I know this is a family website and all, but let’s be frank here. The Bombers aren’t worth the steam off a drunken donkey’s piss. Richmond – RICHMOND! – showed us that last night. Just like every other team in the second half of the season has.
Every week the consensus is that Essendon can’t be worse than last time, and with the grim reliability of a clockwork guillotine, they are.
Interestingly, that same panel of Good Judges also decrees each week that North are due a loss and can’t keep up their form. And yet North keep winning.
Which brings me neatly to the main point of this: North are going to play finals and Essendon are going to play with themselves on the lounge room floor while watching us in the finals.
And how sweet that is.
Now, I know out there is sitting Essendon supporting Johnny On-Time, shirt done up to eleven, brow furrowed with righteous morals, thinking to himself, or perhaps even posting on a forum, his pudgy fingers stabbing at the keyboard, words to effect of “Haters gonna hate, get over yourself”.
And you know what Mr Bubbles, yep, I’m loud and proud in my hate for Essendon. Don’t try the “It’s a one way rivalry” trick either. The Velvet Butter Knife himself, Matthew Lloyd, let the cat out of the bag on that one.
I hate Essendon and their fall from grace has been so enjoyable. That’s the thing about real hate. I’d love to beat Essendon by one point on the back of a dodgy umpiring decision. That would mean more than a 186 style thumping. Just to see the disappointment on their spotty misshapen faces.
Hate is good. If you don’t hate, you cannot love. That’s a quote from somebody I’m sure. Yoda maybe. But Yoda can go and frig himself silly with his walking stick. Hate doesn’t lead to the dark side, hate is useful as long as it is measured out in small and considered doses, like ketamine.
So what has been my favourite part of standing by the quicksand burning a rope and cackling as Essendon sinks into the mire?
The 8-1 start is too obvious. Everyone knows that’s standard Essendon practice. They come out of the blocks like Ben Johnson with a firecracker up his clacker and then hit June Wall with stunning predictability. Every time.
James Hird looking like he’s about cry hot salty tears of frustration in those cut away shots after the 19th opposition goal goes in? Good, great even, but not the best.
No, my favourite bit has to be The Weapon. And the damage The Weapon did to their season. So beautifully Essendon. Throw a pile of cash at some bloke who was good last decade and then expect it all to magically happen. Meanwhile, down the road, poor old Norf have the New England Patriots on the blower asking if they can get the good oil on OP off our fitness bloke.
It should be stressed here I’m not laughing at the injuries themselves. Nobody likes injuries. But these aren’t blokes doing knees or breaking legs like Michael Barlow. This is a series of soft tissue injuries that can only be the result of The Weapon – LOL – and his program. Money well spent Bombers.
St Francis Loyola once said “Give me the boy until he is seven and I will show you the man.”
Well Saint Franky, you put a boy in a primary school in the inner north west of Melbourne during the years 1984 and 1985 surrounded by a bunch of snivelling mumsy Essendon supporting strawberry blonde kids all called Nathan who would spend ten minutes at the tuck shop counter selecting each individual item in their 20c worth of mixed lollies and then turn around and ask you if you can even afford a sausage roll because you barrack for North, you’re going to end up with a man very much like me.
If you think I’m bad, you should meet the generations that came before me. My old man literally spits the word “esserdern”. My sadly departed uncle couldn’t even bring himself to say the word, instead referring to “them” or “those c*^%s.”
These same men would regale me with stories of my great grandmother who I never met and her elemental hatred of Essendon types, her dark bedtime stories of little boys who didn’t do what they were told and were taken in the night by the horned Essendon devils, their foul stench and flapping flat feet every true North supporters worst nightmare.
This was a woman a generation off the boat from Ireland and for whom North Melbourne was Mass and collective identity and marching against conscription because Archbishop Mannix said so. To her Essendon was the bosses and Masonic conspiracies and the smooth faced men who came to demand sex with your daughter on the night before her wedding, just like at the start of Braveheart.
Times have changed and, thankfully, those same sectarian and class driven attitudes have disappeared into the mists of history. But that doesn’t mean we you forget where you came from. You live your life going forward – into September in the case of us North fans – but you learn from what happened before (Essendon claiming May premiers status yet again).
Essendon will be back again one day course, in the same way the World Health Organisation types are about to crack the champers only to discover an outbreak of polio in some benighted refugee camp somewhere.
But for now, they are shit, and I will revel in it. In the immortal words of Montogomery Burns, I will spend this time wallowing in my own anti-Essendon crapulence.
Enjoy not making the finals after talking yourselves up so much Essendon.
Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of …