Steele Sidebottom is out with a broken thumb for at least a few weeks. The good news: There is a player in the AFL who is named Steele Sidebottom.
Welcome to Balls of Steel’s AFL Beat!
Even though he plays for Collingwood, who were destroying the Brisbane Lions (up at one point by 53 points!) before narrowly avoiding an astonishing collapse and winning by 12, Steele Sidebottom is currently my favorite AFL player. If it is discovered that he does porn in the offseason, I may have found the life coach/idol/mentor I’ve been searching for my entire life.
Not so lucky were Essendon who DID collapse after leading most of the game to lose in the final 7 minutes to the Sydney Swans by 12 points. Sydney were at one point down by 41, but managed to SHUT OUT Essendon for the entire fourth quarter and score 7 goals to take the game. Considering that scores normally run in the 60s, 80s, even 100s, for a team to get completely shut out in one quarter is
Friday night, I grabbed a beer at home and watched the Melbourne Demons v Gold Coast Suns match that Melbourne thoroughly dominated. Gold Coast tried valiantly to come back, at one point in the fourth narrowing the gap to just 8 points, but Melbourne put the foot on the gas again and pulled away. Not much was expected of the Demons, so this victory may bode well for their season. I was impressed with their effort and hustle. The best part about this game, though, was this early hit on Dean Kent of Melbourne by Matt Shaw of Gold Coast:
How can you not love this game?
In the last Friday night/Saturday morning game, the Western Bulldogs came up strong at the end and won a back and forth game with the West Coast Eagles. By then I was dreaming of … other things.
The first game on Saturday night matched up the St. Kilda Saints against the Greater Western Sydney Giants. Everywhere I’ve seen, the name is shortened to GWS Giants or simply Giants. Which makes a lot of sense considering no one wants to hear about the Greater New York/New Jersey Metropolitan Area Giants even if it is geographically correct. The Giants won a close one, but the match may be remembered more for this:
Anything that gets announcers to get excited like that gets a raise of my glass.
One other thing that was remarkable about the St. Kilda game is that it is now clear that the NFL is light years behind on goal-line technology. If the Aussies can have cameras mounted on their goal posts to determine if a goal has been scored, why the hell can’t we? The lesson, as always, is that Roger Goodell can go DIAF.
I also managed to get through 3/4 of the Adelaide Crows v North Melbourne Kangaroos game before crashing. At one point in the first half, the Crows were UP BY 69 POINTS! The Kangaroos came out strong in the second half to cut the deficit to 30 in the third before Adelaide must have realized there was still a quarter left and went on to steamroll them 140-63. I haven’t seen a beating like that since Goodell screwed up player discipline.
In the late game, the Fremantle Dockers won a “playoff-type” game over the Port Adelaide Power. I’m ambivalent about this result because Jim Harbaugh’s favorite team beat a team with a singular nickname and both of those things are abominations. If Fremantle’s nickname at least officially referred to the gay sexual practice, I would be more impressed.
Finally, the game we all waited for the entire weekend: Hawthorn v Geelong! Since I’m a semi-responsible adult with a job, I wasn’t able to watch this live. So, I’m gonna look up the score on the internet. Boy, this is exciting! It’s like when I was a kid and you only got the scores from the newspaper and you would excitedly look them up when you woke up in the morning and… well shit!