After a weekend of rain of almost Biblical proportions across my adopted state, it's a pleasure to have a distraction from the carnage caused by the torrents. At one stage, I considered going to my local hardware to get 40 cubits of timber and start constructing a twenty-first century Ark. On the passenger list for my Ark, I would make room for two of every kind of bird and beast, with the exception of Carlton supporters, road ragers and those people who don't enjoy watching Goggle Box. submitted by
It's another cool and overcast Monday morning in Melbourne and the journey to The Vatican on Olympic Boulevard for Magpie fans is uneventful, this time in my beloved Leyland P-76. At the stage of life The Lad is at, even the simplest of joys are something to be savoured- seeing those who represent our club working so hard on individual and collective improvement is one such joy. On that note, nothing annoys me more than those fans who attend our games and criticise our players. As Teddy Roosevelt once proclaimed, "... It's not the critic who counts, but the man in the arena, splattered with sweat and blood but getting it done..!!"
In the seven days since I last experienced 'Nirvana' ( in the football sense), I have read an interesting biography of American General George Patton. 'Blood & Guts' as he was known by his troops once famously said, " If everyone agrees, then someone isn't thinking!!" This gave me pause to recall something I've noticed, but not reported on, from the past two sessions. At the end of the trainings, Buckley and his coaching cohort gather in the middle of the oval for a five to ten minute debrief. Discourse such as this gives Bucks' henchmen the opportunity to give feedback to the senior coach on the session just completed.
The oval is looking an absolute treat- even after the deluge, and it's surface is like a billiard table ( only with four pockets instead of six) and it's hard to imagine a better facility for our players to ply their trade on. A solitary runner runs lap after lap on the public running track inside the fence; her slight physique a direct contrast to the trim, taut and terrifically toned torsos of the Magpie players. Incongruously, for a summer training session, it's a mere fifteen degrees, there is a sprinkle of rain and the lights are on!
This week is notable as there are more senior players returning to work on the track. Fabulous to report that Ben Reid, Josh Thomas and Adam Treloar are out there amongst it. On his way to the rest of the playing group, Bucks stops and gives a hearty welcome to these players. There are a myriad of reasons why a player may miss training with the senior group: illness, specific weight training sessions, injury treatment to name a few, but today, the group is almost totally present in number. And they work with great energy and enthusiasm; when one hears the friendly banter amongst the playing group, it's clear that this is not an Ashes Test.
The group are showing enormous discipline in being on the track and prepared to start training at the allotted time. Like any footballers, they love latching on to a Sherrin and indulging their skills prior to the formal training beginning. Giving Daniel Wells a Sherrin is like handing a surgeon a scalpel- the instrument of choice is used for the purpose it is designed and his incisions are precise. One can almost envisage Wells slicing through the middle of the MCG in a big final, hitting up a Magpie teammate on the lead- hopefully this happens in 2018.
The gentle warm-ups cease abruptly and the players run to allotted areas on the ground- there is a discipline and attention to detail here that is very evident. Jeremy Howe stated on 'The Grind' last week that the players were up for the intensity that each session involved. I have watched the Magpies preseasons for many years and have not seen such a tough start to the preseason slog since Tom Hafey took the reins at the end of 1976. It may seem somewhat masochistic, but the players seem to be enjoying the 'real' nature of the drills. Players accept that they will be hit hard if they dally on disposals.
Stephenson certainly has 'wheels'- in a warm up he speedily picks up a loose ball and drills with precision, off either hand penetrating handballs. Great to see the captain fully- involved and getting heaps of encouragement from Sidey and Dunn at the first break in drills. There is a new face in the group- not sure who it is, but he looks like a cross between Gwilt and Chad Lidell with early Heretier Lumumba hairdo.
The drills today are arduous- taxing the endurance of the players under close pressure- the so-called ''Match-Sim". One of the toughest rotations the players are asked to perform involves running around the confines of the square playing 'keeping s- off by foot. Tyler Brown shows sublime skills by foot, hitting moving targets with ease, under pressure.
Another rotation has other newbies, Stephenson and Murphy working on contested drills with seniors such as Cox and Grundy under the watchful eye of Lockyer. This is played with less players than the other drill and the sharpness of Varcoe, Wells and Kirby stands out.
Between rotations, the players run a very sharp half lap, on group heading to the Rod Laver goals, the other to the Yarra River end before meeting in front of The Glasshouse Cafe. Daicos and Fasolo lead one group in whilst Smith and Greenwood ( left knee strapped) head the other group. As they pause in front of me, I catch a glimpse of Magden- this lad is very solid and certainly seems 'body-ready' to play AFL.
Anthony Rocca throws a ball in from the boundary in front of me and Tyler and Fasolo contest the ruck. The ball finds its way out the back to Moore who takes off at top speed, but is run down by Stephenson who wins the plaudits of the group. Crocker excels in this activity- able to alternately find the Sherrin on the inside of packs or get loose to receive as an outside player.
The drills are interchanged very quickly, it's hard to keep track, but in the next one, the player in front must protect the ball on the ground from a player behind him by intense shepherding. Tyler Brown is pitted against Lynden Dunn. The senior man instructs the newbie on how best to position his body- Brown is outmatched physically, but wins praise for his persistence.
