Melbourne's season went from bad to worse over the weekend with the team's loss to Brisbane compounded by a re-emergence of the club's cliché crisis.
Speaking after the loss to the Lions, coach Mark Neeld again found himself unable to accurately employ some of the game's most overused phrases.
"It really pains me to admit that we're struggling, so I'm saying this through gritty teeth," Neeld said.
"When we won a couple of games, I thought we'd really turned away from the corner. It was a real fill up for the guys. I felt we were trajecting in the right direction and it was like a bowl of fresh air around the place.
"Then the mistakes started to crack open and we went from chocolates to boiled lobsters very quickly. Since then there haven't been too many highlights to speak to home about.
"There's been a lot of congesture over what's gone wrong, but I think the players have just lost competence in each other, and themselves.
"I have to admit, that doesn't all go well for the rest of the season. But we have to keep fighting.
"And you know, it's not the size of the fight in the dog, it's the size of the dog. And it's dog-eat-dog out there, so it had better be a big dog. And the breed too. I think the breed would have an effect. So it's not just the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the dog in the dog, and the breed of the dog. And we're the right breed. Although we're not the Dogs."
Demons' CEO Cameron Schwab was dismayed after Neeld's press conference, and increasingly concerned that the coach's problems might be contagious.
"This is a sad day for the Melbourne Football Club, a club that has always used clichés to maximum effect," he said. "Our legendary coach Norm Smith must be jumping into his grave right now."