AFL: the other football. No, the OTHER Football. No…

MiracleOfO2704

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Woof. It only took 9 matches.

Effective immediately, North Melbourne Football Club senior coach Alastair Clarkson will step away from the club to focus on his physical and emotional wellbeing.

Current club assistant coach and former AFL senior coach, Brett Ratten, will take on the role of senior coach in the interim.

“The club is providing its full support to Alastair and we commend him for making this important decision to put his health first,” North Melbourne President Dr Sonja Hood said.
View: https://twitter.com/nmfcofficial/status/1658985753957810179?s=46&t=QgPlur015YjYmVsNzWFFfg
 

thehitcat

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So is this North (the graveyard of coaches) breaking Clarko? Or is he getting out in front of the next revelations in the racism allegations? I hope he takes whatever time and gets whatever help he needs. It's pretty clear off field stuff has been weighing on him after his press conference last week.
 
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MiracleOfO2704

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Yeah, this is the way everyone should handle mental health issues. If you know something’s keeping you from being 100% committed to your job, it’s in everyone’s best interest that they be allowed to step aside and do what needs to be done. In a league that trades heavily in tough-guy bravado, this and the retirement of Crows rookie Fischer McAsey are refreshing.

FWIW, I don’t think North’s struggles are what pushed Clarkson to this point. I’d hope it’s not the Hawthorn investigation, but I also think it’s far more likely to be that than the rigours of the North job.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Okay, this one gets its own write-up.

North Melbourne 14.6 (90)
Sydney 14.9 (93)

So, let's talk about an AFL bench.

When a gameday list is announced, it includes 23 players total: 18 start, 4 sit on the interchange bench, and the last is a straight substitute, who can come on at any time in the match, but once he's on, the player he's replacing is done for the day. The interchange bench works similarly to ice hockey's line changes. Players that the coach wants to rest for a few minutes enter the interchange gate, and his substitute enters the field by the same gate. In addition to exchanging at the proper location, there are limits to the number of interchanges a team can make in a match: 75 through four quarters (don't ask me about extra time in the Finals, I just don't know).

So, with two minutes to go in today's match, North is leading by three with one interchange left. At that point, Liam Shields and Will Phillips both came off, which is two interchanges, one more than allowed. Meanwhile, play was allowed to continue in the Swans attacking end when Hugh Greenwood was tackled by a couple Swans, necessitating a ball-up. That's when the interchange steward got into the umpire's earpiece explaining that there was an interchange infringement, giving Sydney a free and 50-metre from the spot of the stoppage, meaning the free was paid at the top of the goal square. By this point, an extra minute had run off the clock, giving North almost no chance to come back after the centre bounce.

TL;DR, Norf gonna Norf
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Port Adelaide 11.14 (80)
Melbourne 11.10 (76)

Western Bulldogs 11.19 (85)
Adelaide 5.10 (40)

Fremantle 16.10 (106)
Geelong 11.11 (77)

Brisbane 16.11 (107)
Gold Coast 9.10 (64)

Essendon 10.11 (71)
Richmond 10.10 (70)

Hawthorn 22.10 (142)
West Coast 4.2 (26)

Carlton 7.15 (57)
Collingwood 13.7 (85)

Greater Western Sydney 12.8 (80)
St. Kilda 13.14 (92)

Round 11

Friday, May 26
Sydney vs. Carlton at SCG, 5:50 am (TSN2 Tape Delay - 3 pm)

Saturday, May 27
St. Kilda vs. Hawthorn at Marvel, 5/26 11:45 pm (TSN5 live)
Melbourne vs. Fremantle at MCG, 12:10 am
Geelong vs. Greater Western Sydney at GMHBA, 2:35 am
Gold Coast vs. Western Bulldogs at TIO Stadium (Darwin, NT), 5:25 am
West Coast vs. Essendon at Optus, 5:40 am

