An Open Letter to Ruckmen
With Rucks getting knocked over faster then really, really tall bowling pins, I think it’s time these giants of the AFL learn to read, as they’re about to get an Open Letter!
Every Monday night DTTalk’s regular GWS guru @RLGriffin85 steps up to the plate to articulate the thoughts of AFL Dream Team coaches everywhere. Be it pointing the finger of blame at Senior AFL Coaches, setting a fire below underperforming players or just throw away comments about how bad Zac ‘Lurch’ Dawson really is; there’s no topic he isn’t willing to write about! Who’s in his sights this week?
An Open Letter to: Ruckmen
Now listen; I know that the further up you go the thinner the air and the lack of oxygen can lead to a lower intelligence and health problems but this is ridiculous. What the hell is going on? Once upon a time there was an AFL Dream Team rule with your Rucks; set and forget! Aaron Sandilands and Dean Cox were more formidable to opponents than the ‘fat friend’ is to a drunk wingman at around 2am. But gone are those days of safe, trustworthy ruck strategies (and lowered standards).
What’s gone on this season is beyond a joke and quite frankly, we’re all a little bit concerned. Maybe the hole in the ozone is radiating you boys before it gets to the rest of us, who knows? What we do know is that no matter what’s going on it’s about as good for your health as it is for our Dream Teams.
We knew this season would be different and in the preseason plenty of rucks were putting their hands up (between air traffic) asking to be part of the new ‘Set and Forget’ duo. The likes of McEvoy, Goldstein, Mumford, Hille, Jacobs and Leuenberger were all begging to be part of the Cox/Sandilands elite club. These giants are not quite The Avengers, but they sure could be heroes to look up to. Literally! Unfortunately like Halle Berry in Catwoman; these heroes have us screaming in pain and asking for our money back.
Already this season we’ve seen Shane Mumford playing the cameo in The Lion and The Mouse, going down to a smaller prick than Hayden Ballantyne between his vertebrae. The stalwart that was Aaron Sandilands has obviously outgrown the lower half of his body and they’re now living two separate lives. The top half is an AFL superstar: dominant, skilled and overpowering. The lower half is in a loving relationship with Matthew Newton, and fairing about as well as Matt’s previous partners.
After a monstering year last season, Goldstein looked good. He was kicking ass and taking names like Nicolas Cage in Con Air. This season Goldy has been kicking ass and taking names like Nick Cage in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. What the hell happened!? At least Goldstein still has his hair. For now.
David Hille burnt out before he even got started, Le Berger (French for: The Spud) thought he’d try and cut his ankle off just to avoid playing for Brisbane every week and Ben McEvoy (having obviously heard the Dream Team hype around him) decided to (take a leaf out of the Barlow playbook and) make sure coaches in Dream Team circles don’t forget him too soon. Even the great Dean Cox has only cracked the 100 on three occasions this season, barely managing to get out of bed with a 72 and 74 against GWS and Richmond. Priced at an average of nearly 115, that’s about as good as having a date to your high school formal with your teacher. I mean, it’s a date, and it’s not family, but you just don’t feel like you’ll be satisfied when all the scoring takes place.
The ‘Set and Forget’ this season has become more of a Trade and Regret strategy. Of course, some coaches tried to avoid this whole scenario. This season was different, and with some huge talent in the rookies, one premium and three rookies was the way to go; they went out and got themselves some brilliant rookies. Big O(MG why did I pick him) has been seen less than Delta Goodrem’s initiative and selected for it just as often. Meanwhile Jarrad Redden has discovered that he plays for Port Adelaide and just can’t show his face in public. In fact, the best ruckmen this season have been a twenty-four year-old who wasn’t good enough for the SA Magpies and a man who hasn’t played for nine months.
What the frick is happening!? Are you not getting enough time on the bench because of the sub rule? Does the long term side effects of high altitude training need addressing? If a Dream Team coach out there hasn’t burnt a trade to find two playing ruckman or copped a sh*thouse score to avoid the hurt pride in doing so, I’d like to meet him… And ask him about how he is approaching round 11.
Not only do us coaches have to deal with your fragility, we have to deal with the AFL’s rotating bye rounds, where it seems most of the good ruckmen will either be home in bed injured or home in bed with the weekend off. At this stage the best looking Ruckmen to avoid the bye are Patrick ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ Ryder and Ivan ‘What The Hell Is On His Head’ Maric. Darren Jolly is about as relevant as Darren Hayes, Matthew Kreuzer is about as trustworthy Shane Warne at a Phone, Booze and Porn Star Expo and Mark Jamar is disappearing into obscurity faster than we all hope Lara Bingles new Reality TV Show will.
Can one of your kind please tell us what is going on as we are honestly concerned? At this rate the best available ruckmen come AFL Dream Team finals will be Will Minson and Tom Downie! If it’s too hard to get down to ear shot, I’m more than happy to sell off one of my ex-girlfriends for some magic beans. Stupid cow.
The AFL Dream Team Community.
Ps. There was a kid at our high school who we called Downie. He probably had a better chance of making the senior list of an AFL Team too!