Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The funniest things we’ve seen on the footy field

Watching footy can bring up just about every kind of emotion imaginable. A single game can cause sheer joy, heartbreak, nerves, anger and relief all within a half an hour! But something that’s a bit rarer on the field is humour. While we all appreciate the lighter side of the game off field and in the media, it’s not every day you see a genuinely funny thing happening when you’re watching an intense game of footy. That’s what makes them so enjoyable! Here we count down some of the more memorable hilarious moments you might remember.

1.Corey Enright running around in his jocks

This is truly one of the classic moments in recent times and has simply got to be at the top of the list. In a relatively one-sided matchup against the Brisbane Lions, Corey Enright side stepped a tackle on the forward flank, but the defender did manage to rip of his shorts before he got the kick away. This is something that happens from time to time, but what happened next was a bit out of the ordinary. There was no break in the play so Enright had to man his position or risk giving a kick or even a goal away to his opponent. When the ball came back into Geelong’s backline, the Cats regained possession and Enright received a handball before getting a kick in his jocks! Unfortunately it resulted in a turnover but the kick still brought a smile to the face of coach Bomber Thompson.

2. Umpire marking the ball
Peter Carey umpired 307 matches at the senior VFL/AFL level, including 4 grand finals. But the game we’ll always remember him for was played between Fremantle and St Kilda at Subiaco in 1997. The then-veteran ump marked a kick from Adrian Fletcher on his chest, before promptly blowing the whistle and calling a ball up. Most put this down to a moment of confusion for Carey, a mental blank where he acted impulsively. Some might even say it shows that he wished he could be playing at the professional level! We can’t even imagine what the consequences would be from the AFL today, but at the time it was more or less laughed off. Although Carey went on to umpire just 8 more senior matches.

3. Mcnarmara going the wrong way 

This is a classic funny moment that can happen in just about every ball sport. We’ve seen it in basketball, soccer and many times in AFL. Jamie McNamara’s time came in 2009. Against the Cats, the West Coast youngster broke through getting a clearance out of a throw in on the wing, before taking off at lightning speed towards the Geelong goal. He even managed to get a kick away before pulling it (obviously realising what he’d done). This resulted in the kick more or less directly going to an opponent in the forward line and resulted in a goal for them. No doubt McNamara got a spray from his coach.

4. Cale Morton picking a fight

There’s plenty of players in the AFL that you might not describe as big and burly, you’ve got to admire a player that can stand his ground and defend his teammates regardless of his size. Melbourne’s Cale Morton however, may have got a bit ahead of himself when he picked a fight with Port Adelaide big man Brendan Lade. Lade tackled Morton as he got a handball off and gave him a shove for good measure, so Morton pushed him right back. Lade then gave chase and Morton was off the races – really it looked like a scene from a school playground more than an AFL football match, but we can’t say we haven’t thoroughly enjoyed it!

There are many other funny moments that have happened on field. Any you can think of?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Premiership merchandise – the perfect gift for a Hawks fan this Christmas!

So the AFL season is well and truly over, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to forget about your favourite team!  Christmas is the perfect excuse to come to Spectator Sports Online and order your official premiership gear.
Spectator Sports online
If you’re struggling for gift ideas (let’s face it, most of us are) chances are you’re going to be able to find something suitable for your friend or family member on our website. Not to generalise, but Australian men are simple enough people – we like sports, beer and girls – so anything to do with that and you can’t go wrong!
Hawthorn Hawks 
If you’ve got a Hawthorn fan on your hands, you’re in luck. Yes the Hawks are a mighty club and they’ll probably be in the mix for the premiership again this coming season, but you never know – it could be years until Hawthorn bring home the bacon again! Any self respecting supporter knows that getting your hands on that gear that shows you were there when they went all the way is a must. So spoil your loved one without spending an arm and a leg. Check out these official premiership items:


Hawthorn Hawks apparel
We’ve got official Hawthorn 2013 premiership T-shirts and polo shirts in a range of styles, colours and sizes as well as caps, scarves and hoodies. You can even get a cap and shirt combo and save!

