Saturday, September 29, 2012

AFL Grand Final 2012 Live Blog

Finally the cup is presented! That's it for 2012.

The presentations and speeches have been going for 10minutes now, just get on with it. Lift the cup, fire the streamer cannons and do a victory lap of the oval already.

I love the players that yell incoherently into the microphone as they leave the podium. I hope Sam Newman looks for them for future "Street Talk" segments on The Footy Show.

Ryan O'Keefe kept the cap for himself instead of passing it onto the AusKick kid. How many years have they been passing out caps to the kids and he still does not get it right. Obviously the 100s of thousands of dollars he his paid each year is still not enough to buy a $5 peaked cap.

Ryan O'Keefe is named as Norm Smith medalist His speech follows my predictions posted at 4.12pm.

Luke Hodge's speech as losing captain stayed true to script and ticks all of the boxes, complimenting the winners, mentioning major sponsors, thanking coaches and families and referring to his teammates as "the boys" ending with a promotion for future club members.

It is all over for another year. Congratulations to Sydney or Former South Melbourne as Victorian media will refer to them for the next week.

With 5 more scoring shots, Hawthorn have no excuses for their loss. Buddy Franklin I am looking at you! Take nothing away from Sydney, and Longmire, no wonder he was voted as coach of the year.

Great to see the premiership go outside of Victoria, a nice reminder to all Victorians of what the "A" in AFL stands for.

I can hear the fat women warming up their voices as the Swans kick another goal. Now leading by 10 points with only 34 seconds left on the clock.
Hathorn trainers are winning the premiership for bandaging a player - with Luke Hodge as their mannequin, a captain who leads from the front.

Hawthorn are coming back one point at a time, now only 4 points in it. 2minutes 30 left in the game.

Four minutes left and exactly one straight kick between them - not Hawthorns strongest area throughout the finals. Swans must be relieved about that.

Another point to Hawthorn. How many times have attempts for goals hit the post? It might be some sort of record for a grand final, Bruce?

Goodes kicks a goal to give the Swans a 7 point lead. This does not bode well against their premiership history. The lead is too big.

Swans in front by a point. All of the Swans premierships (of which there has been only one) have been won by less than a goal. Is this an omen?

Scores are level.
McAvaney will have to change his pants again.

Official attendance 99, 683, including approximately 85,000 corporates and sponsors.

Without being a major sponsor of the sport, the AFL is giving a lot of coverage to Elasterplast. I assume there is some sort of award to the trainer who can cover one of their players in the most taping.

The Swans do their part in making this final one of the all time classics as they score another goal bringing the margin back to 1 goal  (or six points if you are a forward for Hawthorn).

Regardless of the outcome of this game it is time to decide where you want to spend this evening and get there. The CBD and public transport will soon be swarming with people dressed head to toe in football attire and if not already inebriated they soon will be. And they will want to yell either in despair, euphoria or indifference at everyone who crosses their path.

With the game so close the ground staff wont know which colour balloons to be filling with helium.

Franklin keeps the Swans in the game with yet another point. Did he really score 100 goals in one season a couple of years ago. I think he should turn and face 30 degrees to the left of goals  before kicking. On the upside he would be great in soccer as he can really bend it like Beckham.

Channel 7 statisticians are spewing forth figures that are somewhat meaningless, as the Swans are leading in so many aspects of the game - except for the score.

Hawthorn open the final quarter with two quick goals. The Swans will continue looking more like a NSW team the bigger this margin becomes.

This is it the final 20minutes (that will take approximately 30minutes to transpire)of the 2012 AFL season.

Three quarter time and Sydney lead by a point. It all comes down to the final quarter. It will go down to the wire. Its anyone's game. Why will want it more? Insert your own football idioms here.

Sydney is back in front. As the lead sea-saws. Channel 7 commentators are salivating as they get to use endless cliches about the close nature of the game.

It could only be better for them if it started to rain and they got to use the spontaneous references to Swans being better suited to the wet - that they prepared before the game

Hawks are now in front. Time for the Swans to panic. The third quarter is often referred to as the premiership quarter, wouldn't Hawthorn supporters wish that to be true today. Unfortunately for them the Swans are still well in it and will be kicking to the scoring end of the game for the fourth quarter.

Only 2 points in it as Hawthorn get another goal.

Hawks continue to crawl their way back into the game with a goal by Franklin to the window end of screen, and then yet another point. With a 15 point lead the Swans are not showing any sign of panic.

Rhonda is back from her exotic holiday where  she had an undefined dalliance with Katuk. She still has owl eyes. Oh dear she is involved in an accident. Thankfully she was not driving so it will not affect her no-claim bonus.

Debate has commenced about potential Norm Smith Medalists. Regardless of the winner I predict they will comment on the quality of the competition on the day and reminding us that despite winning an individual honour, AFL is a team game.

Roberts-Thompson has proven that it is still possible to score to the kitchen end of the screen with an early goal in the third quarter. He kept it simple by aiming for the big sticks.