Sunday, May 28
Richmond vs. Port Adelaide at MCG, 5/27 11:10 pm
Collingwood vs. North Melbourne at Marvel, 1:20 am
Adelaide vs. Brisbane at Adelaide Oval, 2:40 am

And the first coach to actually fall this season is...Damien Hardwick of Richmond. He'd led the club since 2010, including their 3 Premierships in 4 years (2017, 2019, 2020), and is the longest serving head coach for the Tigers with 307 games at the helm.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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That Port-Melbourne game was a barn burner in a downpour. Lots of back and forth score changes. Got a late start on my day on Friday because I couldn't walk away from it until it was over. Wish I knew enough about the intricacies to wax poetic about it. I'm just glad Port pulled it out.

This week's US live broadcasts, times EDT...

Friday
Sydney vs Carlton, 5:30am, FS2

Saturday
Melbourne vs Fremantle, 12:00am, FS1
Geelong vs Greater Western Sydney, 2:30am, FS2

Sunday
Collingwood vs North Melbourne, 1:00am, FS2
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Welp, that was a weird week.

Sydney 11.11 (77)
Carlton 6.15 (51)

Carlton are frauds, and Voss should be feeling the heat soon.

St. Kilda 12.6 (78)
Hawthorn 12.16 (88)

Melbourne 10.12 (72)
Fremantle 12.7 (79)

Geelong 10.14 (74)
Greater Western Sydney 12.9 (81)

Gold Coast 13.6 (84)
Western Bulldogs 11.11 (77)

West Coast 6.10 (46)
Essendon 14.12 (96)

Richmond 9.13 (67)
Port Adelaide 10.17 (77)

Collingwood 16.9 (105)
North Melbourne 10.10 (70)

Adelaide 14.11 (95)
Brisbane 10.18 (78)

Round 12 starts the bye weeks. Four this week in Brisbane, Fremantle, St. Kilda, and Sydney.

Friday, June 2
Melbourne vs. Carlton at MCG, 5:50 am (TSN2 Tape Delay - 1:00 PM)

Saturday, June 3
Port Adelaide vs. Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval, 6/2 11:45 PM
West Coast vs. Collingwood at Optus, 2:35 am
Western Bulldogs vs. Geelong at Marvel, 5:25 am (TSN2 live)
Gold Coast vs. Adelaide at TIO Stadium (Darwin, NT), 5:30 am

Sunday, June 4
Greater Western Sydney vs. Richmond at GIANTS Stadium, 6/3 11:10 pm
Essendon vs. North Melbourne at Marvel, 2:40 am

One other bit of business this week is the mid-season draft, which allows teams with long-term list losses to replenish. West Coast made one of the bigger splashes, taking Ryan Maric from Gippsland first overall. Only two players of note were taken, Caleb Poulter by the Bulldogs and Quinton Narkle by the Power. GWS lost out on the players they wanted and passed both its selections.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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And just like that, we're halfway through the season. Time flies when you're having fun. Here's how last weekend broke down:

Melbourne 8.13 (61)
Carlton 6.8 (44)

Port Adelaide 23.13 (151)
Hawthorn 14.12 (96)

West Coast 8.9 (57)
Collingwood 18.12 (120)

Western Bulldogs 10.15 (75)
Geelong 15.7 (97)

Gold Coast 16.16 (112)
Adelaide 13.9 (87)

Greater Western Sydney 15.14 (104)
Richmond 16.14 (110)

Essendon 16.9 (105)
North Melbourne 15.9 (99)

And now, it's the ladder after 12

Collingwood 11 1 0 44 138.4
Port Adelaide 10 2 0 40 116.2
Melbourne 8 4 0 32 134.1
Brisbane* 8 3 0 32 124.7
St. Kilda* 7 4 0 28 116.5
Essendon 7 5 0 28 107.8
Western Bulldogs 7 5 0 28 103.7
Geelong 6 6 0 24 118.9
Adelaide 6 6 0 24 105.2
Fremantle* 6 5 0 24 102.3
Gold Coast 6 6 0 24 100.0
Sydney* 5 6 0 20 101.2
Richmond 4 7 1 18 99.2
Carlton 4 7 1 18 95.1
GWS 4 8 0 16 88.0
Hawthorn 3 9 0 12 75.0
North Melbourne 2 10 0 8 68.5
West Coast 1 11 0 4 54.1

