We’re getting closer to the beginning of the regular season! Last week, we previewed the teams that just missed out on finals last year and met the mullet attached to Ivan Maric. This week, we preview the bottom four of the finals teams, we wrap up the preseason, and we meet one more awesome footballer. We’ve got a lot to cover.
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
There were a few more preseason game results since last time. As we mentioned during one of our late night Open Threads last week, the Brisbane-St. Kilda game was cancelled due to torrential rain in Queensland that made the pitch completely slippery with puddles and turf coming up. Common sense, as it often does with the AFL, ruled the day as they did not want players to get injured. Are you listening, Roger Goodell??
Here are the rest of the scores:
Western Bulldogs 60 – 72 Melbourne Demons
Richmond Tigers 45 – 93 Port Adelaide Power
Carlton Blues 69 (WOO!) – 91 Sydney Swans
Gold Coast Suns 84 – 109 Adelaide Crows
Collingwood Magpies 107 – 105 Western Bulldogs
Fremantle Dockers 83 – 71 Geelong Cats
Hawthorn Hawks 125 – 80 North Melbourne Kangaroos
Brisbane Lions 83 – 122 GWS Giants
Melbourne Demons 107 – 83 St. Kilda Saints
West Coast Eagles 158 – 53 Essendon Bombers
As mentioned previously, you can’t really read too much, if anything, into the scores but at least the preseason is mercifully over. Here is one of my favorite highlights from the past week:
First of all, it’s pretty hilarious that he misses an easy goal. What really makes the clip for me, though, is how the announcers joke about it and make a concussion joke. Do you think NFL announcers would ever have the balls to do that? I don’t think so. Reason #912 the AFL is run better than the NFL.
For the other highlight this week, here is a brilliant goal from Carlton’s Jeff Garlett:
Better Know an Australian Footballer
is Andrew Swallow, the captain of the North Melbourne Kangaroos. Since his debut in the 2006 season with the Kangaroos, Andrew has steadily improved, winning North’s Best and Fairest award in 2009 and becoming captain in 2012. Here he is with Mrs. Swallow and little Baby Swallow:
He is a devout Christian in a league of football players yet he leads his team with excellent play and intensity. His kicks are sometimes considered to be “floaters”. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, meet the Australian Phillip Rivers!
BTW, the Kangaroos are also knows as The Shinboners. In the North Melbourne website, fans are encouraged to display their Shinboner Spirit!
Ok, I’m being told that my quota of double entendres and sexual innuendos has been reached. Time to move on with our regular programming.
Season Preview #4 – Finals Bottom Four
Club Name: North Melbourne Kangaroos
Mascot: Barry “Bruiser” Cracker
History: The club was established in 1869. Although it is the fourth-oldest Australian rules football club, it was not invited to be one of eight founding members of the Victorian Football League (VFL), which was the predecessor to the AFL. The other clubs did not think North were competitive enough and the North fans had a reputation for hooliganism. The Kangaroos eventually joined the VFL and have won a total of 4 premierships. The club pioneered the concept of Friday Night Football and has the most Friday Night Football appearances in the league.
Home Stadium: Etihad Stadium
Famous Supporters: Mark Webber (Formula 1 Driver), Sunrisesunrise, and
Club song: Join in the Chorus
Last Premiership: 1999
2015 Finish: 8th
2016 Outlook: The Roos are looking good to repeat their finals appearance from last year. The team remains pretty much the same and they have not lost any important contributors. They should challenge for a top four spot.
Why Should I Pick Them as My Team? You like blue and white or you like Sunrisesunrise or you like clubs that, like cockroaches, refuse to die. This club has experienced more turmoil and difficulties than any other, yet it continues to play in Melbourne where it started nearly 150 years ago. You’ve got to admire that, I suppose.