No sign of Goodes injury early in the second half. Definitely a case of scurvy.

Roughead ensures that the points keep coming the Hawks way. With the same number of scoring shots it is a wonder they are 15 points behind. Did the Olympians love of coming second rub off on them? Or is Sydney's defence that good?

Start of the second half with an aerial shot of the centre bounce or an advert for Toyota, not sure what it was, either way it is an unusual angle for viewing the game.

AFL commission must be relieved that so far there has been no news of any needles placed their by child labour in the game balls.

Well Temper Trap have broken with tradition by providing half time entertainment that was, well, entertaining. They were in tune, in time and had the volume up.

Half time. Swans now lead 7.4.46 to 4.6.30. Hawthorn is going to have to score more than one point in a quarter if they want to win. Though next qaurter they will be kicking to the scoring end. Will the Hawks play a game of keep it off...Franklin, to give them a chance of scoring?

Time to refill the bowls of chips and get another cold one from the fridge.

Franklin has bettered his own kicking for goal, this time kicking across the face of goal to kick it out of bounds on the full. From a set shot!

The shadows creeping across the ground from the window end of screen is turning the 2012 into a day-night final. Could this be the transition towards a twilight final the media have been calling for. Will the AFL try to get Robert Pattison to be the cup ambassador for the first twilight final?

The ball is still spending the most time in Hawthorns forward 50, though they seem to spending all of their time feathering their nest. The Swans, traditionally a more docile bird has done all the attacking this quarter. I could not resist using a bird pun any longer.

Goodes is back on the field after some non homophobic rubbing of his legs by the official Sydney rubbers.

Sydney Swans hit the front as both teams keep Chelsea Roffey busy in her grand final debut at the window end of the ground.

Adam Goodes appears injured. Knee, ankle, cruciate ligament? Who know but the speculation will keep McAvaney and his friends busy for a while.

Despite the absence of wind advantage there is clearly a scoring end with 46 of the 56 points scored so far occurring at the window end. Sydney are almost scoring at will bringing it back to a one point game. Franklin could double the Hawks lead.

The players have had their sliced oranges and game is back on. The swans have scored a goal within the first minute. Perhaps they had a touch of scurvy in the first quarter.

Quarter Time. Hawks lead 3.5.29 to 1.4.10.

The goals are flowing now for the Hawks. Someone should have told them the theory of aiming for the big sticks earlier.

Franklin has finally scored a goal. 'Bout time.

Crunch! The body contact is fierce. Yet the players get up without fuss and keep playing. International soccer/football players take note. There is no writhing on the ground as though a foot has been amputated, just because the opponents shadow crossed your path.

Hawthorn is easily winning possession today but are continuing their inaccurate kicking from last week. They could have already put pressure on the Swans if only they kicked goals. Do they know they are aiming for the big sticks not the small ones?

Franklin has missed again. Centerbet offering to refund all losing bets if he kicked five goals seems to be a...ahem...same bet

There are some great beards playing today. Perhaps next year the AFL will consider a new theme round to go with Indigenous round, ladies round etc. I propose bushranger round.

So far the final is more like school-aged football with no clear movement of the ball. More like the ball being followed by the majority of players who all pile up on it as soon as it hits the ground.

Good thing the AFL is now anti-homophobic because there are a lot of fit men in tight clothing hugging each other and with no hesitation to lay on top of each other.

Franklin has the first kick on goal and he continues is form from last week, hooking the ball to the left. As is unique in AFL he gets rewarded for missing, like childhood sport he has been given a point for trying. A point that was signalled by Ms Roffey - the first female goal umpire signals the first score of the game.

THe game starts on time, with the score 0-0. So apparently there is no points for winning the toss. With the swirling wind that has already been discussed as having no advantage, one wonders what the the point of the coin toss actually is.

Hawthorn have won the toss and from my television will be kicking towards the window, Sydney will start by kicking to the kitchen end. Is there a prize for winning the toss? There is a prize for everything else in this game.

Marina Prior is singing the national anthem (first verse only) - the only person on the stadium to not mumble a single lyric.

What the hell in a Cup Ambassador? What ever they do for Geelong player Cameron Ling is doing it. By the vision it appears that the Cup Ambassador is the mug who gets to carry the mug onto the ground. I like to think they are presenting to the UN advocating for the rights of premiership cups the world over.

Players are preparing to run through the banners and pose for their team photos. The AFL are big on fighting violence against women, homophobia and supporting Australia's indigenous communities, the banners however prove that the AFL's carbon footprint is not a concern. A big waste of paper. And sticky tape. And time.

The music has started, which only makes me wonder just how much his performance today will harm the career of Paul Kelly. These gigs are usually as successful for the band as hosting the Logies is for Australian comedians. Though Paul is on a winner because anything has to be better that Meatloaf in 2011.

The Toyota Hilux utes are back carrying 2012 Olympic champions. This will be a very short parade. What else are they going to do to fill the remaining 30 minutes or so until the first bounce? They should have the gold medalists from the Paralympics - though that would takes us way past the scheduled start time.

