Opinion The 'Carlton related stuff that doesn't need it's own thread' thread

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Brownlow Medallist
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Don’t remember Doug mason, could you be referring to Doug Heywood?Heywood was great game commentator. Only recently watched the ‘82 grand final with Heywood and Tim lane commentating. It was a fantastic call.
Nah, definitely talking about Doug Mason (his brother Dick Mason was also an ABC commentator, but with more of a focus on hosting).

Doug Heywood was pretty good, but did at times insert his own opinion into the commentary, taking away from the quality of his calls.
 
Joined
Jul 6, 2011
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Spurs, Bears, Bulls
I guess this is where I should post this, but apologise if I am right out.

I did a kind of weekly previews thing for work last year that generated a bit of a following, and was shared widely. Some reprobates encouraged me to do it again, but with a bit of jazz.

I have been told I can write, and I am occasionally witty. Of course, the teller was unconscious drunk at the time, but whatever.

So here we are. I am posting this part one of a season preview - if any of you enjoy it then great. You can subscribe here.

Hopefully this works in a post...


The Good Oil
Sport is very good


The AFL season, for the year of our sweet Lord Judd two thousand and nineteen has arrived! Come next Thursday, a dangerous mix of refined Carlton intellectuals and coarse Richmond ferals will flock to the MCG. There they will watch forty-odd blokes chase a leather pill up and down the best grass we can find. With the bounce of said pill, Melbourne commences six-months of extreme excitement, deep emotion, and consistent frustration with inane commentators wearing awkward suits. What a time to be alive.

Of course, the bounce also brings the promise of an impending Melbourne winter. And we will complain bitterly about the life threatening 13-degree days we are forced to suffer through. But under the whinging we know this is the deal we made, the business we chose. We brave the icy Antarctic wind and occasional sideways rain, so long as we might get out amongst our fellows and jointly scream blue murder at some poor twat in white, yellow or whatever, who had the temerity to not see the bleeding obvious. That man was holding the ball, maggot.

We also know, deep in the recesses of our Arabica soaked minds, that were it not for footy, Melbourne would be no more. The old bird would have slowly perished after the money ran out from the gold and sheep years. And we would have moved north to escape the bitterness, inadvertently crowning Wodonga as the capital of Victoria. Remind those inner city types next time you overhear them complaining about footy saturation over a turmeric peanut milk latte.

Graph - melbourne population.jpg

Nostalgia for the gold sheep years
Given footy’s place within the fabric of our city, it comes as no surprise that nigh on everyone has an opinion on who is contending, who is a dark horse, and whose coach is getting the sack first. Some are content to merely pontificate to anyone who will listen (and many who are trying not to) about Radelaide underperforming because they held their off-season camp in Waco, Texas. Many more though are brave, and in an effort to prove their superior knowledge, put pride and more on the line in the office tipping competition, or [audible gasp], are want to place a wager.

Most will lose. Because here is the truth, prediction is damn hard work player. That is a direct Einstein quote, and he was one smart dude (I am led to believe). Predicting AFL games of football is no exception. To have any hope at all, you need a godly amount of data, a deep understanding of the context, and a theory of footy.

And you have come to the right place. You are welcome.

Graph - squiggly lines.jpg

All hail squiggly lines
Look, I know pretty much all there is to know about squiggly lines, and let me tell you, those ones are real nice. Stick with me kid, I’ll teach you, and I’m not going to charge. Na-na na-na naaa, season preview.

The calm before the squiggly lines – Season 2019 preview (Part one)
See those words Gil? ‘Part’ and ‘one’? You made me split this up, against my will, just so the AFL could satisfy its nether excitement for expansion. There are 18 damn teams now! What happened to 10? Go back to your own state. And take us back to simpler times, when men hid their feelings and wore socks, newspapers existed, and there was a bloody V in front of the FL.

Whatever. We will cover all 18 teams, out of spite.

But with everything in Australia, there are rules. Firstly, you have come to the wrong place if you want a point estimate. I don’t give a raspberry if a team finishes twelfth as opposed to fourteenth. What matters is the trend – are they going up, or are they going down? Or are they pushing the proverbial up an incline, and in so doing, not moving at all?

