The Song of Angry Men

“Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people who will not be slaves again!

When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!”

The Les Mis music went through my head at lunchtime today when I walked down Fremantle Mall.  There was a sign outside a shop that said “What is the difference between an arsonist and the Eagles? An arsonist would never lose so many matches”.

“Why are they talking about us in the hour of their greatest achievement?” I wondered.  Can they only be big by making us small?

Then it came to me, this is classic sibling rivalry.  This is little brother getting the gorgeous girl and the money, but only feeling satisfied when he parades her in front of older brother, 3 kids and frump.  Suddenly a life’s slights and humiliations drop away.  But the occasion has to be celebrated and continually revisited.

For reassurance.  To overcome a lifetime’s conditioning of low expectations.  “I have got it better than him”.

“Haven’t I”?

I now work in Fremantle.  Scurried under the dingo fence by the North Freo flour mill, when Les was otherwise occupied writing his memoirs: “John Worsfold – My Role in his Downfall”.

Back at the office I look out the window, feeling like the Bourbons eyeing the crowds massing outside the Bastille.  All bedecked in purple, green, red and white.  The peasants are revolting.

Our receptionist is wearing a purple velvet Dr Seuss top hat. Keen to make a good impression with my new employers, I ask where she bought it.  “From the Team Store for $20,” she enthuses.  “I’ll get one from Vinnies for 50 cents next week,” I mutter hoping that she is either deaf or slow on the uptake.

I can’t help myself.  Neither can they.

Martins and McCoys. Roadrunner and Coyote. Micks and Proddies. Serbs and Croats. Dockers and Eagles.

Nothing personal. It’s in the genes. Or the water. Just how we do things around here.

My great, great, great grandfather and your great, great ……………… once had a blue about………………., I forget what, but your mob started it.

Anyway I’m not worried. Get Stuffed Lyon is too predictable. A one trick pony. Always the bridesmaid.  The Hawks have the strength and experience to counter what Geelong and Sydney couldn’t.  Clarko has been planning this for months.

Buddy’s brainless physicality will clear a path for the Hawthorn little men.  Guerra will iron out Crowley in the first 10 minutes; get 10 weeks; and retire to a lifetime pension on the Costa Del Jeff.

Game over.  Big golden birds in a canter.

“Let them eat cake.”

Nothing personal.


  1. Yvette Wroby says

    Hi Peter, loved this piece. Made me laugh. I think Ross Lyon’s two trips to GF’s with the Saints has taught him well and I think the Hawks may just get PURPLED. We will see. It will be 12-1am here and I will be watching with interest. Be well and of course, rivalry aside, you’d have to be supporting the West??



  2. Malcolm Ashwood says

    Entertaining Peice and geez you have to love rivalry it is a big reason why in general I and many others prefer SANFL and Amateur League over AFL as you really only get rivalry at a Game here Twice a year give me the tribal warrior and banter at a game weekly anyway
    The GF looms as a fascinating battle Football Intensity may be taken to a new level and as a neutral with the way the Purple Haze got shafted in the 1st round of the final series it is Freooooo for me

  3. Loved your work here Peter. Very entertaining.

  4. As always terrifc Peter,the generational hatred between the Melbourne ‘Tribes’ makes it a no brainer for me.. It’s Freo Way to Go(what a crap song!)

  5. I thought the 20/20 started this weekend. Cheers Pete

  6. mickey randall says

    Very funny and telling piece, Peter. Freo wins for me, but their song is hideous; part 1970s Hard Yacka advertising jingle, part gay anthem, and this is really saying something, part awful Pseudo Echo out take.

  7. Perth (Freo in particular) must be a busy old town. I’m in a state of flux. I want Freo to win but worry what impact Get Stuffed Lyon’s game plan will have on our game. Rugby in 2014 season anyone?

  8. Superb, PB. I love the visual of you perched up in the Bastille, purple-hatted Cat-in-the-Hat vagabonds on the warpath.
    And I love the way the Dockers play. I love that it’s another turn of the evolution/ revolution wheel.
    Some lateral thinking may be required to beat it.
    K.Hinkley fits the bill here.
    Anyone got M.Blight’s number?

    Viva la revolucion

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