People are starting to stop laughing at Carlton. This is a stage we go through when a team has been down for so long you start to feel sorry for them despite 1970 being only 49 years ago.
Now is where we start feeling warm about talent like Sam Walsh, Charlie Curnow (not so much Ed), Zac Fisher, Sam Petrevski-Seton and the slowly but surely improving key backs in Jacob Weitering and young fella Liam Jones.
Once the Blues get a few wins on the board, the warmth will turn to doubt and then hatred, but hopefully not fear. Football needs a competitive Carlton but not a strong one. On the flip side, North Melbourne have not been good and the Blues are on the closest thing they have had to a roll for quite some time.
There are many questions to be answered from this game: Can the Cats keep the ball rolling? Will Essendon play like they did for three quarters against Collingwood and if so, can the Cats keep up? Will Essendon bring someone in from the upcoming mid season draft despite not being named as an emergency (or the mid season draft actually happening yet).
These are all sidelines to the big question – will Gary Ablett get booed? The football world is hoping so. Then we can watch a whole internet of Twitterers scramble for the moral high ground. It will be like thousands of white walkers climbing over each other to get into Winterfell. I can’t wait.
Just when you thought …
Tipping has been difficult this year, and these are two of the more difficult prospects. Adelaide are behind where many predicted they would be while Fremantle are well ahead of schedule and it’s been fun to watch the Dockers as their new multi faceted forward line has been a challenge for opponents.
Adelaide have rebounded from a slow start with wins over St Kilda and Gold Coast but despite early predictions, the Dockers have a few more tricks and will present more of a challenge to the Crows.
If there is one thing predictable about Fremantle it is that as soon as things start looking rosy, something bad will happen. I’m not saying it will. Actually yes I am.
Look for some controversy here and Adelaide to win well.
Vale Mike Williamson
We lost one of the great voices of football during the week. I look forward to hearing many of the highlights of long career of this great man. I don’t look forward to my (very young) memories of the 1970 Grand Final being replayed ad nauseam as calls of “Jesaulenko, you beauty” play over and over, despite this being three of the defining words of Australian rules football.
Sam Newman tweeted that Williamson is “one of Australia’s great media talents” and he is indeed correct. It’s also good that Sam might one day aspire to be a media talent although “great” may be a bridge too far.
Vale Mike Williamson.