Second, we shall place teams in categories, because that is literally how you people survive in the wild. As psychobabblers repeat oft, humans have categorised since time in my mural…imam morial…imam…since ages ago. They have done so because there is too much damn information flying at their face to process it all at once. And all you are really interested in is whether a Lion is about to eat your missus. Or in this case, are the Lions any good? [Remember, this is free]

Lastly, we build from the bottom up, because I am man of the people. So, without further Anh Do. [OK I’ll stop]

1. ‘Seriously, I do not care’ teams
Graph - care factor nil.jpg

Nil
I am sorry for starting things off on a negative note, but it is best to rip the Band Aid off, no?

Even if one of these teams were your own first born you would struggle to give three-fourths of a you know what for.

Gold Coast Sunnies
The Suns front up in March resplendent in red and yellow and the very real and present danger of being the worst AFL side in history. The only factor separating them from the initial entry into the league as a squadron of teenagers, is that despite losing both co-captains to other clubs, they will still have more leadership than when Gary Ablett was at the helm.

Incidentally, who is the captain of Gold Coast?

More to the point, what the hell is the Gold Coast? It is a region at best, but more accurately an extremely loose affiliation of disconnected and disinterested towns. Think I am lying to you? Where is the central hub would you say? What is the main town? Where do people hang out and say, “Hey, fellow Gold Coast person, how ‘bout them Suns?”.

It does not exist. The entity of the Gold Coast is a figment of the imagination of some bloke with sun stoke, a grating accent, and a half-cooked case of XXXX.
Whichever rank consultancy convinced the AFL that there was a market for a football team there earned not one penny of their oversized fee. And we are all paying for it still. Yes, it is hard to admit you are wrong (I am guessing, because I am never wrong), but Shirley it is time to make like a hipster and move to Tassie.

Prediction: Trending as far down as possible

Fremantle
Freo, Jesus wept.

I cannot even begin to describe to you how much it is I do not care.

Prediction: Trending down, to the bottom four

2. ‘Nobody believes in us’ teams
There is very little nuance in the world of AFL punditry and the media. It is only allowed space at the fringes, lest some actual context and analysis creep in. So, when you’re early in a building phase, all that gets air time is the surface level stats – limited wins outweighed by heavy losses.

The result is that a number of teams are just no good, very bad, awful. It is not surprising then, that intellectuals like Mark Robinson waste air asking the tough questions like how long will the coach be given and what happened to the promise of that 20-year-old player (who has played a sum total of 19 games of senior football). Give us linear progression, or pay the price.

That is not how things really work though is it. There is seemingly zero activity at building sites until one day, bang, 40 stories in an instant. Or a player hits 24 and all of sudden he is running on top of the ground. This happens because of math words like compounding.

Graph - compounding.jpg

Scotch and dry thanks

Compounding can make you rich, or a football dynasty. Unless all the small things you are doing early are wrong. In which case, it makes you Melbourne.

Saints
The Saints are coming off a horrid year. Not Carlton horrid, granted, but the expectation on the Saints was far higher. And they failed to live up to the hype.
And now, one year on, nobody believes in them. But as somebody allegedly said, sometimes you have to take a step back before taking two steps forward. Or was it the other way around?

I am sad to say, it might be the latter for the Saints. They have spent an inordinate amount of time of building a list and back office that has so far only been pretty good. And a couple of key injuries and questionable leadership choices later, a step back seems to be on the (immediate) horizon.

Prediction: Stagnating in the bottom four

Doggies
Everybody love the doggies. Only a couple of years ago, when no one believed it possible, they won an extremely rare consensus feel good flag. In fact, the only way that flag will be topped is if the Roy Boys re-enter the league and beat Essendon by a point.

Sadly, what has followed is a couple of years in the wilderness. For a time, all agreed they had won ahead of schedule in the Hawthorn mould and would be back. This has not come to pass. Perhaps paying an unproven player a million smackers a year has not paid off, flag notwithstanding.

Now, few believe in the doggies again. Which probably suits them fine.

Prediction: Stagnating in the middle of the road

Carlton
Were it not for the Suns, everybody would be picking the Blues for the spoon this year. Everybody but Carlton supporters obviously, who are brimming with a new-found confidence (though they dare not speak its name).

Sometimes, overwhelming consensus should be taken as a clear sign of things to come. Like, hey, maybe we should listen to all those science nerds wringing their hands about the end of days. Maybe Tony Abbott does not know his head from his arse? Maybe?

Well, this is different. Sure, there has been many a false dawn at Carlton over the last 18 years. But this time, we have done it right. We have rebuilt the list and the club from the ground up, most of which has gone unnoticed by the idiots that be.

That is fine, laugh while you can.

