Round 22 – Essendon vs. Richmond: Care Factor? Zero

I doubt I’ve ever cared less about a game of football than the Bombers’ encounter with Richmond on Saturday night.

I mean, we were going to lose. That much was obvious. Richmond are strangely enough in 2015 a consistently dangerous side (something even Tiger’s fans probably haven’t come to terms with). Essendon in 2015 are appalling. Genuinely bad at footy. Additionally, it was going to be a torrid night weather-wise – which would further limit our already low skills – so the ‘spectacle’ of the game couldn’t tempt me in.

The appeal of Chappy’s last game wasn’t even enough to drag me to the MCG. Let’s be honest though, 29 games and 30 goals in the red’n’black are merely a short and unsatisfying epilogue to his glorious Geelong career. I daresay more Cats fans were at the game to see him bow out for the last time.

Previous weeks had seen me watch Essendon games with the interest that comes from thinking your side has the slightest chance of winning.

Gold Coast? Pfft. We’d never lost to ‘em. Heck, we kicked 15 goals in a quarter against them once. Book it in…

Adelaide? A hot’n’cold line-up in recent weeks. And on the road. If we get an early lead…..

GWS? Again, never lost to this mob. They can’t make finals anymore either. We’ll sneak over the line…

North, Bulldogs, Saints? Traditional easy-beats. Essendon’s a proud, successful club. These jokers only have six flags between them…

A losing season does terrible things to one’s imagination. Clutching at straws some might say…

And so it was that on Saturday night, I could predict what was going to happen.

We would probably put in a dogged performance. The ‘effort’ would be there. The weather would help us. But the Tiges would be too clean, too polished at the key moments.

I didn’t even watch the game. Didn’t even check the scores over the course of the night.

I know what you’re thinking:

“This young fella ain’t a die-hard”. “He doesn’t appreciate what he had as a kid”. “It’s not about results, it’s about #standbyhird & #donthesash”.

I’ll say this much though – I was genuinely pleased to see (via replay on Sunday morning) Connor McKenna scoot onto a loose ball and curl a right-foot banana through the big sticks to join the ‘first kick-goal” club. He only played his first game of footy last year and has been a livewire in the VFL on his way to the big-time. Those sorts of stories give you hope.

I was happy that Cale Hooker again tried valiantly up forward on his way to a three-goal haul. Apparently he’s kicked 18.17 in the last 9 games up forward. The fan in me says I’m stoked he’s showing tremendous improvement as a forward. The cynic in me wishes he’d learn to kick.

I looked at the statistics later that Sunday afternoon, and saw that Ty Vickery and Deledio chimed in up forward with valuable goals.

Kamdyn McIntosh apparently continued his strong form of late with 27 touches. Rance was solid down back with 22 touches and a strong impact despite Hooker’s best efforts.

Richmond as a whole overcame a sluggish and inaccurate first-half to skip away to a 27-point win.

I, meanwhile, was riding on the coat-tails of a 34-tap craft beer tasting event that had me dreaming of 2000.

ESSENDON   2.0      5.0      6.2      7.5   (47)
RICHMOND  1.4      4.10    7.12    10.14   (74)

GOALS
Essendon: 
Hooker 3, McKenna, McKernan, Howlett, Dempsey
Richmond: Vickery 2, Deledio 2, Maric, Martin, Thomas, Grigg, Miles, Edwards

BEST 
Essendon:
 Heppell, Hurley, Hooker, McKernan
Richmond: McIntosh, Lennon, Thomas, Deledio, Houli

VOTES

McIntosh (3), Lennon (2), Deledio (1)

About Sam Laffy

26-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.....

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