THE RYDGES POST
Is it just me or is there an elephant in the Essendon dressing room? We are hearing that the AFL’s darkest day is behind them and everyone can now move forward. James Hird is adamant he did no wrong but agrees to a 12 month suspension. Essendon is adamant they didn’t cheat, but they have agreed to cop a demotion to ninth place, miss this year’s finals and pay a $2million fine. The charges levied have not been about cheating or drug taking but about “misconduct” and “bringing the game into disrepute”. There seems to be so much spin here that the football could be rotating swiftly on a number of index fingers.
Having said that, it should be a cracker of a finals series and with one round to play this weekend the Top Eight are Hawthorn, Geelong Cats, Fremantle, Sydney Swans, Richmond, Collingwood, Port Adelaide and Carlton. If the Brisbane Lions can beat Geelong and Carlton loses to Port Adelaide, the Lions can make it. North Melbourne has a slim shot at a finals berth having to beat Collingwood and see both Brisbane Lions and Carlton lose. Adelaide and West Coast are dangling by a wee thread of hope where the win and loss planets have to align unpredictably. There are two certainties, however – no matter who wins or loses, Essendon will finish ninth and the Giants will take out the wooden spoon.