I like to see a football side more as a character than a staid team and meaningless mascot. What is a Power in any case?
Geelong in the eighties and nineties was Robin Hood (played by Erol Flynn of course). Swashbuckling and daring.
Richmond, for the last five years have been the Darth Vader of the AFL. And Melbourne and Western Bulldogs are the New Avengers. Not the Marvel sort but the sixties television series.
Melbourne are John Steed and the Westerns are Mrs Emma Peel. And although these two were meant to be on the same side, they often fought with pithy remarks, martial arts and various weapons.
As the name reeks of conservatism, strength and stability, so does Melbourne.
The Demons had a brief appearance in the finals in 2018 (just the one victory pushing the Cats out of the series) and were then banished to the bottom eight.
The Demons’ emergence this year corresponds with the emergence of Christian Petracca. He used to be one of those players who occasionally did a good thing. Looked like he could play like “The Package”, Jake Stringer if he gets it together. Now he is a champion player others can aspire to.
Max Gawn, man mountain, lion hearted and all Australian ruckman. He has proven Wayne Carey wrong. You can grow silly beards and play good football. He not only wins the ball in the ruck contest but gets it to his midfielders. And the midfielders can kick. They pick out the tall forwards to ensure a set shot at goal. That is efficiency.
Smooth, stylish and with lightening reflexes, the bulldogs emulate Mrs Peel.
The Bulldogs came from seventh place to grab a fabulous premiership in 2016. They promptly fell to tenth then thirteenth but have rebounded to seventh again for the next two years. Now they are delicately poised at number two.
The Bont, Marcus Bontempelli, big engine, elite disposal and ball magnet. But he is not just a receiver, he actually gets the ball and does something with it.
And he likes to kick a goal in his spare time. He matches the teams style of fast movement pinpoint passes. The forwards Josh Bruce and Aaron Naughton often receive the ball lace out. English helps out when he goes forward.
The Demons and the Scraggers, met first this year in round 12. The lead singer for Simply Red, Clayton Oliver starred in the midfield for Melbourne. Jackson Macrae and the Bont were good for the Bulldogs. The Dogs had more disposals, more inside fifties, more marks and more tackles but still went down by 28 points.
Gawn had a dominant ruck performance. The Demons outdid the Doggies in their contested ball, both marks, particularly inside fifty and on the ground. Garcia recorded one kick, one handball and one concussion for his first game for the Doggies.
To sum the match up, Melbourne were stronger and more clinical in their forward thrusts. It was a statement win.
Round 19 episode
Like all New Avengers shows, the storyline will be tight, stylish and very predictable. It is very fortunate that there has been seven rounds between clashes, because this episode will be very predictable.
Gawn will win the ruck and many marks around the ground (just don’t let him mark 10 metres out). Petracca and Oliver will star. Melbourne’s talls will stand tall. The Bont and Macrae will give 110 percent but it will not be enough.
Adam Treloar and Easton Wood will be sorely missed. The Emma Peel of the league will be defeated, by 22 points. But it will be with panache and style.