The 2013 season finished with the Hawks proving that they were indeed a happy team at Hawthorn by knocking off the Purple Haze from Fremantle in a fairly dull Grand Final. Despite the lacklustre finish, the 2013 season was full of intrigue at every turn. There were teams exceeding expectations, teams bombing hardcore and teams more concerned with getting drugged up to their eyeballs on calf’s blood then to turn up to any games for the second half of the year. Let’s look back at how your club faired as I attempt to put aside by horrendously large biases in the interest of maintaining some credibility.
In the interest of increasing public understanding, each team has been graded using the same marking system as a university.
It was a disappointing year for the Cows Crows after being a kick away from the GF in 2012. Tippo left to go home to the Gold Coast Sydney Swans in the offseason, taking Adelaide’s first and second round draft picks with him. Then Tex Walker’s knee spontaneously combusted and just like that there was no forward line left in Adelaide.
Despite all of their woes, Adelaide did manage to win 10 games and eventually finish just one win out of the Finals (see: “James Hird’s high performance program”). Dangerfield and Sloane are elite midfielders, Douglas had a big year and Crouch and Grigg are set to be jets. With the return of Tex, an overpaid but useful Eddie Betts and another preseason of growth, expect the pride of West Lakes to remain a finals contender in 2014.
Side note: Coach Sando married a smoking hot European bird in 2013 which adds a degree of success to the Crows’ year.
2013 grade: Fail but not catastrophic fail. Perhaps an F-1.
Best player: Paddy Dangerfield
Surprisingly close to making the finals but a combination of incompetent players and their deliciously ugly Paddle Pop Lion logo contributed to yet another year in the bottom half.
Grade: Fail with an already crippling offseason that could make it a “Melbourne Demons level of fail” in 2014. F-2.
Best player: Tom Rockliff
Just a genuinely average football team. Somehow made it into the finals despite having “star players” like Bryce Gibbs who plays like a seagull lurking out the back of a pack hoping for someone to throw him some chips. Kade Simpson’s beard and Andy Walker were there only good players.
Grade: Exactly 50%; not bad enough to fail but not good enough to deserve more.
Best player: Andy Walker/Kade Simpson
Finished: 6th, didn’t even play Fremantle at Subiaco as predicted
Sucked in Eddie, enjoy your 200 day break between games mate. Didn’t live up to expectations despite a star-studded line up but young players like Marley Williams and Jamie Elliott (who robbed Jay Schulz of Mark of the Year but we’ll let it slide because, despite looking like a 12-year-old, he has a full sleeve) will ensure that they remain competitive in 2014.
Grade: Pass. Like a “Ps get degrees” type of pass; nothing too fancy though.
Best player: Scott Pendlebury (sorry Dane Swan, try playing some defence next year, champ)
Finished: Somewhere illegitimate with calf’s blood dripping down their chins and needles hanging out of their arms.
Basket case. In amongst their off-field antics which cast a shadow over the entire season, they did somehow manage to play some good footy on-field (see: “Performance-enhancing drugs”) and their fans have never loved Hirdy, Weapon and the gang more. Despite a permanently damaged reputation (I encourage you all to never let your Essendon supporting friends forget 2013), the Dons still have the list to compete in 2014.
Grade: Whatever grade you give to the person who hands up an assignment that ‘Turn it in’ discovers has been copied and pasted from Wikipedia in its entirety.
Best player: Jobe “three weeks off for a broken collarbone while Max has to sit out for three months with his” Watson
Finished: 3rd, lost in the Grand Final
Y u do dis Ross Lyon? It is hard to find any enjoyment in watching his gameplan of crippling mega-flood defence but unfortunately it works reasonably well. They have an abundance of star players all over the park but did not deserve to win it purely because their repulsive theme song would have left 100,000 fans at the MCG bleeding from the ears and weeping in pain.
Grade: HD, but an ugly HD. It’s like paying your smart friend to write your entire essay; you aren’t any smarter but you still get the grade.
Best player: Nathan Fyfe. Honourable mention to Ryan Crowley who is possibly the biggest dick in the AFL but manages to positively affect every single game he plays in.
Finished: 2nd then were bundled out by the Hawks in a Prelim
You just can’t stop the pussy cats. One of the best teams all year once again despite naysayers writing them off as a team of old men with walking sticks. Joel Selwood retained his title as the undisputed champion of going off with the blood rule, Jimmy Bartel continued to hypnotise women and men (no homo) all over the country with his handsomeness and Stevie J made sure that every time he had the footy he did something with an obscene degree of difficulty just because YOLO.
Grade: Distinction. Didn’t do well enough in their final assessments to maintain the HD.
Best player: Joel Selwood’s bone marrow for being able to produce litres upon litres of new blood cells each weekend.
