Welcome to tonights edition of Mad Monday. I’d like to start by telling you a little story.
In 1872, the brigantine Mary Celeste (pretty name) was found abandoned, heading for the Strait of Gibraltar (wherever the hell that is), missing her crew but otherwise intact. It was still carrying six months of supplies and somehow, it was still under sail. The last entry in the ship’s log however, was written 11 days prior to her discovery. In 2012, the AFL Dream Team ‘duffman’ is in similar circumstances. A team that is coach by a social Dream Teamer, the duffman has several supplies of trades, is still scheduled to navigate league waters, however, clearly there is no one at the helm. Both are perfect examples of Ghost Ships!
Having left Goddard, Bugg, Magner and Franklin on the field, and no emergencies set, the once workhorse like team, is now just coaxing into port like the HMAS Richmond coaxing into Cairns (too soon?). With no crew to be seen, the team should be an easy, certain victory for all opposition who come up against it on the high seas before finals (a bit like playing GWS). Scoring just 1,245 last round, the Ghost Ship Duffman, provides a percentage boosting win just ripe for the taking.
So with only three rounds to go before AFL Dream Team Finals, or more significantly, sixteen rounds into the season, for some, it has all been too much. The Hurricane of the Multi-Bye Rounds threw many coaches off course, or worse, overboard and the Long Term Injury Triangle, (located near Bermuda I believe), has caused crewmen to vanish from vessels without a trace. Seamen – the Ghost Ships are everywhere! [The End]
Navigating league seas are difficult at the best of times, hell, in one of my social leagues I’m sitting fourth overall on points and yet I’m languishing a mere 14th on the ladder. Luckily for me, when I look at my run home, I have the ride of the perfect storm. Three teams that for one reason or another have nobody left at the helm. Due to these Ghost Ships I could still make the finals; and from there, anything could happen.
So are these Ghost Ships a good, or bad thing for the game? Their bad, that’s a stupid question! What are you at a Karmichael Hunt press conference asking if a kick to win just four premiership points in front of 11,000 (against the Suns ‘bunny team’) compares to scoring the last second, match winning try in international rugby in front of a crowd of 40,000? Ahem. Anyway, in a luck of the draw scenario, some teams will benefit greatly from these Ghost Ships, smashing out a 500 point win against the same team, who if they had played in round two, would have beaten them by 80 points. If you draw them, you’re lucky, if you don’t you’re not. The real danger lies in mistaken identity.
Alas, not all Ghost Ships are as safe as they appear (much like Greg Broughton’s position under Ross Lyon), and there are pirates amongst us (Don’t think Calvin, he’s a good pirate!). Do not look upon the open seas and assume that the poor scoring vessel you are approaching is unmanned, make sure you do your research and approach with caution, or before you know it’ll you’ll have a mutiny on your hands (see: Brett Ratten).
Case and point: Infamous AFL Dream Teamer TKOL had a horror round this past week, and scored a mere 1,957, around 200 points below the average of those in his league, the TKOL Challenge. Looking at this score, his next opponent may assume that he is just ghosting into seasons end. But upon closer inspection, his team contained Suckling’s 30 and Broughton’s 36, Rockliff’s 81, Cloke’s 41 and Goldstein’s 59. If these players were to score the opposing value next week to maintain their average, TKOL would be pushing closer to 2,250+ next week.
What will happen when Collingwood play GWS (in Round 18), will Sidebottom, Beams, Swan and Pendlebury even play? Could you have less crew than a Ghost Ship just two weeks out from finals? What about the Crows run home? Will Sanderson still look at resting key players like Thompson, Dangerfield or Jacobs? Or worse, does the Ghost Ship contain the souls of Marc Murphy, Nat Fyfe, Hamish McIntosh or Aaron Sandilands, left dormaint but ready to attack from beyond the grave when you are most vulnerable?
This game has never been easy, and Ghost Ships add more luck to a draw than most, so take them as they come. If you are going for league wins, don’t trade on the weeks you only need 1,400 to win, and if you are captain of a Ghost Ship, log in and cause as much chaos with all those trades as possible.
So as you set sail towards the finals, look at your draw, and for those who can still trade, ensure you use them wisely. Do not assume that the 14th ranked team will not score well, and do not assume Ghost Ships are all they appear. For those who draw the perfect storm, ride your good luck, and for those who have given up on league finals, give those who want the league win as much hell and fury as the Kraken being chicken winged by Chris Judd!
All this posses the questions; how many Ghost Ships are in your league? How is your run home looking? And how are you shaping up for AFL Dream Team finals? Share you thoughts scallywags!