Perhaps that was the "Saturday we had to have".
As you know by now, I don't do excuses. So, instead, allow me to, completely impartially, present you with the details of what I'm now calling "Sobering Saturday". (Yes, there were other, less G-rated alternatives that I considered.)
Game 1: Geelong v Fremantle
The Cats dominate Freo and build steadily to lead by 55 points, 70-15, at the 5-and-a-half minute mark of the 3rd term, already covering the 47.5 points start we'd given.
They score only 24 more points in the game's remainder and concede 39, eventually winning by only 40 points, securing our head-to-head bet but surrendering our line bet in the process.
The Recommended Portfolio drops 0.9% - a mocking portent of what was to come.
Game 2: Hawthorn v Essendon
The Hawks complete two solid quarters of football and lead by 28 points late in the 2nd term before conceding the term's final goal to usher the Dons into the half-time break with just a sniff, trailing by 22 points.
Essendon pile on 21 unanswered points from the 7 minute to the 16 minute mark of the 3rd term before the Hawks briefly steady and limp into the 3-quarter-time break still up by 5 points.
But the signs are already there, and the Dons swamp the Hawks in the final term, scoring 6.7 to 3.3 to win by 17 points.
The Recommended Portfolio drops another 5.1% and a trend is established.
Game 3: Carlton v Adelaide
Carlton impress early to lead the Crows by 30-8 at the 17 minute mark of the 1st term but muster just 2 more goals in the 1st term while conceding 6 to finish the term with a 5 point lead.
They then kick just 9 more goals in the game while the Crows kick 21.
The Recommended Portfolio drops another 3.4% and we have what a stockmarket analysis might call a bear run.
Game 4: Sydney v Brisbane Lions
The Swans lead early - hmmm, there's a familiar theme - but never by much, and proceed to leak goals from the middle of the 2nd term to the early part of the 3rd, finding themselves down by 39 points at the 8 minute mark of the 3rd term.
Cruelly, over the course of the next 17 minutes they kick 5.1 to 0.0 to close within 8 points of a faltering Lions, before the Lions kick a confidence-restoring goal just before the final break.
Next, the Swans register the opening 13 points of the final term to trail by just a point. At the 15 minute mark of the term the Lions kick their first goal, to which the Swans reply some 10 minutes later to restore the deficit to 1 point. But the Lions scramble and cling on to win by 8 points.
The Recommended Portfolio drops another 4.3% and optimism excuses itself and leaves by the nearest exit.
Game 5: Port Adelaide v Kangaroos
Port are scratchy - they need to win by over 100 points to have a chance of making the finals, but you'd never guess it - but eke out a 20-point lead by the 10-and-a-half minute mark of the 3rd term.
What follows has, by now, a hint of inevitability.
Port enter stage left and concede 19 points in 5 minutes before snagging briefly on a ledge on the way down, registering a couple of late behinds to face the final term with a lead of just 3 points.
The Roos kick the opening 7 points of the final term to lead by 4, before Port scrambles three behinds to fool the audience and trail by 1. The suspense is deftly built as a handful of behinds are traded - though both teams are ostensibly in the market for goals - before Port secures a 6-pointer 30 seconds into time-on to lead by 4.
Port glances to the stage wings and whispers "prompt" and then, remembering its lines, concedes 1.2 - the goal coming from a debatable 50m penalty - while eschewing further point-scoring itself and goes on to lose by 4 points. Right on cue.
The Recommended Portfolio drops another 3.4% and the day's destruction is over.
In summary, for those with the Recommended Portfolio: the New Heritage Fund recorded 3 winning wagers from 6 bets, dropping 19.4%; Prudence snagged 2 from 3 but still dropped 3.6%; Hope lost its only bet and dropped 6.7%; Chi-squared lost 3 of 3 and plummeted 26.9%; and Line Redux landed just 1 of 4 and fell by 21.4%.
So, the Recommended Portfolio fell by 15.4%, leaving it down about 2.5% on the season. Other portfolios fell by between 15% and 20%, leaving them narrowly to moderately up on the season. The best portfolio is MIN#017's, which is up by a tick under 12%.
Anyway, on to tipping.
Astonishingly, BKB has finished out of the MAFL Tipster medals this year. Silhouette - who registered 6 from 8 this week, equal-best with Shadow - finished 1st, with an incredible 124 from 176 (71%). Second went to CTL with 120 (68%), and 3rd went to Shadow with 119 (68%).
ELO and BKB finished joint-4th on 117 (67%).
Four tipsters finished the home-and-away season in the black on level-stake, start in Round 6, Home Team only wagering: Silhouette, CTL, Shadow, and STM II. This is the fourth consecutive season in which these tipsters have finished in profit using such a strategy.
On line betting, ELO recorded a modest 4 from 8, but is still up on level-stake wagering, now by just under 7 units. Chi managed just 3 from 8 to drop further into deficit for the season.
ELO's MAPE now stands at 28.6 points per game and its Median Absolute Prediction Error at 23 points per game, leaving it narrowly behind BKB's MAPE (28.3 points) and narrowly ahead of BKB's Median APE (23.5 points). Chi languishes on both measures, with a 30.7 points per game MAPE and a 27 point Median APE, though neither of those results are of a "go to your kennel" level of incompetence.
So, on to the Finals ...
(Congratulations go to Dan on winning the Pick the Finishing Order Competition. Plaudits too go to Tim and Rohan who finished 2nd and 3rd.)