Notta Whole Lotta Love

At the exact moment that I felt the sheer and unadulterated elation of the mighty Hawks winning their third Premiership in a row I also felt the love for the Hawks exit the building. Not that I ever knew any great love for the Hawks from unbelievers but people would, begrudgingly, through gritted teeth and because their Mum told them that if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all, acknowledge how well the Hawks had built their side. Good list management. Good governance. That kinda thing.

But this time there was a distinct difference. This time round unbeliever’s interest was arid. When I arrived home from watching the match the family and friends gathered there for the GF BBQ said the obligatory congrats and all that but couldn’t wait to hit the music and change the subject. Fat chance that happened. Not on my watch.

So what did the mighty Hawks do to upset the applecart?

I get why Cats fans would be resentful. They were so close, I mean so close to claiming the crown as the greatest team of all and therefore fulfil the destiny as described in their team song. Then along came the Hawks. Stopped them from winning two in a row (and a likely three-peat). Stole the bloody game.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough, the Hawks allowed themselves to keep getting beaten by the Cats all the while building the team and style/s that would eventually turn into, if not the greatest team of all, certainly the greatest team of the last ten years. The Hawks stole the coveted crown and parade around like they’re all threepeaty or something. Damn you bloody Hawks!

A litmus test for the lack of love flowing into the Hawks family can be gauged from the good folks and fellow footy brethren at Footy Almanac dot com. Here’s a couple of examples to consider which side of the ledger the love has fallen following the Hawks beautiful and inspiring win.

Matty Q (an Eagles supporter) opened the batting by neatly avoiding the actual article he should have written about how and why the Eagles failed so miserably. Instead, he pulled out the last refuge of the denialist, the jokey essay. To be fair it was piss funny. Even when he slighted the Norm Smith medallist: “Yes, I love Cyril, especially when Graham Kennedy did the funny voice”. I’ll cut Matt some slack because his team was humiliated and I owe him forty bucks.

But what was Mr Wilson smoking to concoct a parable about a wizened old Magpie dispensing considered advice from hard learned lessons to the youngster Hawk? Why was he hectoring the family club? And only 3 days after we had pulled off the near impossible and most august of wins. C’mon man! Let us sup from the chalice for at least one week!

And here all the time I thought Mr Wilson’s philosophy leaned to the joy and goodwill inherent in the game. I imagined his first story to press would have been about how the Hawks singlehandedly reinvigorated the bona-fide beautiful game. No he warned about arrogance. Phhh, what would he know. His team hasn’t collected much silverware in the past 50 years.

What really tripped my wire was the reaction to these pieces cited and others. Collectively, between the neutral/anti Hawks pieces they had about 111 comments. The pro Hawks pieces (actually, they were pro football) had 9 comments. And I think 4 of those comments were from me! Everyone had something to say about not celebrating the Hawks mighty threepeat. I’m sensing that there’s notta whole lotta love for the brown and gold. And that’s happening at the most reasonable website going around. God only knows what they’re saying at ‘I wanna burn the Hawks at the stake’ dot com!

So what did the Hawks do that has rattled the cage? The Hawks are as shining a light as this iteration (and the last) has of the so-called socialist structure of the AFL. That’s right, the club from the leafy suburbs is proof that socialism is more than a grand theory, it’s actually working.

In 1991 the Hawks ended their amazing ‘80s Premiership run and that moment can also be read as the end of the VFL. Then they collapsed. In a heap. The rebuild didn’t occur, the club governance wasn’t secure. By 1995 they were considering (like seriously considering) merging with Melbourne. Between 1996 and 2006 Hawthorn only featured in the Top 8 three times (twice in 8th position).

However, in the 2000s the Hawks made good governance decisions, really good list selections and (luckily) chose a coach in Clarko who brought the best of old school and new school coaching to the endeavour. Remember, in 2007 the Hawks and media were wondering if they had chosen well in picking Clarko as their coach.

It is only since 2007 that the Hawks have built (and rebuilt) this side and reputation. Footy lovers and I mean those that believe in the game more than its commercialism could not not be impressed by the mighty Hawks achievements. They have overcome the odds. They have risen, again and again from what they were only 20 years ago, and even only 10 years ago. They are the light on the hill. You gotta love that.

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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

Comments

  1. Superb Trucker.
    Superb.
    Appreciation has dawned hereabouts.
    Of course, these things (1-2-3) don’t happen by accident.

    Still, that wizened Magpie at the Espy was right (https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/grand-final-west-coast-v-hawthorn-a-few-days-later-at-the-espy/).
    I’ve a large store (but not nearly as large as some) of vindictive diatribe directed at my black & white stripes over the years. Why? Why? Oh, why?

  2. Dave Brown says:

    It’s lonely at the top, Trucker. If you ain’t the underdog, you ain’t going to have many friends.

