The Big Issue

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Call it The Voldemort issue; the issue that shall not be named. Call it the Elephant in the room (thought Neagle was delisted), or call it one giant beat up… whatever you want to call it… it hasn’t really been broached yet here on DT Talk so I thought it may be a good time to get it out there and get the views of the DT public.

Everybody who knows me (or of me) knows I’m a red & black blooded one eyed Bomber, in fact my one eye couldn’t be more closed if I were chomping on a lemon but I’m not here to defend or pontificate on whether we are guilty or innocent, I’ve seen all the jokes and the memes and taken all the taunts already. I’m here to try and decipher whether it is worth picking up any Bombers for your team this year. Before I go on my gut feel is that the players will be proven clean and right to play so I am writing this on the proviso that this occurs.

There are quite a few good options in the Bomber side this year and most people have at least one Bomber in their side. Most picked so far would be Goddard, Heppell, Watson, Stanton and Zaharakis with a few game coaches possibly going for Bellchambers or maybe even a Myers or Daniher.

Under ordinary circumstances some of these may have been great picks, even locks but are they still?  Well I guess there are quite a few factors to consider.

The events of the past few weeks could have one of two effects. They could either galvanise the group and really give an us vs. them mindset. Or it could mentally break the group.

Being in a football club can be a funny place; it can feel like one tight family sometimes, it’s hard to know how the players are feeling. They may well be banding together and supporting each other. Comments from Goddard earlier in the week went along the lines of the players being more anxious than worried and going along the mantra of controlling what you can control. With this in mind they may well have the us vs. them attitude happening and are concentrating on team structures and the like, training and playing like a band of brothers; this may bode well for their DT prospects. It might be business as usual inside those walls.

On the other hand comments from VFL player Wade Lees who was convicted of importing performance enhancing drugs are more concerning. He says the bomber players should be prepared for the toughest mental battle of their lives; ASADA will look to break them down mentally with a monotonous series of questions and interrogations until they crack. Although the prospect of this is small I think, being one out would have been tough for Lees, you would assume the bombers would be questioned in bulk and it would be easier on them. But it still remains that a player not 100% mentally on their game will not produce 100% results on the field so it needs to be considered.

Then there is the side issue of the coaching staff. There’s every chance if the players are proven innocent that the coaching staff still may not survive the axe. Whether it is one or all of them there may be some upheaval in this department which could also have a flow on effect to the playing list and its output.

Then…. there is the result that doesn’t bare thinking. The one that’s bad for Essendon and bad for football but good for DT. The playing list gets suspended and we have a list of kid’s ala an expansion team. (Won’t happen) (Please don’t happen)

News filtering out today has it that the bombers feel they may get some positive news before the end of this week, although the final verdict won’t be known for two months. Again without wading through the Rumour, Gossip, Paper talk or indeed facts all anybody really knows is they are being investigated and results won’t be known until April so at the very least they will be lining up round one and beyond.

So all jokes aside what are your feelings on the issue? Will you play any Bombers in your side? Could you afford not to start with a Goddard or Heppell if they start smashing out a few big tons early? Or are they all mentally stuffed?  It’s not a huge issue in DT because you can use trades but in Draft games it’s a big issue to consider. The bombers will be big sliders, could you pick up a bargain?

Personally I think even if the squad are given the all clear this will still prove to be a mentally draining ordeal for the playing group and it will take some kind of toll. If the players are going through the same torture that us fans are going through its all over! I can barely be bothered getting up and going to work each day i’m that drained, but it must be said i’ve felt like this for the past 15 years and counting, work is not my favourite hobby.

As mentioned earlier AFL footy is a tough game,  a demanding game and it only takes a team to be 1% off in certain aspects of their preparation for the wheels to fall off. A famous footy quote once read ‘90% of footy is played above the shoulders’, i’m pretty sure its not because the balls in the air all the time either….its because your mentality is important. Its hard to fathom the dons wont either be down mentally or tired mentally, so with this being said i’m leaning towards passing on the bulk of my Bombers early; atleast until we see some NAB cup form and a few more answers present themselves from this investigation. Goddard still picks himself however!

