People’s Elbow tribute sinks in mud

This was intended to be a ‘People’s Elbow’ tribute. Or possibly a gratuitous rip-off. It would be filled with short, punchy paragraphs which were frequently humorous and even more frequently vengeful against my own team.

There was to be a photo or two, possibly a youtube clip and a lather of footnotes. All of these would hopefully capture the bile I was struggling to contain.

You see, I hate Carlton, and this season I have revelled in their plunge from premiership favouritism and I have taken great delight in seeing their fans isolating their coach. Poor Brett Ratten just needed someone to throw him the proverbial bone, but when they did, it was a chicken wing.

Due to this hatred, Craig Little’s columns have become compelling reading for me this season. Baum, Flanagan and Niall have taken a back seat in 2012 as the ‘knacker from The ‘Bool has spewed forth his distaste. I smirked as Litza went over the soft Selwood free and the Judd 50m penalty. I chortled when he was clinging to young Bootsma as his salvation and I let out a little ‘tee hee’ as he described players like Gibbs and Robinson in a more colourful and hurtful way than I could ever replicate (I just settle for ‘soft’ and ‘peanut’)

But over the past month, I sensed that I was going to receive a hideous comeuppance. The Dons were sliding, the Blues were improving and though I lined up all of my usual wagers around the match, from a chicken parma to a milkshake, deep down I started to plot my ‘tribute’.

Alas, I haven’t got an inch of bile in me.

I still haven’t seen a minute of the game. I spent Saturday afternoon playing a game of footy in which both teams combined for 7 goals. The game was played on a swamp. That is not a lazy description.

We won. 5 goals to 2.

It was ridiculous. Kicks couldn’t travel more than 25 metres, the match was a horrendous spectacle and, considering the result was not going to change our end of year ladder positions, the win wasn’t as crucial as some others.

But it was glorious. That’s just because it was better to win than to lose. Both teams were desperate, we’ll meet again in finals and this result probably won’t mean much, but aswe  jumped into the (cold) showers, fully kitted, we laughed.

I didn’t know the Bombers score until I turned my phone on. Needless to say I didn’t have to check the AFL app. I had 10 messages.

Not one of those messages riled me. They usually would. If I were to have been in the Ponsford Stand, each of them would’ve got my 18 cents worth and then some more. But they washed over me like the trickles of dirty water still emitting from my ears. I showed a few to my Blues-supporting teammates, and then we turned our attention to the guy who didn’t make the distance from 15 metres out in the last quarter.

Maybe I should watch the replay, or possibly take more notice of the match reports, just to muster up the anger I would normally have. Or maybe I should just grab the Napisan and continue to treat yesterday’s MCG game as just a bunch of numbers. Yep. That sounds easier.

About Andrew Else

Andrew has self-reported to this site as a lifetime Essendon supporter. He also played local footy for Lara and Melbourne Uni Blacks.


  1. If only I barracked for Essendon, this weeks piece would run 8-pages long. I’d recommend you not watch the replay.

    From a playing perspective, as a receiver with an innate ability to avoid the contest, Saturday was one of those days I was glad to be retired.

    Arriving home from Paris (where it was 35 degrees) and driving past the muddy ovals near Princes Park I was at once happy and miserable to be home.

  2. Andrew Fithall says

    I am with you Andrew. I haven’t seen a minute of the Collingwood North game from Saturday night. And if I didn’t see it, then it didn’t happen.

  3. John Harms says

    AE, magnificent. Conditions were memorably bad on Saturday. I struggled to walk from the tram to my seat at lunch (warm, red wine, good conversation, talk of footy and racing).

  4. Andrew F.

    I saw the collingwood v North game. And so it did happen.

  5. “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery.”
    You didn’t need to emulate the People’s Elbow, AE, because Hird and Bomber had already served up the Brett Ratten Tribute Game.
    Reminds me of when they opened the Victor Richardson Memorial Gates at Adelaide Oval in the early 70’s. Vic was the Chappel’s grandad, an Australian cricket captain briefly, Sturt footballer, and doyen of ABC commentary.
    Vic said he didn’t mind having the gates named after him. He just didn’t want them called Memorial Gates while he was still alive.
    Don’t ask for whom the coaching bell tolls, you know it tolls for thee…………………………….

  6. Oh yes it did AF.

    The asking price for Trav is now ‘take me and dad will throw in a couple of grand and mum will wash the gurnseys’ and the next time we see Dorothy Dawes in a meaningful role on telly will be in the Australian version of Black Books apparently to be filmed on location in Armidale.

  7. Earl O'Neill says

    Being a former horticultural professional, I want that groundskeepers head on a platter!

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