Prediction: Roaring into the middle of the road

3. ‘Thou shalt regress to thy mean now please’ teams

Graph - regress you bastard.jpg

Regress dammit
Ordinary people do extraordinary things, every single day. Generally, the day after, the same people go back to being bog ordinary, or worse, bog no good.
We have a tendency to get blinded by the good, addicted to it even. For instance, you might expect house prices to go up indefinitely, and base your life choices on that fact. Eventually though, as with everything, prices regress to the mean and silly people freak out.


Graph - house prices.jpg

Bitcoin

Football is no different. Ordinary teams do extraordinary things, every single season. But are they really that good? Or was there some context that explains a one season long, outsized performance? One could ask the Bombers that question, I suppose.

Collingwood
There is a propensity in punditry to pick the previous or very recent Grand Finalist as the next premier. In my circles this is known as recency bias, and it is a psychiatric disorder.

No one could deny that the Maggies made the Grand Final. Nor, to be fair, that they lost by just five incredibly painful points, having led all day (and by as much as 33 points). Nor that, much like 1979, they were cruelled by a correct umpiring decision at the last.

All true and equally delicious. But past performance is not a true indicator of future performance in all cases. Just look at the Doggies, who actually won something, but have not come remotely close since. Predictions do not kill people, outliers do.

There is a better than good chance that Maggies are going to regress to the mean. If not, they may be back to lose another Grand Final. Either way it will be hilarious.

Prediction: Trending back down to the irrelevant part of the eight

North Melbourne
North also outperformed all expectation last year, going from preseason favourite for the wooden spoon to taking a big long sniff of the eight.

How could this be? Maybe nobody believed in them? Or maybe, in the first half of the season, not one player on their list had so much as a bent toenail, head cold, or uncomfortable gas. Nothing. Which is more than can be said for the other seventeen teams.

Once the injuries inevitably came, so did the loses. I sense there may be more to come this year.

Prediction: Edging back into the middle of the road

4. ‘Gifted underachiever’ teams
You know the type – they seem to have all the advantage in life, and promise so much. Yet when the chips are down, they ultimately and inexplicably fail, time and time again.

When we apply this to football, teams in this category hail solely from South Australia. Which is weird, because that is a place that promises very little.

Adelaide
The introduction of live swapping of draft picks has brought to Australian shores one of the wonderful pass times of American sports.
Death riding (verb) – actively rooting for another team to fail in order to gain advantage.

At the AFL draft in November, Carlton and Adelaide will swap first round picks after Carlton promised to do so in order to get access to future hall of famer Liam Stocker. Which means the better Carlton do, and the worse Adelaide do, the better…for Carlton.

Now Shirley, the argument goes, Adelaide could not have a season like last year, where they missed the eight having played in a Grand Final the year hence. Everything that could go wrong and weird and messed up, did. My answer to that argument is: Tex Walker is the captain. And you think the weirdness is just going to stop?

No sir. This is sure to be a terrific season for Adelaide losses. Yeehaa!

Prediction: Stagnating in the middle of the road, right next to their buddies Carlton

Port of Adelaide
The Collingwood of out but not all the way west, have been threatening to do something of note for some time now. They keep stocking up on talent, reinventing game plans, and making loud noises.

But in the end, it is for naught. Because teal. No one ever did anything good in teal. Ever.

Prediction: Trending down, towards the bottom six

——————————————————————
If you are still reading, god knows why, but thank you. The Good Oil will be back next week for part two.
 

Metalcrusher

Norm Smith Medallist
Joined
Jan 22, 2015
Posts
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Location
Kalgoorlie
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Blackburn United EPL ... sorta
I guess this is where I should post this, but apologise if I am right out.

I did a kind of weekly previews thing for work last year that generated a bit of a following, and was shared widely. Some reprobates encouraged me to do it again, but with a bit of jazz.

I have been told I can write, and I am occasionally witty. Of course, the teller was unconscious drunk at the time, but whatever.

So here we are. I am posting this part one of a season preview - if any of you enjoy it then great. You can subscribe here.

Hopefully this works in a post...


The Good Oil
Sport is very good


The AFL season, for the year of our sweet Lord Judd two thousand and nineteen has arrived! Come next Thursday, a dangerous mix of refined Carlton intellectuals and coarse Richmond ferals will flock to the MCG. There they will watch forty-odd blokes chase a leather pill up and down the best grass we can find. With the bounce of said pill, Melbourne commences six-months of extreme excitement, deep emotion, and consistent frustration with inane commentators wearing awkward suits. What a time to be alive.