Another throw-in from Rocca pits Mihocek against Magden- their two bodies clash hard and the spillage falls to Pendles . The only thing slicker than Pendles short, back and sides hairdo is the handball he sends to the fleet-of-foot Daicos whose foot pass hits Rocca in the middle of that gigantic chest. The next contest in ruck is between McLarty ( in head gear) and Mihocek. Determined to reverse a previous loss in a contest, McLarty out bodies Mihocek and then breaks away from the contest at speed.
A large group alternates between centre half forward and wing simulating ball ups. In one such scenario near goals, Buckley instructs the first player to receive the knock out to shoot on goal. Fasolo roves beautifully to a well-weighted Cox tap and drills on the right foot from forty out-goal...
It's now 10-30 and the group have been at it for over 75 minutes. The lift in intensity from previous weeks in terms of running is patently obvious. Bodies, young and old, are being put under strain, but this scribe hears nothing but encouragement. Rookie Appleby seems a naturally gifted runner and also quite adept with ball in hand. Hine described him as a multidimensional defender with elite endurance. Nothing The Lad has seen today would doubt what our recruiter said. In a reprise of the final drill of last week, half the group run laps at full pace, passing to coaches placed around the boundary. Kirby is busting his gut during this drill, his passing of the ball precise. Not sure if Mason Cox reads Nicks, but his foot is intercepting the ball closer to the ground on the short kicks and today his passes travel through the air faster, his McGough 'helicopter-kicks' nowhere in sight.
The entire group, less those in rehab, now play a practice match in an area no bigger than a soccer pitch. Reds versus Blacks. The ball is kicked in from full back by Crisp to Magden whose floater is intercepted by Moore. However, the ball is turned over and finally ends up with Broomhead who snaps truly. A minute later, Broomhead crumbs off a Cox spillage and snaps his second. Although, technically, the game is played as a rolling scrum/ pack, it would appear that Smith is playing forward ( and doing well) and Moore forward. Murphy is moving extremely well and his kicking is very slick, driving the ball forward with precision. He is also very mobile- I think he has a promising future, once his body fulfills the promise playing at this level demands. In keeping with the past few weeks, tackling is both evident and encouraged a few players on the Black team underestimate the closing speed of Varcoe who punishes their lack of peripheral vision/ awareness. An unselfish pass from Blair allows Broomhead a third goal. From the resulting centre ball up, Cox floors Grundy, the ball ends up with Smith who then hits Mason with a precise pass to the Quiet American who had charged forward from the centre.
An indecisive Mihocek then clears long from defence, the ball spills to 'Black' Howe who takes on Murphy. The youngster refuses to let last year's 'real' Mark of the Year winner pass and the resultant free results in a goal and pats from his peers.
The back half match-ups are interesting: McLarty on Mayne, Howe on Tyler Brown, Magden on Murphy and Crisp on Kirby. The younger men are by no means disgraced.
Match practice ends with another boundary sprint. Of concern to me is Grundy pointing to his lumbar region and being worked on by the club physio. Thankfully, he regains his feet and resumes his place with the squad. By this time, the younger players have taken position up near Olympic Boulevard and are working on handball and short kicking. The senior players are down at the Yarra end. After the rain, the Yarra resembles the Ganges river of India.
De Goey, Callum Brown and Lynch continue to run laps, of the oval, their honest commitment to being at peak physical fitness by the start of practice matches is really impressive.
A large group works on a 'perpetual motion' goal kicking drill. This is a real tough drill as players must run, dodge and kick at goal under pressure whilst fatigued. No stand outs, but Murphy simply never misses and Lynch is a fine kick for one so tall. Two groups of four under the watchful eye of Boyd, Bucks, Harvey and Longmuir play handball keepings-off- the loser has to sprint forty metres and then win the ball back from a resting group of four. Varcoe continues to tackle teammates like they owe him money! Inspiring effort from the former Cat star.
Kirby, Pendlebury, Hoskin-Elliot and Phillips make a formidable quartet in this drill. They are quick of hand and elusive and make the other foursomes work hard to dispossess them. Cox, who has the wingspan of an A380 Airbus is a huge asset to his group which includes Broomhead and Crocker.
In one exercise, a pinpoint pass from Smith from over 40 metres hits Buddha Hocking on the chest- the former Cat veteran then feeds the ball back to Smith with a 25 metre handball which Smith accepts without breaking stride. It really is true what they say- form is temporary, but class is permanent.. It's clear that even at 49 years of age, Hocking has lost none of his immense football ability or class.
Ben Crocker continues to impress; first on the track and frequently the last off it. He has a tremendous work ethic. Whilst his 2017 was poor, he showed promise in 2016 and appears hungry to be a regular player in 2018. He can often be witnessed being advised by the assistant coaches and senior teammates- it's important to remember this lad is only 20 years of age. Track watchers may notice Crocker working hard on one aspect of his game at training and wonder if he will ever make the grade. At times like these, we need to exercise patience and remember the beautiful words written by Bryce Courteney in his seminal novel, 'The Power of One'; "The largest waterfall begins with a single drop of water!"