*-Team has had its bye week

Rather than any kind of power rankings, I think it's helpful to think of these teams in a handful of groups:

-The Contenders: Collingwood, Port Adelaide

The Pies have improved on their 2022 form of insane luck by just steamrolling everyone. Whether they can continue to do that while Jordan de Goey sits for a bad bump against West Coast is another question. Meanwhile, Port have roared back after an off year in 2022, and the AFL's longest-tenured boss is getting it done with a healthy list.

-The Dark Horses: Melbourne, Brisbane, St. Kilda

I think the Saints will have to show something coming out of their bye, as they're in danger of slipping out of this group with some spotty form of late. Their defence is great, but can they score enough to make it matter? Meanwhile, the Dees and Lions were a lot of people's favourites, so the only shocking thing is that they aren't more in touching distance of the top two.

-The Battlegrounds: Essendon, Bulldogs, Geelong, Adelaide, Fremantle, Gold Coast

3 of these teams will make the 8, but I'm not sure anyone excepting Geelong can feel like they can truly contend once there. Freo and the Cats have been uneven so far, Adelaide and the Suns look every bit the part of young teams trying to finally break the glass ceiling, and Essendon and the Bulldogs are total wild cards, sides that could drive themselves up the ladder, but could also stumble out, with neither really eliciting much of a reaction.

-The Disappointments: Sydney, Richmond, Carlton

I've made my thoughts on Carlton clear already. Sydney was in the Grand Final last October. Richmond isn't that far removed from 3 flags in 4 years. And yet, despite the belief that all three of these teams should be at least contending for September footy, they're all pretty well out of touch with half the season to go. It'd take a miracle for any of these 3 to get back into the chase.

-The Rebuilders: GWS, North, Hawthorn

We all knew they'd be here. The Roos and Hawks have impressed in stretches, but it's another couple of years before we can realistically have expectations for any of them.

-The Wooden Spoon: West Coast

2018 must feel like an eternity. They had to play the last two quarters last week with only 2 on the interchange bench, they were that injured. Their injured list is more impressive than their active list. They are 100% staring a long rebuild in the face.

Round 13:

Byes: Geelong, Gold Coast

Thursday, June 8
Sydney vs. St. Kilda at the SCG, 5:10 am

Friday, June 9
Western Bulldogs vs. Port Adelaide at Marvel, 5:50 am

Saturday, June 10
Hawthorn vs. Brisbane at the MCG, 6/9 11:45 pm
Adelaide vs. West Coast at Adelaide Oval, 2:35 am
Fremantle vs. Richmond at Optus, 5:25 am

Sunday, June 11
North Melbourne vs. Greater Western Sydney at Blundstone Arena (Hobart, Tas.), 1:20 am
Carlton vs. Essendon at the MCG, 5:15 am (TSN2 live)

Monday, June 12
Melbourne vs. Collingwood at the MCG, 1:20 am (TSN2 tape delay - 2:00 pm)
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Round 13's done, with some interesting results.

Sydney 9.12 (66)
St. Kilda 12.8 (80)

Western Bulldogs 13.7 (85)
Port Adelaide 16.11 (107)

Hawthorn 15.8 (98)
Brisbane 11.7 (73)

Adelaide 27.12 (174)
West Coast 8.4 (52)
*Taylor Walker scored 10.2 in his 250th game

Fremantle 10.10 (70)
Richmond 12.13 (85)

North Melbourne 11.9 (75)
Greater Western Sydney 15.13 (103)

Carlton 6.16 (52)
Essendon 13.8 (86)

Melbourne 8.18 (66)
Collingwood 9.8 (62)
 