Of course, the bounce also brings the promise of an impending Melbourne winter. And we will complain bitterly about the life threatening 13-degree days we are forced to suffer through. But under the whinging we know this is the deal we made, the business we chose. We brave the icy Antarctic wind and occasional sideways rain, so long as we might get out amongst our fellows and jointly scream blue murder at some poor twat in white, yellow or whatever, who had the temerity to not see the bleeding obvious. That man was holding the ball, maggot.

We also know, deep in the recesses of our Arabica soaked minds, that were it not for footy, Melbourne would be no more. The old bird would have slowly perished after the money ran out from the gold and sheep years. And we would have moved north to escape the bitterness, inadvertently crowning Wodonga as the capital of Victoria. Remind those inner city types next time you overhear them complaining about footy saturation over a turmeric peanut milk latte.

View attachment 635680
Nostalgia for the gold sheep years
Given footy’s place within the fabric of our city, it comes as no surprise that nigh on everyone has an opinion on who is contending, who is a dark horse, and whose coach is getting the sack first. Some are content to merely pontificate to anyone who will listen (and many who are trying not to) about Radelaide underperforming because they held their off-season camp in Waco, Texas. Many more though are brave, and in an effort to prove their superior knowledge, put pride and more on the line in the office tipping competition, or [audible gasp], are want to place a wager.

Most will lose. Because here is the truth, prediction is damn hard work player. That is a direct Einstein quote, and he was one smart dude (I am led to believe). Predicting AFL games of football is no exception. To have any hope at all, you need a godly amount of data, a deep understanding of the context, and a theory of footy.

And you have come to the right place. You are welcome.

View attachment 635681
All hail squiggly lines
Look, I know pretty much all there is to know about squiggly lines, and let me tell you, those ones are real nice. Stick with me kid, I’ll teach you, and I’m not going to charge. Na-na na-na naaa, season preview.

The calm before the squiggly lines – Season 2019 preview (Part one)
See those words Gil? ‘Part’ and ‘one’? You made me split this up, against my will, just so the AFL could satisfy its nether excitement for expansion. There are 18 damn teams now! What happened to 10? Go back to your own state. And take us back to simpler times, when men hid their feelings and wore socks, newspapers existed, and there was a bloody V in front of the FL.

Whatever. We will cover all 18 teams, out of spite.

But with everything in Australia, there are rules. Firstly, you have come to the wrong place if you want a point estimate. I don’t give a raspberry if a team finishes twelfth as opposed to fourteenth. What matters is the trend – are they going up, or are they going down? Or are they pushing the proverbial up an incline, and in so doing, not moving at all?

Second, we shall place teams in categories, because that is literally how you people survive in the wild. As psychobabblers repeat oft, humans have categorised since time in my mural…imam morial…imam…since ages ago. They have done so because there is too much damn information flying at their face to process it all at once. And all you are really interested in is whether a Lion is about to eat your missus. Or in this case, are the Lions any good? [Remember, this is free]

Lastly, we build from the bottom up, because I am man of the people. So, without further Anh Do. [OK I’ll stop]

1. ‘Seriously, I do not care’ teams
I am sorry for starting things off on a negative note, but it is best to rip the Band Aid off, no?

Even if one of these teams were your own first born you would struggle to give three-fourths of a you know what for.

Gold Coast Sunnies
The Suns front up in March resplendent in red and yellow and the very real and present danger of being the worst AFL side in history. The only factor separating them from the initial entry into the league as a squadron of teenagers, is that despite losing both co-captains to other clubs, they will still have more leadership than when Gary Ablett was at the helm.

Incidentally, who is the captain of Gold Coast?

More to the point, what the hell is the Gold Coast? It is a region at best, but more accurately an extremely loose affiliation of disconnected and disinterested towns. Think I am lying to you? Where is the central hub would you say? What is the main town? Where do people hang out and say, “Hey, fellow Gold Coast person, how ‘bout them Suns?”.

It does not exist. The entity of the Gold Coast is a figment of the imagination of some bloke with sun stoke, a grating accent, and a half-cooked case of XXXX.
Whichever rank consultancy convinced the AFL that there was a market for a football team there earned not one penny of their oversized fee. And we are all paying for it still. Yes, it is hard to admit you are wrong (I am guessing, because I am never wrong), but Shirley it is time to make like a hipster and move to Tassie.

Prediction: Trending as far down as possible

Fremantle
Freo, Jesus wept.

I cannot even begin to describe to you how much it is I do not care.