Tommy Langdon continues to emerge as a young leader. Although his tonsorial choices have raised more eyebrows than a Hollywood facelift Clinic, his importance as an organiser of the back half appears to be growing with every session. If Langdon was a crypto currency, he could be the Bitcoin player of 2018!! Supposition on my behalf, but I wonder if Langdon has been receiving mentoring from Captain Marvellous, Nick Maxwell, who is back at the club in a Leadership and Culture role.
AAMI Park provides an imposing and evocative backdrop to the training session. A Lynden Dunn torpedo punt seems to go from one end of its bulbous curved roof to the other. One wonders whether the AAMI stadium, with its attractive architecture and innovative hybrid structural system of shell, arch and cantilever, will ever attain the cult-status or place in people's hearts of a Windy Hill, an Arden Street or our own beloved Victoria Park.
Few players polarise our supporter group more than Jarryd Blair, but his effort on the track this morning was first-rate. It may be an optical illusion, but Blairy appears a little quicker this preseason- he certainly has returned in great condition although as I write this, he is given a few minutes back massage.
Draftees Murphy, Stephenson and Tyler Brown work under the watchful eye of their coaching mentors. It would appear to this observer that these three boys will play predominantly in the VFL in 2018- their physiques are a fair way off that which would enable them to perform without enduring a physical beating at the highest level. Rookies Magden, Mihocek are also present and working hard for their chance at the big-time. Oxley and Wills walk lap after lap- no limp evident on either player.
It is always a thrill to see a player like Adam Treloar shine on the track- with 122 games under his belt and coming off a season in which he was nominated for the All-Australian squad, it's not hard to see how this 24 year maintains his status as an elite player in the AFL. Like Taylor Adams last week, Treloar has seemingly set himself the goal of taking on the difficult disposals by foot or hand. His capacity to consistently hit targets warms the cockles of my heart.
Josh Daicos and Fasolo have clearly been set a huge load for this session. In between participation in selected drills, they alternately sprint and jog laps. Both players appear somewhat quicker than 2017. Similarly, Rocca and Gotch work the Lanky Yank to the limits of his endurance- he does not shirk the physical burden he was given. It's actually a tad comical to see the diminutive Brad Gotch roving to Mason Cox- one could be forgiven for thinking that one had wandered into the land of Lilliput made famous in the wonderful Jonathan Swift novel, 'Gulliver's Travel'.
After a very solid two hours on the track, the younger Pies are taken aside by Lockyer who explains the match-sim being done by their senior teammates. McLarty is a revelation in this drill and his strong intercept marking at full back and penetrating kicking are a joy to behold. Aish, Broomhead and Adams are ferocious around the packs and Grundy and Cox are strong combatants in the ruck. All the while, Lynch runs laps....!!
Maynard leaves the track at 11-30, having performed splendidly as usual. Some players exude leadership- he is one such player, his uncompromising approach fabulous to see. The senior players are now doing shuttle-runs. Gut busting, but not as bad as might have been if the weather was in the thirties, rather than the teens. Shortly after, Kirby joins Maynard, having completed a very good workout.
The remaining players now play an East-West practice match, from wing to wing, rather than goal to goal. Whilst the intensity begins somewhat slower it soon heats up as Dunn catches Smith in a crunching tackle. Scharenberg out points Crocker physically in a one on one, but pressure from the yellow team forces another turnover. Langdon is superb in this drill and it would appear a new team edict of playing the corridor is forcing him to be less conservative with his disposals out of the back half. It is certainly exciting to watch; Langdon's contests with Crocker are excellent with the number eight shading him slightly.
You cannot stop a retired player having a shot on goal, but Bucks two skidding drop punts from seventy metres out fade in transit and the air conveyance drift through for behinds... The final match practice takes place in the central corridor of the field. Twenty four players remain and contested ball and quick disposal are king. Pendlebury is in Rolls-Royce form, no sign of discomfort from him. His clearing kick hits up McLarty. The big defender has an unusual gait, ( he runs like he is holding a toothpick between his knees), but he is quick over the ground and a good decision maker.
The clouds close in once more but the floodlights bring a pleasant glow in the gathering gloom. The players continue to work hard, drilling foot passes of either foot to waiting coaches, after almost three hours, the players head for the change rooms and a well-earned shower.
And so, my beloved P-76 and I head for the hills- hopefully in less than the two and a half hours it took to get to training! I reflect on another impressive training session by the Pies. We appear to be making great strides in terms of organisation on field and the players are looking in fine fettle. There is an energy and apparent camaraderie in this group which makes the heart glow with pride.
I'd be interested in the thoughts and reflections of other Nicksters or observers of our training . I take no offence if others disagree with my reports; as General Patton said, "If everyone agrees, then someone isn't thinking!!"
Floreat Pica dear Magpie friends.
Austin started the chat 85 minutes ago
Patrick joined the chat 74 minutes ago
Patrick: That bad, eh? It looked shady to me, but I guess I don't have as good an eye.