MiracleOfO2704

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I’m bumping this one after a month and a half for some big news. Earlier in the thread, I posted the video of Lance Franklin kicking his 1,000th goal last year. Well, after picking up a calf injury against Essendon on Saturday, and having already announced that this season would be his last, Buddy has retired.
I likely won’t bump this again until the end of Round 24 to set up the finals (unless people want me to), but hopefully there might be a bit more interest once the games have major meaning.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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And here we are. I was going to do a @cannonball 1729 style write-up about the 10 teams that missed Finals, but getting only two out of nine matches a week means I likely missed out on the worst performers outside the headlines, so just a quick summary:

-North Melbourne looked to be heading for the wooden spoon right up until the last weekend when they nabbed a big win at home to Gold Coast. They and West Coast finished with identical 3-20 records, but West Coast’s percentage (53.0%) was “better“ than Norf’s (71.5). As such, the Eagles will have the first pick in the national draft over the Australian summer and likely land Bendigo mid/forward Harley Reid…if he’ll leave Victoria. With a bevy of retirements over the last 12 months of their 2018 Premiership core (ruck Nic Naitanui, mid Luke Shuey, and defender Shannon Hurn were all chaired off after their last match against Adelaide, a year after forward Josh Kennedy called time at the end of last season), the rebuild is on, putting them behind North and Hawthorn.

-Quite a few Finals sides from last year fell out of the 8 for this season. Fremantle never got untracked and finished 14th, the Bulldogs were the hard-luck out when GWS beat Carlton last night, and the now-former Premiers Geelong, despite a gaudy percentage (112.6%), finished 10-12-1 and in 12th.

-Speaking of hard outs, let’s talk about my Adelaide Crows. No Finals since 2017, and despite some setbacks for young guns like Josh Rachele and Darcy Fogarty, the Crows won three more matches than last year and had a huge 116.8%, the fourth-best in the competition (Only minor premiers Collingwood, Brisbane, and 2021 Premiers Melbourne, were better). So, what happened? Considering percentage is the first tiebreaker, their 11-12 was a healthy distance behind eighth-place Sydney (12-10-1). However, in Week 23, Adelaide hosted Sydney at Adelaide Oval. With a little more than a minute remaining and down by two points, Sydney kicked a ball straight out to touch in the right pocket in front of the open end. Despite wondercrummer Izak Rankine initially setting up for the somewhat tricky banana, midfielder Ben Keays took the ball, gave it a boot, and snuck the ball just inside the left goal post to complete a 32-point final term comeback and inject the Crows back into Finals talk.

Except.

The goal umpire under the post said the ball had touched the padding of the post, which reduced the score from major to minor, and instead of a four-point lead, Adelaide still faced a one-point deficit. While Keays and the rest of the forwards celebrated the goal, Sydney, for the first time all quarter, was able to easily move the ball from their defensive goal square to their offensive 50, and ride it out. Replays showed there was clear daylight between Keays’ kick and the post, and the goal umpire likely heard a Swans defender slapping the post as the ball came across. The decision was never referred for review, and the decision was kept as is. The next day, outgoing AFL CEO Gillon McLachlan said that the decision was wrong, a score review would have reversed the call, and the goal umpire was stood down for Round 24 and the Finals…and the result would stand. Assuming a reversal and the Crows controlling the resulting centre bounce, the difference is very simple: Adelaide would be in an Elimination Final at the MCG against Carlton, and the Swans, last year’s runner-up, would be out. By the by, I suspect (but haven’t verified yet) that Adelaide’s 116.8% is the highest percentage for a team outside the 8 in AFL history, maybe even including the VFL era. And yes, they have a loooooooot of losses where they were close (their highest losing margin was 45 points against the Western Bulldogs at Ballarat, followed by their Round 2 loss at home to Richmond at 32 points, and nothing else by more than 5 goals), including a pair of losses to Collingwood by a combined 3-point margin.

