The Footygods: Icarus

Daedalus was a master craftsman who built a labyrinth for King Minos to imprison the minotaur. But when Daedalus helped Theseus slay the minotaur, Minos threw Daedalus and his son Icarus into the labyrinth. Daedalus made wings out of wax and feathers and escaped to the sky with his son. But Icarus flew too high and the sun melted the wax of his wings and he tumbled from the sky.

There wasn’t much sun at the MCG on Saturday. Melbourne gave us its its freezing rain and a grand final for the ages. There we were; three rows back from the point post. And we sat so close to Buddy Franklin that we could just about touch him. For if there’s a player who could turn a game it was him. He could kick it from 60 off a single step. He could fly the highest and pick it up off the ground at pace. A lot of people reckon that he might be the best that they’ve ever seen. And to top it off, he was playing on an injured Teddy Richards.

When Sydney broke free in the second quarter, it was Buddy who hauled them back. And on a couple of occasions he had the ball in his hands and the game to be won. And he missed.

It would be wrong to say that Buddy lost Hawthorn the game. That would be to deny Sydney and their pressure and desire. But it does show what the Greeks always thought; that even the greatest of champions have a flaw that can bring them down.

But my son and I didn’t care about that much when we got to sing the song. It seems like we’ve been singing it ever since.


  1. Buddy to me is not to disimilar to G Ablett Snr, the best player i’ve seen. When both are on song they’re in a league of their own, but being human they’re failable. WHERE”S MY SPELL CHECK !!! No point trying to refine their games, it would take away their magic. Natural champions like Gazza and Buddy will always have their flaws,and that’s what makes them so great.


  2. Lord Bogan says

    Love the Icarus myth Ian and Buddy is an apt simulacrum here. Sometimes you do have to ‘think’ before you ‘do’. Cheers.

  3. Skip of Skipton says

    Achilles’ heel is a bit more Buddy for me than Icarus. A simulacrum is what they do in rugby league now, where they throw the ball into the second row, isn’t it?

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