Round 2 – Essendon v Brisbane: Quietly confident





I blame global warming for last week’s slow start. Our boys had zinc cream on their noses and thought the team bus was taking them to the beach. 31 degrees is too hot for footy in Melbourne, but it’s happened before. In the 2001 Grand Final against Brisbane it got to 28 degrees in the second half. We were definitely the best team on the day – if the temp had stayed on 22. But the hotter it got, the better Brisbane played and they won their first flag. We should sue Kyoto.


Whenever we play Brisbane, I like to tell people about the day my dad couldn’t start the lawn mower. “Hold that,” my dad said after his sixth pull. I could see his temper was rising so I bit my tongue and held the thing he was pointing at. He gave the rope a mighty yank and a bolt of electricity shot up my arm, my hair stood on end, and both my feet left the ground.


Dad looked at the Victa thoughtfully. “Sparkplug’s working. Must be the carbie.”


Years later at the MCG in a game against Brisbane, Richard Champion thwarted a certain Essendon goal by cutting off the ball in the square and roosting it back down the line. Sadly his kick was too good and it went out on the full.


A guy in a Bear’s beanie jumped up and yelled, “You’re a sparkplug Champion!” I laughed so hard. Maybe a bit too hard. First I laughed at the joke, but then I remembered my brother Brendan’s acrobatics when I showed him the sparkplug.


To be honest, I find the very existence of Brisbane very aggravating. I think they inherited their ability to aggravate from the Roy Boys. Like when Mickie Conlan kicked that goal in the rain, or when Ben Boyd wrecked Tim Watson’s 300th, or that win in front of Queen Elizabeth II. They had no right to do that.


And they had no right to poach Roger Merrett either. The tragedy of that crime was as plain as day when Dermie spent ten minutes prowling behind play delivering king hits to our stars. If they hadn’t stolen Roger, Dermie wouldn’t have knocked out Daisy, and Vander, and Hammer. Cost us another flag. It’s a game of consciousness.


This morning I was thinking about heaven and who would be there when I went. Dick Reynolds and John Coleman for sure. Merv on the wing. I knelt down beside my bed and said a prayer, “God, I beseech thee, when Roger gets to heaven, make sure you sit him next to Derm.”


God answered in a booming voice that made the windows rattle. “You mean Roger Merrett? The best player to ever wear a Bears jumper? That Roger?


“That’s the one,” I said, and crossed myself.


“No problem Pards. Can do.”


Prediction: It’s going to be cloudy. We’ll win by 8 points.






More from Pards can be read Here.



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  1. Janet Margaret Christie says

    I have never forgiven Fitzroy for snatching our Roger away from us.

  2. Janet Margaret, His legend continued at the Bears so it was good for him. But I know what you mean, Sheedy had a no poaching rule for Fitzroy.

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