Anyway let us know in the comments your feelings on the big issue.

Don’t forget for more one eyed bomber tweets by a man who takes the bait far too easily or some random dribbling’s follow me on @adzman78

16 Comments

  • Great read mate

  • Not a bad read..

    I, (like everyone else) am just tired of the constant speculation. No doubt I will sit down and watch an hour of it on channel seven tonight and maybe another round of Footy Classified. The fact remains, there are little facts.

    I could take up a channel 31 spot with my show called “Mondi’s Facts” it would have a running time of -5mins.

    Fact 1: ASADA/WADA are looking at the Bombers and ONE player from one other team.
    Fact 2: Players were injected with peptides by Stephen Wank as confirmed by the ACC (Wank insists they were only “vitamins”) ok, sure mate.
    Fact 3: Dank is a Wank
    Fact 4: “the weapon” is a fucktard

    Things that piss me off;
    1. James Hird saying he had no idea what his players were taking. Either its true and he’s the worst and most retarded coach ever or its not and he’s a liar. Either way should be sacked along with the board, Mark Thompson and obviously Dean “the fucktard” Robinson.
    2. Essendon insisting they only just recently found out about this.. nice try
    3. Channels 7 & 9 sucking me in to watch retards talk about “facts” that are really opinions..
    4. “Football Journalists” especially Barret, “Hutchie the bald prick” and caro I also hate Bruce and Andy Maher.

    As for the mental fatigue, that’s all bullshit. Come round one (if they’re there) as soon as the ball bounces they will forget everything and focus on the footy.. Unless they are guilty of course, otherwise there’s no excuse if they lose.

    If anyone is found breaching the anti-doping rules they should be banished like Justin “rasin testes” Charles.

  • Unless the investigation is wrapped up before rd 1, Goddard + rookies are the only Essendon players I’ll be picking. Heppell was the only one I was really thinking about anyway. But tbh with 2 trades a week it probably doesn’t matter.

  • It’s interesting and something that has at least been on my mind when selecting players.

    Despite ragging on Essendon supporters plenty, I hope this all blows over without too much damage to the code

  • innocent until proven guilty! SO much speculation with very little facts atm

  • Like many I left DT for SC when the ridiculous lamer rules were announced, (may be back next year when fixed but prolly will not), but from an SC point of view, i had a few Bombers in my side like most, but now i have none. Last years results showed significant ‘peptide’ improvement for a while, but without the extra “Andrew John’s juice” the Bombers will revert back to the usual, if not below as they adjust to life after Dank, an explanation of life after dank means life after drugs. Essendon got danked, Hird got danked, Bomber got danked, the rest of the bomber coaches got danked, the Essendon players got dank injected and their form will be reflective.

    Danked – to be done for drugs.

  • Rode Paddy Ryder all of last year and was pretty happy with the guy:) Anyone else have him picked in their side?

  • Nice article Adz, definitely food for thought isn’t it.

    As you & others have said, there are almost no facts confirmed so it’s pretty much a print/web/social media driven beast at present.

    Anyone who says Hird should be sacked (ala Caro’s disgraceful article on front page of The Age this week) – just chill. It sounds, so far, like nothing has actually been done that is wrong. In this case, why would you sack anyone, let alone the saviour/living legend of the club? It doesn’t even sound like The Weapon or Dank has done anything wrong, certainly we have no facts to say that they have. They’re easy targets for the media (who, it’s good to remember, are in the business of making money – NOT in being fair & reasonable) & for people who love seeing conspiracy theories. The Bombers simply didn’t have the fitness in the 2nd half of last season – it happens. Bad fitness/strength ratio in their pre-season yes, illegalities? Doubtful. I’ve heard wise businessmen say: when you think there’s something untoward, some kind of conspiracy going on: 90% of the time there’s not.