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Club Name: Adelaide Crows
Mascot: Claude “Curls” Crow
History: The club was established in 1990 as a reaction to the proposed departure of Port Adelaide from the South Australia National Football League (SANFL) to the AFL. Port Adelaide wanted to join the AFL, but the rest of the SANFL did not want them to leave. Lawsuits ensued and the ultimate resolution involved the creation of a brand new AFL club which started play in 1991, the Adelaide Crows, and no SANFL clubs moving to the AFL in 1991 although Port Adelaide eventually joined in 1997. Since the birth of the Crows was a direct Fuck You to Port Adelaide, the Crows’ colors include those of every team in the SANFL EXCEPT Port Adelaide. Incidentally, Port Adelaide wanted to use the Crows nickname in the AFL, but Adelaide made sure they got the name first. The Crows also have two premierships to Port Adelaide’s one.
Home Stadium: Adelaide Oval
Famous Supporters: Lleyton Hewitt, Adam Scott, Condoleezza Rice
Club song: The Pride of South Australia (yes, it’s the same tune as the Marines’ Hymn)
Last Premiership: 1998
2015 Finish: 7th
2016 Outlook: The Crows have a new coach and have lost star Patrick Dangerfield to Geelong. They still have Eddie Betts, though, and the core of the team that battled through adversity last year and made a run in the finals. I don’t see any way they don’t drop, but the big question is whether they can remain in the top eight. It will be difficult, but they may just pull it off.
Why Should I Pick Them as My Team? You, like me, are a big fan of Eddie Betts. Alternatively, you REALLY hate Port Adelaide. Last year, the Crows’ coach was killed midseason by his own son. If that doesn’t faze you, this might be your team.
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Club Name: Western Bulldogs
Mascots: Woofer “Dogg” Whitten and Sid the bulldog.
History: The club was established as the Footscray Football Club in 1877 but has played under the Western Bulldogs name since 1996. It was NOT invited to be one of eight founding members of the Victorian Football League (VFL), which was the predecessor to the AFL. As Footscray, it won its only premiership in 1954. The club’s colors and the bulldog nickname and mascot show a deep link to British heritage. The club changed its name to Western to appeal to the people of the broader western Melbourne suburbs (read: white people that had left the Footscray neighborhood when it became multicultural upon the arrival of non-white immigrants).
Home Stadium: Etihad Stadium
Famous Supporters: Fucking Thor and Spartacus! Also Elmo.
Club song: Sons of the West
Last Premiership: 1954
2015 Finish: 6th
2016 Outlook: The Doggies should again contend for finals footy, but I expect them to drop a bit. Depending on how clubs like Geelong, Port Adelaide, and Collingwood do, the Doggies may end up on the outside looking in.
Why Should I Pick Them as My Team? You are a die-hard Anglophile with a dash of not-so-hidden racism? Honestly, while that may be the stereotype, the team itself is pretty good and should contend for a while. If you love red, white, and blue, this team is for you! (I’m sorry.)
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Club Name: Richmond Tigers
Mascot: Tiger “Stripes” Dyer
History: The club was established in 1885 and, like Footscray/Western and North Melbourne, it was NOT invited to be one of eight founding members of the Victorian Football League (VFL), which was the predecessor to the AFL. It eventually joined in 1908 ahead of North Melbourne and has won ten premierships, which is the sixth-highest total ever.
Home Stadium: Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG)
Club song: Oh, we’re from Tigerland (gotta admit, it’s kinda catchy)
Last Premiership: 1980
2015 Finish: 5th
2016 Outlook: The Tigers, despite having the most glorious mullet in the league, are due for a fall. Like the Bulldogs and Crows, I expect them to be in the mix for finals footy, but could ultimately lose out to the contenders that just missed out last year.
Why Should I Pick Them as My Team? You fully support your team 1000% unless they suck and then you don’t remember liking football at all. Think New England Patriots after Brady retires. Unfortunately, Richmond doesn’t have Brady, they have Cam…
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Next week, we preview the Top Four teams from last season, we meet a new footballer, and we discuss our plans for AFL Late Night Open Threads/Rivebrogs including a special Rivebrog for the Season Opener! See you next time!
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