AFL Round 21 – Essendon v North Melbourne: Not talking about it

On Saturday night, the Dons came up against the Roos after a week that had seen the Bombers go from Mexico, to New Mexico, then back to Mexico again (Mind you, if those particular substances were sourced from Sweden, they’d probably be ‘cutting edge’)

Essendon’s last 3 weeks had seemingly not filled the faithful with confidence and given the vitriol delivered to some players by a vocal few (I simply can’t say minority) last week, it didn’t surprise me to see a low home game crowd.

Given I was attending with work colleagues and a potential client, I had a level 2 seat to enjoy but normally I’d be in the members seats. Although the last three weeks have been terrible, there have been some stirring on-field efforts this year, so I’m not sure it’s right to be jumping off now.

From here on, I could talk about the game.

I could talk about how Lindsay Thomas scored the first goal with the poise of a man who is in form and knew he would have a fair few opportunities.

I could talk about how Jake Melksham slotted a long bomb on the left that caught everyone by surprise, and then he went on to play a match that proved (again) that he is worth following and that he is dedicated to improving.

I could talk about Todd Goldstein showed how a big bodied and powerful ruckman can influence a game, and that anyone who thinks it is an easy gig is kidding themselves.

I could talk about how Daniel Wells makes the crowd look like a tired 1950s movie blue-screen background when he’s running.

I could talk about how my wife says “I would love to have Drew”, and that she means that she wants Petrie to represent her beloved Lions. Mind you, if she didn’t mean that I probably wouldn’t mind anyway, as he seems like a helluva guy.

I could talk about how Heath Hocking won the battle with Boomer Harvey, and that that is a fair effort as Harvey has often spoke of how much he loves playing Essendon.

I could talk about how Alwyn Davey needs to take the diving out of his game as (a) he’s not very good at it, (b) it makes it a lot harder for me to get on my high horse about other players who do it, (c) he can lift the side with his tackling and chasing, so he should stick to that, and (d) my hat now smells of Carlton Draught after I threw it down in disgust. Although, given the price of the cup, the hat has probably doubled in value.

I could talk about how I had no idea who Levi Greenwood is, but I do now.

I could talk about how the Roos did it so easily and might just spend the summer seething and be a very good side next year.

I could talk about how Joe Daniher looked likely but that his goalkicking action is clumsy and that he needs a summer spent with M Lloyd. Although there’s nothing wrong with that.

And I could probably finish on the heart-warming (yet admittedly fleeting) performances by O’Brien and Dalgleish and how if we were British soccer fans we’d already have a song for each of them.

But I don’t really want to talk about any of it. I’ve talked about them all year and what’s worse, I’ve had enough of everyone else talk about them.

People who lap it up for either light hearted or sinister reasons.

People who claim to suddenly care about players getting injections when “getting a jab” or doing “whatever it takes” has in previous years signalled nothing but bravery.

People who are using it as a vehicle for self-promotion to be a greater part of the same industry that seemingly disgusts them.

People who make a living off the passion, loyalty and myopic and irrational views of the sports fan and then deride them for not being pragmatic or impartial enough on an issue concerning their club.

People who see my ramblings as just that…

Hopefully the crowds pick up in the next couple of weeks and we are well represented in the stands if we play finals (yes, I said ‘if’).

The consensus seems to be that the players are ‘over it’, and that the determination displayed on the Anzac Day, the Carlton win and the Perth wins has been sucked out of them. Let’s not forget though that this drop off has happened in previous years, so who the hell knows.

One would say that the Dons are no chance against the in-form Blues this week, especially since they can still get to the finals. But many thought the same thing before Round 4 last year. Footy can do that.

That why’s people believe. People who buy $150 memberships that don’t actually get you into the ground. People who buy newspaper subscriptions. People with Pay TV. People who go to watch training

People like Essendon.


Essendon                     1.3 4.8 6.12 9.16(70)

North Melbourne        2.3 7.6 13.10 17.13 (115)



Essendon: Melksham 3, Bellchambers, Davey 2, Hardingham, Kommer 1

North Melbourne: Wells 4, Petrie, Tarrant 3, Wright, Cunnington, Bastinac, Thomas, McMillan, Grima, Gibson 1



Essendon: Hibberd, Hocking, Melksham, Watson

North Melbourne: Wells, Goldstein, Greenwood, Wright, Hansen


Umpires: Farmer, Hosking, Jeffery

Official crowd: 34,102


Our Votes: 3 Wells 2 Goldstein 1 Greenwood

About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.


  1. Well said Andrew. I like the view that faith is belief in the absence of proof. Still its harder to believe in Jesus, Yahweh and the Anti-Christ at the moment than my Eagles or your Bombers.

  2. Andrew Starkie says

    Andrew, this was a horrible game. two teams battling their demons. Both lacked direction and confidence and skill. Couldn’t believe when I was told i had to line up for a tix to discover only 34,000 inside. Atmosphere was flat, Essendon are a shell of former selves. A sad day for footy.

  3. AE, I’m running with this for all it’s worth.

    I had too many Bomber fans who would NOT LET UP vis-a-vis salaray cap cheating (despite your mob getting busted for the same crime).

    That said, Saturday night’s just the sort of occasion where they may turn things around. I’m bringing my asterisk sign just in case.

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