Ladies LADIES and Men MEN! Have we got a #content-filled AFL Beat for you this week! There was Round 3 of AFL Women’s, the first few games of AFL preseason, and another way for you to pick your team to support. Let’s get right to it, shall we?
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
So, I promised the musicians at DFO a fun surprise this week. As many of you may or may not know, each AFL team has a team song. The song of the winning team is played at each stadium immediately after the game ends. Even if the road team wins! Also, the players gather in a circle in the locker room and….sing the song. Here is an example:
The cool thing about the AFL Women’s competition is that they get to sing the song in the stadium!
Anyway, I thought you would enjoy a compilation of all the teams’ songs, the titles, and a little explanation/history behind each. All I know is I ruined Sill’s day last year when he discovered that the Sydney Swans song was basically the Notre Dame fight song. Click at your own risk…
Carlton Blues Club Song: The Navy Blues
Brisbane Lions Club song: The Pride of Brisbane Town (sung to the tune of the French National Anthem, “La Marsellaise”)
Gold Coast Suns Club song: Suns of the Gold Coast Sky
Essendon Bombers Club Song: See the Bombers Fly Up
St. Kilda Saints Club song: When The Saints Go Marching In
Melbourne Demons Club song: It’s a Grand Old Flag (sung to the tune of “You’re a Grand Old Flag”)
Collingwood Magpies Club song: Good Old Collingwood Forever
GWS Giants Club song: There’s a Big Big Sound
Geelong Cats Club song: We are Geelong
Port Adelaide Power Club song: Power to Win (although INXS’ Never Tear Us Apart is played prior to games and is the “unofficial” team song)
North Melbourne Kangaroos Club song: Join in the Chorus
Adelaide Crows Club song: The Pride of South Australia (yes, it’s the same tune as the Marines’ Hymn)
Western Bulldogs Club song: Sons of the West
Richmond Tigers Club song: Oh, we’re from Tigerland
Sydney Swans Club song: The original club song was an adaptation of Gene Autry’s Springtime in the Rockies. For some dumb reason, the club decided in 1961 to change to an adaptation of the Notre Dame Victory March. They even paid for the rights and everything.
Hawthorn Hawks Club song: We’re a Happy Team at Hawthorn (sung to the tune of The Yankee Doodle Boy)
West Coast Eagles Club song: We’re the Eagles (Interesting side note: The song originally included anti-Victorian verses, but those were removed)
Fremantle Dockers Club song: Freo Way to Go (most metal song in the AFL. By far)
I also suggest going back through my season previews from last year as I put in some reasons why you might want to support each club and some historical data/fun facts. The previews for the teams are found here:
This week, we had a matchup of teams that had not won yet (Giants v Dockers), a matchup of teams that won once (Western v Melbourne), and a matchup of unbeatens (Carlton v Adelaide). Thanks to the magic of the Watch AFL app, I was able to watch all the games WITHOUT KNOWING THE SCORE. This no spoilers thing that they instituted this year is great!
Let’s begin, as the AFL Women’s Round 3 began, with the Giants-Dockers match. This was the first match of North American Friday night and I watched it live in my cozy bed while the “Storm of the Century” was raging in SoCal. Of course, like most things heavily hyped, it was kind of a dud. I mean the storm, of course. The game was awesome as the Giants and Dockers played a fierce and heavily contested match. In the end, they ended up in a 43-43 tie and Donovan McNabb was not amused.
It’s certainly worthwhile to watch the highlights video as the entire game was very exciting:
You will have noticed that the GWS Giants changed their shorts at the end of the first quarter from white to blue. Apparently, the teams both wore white because the weather was hot, but the uniforms were too similar and the umps were getting confused.
Have I mentioned how AFL Women hit harder than the New York Jets, even by accident?
They’re tough though, and they got right back up. The next game on tap on Friday night featured the undefeated Brisbane Lions playing their first game at home against the winless Collingwood Magpies. Remember how I said the Giants may be my favorite AFL Women’s team? I think I may like the Lions too.
It was too late for my wake-up-at-4:45 AM on-a-workday ass, so I watched it on Saturday afternoon without knowing the score. Again, I cannot stress this enough, the AFL Watch App is GREATLY improved over last year at the same price point. You need to get it.
The Pies played really well throughout and even had the advantage of a wind going left to right (in their favor) in the final quarter as they searched for their first win. Brisbane’s Tayla Harris, however, was playing at the ground where she first started playing footy and wanted a big win too. This is Tayla:
Here are the highlights:
As you will have noticed from the highlights, the wind was blowing left to right quite strongly. Which made this Brisbane goal very important:
Have I mentioned that she has a pacemaker? Yeah. Here’s another Cat McCarthy goal in the fourth with an assist from Kaitlyn Ashmore that effectively sealed the game:
Collingwood had the ball and the wind in the last two minutes, but could not score a goal. It ended up 27-23 for the Lions.
