Friday night starts with a Dennis Cometti joke about the excessive number of diminutive players at Hawthorn who must crowd out the front row of the team photo. That was good. But chatter about the vertically challenged becomes a cue for Bruce to start talking about the prince of short men - and his heart – Paul 'Poppy' Puopolo. That was bad. Fortunately Duryea was on hand to provide some ballast to Bruce's saccharine Poppy love with his impression of the penis-chopping Ramsay Bolton. That was very, very good.
Meanwhile on the grass, Castagna runs too far for the Tigers and is mown down, resulting in a Hawthorn goal. From the Hawthorn coaching box, ex-Tigers captain Newman looks on at Castagna in a bizarro Seinfeld moment, where the Tigers lead. But soon normal service resumes as the Hawks draw back to the Tiges then incrementally take their dignity away as Kathy Bates does to James Caan in Misery. Bruce tries to keep the game fresh with some spectacular puns about Hampson being handsome. In the Hawthorn cheersquad flutters a "House of Hawthorn" standard, written in Game of Thrones font, no doubt as an encouragement to young Duryea to take no prisoners and to slice as much Tiger wang as possible.
The third quarter comes on all slow like the beginning of a Rod Stewart sleaze ballad, then off come the pants and it's all action. The Tigers get back in the game here and even take the lead. It's like the moment James Caan escapes his bed in Misery, but sure enough Kathy Bates returns with a sledgehammer to clarify the power dynamic. My couch companion points out there are many recalcitrant and disagreeable birds on the field, and wonders where they get off. The final term starts like the golden age of comedy and ends like the golden age of bloodshed as Hawthorn piled on nine goals to three in an old fashioned blowout.
At the MCG on Saturday I sat with a Carlton chum to watch what I could only describe as a banal nightmare. I watched Grundy and remembered his revelation - which had come late to him in the Tigers game like an epiphany - he was going to jump. Well hopefully the next revelation is to jump, only this time high, then higher than your opponent and so on. The Blues forwards were very good in the air all day and Collingwood's on the ground, at least for the few minutes it was in their vicinity. I noticed the ball spent an inordinate amount of time in Carlton's forward half before some freakish aberration sent the ball down our end.
The umpiring was extremely ordinary but Collingwood went head to head with them on that score and really stunk it up. I was very tempted to run onto the ground and give James Aish an above the head twirly bird before throwing him toward the sun, but I'd left my muscleman gloves at home so I let him be. Casboult was gobbling up the ball like a hungry goblin on International Goblin Feast Day. Cripps was feasting on our bones and now comes the 'da dahdah dahdah' from the bleachers. Where is your sock filled with manure and your pack of wooden spoons when you need them?
Bolton looks to have some form of structure about his side while Collingwood players were buzzing around the ground like a pack of blue arsed flies. The way Greenwood kicks is an abomination. He's like an albatross wearing a millstone. There is much soul-searching going on at Collingwood I'm sure, namely a search for actual souls. Ridiculous.
Up at Metricon the Dees were going to stick their pitchforks right up the Suns' bumholes but not in the first half. Metricon looks very much like Jabba the Hutt's barge and presumably the idea was that Rodney the Eade was going to throw his enemies into the Sarlacc Pit (aka Mav Wellers gob), but it wasn't to be. Ablett was looking as agile as Lord Varys and Hall was robbed of a goal by a pernickety umpire, a rare bird indeed.
Jarrod Grant, formerly known as 'Amish', has put on about 1 gram since he was drafted 80 years ago and that was his beard. Soon into the second quarter Rosa does his hamstring, Sexton aptly his wrist and Prestia takes a big hit and the Suns are in desperate need of Rocket Surgery. Lynch is incandescent white but the Dees pepper three goals before punching two through. Jones decides to punctuate the goals by giving Lynch a spinal tap for his troubles.
The third quarter though is where all the hurtin's done and it's simply a bum paddling session with nine goals to three added and by the final term there's a 50 point margin.
Little Lord Gary Jesus temporarily transforms from Lord Varys to the Lord of the Dance as he kicks a goal. I start thinking 'Did Melbourne rebuild while Gold Coast were getting salamis stuffed down their pants by the AFL?' Now look at them? A basket case! Petracca kicks two goals on the trot and starts strutting 'round like a fat-arse cock which is too much for me and Rocket. Calamitous!
No-one at the SCG expects that they'll be anything but 22 stinging Bomber bottoms at the end of their encounter with Sydney. Speaking of pain, Derm's on the mike and Grima gives Tipungwuti a hospital handpass, an institution Grima's all too familiar with. There's a lot of celebrity doppelgangers on the field today, starting with Gwilt who looks like the genetic love child of Eraserhead and Don King.
