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Showing content with the highest reputation on 09/24/2021 in all areas

  1. It's the year 2000. A new era. I am an 11 year old boy in Melbourne town, just 3 years down from Brisbane. A rugby state. But footy or rugby I wasn't in a round ball state of mind. I didn't "get it". And so, there I was, a nominal Melbourne supporter ushered to Grand Final Day early in the morning to (now I understand) get some bloody tickets. Melbourne. I'm 11. It's a Grand Final. Nothing special, I think to myself. My Grandpa Jim has seen this before, and his calmness soothes me. And so I watched. And we lost. I didn't mind. I didn't really "get" the 2000 Grand Final. We lost. I didn't really care. I care now. I didn't understand how hard that one was to reach. It was just the 2nd in 43 years I now am able to calculate in the fulness of time. Now I get it. Fast forward from 2000. It's now mid-late 2004. Nathan Brown is killing it for the dees. I like this bloke. I like the Demons. My Grandfather's team. I might watch them on free-to-air and see how we go. We win. This is it my friends. A life-long passion is born. In 2004 - I listened to an entire Elimination Final on the radio. My god I could not do that now. It's 2005. Jeff White gets his head caved in. I remember nothing but pain, but I see this live. I hear it and feel it live. It's 2006. Nathan Jones debuts. In the finals, a kindly Saints fan gifts me a ticket and I watch the game from the wing live. We beat St Kilda, and Chook McLean stamps himself on my psyche in a way I'll never forget. No matter what happens afterward. It's 2007. Demonland seems like a nice place to vent after a pretty terrible year. I might sign up. 2008, 9, 10, 11 pass as years tend to do, and we seem not to want to win any longer. My grandpa, who took me to that 2000 grand final and instilled that love for Melbourne, passes away. And still the years press on: 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17. Pain, pain pain. And I see it all in person. I cannot imagine the pain of those born in the 60s, or 70s, or 80, but I can fathom it. And then we get to experience 2018. What a joyous year it was, but ultimately one built on sand, and we know that now. But it was fun, and I see it to its bitter conclusion in Perth, in person. I had officially become a nuffy. And still time rolls on, and I roll with it, now completely pulled in, never to escape. 2019, 2020. Pain again, and I think this might be the lot of Melbourne forever, and me too (of course, because why should I be happy?) And then 2021comes. Just a joyous year in spite of everything non-football related that we all know about. I could talk forever about why this year means what it means from a football sense, but let me say this at least: Here is a chance for Melbourne to come full circle now. I think back to that kid who went to a grand final just a couple of years after coming down from Brisbane, and how little he "got" it. I get it now. I want it. I need it. Go dees. I'll have a beer for you Grandpa Jim, like I said I would, way back in 2011 when it looked bad for you and the club both. Melbourne recovered, and I'm Melbourne. I'm Melbourne, and I'm Melbourne through and through.
    33 points
  2. I don’t post here that often, but thought I’d drop my analysis in from a BigFooty post. I’m generally a pessimist with MFCSS, however I’m strangely confident. If Melbourne and the Bulldogs bring their standard game, Melbourne will be too strong. This is why Melbourne are ~80% chance to win in my eyes: - Melbourne are the stronger contested team, having bettered the Bulldogs throughout the year and in the two contests between these teams during H&A. - The round 19 game was a draw on “expected scores” meaning non-standard accuracy on the night was a major factor. - Round 19, in the wet, was statistically Melbourne’s worst disposal efficiency game for the year, whereas Bulldgos went at their season norm which indicates a more significant opportunity for Melbourne to improve. Gawn, Petracca and Pickett all had their least efficient games for the year that night, which is highly unlikely to repeat. - Round 19 saw the Bulldogs kick almost half their score (37 points) from forward stoppages, which is many factors higher than their average score from this method and therefore highly unlikely to repeat. - Round 19 saw a statistically anamoulously high gap (41% margin) between each team’s normal aggregate “free kicks for” which is unlikely to repeat. - Josh Bruce scored almost a quarter of the Bulldogs’ goals in the previous four hours of game time between these teams. His replacement is Josh Schache who won’t demand the same respect defensively. - Stef Martin didn’t play in the two H&A games and is called out as a big difference maker, but I don’t think he can go with Gawn at all. Martin played 16 games across 2020 to 2021. Discounting one game where he got injured and subbed out, he could only better 77% time on ground twice so he doesn’t have the fitness to handle Gawn. Across that period if you make a Frankenstein’s monster of what would be Martin’s statistically best game (15 disposals, 30 hit outs, 4 tackles, 2 contested marks, 6 clearances, 1 goal) it’s probably still weaker than Gawn’s average game* across that period (19, 35, 3, 2.2, 4.5, 0.5). Add onto that Stef is a lovely guy, he doesn’t have it in him to be over the top physically brutal against Gawn as has been suggested. * adjust 2020 for equivalent 20 minute quarters The Bulldogs can win of course, but they will need to rely on the game being unusual and not following the norms established during 2021. It would require several of: - masterful tactical moves by Beveridge that Goodwin can’t counter, the most obvious one being the Bulldogs change how they bring the ball into their forward line which counters Melbourne’s backline. If the Bulldogs kick long at Naughton, while he will mark a few through the game, Melbourne’s backline will dominate as it’s too predictable. - multiple “out of the box” performances from Bulldogs’ players, and not just the top line players as there will be plans to counter the obviously dangerous players. - multiple “down” performances from Melbourne’s players, which if it happens would likely be related to Beveridge comprehensively out coaching Goodwin. - persistent unusual accuracy or inaccuracy when kicking for goal. - significant impact of in-game injuries.
