If I had told you as we entered the season that two weeks out from finals, Chad Warner would be the defending Mongrel Midfield Champion, you’d probably think I was crazy.
Well, I kind of am… who else thinks of dumb ideas like this column and actually makes them work?
Two weeks out from the big stuff, Warner has turned back challenges from Adelaide, GWS, and North Melbourne, but the challenge that lays ahead of him makes those bottom-eight challengers look like child’s play in comparison.
Remember Rocky 3? I sure do – it shaped a lot of my early life and led me to the realisation that the only way you could get a body like Sylvester Stallone was to use steroids. So, I gave up – they were too expensive, anyway.
BUT… in that movie, Rocky’s trainer tells the champ his opponents were handpicked and that Clubber Lang will “kill ya to death!
Are Collingwood the Clubber Lang to Chad Warner’s Rocky? Are they about to end the reign that has seen three successful defences to date? And who out of the Magpie midfield are capable of wearing the title?
Former Collingwood owners of the belt include Scott Pendlebury, Taylor Adams, and Steele Sidebottom all the way back in 2018. Could it be Jordan de Goey running through the midfield? Will Jack Crisp ascend to the throne? Or someone a little more unsung, like Patrick Lipinski? Or will The Champ make them look like chumps?
To be the man, you’ve gotta beat the man and to become the champ, not only do you have to be the best mid on the park, but your team has to win as well.
Defence number four for The Chad – this is the test.
The world loves a winner.
Except for the losers, I guess. But the rest of us love a winner, and following the 2021 season, one man reigned overall.
Christian Petracca stood on the podium with another two medals stemming from his best-afield performance in the Grand Final. The best player on the best team in the biggest game of the year – he was the undisputed champion of AFL midfielders..
However, with a new season comes new challenges… and new challengers to the title.
As we entered 2022, the Mongrel Punt Midfielder Championship Belt is fastened tightly around the waist of the Melbourne champ, but every battle, every week would call on him to defend it. And all it takes is a bad day for his grip to loosen on that which he made his at the conclusion of the 2021 season..
The Mongrel Punt Midfield Championship is a bit of fun – let’s be honest, but it’s a bit of fun that adds a little bit of interest to each and every game the champ competes in. Who, if anyone can beat the champ?
Each week, the champ defends his title in this system. In order to unseat him, firstly, the challenging team has to win. Like in Pro Wrestling, the title cannot change hands on a disqualification, so if you have a great performance, but your team loses, you can’t take the title. You have to beat the champ in a win. You have to outperform the champ in a win to take the title off him.
The individual win has to be comprehensive. If a challenger has 26 touches and a goal and the champ has something similar, we call it a draw and the champ gets the benefit of the doubt to retain the title. You either win decisively, or you don’t win at all.
So, who will dominate the midfield in the 2022 season and turn back challengers week after week? Who will reign like Hulk Hogan or Ric Flair? And who will be an interim champ… like Kane, or the Iron Sheik?
Let’s jump in and find out.
Note – at the conclusion of the weekly update, a full championship history, spanning from 2017 to the current day is available, including a full history of title reigns and most successful defences, etc… We are now at 8K+ words in this baby, and the history grows every week.
The Mongrel Punt Midfielder Championship Belt is a column for our Mongrel Members. This is the sixth of five – yes, you read that correctly – of members’ columns this week. They also get access to HB’s game reviews early. Wanna join them and support the best damn independent footy site you’ll find?