    All reports from players (Reimers aside) suggest that they had no issues at the time, nor now, about what went on. Jobe Watson was described thus: “…couldn’t be more relaxed about it”.

    Even if we do see some rule broken or someone charged, take a deep breath and look at it with some perspective. We don’t have anything like the East German Olympic Team or the 460 fixed soccer matches in Eastern Europe on our hands.

    All that being said, I’ve no problem whatsoever in picking as many Bombers as I see fit. Them sharing the R13 bye with Collingwood etc is more of a concern for me than this stuff.

    Bring on Round 1!

  • I think our DT bombers Heppel and Goddard will be fine, Bombers will be given all clear because how are they going to prove anything otherwise? If the samples aren’t sent to Germany or Canada they will be going only on testimonies, and who is going to admit to it!?

    For that matter it seems the AFL and ASADA won’t have meaningful testing until they start taking blood tests regularly to build biological passports. What I have read indicates EPO and peptides that stimulate Human Growth Hormones are undetectable when taking only spot tests, and/or only urine tests.

    Not saying anyone in AFL is using peptides/EPO (how could a casual observer possibly claim to know at this point?), just that until they get serious about testing, we will never know

  • I dropped Heppel and Watson for Grimes and Pendlebury. Keeping Goddard as he was a Saint last year!

  • Nice one Adzman. Regardless of guilt or innocence, mud sticks. Consider if you will, the psyhic’s that clubs employ to get a players’ mind focused. Now that is a challenge enough on a level playing field. Addressing the same from adversity is another, they could rise to the occasion or implode or somewhere between, human reaction is so difficult to gauge. However, I expect the club’s leaders on the field to lead by example, particularly in the early rounds.

  • I personally don’t believe the hype over the ‘Australian sports drug scandal’ bullshit, it’s just a bunch of sports journo’s with nothing to write about before the AFL season starts.

    I cannot see how all the mass media controversy will impact Essendon’s DT scoring.

  • Heres some nice Bomber smokies with potential $Value$ Nick Kommer and Jason Winderlich (providing he stays injury free). Unique options to consider all you white sheep!!!

  • We could never truly grasp the conceptual ramifications of what the bomber players are enduring at the moment. The facts are few and far between, however we do know that:
    There has been gross mismanagement of communication between all levels of coaching and department
    Players may have been administered substances against their full knowledge and consent
    The coaching panel alone has been totally disfigured since the past season has concluded
    Regardless of illegal usage the bodies physically and mentally were in complete disarray towards the latter end of the season
    There is no certainty as to any players place, or team for that matter in the competition

    Now for my understanding using Cloke as an example last year, if a player may be distracted to the extent he was solely by only a contact signing, I couldn’t fathom as to what these particular circumstances would do to a player, let alone an entire group as a collective
    Also in point the most likely picked player in our teams, Goddard, was evidently having one of his worst seasons most accepted reason by off field sagas at st Kilda (bearing in mind the frustration of the grand final losses however), who knows what the effect of not only this but, acquiring new team plans, most likely becoming more inside role in the Midfield rather than outside possessions from the back half and understanding team mates playing styles and patterns as a whole, in the midst of all this.

    To not ramble any longer,
    We have bodies that were most likely rehabilitated and managed carefully in the fear of a repeat of last year, by a coaching staff that has not only seen many members leave, but circled in a pool of mistrust. Included may be guilty but innocent until proven coaches under the regime of the suspected supplements. A coach and CEO under suspicion of retaining their positions at the club. And finally a playing group with the more than likely possibility of having no faith where the football club is going, specially for the year, and more importantly no faith in their training regimes or lifestyle.

    All signs in my opinion point to a disastrous choice to choose any essondon player, but what do I know. I’ll still probably pick Goddard..