Saturday, September 27, 2008

AFL Grand Final 2008
Geelong vs Hawthorn

It's time for that one Saturday in September once again.

When the smell of snags and chops drifts through the air in the suburbs as the sound of kids all trying to be Gary Ablett Jnr or Lance Franklin carries on. It's a beautiful day out there! That's Adelaide though, considering Melbourne weather I'll hold my breath on that - shit can change like an innocent wander down Hoddle Street in 1987.

Who will it be today? Will it be the veteran Shane Crawford pulling his side through to a surprise upset of the reigning premiers? Or will the already legendary team that Geelong has assembled continue to slaughter its opposition in another Grand Final embarrassment for the opposing team? (119 points! 119 POINTS!! You bloody shockers you Power fans!)

Lance Franklin gets his first crack on the biggest national stage this country produces in sports. Will he go on to kick 10 plus in a display that brings out the best in the best or will he kick 10 plus behinds?

Gary Ablett Jnr, will he be upstaged by Jimmy Bartel or will he show why he is the heart and soul of this skillful Geelong team?

All will be answered in about an hour when the ball is to be bounced. Now if you'll excuse me I must check the beers are chilling. I'll be live-blogging the game so stay tuned....

'Guy or girl?' A Hawks fan confuses the shit out of everyone.

1:45 PM

Getting closer. First longneck cracked. Teams huddling in the changerooms ready to come out....

1:49 PM

Hawks out! Lance Franklin is out on the ground, let's see how his nerves hold up, all eyes are on him, can he deliver today?

'Hammered like Luke Hodge's ribs' That I will be by the end of this game! And will Geelong hammer those ribs and make him spit up blood again?

1:54 PM

Here come the reigning premiers.... A team of champions, will they continue their dominance for the second year in a row. The only thing standing in Geelong's way is that they're not playing a ponce team in 2008 like they were in 2007.

2:00 PM

National anthem time.

Okay predictions as they scroll past the teams... I'm picking Geelong today. But I will not be surprised if the Hawks can surprise them. That said if the Cats get out fast and are 3 or 4 goals up by half-time, Hawks might get blown away completely. Geelong shows no mercy.



Been the Hawks early on, Geelong got back into the game thanks to free kicks that Hawks fans would have been spittting chips over. Bit unlucky for the Hawks, they should be in the lead but this is not a game that will be won by complaining about the umps, Hawks had chances need to capitalise rather than make mistakes, Crawford made a clear one heading into the forward line and you'd expect a veteran like him to not turn the ball over in such a gimme to the Cats, who went on to bag a goal from that. Cyril Rioli has been playing out of his mind for the Hawks, same with Luke Hodge, what a champion Hodge is. Cam Mooney is the fly in the ointment for Hawks fans, he is kicking the goals for the Cats that they wish Lance Franklin was kicking. I think I've sided with the Hawks in this Final, go the underdog I say.



What a second quarter! It ends with Geelong's captain half-concussed being taken off the ground by trainers and Cam Mooney kicking a point when it surely should have been a goal for the Cats! Is the pressure getting to the reigning premiers? Are both of these things signs the Hawks are damaging them at their core?

What a game!

For the Hawks Trent Croad and Chance Bateman left the field, Bateman returned, Croad will not, his Final is over. They had their bench down to 2 and it was looking dire for injuries for the Hawks if anyone else should go down. They took a risk playing Croad, an ankle - suspected to be broken? - with pain-killing injections it still wouldn't get him to half-time, Croad was also playing with a taped head after receiving a high knock in the first quarter.

3:40 PM

Third quarter... Bruce McAvaney just stated that the Cats have not kicked a goal for 31 minutes. That is friggin unbelievable.



Hawks are playing above themselves. Cyril Rioli, Mark Williams and Stuart Dew, the guns of the Hawks in the third. Gary Ablett Jnr for the Cats, have to note his guts and skill. Stuart Dew, great game so far, a boy from the northern suburbs of Adelaide, same age as me, I played cricket with him, he was as much a great player at cricket as he is at football.

NOTE: I also played soccer with the captain of Adelaide United and occasional player with the Australian Socceroos, Travis Dodd. Under 8s that was, and we used to thrash every team by at least 7 goals, Dodd was influential, just like Dew was in the cricket. Natural athletes are what they are.

4:30 PM

Lance Franklin has kicked his second goal! Very important!

Sam Mitchell has kicked another! The captain of Hawthorn!

4:31 PM

Ten minutes to go and it looks like the Hawks are going to pull off a monumental upset.

4:32 PM

100,000 at the MCG for the Final. Unbelievable crowd.

4:33 PM

Commentator just compared this Hawks potential win to the Giants beating the Patriots in the American Football Final.



Hawks did it. Luke Hodge did it. The champs have been felled! Shane Crawford finally gets the medal that has eluded him. Gary Ablett Jnr has tears, the team that lost one game all year ends up like the New England Patriots of the American NFL, they lost on the most important day of the year! Luke Hodge got the Norm Smith medal, the man is guts, all guts, hats off to him.