Olivia joined the chat 69 minutes ago
Austin: Right when I saw the text font I know
Austin: Unless you can change fonts on reddit posts and I didn't realize?
Austin: But he's so aggressive with the "it wasn't me" game
Austin: Like I said, it's gonna be like letting a dog tire itself out
Patrick: Yeah, it's him. Just sent me a message throwing you under the bus, Austin. Fool.
Austin: My only concern is I may have goofed up by agreeing with Kyle that it could have been Max -- if Kyle was in on the whole thing then he knows it was and will tell Kevin/Max I know
Austin: Oh what did he say what did he say I'm excited
Austin: Just agree. Agree that you think it was me, milk him
Patrick: "I'm not 100 percent on it being Garrett. It might have been Austin. Re-reading my chat with Austin, he seems to have used some phrasing very deliberately that could be taken in different ways. He may have misled me and used the information I gave him about the other side of the house to his advantage. Keep cool for now and I'll let you know if I find anything out."
Olivia: So, wow, lol. Faking screenshots now?
Austin: LOOOOOOL bait him, ask for more
Patrick: Yeah. Did you see it yet, Liv?
Austin: I love how everyone thinks I'm retarded. I LOVE IT.
Olivia: No, I'm playing catch up, heh
Patrick: Did you tell Kyle to get my adivce on the comp, Austin?
Austin: I said it would be a good idea since you'd done it before
Austin: We were discussing how important this is
Patrick: Alright, cool. Call me crazy, but Kyle comes across as believable here. At least a bit. Still not enough to put 100% faith in, though.
Austin: At the very least, Kyle does a far better job of hiding his intentions than Max does, if he isn't being legit.
Austin: I'd like to call max out and tell him to fuck himself, but I think there's a lot to be gained from getting more "dirt" about me from Max
Patrick: You're right. The less reason they have to think we're on to them, the more likely they are to think they've got us where they want us.
Patrick: HAH. YES.
Patrick: "He specifically said stuff like "wow, this is great information. This could definitely leave a group in a very powerful position". Plus, he did some very effective damage control when I lashed out in him. Since you know him from SoRg, how smart would you say he is?"
Austin: Try and get the ball rolling on suspecting me
Austin: TELL HIM IM STUPID
Austin: Actually is it better to tell him I'm stupid or I'm smart I don't even know
Austin: I guess I am pretty stupid
Patrick: I dunno. Trying to think of that one myself.
Patrick: Oh fuck off. You are not.
Patrick: But if I tell him you're stupid, he'll think you're not crafty enough to pull this off.
Patrick: But if I tell him you're smart, he might think I'm telling him what he wants to hear.
Austin: Tell him I'm smart, but not as smart as I think I am
Olivia: He sure does have a lot of insurance bookmarks. That must be the 'finance industry' he said in his intro post he works in.
Austin: That says I would try and pull this but not be good enough to not get caught by the inimitable genius that is Max
Austin: That will make it seem even more like you're buying what he's selling.
Patrick: Good call. Will do.
Olivia: Also bookmarks for bitcoin. Tell him you'll believe him for some bitcoin ;)
Austin: Also, Nathan gave us a fucking gift
Patrick: Yeah, he told me he works in "employee benefits" and that he left things intentionally vague in his intro. This was about a week ago. So it wouldn't surprise me if he didn't remember.
Austin: How caught up in school can you possibly get when you're 16...
Patrick: I was telling Liv earlier, I'm not sure it wasn't deliberately set up that way.
Austin: what's the upside?
Patrick: I'm thinking Nathan is promised protection through to jury. This way still lets Max try to weasel around while shifting blame, and we're "more receptive" to it because our target left anyway. And this way he can tell the other side he tried. I don't know. I'm missing something. But I'm sure there's more than meets the eye.
Austin: Conceivable, but fucking bold to let yourself go straight to the block
Austin: Pat I gotta tell ya I'm surprised he underestimated the strength of the alliance between you and I
Austin: Garrett I get, he's shown more wild card tendencies, so I get thinking he could get away with
Patrick: Yeah, same. That's a bit surprising. Seems to me like he's the one who's not as smart as he thinks.
Patrick: How's this? "Goddammit. That's Austin to a T. He's smart enough... but his major problem, and the reason he toppled in SORG, is because he's not as smart as he thinks he is. I lined up with him because I really thought he'd learned from last time."
Austin: I love it
Austin: That's fantastic
Olivia: Has anybody talked about the comp yet? I don't know if people are still getting home or what but I haven't heard from anyone yet.
Austin: I don't know who else we can talk to haha
Austin: Kyle I want to but am afraid it will get to Kevin
Austin: Fuck Max
Patrick: Kyle says he'll be shooting the ground, which makes sense to me.
Austin: You guys have played this before. Tell me why in this round, with so many people, it's not worth going for skulls
Austin: I was just gonna shoot Kevin lol
Austin: I'm gonna see if Zac and Tyler are amenable to cooperation on the competition. Can't hurt.
Austin: Best scenario is a win from <3 and a Kevin or Max backdoor, I think
Patrick: It's a gamble — shooting the ground is the "safe" play, I feel. And most people tend to play it safe round one. So, if you feel lucky (well, do you, punk?) an opening shot might not be a bad move.