No prizes for finishing 14th, but a road trip up to Metricon Stadium is no longer just a run around with Gary and some kids in the sun. Those ‘kids’ have emerged into good footballers and with 18 year old prodigy Jack Martin set to join the Jaegerbomb next year, September action isn’t out of the realms of possibility. Also Gary Ablett is good at football.
Grade: High credit. Tutor’s comments would be; “you have stuck to the criteria and with a little bit more depth to your argument this could easily be a distinction.”
Best player: Gary
One win for the year is fairly dismal. Should be better again next year but until they start winning games you can expect to see a bigger crowd down at the Blacktown Centrelink office than Skoda Stadium. Still have no idea who anyone other than Jeremy Cameron is.
Grade: Deferred assessment until next year.
Best player: Jeremy Cameron
Finished: 1st, Premiers
The all-conquering Hawks humoured the Dockers for a quarter or two in the Grand Final before laying waste to their defensive pressure and donkey punching Hayden Ballantyne and Ryan Crowley into submission. Buddy has gone to be a wealthy hipster in Bondi next year but with Coleman Roughead taking charge of the forward line another successful year should be on the cards.
Best player: Roughead/Mitchell/Hodge
I like you Melbourne, I really do. But goddamn you sucked this season. Jack Viney is going to be the next Joel Selwood and there is definitely some talent hidden on the list in amongst a heap of potatoes. Never fear though! Roosy is here to save the day. Dees will win the flag next year, lock it in.
Grade: F2. Melburn pls, do your homework next year.
Best player: Nat Jones and his tattoos.
Finished: 10th but it was by less than goal probably
It is both a great time and a terrible time to be a Kangaroos supporter. On the one hand they are a pretty good team who should challenge for finals in 2014. On the other hand, they lost about 400 games this year by one point. To the casual observer, this team is great because you either see some good football or you see Brad Scott blow a gasket in the coach’s box.
Grade: Non-graded pass. They had serious technical difficulties handing up the assignments but the tutor recognises that they know the course material.
Best player: Brent Harvey is the Energizer Bunny.
Finished: 7th and lost in a Semi Final
KERN HINKELY IS DA KING. Bow down before your coach of the year underlings, pls.
Bao daown 2 kern an baoky biches
— Kern Hinkely (@Kernpls) August 17, 2013
The most entertaining part of the Peaaa actually turning into a half decent team this year is reading the “experts” preseason predictions in which people like Robert Walls nominated them for the Spoon and said that “the Power is out in Adelaide, the club doesn’t know what it stands for.” Well you know what Wallsy? They stand for sticking the middle finger firmly upwards in your direction.
In 2013 Port exceeded even the loftiest of expectations by not only making the finals, but knocking off the Pies at the G in week one and then nearly topping the Cats in week 2. This came to be after a dismal 2012 saw them get smacked on and off-field like Rihanna on a date night with Chris Brown. They got in King Kern, Kochie, Burgo and bam; they became a fairly decent team. I imagine that the first preseason training of last year went a little something like this:
The challenge next year is for Port to continue to improve and not just become one of those middle of the road teams like Ninthmond Richmond for years to come.
Best player: Travis Boak, although Chad Wingard is probably going to win 15 Brownlows
Finished: 5th but still managed a loss to 9th in the Finals
Made the finals for the first time in 800 years and proceeded to lose to a team that finished ninth. You couldn’t have written a funnier script.
Grade: Supplementary pass. You can’t fail them because they were actually good throughout the year…but lol at their finals campaign.
Best player: Dusty Martin and Trent Cotchin
Finished: Don’t think they ever really started
In full rebuilding mode and that showed all year. Will be sad to see Stevie Milne go as the Triple M commentary box won’t be able to explode every time the TipRat feasts on the scraps at the back of packs.
Grade: Deferred Assessment. Conceded that they hadn’t completed all prerequisites for the course and deferred until next study period.
Best player: Nicky Roo
Finished: 4th, lost in a Prelim
Were really strong all year despite having injuries to a lot of key players. Will be contenders once again in 2014 as it looks like they have found the cheat code which unlocks unlimited money and they have signed Buddy until the end of 2050. Shout out to Jude Bolton for retiring as the game’s greatest ever tackler, and a seemingly nice guy too.
Best player: Kieran Jack/Dan Han
Finished: Somewhere way below what everyone predicted
“Not sure if serious” at their entire season. Were legit flag contenders in everyone’s eyes before the season began and then proceeded to serve up steaming piles of faecal matter every second week throughout the year, including losing six of the last seven at their ‘fortress’ over in Perth.
Grade: F2, didn’t even rock up to half the tutes.
Best player: Josh Kennedy/a fit NicNat
Now let me get this straight, the Dogs aren’t a GOOD team yet, but they definitely don’t suck as much. All backhanded compliments aside; there are signs of life out in Western Melbourne after the Dogs managed to string together a few legitimately good performances this season. Anything that gets their ‘diverse’ supporter base out to the games so I can watch their mohawks, beards and piercings in action is fine by me.
Best player: Ryan Griffin