Round 12 – Essendon v Hawthorn: A Non (Viewed) Event

Disclaimer: I didn’t watch the game on Friday night. Mind you, neither did a fair few people. Only 27,567 made the trip to the ‘Dome’ to watch the heavyweight result-already-decided clash, and from all accounts the TV audience echoed the overwhelming sense of ‘meh’ about the occasion.


In a reflection of our fortunes this season, Snapchatted messages suggesting my non-viewing had me no longer in the upper echelon of ‘true supporter’ appeared on my phone. Worryingly, there’s probably some truth to the claims. As punishment, at the start of the game I missed some of the best 6 minutes and 19 second of football that the Bombers have played in 2016.


By some minor cosmic miracle, at that stage, we led 2.1.13 to 1.0.6. Joe Daniher was on fire – having put two majors through the big sticks; Zaharakis, Zerrett and Parish were on top, and all was right in the Bombers footballing world. Unfortunately, not even football-supporter-karma could conspire the keep the Dons competitive, and for the remaining 112 minutes and 29 seconds of the clash, Essendon turned in a thoroughly mediocre performance.


My interest in the game reverted to a cynical financially-oriented bent, with my eyes purely focused on the margin (having backed the Hawks with a -80.5 line to turn $5 into $25). In due time, Hawthorn – having allowed Essendon fans the briefest glimpse of footballing sunlight – slammed through 22 of the last 26 goals of the game, ensured (most) of the cost of my feed at Mrs. Parma’s was covered, and romped to a 108-point win that provided them with a much-needed percentage boost.


In a lengthy exercise in how useless statistics can be in football, Essendon won the possession count, had more clearances, led in contested possessions, had more hit-outs, and topped the tackle count. However, our 434 touches led to just 36 Inside-50’s which led to just 6 goals. And a 17-goal loss.


Zaharakis (33 touches), Zerrett (31 touches), and Parish (27 touches) fought hard as they have done all year, Smokin’ Mo Daniher made the most of limited opportunities, and the rest of the team valiantly tried to be slightly better than VFL standard. Unfortunately, our under-manned backline couldn’t stop the forward brigade of Breust, Puopolo, Gunston and Rioli (with 15 goals shared between the talented quartet), and Jordan Lewis (35 touches), Birchall (30 touches, 10 marks) and Gibson (25 touches, 12 marks) were all far too polished.


To atone for my sins, and to (hopefully) inspire the Dons to a strong performance, I’ll be at the game next Sunday. Let’s hope the footballing gods are in a forgiving mood.


ESSENDON: 2.1, 4.3, 5.5, 6.7 (43)
HAWTHORN: 6.7, 13.7, 17.9, 23.13 (151)          


Daniher 2, Brown, J. Merrett, Langford, Bird
Hawthorn: Breust 4, Puopolo 4, Gunston 4, Rioli 3, O’Brien 2, Stewart 2, Smith, Burgoyne, Shiels, Langford


Zaharakis, Merrett, Parish, Daniher
Hawthorn: Lewis, Birchall, Gibson, Puopolo

About Sam Laffy

Thirty-something year-old Essendon supporter. Winning the flag in 2000 when I was 12 was supposed to kick off a dynasty I could boast about for years. Still waiting for that 17th flag.....


  1. Trucker Slim says

    Was it worth even playing the game?

    Well done Sam for finding the energy, as a Dons supporter, to even put electronic pen to electronic paper. I reckon a Bombers true supporter would close the blinds on 2016 right about now.


  2. Trucker, this year has provided me with a whole new understanding of what Melbourne supporters have suffered through for the past few years. We’re going to cop some floggings in the second half of the year – at least there’s the development of some youngsters to enjoy.

    To be honest, the most joy I’m getting is the steady stream of banned players resigning for next year!

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