Austin: Fortune favors the bold
Patrick: Agreed. Let me know on Zac — I'm sure I'll get bad info if I try him myself. And we know Matt/Joseph/Kevin/Max won't be straight with us.
Austin: Joseph will be straight with Liv, though.
Patrick: I'll never argue that. Not making a bold move is what cost me the SORG card game.
Austin: Matthew isn't out of the question per se
Patrick: Yeah? Even after last week? What do you think, Liv?
Austin: Well, Joseph didn't try and boot her, and didn't try to boot her "ally"
Olivia: Joseph was after Tyler anyway. When Matthew asked him for noms ideas he told him Tyler. He just went along with it because he thought it would get Tyler out.
Patrick: Ah, okay. That changes things.
Austin: I want to hear more bad things about me it makes me fucking giddy
Austin: Unless you guys are slamming me in your DRs that would be less enjoyable
Patrick: After last time, I'm downright tame this round. At least, when it comes to allies.
Austin: I don't remember you being hard on people in your sorg confessionals
Austin: Even with me it was fairly light, though I did take some heat
Patrick: Yeah, I s'pose that's true. Felt like a bit of a dick after realizing how unlike my image of you you were, though. But this time around, I'm more giving the audience a show and alternating between meaningful and total BS.
Olivia: In my experience, no matter what a DR says or how you treat people, there are still going to be people who hate you just because you outplayed them.
Austin: I didn't outplay anybody and I was reviled lol
Patrick: Yeah, I believe that. I think that's why people disliked Pauline somewhat by the end of SORG.
Olivia: The worst thing I ever called anyone in my DRs from the first game was 'dumb dumb'. While others were calling people bitch and cunt. But I still got hate because no one figured me out.
Patrick: Yeah, but you gave the impression you were playing too hard with that fake PM. Which is often just as bad.
Patrick: You were also pretty unscrutable, Liv. :P
Patrick: So the alliance on the other side, are they calling themselves The Underdogs?
Olivia: Lol, if you mean 'alliance' as in that's what Scarlett called me, her, and Kevin, then sure.
Patrick: Hah. I should've known it'd be her who'd lack subtlety.
Austin: their are people controlling the house
Austin: she better not be running her mouth about my are
Olivia: There are 3 posts in there, one of which is Kevin saying he was going to be awol last week because it was his birthday week. One of them is Scarlett celebrating Zac being penalty-nom'd, and one of them was the first one that says 'Hey'.
Patrick: How tragicaklly sad. Had I not cried at the sunrise this morning I would be openly weeping at such potential.
Olivia: She made it after Miranda posted about the High Five sub then added me and Kevin. And then it....sat there, lol
Patrick: Max: "yeah - think i caught him then. I mean, it could be Garrett, but i'm not sure. At least we know we have a nice connection between you, me and Kyle."
Austin: Sweet, now we just have to see what he says to you when I say things to him. That should be fun.
Patrick: Just hope he doesn't ask me about this comp. Because if I lie, that won't be hidden by a veil of anonymity,.
Austin: If he asks, consider trying to get him to shoot me. If we can get him onto shooting at me while I shoot myself, and you just change your mind late in the submission period, that could work. But best if it never gets brought up
Olivia: Has anyone heard from Garrett? I'm interested in what he thinks of this whole thing, too.
Austin: He's at work. Max went hard on him right after the vote. Said he'll be here once he's done
Olivia: Ahhh, gotcha.
Austin: Apparently Max made it obvious that he "thought it was him"
Olivia: Oye. Do we know what Kyle thinks? Does he blame one of you guys or Max?
Patrick: Yeah, Kyle was leaning that way too. Without explicitly pointing my finger at Max, I said I wasn't sure where the blame lay yet.
Austin: Kyle's ranking of likelihood was Garrett then Max
Austin: But if he's in on it he wants us to say Max. I told him that I agreed Garrett, but I was less suspicious of you than max
Patrick: Ugh. And it's entirely feasible they'd split it, too.
Austin: OK so what are we thinking for HoH?
Olivia: Like what we're doing for the round?
Patrick: Yeah. We can't exactly decide which of us should win this round. Priority one is to survive.
Austin: Yeah. Olivia you should be able to strikeup conversation with Kevin about targets, yeah?
Austin: And then if we align our suspicions about the person who was fucking around on the vote ith that person, vocally to max
Austin: Then it would be feasible to have that person be afraid of being targeted and shoot themselves, thus eliminating Kevin's side
Austin: Though, how strong is that "side" now? Are Nathan and Joseph locked in with him?
Austin: Kevin has to be reeling somewhat now, since things didn't go his way at all. And I don't know if there's actually a tight knit unit there. Max may be scrambling more because he doesn't have somewhere else concrete to go than anything else.
Patrick: I wonder if they thought ahead at all? If they thought more than one move ahead, they may not be as flapping in the wind as we think.
Patrick: If they're only one move ahead in their minds, they wouldn't have bothered to get a larger group. They'd have counted on the doubt tearing this side apart.
