Boys and girls, I’m not going to lie to you. There are certain times that, despite all the bullshit and all the stupidity and greed that is prevalent in sports, a magical moment happens that reminds you of why you watch sports in the first place. This weekend, that moment happened in an AFL Preliminary Final. Which game was it? READ ON!
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
I woke up on Friday morning at around 4 AM Pacific to get ready for work and I, as I tend to do, was checking my phone for emails, notifications, etc. In my half-asleep state, I read a message from Litre_cola. It read simply,
“Are you watching this????”
To which my dumb ass replied,
While I was taking my morning dump and sleepiness was slowly leaving my body through the exit door, I started to realize what he was talking about! Richmond were taking on Collingwood in the First Preliminary Final!
Now, I had not really thought much about the game as I figured that the Tigers would take care of the Pies easily and I could just catch the replay later. Given the nature of Litre’s message, I quickly turned the game on.
To my pleasant surprise, the Magpies were up on the Tigers. Big. Like up by 53 points in the second quarter big.
I Chromecast the game on my big screen and watched the rest in awe. True to championship form, the Tigers roared back (sorry!) in the third quarter and things became REALLY interesting in the fourth as the margin was whittled down to just 21 points. At that point, the Pies decided to stop playing defensively and trying to hold on to the lead and went back to what gave them the lead in the first place. They kicked the final 3 goals of the game to ensure the 97-58 upset win over the reigning champions.
To give you some context, not only were the Tigers the defending champions and the #1 team in the Home and Away Season, but they had won 22 straight at the MCG, an AFL record.
The thing that struck me about this game was the way the crowd was into it. Technically, the Tigers were the home team, but the Collingwood supporters essentially took over the MCG. At one point, the crowd chanted USA! USA! for Mason Cox, the American player for Collingwood that had probably one of his best games in the AFL in leading the Collingwood surge in the second quarter.
You can see a little bit of it here:
Here are the full game highlights:
If you can, I highly recommend watching a full-game replay. The intensity and the crowd noise and the size of the upset makes this one of the greatest games I’ve seen in all of sports.
Later on Friday night, I managed to stay up to watch the West Coast Eagles host the Melbourne Demons in the other Preliminary Final. Luckily, I did not need to stay up too late for this one as the Eagles dominated from the start and destroyed the Demons 121-55. This thing was over by the first quarter as the Demons only scored 3 behinds to West Coast’s 4.8.32. By Half Time, the margin was 6 behinds to 10.9.69. NICE!
Here are the highlights:
This sets up the Grand Final to be played next weekend between the West Coast Eagles and the Collingwood Magpies. Here is the schedule (Pacific time):
Friday, September 28, 2018
9:30 PM – West Coast Eagles v Collingwood Magpies at the MCG
Both teams will be wearing their home guernseys. The game will be broadcast live by Fox Sports Plus.
The Watch AFL app will have all the festivities ahead of the Grand Final on the Fox Footy channel. This includes the Brownlow medal count ceremony, Grand Final parade, Grand Final Breakfast, the Grand Final Kicking Competition, and the pre-game show. Here is the schedule for all those activities (all times Pacific):
Monday, September 24, 2018
2:30 AM (Already happened, but you can catch the replay) – Brownlow Medal Count
Thursday, September 27, 2018
6:00 PM – Grand Final Parade
Friday, September 28, 2018
4:00 PM – Grand Final Breakfast
5:30 PM – Grand Final Kicking Competition
6:00 PM – Grand Final Pre-Game
9:30 PM – Grand Final First Bounce
Footy Tipping Contest
Here is where we are after the third week of finals:
|P||TIPPER||Round Tips||Round Margin||TOTAL Tips||TOTAL Margin|
|9||Game Time Decision||0||39||122||804|
|10||Joliet Jake Delhomme||0||39||110||860|
I thought that Sunrisesunrise would make a desperate attempt to equal SonOfSpam on the picks by going the opposite of conventional wisdom and tipping Collingwood. Alas, he did not, so the championship goes to SonOfSpam! Congratulations, good sir, and the next time I see you, beers are on me!
I could still finish anywhere from 3rd to 5th depending on what Litre_cola and Spanky Datass do this weekend, so…
DON’T FORGET TO PUT THE FOOTY TIPS IN!!
That’s all for this week. I highly recommend catching a replay of the Preliminary Final either on the Watch AFL app or Fox Sports Plus, if you have it.
And for sure, the Grand Final is a MUST!
See you next week for a recap and our last post of the season!