As published by The Footy Almanac 3 May 2014
I hope you don’t mind me writing you an open letter like this. But it seems the only way to get your attention since you walked out on me six months ago.
I wanted you to know I’m doing OK. Better than OK, in fact.
Your ‘dad’ was right, this game wasn’t all about you. But by the same token, losing you has taught me a lot about myself.
Since you’ve been gone I feel a great weight has been lifted. The future looks so much brighter now without your disruptive influence. I dunno, it seemed to develop some time after Ross Lyon anointed you the pick of the competition. When I think back to that end of season surfing trip you took instead of getting your ankle fixed, it was the first sign your passion lay elsewhere.
How’s that going, by the way? I noticed your shanked attempt at goal in the first quarter and I couldn’t help but feel mildly
concerned amused. At least your long sleeved #39 helped me recognise you more easily from afar, and it was very chilly out.
And then when you couldn’t even kick over little Luke standing the mark in the third quarter, well I understand you lashing out at your former flag buddies. As your father said, you were just a sideshow. Making a tool of yourself in front of me and my 60,000 friends – I felt embarrassed for you.
Where were your new friends Daise? Wasn’t it your mob’s home game? They were so quiet, even when Carlton were allowed a bunch of face saving goals at the end.
Anyway, I feel so much more resilient this year, I have my intensity back. Yes, I play the field nowadays, I must confess. Big Jarrod and Brodie, young Tom in the backline, what a find! And I still have my great Danes – Beamer was sooo good! Such a dependable finisher, hits the spot every time!! Josh Thomas, Monty Dwyer, Frostie, Marley and the mercurial Billy Elliott. Oh Billy Billy… As Kate Ceberano sang, ‘young boys are my weakness’. Actually, they’re my strength.
Come to think of it, who needs you?
Well I needed you.
I needed you from the time you burst into my life at the Docklands in Round 1 2006. It was the best first quarter by a debutante I’d seen. Besides your glorious Ronnie Wearmouth locks, you had me when you soared for that audacious grab in the goal square. Despite the uninformed naysayers who pigeon holed you as a flashy lair, you were the real deal. The spark with freakish ability – that left foot banana from 50m on the run against West Coast in 2011 was divine. Yet you also did all the thankless chores like chasing and tackling and smothering. And when we went to the big dances in 2010 you were so wonderful to me. You were always there when I needed you most. But love can be such a miserable lie.
Not that I really care anymore, we drifted apart and you got the seven year itch. I’ve moved on. I got what I wanted out of you. And you got your fair share in return. That’s life, that’s football.
But before I sign off, can I just ask you to please keep an eye on your father. He always wore the cranky pants but he’s fast becoming a parody of himself. I guess coaching your mob would send most men bonkers.
They say time heals all wounds. We’ll see, I suppose. Maybe one day we’ll catch up and reminisce about all those electrifying nights and pleasant afternoons we shared.
Carlton 1.2 1.5 2.7 10.10 (70)
Collingwood 3.4 7.6 10.15 14.20 (104)
Goals – Carlton: Henderson 2, Robinson, Bell, Casboult, Gibbs, Warnock, McLean, Everitt, Garlett
Collingwood: Beams 4, Elliott 3, Cloke 2, Witts 2, Ball, Dwyer, Grundy
Best – Carlton: Buckley, Murphy, Tuohy, Gibbs
Collingwood: Langdon, Beams, Blair, Elliott, Pendlebury, Frost, Witts