Hawthorn Hawks footballs 

We’ve got indoor and outdoor footballs in the Hawks colours. I can tell you from experience there’s nothing more fun than an indoor game of footy – just be sure not to break anything! Otherwise, why not kick your new footy outside with a few family members after Christmas lunch?

Hawthorn Hawks Tedy bears 
Teddy Bears

We thought our Teddy’s deserved their own section because they’re just so awesome. Grab an official Hawks premiership Ralphy bear – the perfect gift for a Hawks supporter of any age, male or female!

Other gear 
Hawthorn Hawks gear
Spectator Sports Online stocks Hawks premiership gear ranging in price, so if your budget only allows you to splash out a little, we’ve got you looked after. Check out our stubby holders, bumper stickers, magnets, badges and more, all in that fabulous brown and gold. 

For more info don’t hesitate to give our shop a call!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

4 Trading Blunders in the AFL

The AFL truly is a special kind of a game – it’s the best sport in the world to watch because it can be thrilling, intense and it’s tougher than any other ball sport in the world. It combines skill and strength, finesse and brawn and people of all shapes and sizes are suited to it.

But another of the great things about the game of football is in the way that it’s governed. If you look at the soccer in Europe (and all over the world), you could argue that the sport is governed completely by money. In the English Premier League for instance, the richest clubs are the most competitive clubs, and the small market teams really can’t compete. Superstars that establish themselves at small clubs are almost immediately lured to bigger clubs for bigger wages. The NBA and NFL are also dominated by what might be considered overtrading – each team is so very different season to season.
Footy, on the other hand, is a very even competition in comparison, and trades take place at an ideal frequency. We’ve certainly seen a number of questionable ones throughout the history of the game. Here are some of the more dubious decisions that footy clubs probably wish they could take back, many of which involve picks (which does blur the lines somewhat).

Brendan Fevola to Brisbane (2009)

Arguably one of the biggest trades of the last 5 or so years, Brisbane acquired Fevola and pick 27 in exchange for promising youngster Lachie Henderson and pick 12.  The Lions couldn’t resist the thought of having two of the then premier key position forwards in the competition. Unfortunately, this is one move that simply didn’t turn work out in the long term. A problem player with a string of off-field issues, Fevola went down with injury 11 rounds into the 2010 season, which was quite unfortunate. However, the offseason that followed was filled with indiscretions from the wayward forward, which ultimately took their toll on the Lions team and led to Fevola’s eventual sacking at the beginning of 2011. Meanwhile, Henderson has developed into a solid swing player for the Blue baggers and looks like he could kit up for many more matches.


Trent Croad/McFarlane to Fremantle (2001) 
This one’s is a little tricky because it involves a number of picks that were already highly touted and turned into exceptional players. As we’ve heard many times before, hindsight’s 20-20 but if there was one draft class the Dockers didn’t want to miss out on, it was this one. Freo had picks 1, 4, 20 and 36 in what could be described as the superdraft of the last 15 years. However, when Hawthorn offered a duo of versatile swingmen in Luke McPharlin and Trent Croad, the Dockers jumped at the chance, throwing in their pick 1, as well as their second and third round picks. While Croad only lasted in Freo for 2 years, McPharlin has had a long and prosperous career. But when you think of what could have been, you realise how good an opportunity the Dockers had. The first 3 picks of the draft were Luke Hodge, Luke Ball and Chris Judd, who have all been a part of premiership sides and have had fabulous careers. Further, Steve Johnson, Sam Mitchell Leigh Montagna wou ld have been up for grabs with Freo’s later picks. Meanwhile, they walked away with Graham Polak at pick 4, who retired after just 111 games.

