AFL Round 14 – West Coast v Essendon: In Jobe we trust

My Bombers had spent yet another week in the headlines. It had been a constant theme throughout the year so far. Caroline Wilson seemed to be writing a weekly column on who at Essendon should be standing down – her bloodlust matching that of a hyperactive executioner. Damian Barrett was regularly consulting his trusty iPad and looking sternly at the camera. It was symptomatic of a trigger happy media trying to be heard over the constant hum of the 24-hour news cycle.

This time it was Jobe Watson’s turn. At the start of the week he shocked us with a frank admission that last year he believes he was administered anti-obesity drug AOD-9604. The debate over what price he should pay for this lit up talk back radio switchboards and filled social media all week. Confusion has reigned supreme throughout this whole drug saga and most of the discussion surrounding it seems to be based on mere speculation. Add to this the feeling that there is a significant grey area and you end up with a baffling scenario. I just want the investigation to be complete and for all to be laid bare; for better or for worse.

As a passionate Essendon man, the first half of the 2013 season has been a sweet and sour experience. I have relished the scintillating football that we have played and celebrated the momentous victories. And yet a dark cloud hovers above it all: the ASADA investigation. An optimist, I hope for the best and I also take solace in the confident assertions from James Hird that all will be okay and how he cannot wait for that moment so he can tell all.

Amongst all this drama, the team headed across the Nullarbor to play West Coast. The last time we beat the Eagles in Perth was in 2001. When we were kings.

On a lighter note, I was to spend the night of the game making a footy banner. It was only two nights before the annual Battle of the Boofheads social footy match, a celebration of suburban mediocrity and a chance for novices to pull on the boots and pretend they are good at footy. Tradition dictates that on the Thursday night before the game, I head to my old housemate’s place to construct a crepe paper monument that I, a 30-year-old man, will run through in two days time. The ludicrous nature of this ritual is not lost on us and just in case it was, our wives point it out at regular intervals. So with the footy on in the background, we set about cutting out letters – scissors in hand and tongues protruding from mouths.

The Bombers started well, and took an early lead. Then the Eagles pegged it back to trail by just three points at the first break. From there, the game ebbed and flowed, and the first three quarters would eventually be remembered as a mere narrative flow towards what was set to be a classic final quarter. At three quarter time, the Eagles led by 17 points. On paper it was not an insurmountable deficit, but in this game it had the potential to be. The Eagles are known to play their home turf well and the question remained of whether the Bombers could stay with them on the open expanses of Patersons Stadium.

Banner complete, it was time to put the feet up and commit all attention to the next half hour.

As with most close finishes, the final quarter appears to be filled with key moments. It is at these times you want to see who stands up to the pressure. As the home straight looms and the whips start cracking, the usual suspects get busy. Watson and Goddard seem to be everywhere, willing themselves to contests and providing some comfort to a nervous fan sitting on the edge of a couch some 3,436 kilometres away. That sort of performance has become expected of these guys, so it was nice to see Heppell join them in the fray, regularly getting his hands on the ball and having influence. Kommer was also active, committing his body to contests and knocking the ball to our favour. First he gets taken high and Davey profits with a goal. Then he attempts a miraculous shot at goal from the boundary… it hits the post.

The players look tired but desperate. Goddard marks and goals from a set shot about 45 metres out and on the boundary. We lead by a point. The mayhem continues until Gaff finds LeCras and he levels the scores with a goal.

Myers lasers a pass to Carlisle through a thick mire of players. Commentators are prone to hyperbole and one of them questions whether it is one of the greatest kicks of all time. As grand as that sounds, it is not far from the truth. But the kicking heroics are not all for Myers to have. Carlisle converts his shot from outside 50 and pressed against the boundary line. A handy kick from a backman in such an important stage of the game.

Melksham jags a handy point if there has ever been one. The Eagles’ last foray forward is quelled. The ball rebounds to Essendon’s end and Heppell puts the icing on the cake with a run in goal just seconds before the siren.

