Big Jon, Big Shadow

For the second week running the tone of my weekend was to be determined by Thursday evening. Having spent the past seven days on the fine line between great expectation and misguided hope the clash between the Blues and the Lions would give the Juddites a truer indication of “where we are at”. Buoyed by the two home and away victories over Brisbane last season, and conveniently dismissing the failure in the ensuing final, which was put down the “lack of bog game experience”, I thought the Blues were a chance.

The much hyped Blues Vs Fev seemed a little over done given they had played against each other a month or so ago in a practice match.  However, the sight of “The Troubled One” in the blue and maroon still takes some getting used to. Having gone through the match ups I felt the boys lined up pretty well against the Lions with the exception of one player.  The midfields were pretty even and the Kruze Controller was more than a match for the Lions Big men.  There were lots of variable in both defences and obviously the combination of “The Troubled One” and Brown was fraught with danger.  However, I was confident the Jammo could do the job of Fev, even with the kryptonite wrist band, and hoped that The Gap Filler might be able to go with Brown and hopefully drawn him up the ground.  The Blues forward structure was the same as Rd 1 with the emphasis again on multiple goal kickers and a big body in the Spudman as a target in the square. It worked against the Tigers but so would a snake charmer.

The first 15 minutes were dominated by the Blues with the Brisbane midfield looking like a herd of hapless water buffalos.  But that dominance was repaid with sloppy finishing.  The lions eventually woke up and made the Blues pay for their inaccuracy.  Thornton, ever the sentimentalist, gifts Fev two goals and the Lions go into the quarter break up by 9 points. The trend continued in the second quarter with the Blues squandering more scoring shots as the more economical Lions increased their lead to 22 point at the half time. Brisbane lead was not a reflection of the game.  The four straight to1goal 5 points was however a reflection of the Carlton’s abysmal kicking. 3.11for a half of footie is the stuff of the Under 8s.

The third quarter saw the Blues hit their straps.  Murphy dominated the midfield and the flow of footie into the forward line was direct and, importantly, resulted in the more impressive return of 6.3 for the quarter. Brock McLean was good despite being an average ex-Melbourne hack that has a track record that doesn’t auger well for Brownlow Night.  Speaking of ex-Melbourne hacks.  Hasn’t Travis “Catweasle” Johnstone found some consistency.  Now if he could only find a barber. Henderson and the Spudman presented as genuine targets and The Gap Filler was dangerous off half back with clever forays into the forward line. The Blues were hot and lead the Lions by literally 7 points at three quarter time despite a late Brisbane goal. “The Troubled One” may as well have been playing cards down the road.

I could smell revenge. The Blues were on top and looked like going on with it after an early goal to FBM Gibbs. Then it happened. Just as it did last September and in the immortal words of Johnny Cash;

“Through the dust and the smoke of this man made hell,
walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well.
Grabbed a sagging timber and gave out with a groan,
and like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone, Big John

Big John
Big John
Big Bad John

One Jonathon Brown decided enough was enough.  Channelling the spirit of The Duck, the Lion’s Captain said ‘kick it to me and I’ll get us home”.  Despite the efforts of the Blues in the previous quarter it was the presence of Brown that really was the main game.  His three goal last quarter was outstanding and nothing in the Blues arsenal of questionable defenders was up to the task of stopping the big bloke. They tried Thornton, The Gap Filler and at one stage the Spudman. Boys against a man.  O’hAilpin might have the body to match JB but his football brain has an IQ that matches his jumper number while the Captain qualifies for Mensa.  The Lions kick six to Carlton’s two and run out comfortable winners by 19 points.

I can’t quite remember where I was when Kennedy was shot or when man walked on the moon but I will remember where I was the night Big Jon made the stage his own. Sitting on my couch cursing, yet applauding, the efforts of a bloke who is a great amongst the greats. He may be one pack mark away from breaking in half and heaven help the Lions if he does.  But, just as the Undertaker did for The Heartbreak Kid, I tip my hat to you Jonathon Brown.

BRISBANE LIONS 4.3 8.3 10.7 16.11 (107)
2.6 3.11 10.14 12.16 (88)


6 votes – J. Brown              2 votes – M. Murphy                       1 vote – J. Drummond

About Tony Robb

A life long Blues supporter of 49 years who has seen some light at the end of the tunnel that isn't Mick Malthouse driving a train.

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