1. Far greater and more important tributes will be paid for Danny Frawley on fair greater and more important platforms by far greater and more important people.
But whilst it will not go undersold here that he was a cherished, beloved and legendary father, husband, friend, captain, teammate, coach, leader, colleague, commentator, analyst, he was also a great and important personality in so many of our lives.
Chances are, and it helps I know the vast majority of this column’s recipients, that most who read this would at some stage have engaged in the weekend Triple M football coverage, be it a must-have outlet in consuming their footy media or as a knockabout way to unwind on a weekend.
The week is for work but the weekend is to rest and to play and for so many of us it meant the Saturday Rub and their self-deprecating, piss-taking, barley football-themed banter that we all enjoyed and got a lot from.
Spud was paramount to that. We may not fully at the time but now can appreciate how much his work on the wireless gave to our lives. To this day we could all remember how memorable, funny and enjoyable all of that was.
For me I think to when he spent ten minutes giving Garry Lyon a complete once over on his demeanour in his return to rescue Melbourne, it was some of his best work. “The Sheriff’s back in town!” Or any of their 360 feedback session were great, too when he christened Tony Jones as Chompers or went for ‘Haircut’ Timms, the list goes on. Hit up YouTube or the Triple M footy podcast and reminisce.
So for us, we remember Spud for many things, be it Bounce, Richmond coach, or St Kilda legend. But in amongst that and so much more we pause, remember and thank Spud for the laughs, memories and outlet his personality provided us all every weekend. A tough day was always lightened by the humour Spud brought every single time.
The last ten years may have been tougher than Spud deserved but he leaves behind a legacy to be proud of. Not just in terms of football and then entertaining so many of us, but with regard mental health too.
RUOk day is this Thursday and Spud was an ambassador for it. But one day is never enough. Every day and any day is a day to check in with someone. And perhaps don’t literally ask them if they’re ok, have a longer chat than usual with someone you cherish, get a sense of where they’re at. Or better still, have a conversation with someone you only just know that you otherwise wouldn’t. Get a read. And if you think something’s off – you’re probably right.
And if nothing else this Thursday, or Friday, or later today – do it because Spud would want us too.
So to Spud, please rest easy now big fella, you’ve earned it. The troubles are behind you but the impressions you’ve left on many, those who knew you or many like us that only felt like we did, will live on for eternity.
Rest up now, mate.
The rest of this seems trivial but let’s drift elsewhere…
2. Patrick Dangerfield. Looked immense in that second half, in fact it appeared he was single-handedly dragging his team within a sniff, and given the margin in the end was just the ten points credit it to him for that. But in the first half, going the other way, he was to blame as anyone in a hooped jumper. Danger had as many tackles for the game as De Goey did. In the first half where the Pies were running ragged, it was the Geelong midfield who weren’t up to stopping them, and no.35 was one of the main culprits. Sure. When you’re that good running ‘that way’ then you might be forgiven. But in a big final, where the game was lost in the first 40 or so minutes, not running ‘the other way’ kinda makes all that jazzy, sexy, look at me stuff in the second half all a bit redundant for mine; it’s the reason he is playing this Friday and not having a weekend off, really.
3. Silver lining to the De Goey injury – this column isn’t sold he, Elliott and Stephenson are ready to click in the same team. Sure, they’re all clearly best 22 so on talent alone no De Goey is a net loss, no question. But the impact, negatively, of not getting the best out of one or two of that trio because the meshing, the chemistry, the most effective structure to play them in doesn’t exist, or exist yet, is one worth avoiding. Doesn’t mean De Goey’s injury is a good thing, doesn’t mean their premiership chances are assisted, if anything they’re worse off. But it’s a problem that goes away, at the same time, which is a silver lining for sure.
4. Six of Darcy Moore’s intercept marks were contested. Not six of all his marks, but six of his intercept marks. That’s phenomenal. And how many gooses in the media wouldn’t have played him. Please be serious.
5. Blicavs into the ruck on Friday changed the game? Yeah nah. Lets look at this properly. Firstly, the weather decision was trash because anyone with a weather app saw the forecast rain was never turning up. But don’t forget how small the Pies forwardline is. Brody Mihocek is barely a tall and that’s all the Maggies have. If anything have a go at the Cats for not dropping Harry Taylor on matchups, but that’s another point. Blicavs in defence wasn’t going to change a thing, and if anything is fractionally more trustworthy as a ruck than Rhys Stanley. But Stanley, Blicavs, Brad “Pill” Ottens, its up against Grundy so the point is moot anyway. Either way, the game was over because the Cats midfield didn’t work hard enough and the game plan stank.