Jobe wanders around the ground in a daze. He avoids the cameras, he has said enough this week. He looks in tears when his teammates come rushing to him after the game. He has put it yet another colossal performance at a time when everyone was watching to see how he would respond.

The spirit and fire that the Bombers have shown this year has been outstanding. We can only speculate the outcome of the ASADA investigation, but in the mean time it would be rude not to acknowledge the on-field efforts of the Bombers in the first half of season 2013.

 

 

West Coast          3.4           6.6          12.10             13.13           (91)
Essendon             4.1           6.3          10.5               15.8              (98)

Goals

West Coast:     Darling, LeCras 3, Kennedy, Dalziell 2, Cox, Kerr, Priddis
Essendon:        Winderlich 3, Carlisle, Watson, Davey 2, Goddard, Dempsey, Crameri, Heppell, Merrett, Ryder

Best

West Coast:           Priddis, Cox, Dalziell, Masten, Kennedy
Essendon:              Watson, Carlisle, Zaharakis, Stanton

Umpires:                C. Kamolins, R. Chamberlain, D. Margetts

Official crowd:      36,451

Our votes:             3 Watson (Ess.)     2 Carlisle (Ess.)      1 Priddis (WCE)

About Ged McMahon

Ged McMahon has been a Bombers fan for as long as he can remember. With a Grandpa who grew up just a spiralling torpedo punt from Windy Hill he didn't have much choice. When his junior football career resulted in almost as many possessions as games he eventually had to bite the bullet and give up his dream of captaining the Bombers to a Premiership. So his weekly footy fix became confined to the stands. He yearns for the next Premiership.

Comments

  1. If I were at Essendon, I’d be trusting no one. Granted, as a Carlton supporter who hates the Bombers with the heat of a thousand suns, there’s an element of conformation bias in this whole debate, but anyone who thinks ASADA’s investigation begins and ends at AOD-9604 is kidding themselves. If that were the limit of the investigation it’d be wrapped up months ago.

    Just for fun, Google GHRP-6, CJC-1295, IGF-1, SARM, Hexarelin and CJC-1295…

  2. .Litza .. the heat of a thousand suns!!!!!! Ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I too hate the Bombers with the heat of a thousand suns and will gut laugh with the wickedness of a thousand demons when they’re stripped of their points. I mean, when you listen to their deluded fans on talkback radio, you can’t help but revel in the rude wake up that awaits them. Greatly looking forward to what’s around the corner.

    On your report Ged, good work and always like your posts, but I have to pull you up about the Dons showing spirit and fire this year. Is it in fact as you say spirit and fire, or is it the peptides kicking in? The shame is we’ll never know, will we?

  3. *confirmation bias*

    Also I mentioned CJC-1295 twice… well, three times actually as CJC-1295 and Hexarelin are one and the same.

  4. Yeah it is a bit of a mystery T Bone. Obviously it didn’t help us last year with our late season fade out and slew of soft tissue injuries!

    As a fan it’s unsettling to think what the findings of the investigation will reveal. But as a fan it’s also my perogative to look on the bright side and hope for the best. That’s where my appreciation of their spirit and fire comes from. Some of the wins they’ve produced this year have been very impressive, regardless of the external pressure on the club due to the investigation.

  5. P.S. Even though the “heat of a thousand suns” was being used against my team on this occasion, it’s a very impressive saying!

  6. Ged

    Yeah that thousand suns line is a ripper. I plan to steal … I mean, use it down the track.

    And again on those wins you’ve had this year, it must be sobering to think that they may have been achieved thorugh the performance enhancing advantage your blokes have had. Like it must be hard to cheer on your boys when you can’t be sure that it’s juts guts and determination out there.? All the same, I guess you Dons fans have to make the best of the situation and appreciate it on some level. I know I would if it were my dogs.

  7. Pamela Sherpa says:

    The Bombers have been great to watch this season Ged. I’m enjoying their direct , positive, inspiring footy. There’s nothing like a crisis to galvanise a team.

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