Anytime we log onto a website and see the “Unavailable due to maintenance,” or some similar message, we have to wonder what will greet us the next time.
A couple of bookie websites were absent over the weekend and while we do not promote one over the others, we prefer things to remain the same. Maintenance implies a tweak here and a twitch there, but from what we have seen in the past, the next visit to a maintained website requires us to get re-acclimated.
That all began as a desire to see how the bookies viewed the 2019 premiership picture following the completion of Round 22 of the Toyota 2019 AFL Premiership competition.
The Brisbane Lions have topped the ladder with a scintillating win over the Geelong Cats, but they are not on the top line of any of the bookies we investigated in terms of winning the premiership.
They have climbed to the fourth line, with Geelong, West Coast and Richmond still above.
All that aside, Richmond went into 2019 with high expectations all around, while Brisbane, regardless of how finals play out, has had a remarkable turnaround in the span of one season.
The Lions won all of five games last season to finish in 15th position and they spent numerous weeks on 17th and were at the bottom following Round 8 of the 2018 season.
Only St. Kilda, Gold Coast and Carlton finished lower.
When you are down so far and so long that it begins to look like up to you, it is typically when the rebuild button is pushed and key performers are exchanged for the occasional impact player, but more often for draft picks that have yet to play senior football.
The Brisbane Football Club brought in Chris Fagan following 2016 and they have given him the time to develop the club and its players from bottom dwellers to the position in which they currently find themselves, which is one win away from the minor premiership.
Fagan’s arrival roughly coincides with the arrival of Bernie “Gabba” Vegas, who we believe deserves some the credit for the resurrection of the Lions.