Retired, players and umpires or next years "special comments" commentators.

Phew, I can relax, Brynne Edelsten has told me I can enjoy the game. More than I will do when watching her reality show.

Channel 7 producers have decided that the best way to show viewers each of the players positions is to turn the match into a game of Guess Who?

"Does your player have facial hair? Tattoos? Wear Glasses?

The players are on the field which means only one thing. The hyperbole has moved up a gear as commentators read the players stat sheets in a tone that suggests they are actually debating the potential match ups and influences on the game. In a real twist, players in the grand final have a proven track record of winning the ball, tackling, kicking and team work. Yet again the experts prove their worth.

We are at that point where nothing is really happening. How do we know, well like Channel 9 commentators counting seagulls on the ground in a game of test match cricket. Channel 7's expert commentators are discussing the wind  - something they all agree will not favour anyone. Glad they are experts.

Each of the Channel 7 commentators have now demonstrated their credentials in a pre recorded piece in which they all pontificate about the importance, nay spiritual imperative of the day. With solemn back ground music, and slow motion  footage from their playing days, the montage is complete with the longing looks by the commentators. Standing alone in the empty stands viewing the equally empty holy land that is the MCG. These looks come straight out of American soap opera school of acting.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, a football tragic (one of many tragedies she faces on a daily basis) has just met Chelsea Roffey. Ms Roffey will be the first female to officiate in an AFL Grand Final. Lets hope she makes better decisions than her political counterpart. Will the male who missed out on his chance to officiate be in the back benches heckling, public announcing if he agrees or disagrees with Chelsea's leadership?

The players sprint race is over including one runner that has never played a game of AFL football, so not really a players race at all. Just some fast-ish men in tights. An Olympics 100m finals this is not

The chips, dips, bbq and beer are ready. The weather is "doing a Melbourne" alternating between icy wind with showers and sunshine. Everything is in readiness for the 2012 AFL Grand Final.

With just over an hour to go before the bounce there are many questions to be answered today like how early into the game will Bruce McAvaney be so excited that he needs to change his pants? If it rains, will the players jump into the Toyota Hilux utes as per the grand final parade? If the Swans win, will the Victorian media remember to mention that they are a Sydney based team and not the relocated South Melbourne Football Club?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nap Time

Sleep should not be so hard. I am not talking about the crytalised discharge that gets wiped from the corner of eyes each morning. Though one does wonder why the discharge is so hard and why it is so satisfying when it is scraped away during morning ablutions.

It was never hard for my dad, in fact he is known for his ability to fall asleep often just to pass the time. He can fall asleep standing up. Many people have fallen asleep during conversations, my dad can fall asleep mid-sentence, when he is the speaker! I love watching people on buses and trams fighting the need for sleep as the head jerks sets in.

It starts with the eyes closing, followed by a slow dropping of the head towards the chest, however it almost never lowers straight down. Instead it lilts towards one shoulder or the other. Thus begins the head jerks. The head drops to one side, wobbling slightly with the movement of the vehicle before the conscious mind breaks through and jerks the head upright to show to the world that it is awake. Of course the eyes are rarely opened and the world is never fooled. This pattern can continue for extended periods.

My father has turned the head jerk into an art form – making it a continuous rotation. His head first falls to the left, the “jerk” not only lifts it up but also slightly backwards. This is done with just enough force that the head does not remain in the upright position but rather it continues on to the right and then down towards the chest. Momentum keeps the head moving to the left where the cycle starts over. Thus my father has transformed his head jerks into nocturnal neck exercising.

Ronald Reagan is rumoured to have fallen asleep during international state visits, so it seems only appropriate that Former President Clinton and his wife Hillary both fell asleep during his funeral. Vice President Joe Biden was caught falling asleep during the Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. The Queen may as well have been asleep during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics for all the energy and enthusiasm she brought to the occasion.

The Sandman is a common enemy of the cinemagoer. The dark environment, the potentially confortable seats and a stomach full of popcorn all increase a persons risk of public slumber. There is nothing wrong with that, the head jerks can add to the entertainment of patrons sitting behind. Snoring on the other hand can interfere with the carefully edited sound track and effects.  The laughing of other patrons – anywhere in the cinema – is acceptable if watching a comedy , but inappropriate at best during a film based on international degradation of human rights.

I am not afflicted with the problems associated with easy sleep. I find it difficult. Insomnia can mean that the ability to sleep is inversely proportional to the desire to do so. The thought of sleep can in fact block the act of sleeping.  It plays with your mind – a whole different kind of head jerk. Enter prescription sleeping pills.

30-40 minutes after taking the pills – as per doctors instructions – without warning you go from wide awake to deep sleep. Mid sentence, mid movie, mid anything. Anything. Asleep, and without the awkward head jerks.

I can only assume that Joe Biden had sleeping pills just prior to the royal wedding because there is no way anyone was taking their eyes of Pippa’s bottom.