We are BACK! And now that our fun quest/saga has concluded nicely with the Goddess
in my lovely arms, it is time for me to take over the mid-morning Monday timeslot (see, AFL Media? I can do alliteration too! Call me!). This week, the Cats stop playing like pussies, there was a controversy about someone talking shit about someone’s wife, and Holy Shit Essendon!
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
The Round started off with Friday Night Footy in Australia and the first game this season to be played at Simonds Stadium, the Geelong Cats’ home ground. The latest round of renovations to the stadium resulted in a shiny new Brownlow Stand and a delay in the availability of the ground for footy games this season. Friday Night was the grand opening. It was a thrilling game with both sides taking turns dominating play. For some reason, and it wasn’t wind because there wasn’t any, the scoring seemed to be concentrated on the end of the stadium to the right of the tv screen. Luckily, that was the direction the Cats were going in the second, when they built a 32 point lead, and the fourth, when they came back from a two goal deficit to win by 23. The Cats had a club record 134 tackles, so I can’t say that AFL Women hit harder than the Cats. At least this week. Here are the highlights:
North American Friday Night started with the St. Kilda Saints hosting the Sydney Swans at the Etihad. The Saints had been embroiled in controversy after it was revealed that one or more of their players had made comments during the game last week to Carlton’s Marc Murphy about his wife. Apparently, talking shit in Australia is called “sledging”. Who knew? From the various sources I’ve researched (I do hard work for you fine folks!), I’ve gathered that it had something to do with Murphy’s wife banging someone. The heavy speculation is on former player and current AFL media personality Wayne Carey
having banged Mrs. Murphy. However, the veracity of those rumors is in doubt as Carey himself has said he’s never even met her. Of course, it’s not like Carey has never banged a married woman before so… Btw, you should read this description of how that affair started. Juicy. Here, for me, is the money quote:
“I was denying everything. I’d always been told and taught to deny, deny, deny, unless you have been caught red-handed. And even if you have been caught red-handed you still deny, deny, deny.”
In any case, Murphy reacted by yelling (and some say spitting) at a Saints player while he was down, which sparked a melee during the match. The Australian media had a field day with this story the entire week and the inevitable discussion of what was fair game was brought up.
Now, I think all of us have played sports at one level or another and experienced someone talking shit to try to take our heads out of the game. To me, that’s part of any sport/game. Someone could talk shit about my mother all day and I wouldn’t let it affect me. If anything, I’d try harder to beat the person, focus more on what I needed to do, and then shove my success in his face with the “Scoreboard” response. I don’t get the “some things are off limits” concept. People are going to be assholes no matter what and you can’t regulate assholery. Whatever they say just reveals more about them than anything. So, go ahead and tell me my wife sucks herpes-laden cocks for a living. I don’t care. I’ll probably ask you how much she charged you.
As far as the game, the Saints did not walk the walk, so to speak against the Swans. They did not play like finals contenders and succumbed to the Swans by 50. Here are the highlights:
If they keep playing this way, they are well on their way to finishing 10th, as Litre_cola keeps reminding us they inevitably will.
Later on Friday night, the GWS Giants faced the Richmond Tigers in what was probably the match of the Round. We had a similar match earlier in the year between Geelong and North Melbourne. Do you remember how that one turned out? Here are the last two minutes of the GWS-Richmond game to remind you:
Yup, the Giants led for all of one minute of this game. It was, fortunately for them, the last one.
The two late late games were Adelaide-Brisbane and Collingwood-Hawthorn. The Lions did manage to keep things close for about a quarter and a half before the Crows realized they were playing the Lions and pulled away. Instead of a highlight package, I bring you an Eddie Betts highlight:
Seriously, how does the man do it?!?
In the other game, Hawthorn looked like it was going to destroy the Pies by opening the game with a 37-1 first quarter. The Pies managed to hold them level in the second and then took off like a rocket in the 3rd. Not only did they make up the deficit, they pulled away and won the game by three goals. Here are the highlights:
North American Saturday Night brought three more games (remember that Port and Gold Coast were on byes) and what was, to me, the surprise of the round.
Essendon was taking on West Coast at the Etihad and, in my game preview, I mentioned that West Coast doesn’t play well in Melbourne and plays horribly at the MCG. Well, you may want to add the Etihad to that list. The Bombers led from the beginning and ended up with a 61 point win. It was as complete an ass-kicking as I’ve seen in a while. Here are the highlights:
I ended up switching the game off and tuning in to the Melbourne-North Melbourne match at the MCG. This was really fun to watch as it was one of those “These teams DO NOT like each other” games. The second quarter, in particular, was incredibly feisty with one particular punch resulting in the dude dry-heaving on the bench. I LOVED IT!
