The Hawks touch down in Tassie…no doubt it was a day full of cheers, beers and jokes about ‘maps’…
Hawthorn’s premiership celebration tour has taken to the air, crossed the Bass Strait and landed in Tasmania! The Apple Isle has a unique sponsorship arrangement with the club and the Hawks delayed the traditional post-season Mad Monday craziness to show off the silverware in Hobart and Launceston. The club president/master spruiker, a number of coaches and players paraded the cup to a host of happy Taswegians; including local product Grant Birchall, who Kennett delighted in revealing to all that he gave his two front teeth for Tassie during the game. At least his friends will know what to get him for Christmas this year…
Full credit to the Hawks for ensuring they included Tasmania in the celebrations – it might have been a little pricey but that would not be a worry for them at this point in time. And to get down there so quickly after the win…considering that many of the players would be feeling a little dusty after a massive Sunday! This included a monster turn-out at Glenferrie with an estimated 20,000 fans in attendance…though we doubt that the terminally-sour Don Scott was there (or within a 100km radius of the place!)
The League, of course, would also have been pleased with the effort Hawthorn have gone to in Tasmania – and secretly wishing this would be enough to appease the locals and make them forget about launching a bid for a Tasmanian team in the AFL…which has zero chance of being approved by the AFL. Um…no! It only seems to be making them more determined – Andy D will be thrilled.
Who would want to watch the newly-crowned premiers belt out the club song in the rooms straight after the game? Answer: Everybody…except Channel Seven!
The champs now head back to the mainland to collect the keys to the city of Hawthorn and, more than likely, belt out the club song another 20 or so times! Which brings us to the telecast of the grand final on Saturday. Overall, it was more than satisfactory – the pre-match entertainment had its traditional array of eye-raising moments but the usual impulse to switch off the TV didn’t kick in this year. That must be a good sign…though not everybody felt the same way!
After a seven year “hiatus”, Channel Seven did a pretty good job with the game telecast and despite having an over-crowded commentary team, managed to integrate them all without flooding the airwaves with useless chatter. But just when you thought that Seven had ticked all the boxes for the day, they stumbled badly with two minutes left in the telecast when it became apparent that they would not show the Hawks singing the club song in the rooms.
NEWSFLASH: We interrupt this broadcast of Hawthorn winning the flag to announce…that Hawthorn have won the flag!
And sure enough, after teasing viewers by showing live footage of the Hawthorn boys gathering in a circle to belt out the song, they cut away to the news. The network have been bagged all year for leaving out the winning team’s song on their Sunday game telecasts and then faced with the decision on the biggest day on the footy calendar, they stuffed it up again! Maybe next year, huh? Or the year after? Um, 2011?
The Cats will be back next year…let’s hope Matthew Scarlett’s hair also returns in 2009!
Meanwhile, probably in a dingy pub at the gateway to the Bellarine Peninsula, the post-mortem for Geelong continues. The place must still be in complete shock at the loss and the players are either totally blaming themselves or sticking up for those teammates who didn’t fire on Saturday. But the Cats are talking redemption in 2009, which they are well entitled to do, and seeing this missed opportunity as a mere blip on the radar as they navigate the path to football greatness.
A good analogy can always come in handy when everything goes to tripe but Frank’s Costa’s attempt to relate Don Bradman’s final innings to Geelong’s plight doesn’t quite work…the greatness of the Don was undisputed when he fell for a duck in his final knock and we don’t feel that Geelong are in that position at all. This is probably the equivalent of the Cats whacking a quick-fire double-century in 2007 before copping a ferocious Harold Larwood-style bouncer from the Hawks that sent them back to the pavilion! Mark Thompson’s boys need to respond in 2009 if they want to be categorised with the Bradman-like greatness of the three-peat Brisbane Lions.
Now that footy is over with for 2008…Half Back Flanker has no idea what to do! There is trade week coming up…and it looks like there could be some real activity this year rather than the usual round of 100-plus rumours that result in less than ten actual trades. So we will keep an eye on the events of trade week and see which big names will reject Collingwood again find greener pastures.