For those of us who follow shit AFL teams it's becoming harder to know who you want to win the thing this year.
If North or Hawthorn had made the 8 it would have been a lock, you'd go for them in the first week and then say "oh well, it was never meant to be" when they got knocked out then sit back and watch some interstate team win the thing. But who do we get representing Victoria instead? Bloody Essendon and Collingwood.
Now I've never hated Essendon, but ever since that day they traumatised me by reeling in a 45 point lead in the last quarter and winning by one I've been deeply suspicious of them. The 2000 Grand Final didn't help, and the less said about the Matthew Lloyd "Oh I have been shot! Now I will kick a goal" incident from a few weeks back the better. I revelled in their Grand Final loss a couple of years back and predicted them to fail miserably this season - sadly they actually look a chance.
Collingwood is a tough one for me. I might be the only person in the world who doesn't go for them that actually somewhat likes the Pies. They've got a very jolly theme - come on, where else have you seen the word "cakewalk" used in a song? - and their colors are sensible. We also beat them a lot in the past. Besides that I have many friends who go for them, and as long as they're not playing Melbourne I'd rather see them go home happy then hold the sort of grudge that everyone else has without actually knowing why.
I even quite like Eddie McGuire. Does this make me an awful person?
On the other hand I hate those fucking mutant fans in their cheersquad like "Joffa" who should be forcibly sterilized. You'll never hear the end of it from those glory-hunting idiots if they win it, so we don't want them to get up.
As for the others, Brisbane have had it enough. West Coast have good colors but a shit theme song. Port Adelaide have neither of the above. Fremantle have a song that everyone except me hates. Sydney winning would mean there's only two sides that won the comp for the last time longer ago than Melbourne and Adelaide are ok, I still have fond memories of them doing St. Kilda in 1997, but I can't stand Wayne Carey or Ronnie Burns.
The best case scenario for me would be for Essendon to somehow heroically make the GF, against Sydney or Fremantle and then lose by a point in the last minute to a Jeff Farmer/Troy Simmonds/Troy Longmuir goal when Matthew Lloyd gives away a freekick causing a goal (why's he playing in defense? I haven't decided that yet.), and resulting in Kevin Sheedy spontaneously combusting in the coaches box.
It's going to be a long September.