Footy DNA

Gibson and Lake.


DNA is a brilliant thing. Look at how many SODs, Sons of Dads are playing the game these days. Heaps! Only half of them from Footscray!

How good is it to see a Liberatore running around? Keeping the mighty flame of his father’s name burning! A Raines! Even runs like Dad. A Picken. God, I hope Liam talks to himself.

“Billy’s son coming through! Billy’s son coming through!”

“Watch Billy’s son take this screamer!”

“Ooooh, nice one, Billy’s son.”

I don’t even know if Steele is related to Gary. I hope so. I just like the name. Sidebottom. It’s funny. Wasn’t Gary a loose unit? How good is this generation’s torch bearer? There’s something so relentless and underrated about Steele. I’ve always liked him.

I like them all. Tucks, Fletchers, Wallises, Smiths, Browns, Shaws. Kennedys! Even the Clokse. They should form a few teams, play each other. It would be like the 70s, but heaps better. More skilled, faster.

How many old-schoolers would cry with hurt and joy while listening to the game on the radio?

I wonder if Lockett is breeding?


But I reckon we can do better, move forward.

I went to the AIS in Canberra over summer. Snuck into building after building until I was kicked out. If I had asked, they probably would have given me a tour, but it was more fun this way.

The technology they have there is amazing. Off the planet! The day will come when we mix and match, splicing genetic codes.

I. Am. Sure. Of. It.

Imagine the child of Josh Gibson, the way he reads the play, the way he gets to contests, with Brian Lake’s surly confidence? With his hands? The offspring would take twenty marks per game! Hell, in a half! Easy!

My God, I drool just thinking of it! The best defender since Paul Roos playing in an age, for a club, where we actually get to see him.

Imagine any of all 52 Selwoods crossed with the speed of Aaron Davey? Blood on the dance floor? It wouldn’t be fair, like murder.

Imagine Buddy with the pack marking ability of Richo?



Or, simply, a way faster Carey.


Then again, imagine if Richo has a boy, and they inject him with the ability to kick as straight as Gary Buckenara?

The skills of Bewick in Paul Kelly? (The footballer.) That would be like crossing Nathan Buckley with someone who gets his own ball.

Now that I think of it, imagine slicing the DNA of Paul Kelly, the genius song-writer/singer with Barry Hall? Would be interesting.

Or even with Rob Barassi?  There would be an album worth listening to!

Imagine crossing Maric and his mullet with Nic Naitanui? Not only would you have a tough, smart, impossibly athletic ruckman and one man Cultural Heritage Round, or as a few of us Europeans like to say, Wog Week, but you’d also have the game’s biggest cult hero ever.

Imagine if Dean Cox could play forever!

Imagine crossing Milne with someone likeable?

I think Sam Mitchell is one of the greats of his age. Acknowledged, but not quite given the respect he deserves. The full status. Put a flashy, long boot on his boy. Yes, I’ve already mentioned him, but Geoff Raines had the most penetrating kick ever.

Imagine Sandilands with Ben Hudson’s grit and determination. I know he’s already got plenty, but Ben has that bit extra compared to you, me and everybody.

Imagine Fev’s ability with the temperament of Robert Harvey? Carman with the consistency of Lenny Hayes?

Imagine Kernahan at Fitzroy, just for shits and giggles?

I can’t think of anyone I’d splice Bob Murphy’s genes with. He’s replaced Rohan Smith on that back flank perfectly.

I think it was Parkin who said: “When we played Footscray we’d make plans for every player, get all our match-ups sorted as best we could except for Rohan. The best we could do was hope he didn’t have a good day.”

Imagine if everybody at Melbourne took Andrew McLeod pills?

Gary Lyon is known as a Champion more so for his force of will and strong personality. Seems like a top bloke, don’t get me wrong, but, really, only played that one brilliant season or two, then kept getting injured. Not his fault, not at all, but geez, how would history rate him if crossed with Jimmy Stynes’ unbreakabitity?

Is that a word? It is now.


I miss ya, Jimmy.


Hell, I’ll do it. Sign me up. I’ll splice DNA with anybody with talent. Or speed.

Or the ability to jump.

Or anything.

Imagine if you could put the passion of Libba, (Tony), into Craig Bradley? Or Josh Hunt, even. Imagine if Jarrod Harbrow’s son had Hunt’s build? You’d call him BFD. Back Flank Dynamite!

Imagine if Bobby Skilton was crossed with Martin Pike? Four Premierships, a few tattoos under all that body hair and still the best smile in the history of football!

If Stoneham was crossed with Dippa you’d get a self-loathing Champion extrovert, who elbowed himself in the head a lot.

Imagine a team coached by the son of Blighty and Ross Lyon? It would either be unbeatable, or just plain terrible.

Imagine Capper with a brain? Maybe Mike Fitzpatrick’s?

The list is endless.

I damn shudder with the thought of a combined Gary Ablett. Senior. Junior. Just, bloody, imagine it!

Maybe that’s what Melbourne’s earthquake was, somebody putting their DNA together.

There’s not much more that Pavlich can do. To splice him with anyone would be to dilute him. I feel the same way about Ryan O’Keefe. He can’t do much more than he does for Sydney.


But is all comes back to Gibson and Lake. Maybe Brian can simply whisper his secret in Josh’s ear. I’d give my eye tooth, whatever that means, to see the result of it.


The. Day. Will. Come!


I’m telling ya.





  1. Malby Dangles says

    Gee I wouldn’t mind if those scientists could get one of those Kernahan clones ready quick smart for the Blues for tomorrow night!

  2. I think they’ve been experimenting with the Kernahan clone – it hasn’t 100 per cent worked.
    His name’s Tex Walker. Have you heard his voice? Seen his mullet? He’s a Kernahs gone wrong!

  3. Matt,
    I learned on Friday night that Steele Sidebottom’s pedigree is the white mongrel fraternity. His dad, Greg was a VFL ump in the 1980s, and was umpires adviser in our comp when I took up the whistle again in 1990 – excellent in the role and a top bloke. He left the eastern suburbs a few years later to work in local government in northern Victoria,where he continued his involvement with umpiring in the Goulburn Valley.

    This is an audio of an interview with him on ABC Shepparton, in which Garry gets a mention, allowing Greg to point out that they’re not related:

    Shane Tuck is a product of conventional breeding (his mother is an Ablett), without recourse to your suggested scientific intervention. Johnathan Brown is another example, as his mother was a Mugavin, and his uncle (Noel M.) had a brief career with Fitzroy and long involvement with Hampden League football.

  4. Matt Zurbo says

    Supreme, you are the man! Want to do my research? Knew about Browny. i am from that way and have played in that league. The Brown in this piece I was referring to was Campbell, SOD to Mal. Great get on Steele. Cheers heaps for the link! Classic.

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