Prediction: Trending down, to the bottom four

2. ‘Nobody believes in us’ teams
There is very little nuance in the world of AFL punditry and the media. It is only allowed space at the fringes, lest some actual context and analysis creep in. So, when you’re early in a building phase, all that gets air time is the surface level stats – limited wins outweighed by heavy losses.

The result is that a number of teams are just no good, very bad, awful. It is not surprising then, that intellectuals like Mark Robinson waste air asking the tough questions like how long will the coach be given and what happened to the promise of that 20-year-old player (who has played a sum total of 19 games of senior football). Give us linear progression, or pay the price.

That is not how things really work though is it. There is seemingly zero activity at building sites until one day, bang, 40 stories in an instant. Or a player hits 24 and all of sudden he is running on top of the ground. This happens because of math words like compounding.

View attachment 635683
Scotch and dry thanks

Compounding can make you rich, or a football dynasty. Unless all the small things you are doing early are wrong. In which case, it makes you Melbourne.

Saints
The Saints are coming off a horrid year. Not Carlton horrid, granted, but the expectation on the Saints was far higher. And they failed to live up to the hype.
And now, one year on, nobody believes in them. But as somebody allegedly said, sometimes you have to take a step back before taking two steps forward. Or was it the other way around?

I am sad to say, it might be the latter for the Saints. They have spent an inordinate amount of time of building a list and back office that has so far only been pretty good. And a couple of key injuries and questionable leadership choices later, a step back seems to be on the (immediate) horizon.

Prediction: Stagnating in the bottom four

Doggies
Everybody love the doggies. Only a couple of years ago, when no one believed it possible, they won an extremely rare consensus feel good flag. In fact, the only way that flag will be topped is if the Roy Boys re-enter the league and beat Essendon by a point.

Sadly, what has followed is a couple of years in the wilderness. For a time, all agreed they had won ahead of schedule in the Hawthorn mould and would be back. This has not come to pass. Perhaps paying an unproven player a million smackers a year has not paid off, flag notwithstanding.

Now, few believe in the doggies again. Which probably suits them fine.

Prediction: Stagnating in the middle of the road

Carlton
Were it not for the Suns, everybody would be picking the Blues for the spoon this year. Everybody but Carlton supporters obviously, who are brimming with a new-found confidence (though they dare not speak its name).

Sometimes, overwhelming consensus should be taken as a clear sign of things to come. Like, hey, maybe we should listen to all those science nerds wringing their hands about the end of days. Maybe Tony Abbott does not know his head from his arse? Maybe?

Well, this is different. Sure, there has been many a false dawn at Carlton over the last 18 years. But this time, we have done it right. We have rebuilt the list and the club from the ground up, most of which has gone unnoticed by the idiots that be.

That is fine, laugh while you can.

Prediction: Roaring into the middle of the road

3. ‘Thou shalt regress to thy mean now please’ teams

View attachment 635684
Regress dammit
Ordinary people do extraordinary things, every single day. Generally, the day after, the same people go back to being bog ordinary, or worse, bog no good.
We have a tendency to get blinded by the good, addicted to it even. For instance, you might expect house prices to go up indefinitely, and base your life choices on that fact. Eventually though, as with everything, prices regress to the mean and silly people freak out.
Football is no different. Ordinary teams do extraordinary things, every single season. But are they really that good? Or was there some context that explains a one season long, outsized performance? One could ask the Bombers that question, I suppose.

Collingwood
There is a propensity in punditry to pick the previous or very recent Grand Finalist as the next premier. In my circles this is known as recency bias, and it is a psychiatric disorder.

No one could deny that the Maggies made the Grand Final. Nor, to be fair, that they lost by just five incredibly painful points, having led all day (and by as much as 33 points). Nor that, much like 1979, they were cruelled by a correct umpiring decision at the last.

All true and equally delicious. But past performance is not a true indicator of future performance in all cases. Just look at the Doggies, who actually won something, but have not come remotely close since. Predictions do not kill people, outliers do.

There is a better than good chance that Maggies are going to regress to the mean. If not, they may be back to lose another Grand Final. Either way it will be hilarious.

Prediction: Trending back down to the irrelevant part of the eight

North Melbourne
North also outperformed all expectation last year, going from preseason favourite for the wooden spoon to taking a big long sniff of the eight.

How could this be? Maybe nobody believed in them? Or maybe, in the first half of the season, not one player on their list had so much as a bent toenail, head cold, or uncomfortable gas. Nothing. Which is more than can be said for the other seventeen teams.