    21 points
  3. At the ground now, fair crowd here already. Living the dream.
    15 points
  4. I can’t remember a time I didn’t follow the Dees. It wasn’t as though there was a particular event or date. Rather, it has been an intrinsic part of me as long as I can recall, such that every time I see red and blue I can’t help but fantasize about moments past, present or future involving the Dees. It hasn’t always been smooth sailing. I remember a question like it was yesterday, though 1996 was some 25 years ago now. We were in the front room of the house and, in hindsight, I hope Dad was pulling my leg. “What about the Swans, what do you say we switch teams?”. I couldn’t blame Dad, but I also couldn’t possibly imagine a life without the Demons. The thought repulsed me, in fact. “You can switch Dad, but I will stay with the Demons”. It was my first proper year following the Dees. Genuine or not as the question may have been, it would be my first test in a lifetime of tribulations that following this team would present me. But it wasn’t a choice as far as I was concerned. You pick your team, or in my case your team is picked for you, and you stick with it...come hell or high water. Admittedly they didn’t have a lot to offer at that stage, the Dees. But they didn’t have to. I was sold the moment I laid eyes on the red and the blue. There would be no turning back. I was on the train, stopping all stations to premiership glory. I didn’t know it then, but it would be one of the longest journeys of my life. I still remember my first few years going to the footy with Dad. I loved the build-up. The trip in. The nervous chatter on game day. The speculation. The cursory stop at the jam-donuts-stand. The unsuccessful attempts to accumulate more badges or merchandise. Poor Dad...after I was finished with these antics, I used to make us go home at half-time. Back then once the half-time kick was over, there were often few highlights to look forward to anyway...being 1996 and 1997. Suffice to say, most of those first few years, at least as far as game-day went, concluded in harsh, swift lessons on accepting defeat. I guess I learnt the consequences of watching your heroes fail. The empty hole in your heart on the trip home. The missed opportunities that had unfolded before your eyes. The what-ifs and the why-nots. Bit by bit, adding up to broken dreams and opportunities gone begging. It would put me in good stead in future years when I found myself looking to the sky, wet and cold, wondering why I still bothered? Why do I still care? Is there something wrong with me? In 1997 Dad took me to my first finals game, a prelim between the Bulldogs and the Adelaide Crows. It was a glimpse into the magical never-land that is September football, where dreams are simultaneously forged and crushed all in one siren. This day was no different. The dogs had led all afternoon, up by 22 points at 3 quarter-time. It seemed a foregone conclusion that they would play in their first Grand Final since 1961. However, Jarman and his crew had other ideas. I remember the brutal shift in emotions in the Bulldogs group in front of me as they watched their hopes slip through their fingers, one shattering goal at a time. Then finally, I remember the soul-crushing moment Chris Grant ran for the goals, right in front of me, his kick intercepted on the line along with the hopes and dreams of an entire fanbase. The simultaneous scenes of jubilation and tragedy were something I did not yet understand, but would soon experience myself. The first Demons finals campaign I went to was the next year, in 1998. I had been to the footy for a few seasons by now with Dad, but hadn’t quite experienced true excitement or passion yet. I mean, I understood that the footy was a good thing – that the trip in was a privilege and that, academically at least, it was something you should want to attend. However, not until that final's series did I truly understand why for two years I had witnessed grown men and women shout and scream and look to the sky, like I would one day too, asking “why do I bother?”. The first game against Adelaide was great. We thumped the reigning premiers and sailed through to the semi’s in the old top 8 system. When we came back the next week, we made light work of the Saints. I was getting used to this feeling. The joy of winning finals. Each week, with the ante upped, I was keener to see the next showdown. There was a palpable excitement in the air and a sense of community. I was only young, but I think I was starting to get a sense for it. This is what it was all about. This is why we come to the footy. Then on one warm Friday night in September, it all came crashing down. The Kangaroos were a fantastic side, no doubt, but no logic or reason could have prepared me for the hurt I would experience that evening. The ultimate abyss. There would be no next week. No plans or fixes. This was it, and just like that our finals campaign came to a grinding halt. The loss was seared into my memory and would become the bedrock of familiar, but unwelcome