The BARF Play-offs 2

The BARF Play-offs 2

Added 11 Feb 2014

It’s William on the email again, Psycho Anna Liszt.  Let me continue telling our story.  Penny Dredfell, as per my first epistle about the BARF play-offs, was addressing the team….

PD: I hate to spoil the party, but I have some bad news. BARF 1 remains a higher rated team than us despite our win today.  We will need to find something extra to beat them.

“But we frashed ‘em” interjected Mal Prop.

PD:  We won by ten points, but they were on a low today as per the technical analysis charts.  Let me explain.  Ann, come up here.

Ann steps up beside Penny.

PD:  Ann, what happened in the last round of the regular season in 2010?

AA:  The mighty Pies lost narrowly to those horrible Hawks by 3 points

PD:  Correct; in fact, this loss ended a nine match winning streak by the Pies.  The technical chart here is of a team that is on a long winning run, but who suddenly struggles to win an “easy kill” game. The Pies (like the BARF 1 team in my example) had barely fallen over the line the previous week against Adelaide in Melbourne in a match they were expected to win by plenty.  The Hawks (read here BARF 2 or us) went to Perth as favourites the following week on the back of this win over Collingwood.  They were never really a chance and lost by five goals.  Conversely, the Pies exceeded all expectations by walloping the Dogs by ten goals.  Then they went on to win the flag.  The fundamental charts still list BARF 1 as the top team.  We will need to find four goals or so on our best form to beat them.

Everyone looked stunned and Matt E Matical perused the data, concluding that it made sense.

Wrong Ron spoke: We have two ideas on how to improve. The first one is.. well, you have all seen the way that BARF 1 plays…. does anyone have any clues n how to handle the press?

There was stunned silence.  Finally, from the back of the room, General Sawness spoke up.

GS:  While you all have been playing, I have been watching intently.  I know how to handle the press.

WR: Go on, General

GS:  Well, for a start, don’t let them into your change rooms.

Everyone sat like flabbergasted

General Sawness continued:  You speak to them out on the ground before and after the game; and you make sure you don’t tell those press reporters any secret information

WR:  No, no, General, the press in this case is a style of play.  Anyway, it looks like we will have to go with plan B.  Eee Madgin has told me of a new way of playing.  It should work, but we have little time to practice it; and we would prefer to practice in secret.  Over to you, Eee.

Eee Madgin:  The whole idea of what I am about to say revolves around not giving the ball up to the opposition without a fight.  What do you do when you are tackled and there is not a team mate in sight to dish off the ball to?

Matt E Matical:  I would handball towards the boundary and then run back hard to defend.

EM:  Here’s a better idea.  Why don’t you handball as high as possible.  That way, by the time the ball comes down, you can compete for it again.  If your opponent still has hold of you, you’ll get the free.

The team practiced this inside the room; and it worked just fine.

EM:  The same idea applies when you are coming out of defence and are under pressure, but have nobody to kick it to.  What you do is to kick it as high as possible like a gridiron punter.  The idea is to land it about 20 metres in front of you in about 3-4 seconds; so you can get to the contest and give your team a chance to retain possession.  But this would need to be practices on an oval.  But not in Somewhere.

Mark Buck:  I heard there is a footy ground about 40 km out of town.  We could go there and practice.  My friend at the Faith, Hope, Love, Light and Life Christian Community Church of St Peter, Paul and Mary told me about it.

The next day, we located the ground and eventually got the hang of things.  Mal was quite chuffed that Eee Madgin was able to do something useful, despite being unable to play.

We then played BARF 5 for a comfortable win, while BARF 1 totally demolished BARF 3, just as Penny expected.

Twas the night before the grand final!  And out last team meeting was held to fine tune the team line-up and special tasks.

Defensive Dan said he doubted he could keep up with Wily B Goode.

Wong Sing Lish:  Why don’t we play Pastor Muck Buck on him?  He is out best tagger, anyway.

Wrong Ron:  But Willy B Goode uses the foulest language of anyone I have ever heard. He half beats his opponents by good play and half by talking them out of it with foul language.  We cannot let a man of the cloth play on him.

