AFLM Round 21 – Melbourne v St Kilda: When “Good Grief” turns into “WTF” and then hope


Sunday 13th August 1.10pm


Yvette Wroby


The MCG is the Saints house of horrors.  There are not many good recent memories associated with the mighty home of football.


On this day, like most of the others, the best parts were the people I went with.  Aunty Betty, Uncle Bob, Gary and friend Melinda. Bob et al arrived first, and scored some seats on the wing on Level 1, all the better to see the game close-up. The seats and my family and friend were the best things about the day.


The sun did shine and my Rooey 300 cap and sunglasses protected me from the rays. That was good.


These last weeks have seen a stream of retirements unlike any time I can remember.  Almost every day, a player who I have known in my last 16 years of footy attendance, has retired. This week it was Bob Murphy. Nick Riewoldt the week before, and he was still out concussed this week. It’s a time of sadness for the clubs and supporters. A time to reflect and appreciate and thank many for their service.


So much was riding on this game. Dreams and expectations.  One of the two clubs would have a ‘chance’ at the finals push. One would continue a few more rounds with spring in their step. The other would have two more irrelevant games and restart 2018 with fresh vigour.


All this leads me to grief. The grief of another season gone. The grief of losing people we know as players. Coaching staff. De-listed players. The footy season. The hopes and dreams that flow along with a season for your club.


And most of all, the grief of watching your team be horrible on the day. Melbourne scored the first 5 goals of the game, Jack Viney, James Harmes two in a row, Dom Tyson, all kicked straight before Josh Bruce gets his one and only. Harmes starred for the Dees with another before Cameron Pedersen. Six goals to the Dees, and one to the Saints. That right there is a crappy start to a footy match. All the hope and dreams washed away in 30 minutes of footy. You could feel the deflation around the ground in the Saints supporters and team, and the inflation and excitement as the Dees had fun and celebrated. I was seriously jealous. I wanted what they were having.


The second quarter improved a little for Saints and their fans. Max Gawn started the quarter but at least Jack Billings got a goal (although through the day he missed three others.) Melbourne quickly answered through Alex Neal-Bullen. Maverick Weller kicked a beauty and Luke Dunstan gave us a moment to think we were on a comeback trail. Pederson answered quickly and they were still over 5 goals ahead at the main break.


‘Good grief’, I can hear Charlie Brown say. In other words, WTF, but just more innocently.


St Kilda then found their mojo. Tim Membrey started a comeback, Jake Melksham answered. We went on a run of goals – Dunstan, Jack Sinclair and Jimmy Webster showed we DID know how to kick goals and cleanly pass and outrun and out tackle.


But when we got to within 4 points of Melbourne via Membrey in the last, they just kicked away. Jeff Garlett, Mitch Hannan, Hanna again. Sinclair got his second and the Saints last. Melksham finished us off.  Melbourne players and supporters were deliriously happy while we trudged home.


Grief. Footy grief taps into all the others we have in our lives.  It is the end, and all we can hope is that endings are just signs of new beginnings. And that such sad games give our young players the same pain as it gives supporters, as well as motivation to improve in the years to come.

About Yvette Wroby

Yvette Wroby writes, cartoons, paints through life and gets most pleasure when it's about football, and more specifically the Saints. Believes in following dreams and having a go.


  1. Cat from the Country says

    Grief and frustration Yvette, in equal parts.
    I have experienced it too in my 50 + years of following Geelong.
    Like you I hang in there through thick and thin, coz that is what supporters do.

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