Austin: I doubt they had a contingency, though, for a vote they thought was guaranteed not existing -- this isn't even a thing you "should" have to plan for. To a degree, you have to take as given that people will actually play the game.
Olivia: With Scarlett gone there really isn't 'the other side'. Our group of 3 was the biggest group there was. It's all individual relationships. Joseph is the only one I know for sure that Kevin doesn't have a hold of. Well, and Tyler, cause he has no one. Nathan is pretty much inactive. Zac thinks he's all that but doesn't have any actual relationships other than Kevin. And Matthew's whole HoH was just controlled by Max.
Patrick: Hm. So it really is a case of "the fish rots from the head, so let's cut off the head."
Olivia: Of course, this leaves all of those people open to being scooped up by someone else now. And I won't be able to slow them down or shift them off our trail anymore.
Austin: While Matthew was controlled by them, he seems suuuuper timid
Olivia: But, if we can get rid of Max/Kevin/Kyle before they get organized, then it's just us and a ton of floaters.
Austin: I don't think scooping him up is impossible, but it definitely is tougher with the three men of our little operation here being setin stone in the eyes of others
Austin: OK, so suppose one of us is HoH and it's the end of the week -- who is Kevin up with where we can even get rid of him?
Austin: There will be 8 votes this week, so we would need 4. It would be the remainder of us, plus... any one person and we'd have HoH tiebreak
Patrick: Ideally we have Max and Kev up there, so Kev drops the act and Max goes home.
Austin: How would Kev drop the act from there?
Austin: Seems to me like he can keep his shit up indefinitely
Patrick: He'd know we're on to him. So he would know he hasn't got us fooled, at least.
Garrett joined the chat 8 seconds ago
Garrett: Hi guys!
Olivia: Hey hey!
Patrick: Hey dude.
Austin: Oh hey
Austin: This should perk us up since we've stagnated a bit
Austin: bh I'm not feeling great right now. Are we sure we won't have everyone else in the game shooting our way here?
Patrick: I'm worried. But we're not dead in the water yet.
Garrett: Sorry catching up now
Garrett: HA I'm sorry. But Max's screenshot is fucking incredible. It makes me want to cry.
Austin: aint it a beaut?
Garrett: Immediately after the vote Max and Kyle came to me doing the whole "Wow, that was close. Who do you think flipped?" Kyle came at it more so with a "I don't care who you voted for, but did you vote for Tyler?" type of deal.
Garrett: I told Max I had no idea but I felt like it couldn't have been Kyle since we both trust him and since I don't talk to Austin and Pat that I couldn't tell him one way or another, but obviously someone is up to something.
Garrett: And then he came at me with a "Do you NOT find this important to figure out? It should be the front of your mind" blah blah bullshit. Which I ALMOST just said, Dude I know it was you, lay off it.
Garrett: But instead I said it's pointless to go asking around. Nobody in their right mind is going to come clean to you and we'd be right back where we're at now
Garrett: And he said "I'm going to find out."
Garrett: And that's the last I've heard of my dear friend Max haha.
Austin: Kyle's and Max's messages to me were 5 minutes apart
Olivia: I don't know if it came up in y'alls game, but in BBORG1 faking a submission screenshot like that was 100% illegal. We should probably just tell Zach and get him penalized. It might make him easier to get out.
Austin: 5:25-5:30 Max-Kyke?
Austin: oh youre right i hadnt thought of that
Austin: DEF DOIT
Patrick: See, I DID think of that... but didn't see it listed in the wiki at all.
Patrick: I'll bring it up.
Garrett: Oh good point
Austin: now actually, if he knows we know it was him, is it better or worse for us?
Patrick: Probably better. Didn't Christian get more or less ostracized for it?
Olivia: Yeah, it was bad. We had so much of that kind of stuff in our game, it was nuts.
Austin: I don't think that he'll get much punishment though since it was never stated as illegal.
Patrick: Can't hurt to check. Worst case, Zac edits in a line, I guess? I won't even mention that I looked in the rules first.
Patrick: Honestly, if nothing else, it's worth a try. We probably won't be worse off.
Austin: Yeah him looking like a dirtbag would be funny. But he probably wouldn't trust you as much thereafter, even though he trusts you now
Olivia: Actually, in the wiki is this: " Should there be any player who will be caught cheating (which includes but is not limited to: using image editing software such as Photoshop to tweak their submission...."
Patrick: AFAIK I'm the only one he sent it to though. Unless one of you wants to take this one and just say I posted it in the Chatzy?
Austin: Ohhhh shit
Patrick: Oh shit. Totally missed that.
Austin: AW SHIT AW SHIT
Austin: l0l the infractions, so real
Austin: game is chock full of em
Patrick: Barred from participating in the challenge would be huge for us though.
Austin: (though he didn't tweak a submission, just a screencap of one)
Austin: I feel like I should take it, really
Austin: Though actually you appear to him to have soured on me
Patrick: Go for it, man. Seems like you're his "odd man out." Very easily could've sent it prior to our conversation.
