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Sliding Doors: round 19

Damian Barrett  July 28, 2017 7:37 AM

AFL 2017 Round 18 - Collingwood v West Coast

IF you start winning when pressure to make finals has been removed ...

If

you google "underrated", and after that hit the "images" tab ...

then ... Richard Douglas' head pops up first. And if it doesn't, your software is outdated. A very good player for a long time.

If

the focus has deservedly been on North for "managing/resting" good players ...

then ... direct it over here this week. Our man Hipwood among the "managed" outs. Please. He's got the 2017 Rising Star to win!

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If

the Blues haven't yet reached a three-figure score this season ...

then ... they're not breaking the duck this weekend against the Cats.

If

you start winning games when all pressure to make finals has been removed ...

then ... it says a lot about where you're at.

If

something special is to happen to the Bombers this season ...

then ... they must defeat the Dogs. And we're saying they will. Thought the disasters of rounds 14 (Swans) and 15 (Lions) had ruined their year. Not so. Think we'll be buying a ticket on the bandwagon come Sunday.

If anyone knows who the Dockers are playing this weekend ... then ... can they please tell us? With Walters out injured, have lost all interest in them.

If any other player in the competition had have gone to the effort of taking a chunk of ham onto a field of battle with the express purpose of delivering it to an opponent who, that week, had suffered ham-induced food poisoning ... then ... there would've been calls for a football-style Royal Commission into his actions. But it was Harry Taylor who did that to Josh Jenkins. And so, we rightly laugh out loud and move on. 

If Tony Cochrane threatens to block the Ablett transfer to Geelong ... then ... he's within his rights. Onus on Gaz and the Cats to devise and present a fair trade.

If you've been defending Toby Greene this week ... then ... stop it. Yes, we know he is high-end footy talent, a genuine star. But dangerously low-end at controlling aggression, on and off the field.

If the recent benchmark for internal, on-field AFL club stoushes will always be Setanta O'hAilpin on Cameron Cloke ... then ... James Sicily on Taylor Duryea at least makes the conversation about the next-best. No harm done. Loved how everyone handled it, during and after.

If

we got to choose who we'd like to fight alongside in footy industry trenches ...

then ... we're taking Viney. Then Selwood, then Morris.

If you're going to axe your All Australian ruckman, rest your captain and then withdraw your reigning best and fairest ... then ... no need to get too precious when the tanking suggestions are aired

If

Michael Walters is an out for the Dockers with injury ...

then ... the last thing we want is Wingard missing for Port. Our two favourites absent for round 19 and beyond. This will be a tough football-viewing weekend.

If there's a milestone which has crept up on us ... then ... it is Shane Edwards' 200th. A big "well done" on a good career.

If

we were convinced you were the real deal after the win against the Tigers in round 16 ...

then ... two games later we're convinced it all just got a bit too hard for you, and that expectation is something you're incapable of dealing with.

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If you take your mind back to the completion of round six ... then ... you'll remember there was just one W and 11 Ls between this and their round 19 opponent, Hawthorn. Fast forward to tonight and there's now a combined 17 Ws 16 Ls and one D. And the Swans can win the GF, and the Hawks can somehow still make finals. Mind-boggling.

If

we know one thing this round ...

then ... it is that the flat-trackers will belt the current wooden-spooners by eight goals. And that it will mean absolutely nothing.

If the early Sunday fixture regularly fails to attract our full attention ... then ... this Sunday is very different. Fully focused on this match-of-the-round against the Bombers.


And by popular request ...

If

there's one conversation which needs to stop ...

then

... it is the rubbish about putting the 18 teams into 1-6, 7-12, 13-18 groups after 17 rounds, and play another five rounds. This year is proof of that. If you want to make proper, realistic and fair change to the fixture, then have the courage to reduce it from 22 home-and-away rounds to 17.

Follow Damian Barrett on Twitter: @barrettdamian