Bluffer's Guide To the Western Bulldogs, Part 2
Okay, it's three weeks into the season and we are 0 for 3. We are officially rubbish and it's officially going to be a long, long year.
But at least being crap gives you lots to moan about in football conversations, and supporters of other teams can afford to be kind and sympathetic when your team is going badly. They get to enjoy that warm glow of satisfaction that at least their team is higher than yours on the ladder.
So here are five lines you can throw into conversation to make it sound as if you vaguely know what you're talking about:
1. 'Of course, the player we're really missing is Dale Morris.'
(Jettison this line once his broken leg has healed and he's playing again)
2. 'You can't tell how we're going to go this year until at least Round 6.'
(Actually, I think you can: woefully. Obviously this line is only useful until Round 6, when our cellar-dwelling woefulness will be confirmed beyond all doubt.)
3. 'Funny how our rookie picks seem to work out better than the first rounders.'
(To be delivered with a rueful shake of the head. If pressed, mention Dahlhaus and Boyd as great rookies, Grant and Wallis as dubious first rounders. Don't worry if you don't know what first-rounders or rookies are. The other person will.)
4. 'Tom Liberatore missing out on a Rising Star nomination last year was an absolute scandal.'
(Can be followed up with the more recent scandal of Clay Smith missing out on a nomination for his first senior game, despite kicking four goals and playing so hard his body shut down and he had to be subbed off for sheer exhaustion.)
5. 'It's not so much the forward line I'm worried about, it's the delivery from the midfield.'
(If you get this far, congratulations. From now on, it will probably suffice to nod and smile and occasionally murmur something about 'inside' and 'outside' mids, how Liam Jones has the toughest job in AFL, and the need to give the boys time to adjust to the new coach's game plan.)
If only playing the damn game was this easy...