emotions that would invade my psyche repeatedly in the future. The next finals campaign I saw was different. I was a hardened fan by now. With a few years under my belt, Dad and I were now watching games in full. My fondest memory came in the Qualifying Final against Carlton. To 3 quarter-time the Blues had built a 21 point lead. Dad and I sat in silence, in the same spot we’d watched Chris Grant 3 years earlier, awaiting a similar fate ourselves. I remember distinctly the sense of dread. The impending feeling of emptiness that would await a loss in finals. Then, something clicked. A young Brad Green and Cameron Bruce made their mark. Yze kicked us to the lead with an impossible soccer goal. We had pulled ourselves back from the brink and kicked 7 last quarter goals against a side that had earlier that year beaten us by 98 points. It all happened so fast. If you blinked you’d have missed it. It is hard to describe, but all of the sudden, time seemed to stand still. It was a sacred moment where you lose a sense of everything else in your life and feel at one with your team. Every kick hits. Every tackle sticks. Every ball bounces true and it is as though the football gods themselves have written the script this way just for you. It was a feeling of pure joy and belief. An elusive feeling I would find only a handful of times in the ensuing decades. A few weeks later we would be filling the night air with “A Grand Old Flag” in the streets of Richmond, kicking our way into the Grand Final after belting the Kangaroos. We sang till our throats were horse, though deep down I think we all knew that in 8 day’s time we would be heartbroken yet again. I was at that Grand Final in 2000 and remember watching on, trance-like, as Hirdy celebrated before me at the final siren. It was not our day. We’d had our moment already, and the football gods had moved on to greener pastures. Though there were many finals campaigns in the Daniher years, none would quite match the feeling of excitement and hope I felt in those first two of 1998 and 2000. We always seemed to get up there, at least every even year, but couldn't quite reach that fabled epiphany we so badly longed for. I remember too the dark days from 2007. When the Reverand was gone, we lost our way. So many times I would take comfort in the quarter-time breaks, knowing Daniher would fix it. Now, with a string of poor recruits and off-field tragedies, the Dees saw themselves in perhaps their lowest days since the 80’s, or the “No Merger” time. I found myself to have grown into one of those adults I’d watched as a kid, full of dismay, looking skyward for an answer I’d never find. Each week on the walk home we’d laugh and joke, a coping mechanism for the brave. But each new failure ate away at our souls. I remember the shame I felt when we lost to Geelong, and Essendon, by well over 100 points. I felt anger. I felt pity. For myself, my fellow fans, for Jonesy and for those that fronted up regardless of the walls crumbling in around them. Deep down though, one thought sustained us. It was that impossible dream, of one fine day in September, when the ticking of time melts into insignificance and you can almost feel your hands closing around the cup’s fine silver handles. I was at the Grand Final of 2017. I remember the tension in the crowd. That familiar bravado that one puts on when they both believe and cannot believe their side will win at the same time. I remember after 2 early Adelaide goals, that feeling of “here we go again” began to creep into the stands. Then, Richmond bounced back, before exceeding the Crows with a vigor not seen since the 80’s. It quickly became apparent that after almost 4 decades of failures, it was Richmond’s time. As Dustin Martin saved his best till last, I looked around and witnessed my 10 year old self in the faces of the Richmond faithful. The late afternoon sun was shining upon the faces of those who perhaps never thought they would see a Tiger’s flag. I’m sure, at least for them, they were in that ethereal zone where nothing else matter. Again, I started to dream. Is this what it could be like? That look of awe and wonder when your team finally reaches the impossible. When the nay-sayers have closed up shop and the believers join in unison, a chorus of celebration flooding the land. Such a resounding performance it was that to entertain the idea Adelaide were ever going to win verged on lunacy. This was no mere victory, it was fate. I was there in 2018 when we returned to September football. As the crowd trickled in, I took a moment to walk to the top of the stands and think. This had been the scene of so many close calls, and even more tragedies. Now, here we were, a force to be reckoned with...to play in front of 95,000 faithful against a team who had dominated the league for over 10 years. I can’t explain the sense of pride I felt when Jonesy kicked what was arguably the sealer, and a zoomed in camera slowly came out from an outrageously large contingent of red and blue. There were games in the past 10 years I had been to where it felt like the entire stadium had less people than a single bay on this night. Watching the Demon’s army in the flesh, I felt like I was watching a metaphorical pulse return, after what had been a prolonged and traumatic near-death experience for the club. As Hannan kicked that goal, I recall jumping for joy, hugging and high-fiving every one within sight. It was all that mattered. The next week against the Hawks something strange happened – I felt confidence. For the first time in a long time, I let myself believe this team could do something special. Though we were dosed with a swift reality check the next week in Perth, it felt as though something great had been awakened which could not be put to bed. Not this time. Which leads me to round 23, 2021. 