Austin: Ah right, te idea being that you sent it to me before Max showed you the light of my horrendous actions during the vote
Olivia: Heard back from Kevin: "I'm so mad right now I don't even know what the say. We need this hoh more than ever or we're fucked."
Patrick: You despicable monster, you.
Austin: His anger pleases me
Patrick: Huh. So maybe that wasn't by design.
Austin: OK, so opinions of the rest of the family? I accuse max of impropriety?
Garrett: All you bud
Austin: Doesn't burn the Pat Max bridge, more definitively burns the me-Max bridge, probably gets him a punishment
Patrick: I don't know I'd go that far right off the bat. Try a more subtle approach, maybe? Something like "I think we might be dealing with a fake message here." Keep it diplomatic until Zach confirms it's fake, then go to town.
Garrett: Ah good cal Pat
Patrick: I'm with you. Positive it's fake. There are too many wonky details. But going in all guns blazing could be bad. Looks like we have even more of an agenda than we do.
Austin: Well, I'm just a stickler for the rules. I WILL NOT STAND FOR THIS
Austin: Actually it's hilarious
Austin: Liv, your thoughts? I'd just rather everyone's go-ahead lest I do something stupid.
Olivia: Oh, I'm totally down. Faking screenshots is bad business. And anything that possibly makes it easier to get him out, then I'm all behind that.
Austin: OK, gonna submit now then.
Garrett: BANG BANG
Garrett: Okay so can I shoot Kevin?
Austin: I was going to shoot Kevin, but I'm wondering if he'll expect that.
Garrett: If I were Kevin, I would assume I'm getting shot. Right?
Garrett: If he's so dead set on the SORG guys teaming up against his side of the house, he's got to know one of us is shooting him.
Garrett: So maybe we don't shoot him then?
Austin: Kevin will probably try to talk challenge strategy with Liv at some point I would think
Olivia: Hrm. I can't just ask him what he's going to do, there's no reason for me to need to know.
Garrett: Maybe come at it in a "I want to make sure we're not shooting the same person" type of mentality? You two can work together to make sure everyone else is gone.
Austin: That's what I was thinking as well.
Olivia: But then I have to say I'm shooting someone specific and the results are public.
Garrett: Ah good point.
Garrett: Maybe we just assume he's shooting himself in fear?
Austin: Right right. Only one safe to suggest in that scenariowould be Kyle. And that might or might not get to him -- Kevin wouldn't want to tell you not to shoot him but could be afraid to tell Kyle lest you sniff that out as well
Olivia: Let me at least see if I can get him talking about the comp in general and maybe it'll come out.
Austin: Here's the message I have for Z:
Austin: I believe there's an issue of a doctored message going on. If memory serves, this was a significant issue in BBORG1, and was punishable in some way. Looking at the wiki, cheating is only addressed in this way in the "Challenges" section, but I thought this worth bringing up. After the vote, Max sent Pat a screenshot trying to "prove" that he voted for Scarlett to be evicted. I'm fairly confident that this message was doctored based on the pixelation and text font. The image in question: https://i.imgur.com/dHkAKXA.jpg
Olivia: Very nice smile
Patrick: Looks solid to me, man.
Garrett: Good to go
Austin: God the picture is just so bad lol
Austin: Even if we didn't already know it was fake because we know how he voted, I'd know it was fake.
Patrick: Seriously. Talk about insane pixillation.
Patrick: And that karma font.
Austin: So do we think Kyle and Max are working together based on the spacing of their messages to each of us?
Austin: And do we think we can get anything out of him that will be useful in the challenge?
Garrett: I woudl say they're 99% working together, right?
Garrett: Slim chance they aren't.
Patrick: I think we have to assume so, yeah. Might turn out not to be anything. But better to prepare for the bombshell and have it just be recoil.
Patrick: RE: useful info, let me try. I think they both trust me enough.
Austin: Kyle still trusts you guys a little. I think you may want to insinuate to Kyle that I "might" shoot Kevin. See if that gets to him and he shoots himself
Austin: Meanwhile I should shoot someone innocuous like Zac
Austin: Probably not Joseph since he can talk to Liv
Austin: I dunno, thoughts? I'm loath to shoot ground because I bet, since I have my veto, that people will want me out of this comptetition sooner rather han later
Garrett: I'm talking to Kyle right now. Trying to reel him back in. Pick his brain. I think you shooting Zac is fine. Agree we leave Joseph alone. I may shoot the ground.
Garrett: Also Zac just messaged me. I'm gonna try to steer him to shooting the ground.
Austin: Also might shoot myself
Austin: IRL not in game
Austin: Nah but actually -- of the three of us, one is bound to get shot at, yeah?
Patrick: I'd think so, yeah. But if we all shoot at ourselves, we're putting the odds squarely against ourselves.
Austin: But of course
Austin: I just mean we would be well-suited to figure out which of us 3 is most likely
Patrick: I think realistically, you get shot at. Probably Garrett too if Max and/or Kyle suspect you two.
Austin: Yeah, just wanted to add for effect
Austin: Leaning towards fake-suicide. But I'll hold off and wait on the rumblings overnight, submit in the afternoon tomorrow (which means signing in to reddit at work, argh)
Garrett: Agreed. Though I don't know that they'll shoot me if they're trying to play me, you know? It would show that they don't trust me. They may have someone else do it though.
