Round 11 – Port Adelaide v Hawthorn: From small things mama


So how bad were the mighty Hawks last week? They were gorn at half-time, written off. An embarrassment to the legend that is the club. Way back when, Kennedy extolled his charges, with a historic speech. It went along the lines of “don’t ask what this jumper can do for you, ask what you can do for this jumper”. Actually he was more succinct: “don’t think, do”.


Oh, he knew that he was reaching down deep into the circuitry of human desire. He also knew that he could find the footballer’s G-spot. That elusive nerve-ending; that spark that starts the fire that becomes the eternal flame. Hawthorn has been primal and electric to that moment ever since.


At half time last Thursday in that rabble house of a stadium in the city of churches, in the free settler state, even the die-hardiest Hawker might have been forgiven for wondering (although not out loud, oh no) if that once raging fire was now barely a cinder on its way to being snuffed the fuck out.


We had just broken a club record. And not a trumpet blowing one. The lowest half time score in the history of the club. Not against. For. 0.3. Three miserly points. Miserly indeed because we had to scrap and scrag our way to a return on investment so bereft of reward as to make a starved Oliver Twist uncomfortable for our lot.


For 20 or so years, from 1925, the Hawks were known as the Mayblooms. But we never bloomed. We were the VFL whipping boys. In Charlie Brown terms we were the goat. Schlemiels I believe we would be described as in Yiddish. And year after year we turned up, lambs to the slaughter. Hovering around the bottom of the ladder. It was like we were born with a wooden spoon in our mouth. Yet we were still able to kick more than three points in a half of football. Every game, every hard loss.


But cheer up chumps. It’s not all gloom and doom. Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength. Yeah, I didn’t come up with that bit. Orator, statesman and body builder, Arnie Schwarzenegger did. But it fits here. Like real good.


You see the Hawks did not capitulate against Port Adelaide. They returned to the Cauldron for the Third quarter, wounded in heart, mind and spirit. Fans could hardly dare look on at what might well have been our deepest, darkest night of the tortured soul. It wasn’t. The Hawks took it up to the Power. And won the second half, 7.2 to 4.12. I can see you, with eyebrow arched, reckoning I am attempting to draw hope from a very dry stone. But I’m not.


The Kennedian covenant, sealed with 10,000 bruising contests, locked into an eternal promise, given purchase by dazzling displays of courage and skill, impossible wins and decades of success beats on, even in our darkest hour. And the flame will not be extinguished. Cannot be. You can consider the Hawks thrashed (and we will be again) but we do not surrender.


So I’ll take the Port game as some kind of small victory. And we broke a record! Port couldn’t finish the massacre they began. The Hawks picked themselves up off a bloodied canvas and kept on fighting. I’ll take that. As they say, from small things mama.

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


  1. Well done Rick. Glad you forged some poetry from that night.

    “The Kennedian covenant, sealed with 10,000 bruising contests, locked into an eternal promise, given purchase by dazzling displays of courage and skill, impossible wins and decades of success beats on, even in our darkest hour.” is a ripper, reminiscent of the last lines of The Great Gatsby.

  2. John Butler says

    I love a plucky battler narrative.

    Anybody seen one?

  3. Magnificent RK. The Germans marked off WW1 as a minor victory too.

    A person with a glass half full will always drink!

  4. E.regnans says

    Love it RK.
    Those without a recent premiership have been into this false world view for a while. For as long as we’re celebrating something as meaningless as “halves won,” we’re all winners.
    “Tackles laid”
    “Goals kicked”
    “Highest Potential reached”
    “Most Artistic ruckwork”
    “Best inside 50 conversion rate”
    “Most players named with surnames as first names”
    Step right up, step right up.

  5. Rick Kane says

    Cheers guys

    Thanks MR. Maybe not F Scott but happy it got you in.

    JB, not sure Blues folks can yet decide the colour of the kettle but I’ll accept your slight on behalf of other teams with as much pluck but not as many brass rings.

    Dips, if you keep the glass close to the keg it never goes below half full.

    DW,if ever we Hawks needed a glimmer of hope it was after staring at 0.3 at half time. Can I have that?


  6. John Butler says

    Rick, as Manuel once said (often), que?

  7. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    This is just chewy, enjoyable writing, Rick. And grinningly good comments.
    If loss and pathos (or should it in fact be bathos?) bring humour, then I’m happy.

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