So, what’s left? Well, the fun part! The schedule for the Finals has already been released, and here’s how it goes:

Thursday, September 7: 1st Qualifying Final
Collingwood vs. Melbourne at the MCG, 7:20 PM AEST
Friday, September 8: 1st Elimination Final
Carlton vs. Sydney at MCG, 7:50 PM AEST
Saturday, September 9: 2nd Elimination Final
St. Kilda vs GWS at MCG, 3:20 PM AEST
2nd Qualifying Final
Brisbane vs. Port Adelaide at the Gabba, 7:50 PM AEST.

In Week 2 (weekend of 15-16 September), the loser of the 1st Qualifying Final (Collingwood or Melbourne) will host the winner of the 1st Elimination Final (Carlton-Sydney) in the 1st Semi-Final at the MCG, and the loser of the 2nd Qualifying Final (Brisbane-Port) will host the winner of the 2nd Elimination Final (St. Kilda-GWS) in the 2nd Semi-Final. In Week 3 (weekend of 22-23 September), the winner of the 1st Qualifying Final hosts the winner of the 2nd Semi-Final in the 1st Preliminary Final at the MCG, and the winner of the 2nd Qualifying Final will host the winner of the 1st Semi-Final in the 2nd Preliminary Final. The two Preliminary Finals winners will face each other in the Grand Final at the MCG on 30 September at 2:30 PM AEST. The pre- and post-game entertainment is TBD.
 

Senator Donut

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I love these 7:50 start times during DST. Matches end at breakfast right before work. Sydney need two goals in the last 3 minutes to tie.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Sydney need two goals in the last 3 minutes to tie.
As much as I love laughing at Carlton being the Packers of the AFL (lots of history, plenty of flags, but so many of them came before interstate expansion), there’s something about watching Sydney steal Adelaide’s spot and spending three quarters wasting it.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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After the first week of Finals, we’re two teams lighter, and two more teams are straight to the Preliminary Finals.

Collingwood 9.6 (60)
Melbourne 7.11 (53)

Not much of a surprise that the minor premiers are through, but the two surprises in this match were:

-How poor Melbourne were in the first three terms. The first half in particular saw the 2021 premiers with only 6 scoring shots (2.4).
-How much Collingwood shut down in the fourth. Only two minors against the Dees’ 3.2, and it was almost enough for the comeback. In addition, the MRO had a field day, with Brayden Maynard of the Magpies initially sent straight to the Tribunal for the after-effects of a smother attempt on Angus Brayshaw left the latter concussed and out for the Semifinal. Maynard was initially looking at the end of the season, but after the Tribunal, the ruling was his smother attempt was reasonable and he’ll be back for the Prelim. In addition to losing Brayshaw, the Dees will be without defender Jacob van Rooyan for the Semifinal after he got an elbow up on Dan McStay shortly after Brayshaw’s smother gone wrong.

Collingwood moves on to the 1st Preliminary final next week. Melbourne will host the 1st Semifinal against…

Carlton 11.8 (74)
Sydney 9.15 (68)

…the Baggies. And another Finals match that got inexplicably tight. The Swans actually had more scoring shots in the first term, but their inaccuracy in front of the sticks put them down by 19 at quarter time. Then the scoring dried up for the Swans in the second, while Carlton kept their pace through halftime. Like Collingwood, the Blues let up in the final term (1.2), but had built up enough of a lead that time ran out on Sydney’s season. They’re eliminated, and Carlton play Friday night at the MCG against the Demons.

And yes, I’m a bit bitter it’s not Adelaide here. They thumped Carlton at Gather Round, and maybe they could’ve surprised here.

St. Kilda 11.11 (77)
Greater Western Sydney 15.11 (101)

This one was basically after the first term, which GWS won by three goals (2.3 to 5.3), and the gap rarely wavered from there. The Saints continue their hard-luck life and will look to break their now-58 year run since their one Premiership. Meanwhile, GWS is on the road for an interstate Semifinal against…

Brisbane 19.9 (123)
Port Adelaide 11.9 (75)

…the Power at Adelaide Oval. This was a close match early on, and Port had a tiny 2-point lead in the second term, but 3 straight goals to close out the second for Brisbane was the opening of the floodgates, with the Lions scoring 8.1 in the third to pull well away. It also ran Brisbane’s record at the Gabba to 12-0 on the year, embodying its nickname, the Gabbatoir. And Brisbane just have to win a 13th to get into the Grand Final.

