The Footy Gods: Achilles

Achilles was fair of hair and fleet of foot. His troops loved him. He was fearless and beautiful. But not flawless. He could be moody and the tendon in his ankle was unprotected. And that is how the trojans killed him before the great victory of his troops.

Not that the lesson was lost on anyone. There aren’t many, if any, who are flawless. Even the greatest footballers have some problem in their head or in their body that trips them up at a crucial moment.

I’ve seen Nick Riewoldt do things that a normal person could only do in their dreams. He could take a speccie in a crowded pack. He could run and mark and kick as if in a single action. And it still takes your breath away to remember that mark he took against Sydney, running backwards and launched into the air.

But I’ve seen him miss from inside 30 when the game was teetering and the season was in the balance. Skewed sideways by his knee. And he walked from the ground looking ever so human.


  1. Good one Ian. You’ve said in the nicest possible way that maybe St Riewoldt is overrated. As my Better Half is fond of saying – I could have kicked that. Or – they’re paid to kick goals, they shouldn’t miss those simple bread & butter shots. I’d never tell her to her face but she talks a lot of sense my Better Half.

  2. Has a touch of the Richos about him does Nick – St Kilda style.

    Look at the cover of the 2008 Almanac. Swap the gurnsey to a Saints one and the black hair for blond and you have Riewoldt.

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