VAFA Premier C – Williamstown CYMS: What We Deserve

The batsman grafts his way into the 90’s, but all his work is undone when he plays a loose shot and is caught in the covers. In the commentary box, Michael Clarke intones “That is disappointing, he deserved a hundred!”


The player charges through the centre of the MCG, the crowd’s excitement rising with each step taken; the player takes a couple of bounces, baulks an opponent, runs into the arc, and launches the Sherrin from 40 metres out. Only for the ball to slew off the side of his boot and through for a behind. Bruce McAvaney shrieks into his microphone: “That is such a shame, he deserved a goal for that…”


I describe the above passages of sporting play not for the purpose of pointing out that Clarke is not the greatest of commentators (Channel 7 and Fox concur), or that Bruce is prone to bouts of hyperbole. That much we know. As a life-long student of the English language, I use the paragraphs to demonstrate what I believe is the constant and frustrating misuse of the word deserve. He deserved this. She deserved that. Did the batsman who played an irresponsibly rash stroke really deserve a century? Did the footballer who shanked his kick truly deserve a goal? In both instances, I would answer resoundingly in the negative.


What about the sprinters who competed against Usain Bolt (remember when he was a sprinter, not a soccer player)? They may well have prepared for twice as long and trained twice as hard as Bolt. Does that mean that they deserved to beat him? Or, conversely, did Bolt deserve his numerous gold medals because he had the most natural talent and ability? Sure, he too would need to have prepared, but maybe not quite as much as the next man.


We are told from an early age that, in life, we get what we deserve. But do we? Does the corporate crook who rips off unsuspecting clients deserve to live a happy and comfortable life? Does the caring, devoted and generous woman who lives a selfless life deserve to be struck down with a terminal illness? Again, for most people the obvious answer to both of these questions is “No”. But maybe we all get what we deserve in the next life?


The CYs have won 16 matches this season. If we defeat Old Geelong on Saturday, we will have won 17 of our 18 home-and-away games. Such a record has determined that the team has deserved to finish in top spot, but nothing more. Come the finals, these performances offer no guarantees other than the knowledge that we have, at some stage during the season, defeated the opponent we are to play. In 2016, Caulfield Grammarians were the top-placed team, and exited the finals in “straight sets”. Did they get what they deserved?


The lessons are salutary: until we win a final in season 2018, we will really not have deserved anything.


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About Darren Dawson

Always North.


  1. Jack Trevorrow says

    That is correct Smokie

  2. Disappointingly, this week we have not had a match report from either Phil Hill or King George III

  3. Luke Reynolds says

    Superb Smokie. This article deserves to be widely read.
    All the best to Williamstown CYMS in the last round and for the finals.

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