44 points down in Geelong and melt-down mode was in full swing. My usual coping mechanisms were unfolding with routine precision. It is like the only control you feel sometimes is to write off the team that you love so dearly. You express your rage and disdain like a spell, in the hope you cure your team’s inadequacy, or as consolation, at least your own torment. You couldn’t face the prospect of being let down again, least of all to the Cats who have disrespected you for as long as you remember. Watching Scott calmly put the “cue in the rack” for the last quarter, our dreams of a minor premiership were all but over. Then Kozzie kicked an early goal, and the rustlings of hope started to stir. Then Spargo. Then Oliver. And that mystic twilight zone was unfolding before our eyes in the most unlikely circumstances. The comeback was so fiendishly improbable that Norm Smith himself couldn’t have planned a better way to reach the top. Though it wasn’t a premiership, it was a taste. And a taste was all we needed. After years of learning to protect ourselves. After years of rationalising losses and expecting the worst, finally it was our pessimism which was wrong for all the right reasons. I watched through a TV screen, in this bizarre pandemic world, as a side that played so clearly for each other and their fans shared in the spoils of victory for a much-deserved token of respect. It wasn’t just the top of the ladder that we proved worthy of that night. It was an unequivocal statement that the “never say die demons”, for so long bandied around as an ironic jest by friends and foes alike, was again a reality. And you could disrespect us at your own peril. Maybe, on Saturday, there will come a point late in the game when time starts to slow. Where the Dees pull ahead and the path is finally cleared for glory. Where every tackle sticks. Every ball bounces true. Every kick hits. Where all those years of anger, pain and loss crystalize into layers of experiences that you will finally be grateful for. And when you look around you there are the people who have shared years – decades – of ups and downs by your side. Who have put up with your tears, and you theirs, through heartbreak and stolen dreams. And you will see that look of awe in the faces of those whose heart beats true. That child-like feeling of joy, where you are 10 again, and all that matters in life is that the red and blue are winning. And the football gods will smile upon us once more, and the immense talent of this side will come to the fore against a worthy adversary. Then maybe, just maybe, for one pure, magical moment, time will once again stand still, and simply wait for fate to catch up.
    14 points
  5. This little grand final package arrived at The Manor this morning ( from an anonymous admirer) It will complement the sweet taste of victory!
    12 points
  6. Now 'flying the flag' 24/7 from my part of Brisbane, with a little tribute to the fallen Demons of my generation of supporting the MFC.
    12 points
  7. Might not be quite the right thread, but what the hell... Been doing a lot of digging around and reminiscing over the past week. It turns out as a family we are good at receiving (and hoarding) stickers, but not very good at using them!
    9 points
  8. Okay boys and girls [censored] getting real now.
    7 points
  9. On Jack, he is a very good player and always has been, but for some reason gets targeted by a large section of the Demonland posters, some of whom wouldn't have a clue. He has had his share of injuries and if he isn't BOG in his first game back he cops both barrels He has copped more criticism than the majority of the other players combined, except perhaps James Harmes. It amazes me that some posters on here just come on to rubbish the players without knowing what their role is in the game.
    7 points
  10. Sensible list management. Who know how much longer McDonald amd Brown have as contributors. A two year deal is good for both parties.
    7 points
  11. Stefan Martin's 2021 record: 8 Games, aerages are 3 kicks, 7 handballs and 16 hitouts a game. 71 % game time. And he's the answer to Max Gawn?
    6 points
  12. Gone the symmetrical look, replete with a touch of red & blue Haymes Paint on the (heritage!) facade and signed Clarry guernseys in the windows. C'mon Demons!