Once the injuries inevitably came, so did the loses. I sense there may be more to come this year.

Prediction: Edging back into the middle of the road

4. ‘Gifted underachiever’ teams
You know the type – they seem to have all the advantage in life, and promise so much. Yet when the chips are down, they ultimately and inexplicably fail, time and time again.

When we apply this to football, teams in this category hail solely from South Australia. Which is weird, because that is a place that promises very little.

Adelaide
The introduction of live swapping of draft picks has brought to Australian shores one of the wonderful pass times of American sports.
Death riding (verb) – actively rooting for another team to fail in order to gain advantage.

At the AFL draft in November, Carlton and Adelaide will swap first round picks after Carlton promised to do so in order to get access to future hall of famer Liam Stocker. Which means the better Carlton do, and the worse Adelaide do, the better…for Carlton.

Now Shirley, the argument goes, Adelaide could not have a season like last year, where they missed the eight having played in a Grand Final the year hence. Everything that could go wrong and weird and messed up, did. My answer to that argument is: Tex Walker is the captain. And you think the weirdness is just going to stop?

No sir. This is sure to be a terrific season for Adelaide losses. Yeehaa!

Prediction: Stagnating in the middle of the road, right next to their buddies Carlton

Port of Adelaide
The Collingwood of out but not all the way west, have been threatening to do something of note for some time now. They keep stocking up on talent, reinventing game plans, and making loud noises.

But in the end, it is for naught. Because teal. No one ever did anything good in teal. Ever.

Prediction: Trending down, towards the bottom six

——————————————————————
If you are still reading, god knows why, but thank you. The Good Oil will be back next week for part two.
TL;DR
 

Jabba73

Brownlow Medallist
Joined
Oct 11, 2009
Posts
19,467
Likes
36,191
Location
Echuca
AFL Club
Carlton
Other Teams
Vixens
I guess this is where I should post this, but apologise if I am right out.

I did a kind of weekly previews thing for work last year that generated a bit of a following, and was shared widely. Some reprobates encouraged me to do it again, but with a bit of jazz.

I have been told I can write, and I am occasionally witty. Of course, the teller was unconscious drunk at the time, but whatever.

So here we are. I am posting this part one of a season preview - if any of you enjoy it then great. You can subscribe here.

Hopefully this works in a post...


The Good Oil
Sport is very good


The AFL season, for the year of our sweet Lord Judd two thousand and nineteen has arrived! Come next Thursday, a dangerous mix of refined Carlton intellectuals and coarse Richmond ferals will flock to the MCG. There they will watch forty-odd blokes chase a leather pill up and down the best grass we can find. With the bounce of said pill, Melbourne commences six-months of extreme excitement, deep emotion, and consistent frustration with inane commentators wearing awkward suits. What a time to be alive.

Of course, the bounce also brings the promise of an impending Melbourne winter. And we will complain bitterly about the life threatening 13-degree days we are forced to suffer through. But under the whinging we know this is the deal we made, the business we chose. We brave the icy Antarctic wind and occasional sideways rain, so long as we might get out amongst our fellows and jointly scream blue murder at some poor twat in white, yellow or whatever, who had the temerity to not see the bleeding obvious. That man was holding the ball, maggot.

We also know, deep in the recesses of our Arabica soaked minds, that were it not for footy, Melbourne would be no more. The old bird would have slowly perished after the money ran out from the gold and sheep years. And we would have moved north to escape the bitterness, inadvertently crowning Wodonga as the capital of Victoria. Remind those inner city types next time you overhear them complaining about footy saturation over a turmeric peanut milk latte.

View attachment 635680
Nostalgia for the gold sheep years
Given footy’s place within the fabric of our city, it comes as no surprise that nigh on everyone has an opinion on who is contending, who is a dark horse, and whose coach is getting the sack first. Some are content to merely pontificate to anyone who will listen (and many who are trying not to) about Radelaide underperforming because they held their off-season camp in Waco, Texas. Many more though are brave, and in an effort to prove their superior knowledge, put pride and more on the line in the office tipping competition, or [audible gasp], are want to place a wager.

Most will lose. Because here is the truth, prediction is damn hard work player. That is a direct Einstein quote, and he was one smart dude (I am led to believe). Predicting AFL games of football is no exception. To have any hope at all, you need a godly amount of data, a deep understanding of the context, and a theory of footy.

And you have come to the right place. You are welcome.