As for the game itself, the Roos won with a late surge that the Demons could not match. Here are the highlights:
The last game of the Round had Fremantle hosting Carlton in Perth. I only caught a little bit of it as the Blues jumped to an early lead, but the Dockers reeled them back in. In the end, the Dockers took care of business at home 86-51. Here are the highlights:
Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?
|4||West Coast Eagles||9||6||0||3||24||103.2|
|6||Port Adelaide Power||8||5||0||3||20||150.8|
|9||St. Kilda Saints||9||5||0||4||20||103.1|
|14||North Melbourne Kangaroos||9||3||0||6||12||94.5|
|15||Gold Coast Suns||8||3||0||5||12||86.2|
You wanna talk about a super-tight competition? Every team in the league except for Brisbane is within two games of a finals spot. Right now is the best time to start watching, in case any of you aren’t.
Here is the upgraded Balls Graph:
BTW, kudos to Fremantle for going from all the way from the Wooden Spoon position to 5th! Yeah Right should be happy…
Footy Tipping Contest
Here is where we stand after Round 9:
|PLACE||TIPPER||Round Tips||Round Margin||TOTAL Tips||TOTAL Margin|
You know, I’m rethinking my use of the Salma foot in Quentin’s mouth picture as a reminder. Is it too much of a distraction? Two (2!) of our Footy Tipping Contest participants forgot to put their tips in and this was not a good week for that to happen. You can see who it was by the scores. Live by the road team default, die by the road team default.
DON’T FORGET TO PUT THE FOOTY TIP IN!
Here are the games for this week (All times Pacific):
Thursday, May 25, 2017
2:50 AM – Geelong Cats v Port Adelaide Power at Simonds Stadium
Another early start to the Round (Thursday Night Footy this time) for the Cats and another real home game! I really hope the Cats decide to play the way they played last week against the Doggies. Port Adelaide is a dangerous club and could hand the Cats their first “real home” loss if the Cats don’t show up like they did in Round 9.
Friday, May 26, 2017
2:50 AM – Sydney Swans v Hawthorn Hawks at the SCG
The Swans are now red-hot and looking to move up the ladder. The Hawks lost again and seem lost, again. Since this is at the SCG, it does not bode well for Hawthorn.
8:45 PM – Western Bulldogs v St. Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium
Will the real St. Kilda please stand up? The Doggies played a great game against the Cats, but the Cats were better. If the Saints don’t improve their play, they will get their asses kicked as the Doggies try to make up for this week’s loss.
11:35 PM – Melbourne Demons v Gold Coast Suns at TIO Trager Park
This is another one of those games that are “home” games played at different venues. TIO Trager Park is located in Alice Springs which is pretty much in BFE in the Northern Territory. How Melbourne got that territory as “theirs” is beyond me. The reason it’s being played there is that Round 10 is the Indigenous Round and there is a large Indigenous population in Alice Springs. It should be cool to see it no matter who the teams are.
Saturday, May 27, 2017
2:25 AM – Richmond Tigers v Essendon Bombers at the MCG
This is the “Dreamtime at the G match” and it will be a great one. Essendon is coming on strong and the Tigers are reeling off tough losses yet still in the Eight. It is an Al Michaels special. YUUUUUUGE.
2:40 AM – Adelaide Crows v Fremantle Dockers at the Adelaide Oval
Adelaide faces the hard-charging Dockers at home. If they can’t win this, I have serious reservations about their finals credentials.
8:10 PM – Collingwood Magpies v Brisbane Lions at the MCG
The poor Lions are getting the Pies at home and right as they are getting hot. I maintain that the Brisbane AFL Women’s team will have more points by the end of the season in a third fewer games than the men will.
10:20 PM – Carlton Blues v North Melbourne Kangaroos at the Etihad
The Blues fought hard against the Dockers, but could not maintain the effort for four quarters. They face a team that fights to the very end of every game. D’oh.
11:40 PM – West Coast Eagles v GWS Giants at Domain Stadium
This will tell us a LOT about both teams. Beating West Coast in Perth is very difficult, but if the Giants are truly Premiership contenders, they will have to prove it in this game.
That’s all for today. In the spirit of Wayne Carey’s quote, I leave you with some solid life advice:
Please feel free to share your stories in the comments.
See you next week!