FEARLESS 2020 – The Grand Final Edition…and the silly season that follows.

Hi all, it has been a long time coming. A game that took place over a month ago is now distant behind trade week and the upcoming draft. I really loathe trade radio/media – it’s purely glorification of the cattle market that is AFL trade period. Theories, air time, opinions and well…FFS… just get it over and done with quickly.


The heroics of Dusty and the bravery of the Cats now stuck behind who’s really going where and how much do you really want for them.


The stupid season where the loyalty that clubs and players profess for 44 weeks of the season goes out the window. Trends of player management practice from other international sports kick in. I don’t personally know why this occurs.


I’m yet to believe that we have to borrow/implement any of these ideas but future draft picks and overvaluing or undervaluing of players and generally treating them like slabs of meat seems to be here to stay.


This is a blot on an otherwise impressive effort to complete the season. Flexibility and stealth. Not all players and families and clubs adjusted as well as they would have liked to hub life. The AFL surely never anticipated 100% compliance from all participants. For all the publicised incidents, overwhelmingly most people concerned behaved well and were good citizens.


Before we start to itemise what went wrong, let’s cut everyone some slack. The Queensland Government deserve a massive shoutout for its willingness to take on AFL, NRL, Super Netball, A-League and whatever else.


Now ultimately, the doco will come out..2020 the Hub Season…spare a thought for those that suffered badly and there were a few.


Personally, I think it’s actually hard to judge any club or players in the context of this season. There will never be another season like it, just like there was never a season like it previously.


I personally wish everyone gets a break and that with a bit of luck, normality may return again in 2021. Well done to all the VCE students and university students out there. Not quite what you expected back in January, but hopefully you’ve all been able to ride the bumps.


For all those who suffered loss, personal, business or other, best wishes and hope you’re able to go forward into the future with better knowledge, understanding and compassion. I don’t think this year has been kind to many people. Even as late as February, nobody predicted that this would have been the way 2020 would’ve occurred. Certainly, the number of victims worldwide is no grounds for contempt, cynicism or doubt as to the profound effect this Virus will have going forward.


Until next time, stay well and get some downtime. Everyone needs it and have a great Christmas, New Year period while you’re at it.


Cheers PT


2020 FEARLESS Finals Week Four: The Big Day arrives and the COVID season ends…




Maybe it was the story of the Joker and The Thief in the night…so sang Andrew Stockdale of Wolfmother in the Prematch….The night represented history on so many fronts. A night Grand Final, a night AFL Grand Final in Queensland at the Gabba..featuring Queensland entertainment acts with the help of one Byron Bay local…The Cats were back in the big dance, after falling at the last hurdle in 3 of the last 4 finals series. Patrick Dangerfield finally gets his crack at Premiership glory. Or were the Tigers on the verge of creating the triple flag-winning Dynasty? A couple of points got the Cats underway. It was tight. It was fierce. Both teams had come to play. Bang! Stretcher to the Tigers backline, as Nick Vlastuin had been accidentally felled in a contest with Patrick Dangerfield. Then the unthinkable happened and Gary Ablett Jnr crashed his shoulder into the deck and had to be assisted from the field and into the rooms. Prestia and McIntosh got a couple of goals to set the Tigers in motion. Cam Guthrie and Mitch Duncan goals late in the quarter gave the Cats a point lead at the first change. The Cats faithful had been buoyed by the sight of Gazza running the boundary line. This was a plus for the Cats.


Richmond had seized control of the previous Grand Final wins in 2017 and 2019 and flexed their muscles collectively. Now therein lies a challenge. Indeed the Cats seemed to get on top in the second quarter kicking 3.3 to 1.2. For their dominance, the lead was not enough and further diminished by Dusty’s goal just before the main break. Was that a momentum killer? For all their dominance, the Cats only took a 15pt lead into the rooms. They’d had the Tigers looking unsure of themselves and down in belief. Skill errors weren’t normally part of the Tigers ball movement, at least not since the early 1990’s! The Cats coaching staff had memories of the last time Richmond were runners up and sought to replicate these conditions for best result. Should they call Mike Fitzpatrick or Wayne ‘The Dominator’ Johnston for answers? No, the Cats had to search deeper than that. After much soul searching, they had the answer. Unfortunately, Matty Scarlett’s phone call to the secret weapon was unsuccessful as Helen D’Amico was unable to make the flight and subsequent quarantine in time.


The Tigers came out looking a different side in the third. The precision had returned. The sharpness was back. Whatever Coach or Mrs Hardwick had said at half time worked early and built from there. Truth is, just maybe the collective muscle mass kicked in, after all this is a side that knows the way to win…and then there was Dusty..operating on another plane of existence. As if to instinctively say… follow me! Composure…cometh them man…ably assisted by Jaidyn Short up the backline and their merry band of runners. Whatever dominance the Cats had mastered was now diminishing rapidly.


For the supporter that wasn’t aligned, a familiar feeling was taking effect. The black and yellow sash was on its way to another premiership. Brendan Gale’s prophecy of three flags by 2020 had been derided and was now minutes from realization. Geelong had sought improvement and had got it in 2020, especially an achievement, given the departure of the prolific Tim Kelly at the end of season 2019. For all the great gains of Chris Scott and his band of lieutenants, the last game of Gazza Jnr and Danger’s first Grand Final was not going to end in the fairytale. Dusty had sparked the Tigers into action and far from the wilderness years of 1982 to 2016, these Tigers got the job done. Again. And Again. And Again in 2020. A 31pt win for the Richmond Football Club was proof that changes can be made for the betterment and future of the club. Dusty had kicked 4 and won the Norm Smith and each could’ve been goal of the day. The Tigers ability to stop celebrating for a Gazza recognition parade for both teams at the end of the game was pure class.


The Tigers (Covid) Almanac 2020 will be published in the coming weeks. It will have all the usual features – a game by game account of the Tigers season – and will also include some of the best Almanac writing from the Covid winter.  Pre-order right now HERE



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  1. Daryl Schramm says

    Better late than never Fearless. A very fine write-up with very agreeable sentiments to boot. Thank you.

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