View attachment 635681
All hail squiggly lines
Look, I know pretty much all there is to know about squiggly lines, and let me tell you, those ones are real nice. Stick with me kid, I’ll teach you, and I’m not going to charge. Na-na na-na naaa, season preview.

The calm before the squiggly lines – Season 2019 preview (Part one)
See those words Gil? ‘Part’ and ‘one’? You made me split this up, against my will, just so the AFL could satisfy its nether excitement for expansion. There are 18 damn teams now! What happened to 10? Go back to your own state. And take us back to simpler times, when men hid their feelings and wore socks, newspapers existed, and there was a bloody V in front of the FL.

Whatever. We will cover all 18 teams, out of spite.

But with everything in Australia, there are rules. Firstly, you have come to the wrong place if you want a point estimate. I don’t give a raspberry if a team finishes twelfth as opposed to fourteenth. What matters is the trend – are they going up, or are they going down? Or are they pushing the proverbial up an incline, and in so doing, not moving at all?

Second, we shall place teams in categories, because that is literally how you people survive in the wild. As psychobabblers repeat oft, humans have categorised since time in my mural…imam morial…imam…since ages ago. They have done so because there is too much damn information flying at their face to process it all at once. And all you are really interested in is whether a Lion is about to eat your missus. Or in this case, are the Lions any good? [Remember, this is free]

Lastly, we build from the bottom up, because I am man of the people. So, without further Anh Do. [OK I’ll stop]

1. ‘Seriously, I do not care’ teams
I am sorry for starting things off on a negative note, but it is best to rip the Band Aid off, no?

Even if one of these teams were your own first born you would struggle to give three-fourths of a you know what for.

Gold Coast Sunnies
The Suns front up in March resplendent in red and yellow and the very real and present danger of being the worst AFL side in history. The only factor separating them from the initial entry into the league as a squadron of teenagers, is that despite losing both co-captains to other clubs, they will still have more leadership than when Gary Ablett was at the helm.

Incidentally, who is the captain of Gold Coast?

More to the point, what the hell is the Gold Coast? It is a region at best, but more accurately an extremely loose affiliation of disconnected and disinterested towns. Think I am lying to you? Where is the central hub would you say? What is the main town? Where do people hang out and say, “Hey, fellow Gold Coast person, how ‘bout them Suns?”.

It does not exist. The entity of the Gold Coast is a figment of the imagination of some bloke with sun stoke, a grating accent, and a half-cooked case of XXXX.
Whichever rank consultancy convinced the AFL that there was a market for a football team there earned not one penny of their oversized fee. And we are all paying for it still. Yes, it is hard to admit you are wrong (I am guessing, because I am never wrong), but Shirley it is time to make like a hipster and move to Tassie.

Prediction: Trending as far down as possible

Fremantle
Freo, Jesus wept.

I cannot even begin to describe to you how much it is I do not care.

Prediction: Trending down, to the bottom four

2. ‘Nobody believes in us’ teams
There is very little nuance in the world of AFL punditry and the media. It is only allowed space at the fringes, lest some actual context and analysis creep in. So, when you’re early in a building phase, all that gets air time is the surface level stats – limited wins outweighed by heavy losses.

The result is that a number of teams are just no good, very bad, awful. It is not surprising then, that intellectuals like Mark Robinson waste air asking the tough questions like how long will the coach be given and what happened to the promise of that 20-year-old player (who has played a sum total of 19 games of senior football). Give us linear progression, or pay the price.

That is not how things really work though is it. There is seemingly zero activity at building sites until one day, bang, 40 stories in an instant. Or a player hits 24 and all of sudden he is running on top of the ground. This happens because of math words like compounding.

View attachment 635683
Scotch and dry thanks

Compounding can make you rich, or a football dynasty. Unless all the small things you are doing early are wrong. In which case, it makes you Melbourne.

Saints
The Saints are coming off a horrid year. Not Carlton horrid, granted, but the expectation on the Saints was far higher. And they failed to live up to the hype.
And now, one year on, nobody believes in them. But as somebody allegedly said, sometimes you have to take a step back before taking two steps forward. Or was it the other way around?

I am sad to say, it might be the latter for the Saints. They have spent an inordinate amount of time of building a list and back office that has so far only been pretty good. And a couple of key injuries and questionable leadership choices later, a step back seems to be on the (immediate) horizon.

Prediction: Stagnating in the bottom four

Doggies
Everybody love the doggies. Only a couple of years ago, when no one believed it possible, they won an extremely rare consensus feel good flag. In fact, the only way that flag will be topped is if the Roy Boys re-enter the league and beat Essendon by a point.