So here’s how Week 2 will look:

1st Semifinal, MCG, 5:50 am EDT
Melbourne vs Carlton
Winner plays 2nd Preliminary Final at Brisbane

2nd Semifinal, Adelaide Oval, 5:40 EDT
Port Adelaide vs GWS
Winner plays 1st Preliminary Final at Collingwood
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Port had a strange bout of what I can only call the yips, especially in the first half. They got something like five points off their first seven set shots. A couple were in prime position too. Then they managed that brief lead before once again struggling to find the goal posts until Brisbane had put the game away. Hoping for a better showing at home against the Giants.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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My DVR cut as Carlton kicked the last behind.

Melbourne 9.17 (71)
Carlton 11.7 (73)

Melbourne had so many chances to close it out in the second half and just couldn’t kick straight to save their actual Finals lives. 17 behinds to Carlton’s 18 scoring plays is abysmal.

I have no idea what the Dees do from here. Yes, they won the Perth COVID flag in 2021, but they haven’t won a Finals match in Melbourne since 2018 and just got dumped in straight sets for the second consecutive year. They’re obviously good enough in the H&A season to finish high on the ladder, but something happens to them in September and they just don’t close out matches. They’ll likely move Grundy in the trade period, but he had nothing to do with the Dees one way or the other the last few matches. Gawn’s probably not going anywhere, but who gets put on the altar for sacrifice? Pickett? Spargo? Petracca? Goodwin? If I’m a Dees supporter tonight, I am livid.
 
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Theodoric

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Jun 13, 2022
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My DVR cut as Carlton kicked the last behind.

Melbourne 9.17 (71)
Carlton 11.7 (7

Melbourne had so many chances to close it out in the second half and just couldn’t kick straight to save their actual Finals lives. 17 behinds to Carlton’s 18 scoring plays is abysmal.

I have no idea what the Dees do from here. Yes, they won the Perth COVID flag in 2021, but they haven’t won a Finals match in Melbourne since 2018 and just got dumped in straight sets for the second consecutive year. They’re obviously good enough in the H&A season to finish high on the ladder, but something happens to them in September and they just don’t close out matches. They’ll likely move Grundy in the trade period, but he had nothing to do with the Dees one way or the other the last few matches. Gawn’s probably not going anywhere, but who gets put on the altar for sacrifice? Pickett? Spargo? Petracca? Goodwin? If I’m a Dees supporter tonight, I am livid.
If I was a Dees fan, I'd be torn between upset and happy about finally relevant again. I'm a Richmond fan, and the 35 years between a god awful Grand Final and finally winning again was terrible and most of those years were spent being irrelevant. I wouldn't mind Melbourne being consistently good again. I loved going to games at the 'G. But then again, I want South Melbourne and Fitzroy back too. And it was always amusing if Footscray or St. Kilda were competitive. Anyway, random thoughts. Thanks for caring about the game I grew up with and don't get to see much anymore.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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No worries, glad to do it. The game, like most other sports, is equal parts amazing, frustrating, and hilarious.

As far as my thought process for Dees supporters, it just comes down to the fact that the modern game is boom and bust. My Crows came back from the dead in 2015-17, and have spent the last six years trying to get back. Carlton spent the last decade missing out on Finals footy, and now they’re playing at the Gabba next weekend for a chance at the Granny. The Suns have been in the AFL for 13 seasons now, and nada. The Dees may be flag contenders for years…or back to the lean times real soon. Any year that has a top-4 finish but no prelim final is, let’s face it, a waste. And every year that passes is a year closer to Gawn, Petracca, Oliver, et al, not being at the top of their game.
 