  3. Rick – remember the “pass to Dunstall/chest mark/goal/boring” comments from the 80’s/90’s? As you know, we silly old Aussies do love to tear down success. Inspiration, guile, nerve and luck (“and the more they practice..”) on and off the field have contributed to this extraordinary time. I think the de-sensitisation is even having an effect on those of the “never a frown” persuasion. As you rightly point out, Hawk porn was way down this year. Personally, I could scarcely breath before ’08 (my wife still has the text message) but after this year nary a tear was shed (big call). Even the skipper eschewed his usual arms aloft for a more modest fists in front of the chest. It is certain that this glorious time will pass – we will endure a period of reincarnated Bernie Jones, “Sideshow Bob” Thurgood and Collica, M. as our leading lights. In those times we will scour the draft picks we have nominated, and the trades we have lured, and imagine how great they will be. We will KNOW that our time will come again…for we are Always Hawthorn.

  4. RK – yes well done to the Hawks. They were superb. They might be the best team of the millennium. They might be the best team ever. Go Hawks. You beauty. I’m so pleased. Great effort. Gee they were good. What a side.

    Happy now?

  5. Dipsingenuous

  6. Mirror Mirror on the wall…
    Wanting to control other people’s thought is the very essence of totalitarianism. We must buy this man a compliant mirror and lock him away in a room with a chamois made of leftovers of Dermie’s facelifts.

  7. Matt Quartermaine says:

    I believe Brisbane 3 peat team was better than the Hawks because they won away from home. Gotta get me a Dermie chamois ajc.

  8. Trucker Slim says:

    Thanks Mr Wilson, we take all advice seriously except from talking birds :)

    Thanks Mr Brown, I’ll take that on board but will keep spreading the love and the holy word

    Graser, what can I say? Yes, this glorious time will pass but for now, let us enjoy it in slow motion

    Dips, see above re Cats fans! You did proclaim me the happiest man in the world so in answer to your question and absolutely reading your comment as if it knew no sarcasm, yes, I’m happy now.

    Mr ajc, that’s was funny and a bit pointy. I have no desire to control people’s thoughts I just want people to bask in the glory of the third coming of the Hawks

    Matty Q, you may be right (I did say, best team of the last 10 years)

    Cheers and bless you

  9. Phillip Dimitriadis says:

    Ok Slim. The Hawks were wonderful, delicious, delightful etc. Equal our 4 in a row and I promise to write 4 1000 word pieces praising the Hawks next year. Until then could you please write something not related to Hawthorn. Springsteen maybe?

  10. Phil
    A premiership window slams
    Clarko’s faith waivers
    Like a pissant he dances across the porch
    Coz the bloom’s off the Mays

    You can do the rest.

  11. Last year was deserved praise. https://www.footyalmanac.com.au/alastair-clarkson-ghosts-of-futures-past/
    This year is:
    (a) Personal
    (b) The drunk at the punch bowl who doesn’t leave anything for the other guests.
    “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!” Oliver Cromwell to the Rump Parliament.
    As for the socialist bullshit in your pretentious argument above. Lake, Frawley, Burgoyne, Dew, Gibson, Hale, Gunston – products of the Robber Baron school of player development. Let us be done with you and your kind.

  12. At what point does Trucker Slim offer Rulebook cash to become his promoter?

  13. Paul Campbell says:

    Rick,

    When I returned to work, colleagues avoided eye contact. In compulsory conversation, one discussed Anna Karenina.

    That hardly conjured up John Cleese, in ‘the Architects sketch’ – “This is just the sort of blinkered philistine pig-ignorance I’ve come to expect…” – as I was aware of (1) my luck and (2) a colossal difference between when it’s yours and not, the latter bound with neutrality (‘I’m just hoping for a good game’) or antipathy.

    As Hornby wrote, “Marriages are nowhere near as rigid—you won’t catch any Arsenal fans slipping off to Tottenham for a bit of extra-marital slap and tickle”.

    Cheers.

  14. Trucker Slim says:

    Loud and clear Mr Lord Bogan, and I so hope you have to live up to your promise!

    ajc, I would prefer The Promised Land or even this line from Atlantic City: down here there’s just winners and losers and don’t get caught on the wrong side of that line. But your Bruce lines were good as well.

    Mr PB, well, I do declare. Pretentious? Moi? I thought holidays relaxed the spirit. I could have saved my heartfelt plea to be loved if you had only re-submitted that wonderful evocation of Clarko the Great from last years Premiership. It still works, even more so.

    Mr Harms, cash will not changes hands … brown paper bags may be left on park-benches and outback lawyers may scribble agreements on napkins … I so want his audience (or a tenth of it) to praise the glory of the Hawks

    Finally, a sensible comment! From none other than the cool, calm and objective, PC. By the way PC, surely you could have bent the Anna K conversation around to the Hawks by discussing the feudal system … And love the Hornby quote!

    Peace and good will fellow footy lovers

  15. Trucker,
    Amazingly, I actually have a great deal of admiration for the Hawthorn Football Club and all they have been able to achieve in recent times. As much as I hate to say it.

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