Round 8 – Sydney v Hawthorn: No magical evening for the Good Wife


Buddy, oh Buddy,

He got on the bus.

We hope he goes well,

but not against us.

Buddy’s gone, one more time,

Buddy’s gone.

(Re-written verse to the Johnny Cash Song: ‘Delia’s Gone’)


When Buddy announced ‘the decision’ a few days after the 2013 Grand Final, my first thought was how am I going to break it to my 5-year-old daughter? I need not have worried, she heard at Kinder! When I arrived home, we discussed.

“Sorry Buddy’s gone to Sydney, Daddy. They paid him more money”.

I was momentarily disarmed.

“At least he’s gone to Tolula’s team,” she added in consolatory note.

“Hm. What does Tolula think?” I asked.

She shrugged, before her second consolatory note, “And they gave us Spangher last year, right?“



Later, we wrote and sang our own verse to the  (above) Johnny Cash song. At first she thought it funny, then quickly bored of it and asked me to stop singing it.

Daughter moved on quickly, quicker than Dad. I felt the permanent deprivation of the next 5 (or 9) seasons, when I’d planned to take her to games and share in the highs and lows of a flawed genius; the glut of points before the luminosity, periods of aerial aridity from relentless goal side skulking, before towering over a Kyle Cheney, regulation misses, before sublime leftward wheeling, the copious free kicks against and reports for bumping.


They are meddling with powers they cannot possibly comprehend.


Round 8, Friday May 9, Franklin plays for the Swans against the team where he not only made his name but, arguably, his team’s name. For many people, outside Hawthorn, the face of the Hawthorn was Franklin, frankly.

I would have preferred a clause in the bloated 9-year contract; ‘Will commit no nuisance against Hawthorn’. Some Premier League players have refused to celebrate goals against their former clubs. Reportedly Cristiano Ronaldo, at Real Madrid against Manchester United, describing United as ‘like family’. It’s the sort of excessive deference that appeals to ‘the blinkered, unreasonable football supporter on the Jolimont Tram’, however unnatural and unlikely.

Tonight, I watched at home, on standby for the birth of our next child and on ‘Tooth Fairy’ duty, for my daughter proudly sporting a 3rd gap in her teeth.

Through the screen, the intensity was evident, as were humid, slippery conditions. A Boundary Umpire attempted to pull-up and travelled by his ass. It reminded of a ‘Slip ‘n Slide’ I had in bygone summers.

The Swans poured on foreseeable pressure and possession across the first 45 minutes. The Hawks militated against scoreboard obliteration through efficient counter-punching and the inaccuracy of an old buddy. Remarkably (or not), Franklin kicked 7-points (‘commit no nuisance’) before reaping 2 goals in the final quarter. The second, scrubby one would have brought me to my feet last year, this year a groan.

The lively Franklin had 21 disposals, kicked 2.7 and gave away 6 free kicks. You might think, another day at the office. He seemed too well adjusted, like he’d been there longer than 8 matches. Possessed with the self-assuredness of a husband who’d made a fortune with his first wife and then left her for the, younger, Secretary. Hawks still as hot as Alicia Florrick[1] though.

As the entire word has said, who could blame him for going? There were 10 million reasons ‘for’ it and only separation from Josh Gibson ‘against’. Still, tonight was ‘no magical evening’ for Hawthorn fans. It had all the narrative of a corporate acquisition. The lukewarm glow of opening mail, from a company you do business with, and reading, ‘We’ve been gobbled up by a multinational and are now called this.’

Unabashed commentators cheering him to kick straight only added to the magic.

Then Cyril did a hammy.

The Swans had 9 more scoring shots and won inside-50’s 65 to 48, deserving a 19-point win. We ran 2nd in the contests, in sure-footedness on the Slip ‘n Slide and in height. Tippet tonight.

The injury hit Hawks boxed on in the 3rd. Burgoyne superb, as were Kennedy and Hannebery. We stuck at it and hit the scoreboard until out of gas. Good time for a bye. Get a couple back and a couple percolating at Box Hill may get a chance.

As Goodes watched, in a red vest, I wondered if he and the Hawks had something in common.

When it was done, old friends embraced and I began to feel a bubble of optimism, looking forward to Round 18 on the MCG, when not quite the same heat or humidity. Then Buddy pricked my bubble, with the inevitable interview. No tears of a ‘Goddard’, just confidence from a very elite professional athlete, closing in familiar spiel, ‘It’s an unbelievable experience’.        

It used to be. Now too believable.

(Tooth Fairy came. Baby not yet.)



SYDNEY                        4.8    6.12    9.16   15.17 (107)

HAWTHORN              2.2    6.5     11.7    13.10 (88)


Sydney: Tippett 4, Franklin 2, Malceski 2, Parker 2, K. Jack, Bird, McVeigh, Hannebery, Jetta

Hawthorn: Breust 3, Roughead 3, Simpkin 2, Birchall, Puopolo, Hale, Suckling, Duryea


Sydney: Kennedy, Hannebery, Jack, Tippett, Franklin

Hawthorn: Burgoyne, Roughead, Lewis, Breust, Hill


Ryan, Jeffery, McInerney


34,506 at ANZ Stadium

Our Votes:

3 – Sean Burgoyne (Hawthorn)

2 – Josh Kennedy (Sydney)

1 – Dan Hannebery (Sydney)


[1]Lead character from U.S T.V show, “The Good Wife” – 2009 to present.

About Paul Campbell

Lawyer, left footer. Loves the Hawks and follows a few U.S sports.


  1. As a neutral I enjoyed the game, and I enjoyed your report Paul. My summary would be the Swans won the battle, while the Hawks won the war.
    For a long time in Q3 and Q4 I kept wondering “how are the Hawks doing it with so little left on the field?” Says to me that the system and the players are resilient under pressure.

  2. ned_wilson says

    Great report – sums up exactly how I felt with Buddy on the other side. Undoubtedly a flawed genius, but just not the same now he is not our flawed genius.

  3. daniel flesch says

    “As the entire world has said, who could blame him for going? There were 10 million reasons ‘for’ it and only separation from Josh Gibson ‘against’.”
    I. for one , do blame him ,Paul. Wasn’t he already on about $800 K at Hawthorn ? How much money does the bloke need ? And going to an already rich and prospering club rather than the cellar-dweller GWS who could have really used him – evidence for that freely available. He demanded the Swans’ no. 23 , too , even though someone already had it ,and it’s a significant number at Hawthorn , nowhere else.

  4. Mathilde de Hauteclocque says

    As a Swan, I feel for you Paul. Cause I too am really starting to fall for the flawed genius. Call me the intern, next in line after the secretary.
    All the best for the baby’s safe arrival.

  5. I thought this was going to be an article about Julianna Margulies. Oh well.

  6. I enjoyed this report Paul and I am a Swans supporter. It is well written and interesting. Hope the baby arrives safe.

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