    5 points
  13. Actually, there's a second thing. Because we finally recahed rock bottom in the Neeld era*, the AFL intervened and gave us Jackson and Roos. *To be fair, it wasn't Neeld on his own. the club was a shambles off the field, too,
    5 points
  14. "The decision to poach Taylor from Collingwood in December 2012 has proven a masterstroke. Ex-Demons coach and Magpies assistant Mark Neeld was the connection in the switch of clubs." The one thing we can thank Neeld for
    5 points
  15. I’ve gained 2kg over the past two weeks. I can’t stand this anymore. I’m a nervous wreck. Been trying to find comfort in wine and pasta. Made the mistake of watching one of our H&A games against the Dogs… you better believe that resulted in a 2014 Shiraz and pasta, butter and cheese. One more sleep to go. Thinking spagbol tonight.
    5 points
  16. 12 months ago we couldn’t give TMac or ANB away and we picked up Ben Brown from the $2 bin. The footy world has no imagination. If the stock market was as volatile as football player value, the world would go in to a GFC every other day.
    5 points
  17. Should have painted a '10' on it and passed it off as an Angus.
    5 points
  18. I want us to own Optus for all time - only club to ever win a Premiership there
    4 points
  19. At grand old Optus today for open training, we out number the dogs fans 3 to 1. Still an hour before the boys run out
    4 points
  20. Good interview. He’s not happy with where he’s at but he wants to fight it out and be part of our success. Good for him. He has a good head on his shoulders and I’m confident he can play a role in this team.
    4 points
  21. Libba and Weightman. Hate them both and both are crucial to the Dogs winning.
    4 points
  22. I’ll be heading to work to do a desk-pop.
    4 points
  23. It's hilarious how much Macrae's name gets butchered. In all seriousness we showed the recipe for success in round 9, shut down the source Libba and you beat the dogs.
    4 points
  24. I’ll give a full run down once it’s done just in case the coverage doesn’t pick everything up.
    3 points
  25. Weideman is going to be a very good player for us. This is a steal. Kid can play. He’s needed to develop both mentally and physically. Surprised opposition sides weren’t all in on him.
    3 points
  26. at the start of the season, the plan was sideshow bob and weed as the key forwards with plugger mac as the defensive wingman a lot can change in the space of a few weeks and a couple of injuries good luck to him in 2022 and beyond
    3 points
  27. On a lighter note… $1.60 from Coles! But only for today. So rush on in and grab one. Or, since it’s an MFC fan-site so this is probs applicable: get ‘the help’ to rush on in and grab one.
    3 points
  28. The reality is the club has invested a fair bit of money into him, and doesn’t see the value in letting him go now. He’s also aware that the suitors aren’t going to make his life easier. Ben wouldn’t have spoken highly of North, and GCS are blooding King for Sam’s role. He wasn’t leaving for greener pastures, and the money wouldn’t have been worth the move. I hope Sam can come on and be a regular player, but I suspect he’s shifted in the pecking order from being the future forward to being the backup forward. I want to be wrong, because his age is perfect for the group.
    3 points
  29. Stefan Martin left MFC at the end of 2012 - I don't think it's the same Max Gawn as then.
    3 points
  30. really wanna see Jack Viney charge through the first bounce and take a dogs player with him, ideally bont or libba
    3 points
  31. Keen to know if those lucky enough to be going to the GF in Perth have a pub/venue for the after party celebration when we win. I’m one of the lucky ones who will be there and if we do salute, I’d love to go where my fellow supporters will be gathering.
    3 points
  32. Who’s the player we hope Jack makes cry in the granny? I’d hope that early match he lays a strong tackle on Bont that has us feeling the aftershock tremors here in Melbourne.
    3 points
  33. Good thing none of us wanted to sleep tonight anyways. Amirite?
    3 points
  34. Have a blast Phil. Hoping Perth goes off its head if the Dees get up.
    3 points
  35. TMc on wing? In lieu of Brayshaw or Langdon? 🙄 I would be surprised.
    3 points
  36. On the Gus and Gawny podcast Gawny said he thinks McCrae will go head to head with Oliver. There is not a single player in my lifetime in 40 years supporting Melbourne their is a player I have more confidence in than Oliver. Let them go head to head.
    3 points
  37. He's like Mitchell to me. Lots of touches but goes hardly anywhere. We don't need to tag him. We just need to do our jobs better than they do theres. Which we will
    3 points
  38. All these guys are worth absolutely nothing.
    3 points
  39. Someone printed out the Demonland Banner at their house.
    3 points
  40. In attendance with 15% phone battery, I will say a majority of fans are demons and the rest are teenage girls who love Bailey Smith
    2 points
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