Jason Mooney to Geelong (1998)

Another one of those poor-in-hindsight decisions that came about from a team’s need for a key position player. Geelong were after a big forward to replace Gary Ablett (always a tall task). They went for Jason Mooney, a middle of the road marking full forward – hardly worth a selection as early as pick 8. Mooney had a nice 33-goal season in his first year with the Cats, but was soon overcome buy injuries and retired 2 years later. With pick 8, Sydney got their hands on a future 325 gamer in Jude Bolton, who ended up recording the highest number of tackles of any player in the history of the game

Chris Groom to Fremantle (1994)

Another one of Fremantle’s biggest trading blunders was sending a young Andrew McLeod and the lesser know Matthew Collins to the Crows in exchange for injury-prone forward Chris Groom. Again, the Dockers and their fans will be imagining what could have been for many years. Groom played just 8 games in his sole year with the club, while McLeod went on to play 340 games, win 2 Norm Smith Medals and 5 All Australians and 3 Best and Fairest Medals for Adelaide. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

How to Deal With AFL Offseason Blues

We had a great AFL season this year. It had just about everything you could ask for - new stars emerging, young teams coming of age, controversy and best of all a highly thrilling and competitive finals series. The Grand Final was as exciting as ever; we watched Fremantle craw their way back against all odds only to fall short to the mighty Hawks. No doubt most of Australia was on the edge of their seats on that September day and we certainly got a deserving winner.

Sadly, all good things must come to an end and now we all have to wait a good few months before we get back into the action again. If you’re as mad about AFL as we are, the wait can feel a lot longer than that and it can be a very difficult time. We don’t take offseason blues lightly here at Spectator Sports Online, and we’ve seen some very serious cases over the years. It’s especially painful if the end of the season has left a sour taste in your mouth as a footy fan. If you’re going through rough times this summer yearning for your footy fix, just remember that we’re feeling the pain with you.

Here’s how the Spectator Sports Online team handles those offseason blues:

   1. Keep an Eye on Offseason Transactions

We’ve already seen some HUGE personnel changes this offseason. Lance Franklin is headed over to GWS in perhaps one of the biggest deals in AFL history, and Daisy Thomas is making the move to join Mick Malthouse over at Carlton, who seem to love poaching Collingwood people! Meanwhile, Heath Shaw is packing his bags for GWS and big man Ben McEvoy is headed to Hawthorn. Plus, there’s plenty of rumours flying around to keep you in the loop and excited for your teams future prospects!

  2.  Watch Old Tape

This is where having Fox Footy is brilliant. They play footy replays all year round so you can relive the great moments from seasons past. Watch the legends of old battle it out and get yourself amped up for the 2014 season.

  3. Follow Other Sports

Let’s face facts - AFL footy is the best game on Earth and nothing really comes close. But there is plenty of great sporting action over the summer with the basketball (both the NBA and NBL) on the telly, American Football and of course the cricket, which is also great to throw on a warm summer’s day. While they might not completely cure you of this awful affliction, they’ll certainly numb the pain.

   4. Plan a Trip

Footballers always head off on footy trip after the season’s end, and there’s a good reason for this. A summer’s vacation can really take the bite out of any end-of-season blues you might be experiencing as a supporter and it gives you a chance to reflect and regroup after the footy year is over.

  5.  Stock Up on Footy Gear

Last but not least, you can always grab some club merchandise to make you feel closer to footy. This is something we can help you and it’s a sure fire way to beat the blues once and for all. We’ve got all sorts of gift items, playing gear and more - all authentic and at the best prices you’ll find online.

We hope you all get through the off season without too much drama. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Questionable All-Australian Selections?

It’s obviously a very exciting time of the year for footy fans. The Brownlow Medal count is just one week away and we’ll know who takes home the Premiership cup just 5 days after that! It’s been another fantastic season of football and this weekend, the semi finals, will be very interesting. We’ll be there to help you out if you want to grab some extra gear to support your team, so if you’re looking for AFL merchandise, we’ve got your back.

The Fremantle Dockers have performed at a high level all season, and you’ve really got to tip your hat to coach Ross Lyon for implementing the defensive game plan that has made them so tough to beat. They are tipped by many to take care of last year’s premiers the Swans for their first ever grand final berth. Meanwhile, the Hawks – who remain the Premiership favourite according to the bookies – will have to defeat the team that has beaten them in the past 12 meetings since Hawthorn got up against Geelong in 2008 grand final. You’d think the Cats would have the mental edge in this matchup, but the Hawks have been brilliant all season and will be very difficult to beat.

