Year of the Cat: the shamelessly bias take on the 2016 AFL season.
It was as beautiful as it was satisfying. As Geelong fans traveled back home on the soon to be renamed Danger Highway, they knew that yes, the game had changed. 2016 is looking good.
A bloke called Zac Smith showed plenty of promise in the ruck, while the old hands of Bartel and Selwood continued to haunt Hawks fans dreams, bless em. And how about those young kids? Gregson, McCarthy, Lang – the future looks bright.
Yet there was one guy who stood out among them all. Patrick Dangerfield showed in two hours why his off season signing dominated talk in the papers and the pubs. He is a star. I can think of few better debuts. Place a Brownlow bet on him early.
Meanwhile, things aren’t looking too great down at Glenferrie oval, and ain’t it sweet. They face West Coast this week and then the Doggies, who went on a rampage against Freo in round one and certainly look the part. Hodgey is facing some weeks on the sidelines with a broken arm, and Roughead’s season won’t be starting for some time yet. Don’t like players getting injured, but think of the miserable Hawthorn fans and it makes it better.
While on Hawthorn, has anyone ever heard Dermott Brereton talk about Cyril Rioli being the most talented player he’s seen? It would have been funny if he weren’t so serious. Apparently Cyril played on Monday. Could have fooled me.
Anyway, our boys have GWS this weekend, and if they play anything like they did on Monday (except for those bloody third quarter fade outs) then we should be 2-0. A nice start.
Now, how excited should we be getting after round one? There’s two schools of thought. No doubt some cats fans went nuts on Tuesday, talking premierships and brownlows and Kennett curses. Well hey, we missed finals last year, so why not gloat and enjoy the euphoria? My favourite thing to do was use the hashtag #fourthorn on social media to rub it in their faces. It will probably come back to bite, but right now it feels great.
Then there’s the gently gently crew. It’s round one guys, settle down. Yes, Dangerfield was good and it was an enjoyable win, but the third quarters are still an issue. Hawkins is still too slow. They still handball too bloody much. Danger won’t play like that every week. Okay, we get it guys.
Let’s keep the lid on for now. Best to be cautious, especially when we take a look at the enemy camps.
The Western Bulldogs. Fremantle players haven’t seen that sort of scoring during Ross Lyon’s entire tenure. I’ve been in touch with the doggies’ seven fans. They couldn’t be happier.
West Coast. Scored a whopping 166 on their way to a 10 goal win over the Lions. I’m tipping a 92/94 Grand Final rematch come season’s end, with Geelong winning of course.
Meanwhile, some clubs had such a terrible start you almost felt sorry for them.
Collingwood weren’t only done by 80 points, they lost Swanny for what could be forever and they were the only club outed for popping pingers during the offseason. Almost felt for them, and then remembered that it’s Collingwood. We all have our weaker moments.
Richmond beat Carlton by only nine points. Apparently they still sang the song.
Adelaide lost to North Melbourne and then enjoyed the Danger show on Monday afternoon. It must have hurt.
GWS lost to Melbourne after blowing a 21 point lead at three quarter time. Even Jack Watts played well.
So yes, the season has started perfectly (except for bloody Vardy’s injury. Seriously dude…) and the next few weeks look promising. The lid is on, but it shook slightly when fans belted out the song at the ‘G on Monday.