Garrett: Maybe I'll shoot Austin...
Austin: Put me out of my misery
Austin: Take me out back and put me down
Olivia: If we didn't need this HoH so bad you guys shooting each other would actually help dispel the notion that you're together.
Garrett: Yea I was thinking about that too. Depending on what happens in the first round, may not be a bad idea in the second round.
Austin: OK, so Zachary just messaged me back
Austin: And he said the message wasn't doctored??
Garrett: No way
Garrett: THAT message isn't doctored?
Austin: I'll be honest I just think he's straight up wrong
Austin: I have never seen a reddit post body with that font, have any of you? That on top of the pixelation and I'm just bamboozled
Garrett: No that's new to me
Austin: "This message is not doctored. I'll leave you to interpret what that means." -Zachary's exact response
Austin: Well I am honestly thrown for a loop
Garrett: Oh that makes it different
Garrett: That means Max wasn't lying
Austin: And then I messaged Z back saying "well I'll be damned, sure looks fucky to me"
Austin: To which he said "LM just has a crappy resolution on his computer"
Austin: Well, I guess that's the exact text of his confessional then, considering Zachary can easily check
Patrick: Well... shit. So Kyle fucked us? And if that's the case, is it possible he was working with Kevin alone?
Austin: So that means it was ONE OF YOU FUCKERS
Austin: or Kyle
Patrick: Oh my god
Austin: But wait... what if it was me?
Garrett: So wait, what benefit does this give Kyle?
Patrick: It was Olivia. The perfect crime. No vote, so obviously it all adds up!
Garrett: Austin Isweat
Garrett: I swear*
Austin: I sweat too. Profusely. Especially around women I'm interested in
Austin: Honestly I'm blown away that it was Kyle but it still hasn't hit me yet because I still can't believe that isn't a photoshopped screenshot
Garrett: Thanks for that
Austin: So, then, it was Kyle, and Kevin said it would be Max to the other folks as a test for leaks and to cover Kyle as his mole?
Austin: And to make Max an easy scapegoat if it didn't work out. Now that is some forethought I'll give them that.
Austin: But also this means that all our laughing while framing Garrett or me this afternoon didn't really do us any good... at all
Austin: HOW THE FUCK IS THAT A REAL SCREENSHOT LOL
Garrett: Did we get played again? But like through the same play?
Austin: I really don't know at all
Olivia: Just get a screenshot from Kyle and send it in. Just be like, "Max showed us a screenshot so we believe him, now it's your turn."
Austin: im stressin hard as fuck right now
Patrick: Same. And Zac's not helping with his million fucking questions either.
Garrett: I don't think we should be chasing Kyle for a screenshot. If anything it'll make him run faster from Pat (seeing as you got it from LM) and that's the only good bridge we have to him (likely). Though I guess if we can't trust him then what does it hurt? I don't know. Ugh. If we know if was him, then why push him into a corner and give him a reason to target us? Is this making any sense? I just keep writing words hoping it makes sense.
Patrick: FWIW: he did say he didn't believe in the whole screenshot thing.
Garrett: Who, Kyle?
Patrick: Yeah. Way prior to this conversation.
Austin: Yeah actually when I first started talking to him he did say the same to me
Garrett: Okay so how do we use this to move forward?
Olivia: What's the actual plan, then? If we're letting Max off the hook, I mean.
Patrick: I don't know. A part of me still wants to believe that's fake. But I mean... do we know that he did anything other than stay true to us?
Austin: Well the thing is, Zachary would know right away from the message body.
Patrick: Yeah, exactly. Which is why this is even fuckier. He wouldn't lie to us.
Patrick: He being ZZTop.
Austin: But of course
Garrett: Can we still assume Max and Kyle are together?
Patrick: I'd say probably. But only because Kyle's escaped suspicion so far. If you're talking "together" as in working with the other "side," which is pretty scattered... I don't know. Super helpful, I know.
Olivia: Here are the motives I can think of for how this vote went down: Someone didn't care which went home and wanted to throw a hinky vote for fun, Someone wanted to sow distrust, Someone wanted Tyler to go home over Scarlett.
Patrick: I'd wager the middle one. No better smokescreen than the one everyone hides behind because they don't know who to trust.
Patrick: I'm gonna get some sleep. But I'll be around all day tomorrow and won't be submitting my action until late. So if you guys get free at any point and want to bounce theories/strategies, I'm all ears.
Garrett: I don't know. It doesn't add up for me
Garrett: But agree Pat, I'm off as well.
Olivia: So what does Kyle have to gain from sowing distrust among you guys? I'm just trying to figure this out so we know how to plan around it.
Patrick: It's all hinky as hell. I wish I knew. Unless he wants to pin it on Max? But then, how would he know we were suspicious?
Olivia: Alrighty, nighty night!
Patrick: Talk to y'all tomorrow. <3 Will check in here first thing in the a.m. in case I miss something.
Garrett: I'm going to shoot the ground just FYI
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