Sunday, October 15, 2006
Round 4: BF v The Disgraced
Entering a crucial Round 4 encounter with novel/traditional rivals "The Disgraced" with a win-bye-tie record, the mighty Black Fish were desperate to maintain their unbeaten record for the season.
A cautious Fish team eased out to a gentle start, allowing the scorer to obtain some quality video footage without being otherwise troubled, while also familiarising themselves with their opponents. Only one Disgrace was familiar to the Fish, former Lobetrotter 'Carrot' who fell victim to the Black Fish way back in Round 5, Winter 2006, in a performance characterised by flashy incompetence, unreasonable outbursts, a hefty girth, and a stunning second-half fade-out. In a moment of cosmic symmetry pleasing to all (except the vegetable himself), his performance for the Disgraced was eerily similar.
The capacity crowd is likely to remember little of this peculiar match but the umpiring. Zebra-striped, festering-skin-lesion-afflicted obstructive-sleep-apnoea-boy and his inconsequential side-kick embarrassed themselves with an insipid display of tiggy-touchwood officiating that was sufficiently irritating to require your correspondent to resort to use of the phrase 'tiggy-touchwood' for the very first (and second) time. Most annoying. Even the Dalai Lamaesque, peace-loving BF00 found himself with four fouls at the half-time adjournment.
Having built a one-point half-time lead, the Black Fish again demonstrated their class by systematically deconstructing their opposition in the second half.
Rodgers (N) was a dominant force, jumping to a clear lead in the race for the season's top scorer. He continued to develop his telepathic relationship with his tall-timber partner in crime, Noutz, who not only commanded the boards, but also demonstrated some slick inside passing, adding another string to his rapidly expanding bow. Edwards was a constant offensive threat before a limp and premature exit at the hands of the officials. Nissen and Whittle completed the quality quintet with solid four-quarter performances interspersed with the usual flashes of brilliance.
By the end, it was a procession. A faultless second half saw the Fish win 29-13.
One can feel the excitement building within the Black Fish community in response to a best-ever start to a MARS season by the Fish. Don't miss this week's massive "Battle o' the Seven Seas" grudge match between The Mighty Black Fish and league minnows, King George Whiting.
In the immortal words of Wesley Snipes.....always bet on black.
P.S. Many BF fans have commented on the team's propensity to slow starts and torrential second-half scorefests. A quick statistical analysis of this season's games does not support this impression. While the Fish have scored a mean of 6.3 more points in second halves compared with first halves, this difference is not statistically significant (Wilcoxon p=0.29). The 95% confidence interval for the 2nd half vs 1st half differential is currently -11.1 to 23.8 points. Undoubtedly the statistically-minded amongst you will watch with interest as an increase in the sample over the course of the season narrows this confidence interval.