Round 13 – Essendon v Hawthorn: I wouldn’t have had it any other way.



By Caspar McLeod.
Essendon v Hawthorn, Marvel Stadium.


The day after, and I am still in the post-win afterglow.


I travelled last night to Marvel by train, walking in the pouring rain. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.


I met with my Hawthorn supporting friend, the niece of former Hawthorn premiership player, Shane Crawford. at Southern Cross. We walked across to Marvel Stadium, recounting our experiences and opinions of the first semester of Journalism, while also talking about the night ahead.


She had messaged me earlier asking if I had already bought a ticket. I said, confidently, “no need, I’ll get one at the ground.” I mean, who shows up to watch two traditional Melbourne clubs who hate each other play each other?


Turns out, a lot. “I’m sorry sir, but we only have standing room. Is this ok?” Huh. Go figure.


By the end of the night, it was clear. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.


I was dressed head to waist in red and black, and, despite my two scarfs constantly falling off, I wouldn’t have dressed any other way. Gotta support the club!


The game started, and within twenty seconds, Essendon had conceded a free kick and goal. Wow. That was fast.


Luckily, afterwards, we played quite well. Unfortunately, Hawthorn, for a while at least, played quite well as well.


Side note: Jeez, the umpiring was a joke. Against both teams. My goodness. I agreed with the Essendon supporter in front of me who took his frustration out on the empty seat to his right. I felt for the chair, though.


As the rain continued to fall outside, inside, the Hawks started to fall apart at the start of the third. Indeed, we dominated most of that quarter in every category. My fellow university friend didn’t seem to happy. “I’m bored,” was her response when asked on what she made of the third term. We wasted a few chances, and Hawthorn kicked the last goal of the term to make it potentially interesting. Still, five goals or so up on the old enemy, at the footy with a friend, and inside from the cold. It was perfect.


That perfection continued into the last. Man, nearly every Bomber played a brilliant game. At one point, I said to myself that we needed to start adding some percentage onto the scoreboard. I normally don’t do this, but we were up by about five goals, and the Hawks looked spent.


And, yet… somewhat frustratingly, we took the foot of the brake. The free kick to Bruest didn’t help either. Hawthorn kicked the last few to make me nervous, but, in hindsight, they were never going to pull of the miracle. They did make it respectable though.


The siren sounded. Essendon fans, me included, erupted around Crawf’s niece. She seemed sad, but not as upset as I would have been had we lost. I guess that winning three in a row and four from five grand finals this century will give you some perspective on just a normal, season game.


But for me, this was not normal. We are still in the finals hunt. Granted, earlier losses this year against the likes of St Kilda and Sydney have put us behind the eight ball (literally). But, after nearly doing the impossible in the last half of last year, I feel like we can do so again. Sure, no one really is tipping us to do so.


I wouldn’t have it any other way.

About Caspar McLeod

Third Culture Kid at Heart. Grew up in Asia, discovered footy at age 9. AFL has since been my burning passion. Ask me who were the winners all the grand finals between 1938 and last year's decider, and I'll be happy to tell you. I'm a footy nut with a passion for writing and acting. All though I love writing and acting, during the footy season, AFL is my true passion. Waiting ever so patiently for the day when Essendon Next win the flag.


  1. Ben Stratton = Scum.

  2. Hey Caspar, great win over those unsociable Hawks. Not very impressed with that character that kept on pinching Fantasia (recruited from Norwood). Glad to see he has a case to answer to.

    Buying a ticket at the oval reminds me of a time many years ago (it was in the fifties). One of my playmates could be a bit of a scallywag at times. Anyway, his father often brought him home things from his work for Jeff to play with. One such thing was a roll of out of date tickets.

    One Saturday morning Jeff had a bright idea to raise some extra money to spend. Accordingly he positioned himself out the front of the Kensington Oval with his tickets and one of his Mom’s peg bags. After about 6 or seven minutes he had done a roaring trade selling his bogus tickets when he saw a small group of people heading his way. Some were pointing in his direction.

    That was enough for Jeff and he took off lickerty split, Being quick on his feet he easily made good his escape. When he finally arrived home he counted his ill gotten gains, around 15/-. A small fortune in those days. A couple of days later, whilst shouting me a milk shake, he confessed his adventure to me.

  3. Colin Ritchie says

    Watching the game on TV, I thought the Bombers looked pretty good and had the game under control for most of the game. I’m really pleased to see Conor McKenna really finding his feet as an AFL footballer, and the young kids such as Redman, Laverde etc are beginning to pay dividends. Big test next week!

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