6. Brett Deledio is a star and what a bit of teamwork that was in his final game. Cooked the calf really early on but kept going to honour rotations for his teammates. A tremendously talented player crueled by injury and no Tigers fan forgets he left only 12 months before the premiership drought was broken. And no hard feelings at all for seeking success elsewhere, it would have been richly deserved. Onya Lids.
7. Geez Shane Edwards was good on Saturday night, but its all about Dusty. Yes, Martin was a total freak show when he touched the ball, but it was six snags, predominantly from inside 50 groundball, hardly a hard-working performance. He had as many disposals on the night as David Astbury, so lets be sensible.
8. But back on Titch, 29 touches, six tackles, eight clearances and a goal. The coaches gave Martin nine votes in the Gary Ayers Medal, sure, but Edwards as well got nine too. Did he get a mention anywhere Sunday morning? Hardly.
9. Riddle me this. Jeremy McGovern threw Matt Guelfi into a Bunnings chair on the boundary at Optus a few months ago. Got a week. Nic Naitanui with similar if not a tad more force throws Zach Merrett into the fence, gets off. If Merrett’s head hits the edge of the fence that’s properly serious. So would the penalty then be more? Or does Nic Nat get off because Merrett was fine, despite the action? Or does hair-pulling allow such a reaction? Don’t get that.
10. And, lets not forget, in the AFLW there are rules saying long-hair must be tied up, to avoid hair-pulling deliberately or accidentally. But Nic Nat, who looks great by the way, love the dreads, can free-flow to his heart’s content.
11. And further again, hair in the NFL is considered part of your uniform. So technically pulling Nic Nat’s hair might be a high tackle but if you get a bit below the neck you might be alright.
12. The Toby Greene one confuses me. He mustn’t have eye-gouged. If he did, give him life, but if he hasn’t, fair enough. Now it all looked very rough and getting close to line-crossing, but a hefty fine just confuses me. It’s a free kick or its lots of weeks. Not some contrived in the middle result. Then again, for mine, what would’ve been better was some greater flag-flying from Bont’s teammates, Greene had a week to do whatever he liked to Bont and that grub shouldn’t have had such a luxury.
13. Still rated the Dogs’ season, bitterly disappointing end but that lineup, keeping fit, has fourteen plus wins written all over them next year. A ‘buy’.
14. Giants, play like that again they are a show. But would you trust them? Last time these teams met, in Sydney, the GWS rolled over, but can look like worldbeaters otherwise. No idea.
15. Brissy, yeah, just got spooked, had enough pill to probably keep that thing closer a lot longer but stuffed their chances and made a right mess of it. Sudden death footy now so they might have another win or two in them but they’re cutting it fine.
16. Richmond still wins the flag for mine. Their toughest game will be Friday week. West Coast wins this Friday, say, and does it really well, the Eagles are probably the best chance this comp has of preventing a second Tiger flag in three. Because if not, the Tigs will be very difficult for the Pies or Lions (or Giants) the week after, making amends for the lost year last year. West Coast are a tricky team to play against, in good form, anywhere in the country. I still think Richmond wins that prelim matchup though, but not as easily as the odds may say.
17. How good is Steve Smith. The fact he is averaging over 100 in first innings since his first test century? That if he had played Headingley he’d be the first ever to score 1000 runs in a series during this Oval test match? Or that remarkably his average in the last Ashes over there was actually higher than this one? Freak. Total freak.
18. And Steve Harmison can sod off the salty prick. Says no matter what Smith will always be remembered as a cheat. Now Steven. We only remember you for your accurate line and length to second slip and your wobbly guts that used to shift side to side in your run up. If you’ve got nothing nice to say then stick to your Weight Watches program and aim for the stumps next time my old mate.
19. And yes, we cut it fine with the test going to the last hour, threatened by a draw caused by bad light, but we have been the far better team. Australia has declared three times this series, England only once, Australia has two scores over 400, England only one, Australia has only one all out score under 200, England has three. And total wickets so far, England 67, Australia 74. Clear to me.
20. Rafa Nadal wins number 19, one within Federer. Last two years now, has made five finals, won three, Fed, two finals, won one. Djokovic, who is on 16, only four finals but won them all. Federer is seen as the GOAT (if its not Laver) but five years older than Nadal, so surely finishes up before, likely to be overtaken by the Spainard, and is 4-10 to Nadal in Grand Slam matches, 10-14 to Nadal in Finals and 3-6 to Nadal in Grand Slam Finals. If Federer is better than Laver, and Nadal ends up with more Slams than Federer, surely Nadal is the GOAT?