Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Lay Off Our Taz For Chris-Sakes!

I'm so sick of this obsessive bloodlust for Chris Tarrant right now. Even before last week's certain maritime themed nightclub incident, Taz was being blamed for everything from our so-so form to the war in Lebanon.

And it's getting much worse.

I woke Sunday morning drained by Saturday night's incredible game against Adelaide. It was intense, modern and intelligent football. As Kinky Friedman would say, the game was like Johnny Cash in 1958. Dangerous. Neither side gave anything inside their own backlines. Every kick and tackle so calculated. Not even livewires like DT and Didak could break free.

Well, that was the game I watched.

Not the Herald Sun's "Here's one we prepared earlier," front page headline teaser, FROM BAD TO WORSE: Another Shocking Night For Tarrant. Funny how there wasn't an article to go with the headline....

Taz played a pretty good game. There were only about four contested marks taken in either forward line all night. It was tough out there yet the dweeby lookin' John Ralph begrudges Taz's "only" 14 touches because most were taken "well up the field." No wonder Malthouse gets angry with these blokes.

But the worse example of blind Taz dissing appears in this mindless dirge by the Herald Sun and Fox Sports website's Mark Robinson.
"In a way, it was spooky when Tarrant had the ball, 53 metres out, 29 minutes gone, final quarter, his team down by five points.

Of all the people."
I'll leave his next flat and godawful similie out and jump to one of the most ridiculous and apallingly out of touch arguments ever attempted in football journalism.
"That he couldn't nail the goal was deflating. That he didn't man up at 30min 50sec, when Nathan Bassett got the ball, or at 31min 13sec, when Graham Johncock got the ball, and at 31min 36sec, when Johncock got it again, was even more so.

In two minutes, Tarrant had the chance to make a defiant statement.

He didn't.

The goal was difficult. Allowing his man to mark the ball three times in the dying minutes was infuriating.

Much like his off-field antics, you can forgive him once, maybe twice, but a third time? It's more than a coincidence."
Yes, that's right. Robinson is blaming Taz for not manning up while Adelaide were kicking backwards in the game's final minutes. He blames nobody else, only Chris Tarrant. An atrocious, vindictive and amateurish piece of analysis.

If you hadn't noticed, footy's got a little more complex than 'manning up' in the past 10 years. Taz was probably doing what he's told to do in his situation, sticking to a little midfield area (zoning up if you need it spelled out), ready to intercept a pass or more importantly, ready to pounce to our forward line if one of his team mates intercept. It's a tough concept to brain out but if everyone played on their men in that situation, a Crows player could easily, with the help of a block infield, break through to the middle of the ground and bang in another quick goal.

And how do we know Tarrant wasn't already manning up on another Crows player?

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