo also to the AFL: before the expansion into China, before the next TV rights deal, top priority must be given to scrapping the Eagles club song and erasing all our memories of it. Awful.

On Saturday the Cats and the Dons faced each other in the specially themed 'Children of the Corn' game. The Dons were frighteningly competitive and in theme Ambrose thrust his head into Mr Jazz Ballet—Cameron Guthrie—like a disobedient ram. Worsfold put some young cattle—Parish, Laverde and Merrett—into the middle and lo, they were not slain but competeth well. Late in the 2nd from Worsfold's head, like a modern day Zeus appeared to spring Athena, goddess of war. But only moments later the wing of Laverde, like Icarus, failed him and he left the field of battle.

From Zeus' head did spring Athena

In the second half it struck me that Gleeson is surely related to Alan Toovey and Dennis Armfield—a project which some lucky geneticist may someday be able to devote their whole lives to discovering. Never forgetting his rural connections, Hawkins lay a leather egg in the 3rd while Tipungwuti roamed the hinterlands like a post-apocalyptic bounty hunter before the Cats finally pulled away.

In Tasmania the Saints took it right up to Hawthorn, so much so that a frustrated Clarkson gave a glass wall one of his patented punches. Flesh - tick, plaster - tick, fibreglass - tick, glass - tick. Insiders say Clarkson's got a list of building materials he's methodically working through, with suggestions extruded aluminium is in the cross hairs. After much pedantry early in the round about 15 metre kicks, Puopolo was not called to play on when he marked a 10 metre kick in a blatant case of reverse dwarfism! Speaking of which, a head clash between Weller and Mitchell became the occasion for some mawkish praise heaping by commentators on Mitchell.

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In the second half Dwayne treated us to his catalogue of mix-and-match clichés "read (rode) that (bump) to perfection", "lace out", "that's you're (x, y, z)". I thought about the everyday life of Dwayne, the man with only 3rd and 5th gears and what that would sound like in his head. "I'm approaching this mixed lettuce with intent, oh boy, this tongful is going straight through the middle of the bag. Oh baby that's good. There's your salad base right there!" The game see-saws spectacularly. McCartin plucks the ball like he's reaching out for a beach ball at one end, at the other Puopolo appears again and Dwayne's hyperbole goes to 11 as Hawthorn hold out.

The best game of the round for me was "The Shill Down" at the Gabba between Brisbane and the Suns. It's ominous early as Lynch bags 3 and the ball bounces crisply off Andrews' bonce, like a bite from a Granny Smith. This game is getting more bloody and violent than a Dario Argento film and I hope there is room in the script for Green to form an intricate subject for an Argento plot device. After a Zorko head bleed, Merrett makes Malceski taste brain fluid and then May rolls over Martin—which I can only liken in its effect to the biggest steamroller on earth being driven by the cosmos' fattest sentient being and rolling over Martin's prone body. At half-time, Leppitsch shows some footage to the Lions to fire them up—Rollerball.

In the second half I'm struck by the blandness of Gold Coast who have all the passion of corporate shills. Brisbane are past-masters at contriving emotion and a meaningful history, having learnt from Leigh Matthews who had to spirit something up from nothing at Hawthorn in the 1970s. One of the commentators makes the astute observation that the funny shaped ball "can bounce anyway it chooses" introducing the incredible concept of some form of leathery Cartesian dualism in an already complicated game. Maybe the seat of consciousness there is the bladder, who can say. Anyway, injuries continue to Gardiner and it's last man standing stuff with James Caan waiting for instruction on the Brisbane bench. In the coaches box, Rocket's muscle memory is working overtime as he runs his hand through non-existent hair, wipes his mouth and tugs his neck skin. Like a neurotic Howard Hughes, he keeps his phone at a distance. It's super tight and in keeping with the heavy violence Taylor gets a late eye poke, Gardiner an ear mash and Schache a late limp but it's all worth it as the Lions win.

At Etihad the Dogs and Blues rumble and Kreuzer sits forward early, trudging toward the ball with outstretched mummy hands. To paraphrase PJ Keating on Brian Burke, Weitering is like wallpaper down back, he's everywhere you look. A ball is headed by Tom Boyd and ends up somewhere in Jupiter's orbit and is now a minor moon. Carlton close the second quarter without a goal. Like Leppitsch at Brisbane, Bolton shows the Blues half-time footage—a trailer of Zardoz to punctuate the meaninglessness and brutality of football at Ikon Park.

