Round 1 – West Coast v Melbourne:  Last Orders on the Titanic

Adam gathers his Eagles band for a final performance. “It’s the end boys. We’ve done our duty. You can go now”. 


The Melbourne players rush past chaotically. Possessions without a plan. Gerard Healy tells us they’ve doubled their off season kilometres.  Several times late in the first quarter the ball spills from a contest to multiple unguarded Eagles running forward to goal.


Demons confusing activity for achievement.  Elite running requires strategy and direction as much as capacity.  Goodwin and Burgess building a GTHO – grunt without steering. 


The Master paces the bridge alone – megaphone in hand.  Momentous decision to abandon ship announced, thinking “I never signed on to be first mate on the Titanic”. Understanding for the first time what the phrase meant.


A body falls into the icy water. Pushed or jumped? Contemplates going down with the ship knowing he will take a few with him first.


A sad voice rings out. “Nearer my god to thee”. The Demons club song.


Misty eyed supporters survey the wreckage wondering if they will ever hear it again. 


“Keep rowing”.


Fox and AFL crew desperately struggle to release the last lifeboat as the icy waves envelop them. Will they survive? Will the game? Will we?



I’ve seen this movie before. It doesn’t end well.  With a splash not a whimper.


But we beat on. Boats against the current. Borne back ceaselessly into the past.


While refusing to learn from it.


No-one expects the Spanish Influenza.





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  2. John Butler says

    Jason, that question will have to join the queue with many others at present.

    PB, make sure you and AE stay out of trouble if you can.

  3. Thanks JB. We have been ahead of the curve on social distancing for a few weeks. Walking Shandy the wonder dog in the park; shopping once a week; and seeing only AE’s mum (not other family). Little bit of golf – walking not carts. Simple life has its charms if you can pay the bills. Stay safe on Lake Wendouree.
    Jason – having seen AIDS up close in 80’s (remember it affected haemophiliacs and blood transfusions tragically in the early stages as well as sexual transmission in risk groups) I don’t think life/high level sport will return to any form of normality in the next 6 months at earliest. Social distancing will slow the spread so hospitals and doctors can cope and treat critically ill – but not stop it. For that we wait on a vaccine or effective anti-viral drugs for CV19. 6-12 months most likely. My strong belief is we write off 2020 elite sport and focus on keeping our selves, family and friends safe until 2021.
    The Eagles and AFL will still be there for us. Every generation has faced challenges like this – wars, polio and economic depressions.
    Why I hate “unprecedented” or “in our lifetime”. My dad is 88 and going strong – he has seen this all before in one form or another.

  4. Luke Reynolds says

    That Round 1 was played felt so wrong. The Titantic analogy is perfect.

    All the best to you PB, AE & Shandy.

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