The last game on North American Friday night was the matchup of two teams with one win. The Demons pulled away from the Doggies from the beginning, opening up a 14 point halftime lead. The Doggies bravely tried to come back, but Melbourne asserted themselves in the fourth and held on to the 14 point win. Here are some highlights:
Melbourne’s Alyssa Mifsud shows how the Demons treated the Doggies all day:
That’s a nice kick on the outside of the foot from Alyssa too. This was another game where there was a strong wind. Melbourne took better advantage of it and that was the difference in the game. BTW, I do not have video/audio of it, but my favorite call of the weekend came from the Brisbane – Collingwood game:
Announcer (at the start of the quarter): Here we go! The Lions are facing the wind and the Magpies have a stiff one at their backs!
I wasn’t at the game, so no, they didn’t.
The last game, played on North American Saturday night, was the battle of unbeatens (Carlton and Adelaide) and it was a very close game. Carlton’s Darcy Vescio was superb for the Blues, scoring the only goal in a tight 8-2 game at the half. The Crows were playing at home, though, and that, plus a furious fourth quarter propelled them to an Al Michaels special YUUUGE 17-14 victory that puts them at first place on the ladder. Here are some highlights:
Don’t you love that baby blue color the Blues played in? Hippo better buy one of those guernseys is all I’m saying… And here is the winning goal by the Crows’ Erin Phillips:
Let’s take a look at the ladder, shall we?
Here is next week’s schedule:
Friday, February 24, 2017
Melbourne Demons v Carlton Blues 4:30 PM
Brisbane Lions v GWS Giants 9:35 PM (AKA The Battle for Balls’… heart)
Saturday, February 25, 2017
Western Bulldogs v Collingwood Magpies 12:10 AM
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Fremantle Dockers v Adelaide Crows 12:10 AM
The standout match is, of course, the Blues v Melbourne. The season will be effectively over for the loser with only three games left after next Round, specially if Brisbane and Adelaide both win as expected. Once again, remember that the AFL Women’s games are free to watch via the AFL website and the Watch AFL app.
In the very first preseason game, Collingwood and Essendon faced off at the Etihad. Anticipation was high to see how well the Bombers would play after getting all of their banned players back. On the bright side, they played really well! On the not-so-bright side, the Bombers pulled a Falcons and gave up a 27 point lead to lose by 11. As I do with the Crows and Eddie Betts, I vow to always show an Orazio Fantasia highlight when Essendon plays:
On North American Thursday night/Friday morning, my beloved Geelong Cats played the Hawthorn Hawks in Tasmania. As much as I love my team, there is no way I’m watching that live on a work day. Well, mostly because it’s preseason. I’ve been known to do that during the regular season. On the bright side, I missed a last second loss as the Hawks made a goal after the siren (something they missed last season in the Preliminary Final). So, naturally, I’m going to show you a Tom Hawkins goal:
Later on that night, at a decent hour, GWS played West Coast as part of a doubleheader with the AFL Women’s game. Well, “played” is really not doing it justice. “Beat up” is probably a better phrase as the Giants looked really good in winning 70-37. I saw this game live and whoa nelly the Giants certainly look like contenders. It’s only pre-season, but still. Here is a Giants goal:
On North American Saturday, the men from Melbourne and Western actually were the opening band for the AFL Women’s match. This one was closer, but the result was the same as the Demons won the game by a goal. Here is a highlights package:
I really love the fact that the men’s preseason game was the opening act. As it should be.
Later on Saturday night, the Sydney Swans faced the North Melbourne Kangaroos. The Roos have lost a lot of experience from last year, so they’re a young team trying to get into a groove. They did just that with a tight but nice win. Have I mentioned that I love the AFL Media team’s love of alliteration?
Late late Saturday night/Sunday morning, the Gold Coast Suns and Brisbane Lions played the Battle of Queensland at Kombumerri Park. Yes, I love that name. What I love even more, though, is that the AFL Women’s Brisbane Lions has equaled the total number of wins by the men’s team last season in just three games. That’s just awesome.
Well, the men’s team is not improving quite yet as they fell to the Suns. On the negative side for the Suns, the injuries have already started as Sam Day suffered a serious injury. As I stated last week, if you love your seasons being derailed by injuries, this is your team. Highlights:
More games to come next week. Let’s hope there are no more serious injuries.
I leave you with this week’s Pacific Heat dialogue:
Maddie: Test. Test.
Kwong: I copy. Voice-stress test analysis set to go.
Maddie: What is your full name?
Anya: Anya Livlidia Petrovsky
Maddie: How old are you?
Maddie: What country are you from?
Kwong: True. Baseline established.
Todd: Where were you last night?
Anya: At home.
Maddie: Have you heard of a man called Viktor Vaseyev?
Todd: Let me handle this. I know a thing or two about women.
Todd: No, not me. I’m just say… I’ve had a lot of experience with females.
Todd: Can we just focus on the suspect?
Maddie: What are you not telling us, Anya?
Anya: I don’t know. I swear it.
Todd: Then how about we make it simple? Your frat-house friend thought she’d pay off a student loan by peddling some nukes but the deal went south. She’s ended up with a head full of lead while you and Bomb Boy are sitting pretty!
Maddie: Did you understand what he said?
Todd: Well, she’s Chechnyan!
Veronica: I didn’t get it either.
Todd: Are you serious? Zac, you understood?
Zac: Of course, Todd.
Todd: Can we turn that thing off?
Maddie: Where is Viktor?
Anya: I don’t know. I swear it.
Todd: Listen, Anya. Can I call you Anya?
Todd: Alright, Da.
See you next week!