Round 3 – Carlton v Essendon: The Nothing

“Where I come from in the north, we used to have exquisite rocks, only now, now, they’re all gone. Near my home, there used to be a beautiful lake, then it….then it was gone…….

Did it dry up?

No. It just wasn’t there any more. Nothing was there any more, not even a dried up lake.

A hole?

A hole would be something, no it was nothing…..And it got bigger and bigger…….”

Rock Monster, The NeverEnding Story

I woke at 3am with a start. My back ached and my feet had inched their way out from beneath the warmth. The Nothing was near. I sensed it.

My dreams were a heady mix of Shane Woewodin’s grin on the dais accepting, nay sealing his fate; Laurence Angwin swaggering into Optus Oval, grinding his molers, unaware Karl Norman had already fessed up; Dermott Brereton burying his head into a Collingwood guernsey pre-game to muffle his cries, images of the 89 Grand Final swirling about him, Yabby’s voice banging on about sausages …..It was too much, I woke myself up. The Nothing was all around me.

As all of Brunswick slept and quiet night entered my home, I hit play on my VHS copy of Michael Wolfgang’s masterpiece, simultaneously watching the replay of Saturday’s match on the AFL app to see if there was some kind of nihilistic intersection between the two. And there it was. In the third quarter (as the Rock Monster, baring a remarkable resemblance to John Elliott, is introduced to us) Bryce Gibbs lines Brendan Goddard up on the boundary line, sits him on his arse, seemingly connecting his shoulder with BJ’s cheekbone. Goddard gets up, points to the place just below his eye and says with wild gesticulation, what the fuck was that? To which if you turn your phone right up and pop your headphones in, you can hear the umpire say ‘BJ. BJ, settle down there was NOTHING in it’.

Throughout all my life the Carlton Football Club has remained a talking point. Saturday afternoon at the G may have changed all that. I was adamant post game I’d not be writing a match report for the Almanac (you could quite easily argue that I haven’t), I didn’t think I had anything to write about. But I was wrong. I had ‘nothing’ to write about. The NeverEnding Story is in fact a prophetic piece of cinema portraying the downfall of the Carlton Football Club and I have officially lost my shit.


  1. I love this movie. I love this ‘match report’.

    Perhaps the Elbow should use Limahl in his Presidential quest to stop the nothing taking over Fantasia.

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