Was this the greatest single day in the history of world sport?
Let’s be honest, if you could distil the essence of a good weekend of AFL football in 2019, it would contain three basic ingredients: Adelaide winning, Port losing and Carlton consolidating their tenure at the bottom of the ladder.
So… who do we like in the draft at number two?
I think we can all accept that Adelaide should have lost on Saturday night.
In a week in which Adelaide’s selection decisions caused as much debate as the Crows’ lacklustre fadeout at home, our Fumbles correspondent wrestles with the prospect that Carlton’s consistent crappiness might be the only thing keeping our season’s prospects alive.
Disappointingly, the Crows had a win yesterday, potentially derailing their 2018 strategy of chasing high draft picks. But our Fumbles correspondent is mightily consoled by the curious case of Port Adelaide, whose swift fall from flag fancy to flop has quickly become the season’s great feelgood story.
Sure, Adelaide’s season is so shot that even Don Pyke is finally conceding the finals, but your Fumbles correspondent is unusually upbeat. After all, we can finally talk about ‘that time McGovern kicked a goal against Port to hit the front in the last minute’ – without cringing.
It was the perfect Showdown finale: a contentious goal, a Crows win and Port throwing their toys out of the proverbial cot. For our long-suffering Fumbles correspondent, what loomed as a scant consolation for a wasted year has instead become the undisputed highlight of Adelaide’s season – one that could yet have a major bearing on Port’s 2018 fortunes.
The dwindling hopes of Crows supporters have yet again proved vain, and our Fumbles correspondent is back – and searching for consolations. There aren’t many to be had, but that could change this week…
High-flying marks, strange industrial-grey guernseys and another injury that may or may not rhyme with “jam spring”… As the Showdown looms, our Fumbles correspondent ponders whether the Crows might actually be building to something here – or merely marking time before more September sorrow.
There’s something unreasonably satisfying about cultivating a newfound hatred for a team about which you were previously indifferent.
Few gave the Crows any chance to win this one, least of all our Fumbles correspondent. But in the end, a narrow against-the-odds win on the road – led by a four-goal captain’s haul – felt like a little bit of history repeating. Much like yet another Port loss to Geelong.
Port bombing out to the Bombers and a Jake Lever shocker slightly redeemed the weekend, but there’s no papering over how poor the Crows were on Friday night. Our Fumbles correspondent ponders curfews, baby blues and the end of the premiership dream.
I’ve never really disliked St Kilda as much as I probably should.
If there’s a single feeling in football sweeter than winning a Grand Final rematch, I can’t think of it.
So where do we start? Adelaide’s crazy comeback draw? Port’s insane hijack win? The perpetual annoyance that is Paddy Dangerfield? Ahead of a ladder-shaping Showdown, this was a weekend that captured the best and the worst of both the Crows and the Power – which somehow leaves our Fumbles correspondent none the wiser.
This could have been a Crows supporter’s ultimate football weekend: Adelaide won, Port lost and Richmond obligingly put a two-game break between us and the decreasingly-ominous GWS, while also bundling the Power out of the top four. Only an unexpected bout of appendicitis could stop us now…
The Crows are at the top end of the ladder after a visit to the Top End, but we’re all starting to get that familiar pre-break-up feeling again. But never fear. Our Fumbles correspondent is taking matters into his own hands, and he’s making Lever and McGovern an offer they can’t refuse.
Despite fluctuating form, the Crows are somehow back on top of the ladder and widely expected to stay thereabouts by season’s end. Which, for some reason, has our Fumbles correspondent preoccupied with casual vandalism, late-night tequila binges and trawling through canine faeces, as the ghost of his least favourite season ever returns to haunt him.
Normal service was resumed on the weekend, as the Crows reverted to type by failing spectacularly to live up to the hype. Fortunately, so did almost every other contender – including Port. And despite the crushing disappointment, our Fumbles correspondent is, perversely, looking on the bright side.
If you were one of those annoying people who just want to see the South Australian-based teams doing well, you would have been pretty damn happy with the weekend’s football.
It’s a noisy place to belong – on the Crows’ bandwagon, where the revellers sing and the hamstrings ‘ping’. But even more frightening for our Fumbles correspondent than a burgeoning injury list and Rory Atkins’ hair is the ominous prospect that Port Adelaide appear finals-bound…
This is going to get fairly tedious fairly quickly if things keep going as they are.
I’m sure there was a moment – I’m guessing sometime early in the second term on Friday night – when Paddy suddenly felt that nagging, distantly-familiar feeling that he was destined to be the standout player in a losing side.
So it turns out away semi-finals are not really our thing.
While the rest of Adelaide may be back on the Crows bandwagon, Tom Richardson still has plenty of concerns. Chief among them, is Kurt Tippett’s absence a Good Thing or a Bad Thing? And is “sudden-death final” an acceptable excuse for missing a pre-planned 40th birthday bash?
The Crows dropped their bundle on Friday, and have now dropped out of the top four on the eve of the finals. That means it’s time for Adelaide supporters to wallow in self-pity, Port fans to become insufferably smug and Tom Richardson to vent.
It was, as Paul Keating once coined it, a beautiful set of numbers.
There seems to have been some confusion about a few things. No-one said Paddy Dangerfield wasn’t a great player and a good bloke. It’s just that Tom Richardson doesn’t like him very much. And he also wants to clear up this misconception about how much the Crows have improved this year. But at least he’s still got Port to make him feel better.
So, it’s all the umpire’s fault, right? Well, not according to Tom Richardson, who says that, like Homer Simpson, the Crows should be strangling themselves – instead of opposition players. And this week there was not even the consolation of a Port loss to fall back on.
Right, the Crows got a win. Now let’s never speak of it again.