By The Silver Bullet
So we have had a month of the real stuff and pretty much everything we need to know for the next four months is already set in concrete – one of those Donald Rumsfeld’s known knowns – so go away to Europe this winter and don’t worry abot whether you are going to miss anything. The dies are cast.
After the coach wouldn’t talk to the captain and then the coach started talking to Essendon, Geelong are bouncing back and look the only likely challenger to Malthouse’s machine. Collingwood are a strong club getting stronger (and it grieves me to write this) thanks to an AFL determined to put ratings and crowds ahead of everything else. So, that’s the Grand Final right there.
The Suns aren’t going backwards, so they say, after they outscored Melbourne for a quarter and Karmichael Hunt racked up three kicks this week, a 50% improvement on last week. Yep, in a 90+ point drubbing, in front of less than half of their round 1 crowd, the Suns are telling us that’s progress. And as suspected, the highly paid surfer dudes now adorning Cavill Ave (Ablett, Brown, Bock, Fraser et al) are doing what every other highly paid surfer dude has ever done up those parts, spent a few extra days here and there in Melbourne and take a few extra weeks off for jolting somebody. Brisbane Bears all over again – you beauty.
The Saints are going backwards – that pre-season camp frolicking in Christchurch was very clear evidence that the discipline required to be great was gone and expect Nick the Dick to go the blub again by mid season. St Kilda School Girl, you need a new team to come visit your school and then hang out with – the Saints haven’t got what it needs to twang their wires for the cameras any more.
Those champion Adelaide teams just keep getting better. After an extraordinary week of media coverage (20 pages on Friday in The Advertiser alone), that will rank close behind only the impending spectacle that will fawn over Will and Kate in two weeks time, just 33,000 went to Showdown 30. So after four weeks, just one crowd has been bigger than the current Adelaide Oval configurations that the geniuses like The Advertiser’s Michelangelo Rucci say need to be increased to 50,000 at a cost of $535m – go figure. (Stay at AAMI I say and Crows and Power, get your s**t together.)
Speaking of the Showdown, a low point in Australian sport was reached when the SANFL put in feral free zones so precious Crows fans with heir thermoses and rugs did not have to sit next to smelly bogans from the Port. Can you believe it? After 100+ years of VFL and SANFL crowds sitting side by side, even if sometimes uneasily, with the occasional spray and request for two more drinks to each other, we are now have to protect delicate Crows supporters – no wonder Craigy’s Princesses are playing more and more like their fans every week.
Always thought home teams got a better run with the umpires? Well now research in the US has confirmed it. According to a report in The Economist, ‘what the evidence does show .. is that referees favour home teams in judgment calls, particularly those that happen at a crucial stage in a game.’ For this the researchers blame the fact that ‘referees, like the rest of us, tend subconsciously to rely on crowdsourcing, picking up on the mood of the crowd when making their decisions. Take away the crowd and the home bias shrinks.’ (See The Full Article Here)
So anyone who has watched some Collingwood games with Joffa and friends screaming forever and thought they got a good run of it or watched Crows games and wondered why they get the raw end every time their supporters reach for the pate under the rug, now you know.