Bring on your wrecking ball


by Rick Kane

I received a text from my sister’s daughter’s husband or as I like to call him, Glenn. They live up in the dry dusty heat of Port Headland. This is what he said. “How’s life in the big V? Wish I was there right now. I bet Melbourne is getting that fuzzy feeling with the season edging closer”. Then he went on to tell me about home life and the family. Priorities, what would we do without them.

Footy is on its way and we know it. We can sense it. While directly focussed on a task at hand, for a moment or two, I contemplate whether Cyril’s hammies will let him down this year. In our mind’s eye we envisage a season with Cyril on fire every week. The football going/loving public deserve to see such talent play every game and at his peak. And it wouldn’t hurt the Hawks chances either.

Footy is just about here and we want it. When do we want it? Soonish. Maybe in a few weeks, following the Port Fairy Folk Festival. Or for our more hip brethren, the Golden Plains Festival. But keep up the media stories. Feed me titbits and morsels of the great narrative to barely satiate my hunger, as it is now. I love knowing everything and nothing about Krakouer’s plight. I love that the Age review of the NAB Cup Round One games were mere sketches. It’s as if the scriveners themselves are rubbing their eyes, yawning as they rise from fart sacks in their respective bear caves to once again make sense of this holy mess we call God’s own game.

In a mere month we are going to be swamped with data and stats and Dream Teams and the sound and fury of burly men. For now I’m content to browse indignant articles about footy’s third umpire and watch the ABC coverage of the anterior cruciate ligament injury LeCras sustained at training. At training! I close my eyes and run my hands across the weaves of this still to be shaped and designed quilt.

Footy is upon us and I have already had my first heart attack. It started and ended as a rumour. Yet, Yoda like, questions still have I. The rumour in question is that Bruce Springsteen will be the 2012 AFL Grand Final entertainment. This is a ripper rumour. It has layers. It has bounce. It deserves a guernsey.

Then as soon as the rumour started to take hold the AFL and Gudinski stepped in.  A Gudinski’s Mushroom Group spokesperson said, “There’s no truth in that rumour at all.” Oh. Okay, well that seems reasonable. There’s no point in pursuing this because the twin towers of truth have spoken. Wait a minute. That’s it? The two actors in this story who have most to gain in keeping the lid on this news tell us it’s not true and we buy it? It must be pre-season.

I tell you what, though, if it is true, what a sensational AFL entertainment package Springsteen would be. His new album is called Wrecking Ball. He wrote the title song in respect of the Giants stadium when it was demolished. But the song is a metaphor for much bigger confrontations. Having heard it played, being streamed on various websites, a number of times now, I can tell you, it was written to be played at a major sporting Grand Final. You know, like the AFL.

So if you got the guts mister, yeah if you’ve got the balls
If you think it’s your time, then step to the line, and bring on your wrecking ball

Bring on your wrecking ball
Bring on your wrecking ball
Come on and take your best shot, let me see what you’ve got
Bring on your wrecking ball

(Actually, it’s part of a set of songs that form an essential conversation about the USA’s government and business (lack of) response to the Financial Crisis and Hurricane Katrina).

Without making less of the thematic centre of his album, the song rocks hard as an every-person anthem about taking on adversity head on.

Footy is almost within reach and I’m ready. I can hear Wrecking Ball in my head as I’m driving to work and I think about 2009 and 2010 and then how the Hawks got so close last year. I know that we are in with a good shot but that’s all. The rest is up to the team and the fates and tomorrow. As I consider the Pies and Cats and Eagles and Blues and other assorted appellations, my chest fills with pre-season pride and I sing, “Bring on your wrecking ball”.



About Rick Kane

Up in the mornin', out on the job Work like the devil for my pay But that lucky old sun has nothin' to do But roll around Heaven all day


  1. Michael Parker says

    Great stuff Rick. See maybe the rumour is gaining a bit of traction? Haha probably not but i could totally hear “Wreaking Ball” as a September anthem

  2. I am hearing it’ the Hawks by 10 goals in round two Rick. That certainly is wrecking ball stuff.

  3. Great stuff Rick,

    I can picture the Boss singing ‘Glory Days’ as former greats parade around the G. I’m also hungry for the footy to begin. Cricket is okay as a distraction while hibernating in summer, but the primal roar of the tribal psyche is irresistible. Bring it on!

  4. Rick – you sound very fired up. Hawks are certainties this year.

  5. Would you go to watch him if by some traversty of justice the Hawks didn’t make the GF Rick?

    Traversty of Justice: Definition

    A traversty of justice could be considered if one’s team were to draw either Collingwood, Carlton, West Coast in the preliminary final as all of those teams are expected to win the 2012 grand final.

    Hawthorn are unlikely to get Geelong (who they always beat in finals) because this year the Cats are too old, too young and too inexperienced and consequently will not make the final eight.

  6. Andrew Fithall says

    Refer Dips comment. I am pleased those Geelong people have chosen another team whose supporters they can pick on.

    If, by whatever slim chance, the rumour of The Boss playing at the GF doesn’t come to fruition, I am all for starting a movement to get Dan Sultan to play. Australian. Indigenous. Great rocker. And footballer!!!(Captained the Rockdogs Community Cup team and is about to Captain the equivalent NSW team in their inaugural Community Cup).

  7. If by the will of football or other gods, Springstein comes to Australia, then we have to have a big almanac group of us going and being there together. Football or not. As for Hawthorn, and all other teams, it’s such a long run and some of it just depends on who’s left standing and fit at the end of the year. After hearing about Jonathan Brown today, will there be any one left standing September???


  8. Peter Baulderstone says

    Brilliant piece Rick. I suggest we have the AFL Grand Final as half time entertainment (use the 2 x 20 NAB Cup format) in one of Bruce’s legendary three and a half hour contests. It would be worth the sacrifice – even in this year’s Hawks V Eagles GF!!

  9. Thanks for comments.

    Dips, I’m fired up for the footy season to kick off.

    Phantom, ‘d be happy if the Hawks just break the Cats voodoo. We’ll have a freedo on who wins.

    And, shit yeah, I’d go to the GF just to watch Bruuuuuccee. In line with Yvette and Peter and Phil and Michael, it would enliven a day that is already overflowing with joie de vivre.

    I just watched him perform two songs on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, a great US chat show (The Roots are Jimmy Fallon’s house band). Bruce and the E Street Band are cooking.

    Wrecking Ball can be every fan’s secret theme song for their team.


    Andrew, I like the Dan Sultan suggestion, supported by Bart Willoughby and The Black Armed Band. Is Australia ready? It bloody should be.

  10. Black Arm Band – good one Rick. Archie Roach is not enjoying the best of health at the moment though.

Leave a Comment