Sadly, what has followed is a couple of years in the wilderness. For a time, all agreed they had won ahead of schedule in the Hawthorn mould and would be back. This has not come to pass. Perhaps paying an unproven player a million smackers a year has not paid off, flag notwithstanding.

Now, few believe in the doggies again. Which probably suits them fine.

Prediction: Stagnating in the middle of the road

Carlton
Were it not for the Suns, everybody would be picking the Blues for the spoon this year. Everybody but Carlton supporters obviously, who are brimming with a new-found confidence (though they dare not speak its name).

Sometimes, overwhelming consensus should be taken as a clear sign of things to come. Like, hey, maybe we should listen to all those science nerds wringing their hands about the end of days. Maybe Tony Abbott does not know his head from his arse? Maybe?

Well, this is different. Sure, there has been many a false dawn at Carlton over the last 18 years. But this time, we have done it right. We have rebuilt the list and the club from the ground up, most of which has gone unnoticed by the idiots that be.

That is fine, laugh while you can.

Prediction: Roaring into the middle of the road

3. ‘Thou shalt regress to thy mean now please’ teams

View attachment 635684
Regress dammit
Ordinary people do extraordinary things, every single day. Generally, the day after, the same people go back to being bog ordinary, or worse, bog no good.
We have a tendency to get blinded by the good, addicted to it even. For instance, you might expect house prices to go up indefinitely, and base your life choices on that fact. Eventually though, as with everything, prices regress to the mean and silly people freak out.
Football is no different. Ordinary teams do extraordinary things, every single season. But are they really that good? Or was there some context that explains a one season long, outsized performance? One could ask the Bombers that question, I suppose.

Collingwood
There is a propensity in punditry to pick the previous or very recent Grand Finalist as the next premier. In my circles this is known as recency bias, and it is a psychiatric disorder.

No one could deny that the Maggies made the Grand Final. Nor, to be fair, that they lost by just five incredibly painful points, having led all day (and by as much as 33 points). Nor that, much like 1979, they were cruelled by a correct umpiring decision at the last.

All true and equally delicious. But past performance is not a true indicator of future performance in all cases. Just look at the Doggies, who actually won something, but have not come remotely close since. Predictions do not kill people, outliers do.

There is a better than good chance that Maggies are going to regress to the mean. If not, they may be back to lose another Grand Final. Either way it will be hilarious.

Prediction: Trending back down to the irrelevant part of the eight

North Melbourne
North also outperformed all expectation last year, going from preseason favourite for the wooden spoon to taking a big long sniff of the eight.

How could this be? Maybe nobody believed in them? Or maybe, in the first half of the season, not one player on their list had so much as a bent toenail, head cold, or uncomfortable gas. Nothing. Which is more than can be said for the other seventeen teams.

Once the injuries inevitably came, so did the loses. I sense there may be more to come this year.

Prediction: Edging back into the middle of the road

4. ‘Gifted underachiever’ teams
You know the type – they seem to have all the advantage in life, and promise so much. Yet when the chips are down, they ultimately and inexplicably fail, time and time again.

When we apply this to football, teams in this category hail solely from South Australia. Which is weird, because that is a place that promises very little.

Adelaide
The introduction of live swapping of draft picks has brought to Australian shores one of the wonderful pass times of American sports.
Death riding (verb) – actively rooting for another team to fail in order to gain advantage.

At the AFL draft in November, Carlton and Adelaide will swap first round picks after Carlton promised to do so in order to get access to future hall of famer Liam Stocker. Which means the better Carlton do, and the worse Adelaide do, the better…for Carlton.

Now Shirley, the argument goes, Adelaide could not have a season like last year, where they missed the eight having played in a Grand Final the year hence. Everything that could go wrong and weird and messed up, did. My answer to that argument is: Tex Walker is the captain. And you think the weirdness is just going to stop?

No sir. This is sure to be a terrific season for Adelaide losses. Yeehaa!

Prediction: Stagnating in the middle of the road, right next to their buddies Carlton

Port of Adelaide
The Collingwood of out but not all the way west, have been threatening to do something of note for some time now. They keep stocking up on talent, reinventing game plans, and making loud noises.

But in the end, it is for naught. Because teal. No one ever did anything good in teal. Ever.

Prediction: Trending down, towards the bottom six

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If you are still reading, god knows why, but thank you. The Good Oil will be back next week for part two.
It’s been a couple of hours, how long does it take to write that stuff, ffs?
 
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