Five reasons to watch the footy in a dud round
St.Kilda's Ahmed Saad Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
1. DANGER WATCH
OK, so the most attractive game's already come and gone, in Perth last night. But don't dismiss Adelaide versus St Kilda tonight! Adelaide is seriously good, and any game that includes Patrick Dangerfield has to be worth a look.
Dangerfield is the reincarnation of a young Chris Judd; he can win it inside, then extract himself from the congestion. He also has a leg that roosts the Sherrin from centre to full-forward. Regularly.
Giants debutant Jonathon Patton Photo: Wolter Peeters
And if you hate the Crows (a common affliction in Melbourne), take a look at Ahmed Saad and Terry Milera, St Kilda's two mature-age recruits. They are excitement machines, to use the vernacular.
2. TEST PATTON
It's Saturday afternoon and it's cold and dreary outside. The fire's on and Jon Patton's about to make his AFL debut for Greater Western Sydney against Richmond.
Gold Coast skipper Gary Ablett Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
The game renews itself constantly. And just maybe Patton, 19 and 197 centimetres, the No. 1 draft pick from last year, could be another Wayne Carey?
That's a big call but Patton is a monster. So what have the Tigers got in store for him? Perhaps a little in the spirit of Collingwood's four-man attack on another No. 1 pick, Jack Watts, on his debut for Melbourne? It's surely worth a look.
3. GOLD SHOULDER
Cyril Rioli and Lance Franklin Photo: Getty Images
OK, so you've done very well. But this is where it gets difficult.
It's Saturday night and all you have is Gold Coast v North Melbourne. Granted, it's a tough sell.
I recommend a good bottle of red wine for this. Make sure it's not too cold coming out of the cupboard. Stick it in hot water in the sink if you have to. Grab the Saturday paper and have it nearby as back-up entertainment.
Bulldog Luke Dahlhaus Photo: Sebastian Costanzo
But you just never know in footy. Maybe Little Gazza breaks the disposal record. Maybe you have him in your Dream Team?
And if you nod off, at least it's not far to bed when you wake up and your neck is hurting.
4. BUDDY N' CYRIL SHOW
Never to be missed, this one. Quite Frank-ly (pardon the pun) Buddy could be on for another dozen or so against the Brisbane Lions. That's if he brings his best kicking boots, which is the whole point. It's his human failings that help make him the most watchable guy in the game.
Meanwhile, Cyril Rioli turned himself into a tackling machine last week. It's probably true that he doesn't do enough. We always want more, because what we see is so damned good. But in all the history of footy, has there been a player who could have so much influence with so few touches of the football?
There's your debate for a Sunday afternoon.
5. DOG DAY AFTERNOON
Not an easy sell, I will grant you, but the Bulldogs are devoting the late game against Port Adelaide to the memory of the late Charlie Sutton, who was much loved at the kennel.
I can see them getting up and doing it for Charlie, their only premiership captain-coach.
So as darkness tiptoes up to the window, remember that you get to see Bob Murphy's quick step and his spearing passes, an artist with the footy as well as the pen. There's Ryan Griffen's raw power through the hips, and Lukey Dahlhaus' floppy dreads. It's enough to … it's … Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz