THE LONE RUCKMAN, THE FINALE

WAKING UP RICHMOND

It’s that feeling the morning after you have a massive night on the drink. Last night you were an invincible drinking machine, you consumed as much alcohol as Donald Trump’s wife needs to fulfil her matrimonial duties. Beer, wine, spirits, shots and liqueurs, oh why did you need to drink the liqueurs? There was no dessert available, Drambuie has a cool sounding name but so does cyanide. So a thumping headache slowly wakes you from the couple of hour’s sleep you have had before the pain begins. Your brain feels as though Shane Mumford lined it up from ten metres away and proceeded to use his chest as a hammer to crush the cerebral electrodes you need to function. It’s hard to get your bearings, you remember to breathe, and automatically you swallow to attempt to add moisture to your mouth that feels as questionable as the dodgy story of Harley Bennell’s “indefinite” calf injury. You rub your tongue (which could be mistaken for a shingleback lizard) along your teeth and the sickening taste of the night before comes back to you with a thud. This must be what it’s like to be a Richmond supporter.

DEMONS SUPPORTERS

Like Channel Nine resurrecting the rotting corpse of Daryl Sommers some things never cease to amaze, talk out of the Melbourne v Essendon game is that some of the Demons players got a little bit ahead of themselves and in turn the Bombers had a memorably stirring victory. Last year Paul Roos said that years of painful defeats were holding back The Dees from being able to win consistently, now this group of young men who have achieved as much success as Craig McLachlan and his band Check 1 2, think it will all just happen. It’s as if the club had an old-fashioned fundraiser before the game and hired a hypnotist who convinced the boys it was the 1950’s and they were a part of the great Melbourne sides who won 4 flags in five years. If there was ever a club that shouldn’t drink their own bath water its Melbourne, listening to long suffering Demon supporters is like sitting with a person who has been imprisoned in a basement for years by a deranged psychopath. You grimace with each tale of near escape and your heart falls when they tell of being dragged back to their dank hellhole to resume being humiliated on a daily basis. Now I am not suggesting that Paul Roos is a cruel manipulator who forces supporters to dress up in cut off denim shorts and awkwardly dance to the song “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”. I’ll let the courts decide that.

 THE ART OF RUCK CRAFT

Not since James Packer and David Gyngell rolled around wrestling in their trackie dacks have I enjoyed more the sight of two big blokes running into each other. Todd Goldstein and Max Gawn provided 2 hours of footy porn for ruck enthusiasts. All around pubs in Australia, any bloke over six foot four was nodding their head in approval at the sight of these beautifully gangly workhorses plying their craft. While over the other side of the country one of their elite brethren Aaron Sandilands was felled when the Eagles Nick Naitanui’s knee crashed into his ribs and punctured his lung. In my playing days I once punctured two lungs in the one game, luckily they were from two separate rib cages, and bravely I played on even though opposition, spectators and even some of my team mates turned on me.

 If I hadn’t used a nearby small child as a human shield my injuries could have been much worse. As coincidence has it, I ended up in the same hospital, in the same room as the two chaps with the collapsed lungs who I cannoned into earlier in the day. Their shallow breathing that night sounded like two cheap kazoo whistles wheezing completely out of sync, worst night’s sleep ever.

JESSE WHITE

Collingwood have been under pressure this week for a poor start to the year, but in news to make the “great unwashed” inhale the nearest Woodstock can it was reported that in the VFL Jessie White has hit red hot form in his new role as intercepting defender. For those not quite up to the most recent AFL coach speak, this means; “where going to throw you down back and if you can’t get a kick there we will delist you at the end of the season.” Fingers crossed Jessie.

 NOT ALWAYS POPULAR

When searching the radio for something to listen to, immediately change the dial when you hear the phrase in a song; "let the love of Jesus wash over you."

I played over 300 games and the majority of the blokes I played with hated my guts, I have missed many reunions over the years because of my invitation being "lost in mail", or "you’re a vagrant, with no fixed abode" used as an excuse. I believe it's a concerted effort to whitewash me from the clubs history in much the same way St Kilda and Fremantle have attempted with Zac Dawson.

NEVER SAY SORRY

As someone who often targeted injured players I am in the Jonathan Brown school of thought, in that you don't say sorry unless your opponent ends up in hospital. Although if they do end up in hospital, an apology is an admission of guilt so just send them a get well card.

HELLO MRS BUCKLEY

Dimma created a few chuckles earlier in the week when he mentioned Pies coach Nathan Buckley had called his wife by mistake. Take it from one who knows, that "mistake" excuse works only once. And a tip for Bucks, never leave a voice message at 4am detailing the positive features your coach's wife possesses or possible meetings at your “shipping container of sin”.

HIRD FOUGHT THE LAW

James Hird is to the law fraternity what problem gamblers are to poker machine companies. Hird lost his legal fight about payment of an earlier legal fight he had lost, Tania is currently exploring what legal action they can take.

 I’LL HAVE A DIRTY CHAI THANKS JOBE

If someone had told me last week there was a Brownlow medalist earning money by making people coffee, I would have said "good on Shane Woewodin for making something of his life." So imagine my surprise when I heard Jobe Watson was working as a barista in New York. It's a smart move by Watson, I once took a year off footy when I was accused of embezzling monies from the clubs retired players providence fund. I denied it, hearsay and conjecture was my go to answer when quizzed. Unfortunately evidence is taken more seriously in a court of law.

EX PLAYERS

Tom Jonas received a six week suspension for what was clearly a missed timed spoil; if you’re an out of touch, bitter former player. Graham Cornes believed if you watch the incident in real time you can see that. I'm reluctant to take advice from a man who looks like an antique leather armchair, but I did and it still looked like a cheap shot. It's too easy for former players to have a crack at commentators because they didn't play at the elite level. Each time I'm with a lady, they are only too willing to provide me with negative feedback. The majority are professionals but I still take on board everyone's critique.

  LAST GOODBYE

It’s hard for a player to know when to pull the pin, I retired more times than John Farnham. But I kept coming back for the same reasons as Whispering Jack; elderly groupies. I eventually did see the light though, in a near death experience when a player whose father had belted me twenty years before decided to do the same. Circle of life, Hakuna Matata.