Theodoric

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No worries, glad to do it. The game, like most other sports, is equal parts amazing, frustrating, and hilarious.

As far as my thought process for Dees supporters, it just comes down to the fact that the modern game is boom and bust. My Crows came back from the dead in 2015-17, and have spent the last six years trying to get back. Carlton spent the last decade missing out on Finals footy, and now they’re playing at the Gabba next weekend for a chance at the Granny. The Suns have been in the AFL for 13 seasons now, and nada. The Dees may be flag contenders for years…or back to the lean times real soon. Any year that has a top-4 finish but no prelim final is, let’s face it, a waste. And every year that passes is a year closer to Gawn, Petracca, Oliver, et al, not being at the top of their game.
Are you a native Crows supporter? My parents live in Adelaide now. Lived in Carlton when I was born, but were from ACT/NSW and cared more about rugby, so let me pick my own team, and it's been Richmond since 1980.

(Fandom is weird. We moved to California when I was 11, and became a 49er fan because Joe Montana was easier to follow for someone who didn't understand the game than Eric Dickerson running the ball up the middle every play. Married a girl from the Cape which is how I became a Sox fan and have lurked here since well . . . let's just say I remember the mega-tarp thread. But each team I pick, I pick them forever.)
 

MiracleOfO2704

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No, I can’t remember if I told the story in this thread or somewhere else, but I found a full replay of the 2017 prelim final on YouTube, and, sight unseen, love the way that Crows team played. Jacobs rucking, Talia and Lever running the backs, a younger Laird and Sloane in the middle, and that forward attack. Lynch, prime Tex, Jenkins, Eddie, Charlie Cameron…it was all just so fluid and unrelenting.

Then I learned about that granny against your Tigers.

Then I learned about that stupid 2018 camp.

But, I was reinforced when told about the youngsters on the way: Fogarty and Rankine are at the fore, but I’ve since learned about Rachele, Soligo, Hinge, Michalanney, Worrell, even a resurgent Matt Crouch and kids still in SANFL like Borlase, Berry, and even Thilthorpe (if they can decide whether he’s a forward or a ruck). That’s part of what made this season frustrating. They were rarely ever out of a match late, but never really managed to figure out how to win a close one, and still came a bad goal umpire’s decision away from an elimination final against a side they’d thrashed at Gather Round. Yeah, since it’s at the G they probably don’t win, but I have to believe it would’ve been an amazing experience for them, and who knows?

EDIT: I should probably point out that I’ve never been anywhere close to Australia. I joke to people that haven’t watched that it’s a game created as an excuse for 36 Australians to stand on a cricket pitch and punch each other up, but it doesn’t take much watching to really appreciate the beauty of the game.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Also also, I posted a video from a Lions-barracking shitposter that was actually some quality work, documenting the early years in Brisbane (how they got the Bears, playing in Carrara for the first years, Christopher Skase, the slow build to respectable, culminating in the merger with Fitzroy). He made a clear point that the original Lions should have never gotten to the point that an island country’s government had to prop them up. And when that wasn’t feasible, there should’ve been avenues to keep Fitzroy alive rather than either a merger that killed their identity or winding up.

While I think the ship has sailed on the Bloods coming back to Melbourne (my favourite non-Crows moment of the last 25 years is probably Nick Davis’ four-goal final term in the 2005 semifinal against Geelong), I could get behind restoring the Bulldogs’ name to Footscray. Every other club’s name includes the place they were founded, except the Dogs.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
21,343
Maine
Final quarter underway in Adelaide, live on FS2.

After a back and forth first quarter, GWS nearly ran Port off the field in the second quarter. Port is still hanging around, trying to chip away at what was an over 30 point deficit. I think they're going to run out of time, but I remain hopeful.
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
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Jul 12, 2005
9,666
The Island
Yeah, that second was brutal. And Port only really had a surge to do anything about it in the middle of the third.

Port Adelaide 9.16 (70)
GWS 13.15 (93)

The other half of the story, especially in the first half, was clearances. Basically, GWS controlled play at the vast majority of the restarts. When you’re charging out of a centre bounce or ball-up with the ball, you’re controlling the play.

