Poetry: The Brownlowest Night of My Life

It was during the pre-season I first saw you from afar

I was running laps at training when you pulled up in your car

You had more front than Myers, though you were just the physio

First day at work you parked your Merc in the spot marked CEO

Was it your beauty or the liniment that made me come unwound?

Tried to ask you out since Family Day but there were always blokes around

One night I faked a twinge, you stayed behind, at last my chance to ask

I hadn’t been so nervous since I put in for the draft


When you said yes I could hardly breathe, like an on-ground interview

I was on a ride and higher up than Jezza ever flew

But where to go for our first date, I agonised for ages

You wanted classy, hip and chic, and get us in the social pages

The next 3 months were just a blur, a glorious autumn song

Each game I played I played for you, so skilled, so quick, so strong

I was Best On Ground week after week, attracting questions about drugs

But the only stimulants I used were performance enhancing hugs


Career-best form, a winning team and in a dream relationship

But I soon found out there’s no such thing as an April Premiership

I overlooked the early signs your love for me was waning

And I agreed to your request we act as only friends at training

In June I put you on report for kicking my heart in danger

When I caught you and the captain in the hyperbaric chamber

I knew from then it was play on, we would always be apart

And there’s no column on the Injury List to note a broken heart


Though crushed inside my form stayed strong, we finished on the top

Said “Dencorub’s got in my eyes, that’s why I cry nonstop”

But a rookie mistake, I took you back when you asked for one more chance

My defence was weak, you flooded in, you had me in a trance

I was favourite for the Brownlow, the bookies had me all locked in

I didn’t see were using me, seeking tickets for your friends

But I was as dizzy as a full back after Plugger’s run him through

I bought a suit and hired a car, and paid for your dress too


You leapt out from the limo when we reached the Crown Casino

And worked the cameras and the crowd like celebrities that we know

I held your hand for a few snaps but I was clearly in your space

When the cameras stopped you pushed me off and the smile left your face

The count began you were by my side whenever cameras hovered

I played it cool but by last round I’d got all hot and bothered

One game to go, in front by five, but you had left your chair

My proudest footy night was now my night of great despair


I can’t recall the walk onstage or the medal being awarded

I was in a fog though off the grog, if anything over-watered

I thanked my mum and team and coach and praised the runner ups

But I felt as blue as the Brownlow carpet, ludicrous as Teasdale’s tux

You were not there to hug and kiss or escort to the bar

You’d exercised free agency with this year’s Rising Star

There’d be a long recovery to repair my heart’s big hole

But a wade each day in Port Philip Bay won’t mend my injured soul


They toasted me, the cameras clicked, the tiny medal glistened

And the little coach inside me stirred, though I tried hard not to listen

“You may feel as used as an umpire’s whistle, but try to rise above

Don’t think, don’t hope, do something, do! AFL means All For Love”

So like a Carlton-Richmond merger I know we’ll never be

My love just a quirk in the record books, like University

There’s greater chance of a Bulldogs flag, you’ll never be my wife

I did my best but you were not fair; the Brownlowest night of my life


  1. Some good rhymes in their Paul. “Kicking my heart in danger” and “hyperbaric chamber” is a beauty.
    Where did the idea for the poem come from? I reckon there are lots of broken hearts in the local clubs, but heartbroken over winning the Brownlow and losing the girl? There’s only one bloke gets the Brownlow each year, but ………………….
    Hope we hear more from you.

  2. Paul Molloy says

    Thanks Peter, I genuinely appreciate your generous comments. I have to confess that, regrettably, the poem is not based on actual events. Or at least not actual event in my life – although my Brownlow dream remains alive. It was actually just a title that popped into my head and I worked back from there. A little footy fantasy + a little life experience + a little Pam Ayres = The Brownlowest Night of My Life .

  3. Pam Ayres?? Noone has Brownlow ‘dreams’ and recalls Pam Ayres. Brownlow ‘memories’ perhaps.
    Anyway more Rupert McCall I would have thought. Good imaginings.

  4. mickey randall says

    Paul- great read: vivid and evocative, rewards both the casual footy fan and the enthusiast. Lots of funny lines, and some nice satire of the shallowness of footy celebrity. Favourite image- ludicrous as Teasdale’s tux. Good work!

  5. Neil Anderson says

    Nice work Paul. Are you a footballer and a poet? If you are great, to see the Harmsian philosophy kick in where it’s good to be half-arts and half Sherrin-kicker.
    You’re probably right about ‘there’s a greater chance of the Bulldogs winning a flag’. I just don’t want to hear it said out loud. How about ‘ a greater chance of Julia Gillard playing fullforward for the Doggies?

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