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Sliding Doors: round 23

Damian Barrett  August 25, 2017 9:07 AM

AFL 2016 Training - Collingwood Intra-Club Match

IF Scotty Burns is going to Hawthorn ...

If

the Crows play to, or near, their 2017 optimum ...

then ... they will beat the disappointing Eagles by eight goals.

If

Hipwood and Zorko are late withdrawals ...

then ... it's only natural if our tanking antenna goes up. It went up with what North did at selection on Thursday night.



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If

he's copped it all week for his borderline tactics against Sicily ...

then ... we'll throw him a little positive here. Well done, Jed Lamb. The single-biggest reason the Blues defeated the Hawks in round 22.



If

Scotty Burns is going to Hawthorn ...

then ... he won't be the only change among the assistant coaches.

If

you said to the Bombers at the start of the year that they'd get to round 23 needing to beat the hugely disappointing Freo at home to ensure a finals berth ...

then ... they would've taken that scenario in a heartbeat. Well done. A very impressive season.

If we demand openness and honesty of others ... then ... we too must be open and honest. We have got it wrrr, wrrr, wrrr … wrong with the Ross The Boss stuff. That's it. No more. We're done. Finished.



If Hawkins and Blicavs are the ins this week ... then ... that leaves only Joel and Cockatoo out of the desired starting line-up. Big shots still to fire in 2017. 

If you're glass half full, Gaz's time here has been a resounding success. Brownlow, Brownlow runner-up, three B&F's, four times All-Oz, MVP times two. But if you're glass half empty ... then ... it's been disappointing due to lack of emotional investment. The late withdrawal on Thursday night, after being named in the team, being the latest and probably final, eye-rolling event. 100-1 to again play in these colours.



If your forward line is Stevie J, Patton, Greene, Cameron, Lobb and Deledio ... then ... it's unstoppable. On paper.

If the ideal is to retire with a little juice still in the tank ... then ... Hodgey's achieved it. And we know he will have the rev count in the red zone for the entirety of this final game. We're tipping wet eyes as he walks off, too.



If

the Dees were to go deep in September ...

then ... it just wouldn't be right if Watts wasn't part of the last leg of that journey. Love that he's been recalled.



If you go back through history you'll see this club last received the wooden spoon in 1972 ... then ... two years later it played in a Grand Final, and did so again in the four seasons after that. History won't be repeating, even if Dusty walks in. 

If

you've managed to average 96 points a game over 21 weeks ...

then ... you're going to go way beyond three figures at home against the Suns. And in so doing, quite possibly be sitting in the finals double chance spot on Saturday night.



If you go back to half-time of round 16 ... then ... you'll remember the scoreboard showed: St Kilda 14.8, Richmond 1.4. Couldn't possibly happen again, could it?.

If

all emotion hasn't been sucked out of us by Friday night when we see Hodgey and Bob exit Etihad Stadium ...

then ... it will be when Rooey walks off the 'G on Sunday.



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If the only team to beat the Swans since round six is Hawthorn ... then ... it would normally make sense to give the Blues a chance in this weekend’s game, given they beat the Hawks last week. But not here.

If

you go back to the corresponding round last year ...

then ... you'll remember the Eagles cost the Crows a finals double chance. Not as much at stake this time around, and the Eagles are barely holding things together anyway.

If the Hawks will be trying to win it for Hodgey ... then ... the Dogs will be trying to win it for Bob and Boydy. Either way, a lot of people are going to need a lot of tissues about 10.15pm AEST on Friday night.



And by popular request ...

If

we didn't like it last year ...

then

... we like it even less in 2017. We're with Clarko - the post-round 23 bye needs to go, for so many reasons.

Follow Damian Barrett on Twitter: @barrettdamian