As soon as we get the specifics, I’ll post them, but it’ll likely look like:

1st Preliminary Final, MCG, Friday, September 22
Collingwood vs. GWS

2nd Preliminary Final, The Gabba, Saturday, September 23
Brisbane vs. Carlton

Winners to the Grand Final, September 30 at 2:30 pm AEST
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
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Jul 12, 2005
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The Island
I think the only Finals match that was out of hand in the fourth was Lions-Port at the Gabba. The rest were getable for the loser.

Tonight’s 2nd PF is at an awkward 3:15 AM eastern because Australia’s time zones make no sense.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Jan 23, 2009
21,343
Maine
I think the only Finals match that was out of hand in the fourth was Lions-Port at the Gabba. The rest were getable for the loser.

Tonight’s 2nd PF is at an awkward 3:15 AM eastern because Australia’s time zones make no sense.
Today's match was more or less out of hand in the fourth as well. It was really only that Carlton opened with five straight goals that made it look close. Brisbane turned a 30 point deficit near the end of the first into a nearly 30 point lead by midway through the fourth. The Lions are really good.

The Grand Final will be a match of the top 2 on the ladder for the first time in a few years. Should be a hell of a match.
 

MiracleOfO2704

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Jul 12, 2005
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And the Brownlow Medal goes to Brisbane’s Lachie Neale. Potential for a good week in Queensland.

NB: The Brownlow is the league’s “best and fairest” award, kinda like a combination of the League MVP and Most Gentlemanly. You can’t win if you’re suspended for rough/violent conduct.
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
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Jul 12, 2005
9,666
The Island
Life has been hectic, but I’m going to watch the AFL granny tomorrow. I won’t spoil it if anyone else has yet to watch, but apparently, no one had a more-than-2-goal lead at any point. It sounds like a classic.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Nov 13, 2013
535
I know we're now firmly into the 2024 Premiership, but looks like my personal workaround to view the matches on the big screen TV has now disappeared, along with other people around the world.

Tasmania got their colours & name in March 2024, and will be the Tasmania Devils. Unfortunately their debut season would not come until 2028. Games will also be played in Launceston (as well as Hobart, of course) until completion of the new stadium.

Green, red, & yellow will be their club colours, with a 'T map' on their jerseys, as a call to the historical Tasmanian state team. A deal was struck with Warner Bros. to allow the usage of the name 'Devils'.

To help fund the new stadium, Tasmania are selling memberships and offering membership-exclusive guernseys for sale.
 

MiracleOfO2704

not AWOL
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Jul 12, 2005
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This isn’t the first time a professional club basically took on the state team’s look. Adelaide’s jumper is a variation of the old SA guernsey.

I’ll retitle the thread, as I get the feeling there’s not enough interest to warrant a new thread for every season. Needless to say, I have little nice to say about the Crows’ start.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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Nov 13, 2013
535
Just chiming in with a little update (if I may). Western Bulldogs' upstart Cody Weightman has injured his elbow, again. This is the 3rd time in as many years.

Weightman is an important part of the WB attack/setup, & is joint-leader of the club with 14 goals (Aaron Naughton).

It's a congested outlook for them just outside the Top 8, with 4 teams all within 4 points. Freo manages that all-important 8th & final spot on the ladder, currently, & GC Suns (16), Collingwood (14), & WB (12) are all outside knocking on the door.

WB could really use Weightman to try to climb into Top 8, but also, need to manage carefully, as that elbow tends to be a nagging problem.

Meanwhile, Geelong Cats are a perfect 28 points from 7 games, with Sydney Swans at 6-1 (hello 2022 Grand Final rematch?) & GWS also at 6-1, meaning both Sydney clubs are off to a remarkable start.
 

Senator Donut

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Apr 21, 2010
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I’m suppose to be at work, but Fremantle is down by one against Collingwood with a minute left!