An Open Letter to Jake Carlisle

Dear Jake
Noel Gallagher once told us that we might as well do the white line cause, you know, what else is there? Not sure if you’re aware of his story, but he later regretted that, especially when he had to spend a very, very long weekend getting clean, locked in his house with just some orange juice and a bit of chocolate to keep him company. Not to mention those many plodding, go-nowhere songs haunting his every waking hour.
Anyway, another line of his that sprung to mind today was his advice not to put our lives in the hands of a rock ‘n’ roll band. True enough – and I guess we’d be equally well advised not to put our lives in the hands of young men who, instead of guitars, are pretty handy at running and kicking a football. No one asked you to be a role model, right?
True enough again. But let me tell you a story. I was at a Sainters game last season, sat next to a lovely woman who, judging by the wisdom age had engraved in her fascinating face, had seen a few games. She told me about the highs and lows that every supporter experiences, in her case the wooden spoons, the one flag, the near flags, the great wins that don’t mean much in the scheme of a season but really lift your spirits for a week.
Let’s call this woman Mary, for no other reason than Springsteen calls every woman in his songs Mary and that’s good enough for me. Last season wasn’t great in terms of results and ladder position and all that sort of on-field stuff, but Mary didn’t mind, she was happy to see a change in attitude among the players and a willingness to give each game a really good shake up. Then she told me this: “Most of all I’m just glad I’m no longer reading about St Kilda on the front page.”
Now guess who was on the front page today.
Like a suicide bomber you turn up to destroy the smiles of people like Mary – boom! – a mere hours after the club was celebrating your signature. The hard work, the hours of negotiation, the celebration, the anger. Think about that for a second. Here we are sitting shiva again for the reputation of our club.
Thing is, no one is asking you to be a role model, to be a saint as opposed to just a Saint. Y’all without sin can cast the first stone, to quote H I McDonough. If you want me to tell you about all the reckless things I did when I was 24, we’d be here for a good while. Stupid young man? I ticked all those boxes. And there’s not a day goes by without me praising Yahweh, Vishnu, Allah, Stevie and all the gods that social media wasn’t around back then. My many moments of weakness stayed in the moment and weren’t recorded for all of humanity to viscously deride, so please take this in the spirit it’s intended. (Still, social media has been around for a while now, so hopefully you were stupid enough to do it but not that stupid as to be surprised at what’s happened.)
So no, we’re not asking you for perfection. What we are asking is that you don’t embarrass the club, the coaches and management and volunteers and team mates – the people who put so much effort into bringing you into the fold – who have put so much into making St Kilda something we can associate ourselves with without cringing. You don’t have our lives in your hands, but you do hold a few simple hopes and dreams, and that’s important. Your choices, whether you like it or not, have consequences. Or as another smart arse put it: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
I’m not sure how long it will take for you to pay the club back. I’m not saying we’ll never learn to dig your groove, but I’d advise you not to expect a bunch of palms under your feet as soon as you’ve kicked a few goals. There’s a hierarchy of importance at play here.
I guess what I’m essentially saying is this: we all need to blow off some steam occasionally and you may have been snorting nothing more than whizz fizz and regardless no one is saying you’re Ben Cousins and there’s no need to get prudish and hypocritical and we all know the war on drugs is a crock and all that, but next time you feel like being a stupid young man, can you just put the bloody phone away?
I don’t think that’s asking too much.
Yours etc.
Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells


  1. Cat from the Country says

    Good to see Disgusted from Tunbridge Wells is alive and well
    My hubby and I often use this expression

  2. Mark 'Swish' Schwerdt says

    Who is going to read it to him?

  3. Neil Anderson says

    I understood exactly what you mean about Jake hurting someone like Mary. There are a lot of us ‘Marys’ out there ( not in the effeminate sense) that keep supporting our one-premiership teams through thick and thin. We have an unexpected win and we just float through the next week on a high ( drug-free).
    We see a star recruit signed after a lot of two and fro-ing and we can picture our team bound for finals once more.
    How dare someone like the Johny- come-lately Jake Carlisle hurt someone like Mary who is a long-time stalwart of the Club and take away her dreams!

  4. I really wonder why the issue of Carlisle and his Coke use is so newsworthy/. What a person does in his own time and space is their own issue. The fact that a story of this nature is published to tittilate the ‘interest’ of the public reflects the paucity of what our opinion makers deem newsworthy. How/why i s this of any one’s interest ? what the bloke does off the field should not be newsworthy.


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