The 2014 ‘Mopsy’ Fraser Cup – The Grand Final that wasn’t

Greetings Tipsters

“Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?” asked Johnny Rotten at the last Sex Pistols show. I’m wondering if that’s how Swans fans must feel today and everyone else who, like me, was looking forward to a tight, hard-fought Grand Final.


Hawthorn were phenomenal. That’s the match report in three words. After ten minutes of sizing each other, the Hawks switched on, ferocious at the man and clinically sharp with the ball. They dissected the Swans with such precision you knew thay’d done twelve months preparing for this and the Swans hadn’t.


Collective failure, they were rattled early and never got over it. When Hodge got the gap out to seven goals middle of the second, I went outside, did some work in the backyard and the Clubhouse, our dim, cavernous basement with a window and door to the yard. Fixed up a set of shelves, threw out a bunch of crap and sorted things like autopaint and bags of potting mix.


Ducked upstairs a coupla times, grab a beer, check the score. Gap ever-increasing. Struth! Watching it reminded me of being in car and motorcycle crashes. Grumbled something like “Glad I don’t have an emotional investment in this team anymore” and went out to throw some rubbish into the bins in the back lane and saw Con, my 80+ neighbour who asked “Are you okay?”


Sunday eve and I haven’t read any football media. No need and I don’t want to mess with the purity of memory, seconds when a Hawk threw a Swan to the ground and a diamond-bright few handpasses sent them up the right wing fast. It was brilliant, perfect.


1993, the win and the Moore Park Golf Club for the celebration, 1996, front row for the Prelim, 2005, the Grand Final. The old bloke who used to sit near me on the Hill and yell “There’s no bloody goals on the wing!” Running onto the ground barefoot when Tony kicked his hundredth in 1995 and seeing his face and figuring he didn’t want this attention. I didn’t renew my membership after 2006, something had been lost, but I kept going to matches until there was no more Hill.


The 2012 team had the same fantastic out of nowhere feel as 2005, it played better football, it seemed a team of the future. But then hubris stepped in – and took its revenge yesterday in the most humiliating Grand Final defeat this century.


(Short interlude while your correspondent leans back in his super-comfy space-age office chair, takes a sip of the ale in the leopardskin stubby holder, a drag of the cigarette)


And so another football season is done. The heater has been put away, the Lions lost their middle linebacker cos he ripped an ACL while celebrating a sack, there’s a few more rounds of MotoGP, cricket will be back here and I love the heat of summer.


Hawthorn played through a lot of crap this season and capped it with an alltime dominant Grand Final. Yet there’d be nothing to be said had Port kicked straighter in the first term of the Prelim. Life and history, funny bastards ain’t they?


Cheers Tipsters


P&C, a Stop Privatisation Of Footy Production, a division of Trans-Dementia Inc.

Brought to you with the assistance of 90 years of blues and soul and rock and roll.

About Earl O'Neill

Freelance gardener, I've thousands of books, thousands of records, one fast motorcycle and one gorgeous smart funny sexy woman. Life's pretty darn neat.


  1. Swans wouldn’t have won if they had started on Friday, but I do think the Sydney wet weather and the easy draw didn’t help them. The game against the Dockers was hard and tight in the slush, and but for 10 minutes of Buddy brilliance they could easily have lost that game. Not a fag paper in it on general play. To my eye the surface at Homebush was still shifting even for the Kangas game, and players were not really ‘letting go’. They hadn’t seen the MCG since the Hawthorn game in late July. They coasted against the Tigers and had St Kilda and the Bulldogs before that. Their last tough game on a good track was round 20 against Port in Adelaide.
    Not a Melbourne Cup preparation, and they looked shocked by the sudden intensity. ANZ Stadium or whatever they call it is a disgrace for AFL footy even when its dry. The new turf where the rugby seats are is always shifty even in the dry. A tough prelim at the SCG against a serious contender and they would have at least pushed the Hawks. But they were gifted amateurs against pros. A lot of the players seemed to believe all the bullshit in the media about how good they were.
    Clarko had been setting up this ambush for a long time.
    Thanks to you and the Trans Dementia team for all the music, insights and good times through the season Earl.

  2. Romans 12.19 or Deuteronomy 32.35; take your pick Earl. But you can bet it was up on the wall out at Waverley. Along with one of Yabby’s favourites – attack the body and head soon weakens. Dermie & Dipper used to recite it as a prayer as the knelt by their bed.

  3. Sorry for your loss Mr O’Neill but very happy for our win. Excellent report, especially this line: “Hawthorn were phenomenal. That’s the match report in three words.”

    I think we need an equalization system of our sports media. To break the monolithic analysis. On what terms could the Swans forward line be described as better than the Hawks? Certainly not by looking at the records. Hawks with three goal kickers in the Top 10 and on average, the widest spread of goal kickers per game.

    That little blurt is about us all getting ahead of ourselves, as was the case with the analysis leading up to the GF. Now, I guess the Swans will cop the backlash too. People will quickly forget that they topped the ladder, had the best percentage, and played one bad game (unfortunately on the biggest stage) in about 15 games.


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