Heeney has got his beak in everything and is looking very much like the awful brother of the Dragon mum and if the Dothraki should get a hold of him, look out! It's a tight battle until the 3rd when Sydney start to pull out their Valyrian steel and start slashing. The Franklin truck is full of juice and it's not stopping at the boom-gates - this is Roadgames baby!
When Goddard finally finishes his Essendon movie script he might be striking some scenes from this game.
At Etihad Luke Darcy introduces a new term into the footy vernacular at the Dogs/Crows game – the 'cider'. Like the soda but more fizzy and appley. Bontempelli is looking like a 1920s matinee idol while Umpire Penell a character from a Tim Burton animation. The Dogs have a real purple patch in the first and by early in the 2nd they're up 51 to 15. This is no time for Don Pike to be writing his tome I feel. I'm sure it's good but it's not the place although perhaps it is the time.
Things are looking dire. Brian Taylor's talking about Tony Bartuccio dancers and Tom Lynch looks like some horror movie death puppet but then Stringer pulls something down below. Brian asks 'was it in a final last year that he did his twanger?' Now it's time for the Dogs to slacken off. Stringer is on the bench showing off his little boy black shoes and then his comely legs while the Crows go bananas.
And in ominous signs Atkins gives Dale a classic Game of Thrones throat slit. At the start of the 3rd Jenkins kicks a 5th goal then Jacobs kicks one to bring it back to two goals. There is much vitriol with the umpiring but the Dogs press on to take another scalp.
At Etihad St Kilda host the Kangaroos but they're not very nice to them and they have to fetch their own water. The Saints move the ball quickly by hand like Venetian card sharps and look good early but 300 game Petrie receives a Trevor Chappell grubber at the goal mouth which he converts. How does Brad Scott keep his geriatrics so fresh, it must be the kerosene baths. Speaking of the aged, Riewoldt is still battling like a champ rather than seeing out his pension in comfortable white shoes. Admirable. What's also admirable is when Leigh Matthews refers to Basil as Bruce. They're all anonymous minnows and mouth talkers to the great man, really 'boy' should be good enough.
The Saints are spraying their seed but not ploughing any bean fields, nor poking any hay. Brown marks the ball so straight it looks like he's hanging off a coconut still attached to a tree. The 2nd quarter starts and soon Tim Membrey - aka Tim Dal Swanson, aka halfsharkalligator halfman - gets on the scoreboard. An exciting highlight late in the quarter is a Mason Wood handball into Boomer's schnoz. At the start of the 3rd Halfshark's in it again with an early goal then Riewoldt takes a beautiful mark off his face.
The Saints are great but can't penetrate North's defensive wall and Wood can't keep his pants up. Nor can Cunnington. Or Waite or Thomas. Has the world run out of elastic or are North Melbourne in dire bloody economic straits? I know of a haberdashery shop.
Anyway, Gilbert looks very much like a Tim Burton character too, and might be able to find some work with Umpire Penell. A tight game ends with an exciting Sesame Street number count but the Saints are making a good fist of things this season with runny legs.
I've come to enjoy Brisbane games. All that surly energy invariably results in some enticing physical spectacles and the Port game was such a vehicle. Gerard Healy is in the box tonight and pretty soon we get an unwarranted string of superlatives. Wingard now is, like Lord Gary Jesus and Sachin Tendulkar 'the little master'. We should have a hundred of them soon, running around doing mastery things. Dwayne also gives us an amazing stat – the Lions have never won at Adelaide Oval…in their two appearances. What would Disco Stu make of these trends?
Toumpas' kicks are like the proverbial bridges to nowhere and Boak is tearing along close behind. Paparone provides one of the face smothers of the millennium, this one has the lot, and Brisbane go into the first break ahead. But the next three quarters will be like a three cylinder Hyundai racing a hotted up four cylinder Barina with a hole in its muffler. Aaron Young, aka Calendar Jesus – now sadly sans beard – sneaks a goal, but not to be outdone Rich miraculously smothers Broadbent with his demonstrative dinosaur arms.
At the start of quarter three Dwayne warns us that the Lions are 'at breaking strain' whatever that means. But Brisbane are kicking their own arses in front of goal. The last quarter begins with Calendar Jesus goaling again with another six to follow from Port and Dwayne declares 'it's a clinic' – perhaps a VD one, it's certainly looking ugly. Port are clocking Brisbane like Donkey Kong right now and are almost on the kill screen. Thankfully the game ends and a new hydra forms – the Siamese Beard – with Dixon tipped to survive any future surgery.
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