The game likewise loses all meaning and soon we learn about Rebecca Judd's attire and I turn to Million Dollar Boyd's hair which is very Max Headroom. But disaster afflicts the Dogs as Johannissen's hamstring goes and Boyd's shoulder looks suspect. Luke Darcy's post-game synopsis suggests the personnel losses are tempered by the fact that they "play a system". Well that's very reassuring and presumably Latvian folk dancers can breach the void so long as they understand the system.

Sydney were guests of Adelaide and the original boy next door, Harry Cunningham, gets Sydney on the board, before Walker quickly responds through the power of his non-ironic mo. The Betts-Waite Iron Law of Blue Balls continued to prove a cogent theorem as Eddie worked his way around the oval. In the box Derm was reminiscing about "smelling salts", humour belts and leeches. None of this concussion testing thanks, everyone knows nothing's more clarifying then a Robert Walls beating.

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I was struck by how much Heeney resembled the evil blonde guy from Karate Kid as he kicked the first goal of the 3rd. McGovern responded and Derm spoke of genetic science and how "all the McGovern's have the arched eyebrows", no doubt after extensive scientific research employing only the most meticulous techniques. Soon we were introduced to "the pressure gauge". And just as the collapse of the Eastern Bloc heralded "the end of history", so the Pressure Gauge must surely signal the "end of science". Game highlights included Lever trailing Franklin to goal like cans on a wedding car, the Crows defending their defensive 50 like Soviets defending a cordon sanitaire and the existence of Cheney who is the greatest survivor since Brynden Tully at the Red Wedding.

At Manuka the Giants got away with Puopolo length 15m passes and Shaw drove the dangerous Wingard into the ground like a pneumatic drill. In a monumentally slow footrace between Mumford and Lobbe on the wing, time actually reversed and the two travelled back to the set of Welcome Back Kotter where Lobbe grabbed Byrne Jones who was cast as the original Horshcak. But it wasn't long before GWS got the ascendancy. Gerard Healy opined that he "came to see a dog fight" which I thought highly unprofessional—dog fighting or football Gerard—time to decide.

At half-time the Port players energised themselves with fortune cookies the contents of which were said to be hurtful. Captain Boak-Choy tried to turn the tide but it was too late and the game a sight for soya eyes. Gerard commented that "if you choose to run off but don't impact (the contest), you're playing Russian roulette." That sounded like quite a severe punishment to me and I think he's been hanging around the dog fight people too much.

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The Pies should have run onto the MCG accompanied by The Verve's "The Drugs Don't Work". Jesse White and Alan Toovey being burnt off by Jack Watts is in my mind an executable offense. I made excuses for the Pies—the De Chiricoesque light, ill-fitting headbands—but it was soon evident that we were simply crap. By quarter 2 Bucks was already on the interwebs looking to book a seat to Mars and so when I went for my booking in the 3rd the spaceship was already full.

The Aryans at Melbourne floated along happily. Wagner ran the field accompanied by Valkyries and Frost by the spirit of Gary Busey. Aish continued to be the myopic master of the 5 metre radius and if Shuey kicked flat kicks resembling coat-hangers, Nathan Brown's kicks shape like chocolate royals. Nathan Jones looked every bit a Kentuckian dungeon master and at the end his sidekick Gawn tugged his jumper in honour of all the judges and stockbrokers who had given it to uppity proles and the low Irish mob.

Finally, North and Freo met at Etihad. Early on Freo went for garrottings with Ballantyne, Pierce and Pearce all going high on North players in a Freo Reign of Terror. Derm thought that Thomas might have put his own head in the stocks while Dwayne went early in his hyperbolous fashion when Higgins kicked an early goal. Nevertheless this was "as good as it gets" for Dwayne. Freo's list were so slow they made Firrito look like Hermes while a screenshot of Fyfe reminded me of Kelly McGillis.

Nat Fyfe and Kelly McGillis: Top Guns

When Taberner got handball happy, Derm informed us that you "can't get confidence by handballing goals. You've got to kick them sometimes." Of note visually was Firrito spoiling a ball like he was punching a clown in the nose, Tarrant expertly kicking the ball directly into Suban's face and Dal Santo's touching paean to Wayne Carey.

Touching salute to Wayne Carey

By the end Ross Lyon had the weight of an emperor on his shoulders and not even a Lachie Neale attempted mind meld could help. When Ben Brown got in on the act it was death by clown as Ross went away to consider whether Operation Geriatric was working for him.

Emperors Lyon and Trajan

Lachie Neale Mind-meld

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