Mal Prop:  Man of the cloth?  I thought he was a church minister!

Mark Buck:  I can play on him, no problems

WR:  But the language?

MB:  You should be aware that my mum was secretary of the local bowls club, while my dad has been involved in church politics.  I’ve heard cruder language than probably any of you.

WR:  Okay, Mark, you’ve got the job.

Mal Prop:  and don’t let him even get a touch, Mark.  I’ve never liked that Willy B Goode guy and I don’t trust him at all.

The meeting broke up and everyone went for an early night.  Everyone, that is, except Matt E Matical.  He was spotted by Ann Aerobic sneaking out into the darkness.

Ann followed at a distance and was shocked to see him meet with what she thought were players from BARF 1.  But there were one or two others who looked totally unfamiliar.

Ann collared Matt when he came back to the BARF 2 area.

AA:  Matt, should I report you to Wrong Ron right now or at breakfast time tomorrow?  What were you doing out there?  I hope you didn’t divulge out game plan.

MEM: Ann, just trust me on this for another few days.  Before we leave here, I can explain all.

Ann wasn’t at all convinced, but Matt called me in.  We agreed to leave it rest until the awards night (when one team would be officially recognised as the ones to tour the world).

AA: But this better be good, Matt

Wrong Ron gave us a rousing speech prior to the gamer, but I cannot recall a word of it.  All I remember were his neck veins straining as he spoke.

Willy B Goode of BARF 1 was at it, as usual, just prior to the first bounce.  I couldn’t hear him from full forward, but he stood in the centre square mouthing off at Mark.  It went on for a full two minutes.  But Mark didn’t seem to flinch at all.  Church politics? Bowls Club?  Maybe there was something in all that?

Anyway, about five seconds before the first bounce, Mark removed a huge ear plug from each ear and said, “Could you please repeat that, Willy?  I missed pretty much all of it!”

The siren blew, BARF 1’s ruckman hit the ball straight to Willy.  But Willy was so totally unable to respond.  He had always been the one to put others off at the start of play, but now he had been beaten at his own game.

The ball bounced off Willy’s chest, Mark swooped, broke clear and hit me with a perfect pass.  I bagged the first major, and we were two goals up before Willy settled down to anything like normal output.

Willy was still trying to ruffle Mark verbally.  But Mark, now without plugs so as to hear his team mates, remained calm and didn’t react to anything.  And he was fast enough to be right on Willy’s tail everywhere he went.

We were in it deep into the final quarter.  But we fell five points down.  The countdown clock showed we were in the last minute of the game.  A Mal Prop pass to Dreamy Dave got chopped off across our half forward line.  Most of the players were in our half of the ground, but Willy B Goode managed to break clear for once.  Mark has lost his footing and fallen over.  Willy was given the ball in twenty metres of free space with nobody between him and the goals.  He took a peep at the clock as he dashed towards goal.  He was sure nobody could catch him.

But Penny Dredfell came flying down the wing at a great speed, with Mark trailing behind by about 30 metres.  Willy hadn’t noticed how speedy Penny really was.  He thought of evasive tactics, but decided to duck into the tackle.

It was all too much for Ann Aerobic.  She knew the umpires had been red hot on any high contact all day.  Penny seemed to be going too fast to adjust.  But then, all of Ann’s long hours of training kicked in.  Penny dove underneath Willy’s head and tackled him front on around the waist.  Both of them crashed to the ground.

The umpire had paid the free kick to Penny, but Mark took the advantage and swooped on the ball.  Within seconds remaining, the ball went the full length of the ground and dribbled toward our forward pocket.

A previously unknown played in our colours ran onto the ground.  It was YOU, the reader.

‘No!!!!!” someone may be crying, “keep me out of this story”.

Others of you are more than eager to kick the winning goal

You snaffle up the ball and boot it into the goal square.  The siren sounds.  The ball edges closer to the goal line.  A BARF 1 defender races back. The goal umpire straddles the line…..

Het, Psycho Anna Liszt, I will continue soon.  Wrong Ron is happy for me to email during these busy times.  And don’t concern yourself about him.  He is doing very well.