The All-Australian team was announced earlier this week, and like most years, there has been some discussion and debate in regards to who was deserving of a place, and who was possibly overlooked. More often than not it’s a given team’s supporters that point out when one of their players has been given the cold shoulder by selectors, though there are some legitimate shock omissions that most in the football world are wondering about. Though it was great to see 12 debutants make the side and Gary Ablett break the record for the number of consecutive selections (7).

Luke Hodge is one whose non-selection is nothing short of baffling. The Hawks star captained the best team of the regular season and had a great year playing off half-back. Fellow Hawk Sam Mitchell – who was moved into a sweeping role this season – got the nod as did Coleman medallist Jarrod Roughhead. Lance Franklin probably played second fiddle to Roughhead most of the year, though they both managed to average the same number of goals (3).

The Tigers, who were knocked out by Carlton in the opening week, expressed confusion that they finished 5th yet didn’t have a single player in the All-Australian squad, let alone the final team. They certainly have a point. Trent Cotchin managed 26 touches per game and had a very consistent season and even Daniel Jackson, who many are tipping will walk away with the club’s best and fairest, had a great end to the year.

Nathan Fyfe of Fremantle is another that possibly deserved the honour – finishing with an average of 25.7 possessions per game and 6th in the contested ball stats. It is however, difficult to see which players you’d bring out of the side. Ultimately, it’s not easy splitting the best players in the competition and there were likely many deserving players than only missed out narrowly.

We’ll be excited to see who will take out the Brownlow, though Ablett remains the strong favourite. And after that it’s on to the biggest day in September!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Big Stories in the AFL This Season

The most exciting part of the footy year is here and the team at Spectator Sports Online couldn’t be more excited! Over the next 4 weeks, the best teams in the AFL playoff for the premiership cup. As always, we’re predicting a fierce, intense finals series. Many feel as if the mob from down Glenferrie way are a shoe-in, but the teams in the top four are relatively close and each of Freo, the Cats and the Swans can beat the hawks on their day.

If you’re headed to the finals, you’re obviously in for a treat! Plus, you’ll want to look the part so jump on our website for the biggest range of AFL merchandise with your favourite team’s logo and colours.

In this article, we look at some of the year’s biggest stories to help you remember what a great, exciting season of AFL it was!

The Bombers’ Drug Scandal 

James Hird
Without a doubt, the biggest headline has been Essendon’s supplement program, and the subsequent penalties handed to them by the AFL which cost them a place in the final eight. Coach James Hird will be taking 12 months off, and there is probably a good chance that he won’t be returning after so long out of the game. This situation has ultimately shown us that our league is in the same boat as many other world sports; we are not immune from the drug problem. It has also probably prepared the AFL and put them in a position where they are able to deal with any future problems.

Young Guns
Jaeger O’Meara

Two players from the AFL’s two newest clubs have shown real promise, and we and many footy experts are predicting amazing, long careers from these young lads. Rising star winner Jaeger O’Meara averaged 21 touches and 5 tackles in his maiden season, which included a huge 3-goal performance in a win against Collingwood in round 17. The 19 year old from Perth has amazing balance and strength for his size, and he seems to have a veteran’s understanding of the game even in his first season!

Jeremy Cameron

Meanwhile, Jeremy Cameron has been turning head over in Greater Western Sydney. At just 20 years of age, he booted 62 majors and experts are talking about him being the next Wayne Carey. Fremantle Dockers coach Ross Lyon has mentioned that he’s a freak and destined for ‘special things’. It’s certainly looking like he’ll have a fantastic career and all eyes will be on him in 2014.




Richmond Tigers Finals Bound

Tigers fans haven’t had too much to smile about in the past few seasons; prior to 2013 they had finished in the top eight just twice since 1987. Many believe that this talented young team possibly should have been more successful earlier, and it’s been narrow missed chances and big games not going their way that have cost them. But the Tigers really showed what they’re capable of this season and stayed consistent throughout. We’re truly perplexed how none of their stars managed to make the All-Australian Squad! They’ve got a solid midfield with Cotchin, Martin and Daniel Jackson stepping up in a big way this season, not to mention their devastating forward line with the likes of Edwards and Riewoldt both having fabulous seasons. It will be interesting to see how far coach Damien Hardwick can take them.